Just a quick note

Posted by TraderTiki on January 14th, 2008 — Posted in Events

No details just yet, but Portland, OR local Tikiphiles and visiting Ohana may want to keep your calendars open for Feb. 19th.

MxMo XXIII, Corpse Reviver

Posted by TraderTiki on January 14th, 2008 — Posted in Brandy, Morning Cocktails, MxMo

MxMo XXIII: Brandy

Another Mixology Monday has come upon us, this them: Brandy, and this host: Marleigh at Sloshed!

Now, besides its use as a sub-ingredient, or a breakfast or holiday tradition, I have to admit my knowledge on Brandy goes about as far as, well, not nearly as far as the Dominik’s MxMo contribution. But I do like a snifter of the stuff every once in a while, and with Clear Creek Distillery being local, my eyes are opening to the joy that is eau-de-vie.

I went searching for a recipe to highlight for this MxMo, but sadly all my Tiki books were, well, pretty dry. Other than matching it evenly with rum, or being one ounce in a 7 ounce drink, there’s not a whole heck of a lot of the stuff in the tropical cocktails world. So, I checked the Bartender’s Guide by Trader Vic, in the Brandy Cocktails section. There are plenty of interesting drinks here (this post was almost about the Bosom Caresser), but nothing that hasn’t been covered elsewhere, so, I looked to the The Savoy Cocktail Book for the final verdict, and wound up chosing that lesser of the two siblings, the Corpse Reviver #1.

Corpse Reviver #1

Corpse Reviver #1  (”To be taken before 11am, or whenever steam and energy are needed”)

  • 1/2 Brandy
  • 1/4 Calvados
  • 1/4 Italian Vermouth

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

The Trader Vic’s version suggest Cognac, but Cognac stock here has been getting low, so I went with my typical (and well stocked) Christian Brothers VS.  The Calvados was Boulard Pays d’Auge, and the Italian Vermouth, Punt-E-Mes, because it just seems that nothing can go wrong with a bit of Punt-E-Mes.

It’s a lovely little cocktail, and I must say, its use as an invigorator is not without merit.  I must say the looming workday is becoming much less  so with every sip.  There’s almost no harshness in it, despite its alcohol content, with the Calvados adding a bit of juiciness to it (and your daily apple), and some spicy and deep rich notes off of the Punt-E-Mes.  I also added a schvitz of Grapefruit oil to the top, as I am wont to do.  It tends to brighten up the flavors, particularly in a juiceless cocktail.

I can see why it fell behind in the race with the Corpse Reviver #2, but it certainly holds its own as a damned decent drink.

Cocktail Books in the Public Domain

Posted by TraderTiki on January 6th, 2008 — Posted in Bilge

Times can be tough when you’ve got a cocktail you’ve just got to research, but the library is closed, the internet is daft, and no early to mid-century bartenders happen to be hanging out in your home office.  But still, there is some hope.

If you haven’t made use of it yet, Google’s Book service has a decent number of Public Domain titles available for download as PDF files.

Some of the full text titles available are:

Jerry Thomas’ How to Mix Drinks: Or, the Bon-Vivant’s Companion, 1862

William Terrington, Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks, 1869

William Schmidt (The Only William), The Flowing Bowl, 1892

These titles, available in full, are in the Public Domain.  The system of which can be pretty convoluted, so that no works past 1923 can be offered, and the author to have  been dead for 70 years, though there are exceptions, etc etc.  Once offered (finally!) though, public domain titles can be a huge boon for research.  Knowledge is power!

Go on and hit up Google’s Book service, and let me know if you find any treasures.  My results came from searching “cocktail”, and then sorting through the 600+ titles found in Full Text. 

Now I must find a place that’ll print and bind these all for me on the cheap.

Sir Walter Cocktail

Posted by TraderTiki on January 5th, 2008 — Posted in Brandy, Rum

The winter rains continue, the ground around my house is saturated, and again, my bar, Reynolés Galley, is pretending it is a wet bar. Yes, the ship is leaking, and the floor is soaked, but at least it hasn’t sank. So, more work is ahead for me, and the walls must be temporarily torn down so that I can dry-lok the room, thank you 1940’s masonry.

So, upset at the ponderous bulk of work ahead, I decided to make myself a cocktail. Though please note, this decision also often occurs during times of thirst, boredom, joy, pain, misery, delight, celebration, and generally whenever I’m awake.

I was recently putting together a menu of Classic Cocktails for the Galley, seeing as there was more mopping than mixing to be done. I put a few favorites on there, the Last Word, Corpse Reviver #2, Sazerac (made the way it damn well should be!), but needed something different. So, taking a peek in the The Savoy Cocktail Book, I found something that looked ever so right up my alley, Sir Walter Cocktail.

Sir Walter Cocktail

Sir Walter Cocktail (Commonly known as “Swalter” ), from the Savoy Cocktail Book.

  • 1 tsp Grenadine
  • 1 tsp Curaçao
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/3 Brandy
  • 1/3 Rum

Shake and strain into cocktail glass

It’s a lovely cocktail, more towards the sweet end of the spectrum, with the Rum and Brandy mixing together as fantastically, with a touch of bitter and sweet from the Curaçao and Grenadine. I’m using Meyer Lemon Juice right now, since, ’tis the season, and it makes for an outstanding drink. It’s quite a different flavor from typical lemons, with a lot less of the citric kick, and a lot mellower and sweeter flavor. Cruzan Amber seems to sit with the Brandy and other flavors very, very well, though I’d imagine Pisco and White Rum would be a nice variation. The 1/3 refers to 1/3rd of the drink, or half an ounce in this case. My recommendation is to make it a double, it’s can be a dinky cocktail, even at twice the size. Oh, and I added some flourish with a Grapefruit peel spiral, after expressing the oil. It works quite well with the rest of it.

I wasn’t able to find any more information on this drink other than the hundreds of recipes on the internet, and on cocktaildb. However, looking through a few of my tomes of knowledge, I found two versions in the 1948 reprint of the Bartender’s Guide by Trader Vic. Oddly enough, the two versions aren’t marked 1 and 2, but are instead referred to in separate sections of the book. I wonder if anyone ever pointed out to him he’s got two recipes for the same drink… if you’ve got the ‘76 version, let me know if it’s still in there!

Sir Walter Cocktail (Brandy Cocktails section, p. 86), Bartender’s Guide by Trader Vic.

  • 3/4 oz. Brandy
  • 3/4 oz. Bacardi
  • 1 tsp Grenadine
  • 1 tsp Curaçao
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice

Shake with cracked ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass

The proportions are a bit different here from the Savoy version, and it specifically calls on Bacardi. I can’t say using dark rum was bad though, because it tasted so good.

Sir Walter Cocktail (Rum Cocktails section, p.234), Bartender’s Guide by Trader Vic.

  • 1/2 oz. Rum
  • 1/2 oz. Cognac
  • 1 tsp Grenadine
  • 1 tsp Curaçao
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice

Shake with cracked ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass

This is more like the Savoy, with the 1/3 measurement being traded for 1/2 oz. It sure can drive me mad when a drink is setup only as parts, with no suggestion as to where to start. The parts notation can be nice for punches, but I like to know whether something started as a cocktail, a pitcher drink, a punch, or a bathtub.

I think this little number is ready to be rediscovered and printed a few cocktail menus out there. I know it’s on at least one… mine!

2008 and I’m feeling great

Posted by TraderTiki on January 1st, 2008 — Posted in Bilge, Concoctioneering, Events, Morning Cocktails

Hope the first day of the new year is finding you well. I’m just taking a break after spending the day in the kitchen and bar working up a few storms, but no Hurricanes.

Our New Years Eve was spent at Teardrop Lounge, where I had not only some of the best food, but the best cocktails paired to the food I’ve ever had. The meals and drinks really synchronized well, and I got a chance to have a “concept ingredient” on the menu, Filbert Orgeat, which played a very nice role in a Japanese-inspired cocktail, the Cyclone Ranger. The wife and I spent the evening there well into the night with new friends and fellow cocktailians. It was a fantastic way to end the old year and begin the new.

Speaking of the New Year, I spent my first day making a few cocktails, and cocktail ingredients for future cocktails. The first thing I had to do was put together an Egg Nog, that, as upset as my wife was, we will not be seeing up from the basement until December of this year. I’m going full on with the Aged Egg Nog and setting that aside for almost a full year. Lets just hope I’m not going to end up giving myself the gift of botulism. Aside from that, I was inspired by the Harvest Manhattan from Bourbon and Branch, and put together an Apple Infused Bourbon with some locally grown organic apples, and Jim Beam’s Choice bourbon, since I can’t afford my own barrel of Buffalo Trace.

While at the store for this and that, my jaw nearly dropped when I saw a big bundle of Seville Oranges! I’m not kidding in an earlier post where I’m dying for a nice sour orange. Navels and Valencias can both be too sweet when combined with a lot of syrups, and I’m looking for that bitter edge from a Seville or Curacao orange. Expect some good new things from this bundle of joy.

Bloody Mary

I had to have a bit of cooking fuel before things started though, so I whipped up a few Bloody Marys. Now, admittedly, when I say whipped up, what I mean is had to carefully contemplate, mess up, try again, and eventually get it right. I’m unfortunately not a huge fan of the Tomato Juice, it’s not a flavor I’m drawn to. So, I had to really spice and salt it up to get it right, as well as add a few special ingredients.

Bloody Mary, Longpig Style

  • 3 oz Bacon-Infused Vodka
  • 4 oz Organic Tomato Juice
  • 2 dash Worcestershire
  • 10 dashes hot sauce (Crystal or Franks Preferred)
  • 10 dashes Chipotle Tabasco Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Bacon Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • pinch Celery Salt

Wet the rim of a Chimney Glass with lime juice, and rim with Bacon Salt. Shake ingredients (including Bacon Salt and pepper) with ice, and strain into rimmed glass. Garnish with a Lime Wheel, Celery Stalk and whatever you can find that’s pickled (Okra and Dilly Bean pictured).

It’s not a recipe for those with hypertension, I’ll tell you that much, but it made it satisfying as hell for me, particularly after a rambunctious New Years Eve. For the Bacon Infused Vodka, just sit a few strips of Bacon in some Vodka for a few days. I’m starting to think that just setting some of that Bacon Salt in Vodka might even do the trick better next time, as it’s more directly at the flavor of the cure rather than the meatiness of the pork.

RéveillonAfter the kitchen wound down, it was time to try out some holiday cocktails that had not yet been tried. First on the list is the Réveillon Cocktail, by Chuck Taggart. This is a great addition to your holiday cocktail menu, with a lot of fruit and spice. Luckily, I just happened to have some whole Star Anise on hand for the picture. It also adds a nice fragrance to the nose of the drink. The Clear Creek Pear Eau-de-Vie is phenomenal on its own, and really keeps its own with the Applejack, while the Punt-E-Mes and Pimento dram add some spice and sweetness to it. Nice cocktail Chuck!Northern Spy

Next on the list was the Northern Spy. If you can’t tell by now, I looked to Paul’s site for today’s libation inspiration. The Northern Spy also features Applejack, with apple cider, and a bit of lemon juice to tart up the concoction. Sadly, there was no champagne left in the house, so I had to make due without giving it the Royale treatment. The lemon balances the sweetness of the apple cider nicely, and having an open ended last ingredient really lets you make it your own. I chose to stick with Apricot Brandy as a base, and it was just fine and dandy! I will say though, a dash of Pimento Dram makes it just that much better.

So, what awaits us at Tradertiki.com in 2008?

  • A section dedicated to Syrup/Liqueur Recipes!
  • Tropical drinks in the actual tropics!
  • A different angle and lighting for pictures!
  • More of me blathering about Teardrop!
  • Making it to Tales of the Cocktail this year!
  • The quickly deleted “drunk post”!
  • Insight, intoxication, exotic locations and deadly libations!

Is there anything you’d like to see covered or offered? Just let me know in the comments! I aims to please and the house is pickin’ up the tab.