Category Archives: Orange

Old Fashioned: For the Classy Boozehound

Blah, blah, blah, introduction stuff.

I mean… Hello, everyone! This week we’re classing it up with the Old Fashioned. If you want to convince people everywhere that you’re one upscale motherfucker who can’t be bothered with the trivial mediocrity of the modern masses, there’s no better way to do it than with one of these cocktails.

And Old Fashioned is so called because it refers to making cocktails the “old-fashioned way,” as a combination of spirits, sugar, bitters, and water. This is the basic formula for the cocktail we drink now, but modern society has also seen fit to add a bunch of fruit to it. So yeah, that’s a thing.

If you want to learn more about the Old Fashioned cocktail, might I suggest this as a starting point. In the meantime, however, let’s drink.

Old Fashioned
-2 1/2 oz Bourbon or Rye
-1/4 oz Simple Syrup
-2 dashes Angostura bitters
-Lemon Peel

Old-Fashioned

Mmm. Whiskey candy. But very manly, robust candy, of course. Seriously, I use the word candy, but this is still mostly whiskey, and it is still something you should avoid if you can’t handle that.

In any case, the Old Fashioned is an exemplar of cocktail balance — the type of balance we wish our government had. Liquor tempered by a little bit of something bitter and a little bit of something sweet, with a little bit of water to blend it all together. The lemon peel makes it smell amazing. Perfection.

You can feel free to experiment with the proportions (and different recipes will recommend different proportions), but don’t change it too much, or you’ll get something cloying and disgusting or something biting and undrinkable. It’s all about balance.

Start with a rocks glass. Add ice if you want, but drinking it at room temperature is acceptable, too. Combine the liquid ingredients and stir. Twist the lemon peel over the drink and drop it in.

“New” Old Fashioned
-2 Orange Slices
-2 Maraschino Cherries
-1 Sugar Cube
-2 dashes Angostura Bitters
-2 1/2 oz Bourbon or Rye
-Club Soda (optional)

"New" Old-Fashioned

This is the monstrosity that modern drink culture has made of the Old Fashioned. If you want to make your Old Fashioned more fruity, this is a good way to do it, but my god the club soda. Skip the club soda. It really has no place here, and having bubbles in your drink isn’t worth the over-dilution. The fruit, however, is okay. An Old Fashioned really doesn’t need the fruit to begin with (and there are plenty of people who would want to see you hanged for bringing a maraschino cherry anywhere near an Old Fashioned), but I understand letting the cocktail evolve, so long as we remember that this is not the original, and that the original is much better.

Back to the club soda. You should skip the club soda. If you can’t handle this cocktail without the dilution of club soda, then the Old Fashioned just isn’t for you. It simply wasn’t meant to be. Skip the club soda, keep the fruit, and this could be a good introduction to the Old Fashioned cocktail if you think you need to ease into it some.

Start by muddling one orange slice, one cherry (stem removed), the sugar cube, and the bitters in the bottom of a rocks glass. Add ice and whiskey, stir, and then please leave the club soda for the Mojitos where it belongs. Garnish with the remaining orange slice and cherry.

Brandy Old Fashioned
-2 1/2 oz Brandy
-1/4 oz Simple Syrup
-2 dashes Angostura Bitters
-Lemon Peel

Brandy Old-Fashioned

In case you couldn’t figure it out, this is just an Old Fashioned with brandy. I know that might seem super complicated and esoteric, but try to stay with me.

I’m not a huge fan of brandy, but this is a good cocktail. This is is probably the reason why the liquor-bitters-sugar-water formula was the old standard for making spirits drinkable — because it makes brandy drinkable. It’s really a great way to enhance the flavor of a spirit without threatening its integrity. The natural sweetness of brandy is really nice here, and this drink is very pleasantly aromatic.

Since brandy is traditionally enjoyed neat, I opted not to add ice to this drink. Feel free to add ice f you want. If you don’t add ice, though, it might be more appropriate and infinitely fancier to use a brandy snifter instead of a rocks glass. I do not have a brandy snifter, so I used the rocks glass shown above. C’est la vie.

Make it the same way you make a regular Old Fashioned. Also, yes, I did forget the lemon peel. Woops.

Onward!

Eccentric Old Fashioned
-2 oz Blended Whiskey
-1 dash Curaçao
-1/2 tsp Sugar
-Lemon Peel Spiral

Eccentric Old-Fashioned

I’m not sure what makes this cocktail eccentric, and without bitters, I’m not sure what makes it an Old Fashioned. Perhaps the lack of bitters makes it eccentric, but then it’s no longer an Old Fashioned, and oh my we’ve entered a repeating loop. My bad.

All that being said, it’s a pleasant enough drink. It’s nice and light, and has a lovely aroma. I certainly do not prefer it to the regular Old-Fashioned, but it’s not bad. If you just want tome sweetened whiskey that smells nice then this is the drink. If you want an Old Fashioned, however, you should throw this drink in the trash and look elsewhere on this list.

Start by putting the lemon peel spiral in a rocks glass. Then shake the rest of the ingredients and strain the mix into the glass. Enjoy!

Canadian Old Fashioned
-2 1/2 oz Canadian Whisky
-1/4 oz Triple Sec
-1 dash Fresh Lemon Juice
-2 dashes Angostura Bitters
-1/4 oz Simple Syrup
-Lemon Peel

Canadian Old-Fashioned

Okay, this is pretty good. So far this night, I haven’t found a drink that I might order instead of an Old-Fashioned. Until now. Well, I actually wouldn’t order this, because the bartender would more likely think that I just want an Old Fashioned with Canadian whisky. And Canadian whisky just can’t match bourbon, at least when it comes to Old-Fashioneds. And besides, I can’t be seen ordering Canadian whisky. I have an image to uphold.

I kid, but Canadian whisky has its strong points, and this drink, with the extra ingredients, is very interesting. The lemon juice gives it a tea-like quality, and it totally works. It’s light and tasty. I don’t like it more than a regular Old Fashioned, but there would be times where I would prefer it.

In any case, put ice in a rocks glass, add all of the liquid ingredients, stir, and garnish with the lemon peel.

Scotch Old Fashioned
-2 1/2 oz Scotch
-1/4 oz Simple Syrup
-2 dashes Angostura Bitters
-Lemon Peel

Scotch Old-Fashioned

Should I take the low-hanging fruit here? I think I will.

I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly. Mmm, mmm, mmm.

Haha! Pop cultural references to successful comedy movies are a humor gold mine!

Also, expect me to quote Anchorman any time I drink scotch. I’m not even sorry.

Anyway, most scotch enthusiasts will tell you that you should never add anything to scotch, expect maybe a few drops of water and maybe a lemon twist. Possibly ice if they’re liberal about it.

Despite all that, scotch is used in a number of cocktails. It’s not as popular as bourbon, but it does have a number of mixed drinks backing it up. That being said, I completely understand why someone would be against scotch cocktails. Scotch is really good and really expensive. Well, not all of it is great, but even the cheapest scotch is more expensive than most upper-middle shelf liquors. Note that I didn’t say it was better than those liquors; you can buy cheap vodka, but never buy cheap scotch.

And that might be why people are opposed to scotch cocktails — they spent a lot of money on their scotch, and they don’t want to waste it by combining it with other things. And to be sure, there are definitely things you should never do with your scotch. For example, if you ever decide to combine your scotch with blue curaçao, you deserve at least a five year prison sentence. Bitters and sugar, however, seem acceptable to me.

This cocktail is absolutely delicious. There’s a lot of differences between different types of scotch (I used Glenfiddich 12 year, for the record), and so this cocktail will vary a lot depending on what scotch you use. However, I can still say that this cocktail makes scotch more appealing to the average pallet, and if you’re interested in getting into scotch, this is a good work-your-way-in cocktail, so long as you have a per-existing taste for whiskey. If you do not have a taste for whiskey yet, I suggest you start with a different cocktail, both for getting into scotch and for getting into whiskey in general.

The following paragraph was written while sober. Hey, folks. Sober Dave here. Sometimes when writing these posts, Drunk Dave can’t quite find the words for something, so he leave notes to me to make sure I cover something important that he couldn’t quite get out. This time he left me the note: “TALK ABOUT SMOKINESS AND SHIT.” So, I suppose I should say that this cocktail, being scotch-based is smokey. However, the smokiness is tempered by the other ingredients, really making it less offensive to someone who might not be completely down with the who smokey thing. Okay. I know return you to your regularly-scheduled programming.

Make this drink the same way you would make a regular Old Fashioned. Since scotch is the base ingredient, I opted to skip the ice this time, but there’s no shame if you want to add ice.

Denouement
Well, today I really learned that you can’t improve upon perfection. Some variations of the Old Fashioned are quite good, but the original is a classic for a reason. Either way, I’ve spoken too much, so go have some whiskey, you beautiful bastards.


Why your grandfather is so angry all the time: Whiskey Sour

Oh my, it’s been too long, hasn’t it? It’s been more than a month since my last post, and February is fading fast. I couldn’t let this month go by without making a post, so here I am, all of you functional alcoholics. Sorry it’s taken so long. It won’t happen again.

In any case, let’s get right to it. This week I’m drinking Whiskey Sours. If you’re interested, “sour” refers to a class of drinks that follow the blueprint of a base spirit, a sweetening agent, and a souring agent (usually lemon or lime juice). This means that drinks like the Margarita or Cosmopolitan are sours. However, the Whiskey Sour is the ultimate sour drink.

With Whiskey Sours, the basic blueprint is whiskey, lemon juice, and sugar (I use syrup, because it’s a little easier and faster). And lemon juice, by the way, means fresh lemon juice. For reference, a medium sized lemon at room temperature (cold citrus fruits don’t give as much juice) will give about an ounce and a half of juice, give or take. So, for most of these recipes, which call for three quarters of an ounce of lemon juice, I’m juicing half a lemon.

Now let’s get to it.

 

Whiskey Sour
-2 oz Bourbon (or other whiskey)
-3/4 oz Lemon Juice
-1/2 oz Simple Syrup
-Maraschino Cherry
-Orange Slice

Whiskey Sour

Whiskey Sour

This is it. Adult lemonade right here. The classic Whiskey Sour is just that: classic, and for good reason. It’s really good. Like, FOX bringing back Firefly for another season good. (But with Wash still alive, of course. You just don’t kill Alan Tudyk.) This is a great refresher, and it goes down easy while still capitalizing on the whiskey flavor.

The key to a good Whiskey Sour is balance. Too much whiskey, and it’ll be too strong and gross. Too much lemon juice and it’ll be too sour. Too much sugar and it’ll be so cloying you won’t be able to stand it.

However, if it isn’t to your taste, you can always add more of any of the ingredients to balance it out. This is one of the reason why you should NEVER USE SOUR MIXES. Sour mix, or sweet and sour mix, or bar mix, is just sweetened citrus juice. Use fresh ingredients instead, and you can find the balance that you prefer.

To make this tasty drink, shake the liquid ingredients with ice and strain the mixture into either a sour glass or an ice-filled old fashioned glass. I don’t happen to have any sour glasses, so I’ll be using old fashioned glasses all night. Finally, garnish with the fruit.

By the way, there is one exception with using sour mix: Lynchburg Lemonade. Perhaps I’ll make that the subject of a post one day. But it is not this day.

Moving on.

 

Boston Sour
-2 oz Bourbon (or other whiskey)
-3/4 oz Lemon Juice
-1/2 oz Simple Syrup
-1 Egg White
-Maraschino Cherry
-Orange Slice

Boston Sour

Boston Sour

This drink is pretty much a regular Whiskey Sour, but frothier and thicker, and if the actresses in certain Internet films I may or may not have seen are to be believed, then thicker is always better.

But I’ll let you decide for yourself if thicker is better. The egg white really doesn’t change the flavor. The difference between the Whiskey Sour and the Boston Sour is in texture and cosmetics. In other disciplines, these attributes would not be as important. But in mixology, presentation is half of the goal. So think about what aesthetics you want, and decide which version is right for you.

By the way, whenever you see egg white in a drink recipe, you can omit it if you don’t want to bother breaking an egg and separating the white and yolk. The texture of the drink will be different, but the taste will be mostly untouched. However, if it calls for egg yolk or the whole egg, then the taste will be greatly affected by an omission.

Anyway, start by shaking the bourbon, lemon juice, syrup, and egg white with ice. Shake it a bit more vigorously than you would normally. You want to make sure to break up the egg white and blend it with the rest of the drink. Some people will even recommend dry-shaking the egg white for a little bit before adding the ice and other ingredients. Whichever method you use, once it’s well-shaken, strain it into a sour glass or an ice-filled old-fashioned glass and garnish with the fruit.

Now let’s start playing with the flavors.

 

Double Standard Sour
-3/4 oz Bourbon (or other whiskey)
-3/4 oz Gin
-3/4 oz Lemon Juice
-1/2 oz Simple Syrup
-1 dash Grenadine
-Maraschino Cherry
-Orange Slice

Double Standard Sour

Double Standard Sour

I’ve never actually mixed gin and whiskey before. Probably because it sounds really gross. Oddly enough though, they work pretty well together here. The whiskey lends its strong, robust flavor, and the gin lends its nice, light aroma and taste.

I think the sweeteners really pull this drink together. You don’t want to overdo it, because too much syrup will make your drink taste the way Katy Perry songs sound, but the syrup (or sugar if you prefer) and grenadine are essential here, and help mellow the gin and whiskey to work together instead of clashing.

Shake the liquid ingredients with ice and strain into a sour glass or ice-filled old fashioned glass. Garnish as you’ve garnished all of them so far.

 

New York Sour
-2 oz Bourbon (or other whiskey)
-3/4 oz Lemon Juice
-1/2 oz Simple Syrup
-1/2 oz Dry Red Wine
-Lemon Slice

New York Sour

New York Sour

This is a pretty tasty variation. The wine really lends a lot of flavor, and is enhanced itself by the sweet-and-sour dynamic of the drink. The wine here becomes an interesting canvas where its own flavors are played with by the traditional ingredients of the sour.

To be sure, I don’t like red wine that much. It’s not my drink. But this drink makes red wine work, sister. It makes it fucking dance and sing. It makes red wine its bitch and it’s damn good.

A note though: do use a DRY red wine. Sweet won’t cut it here. It won’t dance in the same way, and you risk it being too sweet (which is obviously not something you want for a sour). A dry red wine will be a little bit more neutral, and therefore a much better blending ingredient. If you’re curious, I used a cheap Merlot (no need to empty your wallet for this). Make your own decision about what wine to use.

To make it, shake the bourbon, lemon juice, and simple syrup with ice and strain it into a sour glass (note that I’m not recommending an ice-filled old fashioned glass here). Since I don’t have a sour glass, I used a white wine glass. It’s the closest thing I have to sour glass, but it is bigger, and the shape goes in more at the top.

Once you’ve strained it, float the red wine on top. As you’ll probably see in the picture, I did a thoroughly mediocre job of floating the wine. Part of this was my poor skill. Seriously, I suck. But the other part of it was the glass choice. Because wine glasses go in so much at the top, it can make it hard to float an ingredient on the top of a drink, especially when there’s only about three ounces of liquid of the glass. A better alternative might have been a champagne coupe or a martini glass, but neither of those would have preserved the aroma of the wine as well. Make your own choice about the glass.

Finally, garnish with the lemon slice. Damn, that might be the most instructions I’ve ever written for one drink.

Let’s try another, shall we?

 

Park Lane
-2 oz Bourbon (or other whiskey)
-1/2 oz Sloe Gin
-3/4 oz Lemon Juice
-1/2 oz Simple Syrup
-Maraschino Cherry
-Orange Slice

Park Lane

Park Lane

Sloe gin is weird. That’s really all I can say about it. It’s not bad. It’s not particularly good. It’s just weird.

That being said, the flavor doesn’t come out that much here — which is really a good thing. You don’t want to ruin your whiskey with a cloying liqueur. But since the flavor itself is downplayed here, it makes this drink a bit hard to describe. It’s sweeter, it’s a bit fruitier, and it’s not as good as regular whiskey sour.

If you have sloe gin on hand, you might as well give this a try. If you don’t, I don’t see much of a reason to make this drink. If you really feel a need to make the Whiskey Sour fruitier, or if you particularly like sloe berries, then maybe. Otherwise, let it go. If you must make your Whiskey Sour fruitier, I suggest watching a Nathan Lane movie while drinking it.

In any case, shake the liquid ingredients with ice and strain into a sour glass or ice-filled old fashioned glass, and garnish with the cherry and orange. Don’t overdo it with the sloe gin. Simple enough, right?

Next one!

 

Southern Comfort Sour
-2 oz Southern Comfort
-3/4 oz Lemon Juice
-1/2 oz Orange Juice
-1/2 oz Simple Syrup
-Maraschino Cherry
-Orange Slice

Southern Comfort Sour

Southern Comfort Sour

And here we have the first drink of the night I cannot, in good conscience, recommend, under any circumstances. Why is that? It’s because Southern Comfort might just be the worst alcoholic beverage of modern times. Yes, even worse then Jägermeister. No one, under any circumstances, should drink Southern Comfort.

So why did I drink it? Well, why did Rihanna get back together with Chris Brown? Why do I know anything about Rihanna and Chris Brown? These are all questions we’ll never know the answers to.

A probable answer to the first question, though, is that I commit to my part. I found this variation, thought it might be interesting, and committed to trying it out and reviewing it for you, my dear readers.

So here’s my review: cough syrup. This drink tastes like cough syrup. Worse than that, though, it tastes like bad grape cough syrup.

Surely you remember being a kid, and getting sick. Inevitably, you needed to take medicine. Having taken medicine before, you knew which artificial flavors tasted awesome, and which tasted like ass. Cherry cough syrup, for example, came straight from Hell to punish sick toddlers for their youth.

But then there was artificial grape. It tasted nothing like grape and everything like Heaven. Surely it was a gift from the gods to reward us for diligently eating of our vegetables and not pooping our pants. Artificial grape is the best flavor. If you disagree, you are objectively wrong.

But then the beast reared its ugly head. You asked for grape cough syrup, but your mom got the wrong brand. Something was off about it. It didn’t taste the way it was supposed to. Instead, it tasted like Satan playing a cruel joke on a young kid just for the fun of it. It was wrong and disgusting.

That’s what this drink tastes like.

So, if you, for whatever insane reason, like Southern Comfort, you make it like all the rest of these drinks: Shake the liquid ingredients with ice and strain it into a sour glass or ice-filled old fashioned glass, and garnish with the fruit. I suppose it does taste better than straight Southern Comfort, but that’s really not a hard feat to accomplish. If you do make this drink, do not skip the orange juice (and use fresh orange juice if you can). The tartness goes a long way in balancing out the utterly gross sweetness of the SoCo.

Now, let us move on. Thankfully.

 

Stinger Sour
-2 oz Bourbon (or other whiskey)
-1 dash Peppermint Schnapps
-3/4 oz Lemon Juice
-1/2 oz Simple Syrup
-Mint Sprig

Stinger Sour

Stinger Sour

Oh, here’s something interesting. Generally, I’m not that big of a fan of mint. However, it tends to work really well in cocktails. This drink is no exception.

This is an incredibly good libation, with a similar sour-sweet-mint dynamic that you might find in a Mojito. Of course, this isn’t as sweet, and whiskey is a helluva lot different than rum, so the comparison isn’t perfect. But the dynamic and the complexity is there. This is a good drink, you guys.

To be fair, though, I don’t quite see why you’d go with this instead of a Mint Julep, other than the fact that you don’t have to muddle anything with this drink. Since peppermint schnapps is so strong, even if you add only a dash, this drink comes down to bourbon versus mint, with a little bit of sweet-and-sour going on in the background. That’s not a bad thing, but a Mint Julep is a much simpler way to get a similar effect.

Your call, though. This isn’t a bad drink at all.

Shake the liquid ingredients with ice, strain it it into either the sour glass or the ice-filled old fashioned glass, and garnish with the mint sprig. Enjoy.

Last drink.

 

Ward Eight
-2 oz Bourbon
-1 oz Lemon Juice
-1 oz Orange Juice
-1 dash Grenadine
-Maraschino Cherry
-Orange Slice

Ward Eight

Ward Eight

To finish with, here we have the drink that departs most with the common Whiskey Sour formula, but it definitely qualifies as a variation. Coincidentally, it’s also probably the most well-known of any of the drinks listed here other than the basic Whiskey Sour, with the possible exception of the Boston Sour. The Ward Eight is a drink on its own, and that in itself deserves some respect.

This drink has about the same dynamic of sweet versus sour, but with a lot more fruitiness. Scratch the Nathan Lane idea, and ditch the sloe gin; if you want a fruitier Whiskey Sour, try this drink. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea (or cup of liquor, I suppose), but it does exactly what it’s supposed to do, and it does it well.

Shake the liquid ingredients with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with the cherry and orange, and enjoy.

 

Denouement
So, what have we learned? First off, we learned that I’m a lazy asshole and need to start posting again. Second, we learned that sour mix is best left in the grocery store. Third, we learned that Southern Comfort is probably just fermented grape cough syrup. Please don’t drink it.

That’s all, guys. Please drink responsibly.

Cheers!


Ringing in the New Year: Champagne Cocktails

Well, folks, it’s almost 2013. What are you doing for New Year’s? Do you have someone to kiss at midnight? If so, then maybe this post will give you something nice to share with your sweetheart. If not, then maybe this post will help you forget how lonely you are.

This post is dedicated to New Year’s, and as such I’m exploring various champagne cocktails. Well, fine, sparkling wine cocktails for all you purists. In any case, since New Year’s is often a time when people break out the bubbly, I thought this would be a good opportunity to break out the bubbly for myself. Wine cocktails aren’t as popular as ones based around liquor, and you should by no means be using expensive wine for these cocktails. That being said, wine cocktails are still pretty great if done right.

So, since the world didn’t end last week, let’s celebrate that it’s going to continue into a new year next week. Here are eight cocktails based around sparkling wine.

 

Classic Champagne Cocktail
-2 to 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
-1 Sugar Cube
-White Sparkling Wine
-Lemon Twist

Classic Champagne Cocktail

Classic Champagne Cocktail

Here’s a very simple and straightforward sparkling wine cocktail. Bitters, sugar, and wine. That’s all you need. Well, the lemon peel is important too. The garnishes in these drinks are actually extremely noticeable and add quite a lot. So, if possible, don’t skip the garnishes this time around.

In any case, this drink is yummy, a little spicy from the bitters, and watching the bubbles rise from the sugar cube is really cool. The bubbles, by the way, help the sugar dissolve, much in the same way alcohol helps you to forget that you’ve wasted another year. Though, without some stirring, it’s unlikely that all of the sugar will dissolve. But that’s not a huge deal.

Anyway, to make this, put the sugar cube in the bottom of a champagne flute, soak the cube in bitters, and top with champagne. Twist the lemon peel over the drink, rim the glass with it, and drop it in.

Enjoy, and move on to some more bubbly.

 

French 75
-1 oz Gin
-1/2 oz Lemon Juice
-1 tsp Sugar
-White Sparkling Wine
-Orange Twist

French 75

French 75

This is another popular and classic champagne cocktail. It’s pretty good, too. It’s full of citrus and bubbles and goodness, though it might be a little tarter than you’re expecting. But it’s good, and it’s a classic for a reason.

Also, it’s really pretty with the orange peel. And classy. If you’re throwing a classy New Year’s party, then this might make your guests feel sophisticated and cultured — “French” is in the name of this cocktail, after all. This is a good idea, because there’s really nothing better than feeling classy while you get shitfaced. This is probably a rule the French learned from the Russians.

So, shake the gin, lemon juice, and sugar with ice and strain it into a champagne flute. Top it off with champagne, and garnish with the orange twist as you would with a lemon twist.

 

Blue Champagne
-1 oz Vodka or Gin
-1/4 oz Blue Curacao
-1/4 oz Lemon Juice
-1 Splash Triple Sec
-White Sparkling Wine

Blue Champagne

Blue Champagne

If you’re having a less than classy party, it’s time to bring out the blue booze, isn’t it? For whatever reason, people love bright blue drinks, just like they love bright blue pills. Break this out at a party and people will likely go nuts. Hell, you could probably just add blue food coloring to champagne, and you’d automatically be the life of the party. People are easy to please, no?

However, this is probably a better drink to have for a party, since the shot of hard liquor will make people happier. This drink tastes really good, but don’t let the blue fool you — it’s not particularly sweet, at least not for a drink that uses blue curacao (depending on what sparkling wine you use, of course). This will surprise some guests if they’re looking for something sweet. And, let’s face it, if they want something blue, they probably want something sweet. I don’t know why that’s the rule, but such is the way of things.

Making this drink is as easy as anything, though, so you might as well make it for happy-go-lucky party guests. Pour the first four ingredients into a champagne flute and then top with the wine. Drink and enjoy.

 

Chicago
-Lemon Wedge
-Sugar
-1 ½ oz Brandy
-1/4 tsp Cointreau (or Triple Sec)
-2 dashes Angostura Bitters
-White Sparkling Wine

Chicago

Chicago

Oh, this drink. This is the drink that my fiancee tried and said, “Tastes like old man.” That about sums it up. That about sums about any brandy drink, come to think of it. I guess if you like to lick old men, then this drink might be for you. If not, then I’m glad you’re still a valuable member of society, and I’m going to recommend against this drink.

This drink is pretty heavy on the brandy. I don’t like brandy, and this drink did not change my opinion of it. With the sugared rim it’s pretty easy to swallow, but it’s still brandy, and brandy is still gross — still a step above Scotch, but still gross. If you like brandy, you’ll probably like this. If you don’t like brandy, you’re not going to like this.

Though as much as I deride this drink, it is quite complex and is worth something in it’s own right. I just hate brandy, so its merits were lost on me. Perhaps they will not be lost on you.

To make this drink, start by rimming a white wine glass with the lemon wedge and sugar. Then shake the brandy, Cointreau or triple sec, and bitters with ice. Strain it into the prepared glass and top with the wine. Try to gulp it down and enjoy.

Very thankfully moving on.

 

French Champagne Cocktail
-1 Sugar Cube
-2 dashes Angostura Bitters
-1/2 oz Crème de Cassis
-White Sparkling Wine

French Champagne Cocktail

French Champagne Cocktail

There’s nothing particularly French about this as far as I can tell, so perhaps the name is a misnomer. Even so, this cocktail isn’t half bad. It’s sweet, it’s a little fruity, and it’s damn nice. If you’re spending New Year’s with that special someone and no one else, this could be a great romantic drink to enjoy with your honey before, at, and after midnight.

I also appreciate this cocktail because crème de cassis is a great and delicious ingredient, but it isn’t used enough. And when it is used, it is used in very small amounts (though probably for good reasons, since it’s so cloying). This drink uses a full half ounce of the stuff, which is as most of it as I’ve ever seen of it in a drink. The crème de cassis is a great addition here, and this drink is all the better for it.

Put the sugar cube in the bottom of a champagne flute, soak it with the bitters, add the crème de cassis, and slowly top with the sparkling wine.
This drink is great, but let’s try a slightly classier version of it.

 

Kir Imperiale
-1 (small) splash Chambord
-White Sparkling Wine
-Lemon Twist

Kir Imperiale

Kir Imperiale

If you want to make the more popular Kir Royale, replace the Chambord with crème de cassis, and use a little less of it. However, I wanted it to taste like raspberries, so I made this version, instead. I also increased the amount of Chambord. The recipe I have says to use a teaspoon, but I wanted the raspberry flavor to come out more. But, if you do increase it from a teaspoon, don’t overdo it. You don’t want it to be too sweet.

And if you’re making a Kir Royale, the suggested amount of crème de cassis is a half teaspoon, so if you’re using crème de cassis, be even more conservative about increasing the amount of liqueur.

Anyway, this drink is nice and full of delicious raspberry flavor. Anyone who loves Chambord will love this. Since it’s such a small amount of Chambord, it doesn’t affect the flavor in a huge way, but it smooths it out and mutes astringency of the champagne. Even in small amounts, it’s an important ingredient and makes for an interesting drink.

Rim the glass with the twist, drop it in, add the Chambord, and top with sparkling wine.

Moving on!

 

Champagne Fizz
-1 oz Gin
-1 oz Lemon Juice
-1/2 oz Simple Syrup
-Sparkling White Wine

Champagne Fizz

Champagne Fizz

I guess fizzes are more of summer-type drinks, but whatever. Booze is booze, and sparkling wine is sparkling wine. Drink what you want, no matter the season, mate.

So this is a good little drink, with the old sweet-and-sour blueprint helping it out. The gin is not that noticeable in taste, but it definitely adds to the aroma and to the aftertaste. It lends some very nice notes to the drink, but not overpowering notes at all. This drink remains, at the end of the day, a champagne drink, and that’s exactly what it tastes like. If you enjoy gin or fizzes, then try this one out. It’s simple to make and complex to taste. And pretty damn good.

Pour the first three ingredients into a champagne flute and top with sparkling wine. Simple enough, right?

Last drink!

 

Irish Champagne Cocktail
-1 Sugar Cube
-2 dashes Angostura Bitters
-1 oz Irish Whiskey
-White Sparkling Wine
-Lemon Twist

Irish Champagne Cocktail

Irish Champagne Cocktail

And here’s the whiskey. Oh whiskey. I have recently become friends with bourbon (to the surprise of everyone, including myself), but I haven’t become such friends with Irish whiskey yet. However, Irish whiskey is really smooth and easy to drink, and it’s not Scotch, so it’s not completely awful. So, even though I haven’t developed a taste for Irish whiskey yet, it’s not the worst thing ever, and in a cocktail like this, it works alright.

This drink is really just the first drink I made but with a shot of Jameson’s or Bushmill’s or whatever Irish whiskey you prefer. So it’s a little sweet, a little spicy, and it has a good whiskey kick to it. It’s also a lot more alcoholic, so that’s really fun, especially at midnight.

You could probably try this with other whiskeys, but other whiskeys aren’t necessarily as smooth as Irish whiskey. Bourbon, Scotch, and rye would definitely be a lot more noticeable in such a cocktail. Canadian whisky might be appropriate, though.

In any case, put the sugar cube in the bottom of a champagne flute, soak it in bitters, add the whiskey, and fill the glass with the wine. Garnish with the twist because you’re a fancy motherfucker, and get drunk off of your spiked wine.

 

Denouement

Happy New Year’s, folks. Don’t drink to much, and either stay where you are or designate a driver. See you next year! (Bet you haven’t heard that joke before.)


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