Archive for February, 2009

Newsdesk: you’d be amazed at what we can do

February 23, 2009

When it first came to prominence, whisky was thought to be the water of life. It’s been a while since then, but it’s still proving to be transformative.

Week Eight: Santa Rosita

February 23, 2009

Yesterday was National Margarita Day in the US, which is as good a reason as any to play around with a bit of tequila. Edinburgh at the tail-end of February might be some way from ideal Margarita-drinking conditions, but we had a rummage around our pile o’ stuff regardless.

Santa Rosita
30ml José Cuervo Tradicional
15ml Cointreau
15ml Rose syrup
60ml lime juice
Rim a martini glass with vanilla sugar. Shake all ingredients with ice and fine-strain into the chilled, rimmed glass.

Week Seven: Abelinha

February 21, 2009

Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that a lot of the recipes I post use honey as a sweetening agent in cocktails. It has become something of a hallmark of my recipes, like the guy who always uses sherbet in his drinks, or the guy who can’t not use a foam.

One of the things I love about honey is its versatility. As with anything, different kinds of honey have different characteristics, from lighter varieties such as Acacia through to darker, more pungently flavoured ones like Manuka. Choosing the right one to complement the other flavours in a drink can be tougher than you think it’s going to be.

Honey also has a great heritage – it is, after all, the original sweetener. In Europe, man was using honey to add flavour to food and drink long before sugar cane was discovered. Since then, sugar spread like wildfire, inspiring creativity, commerce – not to mention war, slavery and cruelty on an industrial scale. Honey, on the other hand, stayed sweet.

50ml Cachaca
1 barspoon honey (works better with a lighter variety)
25ml pink grapefruit juice
25ml cranberry juice
25ml pineapple juice
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into an ice-filled highball. Garnish with a long grapefruit zest.

Quality of vodka is directly proportional to level celebrity endorsement; discuss?

February 19, 2009

(Via Dowd’s Spirits Notebook.)

Does MxMo allow write-ins?

February 17, 2009

This totally qualifies for this month’s Mixology Monday – are we allowed to nominate?

In Which Georgia Gives You The McNuggetini (via MeFi)

Newsdesk: ring-a-ding-ding

February 16, 2009

This week, Newsdesk is wondering what it has to do to get some get a lucrative vodka endorsement. Read the rest of this entry »

MxMo: hard drinks for hard times

February 16, 2009

This month’s Mixology Monday is worried. It worries about its job, its mortgage and, above all, it worries about its future. It’s not easy being the internet’s premier monthly mixological get-together, but this month’s theme proposed by Matt at Rowley’s Whiskey Forge could give it a few tips for getting through the crunch.

Drinking has seen of tough times before, of course. If outright prohibition couldn’t kill hard spirits, then lacking a bit of cash won’t either. However, to my mind, when money gets tight it’s the fancy imported stuff that ends up first in the firing line and you aim to make do with what’s local. Luckily, this means I get to play with Scotch whisky.

(Whisky Galore! by foxypar4, licenced under Creative Commons.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Drink it? Can’t even pronounce it.

February 14, 2009

Anyone else think February’s a little early for naming the World Whisky of the Year for 2009?

Week Six: La Spirale

February 14, 2009

(Spiral Staircase by sjdunphy, licensed under Creative Commons.)

Vodka has been described as the most difficult spirit to use creatively. Possibly by me when I was lacking inspiration, but the point stands. After all, vodka comes off the still somewhere north of 95% ABV before being diluted to bottling strength which means that a 70cl bottle is going to contain roughly 60% water by volume and maybe 2% of things that aren’t alcohol or water. That’s not a lot of flavour to work with.

Think of a popular vodka cocktail – don’t pick a vodka Martini, that’s cheating – and then ask yourself, “what does this taste off?” The chances are that your answer won’t be vodka. Compared to the classic gin, whiskey or rum drinks, vodka cocktails tend to leave their main ingredient in the background.

Then again, there are always flavoured vodkas. They certainly allow you to bring the base ingredient into focus, but that still won’t emphasize a “vodka-ish” flavour. It’s a tough beat, vodka.

…Yes, I am prepping ideas for a vodka-sponsored competition.

La Spirale
25ml Absolut Pears
25ml Teichenné Apple Schnapps
1 barspoon Campari
25ml pressed apple juice
Dash egg white
Shake all the ingredients with ice and fine-strain into an ice-filled old-fashioned glass. Garnish with an apple fan.

DC dry spell over

February 13, 2009

Alcohol is officially back in the White House – who better to break the news than home mixologist Rachel Maddow?