Mixology Monday

Mixology Monday

Slán, in Gaelic, roughly translates to “goodby”.  That is the theme for this Month’s Mixology Monday.  It’s over.  It’s done.  Kaput.  So now is goodby to the World’s Best Online Cocktail Party. Hosted by our leader and fearless cat herder, Frederic Yarm of the Cocktail Virgin Slut blog, the actual theme for the final Mixology Monday is the Irish Wake.  A most appropriate way to say, “Slán”

Wow! Mixology Monday I, April, 2006.  Almost 11 years ago.  Back then, you probably had a Motorola RAZR with 5 MB of memory and a VGA camera.  Trendy people had a Nokia Chocolate.  Or, if you were into taking pictures, you might have had a Sony Erickson with a whopping 3.0 megapixel camera!  You listened to music on your iPod but there were no iPhones.  No. 9 Park, Milk & Honey, Employees Only and Bourbon & Branch were cranking out the cocktails we love, but they weren’t using St. Germain.  It would be a year before that was introduced.  How things change.

SlantIt would be interesting to know how many cocktails were posted and how many individuals participated in the 115 Mixology Mondays since April, 2006.  I’ve participated for only a little over 2 years.  I’ve always looked forward to it and had the privilege of hosting twice.  I will miss Mixology Monday.

For me, toasting to someone’s memory calls for a shot. Unfortunately, I have raised a glass for several family members and friends that left us.  Some were far too young.  The one Mixology Monday I missed over the past two years was when a close friend died and I wasn’t feeling too creative.  But an essential part of a wake is to celebrate the life that’s ended.

I find that creating a new shot is a bit difficult.  While you can sip a shot, they are by nature made to be downed quickly.  This means that you’re not going to savor the flavors.  So subtlety is out the window.  Plus, shots are generally not served cold.  This means that sweet, sour and salt are dramatically different.

I usually try not to get too esoteric or or use a bunch of ingredients in my cocktails.  This time I’ve done both.  The Slán combines Irish whiskey, fernet, blood orange liqueur, Pineau des Charentes and Punt e Mes infused with coffee and roasted cocoa nibs.  The infusion only took an hour, but it does need to be made in advance.  When you offer someone a shot, it matters how much effort you put into its preparation.


All of these ingredients are very good as stand alone drinks.  I think that Jameson has developed some really amazing whiskeys and their Black Barrel is one of the best.  The Luxardo Fernet is one of my favorites.  It is a touch sweeter than most.  I had to mess with the Punt e Mes adding coffee and a touch of chocolate.  I’ve only recently started using Solerno, but I’m intrigued with the blood orange.  The Penau des Charence adds a touch of sweetness and richness from the cognac.

Even though this is a shot and goes down quickly, there is a lot going on.  The nose is Irish Whiskey, with the distinct caramel and malt of the Black Barrel, there is also vanilla and herbs.  The taste is caramel and toffee from the Jameson with sweetness from the Penau with a background of bitterness from the Punt e Mes and the Fernet.  There is also coffee, orange and touch of woodiness from the Jameson and the Fernet, especially on the finish.  Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 1/2 oz. Jameson Black Barrel Irish Whiskey
  • 1/4 oz. Coffee & Roasted Cocoa Nib Infused Punt e Mes – see below
  • 1/4 oz. Penau des Charence
  • 1/8 oz. Luxardo Fernet
  • 1/8 oz. Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with 1 or 2 ice cubes.
  2. Stir to chill slightly
  3. Strain into 2 shot glasses

Punt e Mes Infused with Coffee and Roasted Cocoa Nibs

  • 250 ml (8 oz) Punt e Mes plus more for diluting
  • 30 gm Cracked Black Coffee Beans
  • 3 Tbl Cocoa Nibs
  1. Heat the oven to 325
  2. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and scatter the cocoa nibs across the pan.
  3. Roast in the oven until they smell like fresh brownies – about 10 min
  4. Crack the peppercorns in a mortar and pestle or a baggie and rolling pin
  5. In a lidded glass jar, combine all of the ingredients and allow to infuse for 1 hr.
  6. Strain through a metal coffee filter and then through a paper coffee filter
  7. Taste and dilute with additional Punt e Mes to taste.  I added an additional 1/2 by volume.
  8. Keeps refrigerated for a few weeks.

So here is to all of those who followed or contributed to this and all of the Mixology Mondays past:

CheersMay the road rise up to meet you, and the wind be at your back.

May the best of your past be the worst of your future.


MxMo CXV – Chocolate!

Mixology Monday

Mixology Monday

It’s Mixology Monday, hosted by Garnish Blog, and the theme is chocolate!  I absolutely love it: chocolate and booze are a match made in Heaven!  We have three cocktails to offer this month: the Chocolate Manhattan, the Chocolate Covered Rum and the Chocolate Rum Old Fashioned.

Chocolate Manhattan

Chocolate ManhattanI attended a seminar on tequila and chocolate at the San Antonio Cocktail Conference last year.  It was an epiphany!  Which statement is true: “Chocolate goes with everything” or “Alcohol goes with everything?”  Or both?  Anyway, I used Milagro Plata Tequila which blends with the Lillet and chocolate in surprising ways.  The touch of bitterness and complexity of the Lillet Rouge complements the bittersweet Godiva.  This cocktail is not too sweet, but balanced and intriguing.

  • 1 1/2 oz. Milagro Plata Tequila
  • 3/4 oz. Lillet Rouge
  • 1/2 oz. Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur
  1. Chill a cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill
  3. Strain into chilled glass and serve

 Chocolate Covered RumChocolate Covered Rum

Well, we have chocolate covered peanuts and chocolate covered espresso beans and chocolate covered everything else so why not chocolate covered rum? I made a chocolate simple syrup with coconut nectar and drinking chocolate.  It is really deeply chocolate and very thick.  This cocktail has the flavor of rum and coconut but the dark chocolate predominates.  The spice of the chipotle and bitters keeps the sweetness at bay.

  • 1 1/2 oz. Rum
  • 1/2 oz Coconut Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz. Chocolate Simple Syrup – see below
  • 2 pinches chipotle powder
  • 1 dash Fees Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters


  1. Chill a cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and stir with a spoon to dissolve the chocolate syrup
  3. Add Ice to the shaker and shake to chill
  4. Double strain into chilled glass and serve

Chocolate Rum Old Fashioned

Chocolate Old FashionedI thought that a simple Old Fashioned with aged rum and bittersweet chocolate would work.  It does.


  • 1 1/2 oz. Barbancourt 12 yr old Rum
  • 1/4 oz. Chocolate Simple Syrup
  • Orange peel for garnish
  1. Chill an Old Fashioned glass with ice and water
  2. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and stir with a spoon to dissolve the chocolate syrup
  3. Add Ice to the shaker and shake to chill
  4. Double strain into chilled glass, express the orange peel over the glass and serve.

Chocolate Simple Syrup

This is like eating a 97% cacao chocolate bar.  Only a touch sweet.  If it’s too thick, add some hot water.

  • 1 oz. Water
  • 1 oz. Coconut nectar or sub honey
  • 4 tbls. Dagoba Drinking Chocolate mix.  You can substitute another brand but I used 130% of the amount to make 1 cup of drinking chocolate.
  • 1 tbls. Sugar or to taste.
  1. Heat all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat until dissolved
  2. Cool slightly before use.
  3. If it’s too thick, add some hot water.



MxMo CXIV – Digestifs

Mixology Monday

Mixology Monday

I love bitter!  So, naturally, I love this theme! I think the amari and other digestifs add an amazing complexity to any style of cocktail, (well, I haven’t tried it with Tiki drinks – yet!)  This month we have two cocktails to offer.  We obviously have the Holidays in mind as these are both rich and creamy drinks!

Danny Boy

Danny BoyThis is a rich, bittersweet version of an Irish coffee.  I’ve used coffee syrup, which is easy to make and works much better than hot brewed coffee in cold cocktails.  The flavors are coffee first with a background of bittersweet and a creamy texture.

  • 2 oz. Cold brewed coffee syrup – see below
  • 1 oz Irish whiskey – I used Tullamore Dew Special Reserve 12 yr.
  • 1 oz. Licor 43
  • 1/2 oz Montenegro
  • 1/2 oz 2:1 Simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz Cream
  • Coffee beans for garnish
  1. Chill a large Coup with ice and water
  2. Combine all ingredients, except garnish, in a cocktail shaker with ice
  3. Shake to chill
  4. Double strain into chilled glass
  5. Allow the foam to rise to the top for 15-20 seconds then carefully drop three coffee beans on top for garnish

Coffee Amaro Flip

Bittersweet Coffee FlipI think that Flips, in all of their forms, are an interesting type of cocktail.  This drink is kind of a grownup eggnog – rich and creamy but not cloyingly sweet, with a bittersweet component which creates an intricate cocktail that speaks rum, coffee and the deep, earthy flavors of Amaro Nino.

  • 2 oz White rum – I used Treaty Oak
  • 1 oz. Amaro Nino
  • 3/4 oz Cream
  • 1/2 oz 2:1 Simple Syrup
  • 1/2 oz Coffee Liqueur – I used Starbucks
  • 1 Lg Egg
  1. Chill a large Coup with ice and water
  2. Combine all ingredients in a shaker without ice and dry shake for 30 seconds (Make 4 of these and you can have an extra slice of pie!)
  3. Add ice to the shaker and shake to chill
  4. Double strain into chilled glass
  5. Allow the foam to rise to the top for 15-20 seconds then grate a little nutmeg on the top.

Cold Brewed Coffee Syrup

Making a cold syrup concentrates the flavors of the coffee.  Definitely use a coffee you like to drink!  We use a dark roast from Starbucks.

  • 3 1/2 cups coarsely ground coffee
  • 5 cups water
  1. Combine coffee and water in a container stir well and let sit for 12 hours at room temperature.
  2. Strain, first through a fine mesh filter, then through a paper filter
  3. Keeps refrigerated for 1-2 weeks


Mixology Monday CXIII – Bacon, Eggs and Booze: The Roundup


Mixology Monday

Mixology Monday

November’s Mixology Monday has come and gone and we’re talking brunch cocktails.  From the Caribbean to the Far East, an egg, maple syrup, French Toast, coffee and bananas – all in a glass, (well, actually several glasses).  That’s enough for the yammering, let’s get to the cocktails:


caribbeanmilk2206_zpsoazyknknFirst up is the Caribbean Milk Punch from Brennan’s by way of Frederic of the CocktailVirgin Blog. According to Frederic: “The punch has a split spirit base of a funky Caribbean rum complemented by a half part of Bourbon. Moreover, unlike the other milk punches that call for a decent amount of whole milk (sometimes half and half) and are served over ice in a large glass, this one smooths over the balance by using a smaller amount of rather rich heavy cream and served in a cocktail coupe.”  This cocktail could elevate any brunch to new heights!


img_6150 img_6166Second up are two from the BoozeNerds, Christa and Shaun: the Brighter Later and Grandma’s French Toast. Both cocktails have a touch of fruit with bitterness and complexity.  It appears they can do serious brunch in Seattle!

french_toast1Next up is the Breakfast in America from Adam, a.k.a. MrMuddle.  He got my attention with Coffee Pecan Bitters – one of my favorites.  He also throws in cinnamon maple simple and Tennessee Whiskey, then amps up the cinnamon with Becherovka, adds a little herbal Benedictine and plops in an egg.  This can seriously perk up brunch and help you endure that one cousin…

Bombay Sour 3Next is the Bombay Sour, a snazzy looking cocktail from Katie at the GarnishBlog.  Inspired by  Black Cloud’s Saffron Mango Bitters, this drink features rum, mango, Greek yogurt, lemon and the aforementioned bitters.  This strikes me as a smoothy run amuck! I like!!

fe517a2746f8257d31d5a644c86c7f43Chris Hatch brings us the Café Banana cocktail.  Jamaican rum, Giffard Banane, and New Orleans Coffee Bitters.  Rum, banana and coffee.  Sounds like a brunch I can get behind!

Lastly, our contribution is two drinks: Mango Peach Sangria and the nearly zero proof Full Sail.Full Sail

Thanks to everyone who participated and especially to Frederic who keeps the party going! 

Until next month;


Mixology Monday CXIII – Bacon, Eggs & Booze


Mixology Monday

Mixology Monday

It’s Mixology Monday CXIII and we’re happy to be hosting!  The theme we chose is “Bacon, Eggs and Booze” ’cause nothing makes a holiday brunch taste better than amazing cocktails.  For this theme, we have 2 offerings: a sangria and a zero proof cocktail, (or nearly zero proof), for the kids.

Mango Peach Sangria


Yes. November in San Antonio. It’s 75 degrees and the trees are green!

I particularly like this sangria.  It is surprisingly dry and fruity.  With frozen fruit available year round, it makes a perfect brunch libation for the holidays.  Plus, you can back off on the peach liqueur if you want to lower the ABV.  Be sure to use a rosé with an ABV >13%, otherwise you can make it too sweet.  We used Sacha Lichine single blend.

Makes 4 Glasses

Time: 2:15

  • 12 oz. mango junks, fresh or frozen
  • 12 oz. sliced peaches, fresh or frozen
  • 1 bottle dry rosé
  • 1 cup peach liqueur, such as Sterrings
  • 1/2 cup simple syrup
  • handful of fresh mint leaves – optional
  1. Combine all ingredients, except the mint leaves, in a large, lidded  pitcher, bottle or jar.
  2. Shake the bottle and refrigerate for 2-4 hours
  3. 1 hour before serving, give the mint leaves a smack in your hand and add them to the sangria.
  4. Serve cold in fancy glasses!

Full Sail

Full SailKids love special drinks as much as adults.  Especially if it’s made just for them.  The carbonated coconut water is a bit over the top, but once again, with a little effort the kids feel really special.  I used an an iSi Whipper and a CO2 charge since my siphon is full of water.  You can also put still coconut water in the shaker with the rest of the ingredients and then top the glass with a dash of plain carbonated water.

If you use falernum, it has an ABV of 10% so your finished drink will have an ABV of ½%.  If that’s too high, substitute the easy ginger lime syrup below.

  • 1½ oz. Fresh lime juice
  • ½ oz. Falernum or Ginger Lime Syrup – see below
  • ½ oz. Orgeat
  • ½ oz. Simple Syrup
  • 4 oz. Carbonated Fresh coconut water or carbonated water
  1. Add the first 4 ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake to chill
  2. Pour shaker, unstrained, into chilled Collins glass and top with more ice
  3. Add the carbonated coconut water to fill
  4. Stir and garnish with lime wheel or wedge

 Easy Ginger Lime Syrup

Makes 1 Cup

Time: 15 minutes

  • 1 Cup Fresh lime juice
  • 1 Cup thinly sliced peeled fresh ginger or 4 oz crushed ginger
  • 2 Whole cloves
  • 2 Allspice berries
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground nutmeg
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  1. Add all ingredients to a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. When the sugar dissolves, reduce the heat, cover the pot and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Allow to cool slightly
  4. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and discard solids
  5. Store syrup in refrigerator.  Will keep about a week.



‘Tis The Season for Brunch – Mixology Monday CXIII

Mixology Monday

Mixology Monday

Well, it’s autumn, with falling temperatures and falling leaves, kiddos and costumes and far too many treats. Looming are the next set of holidays, the serious ones complete with feasts, gifts, parties and gatherings of family and friends. One perennial problem is: what to do with guests the morning after, or the morning of, or the morning before? Well, you get the idea. Think BRUNCH.

Friends toasting with fresh juice at dinner table

You could take them out, (expensive), but brunch food is easy, so fire up the cook top and make some bacon and eggs, or whatever appeals to you on Pinterest! But, remember the Law of the Universe: “A brunch without booze is just a sad, late breakfast!” So, the theme for Mixology Monday CXIII is Bacon, Eggs and Booze. There are a lot of brunch cocktails. A search of “brunch cocktails” yields over 43 million hits on Google. But I have confidence that the Mixology Monday crowd can craft some amazing cocktails to dazzle their gang. I have only one limiting rule in this month’s theme: enter at least one cocktail that does not have champagne.  Beyond that, ready, set, create!

BrunchHere’s how to play:

  • Find or create a cocktail that elevates brunch to new heights.
  • Make the drink and then post the recipe, a photo, and your thoughts about the drink on your blog, tumblr, or website or on the eGullet Spirits and Cocktails forum.
  • Be sure to include the Mixology Monday logo in your post, and links back to Mixology Monday and Doc Elliott’s Mixology. Once the round-up is posted, a link to that summary post would be appreciated.
  • Submissions are due by Monday, November 21st. Notify me of your submission by commenting with a link below, or send me a link on Twitter @docscocktails with the hashtag #MxMo.

So this leaves us 2 weeks to concoct some amazing brunch libations! Once again, the submissions are due midnight of November 21st. Midnight can be whatever time zone you’re in and I will accept late entries.

Thanks again to Frederic Yarm of the CocktailVirgin blog for allowing us to host this month and for keeping Mixology Mondays entertaining and inspiring.

The Corpse in the Sand (No 2)

Corpse in the Sand

Mixology Monday

Mixology Monday

It’s already Mixology Monday for October!  This Month we are hosted by Frederic of the  Cocktail Virgin and the theme is “Mashups.”  The challenge is to combine 2 cocktails into one Monster.  I started thinking of Scotch drinks, but nothing seemed to be anything special.  Looking at the Blood and Sand, a cocktail made with equal parts Scotch, Cherry Heering, Sweet Vermouth and Orange Juice, I was reminded of several other equal parts cocktails.  These included the Last Word, the Negroni, the Corpse Reviver,  the Vieux Carré (sort of) and the Blood and Sand.   I played around a bit and settled on “Monster Mashing” the Corpse Reviver (No 2) and the Blood and Sand.blood-and-sand poster

As noted above the Blood and Sand, which was named after the popular movie of 1922, is made with equal parts Scotch, Cherry Heering, Sweet Vermouth and Orange Juice.  The Corpse Reviver (No 2), which dates back to Harry Craddock, is made with equal parts gin, maraschino liqueur, Lillet, and lemon juice with a dash or wash of Chartreuse.  My initial attempt was to use the Blood and Sand recipe and substitute gin for the Scotch and lemon juice for the orange juice.  so the drink was:

  • Gin
  • Cherry Heering
  • Sweet Vermouth
  • Lemon Juice

Corpse in the Sand3This drink was good but was pretty much Cherry Heering with citrus and some other background flavors.  So I decided to use maraschino liqueur rather than the Cherry Heering.  This works very well.  The herbals of the gin and vermouth are allowed to come through, but it’s really just a Corpse Reviver with sweet vermouth instead of Lillet.  So I decided to bring back the Scotch.  I did this with a Scotch wash and a shot back.  Now the Scotch plays along in the background bringing back the Blood and Sand like that other voice in the monster’s head!  Serving the Scotch along on the side re-enforces it’s presence as you enjoy the cocktail.

The Corpse in the Sand (No 2)

  • 3/4 oz. London Dry GinCorpse in the Sand2
  • 3/4 oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • 3/4 oz. Sweet Vermouth – I used Dolin
  • 3/4 oz. Fresh lemon juice
  • 1 – 1 1/2 oz. Single Malt Scotch – I used Cragganmore a Speyside Scotch.  I wouldn’t suggest anything too peaty or smokey.

Corpse in the Sand4

  1. Chill a cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Pour the Scotch into a Shaker tin with enough ice to chill the whole cocktail.  Stir briefly to coat the ice and slightly chill and dilute the Scotch.
  3. Strain the scotch into a whiskey or shot glass and set aside
  4. Add the remaining ingredients to the shaker and shake to chill.
  5. Double strain into the chilled cocktail glass.
  6. Serve the cocktail with the Scotch along side.Corpse in the Sand 5jpg


Thermian Mist


Mixology Monday

Mixology Monday

The theme for this month’s Mixology Monday is “Drink Nerdy.’  Our host, Rebecca of The Shrubbery blog, challenges us to embrace our inner cocktail nerdyness.  From her Announcement Post, “The thing that unites everyone who participates in MxMo is our love of of cocktails. We love the history, the alchemy, the artistry, and of course the drinking. Loads of us go to conventions, collect memorabilia, read books about all manner of boozy subjects, and tour distilleries like they’re sacred places. One might say, we’re nerds.”  Well, I pretty much resemble that remark!

For starters, if you catch the movie reference in the name, “Thermian Mist,” your SciFi nerd credentials are complete!  So, in addition to a nerdy reference in our drink’s name, I wanted to try to incorporate as many cocktail nerd moves I could get into one cocktail.

  • Nitrogen Cavitation
  • Barrel Aging
  • Homemade Bitters

Thermian Mist

There is a lot going on in this cocktail.  We combine sherry barrel aged gin, Lillet, Aquavit, cardamom syrup and homemade gin bitters.  The gin was aged 4 weeks in a barrel that had been used to age Sherry, several Manhattans, including a Tequila Manhattan and bourbon.  The Sherry went back into the barrel between each Manhattan and before and after the bourbon.  So, it had last been used for Sherry just prior to the Gin.  What came out was straw colored.  The Gin looses some of the brightness of the botanicals but gains a touch of charred oak, a bit of bitterness, clove, cinnamon, dried fruit herbs from the vermouth in the Manhattans along with a bit of spice from the Bourbon.  There is a definite touch of Sherry. This, combined with the herbal Lillet, the caraway from the Aquavit and the cardamom in the syrup came out nearly perfect.  The “nearly” part is due to the loss of the fresh botanicals in the barrel aging process.  In comes our Gin Bitters to replace those lost botanicals.  The nose is herbs and lemon oil with a hint of gin.  The flavors are gin, the herbal Lillet and Aquavit with a background of oak, cinnamon and sherry. Here is the recipe:Thermian Mist

  • 1 1/2 oz. Sherry Aged Gin
  • 1/2 oz. Lillet
  • 1/4 oz. Aquavit
  • 2 dashes Cardamon Syrup
  • 1 dash Gin Bitters – see below
  • 1 lavender leaf and a sprig of thyme for garnish
  • Lemon peel
  1. Chill a cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Combine the gin, Lillet, Aquavit, syrup and bitters in a mixing glass with ice.  Stir to chill
  3. Strain into the chilled cocktail glass.
  4. Spank the herbs in your hand and float them on the drink.
  5. Express the lemon peel over the drink and discard.

By Grabthars Hammer!


Gin Bitters

This is a simple staged infusion.  It will take about 2 1/2 weeks.  You infuse gin with various things, then boil the solids in water to extract the oils.  You then combine the oils/water back with the infused gin.


  • 8 oz Gin
  • 6 oz. Each Lemon and Grapefruit peel
  • 4 oz. Lime peel
  • 2 tsp Coriander
  • Cardamom 2 pods cracked
  • Star Anise 1 pod cracked
  • Dried Hibiscus 3 flowers – Available on Amazon
  • Dried Chamomile 5 flowers – Available on Amazon
  • 4 gm Fresh Lavender tied in a bundle with a string
  • 1/2 Cup water
  • 1 TBL Dried Wormwood – Available on Amazon
  • 1 Tbl 2:1 Simple Syrup
  1. In a 1 pint mason jar combine gin and coriander.  Set aside in a cool place.  Shake the jar every day.
  2. On day 3, add the cardamom
  3. On day 4, add the anise, flowers and lavender
  4. On day 5, add the citrus peel
  5. On Day 7, filter the solids, reserving everything except the lavender.  Pour the gin back into the mason jar, seal and set aside.
  6. In a small sauce pan, combine the solids and the water.  Bring to a low boil and simmer for 10 minutes.  Allow to cool and pour the liquid and solids into a second mason jar.  Seal and set aside for 7 days.  Shake the jar daily.
  7. After the 7 days, strain the liquid from the solids into the gin.
  8. Put the wormwood in a fine mesh sieve and tap it with your hand to remove as much dust and small particles as possible.
  9. Add the wormwood to the bitters and let steep for 30 minutes.  Strain first through a fine mesh sieve and then through a metal coffee filter.
  10. Working quickly, begin straining the liquid through a paper coffee filter.  When the liquid stops going through the paper filter, replace the filter with a new one and keep moving.  You need to get the wormwood out of the liquid as quickly as possible.  The small particles will make your bitters, too bitter!
  11. Add the simple syrup.  Set aside for an additional 3 days.
  12. At the end of 3 days, skim off any scum floating on the surface.  It will keep indefinitely.

MxMo CIX – Vinegar

Shrub Shots 2

Mixology Monday

Mixology Monday

This month’s Mixology Monday is hosted by Adam of the Mr. Muddle blog.  He has chosen the theme of vinegar, as in the Shrub.  A shrub is simply fruit, sugar and vinegar.  They are generally sweet/tart and you can enjoy them with a little carbonated water or mix them in cocktails.  This month I’ve gone a bit overboard and am offering 4 cocktails using vinegar.  Three using shrubs and one vinegar, (specifically pickled jalapeno juice).

A few years ago, I ventured into making a shrub at home.  I don’t often have total failures, but that was one of them!  Jump forward to a few months ago and, while wondering through the liquor store, I came across a Strawberry Balsamic Black Pepper Shrub from Shrub Drinks.  I started playing with it and came up with the following:

Fords Gin with Balsamic Shrub Shots Fords Balsamic Shrub Shot

The Strawberry Balsamic Black Pepper Shrub is tart like you would expect but it is also pretty sweet.  To offset the sweetness, I added Salers.  In addition to bitterness, Salers also has serious botanical flavors that go well with the Fords and a touch of earthiness. Salers is a bit of an acquired taste so you might want to reduce it to 1 tsp.  The purpose of the few ice cubes is to chill and dilute only slightly.  The flavors are the gin, the sweet/tart shrub, the Salers’ botanicals and a touch of savory from the black pepper garnish.  The recipe makes 2 shots:

  • Lemon peels plus additional for garnish
  • 2 oz. London Dry Gin such as Fords
  • 1/2 oz. Strawberry Balsamic Black Pepper Shrub
  • 1/4 oz. Salers
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Prepare the shot glasses by expressing the lemon peels over the glasses and then wiping the inside and rim of the glass with the peel.  Discard the peels
  2. Combine the gin, shrub and Salers in a mixing glass with 1 or 2 ice cubes
  3. Gently stir to slightly chill and dilute
  4. Strain into 2 shot glasses.
  5. Top the shots with 1 turn of black pepper
  6. Garnish with an additional lemon peel

 Tequila Shots with Tomatillo Lime Serano Shrub

Shrub Shots 1These are similar in concept to the above.  Obviously, tequila and lime go together.  This shrub has the tartness of the vinegar, but is not as sweet as the balsamic shrub.  The tartness adds to the drink and the fresh pepper brings just a touch of tingle.  This recipe also makes 2 shots.

  • 1/2 oz. Fresh lime juice
  • 2 slices fresh serano jalapeno – seeded or not
  • 2 oz. Plata Tequila
  • 3/4 oz. Tomatillo Lime Serano Shrub from Shrub Drinks
  • 3 drops 10% Saline or a few grains of salt – optional
  • Lime wedge for garnishTequila Serano Shrub Shot
  1. In a shaker tin, muddle the jalapeno and lime juice
  2. Add the tequila and shrub and shake briefly with a few ice cubes.  Don’t over dilute or chill.
  3. Double strain into 2 shot glasses.
  4. Garnish with the lime wedge and serve

Shrub Collins

Tart CollinsThis is a twist on the classic way to drink shrubs – just add water.  This cocktail brinks the complexity of sweet vermouth and fresh lemon juice to the sweet/tart shrub.  You can use any shrub for this and can substitute a different fortified wine and/or add a spirit.  The concept makes for a refreshing summer drink.

  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth – your favorite brand
  • 1 oz Fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. Strawberry Balsamic Black Pepper Shrub
  • Carbonated water
  • Lemon wheel for garnish
  1. To an Ice filled Collins or highball glass add the first three ingredients.
  2. Top with the carbonated water
  3. Garnish with the lemon peel and serve

Dirty Cajun MartiniDirty Cajun Martini

Where the dirty martini meets the Cajun martini: Hendrick’s Gin, dry vermouth and pickled jalapeno juice. Guaranteed to tickle your tongue.

  • 2 oz. Hendrick’s Gin
  • ½ oz. dry vermouth
  • ¼ oz. pickled jalapeno juice
  1. Chill cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice
  3. Stir to chill 10 – 15 sec.
  4. Strain into chilled glass
  5. Garnish with jalapeno stuffed olive or jalapeno spear


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