Spirits spilled into the night

Posted by TraderTiki on October 31st, 2007 — Posted in Concoctioneering, Gin, rye

The end of another October, and with a tongue singed by candy, my palate awaits something other than Tootsie Rolls. In co-ordination and collaboration with my dear friend Craig, we have put together a number of drinks representing a selection of the Universal Movie Monsters to celebrate these horrifying haunts of the silver screen, and to appreciate the more adult side of All Hallow’s Eve.

These classics of cinema were enjoyed during the most frightening period of all, Prohibition, and lasted through the late 1950s. They were genre defining movies, which entranced and entertained audiences. I’d love to elaborate further, but it’s another friend, Noel, who inspired the idea. I may have to have him elaborate on the subject. I just know booze.

The Mummy, released 1932 and staring Boris Karloff as the titular character. To celebrate this film, a presentation of honey and aromatic perfumes from exotic regions used in preparing the body. Around the body, the sands of time dry and wither the senses, while preserving as well. In the end, there is a dreadful curse, as punishment for disturbing the slumber of the dead.

The Mummy

The Mummy

  • 2 oz Rye (Wild Turkey 101 proof)
  • 1/2 oz Honey Mix
  • 1/4 lemon juice
  • dash St. Germain
  • dash Blood Orange Bitters
  • dash Fees Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into cocktail glass. Rim with lemon juice and cinnamon.

This came out fantastic, with a nice alcoholic sweetness, with lots of aromatics. The juice was added last as it needed a bit of sharpness to really round it out. The cinnamon rim dries the mouth and adds a bit of spice. The bitters can be exchanged with another, or left out to taste.

The Invisible Man, starring Claude Raines, was released in 1933, as Prohibition in the United States was finally being kicked to the curb. In the film, the professor is driven mad after experimentation with a drug that made him invisible. Scarcely seen but for the glass containing it, this drink celebrates the madness that lies beneath the unseen.

The Invisible Man

The Invisible Man

  • 1.5 oz Gin
  • 2 oz Aquavit
  • 2 dashes Maraschino Liqueur

Stir with ice and strain into cocktail glass.

Completely clear, the drinker may see this as a glass of vodka, or water. The flavors contained within, however (not to mention the booze) prove that vision can’t always be trusted.

In The Creature from the Black Lagoon, release 1954, a bewitching maiden captivated the creature, driving him mad with fury at those who would take her away from him. This drink is a visual treat, and quite a pretty tasty one to boot. From this Black Lagoon, your own more beastly instincts may arise.

The Creature from the Black Lagoon

The Creature from the Black Lagoon, aka ‘The Black Lagoon’

  • 1.5 oz Hypnotiq
  • .5 oz Green Chartreuse
  • Juice of Half-lime
  • dash Pernod
  • float of Blavod (Black Vodka)

Shake all but Blavod with ice. Strain into cocktail glass, and float Blavod on top.

This came out far better than the concept was originally anticipated. The Black Lagoon, on the top, is a bit difficult and rank, using straight vodka as a float. But, once the surface is penetrated, the true beauty of the ingredients shine. I feel a bit strange using Hypnotiq as a main liqueur, but I must say, it’s some tasty stuff. Mixed with the lime and Chartreuse, this drink sings.

Don’t forget to catch Craig’s Hallowe’en movie monster drinks as well, featuring Dracula, The Wolfman, and The Phantom of the Opera.  All 6 of these in a night, and you’ll be seeing some monsters too.

Hope everyone out there in the cocktail world has a safe, sane, and slightly inebriated Halloween. I know I will. Martin Cate of Forbidden Island will be in town, and yes, much rum will be imbibed.

Hot Buttered Rum Cow

Posted by TraderTiki on October 28th, 2007 — Posted in Hot Ones, Rum

I’ve been whipping these together for the wife and myself ever since I made the Hot Buttered Rum Batter. This is a delightful drink done simply, though there are a few tools I would recommend, if you’re into having lots of fun devices. The first being a nutmeg grinder. I’m sure you could get just a regular spice grinder, but a nice grinder like found in this nutmeg grinder post on Kitchen Contraptions is fun to have, stores your spares, and is fun to grind directly over the drink. I have a tendency to keep with Alton Brown in staying away from specialized equipment, but this looks elegant, and the smell of freshly ground nutmeg is just heavenly. The second device that comes highly recommended is a milk frother, again like the one in this frother post at Kitchen Contraptions. It’s unnecessary, and usually means you have to stop pouring well before the lip of the glass, but it adds a nice foamy texture to the top, and really helps stir up the mixture. If there’s anything that makes me weep, it’s the last remnants of a good hot buttered rum batter sitting at the bottom of the glass, so use one of these or stir like crazy!

Hot Buttered Rum Cow

Hot Buttered Rum Cow

  • 1 tsp Hot Buttered Rum Batter (see the recipe here)
  • 1.5 oz Gold Puerto Rican
  • .5 oz Dark Jamaican Rum
  • 6 oz. Whole Milk

Preheat mug by filling with warm water. Warm the milk on the stove (microwave if you’re impatient) until hot, but still drinkable. Toss the water in the mug and premix the rum and batter, then fill with milk and stir thoroughly. Serve with grated or grinded nutmeg on top.

Just to make it clear, use whole milk, none of the watered down stuff (which my father would so eloquently call lizard piss). Using the skim stuff is nowhere near the same. Regarding the rum, I’m going on Trader Vic’s Book of Food and Drink word with the combo here, but I’ve drifted from this to using a straight 2 ounces of Myers’s. I like the rich dark punch of molasses it gives to the drink, as well as most of the other drinks involving dairy. It’s not smooth like a gold or light, but it punches right through to make sure you know you’re drinking RUM.

Now, I’ve got to be honest with you, the picture in the post is not of the above recipe. The recipe above tends to be a bit whiter, and of course, with the frother, quite a bit frothier. The drink picture above is the same mix, but replacing the milk with egg nog. Honestly, this makes it a bit too much of a good thing, as the egg nog sits just fine on it own with no need for assistance from the batter. Still, it’s a nice way to pack on some pounds for the winter weather.

Jeff “Beachbum” Interview on Salon.com

Posted by TraderTiki on October 23rd, 2007 — Posted in Bilge

Salon.com has an interview of Jeff “Beachbum” Berry up on their site today, answering questions about cocktail umbrellas, the Zombie, and where to get a decent Tiki drink.

It’s not a whole heck of a lot of new info, but I appreciate his statements on serving Tiki drinks not in the souvenir mug, but in a glass.  These are some pretty drinks,  why obscure them with ceramic?

Pegu Club Cocktail

Posted by TraderTiki on October 22nd, 2007 — Posted in Gin, Site

One of the fun things about running a blog, or any site for that matter, is seeing where your hits are coming from.  I get a lot of the expected referrals from the Blogroll, a few unusual sites and trackers, but a recent, extremely unexpected referral was straight from the Wall Street Journal’s site, specifically, an article by Eric Felten on the Pegu Club Cocktail.

I couldn’t believe it!  My hits weren’t going up unusually, but still, being linked on a legit for real bigtime site, whoda thunk it?  So, scanning through the article… scanning, scanning, scanning… no link.  Until, I see a brief glimmer of my site’s URL in the footer of the page under “Blog Posts about this topic”, generated by Sphere.com.  Well, I was selected by an algorithm (and quickly sequenced out of that rotation), but still, inspiration to drink must always come from somewhere!  So last night’s cocktail was, the Pegu Club Cocktail.

Pegu Club Cocktail

You can read more about it in the article on WSJ.com.  The writer does a good piece on the drink, though the proportions are not what I used.  Instead, I favor the recipe from Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, which reduces the Gin and Cointreau, and leaves the bitters to open discussion.  A very refreshing drink, the sweetness of orange and the sour of lime play very well, almost making a sour orange flavor, which I just adore.  One key for this drink is definitely the bitters.  I like this with a few hefty dashes of Angostura, but I could drink the stuff straight, so your taste may vary.  Fees Orange bitters also fare well, but if you’ve expressed orange oil into the drink, their addition doesn’t seem to add much.

If you look carefully at the picture, you can even see the orange my spiral came from in the background.

Holidays in the bottle

Posted by TraderTiki on October 21st, 2007 — Posted in Bourbon, Hot Ones

As the month of October beings to wane, and the weather grows cooler, the desire to build a hefty layer of fat and hibernate until spring grows ever stronger. And what better way to nurture this craving than with alcohol and dairy products!

Two products now appearing on shelves, at least in the local liquor stores, are Evan Williams Egg Nog, and Coronado Rompope.

 Evan Williams Egg Nog and Coronado Rompope

Egg Nog has a long standing tradition as a fine holiday (or anytime) drink with uncertain origin. Certainly an old egg flip and egg nog have something in common, but the actual inspiration and name are unknown. I’d suppose the first chicken farmer with too much time and Brandy on their hands, but I’d prefer to let that dog lie, and enjoy what we have before us. The stores are just beginning to fill with Premium Egg Nogs from local dairies, but sadly bereft of the alcohol! Well, Evan Williams has corrected that oversight with their Original Southern Egg Nog. Unfortunately for those seeking more information,  this product is not listed on the Evan Williams website, so my information has to come straight from the bottle. The liquor mixture is a bit different than what I’m used to in an Egg Nog, the usual for me being Brandy and Rum. Here, the producer has listed Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Blended Whiskey, Rum and Brandy. Strange, wouldn’t adding straight Bourbon to blended Bourbon just make blended Bourbon? I may need to call in the experts on that one. Either way, it’s a delicious product drunk straight, or as I prefer to use at, as a bit of tipple in my morning coffee. I usually prefer my egg nog hot, but this is recommended to be served chilled, with a garnish of nutmeg, cinnamon or mint. The flavor is very eggy with a rich texture, and at 19% alcohol, it’s got a little bite. The only thing missing is the bit of cinnamon or nutmeg, but that’s likely to allow the imbiber to spice as desired. It’s no homemade egg nog (a subject to be tackled later), but it’s ready to serve at a moment’s notice.

The next item spotted is the bottled version of a Mexican tradition, known as the Mexican Egg Nog, Rompope. Rompope is a traditional drink in Mexico, served on Holidays and other festivities. There are a few key differences to Rompope, in that it is traditionally rum based, and given vanilla flavoring. The flavor is definitely strong on the vanilla, with no spice to it, and at 10%, the alcohol offers no bite or kick, so it is nothing but rich smooth vanilla. This is still a relatively new discovery for me, so I’ll have to spend some more time with it, and I’ll certainly be trying my own batch this winter. The dairy produced here in Oregon is exceedingly spectacular, and I expect will serve very, very well.

I’ll have to finish these bottles soon and begin making my own version of these classics. May my KitchenAid last the season!