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.

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.

Eggy Thump

Posted by TraderTiki on September 24th, 2007 — Posted in Bilge, Gin, Morning Cocktails

Had some folks who stayed the night this weekend, which made me very excited to have an audience for some lovely morning cocktails.

Of course, this was the morning after a very exciting party where we christened a friend’s newly purchased house, with newly furnished home bar. A friend bartended, and as he took a break, I slung a few Q.B. Coolers, a Sazeresque (didn’t have lemon, used lime, totally different drink), and a few impromptu concoctions for the crowd. Seeing as it was a hearty evening, a hearty breakfast cocktail was needed. So, I made two quite delightful Ramos Gin Fizzes. Yes, I can shake two at a time, but not without some serious forearm burning. Still, I went through three eggs to make them, as one yolk got split and ruined the white. So, after those two were done, I had two egg yolks and one whole egg… what a waste! Until the Royal and Golden Fizz, that is.

A quick word about the use of egg in a drink, now that I’m able to say I’ve tried silver, gold, and royal. Silver, being a fizz with just the egg white, is refreshing and delightful. Egg white makes a fantastic ingredient in any drink, adding a lot to the texture, without altering flavor too much. Plus, there is the addition of some fantastic protein. Who says drinks can’t be nutritious too? Using egg yolk, as in Golden (yolk only) or Royal (whole egg) is another story entirely. It’s the difference between toast, and french toast. Vanilla, and french vanilla… almost makes you wonder why it’s called a gold and not a French fizz*… well, different categories of consumables.

The Egg yolk, used in a cocktail, changes everything dramatically. The texture becomes thick and drastically creamy. Of course, the use of egg yolk in drinks isn’t unfamiliar around the upcoming holiday season, so why not have it the whole year round? Something is left out of the yolk experience when the nutmeg is left out, perhaps. Yolk in a non-nog can be an acquired taste, but if you want a true “breakfast in a glass” the Golden and Royal Fizz can certainly help you get through the morning after.

*- Hmm.. the French Fizz, recipe coming soon, idea, probably won’t play well, but egg yolk and champagne. I’ll have to check this out.

Bird of Paradise Fizz

Posted by TraderTiki on September 16th, 2007 — Posted in Gin, Morning Cocktails, MxMo

MxMo19: Fizz!Ahh, another refreshing MxMo, and what better way to refresh, perhaps start the morning, or crisp up the afternoon, than with a nice tall delicious fizz. This month’s MxMo is hosted over at cocktailnerd.  Mahalo Gabriel!. I am pleased as Pequod Punch that this theme came about. As you may know, I am a big fan of a creamy dreamy fizz. I’ve posted on the Ramos Gin Fizz (still working on the 12 minute shake, ow my forearms!), and the Cream Gin Fizz, both fantastic drinks and worth a shot if you’ve got the stuff.

There are plenty of recipes out there with Soda Water, a Dr. Funk could’ve been nice, or a Suffering Bastard with Ginger Beer, even a nice Dark ‘n Stormy… not necessarily Tiki, but almost anything with enough rum in it will fit the exotic appetite. I decided to talk to Trader Vic to see what he had to say on the subject. Unfortunately, seeing as he’s been passed away for some time now, I had to consult his books for a more verbose response.

Here’s what Vic had to say on the subject of Fizzes in his Bartender’s Guide (1947)

The Fizz is an early-morning drink with a definite purpose-a panacea for hang-overs [note:referred to in his Book of Food and Drink as the "Butterflies, Whips, and Jingles"] … Many an unwary early-morning customer is knocked right on his ear by the bartender who throws in an extra slug of gin or fouls up the mixture with imitation or stale lemon juice. You’ve a man’s life in your hands, so take it easy. You don’t want him to peter out before noon, do you? That’s scotch-and-soda time.

The Bartender’s guide has got to be one of my favorite books for the whit and whim of the author. I prefer the Book of Food and Drink for the individual notations on the drinks, but there are plenty more recipes in the Bartender’s Guide. There’s also a lovely bit of knowledge regarding the use of various egg bits in a drink.

The addition of the white of an egg turns a plain Fizz into a Silver Fizz; add an egg yolk and you have a Golden Fizz. The addition of a whole egg produces a Royal Fizz.

Just a handy thing to know, and another bit of classic cocktail terminology.

So, delving through the book, I happened to notice the Bird of Paradise Fizz. The first thing that struck me is that the name is very Polypop. It sounds like something you could get at a Kon Tiki to nurse some relief from the night prior. The next thing that hit me about the drink was the inclusion of Raspberry syrup, which I happen to have made a few weeks back. Excellent! An alternate of Blackberry liqueur is given, but some alternates make entirely new drinks, and I need to use up the Raspberry syrup so, I stuck with the original.

The recipes goes as such. I have updated it a bit for more accurate measurements.

Bird of Paradise Fizz

  • 3 oz. Gin
  • 1 oz. Thick Cream
  • 1 egg white
  • 3/4 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1/2 ounce Raspberry Syrup


  • 3 dashes Orange Flower Water
  • Club Soda to Fill

Shake with lots of cracked ice; strain into large chilled goblet; add 3 dashes orange flower water and fill up with club soda.

Bird of Paradise Fizz

The drink has all the lovely flavor of a cream gin fizz, or any cream fizz, but the raspberry syrup adds a lovely exotic flavor to the drink. As well, the separation of the floating meringue is visible about a minute after the drink has been poured, giving a lovely look to a lovely tasting drink. As always, watch that Orange Flower Water, as it can unbalance, but lends such lovely notes to the flavor when used with caution. I also used Aviation gin, a lovely genever style gin distilled just a few miles from my house, at House Spirits Distillery! The lightly fruity sweetness of the gin played very, very well with the raspberry syrup.

I used a bit of a different technique this time with the cream and egg white. I put them into a separate bowl ahead of time and used an electric milk frother to mix them up. I didn’t notice a tremendous difference in the drink, but it did give me a bit of ease of mind that the cream and egg white would not cause any chunking or unusual protein bindings. It probably shaved a few minutes off of the shake, and I will have to experiment with it more.

So mix, enjoy, and give this a shot to resolve those nasty butterflies, whips, and jingles.


Posted by TraderTiki on September 12th, 2007 — Posted in Bilge, Gin

I was just picking up some strawberries at the store yesterday, in order to make Tequila por mi Amante, and something stuck in my head.. now where did I just see something involving strawberry. Considering I check about 20 or so cocktail blogs daily, it can be a bit of a blur. But, reloading my visited sites, I spotted the Bloodhound over at Underhill lounge. Head there and hit his ads for the recipe.


This is a very delicate drink, with the crushed fresh strawberry, which came straight from the farm and was absolutely fantastic. I’d make a syrup, but my I’m just about out of empty containers at the moment.

What is interesting to me, as I ramble on, is the use of fresh fruit ingredients. There was not a strong strawberry flavor to this, as the strawberry rode on the back of the vermouth and gin. The strawberry instead nuzzled warmly in the other flavors, peaking out a bit at the apex, and resuming its mingling. Fresh fruit or juice will do that to you. Artificial ingredients or most store bought syrups tend to have very flat, easily identifiable but very blunt flavors. Fresh ingredients carry the full wave of taste, including the occasionally lost flavor (fruit is mostly water, after all), but then resurging, leaving a bit of aftertaste, and so on.

Man, just makes me happy the day I was weaned, and quickly, off of Rose’s Lime Juice. I can’t even recall the last bottle I bought.

So go out there, get some fresh fruits, and mix up a storm!