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.


California here I come!

Posted by TraderTiki on December 17th, 2007 — Posted in Concoctioneering, Events

Hey there folks,

due to circumstances beyond my control, I’m finding myself heading back to Sunny California for a very brief visit.

I’ll be heading to Bourbon and Branch tonight for the first time, and will be making a short trek down to Forbidden Island on Tuesday evening.  Wednesday my Rum and Rye soaked carcass will be boarding a plane back home to PDX, hopefully full of non-OLCC listed goodies.

E-mail me (tradertiki at tradertiki.com) if you want to meet up.

Meanwhile, sitting at home are a few projects for Christmas gifts, experimentation, and other concoctioneering.  This includes a new batch of Falernum, Ginger Beer, two styles of Shrub, Creme de Cacao, and something that I can really only explain with a picture.

Coconut, rum, and power tools

Rum Shrub

Posted by TraderTiki on November 28th, 2007 — Posted in Concoctioneering, Recipes, Rum, Trader Vic

Boy do I feel late to the party. After a few excellent shrub posts by Gabriel, Jamie, and Rick, and Chip and Andy, there’s not a lot more to say, but I’ve got a few tips that might come in handy when “rolling your own“.

The basic concept of a Shrub, other than preservation of the juice, is to impart a bit of sourness from acetic acid, developed by naturally occurring bacteria, to add a “kick” to the drink, as you might get with a carbonated beverage. A decent shrub should not be entirely vinegar, but should have just enough for a nice zing in the flavor and particularly in the late stages of the taste through the aftertaste.

I recently put together a Rum Shrub with Black Currants based on a recipe from Trader Vic’s Bartender’s Guide. The recipe noted that the shrub can be bottled and strained after “6 days or whenever”, so I gave it a good six weeks. After even this amount of time, the juice had still not begun to vinegarize, so taking some tips from the Vinegar man, I introduced a really nice apple cider vinegar to the mix. Within days, the mother of vinegar had started to develop, and it was getting quite pungent, so I strained and bottled it. The flavor was… well, I can really only reduce it to sound effects, with a lot of ZIPS and WOWS. It’s good stuff, and quite an unexpectedly delicious kick. It’s quite potent though, and can be added to hot or charged water, or just about anything else you can think of.

Here’s the recipe straight from the Trader’s mouth, though you may want to reduce quantities a bit.

Rum Shrub #3

  • 1 gal. rum
  • Juice of 10 lbs. cooked currants
  • 2 lbs. sugar.

Dissolve sugar in a little water; mix with rum and currant juice; cover closely and let stand a week or more. Mix and strain through muslin bag and bottle.

The best way to do the muslin filter is by finding a place that sells canning goods and buying a Jelly bag and bag holder. They hold a lot more than a coffee filter, and do just about as good of a job. If the mother of vinegar (gooey stuff at the top) falls in with the bottle, it’ll continue to ferment until you’ve got a nice bit of pure vinegar. I wasn’t quite satisfied with the above recipe, and added some tartness and culture with Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar.

Now that that’s out of the aging jar, I’ve put in a formula from Classic Liqueurs said to mimic closely the long lost Forbidden Fruit Liqueur. Only 3 weeks of aging and agitating left!

MxMo XXI: Gin

Posted by TraderTiki on November 11th, 2007 — Posted in Classic Cocktails, Concoctioneering, Drinks, Gin, MxMo, Original Drinks, Recipes, Rum, Trader Vic

MxMo XXI: GinI’m tired of Gin, I’m tired of Sin, and after last night, oh boy, am I tired.

- Unknown

Yes, ladies and/or gentlemen, another month has passed, and the next Mixology Monday is already nigh past! This month’s, hosted by Jay at Oh Gosh!, leads us through the very exciting world of Gin.

My personal favorite, other than the only 1/4 oz sampled Bluecoat, has to be the locally made Aviation Gin. This is just fantastic stuff, very aromatic and delicately balanced, but still man enough to put some hair on your chest, or wherever you might find yourself in need of warmth. Changed my Gin Fizzes for life, I can tell you that much.

Now, being that this is could be considered a primarily Tiki drink site, Gin, well, didn’t find itself a primary liquor in too many, or, pretty much any drinks. It’s in the Fog Cutter, Colonel’s Big Opu, Suffering Bastard… oh, wait a moment. It is the primary in a Trade Winds cocktail (Grog Log, p. 84). Well, seeing as the drinking’s done for the night, I may have to do a second post on that one later. For this MxMo, I decided to roll with a Trader Vic original, the Gilded Lily.

Gilded Lily

Gilded Lily

  • 1/2 oz. Modern Dry Gin (Aviation Gin recommended)
  • 1/2 oz. Puerto Rican Rum (sub. Cruzan White)
  • 1/2 oz. Peach Brandy
  • 1/2 oz. Orange Juice

Shake and strain into cocktail glass.

It’s a nice light cocktail, and I love the fact that it’s a good two ouncer, not so much of the tipple as not to be able to put together sentences, but just enough to think the ones you do put together are quite charming indeed. If you can make any sense out of that last sentence, you may need another drink. Yes, the umbrella with the orange twist may be a bit much, but for this drink I think there’s no harm in gilding the lily.

One issue with the above drink though, the Gin shares an equal part with the Rum! Vic, ever the Rum fetishist, has failed me in trying to make a nice, entirely gin-centric write-up. Oh well, guess I may have to roll my own on this one. I must admit, inspiration had struck from the blogosphere today… and if I ever type that word again, slap me upside the head with a Gin and Tonic. Craig had a recent post on Ceylon Cinnamon, and Scottes somehow forced me out of the bar to pick up some Ginger Beer. Well, why not have the two shake hands over a nice bit of Gin? So I whipped up this little concoction, the Gin and Cin.

Gin and Cin

Gin and Cin

  • 2 oz. Aviation Gin
  • 1 oz. Ceylon Cinnamon Syrup
  • 1/2 oz. Lemon Juice
  • 2 dashes fee bitters
  • 1/4 tsp Fresh grated Ginger
  • Ginger Beer (Ginger People STRONGLY advised)

Shake all ingredients except Ginger Beer in a shaker, strain into ice-filled chimney glass. Top with Ginger People Ginger Beer. Garnish with ginger slices and powdered cinnamon.

This is a great digestive, and damned tasty drink, with the spicy ginger giving a sharp spike of flavor, while the Ceylon cinnamon keeps the taste buds active. The lemon provides a touch of a sour note, and the gin and bitters wrap all the notes together. Oh, and you might want to get some Ceylon syrup together, here’s the deal:

Ceylon Cinnamon Syrup

  • 1 part water (16 oz. by volume)
  • 1 part organic cane sugar (16 oz. by volume)
  • bag (4 sticks) Ceylon Cinnamon

Put all ingredients in a pot on the stove. Let simmer covered for 15 minutes or so, cool, strain and bottle.

That stuff will go fantastic in any Nui Nui, Jet Pilot, so on an so forth. Hell, pour it on some waffles, it’s just damned good.

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.