Filed under: cocktails, happy hour, Katy K | Tags: cocktail, orange, sherry, vermouth, whiskey
I tried this tasty retro drink a few months ago when I was out and about on the town in Vancouver B.C. with an old friend. After skimming the Georgia Straight she chose a hip new Belgian restaurant, Chambar, for us to try. This cocktail, they called “Sang et Sable”, caught my eye because of it’s name (I’m a fan of the vampire genre) and because it is a whiskey cocktail (I’m a fan of whiskey cocktails).
I was quite pleased to find that Chambar’s drink menu was full of variations of vintage cocktails which are very much in vogue at the moment. This delicious trend seems to be presided over in the Pacific Northwest by Jamie Boudreau, a bartender from Vancouver who now practices his art in Seattle (and happens to have a blog on wordpress.com). I am personally grateful for such an agreeable diversion as fashionable cocktail-making.
I really enjoyed the Sang et Sable (as well as the Hughes’s Libation, and a selection of delicious edibles from the food menu) and wanted to try to make it myself. Upon returning to Seattle and discussing this drink with a bartender at Cantinetta, I found out that ”Blood and Sand” is a classic cocktail named for an old movie (Blood and Sand, a 1922 silent movie, about a toreador, starring Rudolph Valentino, as it turns out). I then consulted one of my most prized possessions, the Esquire Drink Book (1956). There it was on page 275 – Equal parts of: Scotch, Cherry brandy, Orange juice, Sweet vermouth. I tried this mixture with a Rainier Cherry-flavored vodka (44oNorth) but the cherry flavour was too, perhaps, medicinal…yet interesting in a certain way… but I decided to experiment with the ingredients listed on the Chambar menu. I settled on the ingredients and proportions listed below.
The Blood and Sand cocktail is refreshing, with a cool round juicy note imparted by the sherry. For a whiskey cocktail the flavour is surprising – yet just right. It’s a welcome addition to my repertoire.
1 oz fresh-squeezed orange juice (or tangelo, or minneola…)
1 oz whiskey (a lighter Canadian-style rye like Seagram’s 7 is good)
1 oz sweet vermouth
1/2 oz sherry (I’ve been using Manzanilla, La Gitana, Hidalgo)
Pour ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker and shake, shake. Strain into a cocktail glass and, for dramatic effect, garnish by floating a blood orange chip on the surface. To make the chips, slice a blood orange as thinly as possible and dry on a rack in a F 150 oven for many hours (6 or more). After drying the slices I’ve stored them in the freezer until needed.
A votre sante!
I found this recipe in one of this year’s Christmas gifts, a cookbook called Cesar, Recipes from a Tapas Bar. It’s written by some people from the hip Tapas restaurant in Berkeley, California. I’ve been reading this cookbook from the beginning, like it’s a novel. I’m still in the cocktail section at the moment and I’ve been lingering over this drink. It’s delightful and fun. I served a couple of these babies outside last Saturday which made the day seem summery – even though reclining on lawn furniture in my duffel coat was making it a little hard to sip from a cocktail glass. Now I see why you need highball glasses and straws, poolside. This Mint Daiquiri is like a more expedient Mojito – there’s no club soda getting in the way. It has the essential nature of the Mojito without all that distracting ice and fizz. This recipe has some Cointreau which is not usual in either a Daiquiri or Mojito. I’ve also tweaked the recipe little to make it a smidge sweeter than my usual concoctions. Now that I’ve done the research and testing – why don’t you pick up some mint at the farmer’s market this weekend and enjoy this refreshing drink to help you usher in the summer sun!
2 tsp superfine sugar
1/2 a lime (cut into quarters)
3 sprigs of mint (a total of about 30 leaves of various sizes) or a handful
1/2 oz Cointreau
2 oz rum , 10 Cane is nice
Put the 2 teaspoons of sugar into the bottom of a cocktail shaker glass, drop the lime pieces on top of the sugar, and crush with a muddler to release the juices and incorporate the sugar. Wash and pull the leaves off of at least 3 sprigs of mint and toss into the shaker. Add ice and pour the Cointreau and rum over it. Close the cocktail shaker and shake until chilly. The mint gets bruised and releases its flavour during the shaking. Strain into a martini glass and serve with a mint garnish. For the picture above I strained the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. But if you strain the daiquiri through the usual larger-holed strainer that is part of the cocktail shaker, the result is a drink sprinkled with a confetti of little mint pieces, which is kind of festive and maybe even a little more delicious…
Filed under: cocktails, happy hour, Katy K | Tags: cocktail, lemons, vodka
I had my first Lemon Drop at the same establishment that served me my first Cosmopolitan – the once funky, and now defunct, Seattle Catch Bistro in Fremont. This restaurant had a nice atmosphere, it was fun to sit at the bar, and they had a delicious linguine with clams and white wine that they made with a roux and served in the saucepan at the table. I asked our cute and charming waitress for some suggestions because I wasn’t in the mood for a Manhattan, or a gin and tonic, or a Margarita. She suggested a Cosmopolitan, which was awesome, and then she brought me a Lemon Drop, which was too sweet. I commenced my years-long affair with the Cosmpolitan that night. More recently I have had some delicious, not too sweet, Lemon Drops out and about on the town, and so I have been trying to make them at home. I was using lemon-flavoured vodka but they tasted awful! Last Friday night I had a conversation with my new favourite bartender at the fun and delicious brand-new restaurant in my neighbourhood, Cantinetta. As a result of this consultation I made some good Lemon Drops this weekend. No flavoured vodka was involved. He told me how to infuse my own lemon vodka if I really wanted flavoured vodka. He said to slice lemons, spread them on a baking sheet, put them in the oven to heat them up, and then cover them with vodka and allow to cool. Pour the vodka off the lemon slices, and you have your lemon-infused vodka. He said that heat was the key but I would have believed anything he said, he has the the most distracting dimple…I’ll try infusing vodka some day, but until then, the recipe I came up with this weekend is delicious…
Ingredients per drink
1 tsp sugar (superfine)
1/4 to 1/2 a lemon (depending on the size of the lemon)
1 1/2 oz vodka (Ketel One)
1/2 oz Cointreau
This is like a Cosmopolitan with lemon instead of lime (I guess that’s why I like it). Put a teaspoon of superfine sugar into a glass, put pieces of lemon into glass and crush with a muddler. Add ice and pour the vodka and Cointreau over it. Invert a cocktail shaker into the glass and shake, shake, shake. Strain the Lemon Drop into a cocktail glass rimmed with superfine sugar. Lately I’ve been straining my Cosmos, and now Lemon Drops, through a tea strainer – it results in a more…refined…sip of vodka.
Tom Chiarella wrote a piece for Esquire entitled “The 75 Skills Every Man Should Master“. It’s fun read. A friend at work asked me why I was reading such an article and, though I think one should not have to defend oneself for reading, I said that I need to know these things so I can be my own man and not have to depend on a man to be one for me…and maybe I can judge whether he is man enough for me…but I digress…
Among all the skills one should master, #17 is “Make one drink, in large batches, very well”. That’s good advice – don’t you think?
Mr. Chiarella’s drink is the Whiskey Sour and you can find the large batch recipe in his article. Now, I love a good Whiskey Sour, and I had been trying to work out the proportions for myself by trial-and-error. Since I read the article I have found this recipe to be quite reliable.
2 oz whiskey
1/2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup (sugar dissolved in an equal volume of water)
Just stir, serve on the rocks, and enjoy. Maker’s Mark is in my photo and it is a nice American whiskey that I bought for the Thanksgiving Manhattans last week. It makes a delicious Whiskey Sour but I think I prefer Canadian-style “rye” like Seagram’s VO or Seagram’s 7. I’ve heard that Canadian rye is not real rye but that’s a whole ‘nother issue. I find that many Canadian whiskeys are milder-tasting than the American whiskeys I’ve tried. With a lighter whiskey, the taste of the lemon in the Sour is more forward, which I like, but your choice of whiskey depends on what you’re in the mood for. Now that it is winter, the Maker’s Mark is satisfying, but in the summer, on the deck of my friend’s boat on Lake Union, Whiskey Sours made with Canadian rye are just the ticket.
The Papa Doble is a variation of the Lime Daiquiri and “Papa” in the name refers to Ernest Hemingway. I found this recipe in a cookbook that was a gift from a great friend who always gives me Canadian books (novels or cookbooks) for Christmas every year. This cookbook is from Lumiere, a famous Vancouver restaurant. Lumiere Light is a beautiful book and full of cocktail recipes. The food recipes are very complicated so I’m working on the cocktail recipes first. I heard that the bartender from Lumiere is now in charge of the bar at Vessel in Seattle (named a “best bar” by Esquire Magazine). I’ve been there once and had a couple of delicious drinks from a very exciting menu of cocktails.
I really enjoy the Papa Doble. This drink has both grapefruit and lime juices (great sources of Vitamin C) and no sweeteners other than a dash of maraschino liqueur. The generous measure of rum and the bitter tang of the grapefruit results in a cocktail that is both delicious and … bracing.
For one cocktail…
3 oz white rum (I use 10 Cane – it’s not white but I like it)
3/4 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
3/4 oz fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice
1/4 oz maraschino liqueur
Mix all ingredient together over ice in a cocktail shaker, shake vimfully,as one always should with a cocktail shaker, and strain into a cocktail glass (the one they serve martinis in). Enjoy!
Campari is the bright red aperitif drink from Italy. Supposedly its ingredients are a secret so all I can say, from experience, is that Campari has an unusual taste that is really quite bitter. I’ve had other cocktails made with Campari that highlight its bitterness (a Negroni, for example) but these can be an acquired taste. I found this recipe in a cute magazine called CHOW (Volume 1, Number 4, November/December 2005) which may be just a website now. This cocktail mixes Campari and a simple syrup made with fresh grapefruit and I think it puts the Campari taste in a familiar context that makes it more accessible. The similarly bitter grapefruit flavor complements the Campari perfectly. To complete the picture (pitcher?) this strong concoction is spangled with light, sweet, sparkling wine. I’ve made this drink for New Year’s Eve, for Sunday brunch and, this week, for Canadian Thanksgiving. It’s interesting, pretty, and delicious – what more could you want at a party?
1/2 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup water
1 Cup vodka
1 Cup Campari
3/4 Cup sweet vermouth
1 bottle sparkling moscato
Cut the grapefruit in half, juice one half and reserve the fresh-squeezed juice. Cut the other half of the grapefruit, including the rind, into wedges. Prepare grapefruit syrup by heating the water and sugar in a saucepan on medium until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for a couple of minutes until the syrup thickens slightly, then add the grapefruit wedges and simmer for about 5 minutes until all the juices are released. Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature. To the cooled syrup, add the vodka, Campari, and sweet vermouth. Mix thoroughly and store in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 1 hour). To serve, pour strained cocktail mix over ice in a glass, add a splash of the reserved fresh grapefruit juice, and top off with 3 ounces of moscato.
I have made this drink a few times so I took some measurements and the ratio of cocktail mix to sparkling wine seems to be 1:1. After having a conversation with a woman who works in my local wine store regarding exactly what was meant by sparkling moscato in the magazine, she advised me to buy an inexpensive sweet sparkling asti spumante from the grocery store. It wasn’t a great wine but she thought it was exactly what this recipe called for and it was delicious the first time I made it. The last time I made this I sprang for a more expensive Moscato d’Asti. I noted that this wine had a regular cork when it was being opened and I felt that the resulting cocktail lacked its usual zing. So my advice is to choose a sweet sparkling wine that requires a champagne cork. I think that this will guarantee enough sparkle in your glass…enjoy!
Fresh squeezed Margaritas are another great source of Vitamin C. This is the most successful Margarita recipe I’ve tried. It is adapted from Cook’s Illustrated magazine. I think the mixture of lemon and lime juice makes the drink a little more bright in colour and in flavour. Once, I was in my kitchen, busily squeezing citrus to make one of these for my friend and she observed that it was a “Margarita with love”. I know it is a little late in the year for Margaritas but it is one of my best cocktail recipes so I have to share. Unfortunately, the Margarita pictured here looks a little pale but the sun goes down early in Seattle now, so I had to take the picture in artificial light. Notice my double-walled glass from Bodum? It helps keep the drink cold and makes it look like the Margarita is suspended in the air, like magic.
Fresh Margarita Mix
1/2 Cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 Cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1/4 Cup Baker’s sugar (it’s superfine!)
pinch of salt
Tequila (I like Herradura Silver)
Mix together lemon, lime, sugar and salt. Over ice in a cocktail shaker, pour 1 part margarita mix, 1 part tequila and 3/4 to 1 part Cointreau (depending upon how sweet you want it). Shake well and strain into a glass with some ice and rimmed with salt. Rub a leftover squeezed lime rind around the rim of the glass and then dip the rim in some salt (Baleine, for example). When I make one drink, the part is 1.5 ounces.
This is a pretty strong margarita and I noticed that it hit one of my young friends pretty hard so I tried a mixture of 1 part margarita mix, 1/2 part tequila, 1/2 part Cointreau, 1 part filtered water. I shook it up and served it and it was tasty, refreshing, and you can drink more of it!
The original recipe in Cook’s Illustrated steeps zest from both the lemon and lime (4 tsp each) in the margarita mix for 4 to 24 hours and then strains it out before using. I have found that various flavours, both good and bad, can be imparted by the zest. This probably depends on the quality of the fruit. Now, I don’t gamble with my mix and just skip the zest.
I like my Margaritas on the rocks with salt. They’re just delicious that way. I like Herradura Silver Tequila because it doesn’t have a very forward taste – it blends nicely with the juices and doesn’t show off.
Juice of 1/4 to 1/2 a lime
1 tsp of sugar or simple syrup.
Muddle limes and sugar, add ice, pour in rum and shake, shake, shake. Strain into a martini glass. Sometimes I add a few ice cubes if the day is warm.
Chronic Chronicling: The Inspiration for my Simple Syrup Teddy: I used to work with this beautiful, funny, energetic woman. One day I was with her watching a bike race in Vancouver on a rainy day – I thought it might be interesting. Bikes were skidding and wiping out all over the place and you don’t really see who wins – you have to wait for the news to spread through the crowd – it was uninteresting. She livened up the whole spectator situation when she pulled her Tequila Teddy out of her purse. That’s what she called her honey bear that she had refilled with tequila and I thought she was hilarious. Her boyfriend was a cyclist so she came prepared.
Filed under: cocktails, happy hour, Katy K | Tags: cocktails, cosmo, muddle
Posted by: Katy K
My absolute favourite cocktail is a Cosmopolitan. It is both delicious and beautiful. People think it isn’t a “real” cocktail – just some girl’s drink whose main feature is the color.
A good Cosmopolitan is not very sweet and made with fresh lime. It is not so different from other “real” cocktails such as the margarita or the daiquiri (the original daiquiri). The pink color comes from a dash of cranberry juice, a completely respectable ingredient for a drink. The men don’t know what they are missing.
Vodka (Ketel One is good)
sugar (or sugar syrup: how to make simple syrup)
unsweetened organic cranberry juice
-Muddle 1/4 or 1/2 of a lime with 1 tsp of sugar (or simple syrup) in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. (How to muddle skip forward to 2:30 to save blah blah blah.)
-Pour 1.5 oz of vodka, 1/2 oz of Cointreau and approximately 1/2 of a teaspoon of cranberry juice over the ice.
-Shake vimfully until cold and a little water from the ice has opened up the flavors of the drink.
-Strain into a stemmed martini glass. You may garnish with a slice of lime if you wish.
I think that muddling whole slices of lime is important because I believe that the oil in the rind adds to the flavor.
I use “Baker’s Sugar” which is finer than regular sugar to make my drinks and my simple syrup because it dissolves more easily in liquid. Actually I use baker’s sugar for everything now. It comes in an easy-to-use milk carton-type container.
I also freeze cranberry juice in an ice cube tray and store the ice cubes in a ziploc bag in the freezer. Then I can melt a cranberry cube and have some juice for a few cocktails any time I want.
I like to use a pint glass with my cocktail shaker – the way the bartenders do. I have old-fashioned ice-cube-tray ice. It is big and I can’t crush it with a muddler. When I shake it in the extended cocktail shaker volume, made by inverting a pint glass into the shaker, my cubed ice is broken down. This cools off my drink and releases water more effectively than the cocktail shaker alone.
I love this Cosmo but, other than this one, the best one I’ve found in Seattle is served up by the bartender at Bick’s Broadview Grill on Greenwood Ave (where I did hear a man order a Grey Goose Cosmo just the other day).
Posted by: Katy K
I like cocktails. I like drinking them and I like making them. They’re fun and they always make 5 o’clock seem festive. I like to make a cocktail or pour a glass of wine when I’m about to start cooking.
Being Canadian, I prefer a cocktail called the Bloody Caesar to the more usual Bloody Mary. According to the cookbook, A Matter of Taste, by Lucy Waverman and James Chatto (one of the many cookbooks I have received as gifts from my best friend), the Bloody Caesar cocktail was invented by a bartender in Calgary in 1969. A Bloody Caesar is made with Clamato instead of tomato juice. I like it because it isn’t as thick as a Bloody Mary so it is much more refreshing to drink. Yum!
Ketel One Vodka
I put ice cubes in a glass, squeeze a lime quarter over the ice, drop it in, and pour 1.5 ounces vodka over the ice and lime. Then I add approximately 2.75 ounces (half a 5.5 ounce can of Clamato), 1/2 or more Tblsp Worchestershire Sauce, and 5 drops to 3 good shakes of Tabasco. I stir it a little and garnish with a float of freshly ground black pepper.
An old housemate of mine from Norway said “It tastes like gazpacho with vodka in it”. It’s a bit of a cheat because the Clamato already has sweetener and spices in it, so you don’t have to work hard to spice the Caesar
Back home we used to serve them with a celery salt rim, a stalk of celery, and a slice of lime. If a customer ordered one we were supposed to get their food order quickly because they were obviously hungry. I was at my friend’s house for the Solstice Parade in Fremont and she was serving Bloody Marys with the rims “salted” with Old Bay spices. I tried that with a few Caesars and it was yummy. I just need to buy some for my own kitchen.
A few weeks ago I was at the Tides Tavern in Gig Harbor WA and one of my dining companions, who was from Brooklyn NY, tried to order a Caesar for breakfast but was unable to do so. I guess the Caesar has crossed the border on the Eastern Seaboard and it may be just a matter of time before I can order one in Seattle.