Tonight I’m trying another drink from Gaz Regan’s app, a riff on the old standard The Last Word. I’ve been keeping more fresh fruit in the house, so I get to play with some brighter flavors: leaning towards the sweet/sour side of the equation rather than the hot/spirit-forward side. I made a small tweak and used cane syrup instead of honey just because honey can be a little difficult to incorporate into cold liquids. This cocktail was another tasty option (you really can’t go wrong with rum and lime), but again, it’s not a drink that I would necessarily go back to frequently just because it was tasty but not stellar. If you’re looking for new ways to drink rum, however, I would definitely give this a try; the ingredients are all good standards that you’ll use again and again in multiple types of drinks.
The Last Wynd, Sian Ferguson, 99 Bar and Kitchen, Aberdeen, Scotland (2014)
This weekend I bought the app for Gaz Regan’s 101 Best New Cocktails, 2011-2015, and this is my first selection. It’s a nice enough drink, with a good balance of sweet and sour plus an interesting spice undertone. Likely not something I’d drink frequently as it’s not a real show-stopper, but a nice enough cocktail for a Tuesday night.
A word about the app: it’s $10, but it does give you the option to enter in all your booze and will tell you what you can make. If you have a large variety of spirits like I do, it’s really helpful to have tailor-made selections. I also enjoy that the app is full of new drinks that I wouldn’t have in any of my other apps (Bartenders’ Choice is my favorite for a great list of classic drinks).
Parisian Barmaid, Erick Castro, The Rickhouse, San Francisco (2011)
While I didn’t pick up anything especially new or interesting at the liquor store today, it did remind me of a barely-used bottle of Ramazzotti sitting on the shelf. A quick search in Kindred Cocktails brought me to today’s drink. Sometimes spirit-only drinks can be a little overbearing, but this one has a very nice balance. It definitely needs the lemon peel garnish, however, just to give it a little tang as it could easily veer too sweet. Surprisingly, I think this is my first Gaz Regan drink (for those who don’t know, Gaz Regan is a sort of icon in the cocktail world), and I have to admit, I can see why he has the stature he does. This was a lovely cocktail to enjoy while hiding from the Pacific Northwest’s abnormal heatwave.
Bird’s Eye View, Gaz Regan via Kindred Cocktails
Those who follow my Instagram (@cocktailmonologue) know that I spent last week in Honolulu, Hawaii. Although my travel was for work, I did manage to check in at several great restaurants/cocktail bars to try out the local booze scene. I hit local favorites (Duke’s and Roy’s) and found a few less-known places (Kai Poke and Bar Leather Apron) that served up some lovely drinks. Now that I’m mostly settled back into my normal life, I decided to pull through the tropical theme with a pineapple variant of the Mojito (using Plantation’s Stiggins’ Pineapple Rum). And to be honest, I wanted to be able to take advantage of the fresh mint available in my own backyard. I really enjoy the Stiggins’ rum, but it doesn’t quite fit in with the mint (you essentially get two nice but constrasting tastes, with the pineapple funkiness leading the bright mint). Still, you really can’t go wrong when you mix pineapple and rum, especially if you’re hanging on to that island farm of mind.
I’m a huge fan of the whole class of Daisy drinks, but this one seems just about perfect for summer: not too sour, not too sweet, not too boozy. Be sure to shake this thoroughly so it sips ice cold. And if you haven’t tried the Caña Brava rum yet, I definely recommend it. Via Bartender’s Choice app.
Daisy de Santiago, Charles H. Baker, Jr., Gentlemen’s Companion