Another month, another MxMo, so they say. And who are they? I cannot say. But for sure, this is a challenging MxMo idea, as hosted by The Scribe over at A Mixed Dram. So, broaden my horizons, eh? Well, the first thing that came to mind was, thankfully, the first thing in the description, Tequila!
As happens to so many of us, a bad incedent with Tequila at a tender age involving a few Margaritas in red solo cups, little people dressed as KISS, and a hot Los Angeles day did not bode well for my favor with the spirit. I’ve come to respect it, surely, through continued application of the good stuff (Del Maguey Mezcal, Cazadores Añejo), but can’t say I’ve had anything other than a straight shot in a good decade or so.
Well, the liquor fairy arrived at my doorstep a few weeks back with a delivery of what I’m hoping will pull me out of this particular mixological slump, in the form of Inocente Platinum Tequila. Inocente is a triple distilled tequila with an emphasis on removing the “nasty bits” that can easily lead to a hangover, and arrives in a nifty blue “twist” of a bottle that could make a nifty vase, or cheap christmas present. The nose is a sweet but clear tequila scent, with a bit of pear to it. The flavor is a bit relaxed, really only coming in a moment or two into the sip, but is an unmistakable smokey, fruity tequila, with almost no burn. This is definitely a great platinum to ease my way back into tequila mixology.
To mix it up, the emphasis on the smoke and fruit will be brought out by a very simple mix of orange oil, Grand Marnier, and Regan’s Orange bitters in a drink called the Cadillac Coupe. This one’s a bit of a tribute to a chef friend of mine, who, after work, enjoys nothing more than a bit of Platinum Tequila with just a splash of “Grandma” (Grand Marnier).
- 2 oz Platinum Tequila
- 1 oz Grand Marnier
- Regan’s Orange Bitters
- small square piece of orange peel
Rinse a chilled cocktail glass with a 3 dashes of orange bitters. Stir the spirits with ice until well chilled, and strain into the glass. Finish by flaming a bit of orange oil over the surface of the drink. This can be accomplished by slicing an inch by inch piece of peel from an orange, holding it over a flame over the drink, and giving a generous squeeze. This will release the oils, and create lovely aromatics, as well as a real crowd-pleasing burst of flame.
The drink is a kick, don’t get me wrong, but the smooth tequila and Grand Marnier mix incredibly well, just as they would in a Cadillac Margarita, of which this is a condensed version (none of that cheap garbage, just booze please!). The flavors are primarily smoke, and orange, with a nice silken mouthfeel from the stirring.
Got your own mixological challenge, a spirit not stumbled upon, or liqueur not liked? Trying mixing it up sometime, there’s nothing like a good challenge to stir your spirits!
Alrighty, the first Mixology Monday for Trader Tiki! Hooray!
This MxMo theme, hosted by The Intoxicated Zodiac, is ORANGE! Dear lordy, what am I in for?
Well, I figured I’d put my bout into the foray with a listing and review of all Orange items in my bar, including two types of orange fruits!
I am not the biggest orange fan. I can’t say I don’t like it, but well, perhaps the 5+oz. of various Curaçao and other liqueurs floating through my system has deranged my senses. There was a flavor in there, citric acid, that I thought I remembered well but, the flavor of everything left me a bit unsatisfied. Luckily, I procured some Citric Acid recently, so I may have to start mixing with a pinch… a tiny, tiny pinch. As well as the list below, I’m going to be attempting a drink featuring orange as the featured flavor, but so far the results have been… unsatisfying. I’m going to have to return to Grog Log and Intoxica for further study. Anyhoo, onto the booze!
Tasting was done with an initial sniff from the open bottle, poured into a shot glass, allowed to open up, tilted for a few seconds, sniffed again, and two tastes. One taste staying in the mouth, one taste straight down the gullet. Palate cleansing done by bread and water.
A liqueur made from the peels of the bitter Larahas orange, grown on the island of Curaçao. I’ve got three different brands, so here’s the review!
Hiram Walker Orange Curaçao: A smell of light orange oil, with a vodka like alcohol tinge. The taste was instantly sweet orange, very smooth, with the flavors strongest down the throat. A bit syrupy, very sweet.
Dekuyper Blue Curaçao: A strong liqueur alcohol smell, some orange after opening up. The taste a bit of orange mixed with rubbing alcohol. Not recommended. Also, stains the hell out of everything it touches. Smurfy fingers! Ack!
Bols Curaçao: A nice, light orange smell with an alcohol frame. The taste was very lightly sweet orange, not sickly or syrupy, with very little aftertaste. Probably my favored Curaçao for Mai Tais and other drinks. Incidentally, BOLS was the manufacturer noted for the Curaçao in the original Mai Tai! Not that I’m so easily persuaded, except that I totally am.
Monarch Triple Sec: The smell is a nice orangey scent, with a bit of neutral-grain spirit burn in the nose. The taste is sweet, like an orange popsicle. Truly reminiscent of an otter pop, but with a mild burn in the throat.
Cointreau: The smell is lightly orange, with a strong, cordial alcohol kick. The taste is a well-refined alcohol and orange blend, delicately blended in, with a slight fresh orange aftertaste.
Grand Marnier: The smell is entirely alcohol, but a hint of orange mixes in after being allowed to open up. The taste is strongly alcoholic, but with a very nice orange oil flavor. The aftertaste burns a bit, but very pleasantly.
Well, not that they all aren’t, but these don’t fit into the Triple Sec or Curaçao category, as far as I can tell
Sublime: smells of orange hard-candy, with a light brandy-like perfume. The taste is very sweet on the tongue, a bit harsh down. Tastes like a really good Curaçao, with a bit of alcohol burn. An orange and bubble-gum kind of aftertaste.
Marie Brizzard Parfait Amour: What a strange one this is. The smell is sweet, grapey, and has a candy flavor I have smelled before, but cannot place it. There is some alcohol to the scent after opening up, as well as some nice orange oil. It hits the tongue with a very nice, medium sweetness, and continues on for quite awhile into the aftertaste. It’s a very nice, light, slightly candy-like orange.
Oh boy, orange bitters! It’s the bitterness in oranges I tend to blend towards in cocktails. I was very excited to try these, particularly after getting some Regan’s Orange Bitters #6, and Fee Bros. Orange, and.. well, see below!
Regan’s Orange Bitters #6: The smell is a bit of orange, and cherry, with a smoky-sweet fragrance. The liquid evaporates in the mout immediately, leaving a strong smokiness and orange pith, with a smokey aftertaste. Nice stuff, and I’m anxious to try in other cocktails.
Fee Bros. Orange Bitters: A Bitter orange pith smell, the taste is spicy, and has that consistent Fee Bros. clove spice to it. A very bitter, Campari-like aftertaste.
Stirrings Blood Orange Bitters: Sweet, Tokay-like qualities of fig and cherry. Very much blood orange juice, but with a candy-sweet pomegranate sort of personality, but without the sting of pom. Definitely something you can use a 1/4 oz. of in a drink.
Campari: Tasting this stuff just makes me want a Negroni time and time again. I’m still working towards Campari and Cola, but me and Italian Bitters have a lot to work on, particularly after trying Cynar. There is a bit of an almond, cherry and smokiness to the smell. The taste, well, bitter, with a bit of cherry, blood orange, and smokey bitterness.
Orange Flower Water: Smells like perfume, tastes like perfume. Pretty much enough said. Great for bring out the florals in a drink!
Yes, actual oranges! Crazy!
Sunkist Valencia: Bittersweet, more emphasis on the sweet, with a light citric acid sting. A bit watery.
Australian Navel Orange: Sweet, full-bodied orange flavor.
So there you have it, according to my palate. Anyone interested is of course welcome to have a swig at my home bar.
Time for Miehanas!