So, yesterday’s drink wasn’t quite my cup of tea, but I’m going to stick with my “split personality” theme and try another cocktail where the ingredients don’t immediately make sense together. I also love that the Triple Crown (again, via Brooklyn Bartender) uses pamplemousse (grapefruit) liqueur; the color on this product is just so lovely, but it’s delicate and easily overpowered. (For those in the Pacific Northwest, Little Bird Bistro has a fantastic cocktail called La Vie en Rose. I picked up the pamplemousse liqueur in an attempt to duplicate that drink, thought I have, sadly, been unsuccessful so far.) I really like this drink! The first taste is sweet wth a touch of sour, but I still get an actual bourbon flavor and the amaro keeps everything linked together. This one definitely hits the Winner’s Circle (sorry for the painfully obvious joke, but I can’t help myself).
Today’s recipe (from Brooklyn Bartender again) almost looks like two different cocktails to me, one heading in a Tiki direction with the rum, lemon and grenadine, while the other tends more in the classic cocktail direction with the rye and cognac. I admit, this dichotomy appeals to me — who doesn’t feel a little split sometimes (don’t even get me started on the election…)? While I have a fondness for the Tiki culture, generally speaking they are just too sweet for me. But I like some kind of sweetness to balance the strong of a good spirit. This drink had a good level of sweetness, but too much sour for my taste. I did like the different spirit flavors, though; you could really taste the different flavors of the rum, cognac, and rye. I might try this again with a bit less lemon.
PS: My prep area is clearly getting a little crowded; it’s time to step up production!
More new toys! I ordered a new hawthorne strainer and barspoon from Cocktail Kingdom, and they arrived today, even more gorgeous than I expected. The gunmetal color is so striking, and the skull on the spoon makes it badass and useful (for ice cracking, skull cracking, etc.). Since I had to use them immediately, I picked Love Makes You Feel Ten Feet Tall from Brooklyn Bartender. A friend mentioned pisco to me this past weekend, and this also seemed like a great way to bring that bottle back out. The salt water is curious and something new for me, though thankfully easy enough to mix even for such a small amount. I’m not a fan of Punt e Mes (too bitter for my palate), so I subbed in a 50:50 mix of Carpano Antica and Cynar to achieve that bittersweet affect. I have to say, it’s an odd drink: almost equal parts sweet and bitter. I don’t think I’d drink it exactly the same way again (would likely swap the Punt e Ames for full sweet vermouth instead), but it was definitely interesting. And the color was just gorgeous.
Happy Daiquiri Day, everyone! As you may know, a simple daiquiri is one of my favorite cocktails, especially in the summer. When you find your perfect proportion (for me it’s 2 oz white rum, 3/4 oz lime, 3/4 oz simple), there is nothing more refreshing than sipping a daiquiri while lounging in/near the sun. Lately I’ve started to play with my standard daiquiri recipe, and today I thought I would do a bit of a variation on Papa Hemingway’s favorite version of the daiquiri. It’s a hair on the sweet side, so next time I might tweak the simple down and the grapefruit up. Since we’re having a typical Northwest cloudy summer afternoon, I’ll just need to imagine the sunshine and let the daiquiri work its magic.
When I was younger, my dad and I used to “liberate” nectarines from a tree in one of the houses from the “rich” neighborhood near our house. I remember the incredibly unique flavor of that fruit, something altogether different from oranges, peaches, or apricots. At Proof this weekend, I found the spirit version of that sweet-tart flavor in the nectarine liqueur from Salish Sea Organic Liqueurs (I really love their logo as well). I decided to use this in an Angel Face (from the Savoy Cocktail Book) variant. The drink is deceptively sweet, but it definitely packs a punch. I think I’d tweak it more in favor of the liqueur just to get even more of that great nectarine flavor.