Old Gold

Posted by TraderTiki on September 19th, 2008 — Posted in Drinks, Events, Original Drinks, Recipes, Rum, Tiki Drinks

This here’s a new drink I whipped together for the recent Forbidden Island cocktail contest on Tiki Central, held by Martin Cate of Forbidden Island!  I revealed this last night at the Thursday Drink Night.  No awards for this one, but I still think it’s a doozy of a drink.

Old Gold

Old Gold

  • 1 1/2 oz El Dorado 12 (sub Lemon Hart 80)
  • 1/2 oz Clement VSOP
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 3/4 oz Ginger Syrup
  • 3/4 oz Grapefruit juice (1:1 white and red, if available)
  • 2 dash Fees Bitters
  • 2 drops Vanilla Extract
  • 2 drops Don’s Spices #2

Mix with 6 oz crushed ice in top-down, and pour into a small Hurricane glass (sub chimney).  Garnish with a dash of Cinnamon and piece of Candied Ginger.

If you’re looking for something to hit your sweet spot, this’ll do the trick.  It needs a few moments in ice to cool its jets though, so let it sit a spell, it’ll still be there waiting for you.

I just can’t stop mixing with the El Dorado 12 lately, it’s a bit addictive.  I may have to start weaning myself away with Mount Gay Extra Old.  A new shipment of bottles just got into the galley, these are exciting times indeed!
Like it?  Tried it?  Got a tweek?  Post a comment!

MxMo 19th Century, The Japanese Cocktail

Posted by TraderTiki on September 14th, 2008 — Posted in Bitters, Brandy, Classic Cocktails, Drinks, MxMo, Recipes

Many thanks to this Mixology Monday’s hosts at Bibulo.us, sending us back in time (and into the library) for some 19th Century Cocktails!

As read in Imbibe! by David Wondrich, in 1860, diplomats from Japan made a few weeks stay in New York City.  While there, they stayed at the Metropolitan hotel, about a block away from Jerry Thomas’ Palace bar.  The likelihood of the legation stopping in was about 100%, given their penchant for cocktails, and The Professor’s renown.

Created to commemorate this occasion was the Japanese Cocktail.  A tender and delicious little concoction of Orgeat, Brandy, and Bitters.

Text not available

Somehow, years later in Harry Johnson’s Bartender’s Manual (1934 edition), the recipe changed dramatically.   This version adds a good dallop of shaved ice and Maraschino Liqueur, and replaces the Brandy with Eau Celeste (Himmels Wasser), which in searches shows as a sort of plant fungicide.

Harry Johnsons Bartenders Manual, the Japanese Cocktail

Seeing as I don’t appear to have a ready supply of large quantities of Copper Sulfate, Ammonia, and whatever the heck Sal Soda is to make the eau celeste, I think we’re going to have to go with the original good Professor’s recipe, adapted by David Wondrich, with some further adaptation of technique.

Japanese Cocktail

Japanese Cocktail

  • 1 Tbsp Orgeat
  • 1/2 tsp Bogart’s Bitters (sub Fees or homemade Boker’s)
  • 2 oz of Brandy

Stir with Ice, strain into champagne saucer.  Garnish with 1 or 2 twists of Lemon Peel.

It’s a delightful and creamy little bite of a drink.  The large amount of Bitters adds a lot of flavor, making a sort of mulled Brandy, while the Orgeat balances out the harsher notes in the bitters and any burn in the brandy.  Daniel at Teardrop Lounge made a lovely variation with Filbert Orgeat and Barsol Pisco, garnished with shredded chocolate.

I can’t recommend this drink enough.  It’s easy to concoct, and extremely pleasing to just about any palate.  Drink and enjoy!

Falernum Bitters

Posted by TraderTiki on July 10th, 2008 — Posted in Bitters, Concoctioneering, Rum

Falernum Bitters

I’d had this idea in my head for awhile, to develop a bitters to bring out and strengthen Tiki flavors in drinks.  Of course, lo and behold I find that BIttermens beat me to the punch with their Tiki Bitters.

A few months ago, I gave a bottle of Bridgetown Bitters to the OBG to include in a gift pack sent to Mr. David Wondrich when he was here for the OBG event, recounted here and here.  The batch was, admittedly, but together in a hurry, and I don’t think was quite the product I was going for.  I hope you (well, first off, got them) liked them, the formula has been MUCH improved.  What I used here was my usual Falernum formula with a bit of Gentian, soaked in overproof white rum, and combined with Gentian-infused water to proof.  I thought it was dandy, but knew it needed something more.

Batch two of Bridgetown bitters used the same Falernum spices and Gentian, but this time using an overproof Demerara rum and no proofing, make this a straight-infusion.  These came out very good, but not quite there.  A bit clovey (despite containing no cloves), which I think was due to the strong alcohol bringing out the sharper notes of the flavors.

Well, after an e-mail exchange with Avery of Bittermens, Jamie’s article, and of course, Daniel and David’s Bitters Class, I decided to take another stab at it.  The result of this is my Bridgetown Bitters, now renamed as Falernum Bitters, which I will be handing out samples of at Tales of the Cocktail.  The Falernum spices are still there in the same formula, but using a unique combination of spirits as both infusion and flavoring, as well as 3 different bittering agents.  The difference from Batch 1 to Barch 3 is tremendous.  The flavor of the Falernum spice and rum are screened behind a bit of sweet, so as to time-release their depth and complexity.  The Bittering agents allow the flavor to carry for a LONG time, which was a definite goal in making these.

I’ll admit there are still a few attributes I’m looking for that are still lacking, and a batch 2 of Falernum bitters is destined for the future.  As you may have read in an earlier post, I did throw these in a barrel for 1 month.  Unfortunately, this was not enough time in the barrel to pick up the complexities I was looking for in a product I would label “aged”.  The next attempt at an aged batch will be going into the barrel for a minimum of 6 months.

Meanwhile, if you’ve got a bottle of Bittermen’s Tiki Bitters, or want to make a home-batched attempt, go ahead and toss together this little number which I came up with to highlight the stuff.  It’s a Rum version of Pink Gin, and I think makes a stiff but sippable number I really enjoy.

Tinted Tiki

  • 2 oz Flor de Caña 4 year Extra Dry (sub Cruzan Light)
  • 3 dashes Falernum BItters

Rinse cocktail glass with Falernum Bitters.  Shake Rum with ice and strain into cocktail glass.  Zest lime over glass to release oil into drink.

Like I say, I’ll have samples to pass out at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail, but supplies are fairly limited, bug me early!

Test Pilot

Posted by TraderTiki on March 1st, 2008 — Posted in Don the Beachcomber, Drinks, Grog Log, Recipes, Rum, Teardrop Tiki Menu, Tiki Drinks

When celebrating Don the Beachcomber’s legacy, or his recent birthday (Feb. 22d), what better way to remember the man than through his signature 1-2 punch of Bitters and Pastis (Herbsaint preferred, Pernod in a pinch), and the drink I think really brings it out best, the Test Pilot.

The bitters/pastis combination adds a lot of complexity and roundedness to the drink. Pastis, Herbsaint in particular (drop the R, rearrange the letters to find the origin), in small amounts, adds the strange sweetness of anise, while extending the life of the flavor. For my palate, it’s almost like an envelope, wrapping a bit around the rest of the flavors, keeping them together. The bitters, in this case Angostura, gives a nice spicy start and clove and sarsaparilla-like depth to the drink. Combined, the two are a bit of a circle and spike to the drink, if I can be allowed to make such a visual example of the taste.

The Test Pilot, according to the Grog Log, is by Don the Beachcomber circa 1941, and for my money, is one of the top examples of Don’s mastery of mixology.

Test Pilot

Test Pilot (source Beachbum Berry’s Grog Log)

  • 1/2 ounce Lime
  • 1/2 ounce Falernum
  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau (3 tsp in Grog Log, same measurement)
  • 3/4 ounce Light Puerto Rican Rum (Don Q Cristal recommended)
  • 1 1/2 ounce Dark Jamaican Rum (Coruba recommended)
  • dash Bitters
  • dash Herbsaint

Mix/Blend with 1 cup crushed ice, pour into Double Rocks glass. Add crushed ice to fill.

One thing I notice while making this drink is that it really makes the falernum shine. Using more of a sweetening falernum, like Velvet Falernum, makes a very good drink, but using a spicy homemade, like Paul’s Falernum #8 really brings out all the spice and complexity the drink has to offer. My last batch of Falernum, similar to Paul’s but double the spice, and adding one whole star anise, comes heavily and heartily recommended.

And of course, this will be on the menu for the March 18th Tiki Third Tuesday at Teardrop Lounge! Shameless self-promotion? You got it!

Of course, I’m not the first cocktail blogger to put up my take on this drink. Enjoy Rick and Paul’s takes on this delicious drink!