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 (”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.
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.
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.
After 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!
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.
The midnight darkness stays through morning as autumn has descended upon our fair city, yet still the cry is heard in and just outside of every ham ‘n eggs shop from Albina to Burnside. BREAKFAST!!!
If there’s one thing that is truly a Portland, OR mainstay, it’s breakfast. Most recently some adventurous friends and I hit up Screen Door, a lovely little stop with the best southern-style breakfast I’ve ever had. Well, other than 4am visits to the Waffle House, but those were good in a whole different kind of way.
The best part about it though was the morning cocktail menu, and a damn fine one at that. For our party of four, two Ramos Gin Fizz were ordered, and for myself, a Burnside Brandy Milk Punch. The difference between this Brandy Milk Punch and the recipe I’d made in an my Brandy Milk Punch post was a nice dash of Pernod on the bottom, which worked very nice with the brandy. As Samuel Johnson said, “Claret is the liquor for boys; port for men; but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy.“
The bartender and I had a nice chat about the Ramos, as they used whole milk, orange juice, and only shook it for a few seconds, but still it was damn tasty. After the Brandy Milk Punch, I tried to get the Bartender to recreate the Applejack Old-Fashioned I’ve become so fond of, but there was no Applejack or Whiskey Aged bitters in the house. So, from what we had, somewhere between the Applejack OF and the Tombstone (well, really a Proper Old Fashioned with Maple Syrup), comes the NW Old-Fashioned.
- 2 oz. Bulleit Bourbon
- 1 small orange slice
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
Muddle the orange slice at the bottom of the glass, add ice, build the drink and stir. Garnish with orange slice, serve with slice at 2pm*
Just an old-fashioned with Maple Syrup, but man what a flavor. The maple syrup and bourbon make an almost too sweet hit on the palate, but the orange oil and bitters kick in to smooth out the mixture into some sort of wonderful Sunday morning perfection in a double-rocks glass.
*2pm as if the customer were facing a clock. A little trick learned from M&S Grill, a chain with a damn decent bar menu.
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.
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.
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.