Carpano Squared

Carpano Squared BottlesThis, in retrospect, is a play on the Perfect Martini.  One that combines both dry and sweet vermouth.  I came up with this idea after the vermouth seminar at Tales with Jared Brown.  He had us combining various types of vermouth and discussing how to make them.  After combining Carpano Dry and Carpano Bianco, I was hooked.  These two styles of  vermouth have become my go-to for anything calling for ‘dry.’  At first the Carpano Bianco seems slightly sweeter than the usual premium dry vermouth.  I attribute this to the rich wine flavor that comes through along with citrus and a little tropical fruit.  The Carpano Dry is a bit surprising.   The nose is wine, lemon, candied fruit and spices, but the taste is bone dry.  Alone, or in combination, these fortified wines are amazing.

I like my martini’s 2 1/2:1 or 3:1 Gin to Vermouth.  Obviously you should use your favorite ratio.  However you make them, try combining the Carpano Dry and Bianco 50/50 for the vermouth.  I have tried this with Ford’s, Plymouth, 209, Aviation, Hendrick’s and Botanivoire.  I like them all!

When it comes to the garnish, I think that citrus and olives, individually or together, drastically alter this martini.  I prefer one or two fresh herbs floating on the surface.

The Carpano Squared

Carpano Squared

  • 1 1/2 oz. Gin – You’re favorite premium brand
  • 1/4 oz. Carpano Dry Vermouth
  • 1/4 oz. Carpano Bianco Vermouth
  • Fresh herbs such as thyme and/or sage
  1. Chill a cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Combine the gin and vermouth’s in a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill
  3. Strain into chilled cocktail glass
  4. Spank the fresh herbs and float them on the cocktail

Cheers!


 

 




Gin and Beer Tonic

Gin and Beer Tonic CWhile perusing the beer cooler at my favorite liquor store I spotted a bottle of Dogfish Head Namaste Beer. What caught my eye was the label listing orange, lemongrass, coriander and peppercorns as ingredients. We were in the process of preparing a Tonic Bar for a gathering we were hosting. The ingredients listed on the Namaste label were also going to be on our Tonic Bar. So, I thought, why not try using beer in the Gin and Tonic? It works!

We used our homemade tonic syrup. It’s easy and quick to make. However, you can purchase any of several brands of Tonic Syrup. We enjoy Jack Rudy’s and Liber & Co. When making tonic water from tonic syrup, you combine the syrup with carbonated water. This recipe substitutes beer for the carbonated water. So, whatever tonic syrup you’re using, just substitute the carbonated water with beer. Beer’s better than water anyway!

I used Hendrick’s Gin for this cocktail.  The herbal qualities of their gin worked perfectly with the Namaste.  Whichever gin you choose, when preparing this cocktail, try to pour slowly and stir carefully to reduce foaming.Gin and Beer Tonic

  • 2 oz Hendrick’s Gin
  • 1 ½ oz tonic syrup
  • 4 ½ oz Dogfish Head Namaste
  • Orange peel for garnish – optional

 

  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill
  2. Strain into chilled glass over fresh ice

Cheers!


 

 




Tepache!

Tepache is pineapple, top removed, chunked, unpeeled, juiced, then mixed with a few spices and sugar and allowed to ferment, uncovered, first at room temperature and then in the refrigerator, with whatever is in the air, for one week.  If pineapple juice and hard cider had a baby – it would be tepache.  This favorite street drink of Mexico is tropical and slightly pungent with a little funk.  Traditionally served alone or with Mexican beer, tepache is making its way onto cocktail menus all over the US.

It first came to my attention when I read a Bon Appétit post last Summer.  Then this past July, I spotted an article about a DIY tepache in Imbibe .  When I noticed that the recipe was from our friends at Victor Tangos, my curiosity was truly peaked.  Victor Tangos is one of the restaurants I try to visit when we’re in Dallas.  So, I absolutely had to head over there at my first opportunity.

victor-tangosWhen I had a chance to discuss Victor Tangos’ version with Manager Matt Ragan, he said their tepache is basically just the way Bartender Alejandro Galindo’s mother used to make hers.  According to Matt, they make their tepache in the restaurant and there is little, if any, variation between batches.  They have used it in several cocktails, mainly Tiki drinks, substituting tepache for pineapple juice.  During my visit a few weeks ago, they were offering the Tomar de los Muertes, which eschews the rum and combines mezcal and tequila.  Matt says that the tepache cocktails have been well received and will continue on the menu for awhile.

I used Alejandro’s recipe, which is simple and came out very similar to what I had at Victor Tangos.  It was good at the end of the seven days proscribed in the recipe, but got better when allowed to ferment another ten days.  You don’t have to make your own – just ask at your favorite liquor store. We tried it alone, with beer and in a few different cocktails.  I found that the cocktails are best if the amount of tepache is equal to, or less than, the volume of hard spirit.  Otherwise, it overwhelms the drink.  We settled on 3 favorites: a Tiki variation, a tequila/amaro combination and a gin cocktail.

The Potted Tepache Parrot

This is a riff on Trader Vic’s Potted Parrot using tepache rather than orange juice.  I also increased the orgeat.  The flavors of the ingredients all come through: the rum, the tart/funky tepache, the orgeat and a hint of lemon.  Here’s the recipe:Potted Tepache Parrot

  • 2 oz. Cruzan white rum
  • 2 oz. tepache
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. curacao
  • 1/4 oz. simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz. orgeat
  • 12 oz. crushed ice
  1. Chill a Double Old Fashioned glass with ice and water
  2. Shake all ingredients with crushed ice
  3. Pour unstrained into chilled  glass

Next up is:

The Tepache Tease

The bright flavor of the tequila adds to the tropical pineapple while the plum/cherry notes in the Bonal plays with the pungency of the tepache.

Tepache Tease

  • 2 oz. Tepache
  • 2 oz. Plata Tequila such as Milagro
  • 1/4 oz. Bonal
  • 1 dash 2:1 simple syrup
  1. Chill a Double Old Fashioned with ice and water
  2. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake to chill
  3. Strain over fresh ice in chilled glass

 

 

And finally:

The Tepache Cocktail

This proves you can have an elegant cocktail that uses pineapple!  Tepache Cocktail

  • 1 oz. Plymouth Gin
  • 3/4 oz. Tepache
  • 1/4 oz. Lemon Juice
  • 1 dash (1/8 tsp) 2:1 simple syrup
  1. Chill a cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake to chill
  3. Strain into chilled glass and serve

Cheers!


 




Tennessee Chocolate

Tennessee Chocolate BottlesHere I go offering another cocktail crafted with Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee White Whiskey*.  As I’ve written previously, it is single distilled from a mash of corn, barley and wheat which gives it some subtle, but distinct, differences from other premium white whiskeys.  I think Nelson’s Green Brier is slightly sweeter and contains a malt/chocolate note, but still present is the ‘bite’ you would expect from white whiskey.  A lot of recipes try to cover up the ‘bite’ of white whiskey with fruit juices or other sweeteners. I wanted to highlight the hint of chocolate without increasing the sweet.  While I consider this a dessert cocktail, it isn’t cloying and allows the ‘bite’ to add character to the party.  Adding 4-5 drops of Bittermens Mole Bitters will decrease the sweetness and increase the complexity.

Tenessee Chocolate

  • 1 0z. Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee White Whiskey
  • 1 oz. Frangelico
  • 1 oz. Crème de Cocao
  • 1/4 oz. Ancho Reyes
  • Optional 4-5 drops Bitterman’s Mole Bitters
  1. Chill a cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Combine all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill
  3. Strain into chilled glass

Cheers!

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


 




Jalapeño Margarita

This margarita is a new favorite because of its subtle taste of jalapeño with the slightest bit of heat on the finish.    It was popular at our last party…and we knew we had a hit when the rest of the cocktails went untouched!  The simple syrup takes only a few minutes to make, but does require time to cool.  So plan ahead!Jalapeno Margarita 1

The Jalapeño Margarita

  • 2 oz. Premium plata tequila such as Milagro
  • 2 1/2 oz. Fresh lime juice
  • 2-3 slices of fresh jalapeño  – seeds removed
  • 1 1/2 oz Jalapeño Simple Syrup – see below
  • 1/4 oz. Cointreau or triple sec
  1. Chill a margarita glass with ice and water
  2. Add the lime juice and jalapeño slices to a shaker and muddle
  3. Add the remaining ingredients with ice and shake to chill – about 15-20 sec.
  4. Double strain into chilled glass
  5. You can rim the glass with salt and/or garnish with a lime if you wish
For a frozen variety – see below

Jalapeño Simple Syrup

Simple Syrup Jalapeno

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 jalapeño stemmed and coarsely chopped
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over med-low heat.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes (be careful, sometimes this will foam up and boil over)
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool
  4. Strain into a jar, bottle or squeeze bottle and store refrigerated – it will keep a couple of weeks.

 

 

Frozen Jalapeño Margarita

  1. Chill a margarita glass with ice and water
  2. Add the lime juice and jalapeño slices to a mixing glass and muddle
  3. Double strain the lime juice into your blender
  4. Add the remaining ingredients along with 8 – 10 oz. ice
  5. Whir it up and serve in your chilled glass

Cheers!


 




Green Brier Grin

Green Brier GrinI met the Nelson brothers, of Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery, at this year’s San Antonio Cocktail Conference and visited with them again at TOTC.  Their Belle Meade Bourbon is one of my favorites and with it I have created a number of cocktails.  I first tasted their Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee White Whiskey* at the San Antonio Cocktail Conference.  It is single distilled from a mash of corn, barley and wheat which gives it some subtle, but distinct differences from other premium white whiskeys.  First, I think Nelson’s Green Brier is slightly sweeter and has a malty/chocolate note.  Still present is the ‘bite’ you would expect from white whiskey.  Previously, I was not a fan of white whiskey, but liking theirs, I have set out to design some cocktails using Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee White Whiskey.

I may have just had chocolate on the brain, or maybe it was molé, but the chocolate note I mentioned made me think of chilies and thus Ancho Reyes liqueur.  Add in Carpano Antica Vermouth and now it becomes something rich and complex.  Being determined to gild the lily, I wanted to push the herbal flavors of the vermouth.  So, I got esoteric and added Bigallet’s China-China Amer.  The Carpano has wonderful essences of dried fruits and bitter marmalade along with a little cocoa and red wine.  All of which are enhanced by the China-China’s orange peels and bittering herbs bringing a little truffle like earthiness to the party.  This combination complements rather than overwhelms or conceals the unique flavors of this white whiskey.  Here’s the recipe that makes me smile!

Green Brier GrinGreen Brier Bottles

  • 1 1/2 oz. Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee White Whiskey
  • 3/4 oz. Carpano Antica
  • 1/2 oz. Ancho Reyes
  • 1/2 oz. Bigallet’s China-China Amer
  1. Chill a cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Add all ingredients, except the garnish, to a mixing glass with ice.  Stir to chill.
  3. Strain into chilled cocktail glass

Cheers!

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




G-n-Tini

GnTiniI think that Fords Gin cries out for grapefruit.  It so happens that grapefruit is one of the primary flavors in Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s tonic recipe.  His quinine syrup, that you can add to club soda to make tonic water, is simple and takes less than an hour to make.  I thought that including the quinine syrup directly with the drink would make an interesting bitter sweet addition.  I believe I was correct!  Here’s the recipe:

G-n-Tini

  • Fords Gin1 1/2 oz. Fords Gin
  • 1/2 oz. Dolin Sweet Vermouth
  • 1/2 oz. Quinine Syrup – see here
  • Grapefruit peel for garnish
  1. Stir the first three ingredients in a mixing glass with ice to chill
  2. Strain into a chilled coup
  3. Express the grapefruit peel over the drink and float the peel

Cheers!




MxMo Manhattan

We have two offerings for this Month’s Mixology Monday, “I’ll take Manhattan!”  This one, from our fearless MxMo leader, Frederic of the CocktailVirgin blog, challenges us to revisit the classic cocktail.

Mixology Monday

Mixology Monday

Our first submission is the Manhattan 2.0 – a “Modern” version of the Manhattan with the added nuance of Sherry.  For the second, we jump ahead to an article we are preparing to publish on barrel aging cocktails at home.

 Manhattan 2.0

Manhattan Sherry Inhanced

For the the bourbon in this cocktail, we tried Basil Hayden and Belle Mead.  Both were excellent.  The bourbon brings flavors of maple, tobacco, smoke and vanilla.  This blends well with the rich, earthy Carpano Antica’s tastes of herbs, spice and slight bitterness.  Tasting this without knowing the ingredients, one could easily miss the sherry.  It intermingles with the Italian Vermouth, smoothing the bitterness and adding to the richness.  Here is the recipe:

  • 1 1/2 oz. Bourbon
  • 3/4 oz.  Carpano Antica
  • 1/4 oz. Sherry
  • 1/8 tsp. Grand Marnier
  • 1 dash Angostura Orange  Bitters
  • Garnish: Luxardo Maraschino Cherries and an orange peel
  1. Chill a cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Add the ingredients, except the garnish, to a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill
  3. Strain into the chilled cocktail glass
  4. Add the cherries, (or place them on a pick), and express the orange peel over the drink and discard.

Sherry Cask Aged ManhattanManhattan Barrel Aged Inhanced

This cocktail comes from our look into barrel aging cocktails at home, which we will publish soon.  We started with a new charred white oak, 1 liter cask, which was then seasoned by aging Lustau East India Solera Sherry for 4 weeks.  As an aside, the Sherry came out very nice and is great in the Manhattan 2.0!  The barrel was then used to age the cocktail.  The small cask allows a larger surface to liquid ratio than will a bigger barrel.  The larger the barrel, the longer will be the aging time.

Barrel aging a Manhattan is awesome!  The charred oak adds an expected slight oakiness and smoke flavor while the Sherry brings the slightest touch of sweetness.  The overall effect is a richness and depth of flavors that are melded together in a way that you’re not going to achieve any other way.Sherry Aged Cask

Here is the recipe for a 1 liter barrel:

For the Barrel:
  • 1 new, 1 liter charred oak barrel with stand which has been filled with water for 24 hours
  • 1 bottle Lustau East India Solera Sherry
  1. Drain and rinse the barrel
  2. Secure the tap
  3. Fill the barrel with the Sherry and seal the bung.
  4. Place the barrel on its stand and set aside on a water proof shallow container, such as a plastic container lid
  5. Turn the barrel 1/4 turn each week
  6. After 4 weeks, drain the sherry through a fine mesh strainer and store, refrigerated, in its original bottle.
  7. Rinse the barrel and refill immediately with a cocktail – do not allow the barrel to dry out.
For the Manhattan: Manhattan Barrel Aged 3
  • 20 oz. Bourbon
  • 10 oz. Carpano Antica Italian Vermouth
  • 1 3/4 tsp Grand Marnier
  • 1 3/4 tsp Regans Orange Bitters
  1. Rinse the sherry aged barrel with water
  2. Combine all ingredients in a 1 qt. pitcher
  3. Carefully pour ingredients into the cask
  4. Set the cocktail filled cask on a plastic lid or other flat, liquid proof surface (the barrel will leak).
  5. Turn the barrel 1/4 turn each week
  6. Taste the cocktail at least weekly until you think it’s ready – about 4 weeks
  7. When the cocktail is ready, carefully pour it from the barrel through a fine mesh strainer into a 1 quart pitcher.
  8. Decant into a seal-able glass bottle
  9. Store your cocktail at room temperature.
To serve:Barrel Aged Manhattan 4
  1. Chill a cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Pour 2 1/4 oz. Sherry Cask Aged Manhattan into a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill
  3. Strain into the chilled cocktail glass
  4. Garnish with premium maraschino cherries and an orange peel

Not ready to commit to a barrel?  You can approximate the same aged cocktail effect using a small bottle and a charred barrel stave, available here.4058_Barware_Mixers-_Bottle_Aged_Cocktail_Kit_large  It will lack the richness and depth of flavor of barrel aging, but it will be close.

The bottle holds 12 oz.  The recipe is then:

  • 7 oz. Bourbon
  • 3 1/2 oz. Carpano Antica Italian Vermouth
  • 1/2 tsp Grand Marnier
  • 1/2 tsp Regans Orange Bitters
  1. Combine the ingredients in the bottle and add the barrel stave
  2. Swirl it everyday
  3. It will probable be ready in 2 weeks

Cheers!