Tiki Wednesday: Return to the Island

Posted on January 21st, 2009 by Fred

Hello?  Anyone still there?  OK, so it’s been awhile since I posted.  What can i say, things have been crazy at work, and I fell into a big hole of endless work.  It’s still not over, but I figured that there’s no time like the present to get back to the blog.  So last year, a good friend invited us over to his place for a Lost season premiere party.  Sushi, BBQ pork, and to top it off, a flaming tiki drink.  To say that it made an impression was an understatement.  

So, in honor of the season premiere of Lost, I decided that a celebratory tiki drink was in order.  To help me decide, I wandered over to Tiki Drinks and Indigo Firmaments and decided to try out Craig’s Rum Barrel recipe.  Because, you know, a massive consumption of alcohol will help you understand Lost.  Riiight….

The Monkey Hut Rum Barrel

  •  1 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 oz fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 oz honey mix
  • 1 oz Cruzan light Rum
  • 1 oz Appleton Special gold Rum
  • 2 oz Lemon Hart Demerara Rum
  • ¼ oz house falernum
  • ¼ oz house pimento dram
  • 6 drops Herbsaint
  • 6 drops grenadine
  • dash Fee Brothers Old Fashioned bitters
  • 6 oz Crushed Ice
Shake all ingredients except crushed ice in ice-filled shaker and strain into glass.  Add crushed ice and straw.  For a special twist, try heating up the rum in an Instant Pot pressure cooker beforehand.....my secret weapon!

L said:  ”Whooooooo, that’s strong!”  Yep, it was.  And I can authoritatively say, Lost still doesn’t make sense.  However, I can say that this was a good drink.

MxMo XXXII: Guilty Pleasures

Posted on October 13th, 2008 by Fred

This month’s Mixology Monday is being hosted by Stevi Deter at Two at the Most.  When I saw the theme of Guilty Pleasures, I wasn’t quite sure what to do.  I didn’t think that I had a lot of vices when cocktails are concerned, but after I sat and thought awhile, I came up with two examples.  

Unfortunately, my first choice for a guilty pleasure I can’t and won’t do for reasons of timing and taste.  When I was growing up, I remember my dad doctoring cartons of store-bought eggnog with a bottle of Seagrams VO that we had.  I’ll admit that I’ve never had real honest-to-goodness homemade eggnog, but I’m not sure that it will live up to the taste that I’ve grown to love of thick, ultra-pasteurized eggnog, dotted with “nutmeg”, and flavored with the sweet taste of Canadian whiskey.  

This got me to thinking about canadian whiskey, which leads me to the subject of this post.  One of the many hazards of being a lawyer with a mixology problem comes in navigating the hazards of the happy hour cocktail networking event.  It’s a careful balance between getting enough “dutch courage” to smooth things out without seeming like an alcoholic.  

You walk into a typical open bar event hosted in a hotel ballroom, and you have a few options.  Allow me to make some gross generalizations:

  • Beer –   I like beer, but not at one of these events.  Belching in the face of a colleague will not improve your standing.
  • Wine – If there’s food, this may be a good option.  Unfortunately, the options are always cheap Chardonnay and cheaper Merlot.  And there’s no food.  
  • Water or Soda – A good option if I just want to talk to someone quickly and get out.  
  • Mixed Drink – If I’m staying for more than 5 minutes, I’ll take option 4.  I’m not a schmoozer, so I need all the help I can get.  

But what to drink when the bartender only has a few bottles – most likely blended scotch, Jack Daniels, Canadian Whiskey, vodka, and gin?  Oh, and there’s no vermouth (dry or sweet) and no bitters.  I hate JD, and I’m not a fan of blended scotch.  Vodka tonic?  Not interesting.  The cocktailian would choose the gin and tonic.   I, however, go for the whiskey highball – Seven and Seven, VO and Ginger Ale, Crown and Sprite, it all works.  I need something clear/translucent and fizzy (preferably Canada Dry Ginger Ale), mixed with Canadian or American whiskey (preferably Seagrams VO).  There’s no real recipe needed for this, is there?  It’s not like the bartender’s using a jigger.

No tasting notes needed, as it’s different every time, yet strangely comforting.  Booze and mixer is the antihesis of sexy, but it works.  

Fight Night: Dempsey v. Dempsey

Posted on September 25th, 2008 by Fred

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to fight night at The Mixology Lab!  We’ve got a big matchup tonight, with two untested rivals vying for the crown of the best Dempsey Cocktail.  Who will our winner be?  Will it be the Jersey Lightning-spiked Dempsey?  Or will it be the Rum-punched Jack Dempsey Cocktail?  Our special celebrity panel of judges, consisting of McDreaming and McObsessed from the Daily Dose of Dempsey, will decide tonight’s winner. 

In this corner, weighing in at two and a quarter ounces of liquor, the Dempsey!

from CocktailDB

  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz apple brandy
  • 0.25 oz pastis
  • 0.25 oz grenadine 

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

McDreaming’s reaction:  ”Yeech.  It tastes a little licorice-y.”  

McObsessed’s reaction:  ”It has a sweet fire quality to it.  That’s NOT a good thing in this case.  Yep, the cat hates it too.”  

I used Herbsaint and Laird’s Applejack in this drink.  Unfortunately, I thought that it was completely overwhelmed by the pastis.  This drink could be good, but all you tasted was the pastis.  

And in this corner, weighing in an an even two ounces of liquor, the Jack Dempsey Cocktail!

Jack Dempsey Cocktail
from CocktailDB

  • 0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1.5 light rum
  • 0.5 oz gin
  • 0.75 tsp sugar

Shake over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

McDreaming’s reaction:  ”Mmmm, it’s lemonade-y.  I like it.”

McObsessed’s reaction:  ”It’s tart.  It’s better, but not fantastic.”

I agreed with McObsessed that it was better, but it could be toned back a touch on the lemon.  Still, much better.  

Well, there you have it folks, I think we have a TKO for the Jack Dempsey Cocktail.  Let’s see what the judges say…

It’s a unanimous decision for ….  Patrick Dempsey?  What?  Who the hell is that?  (Pssst.) Oh, yeah.

Him.  Enjoy the premiere, ladies!

Adventures in Tiki Land: Scorpion

Posted on September 22nd, 2008 by Fred

We were in a bit of a Tiki rut lately at the Mixology Lab, but not without good reason.  With the Zombie getting such a good reception, who was I to change things up?  Sometimes, you have to play to your audience.  

from The Joy of Mixology, Gary Regan 

  • 2 oz light rum
  • 1/2 oz brandy
  • 2 oz orange juice
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz orgeat syrup
  • 1/2 oz 151-proof rum
Shake and strain everything but the 151-proof rum into an ice-filled collins glass.  Float the 151-proof rum.  Add a straw and garnish with a cherry.  (OK, OK, yes that is a bottle of Wray and Nephew Overproof in the background.  I don’t have a bottle of 151.  Yet.)
L’s reaction:  ”Oh wow, this is really good… What are you going to drink?” 

Paloma Wars

Posted on September 17th, 2008 by Fred

So at the beginning of every summer, L and I listen to 20 on 20 on XM radio every time we are in the car, trying to predict what the hit song of the summer will be.  This summer, I don’t think we hit upon anything that was the definitive hit, but there were a few contenders.  In the Mixology Lab, there’s no contest what the breakout hit was.  So, to follow up on a post that I wrote a looooong time ago, if I had to pick a drink that was the drink of the summer of 2008, it was the Paloma.  

I found the Paloma during the early spring while I was reading Paul Clarke’s blog, The Cocktail Chronicles.  My good friend M invited L and I to his parents place in Rehoboth Beach for an early beach weekend with a bunch of his friends.  Somehow, I got the job of being the bartender….  Anyway, one of the drinks that I unveiled that weekend was the Paloma.  Needless to say, it was a huge hit.  Light, fruity, refreshing, it was the perfect start to warmer weather.  

Once strawberries came in season, I knew I had to make a batch of Tequila por Mi Amante.  I did, and wow, what a fantastic drink that made.  Totally changed the character of the tequila in the drink.  Fruity, cooling, and with a hint of spice.  

from Paul Clarke and Married with Dinner

  • 2 ounces reposado tequila
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • pinch coarse salt
  • Grapefruit soda 
  • Grapefruit bitters (optional)

Add tequila, lime juice and salt to an ice-filled Collins glass.  Add Grapefruit bitters for an extra layer of flavor.  Top with grapefruit soda.  I like Ting, but Squirt works well also.  Garnish with the spent lime shell.  

Paloma, Mi Amante
from Paul Clarke 

  • Same steps as the Paloma, but sub in the Tequila por Mi Amante for the reposado.  Skip the Grapefruit bitters.  

L rated both of these fantastic, preferring the regular Paloma ever so slightly over the Paloma por Mi Amante.  Gotta love a drink that you willingly default to and don’t feel disappointed with your choice.