MxMo CIV

Rusty Nail LgThe theme for this month’s Mixology Monday, brought to us this month by Dagreb of the Nihil Utopia blog, is Forgiving Cocktails, as in a “little too much of this and a touch to little of that.”  The challenge is to submit a cocktail that is tolerant of a bit of sloppiness in its preparation.  This lack of precision is, of course, exactly the opposite of what we generally do for this online cocktail party. While things like Rum and Coke or Jack and Coke came to mind, I decided on the Rusty Nail. In the past, I firmly believed that Scotch should be mixed only with ice or a few drops of water, if that.  This belief also included the doctrine that real Scotch wasn’t blended!  Well, I finally saw the light and discovered that good Scotch can make a great cocktail and that well made blends can make a great Scotch.

Mixology Monday

Mixology Monday

Sometime back, I posted the Smokin’ Nail.  This is a tea smoked combination of Single Malt Scotch and Drambuie.  I have seen Rusty Nail recipes use anywhere from 4:”1 Scotch:Drambuie to 1:1.  For the Smokin’ Nail, I used 4:1.  Since the exact ratio is variable, you should get a decent cocktail even from an inexperienced bartender.  In addition, you can add bitters and/or a twist of lemon.  Dave Stolte muddles a lemon peel and bitters in an old fashioned glass, and then builds the drink  adding ice, Scotch and Drambuie.  At this year’s Tales of the Cocktail, the folks from Monkey Shoulder were serving up a delicious Rusty Nail.  This is my version of that cocktail:

Rusty Nail

  • 1 1/2 oz. Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch
  • 3/4 oz. Drambuie
  • 1 dash Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters – optional
  • 1 lemon peel – optional
  1. Chill an Old Fashioned Glass with ice and water
  2. Combine the Scotch, Drambuie and bitters (if using) in a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill
  3. Strain into chilled glass over a large fresh ice cube
  4. Express the lemon peel over the cocktail and discard the peel.

I like adding the bitters.  They decrease the sweetness of the Drambuie without detracting from its flavors.  The lemon peel adds further complexity.

So, a fresh glass, a chunk of ice, some Scotch and a little Drambuie – you’re good to go!!

Cheers!


 

 




Gin & Blood Orange Tonic with Cucumber Cardamon Foam

Gin and Blood Orange Tonic with Cucumber Cardamon FoamThis drink is based on Kathy Casey’s Luxury Gin & Tonic Cocktail with Cucumber Lime Foam, (if you don’t follow her on Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen, you should).  I did not have all of the ingredients she called for and, besides, I generally like to mess with recipes!  This cocktail demonstrates a number of things:

  • How you can substitute ingredients
  • How to make your own ingredients when necessary
  • Making a flavored simple syrup with fresh ingredients
  • Making a rapid infusion to create a syrup
  • Making a rapid infusion to create all new bitters flavors
  • How you really need an iSi Whipper if you’re serious about craft cocktails at home.

Total active prep time for this cocktail was about 20 minutes.  Inactive prep time was 4 hours.  Without an iSi Whipper, there would be no foam and the infusions would have required 12-24 hours.  Bottom line, get yourself 2 or 3 iSi Whippers.

You can purchase Dry Blood Orange Soda (Dry is the brand name), and Monin Cucumber Syrup.  I used fresh blood oranges to make blood orange syrup and used that to make a blood orange soda.  I also added cardamon to the foam, cucumber to the simple syrup and substituted Luxardo for the Monin Bitters.  This cocktail doesn’t work without the foam.  With it, the drink comes alive with herbal notes from the gin and bitters, the citrus of the orange and lime and of course, the cucumber and cardamon.

Gin & Blood Orange Tonic with Cucumber Cardamon FoamGin and Blood Orange Tonic

  • 1 1/2 oz. Hendricks Gin
  • 3 oz. Blood Orange Soda – see below
  • 1/2 oz. Fresh lime juice
  • 3 dashes Tonic Bitters – see below
  • Cucumber Cardamon Foam – see below
  1. Chill a cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Combine everything except the foam in a mixing glass with ice – stir to chill
  3. Strain into chilled glass and top with the foam.
  4. Serve immediately

Blood Orange SodaBlood Orange Soda

  •  Zest and juice from 5 blood oranges
  • 1/4 tsp Citric acid
  • 1/2 – 1 Tbl. Agave to taste
  1. Combine all ingredients in an iSi Whipper and swirl to combine (do not shake or particles can plug the Whipper)
  2. Charge with 1 N2O cartridge and swirl for 30 seconds
  3. Let sit for 30 – 60 minutes
  4. Holding the Whipper upright, discharge rapidly.  Hold your hand about 10 inches over the top to prevent spraying your ceiling.
  5. Let sit for a few minutes then strain through a fine mesh strainer.
  6. Keeps refrigerated a few days.

To make Blood Orange Soda, combine 1 part of the Blood Orange Syrup with 3 -4 parts carbonated water.

Cucumber Simple Syrup

Cucumber Simple Syrup

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 – 2 1/2 inch piece of English Cucumber
  1. In a small sauce pan, bring the water and sugar to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Puree the cucumber in a food processor or with a stick blender.
  4. When the syrup has simmered for 10 minutes, turn off the heat and add the pureed cucumber.
  5. Set aside for 30 minutes.
  6. Strain through a fine mesh strainer.
  7. Will keep refrigerated about 2 weeks.

Cucumber Cardamon SyrupCucumber Cardamon Syrup

  • 4 oz. Over proof vodka
  • 3/4 Tbl. Cardamon pods – crushed
  • 1 – 2 1/2 inch piece of English Cucumber – pureed
  1. Combine all ingredients in an iSi Whipper and swirl to combine (do not shake or particles can plug the Whipper)
  2. Charge with 1 N2O cartridge and swirl for 30 seconds
  3. Let sit for 5 – 10 minutes
  4. Holding the Whipper upright, discharge rapidly.  Hold your hand about 10 inches over the top to prevent spraying your ceiling.
  5. Let sit for a few minutes then strain through a fine mesh strainer.
  6. Keeps refrigerated a few weeks.

Cucumber Cardamon Foam

Cucumber Cardamon Foam

  • 2 Sheets Gold gelatin
  • 4 oz. Cucumber Cardamon Syrup
  • 2 oz. Water
  • 3 oz. Cucumber Simple Syrup
  • 2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
  • 4 oz. Pasteurized egg whites
  1. In a small sauce pot, warm the water and syrups over medium heat.
  2. In a separate dish, “bloom” the gelatin sheets in room temperature water.  They will feel soft and gummy.
  3. Remove the gelatin sheets from the water and squeeze out most of the water.  Add to the sauce pot with the warm syrups.  Stir until the gelatin is dissolved.
  4. Remove the sauce pot from the heat and allow to cool 10-15 minutes.
  5. Add the lime juice.
  6. Lightly beat the egg whites and pour through a fine mesh strainer into the the iSi Whipper.
  7. Pour the cooled syrup, gelatin and lime mixture through a fine mesh strainer into the the iSi Whipper.
  8. Close the whipper and shake vigorously.  Double charge the Whipper shaking between each charge.
  9. Refrigerate for 4 hours or, preferably, overnight.
  10. Will keep refrigerated for 10 -14 days

Tonic BittersTonic Bitters

  • 8 oz. Luxardo Bitters Liqueur
  • 1 Tbl. Ground Cinchona (Peruvian) Bark
  1. Combine all ingredients in an iSi Whipper and swirl to combine (do not shake or particles can plug the Whipper)
  2. Charge with 1 N2O cartridge and swirl for 30 seconds
  3. Let sit for 10 – 15 minutes
  4. Holding the Whipper upright, discharge rapidly.  Hold your hand about 10 inches over the top to prevent spraying your ceiling.
  5. Let sit for a few minutes then strain through a fine mesh metal coffee filter (“gold” filter) and then through a paper coffer filter.
  6. Pour into a bitters bottle.
  7. Keeps on the shelf indefinitely – but the flavor will become more bitter over time.

Cheers!