Plymouth Old Fashioned

Plymouth Old Fashioned

I really like bitters forward old fashioneds.  To me, bitters bring flavor and spice that you aren’t going to find elsewhere.  One way to get a lot of bitters into a cocktail without making it, well, too bitter, is to make a syrup with bitters as all or part of the liquid.  For this drink I have chosen Applejack, brown sugar and black walnut bitters to use in the syrup.  It is then combined with calvados, bourbon and rum.

This is a big drink in size, strength and flavor.  The taste of apple blends with the vanilla and spice from the rum and the combined smoky notes of the rum and bourbon.  The black walnut bitters really stand out.  I initially used Fees Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters, but I think that Angostura Bitters with the Fees Brothers Black Walnut Bitters and Orange Bitters is better.

You can easily lighten up this drink by substituting Cruzan Dark Aged Rum for the Zaya and/or Russell’s 10 year old Bourbon for the Basil Hayden’s.

Here is the recipe:

  • 1 oz. Calvados
  • 1 oz. Aged rum such as Zaya 12 Year Old
  • 1 oz. Aged bourbon such as Basil Hayden’s
  • 1 oz. Black Walnut Syrup (See below)
  • 1 bar spoon honey syrup (1 part honey dissolved in 1 part water)
  • 2 dashes Fees Brothers Black Walnut Bitters
  • 2 dashes Fees Brothers Orange Bitters
  • 2 dashes Fees Brothers Aztec Bitters or Angostura Bitters
  • Thick orange peel for garnish
  1. Stir all ingredients, except the garnish, in a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Strain into a chilled old fashioned glass with fresh ice – preferably a single large cube or sphere
  3. Express the orange oils over the drink and float the peel.

Black Walnut Syrup

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 oz. Applejack
  • 1 oz. Fees Brothers Black Walnut Bitters
  1. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the liquid, stirring frequently.  Or you can put all of the ingredients in a blender and run on high for a few minutes.
  2. Allow to cool
  3. It will keep longer if you filter it through a metal coffee filter to remove any undissolved sugar crystals.
  4. Will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks

Cheers!





How Dry I AM – MxMo CIX

Mixology Monday

Mixology Monday

It’s Mixology Monday May 2016!  This month’s theme, hosted by Nick of the Booze Barn, is “Dry.”  Around here, we like dry, (maybe why we live in South Texas)!    The idea this month is to make a cocktail using a dry base spirit with no more than 10% sweetener/juice and 10% fortified wine, or no sweetener and 20% fortified wine.  The word “Dry” immediately brought to mind a local distillery here, but I’ll come back to that in moment.  I’m going to start with an Old Fashioned.

Speaking of preferring dry cocktails, I make Old Fashioneds bitters forward with minimal sweetener.  After reading the requirements for this theme, I got to thinking about how often I have difficulty making drinks sweet enough for some people.  The classic Old Fashioned is a bit sweet.  Most of my Old Fashioned recipes call for 1/4 – 1/2 tsp sweetener such as simple or honey syrup or agave in a 2 ounce pour with 2-3 dashes of bitters.  This is less than half of the above requirements for this theme.  So here is one of my favorites, the Apple Old Fashioned:

Apple Old Fashioned

Apple Old FashionedThis cocktail combines spicy Rye with a hint of apple from the bitters.  Add to that a touch of smooth honey syrup and you have a drink that is light on the tongue but still bitters forward.  You may want to adjust the ratio of bitters to syrup depending on your taste, but this month keep it dry!

Notice that this is essentially a built cocktail.  I stir it in a mixing glass without ice to combine the ingredients prior to pouring it over a large ice cube in an un-chilled single old fashioned.  Similar to scotch on the rocks.  Initially the flavors will be strong with very little dilution.  As you sip the cocktail and gently swirl it, the drink will chill and dilute.

Apple Old Fashioned 1

  • 2 oz. Rye whiskey such as Templeton or Sazarac
  • 1 generous dash of Bar Keep Apple Bitters
  • 1/2 tsp of honey syrup (1 part honey, 1 part water)
  • Lemon peel for garnish
  1. Combine the rye, bitters and honey syrup in a mixing glass without ice.  Stir to combine.
  2. Pour over a large ice cube in an un-chilled single old fashioned.
  3. Express the oil from the lemon peel and drop it into the drink.

Desert Kiss

When I’m thinking of combining a base spirit, especially gin, with a liqueur, I usually go first to the ‘Golden Ratio’ of 1 1/2 spirit: 3/4 fortified wine: 1/4 liqueur.  With the requirements for this month’s MxMo, I decided to mess with one of my favorites: Gin, Bianco vermouth and Chartreuse.  Reducing both the vermouth and Chartreuse really alters the drink in a very good way.  There is London Dry Gin, the unmistakably qualities of the vermouth and the herbal notes of the Chartreuse.  Add a little lemon oil and the fragrance of sage and it’s all good!Desert Kiss

  • 1 1/2 oz. London Dry Gin
  • 1/4 oz. Carpano Bianco Vermouth
  • 1 tsp Chartreuse
  • Lemon peel and fresh sage leaf for garnish
  1. Chill a cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Combine the gin, vermouth and Chartreuse in a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill
  3. Strain into chilled glass
  4. Express the lemon peel over the drink and discard
  5. Spank the sage leaf in your palms and float it on the drink

1-dorcal-front-doorNow, back to my comment above that the word “Dry” immediately brought to mind a local distillery here in San Antonio.  Dorçol Distillery, located in Southtown has been making an apricot brandy or ‘Rakia.’  The nose on their Kinsman Rakia is, as you would expect, sweet and fruity just like a brandy should be.  But, it is bone dry.  I even measure the brix and it came in between vodka and London Dry gin.  I obviously like their product.  Added to that, is my appreciation for what these guys are doing with the community, helping to revitalize an historic part of the City.  They have a small bar at their distillery which is quickly becoming a serious attraction.  Among the many offerings is a Rakia Martini:

Rakia Martini

This cocktail has the dry fruity apricot flavor of the rakia which is enhanced by the herbal notes of Lillet.Rakia Martini B

  • 2 oz. Kinsman Rakia
  • 1/2 oz. Lillet
  1. Chill a cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Combine the Rakia and Lillet in a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill
  3. Strain into chilled glass
  4. Ask your liquor store to order some Kinsman Rakia

Cheers!


 




Jerky Infused Coffee Pecan Old Fashioned

Jerky Infused Coffee Pecan Old FashionedI got the idea of jerky infused white whiskey from the Ranger Creek folks at this years San Antonio Cocktail Conference.  My original intent was to use it to make Bloody Mary’s.  However, I found that the tomato overwhelmed the jerky flavor.  More importantly, I started out making a huge mistake which resulted in me pouring half a bottle of Ranger Creek .36 White down the drain.  More on that below,* but for now, on with the cocktail.

Ranger Creek’s .36 White Whiskey is their ‘White Dog,’ or unaged bourbon.  It is slightly sweet and a bit grainy with a hint of fruit.  It also has the ‘bite’ of white whiskey.  As a base spirit for infusing, it brings it’s own flavor profile and is an interesting substitute for vodka or grain alcohol.  For the infusion, I used my own beef jerky which is flavored with soy sauce, brown sugar, hot sauce, Pick-a-Pepper Sauce, crushed red peppers, cayenne and liquid smoke*.  I let the jerky and whiskey steep for 2 weeks, tasting daily.  Here are the recipes:

For the Infusion

Jerky Infused White Whiskey 2

  • 375 ml Ranger Creek’s .36 White Whiskey**
  • 20 grams Beef Jerky – without added nitrites
  1. Double filterCombine ingredients in a mason jar, seal and allow to sit at room temperature
  2. Shake daily
  3. After 2 or 3 days, begin tasting daily until flavors are fully developed: 7-14 days
  4. When the infusion is ready, loosen the mason jar lid and set the jar upright in your freezer overnight.
  5. Freeze a metal coffee filter for at least 2 hours
  6. Place frozen coffee filter inside a paper coffee filter over a funnel and filterDouble filter in filter the whiskey into a measuring cup.  The metal filter will catch the larger bits and the paper will filter the rest.  This will remove the frozen fat.  If you use a warm filter, the fat will melt and pass through the filter.
  7. If there is still fat floating on your whiskey, repeat steps 4-6.

Jerky Infused Coffee Pecan Old Fashioned

Jerky Infused Coffee Pecan Old Fashioned sm

This is a complex cocktail.  The nose is pecan, caramel and coffee – like your Mom’s kitchen on Sunday morning when she had pecan rolls in the oven and coffee brewing on the counter.  So your nose prepares your tongue for something sweet.  Wrong!  The first taste is a combination of jerky, pecan and bitter chocolate with the whiskey in the background.  Then it’s coffee and finishes with the whiskey and spices of the jerky.  Nothing sweet about this cocktail.  I used my own Coffee Pecan Bitters but you can buy various brands at better liquor stores.  You want to use enough bitters to add flavor and just balance the bitterness with the agave.  The jerky infused white whiskey does not do well with sweet.

  • 1 1/2 oz. Beef Jerky infused White Whiskey
  • 2-3 dashes Coffee Pecan Bitters
  • 1-2 dashes Agave syrup
  • Lemon Peel for garnish
  1. Combine all ingredients, except the garnish in a room temperature single old fashioned glass and stir to combine and to dissolve the agave.
  2. Carefully drop in a single large ice cube
  3. Express the lemon peel over the drink and drop it in.

Beef Jerky

Beef Jerky

In case you don’t know what dried beef looks like!

This recipe creates a fairly spicy jerky.  If you want to cut the heat, drop the crushed red pepper and chose a mild Louisiana style hot sauce.  You can dry this in a dehydrator or in your oven.  If using an oven, set a half sheet pan on the lowest rack to catch drips and then lay out the jerky strips directly on racks set above.  Four pounds will require 2-3 racks.

  • 4 lbs. Beef Bottom Round cut into thin strips
  • 3 Tbl. Soy Sauce (Not low sodium)
  • 1 Tbl. Louisiana, or similar, hot sauce
  • 1 Tbl Pick A Pepper Sauce
  • 1/2 Tbl Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbl Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1 Tbl. Cayenne
  • 1 Tbl Liquid Smoke
  1. In a mixing bowl large enough to hold the meat, combine all of the ingredients except the beef.  Stir well and begin adding the beef mixing as you go.  Be sure all of the beef is as well covered as possible.
  2. Cover tightly and let sit on the counter for 30 min or up to overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Spread the strips on your dehydrator trays or oven racks.
  4. Dry overnight at 125° F for the dehydrator or 150° F  for your oven.
  5. Store jerky in a loosely covered container to allow air circulation.
  6. I have no idea how long it will keep.  It is always gone in less than a week!

*I did not find organic beef jerky at the store.  The organic, ‘uncured’ varieties were venison, turkey and salmon.  So I used a decent brand of beef jerky.  Unfortunately, the whiskey was very efficient at extracting the sodium nitrites, or ‘pink salt’, used to preserve the jerky.  The result was a predominant metallic taste.  The infused whiskey was irretrievable.  So, either use your own homemade jerky or buy a brand that has no added nitrites.

**Doc Elliott’s Mixology receives no compensation for brands mentioned.

Cheers!


 




Hometown Hooch MxMo XCVII

Mixology Monday

Mixology Monday

It’s time again for the world’s best online cocktail party.  The theme for this month’s Mixology Monday is “Hometown Hooch,”  as set forth by Stuart Putney at Putney Farms.

You can read more at the announcement post here, but the idea is to use locally distilled spirits in a cocktail.  I have chosen Rebecca Creek Distillery for three reasons:

  1. We use their Enchanted Rock Vodka as one of our go to’s
  2. We have a great Old Fashioned using their Texas Whiskey
  3. It’s the only Texas Hill Country distillery that I’ve heard mentioned in a Country song!

 I’m Not Dead Yet (Just Married)

Rebecca CreekThis is a drink we featured at our Daughter’s wedding last year.  It was served at the Groom’s Whiskey and Tequila Bar, along with several other bourbon and tequila libations and hand rolled cigars.

Rebecca Creek Fine Texas Spirit Whiskey is very smooth with a little bite at the finish.  The flavors are primarily barrel notes of vanilla and herbs.  It is composed of young barrel aged Texas whiskey and 8 year old Kentucky Bourbon and comes off similar to a Canadian Blend.  In this cocktail, these flavors back up the Black Mission Fig Bitters and the smokey agave.  Made as a built drink, the initial taste is strong, but as it is sipped and swirled in your hand, the ice melts and the drink cools providing a enjoyably long, slow finish.

Here is the recipe:Rebecca Creek 3

  • 1 1/2 oz. Rebecca Creek Fine Texas Spirit Whiskey
  • 2 droppers full Brooklyn Hemispherical Black Mission Fig Bitters
  • 1/4 oz. Agave syrup
  • Orange peel for garnish
  1. Combine the first 3 ingredients in an unchilled, single Old Fashioned glass and stir
  2. Gently add a large ice cube
  3. Express the oil from the orange peel over the drink and float the peel.

Cheers!




Old Fashioned Tent Revival

I love a bitters forward Old Fashioned.  So, the March Mixology Monday theme of “Call me Old Fashioned” is right up my alley.  Thanks to Sass & Gin for hosting and choosing a most magnificent theme!

Mixology Monday

Mixology Monday

This drink requires Bad Dog Barcraft’s Fire and Damnation Bitters available here.  “Fire and Damnation” made me think of the old tent revivals and thus, the name.  (Besides, I’m certain that this is good for the soul!)Old Fashioned Tent Revival 2 You want several dashes of the bitters to enable the flavors to come through.  Then balance the bitterness with the agave.  I use agave nectar rather than making a syrup.  Different brands of agave vary in sweetness, so you may need to adjust the amount you use.  Be careful not to make it sweet.

I use Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Old for this cocktail.  It is a little lighter on the oak but retains the spice and body you expect from a good bourbon.  Notice that this is essentially a built drink, a la Dave Arnold in Liquid Intelligence.  I found that this technique works very well for most Old Fashioned’s.  It’s a bit like Scotch on the rocks: the cocktail starts out strong and then cools and dilutes as you sip and gently swirl the ice.

Old Fashioned Tent Revival

  • 2 ozs. Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Old
  • 3-4 dashes Bad Dog Barcraft’s Fire and Damnation Bitters – about 1 barspoon
  • 1/4 oz  Agave Nectar or more to taste
  • Lemon zest for garnish
  1. Add everything, except the garnish, to an un-chilled, single old fashioned glass and stir to combine.
  2. Carefully drop in a large ice cube.
  3. Express the lemon and float it in the drink.

Cheers!




Apple Old Fashioned

Apple Old FashionedThis cocktail combines spicy Rye with a hint of apple from the bitters.  Add to that a touch of smooth honey syrup and you have a drink that is light on the tongue but still bitters forward.  You may want to adjust the ratio of bitters to syrup depending on your taste.

Notice that this is essentially a built cocktail.  I stir it in a mixing glass without ice to combine the ingredients prior to pouring it over a large ice cube in an un-chilled single old fashioned.  Similar to scotch on the rocks.  Initially the flavors will be strong with very little dilution.  As you sip the cocktail and gently swirl it, the drink will chill and dilute.

Apple Old Fashioned 1

  • 2 oz. Rye whiskey such as Templeton or Sazarac
  • 1 generous dash of Bar Keep Apple Bitters
  • 1 barspoon of honey syrup (1 part honey, 1 part water)
  • Lemon peel for garnish
  1. Combine the rye, bitters and honey syrup in a mixing glass without ice.  Stir to combine.
  2. Pour over a large ice cube in an un-chilled single old fashioned.
  3. Express the oil from the lemon peel and drop it into the drink.

Cheers!




Mixology Monday XCII – Apples

It is Mixology Monday for December and it’s all about apples.  This most excellent theme is the brain child of Frederic at Cocktail Virgin Slut, this month’s host.  mxmo_apple2

Once again, we have two drinks to offer: Cider Punch and the Plymouth Old Fashioned.

Cider Punch

MxMo CranappleThis drink combines apples in the form of calvados and hard cider with the flavors of ginger and cranberries.  The aroma is apples and lemon.  The taste begins with apple and a touch of sweet ginger and cranberry, finishing with musty cider.

 

 

  • 1 oz. Calvados
  • 1/2 oz. Ginger Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. Cranberry Syrup (see below)
  • 1 oz. Chilled hard cider
  • Lemon twist
  1. Stir the first four ingredients in a mixing glass with ice until well chilled.
  2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  3. Express the lemon oils over the drink and discard the lemon.

Cranberry Syrup

This is from Chris Tunstall at abarabove.  The syrup is extremely easy.  You will need:

  • 1 – 14 oz can jellied cranberry sauce
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  1. In a quart sized microwavable container, melt the cranberry sauce on high in 30 second intervals, stirring in between.
  2. Meanwhile, using a small sauce pan on the stove, dissolve the sugar in the water.
  3. When the the sugar is dissolved, add the melted cranberry sauce and stir to combine.
  4. Allow to cool.  This will keep refrigerated in a sealed glass bottle for at least a week.

The Plymouth Old Fashioned

Plymouth Old Fashioned 2A few years ago, I came across a post by Jamie Boudreau where he described his “Old Fashioned Simple Syrup.”  He uses a base liquor, sugar and bitters for the sweetener.  Playing with his idea, I have made a number of drinks with various base liquors, sugars and bitters.  For this drink I have chosen Applejack, brown sugar and black walnut bitters to use in the syrup.  It is then combined with calvados, bourbon and rum.

This is a big drink in size, strength and flavor.  The taste of apple blends with the vanilla and spice from the rum and the combined smoky notes of the rum and bourbon.  The black walnut bitters really stand out.  I initially used Fees Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters, but I think that Angostura Bitters with the Fees Brothers Black Walnut Bitters and Orange Bitters is better.

You can easily lighten up this drink by substituting Cruzan Dark Aged Rum for the Zaya and/or Russell’s 10 year old Bourbon for the Basil Hayden’s.

Here is the recipe:

  • 1 oz. Calvados
  • 1 oz. Aged rum such as Zaya 12 Year Old
  • 1 oz. Aged bourbon such as Basil Hayden’s
  • 1 oz. Black Walnut Syrup (See below)
  • 1 bar spoon honey syrup (1 part honey dissolved in 1 part water)
  • 2 dashes Fees Brothers Black Walnut Bitters
  • 2 dashes Fees Brothers Orange Bitters
  • 2 dashes Fees Brothers Aztec Bitters or Angostura Bitters
  • Thick orange peel for garnish
  1. Stir all ingredients, except the garnish, in a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Strain into a chilled old fashioned glass with fresh ice – preferably a single large cube or sphere
  3. Express the orange oils over the drink and float the peel.

Black Walnut Syrup

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 oz. Applejack
  • 1 oz. Fees Brothers Black Walnut Bitters
  1. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the liquid, stirring frequently.
  2. Allow to cool
  3. Will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks

Thanks to Frederic at Cocktail Virgin Slut for hosting this month’s Mixology Monday.  Go check out their site and be sure to come back for the roundup of Mixology Monday XCII.

Cheers!




Old Fashioned Tent Revival

This drink requires Bad Dog Barcraft’s Fire and Damnation Bitters available here.  You want several dashes of the bitters to enable the flavors to come through.  Then balance the bitterness with the agave.  Be careful not to make it sweet.

rp_old-fashioned-tent-revival-2.jpg

  • 2 ozs. Good aged bourbon such as Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Old or Basil Hayden
  • 3-4 dashes Bad Dog Barcraft’s Fire and Damnation Bitters – about 1 barspoon
  • 1/4 oz  Agave Nectar or more to taste
  • Lemon or orange zest
  1. Chill a single old fashioned glass with ice and water.
  2. Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir.
  3. Pour over a large fresh ice cube in chilled glass.
  4. Twist zest over glass and discard



Rye Old Fashioned

  • 2 oz Good rye such as Sazerac or Bulleit Small Batchrp_sazerac-rye-black2-1-290x290.jpg
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp Sugar
  • 3-4 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
  • Lemon Zest for garnish
  1. Chill an old fashioned glass with ice and water
  2. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir
  3. Strain into chilled glass over fresh ice.
  4. Express lemon zest over drink and discard (the zest!)



Tequila Old Fashioned

  • Tequila Old Fashioned 22 oz. reposado tequila
  • 1 tsp. agave syrup
  • 2 dashes Mole Bitters
  1. Chill an old fashioned glass with ice and water
  2. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and stir with ice
  3. Strain over fresh ice in chilled glass
  4. Garnish with a lime twist