Mixology Monday XC

Mixology Monday

Mixology Monday

Golden Kiss

Golden Kiss

This month’s Mixology Monday theme is “Perfect Symmetry.”  Hosted by Southern Ash, the idea is to find a balance between two related liquors or liqueurs.  His examples included sweet and dry vermouth, bourbon and rye, gin and vodka, and tequila with mezcal.  I would like to offer two drinks this month.  The first, a bit of a cheat on vermouth and vermouth, is the Golden Kiss.  A blend of Lillet Blanc and Kina L’ Avion D’ Or with dry curaçao.   Of course Kina Lillet, of 007 fame, is no longer available, so combining Lillet with a quinquina makes some sense, (to me anyway.)  I have been playing with Suze and Kina L’ Avion D’ Or so the segue to the Golden Kiss was simple.  The Lillet and Kina L’ Avion D’ Or share the fruity taste of orange, marmalade and apricot.  While the Lillet has a floral note, the Kina L’ Avion D’ Or has the bitterness of cinchona.  Together with the dry curaçao, they play together nicely.  I originally used Suze instead of the dry curaçao, and if you like bitterness, I would suggest you try it, but it will be bitter.  Here is the recipe:

  • 2 ozs. Chilled Lillet BlancLilletBlancAvio d OrPierre-Ferrand-Curacao
  • 2 ozs. Chilled Kina L’ Avion D’ Or
  • 1 oz. Dry curacao such as Pierre Ferrand
  • 3 or 4 frozen strawberries
  1. Combine all ingredients in a chilled champagne flute
  2. Serve with the strawberries as ice cubes

My primary offering is the Autumn Spirit. This drink combines Irish whiskey with American single malt whiskey and bittersweet burnt honey. I finished it with Fees Brothers Whiskey Barrel- Aged Aromatic Bitters and served it neat in a brandy snifter.

For the whiskeys, I used Tullamore Dew 10 year old Single Malt Irish Whiskey and St Georges Single Malt Whiskey. The Tullamore Dew has the earthy, grassy flavors of Irish whiskey with the flavors of fruit, (apricot, pineapple, raisin) and wood. The St Georges has a forward almond flavor with a floral nose and the taste of cocoa. Having been aged in similar casks (bourbon, sherry and port) the wood flavors blend nicely.

Being partial to bitters forward old fashioneds, I thought that burnt honey syrup would be fun to try with whiskey. The burnt honey, which I burned to a dark coffee color, brought out some of the wood while the honey brought along the floral and grassy notes. The cinnamon, spice and wood flavors of the Fees Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged Aromatic Bitters enhanced the earthiness, cocoa and fruit of the whiskeys.St Georges Whiskey Tullamore Dew

  • 1 oz. Tullamore Dew 10 year old Single Malt Irish Whiskey
  • 1 oz. St Georges Single Malt Whiskey
  • ½ oz. burnt honey syrup (see below)
  • 10-12 drops Fees Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged Aromatic Bitters
  1. Combine all ingredients in a brandy snifter
  2. Serve neat

    Autumn Spirit

    Autumn Spirit

I obviously like this drink. I want to thank Joel at Southern Ash for hosting this month’s Mixology Monday XC and for inspiring me to try these combinations.

Burnt Honey Syrup

Burnt Honey Syrup

Burnt Honey Syrup


  • Large pot – 8 qts
  • Long sleeve jacket/apron/chef’s jacket
  • Pair of heavy heat proof gloves


  • 1 Cup Grade A Honey
  • 1 Cup Water
  1. In a large pot with steep sides, heat the honey over high heat stirring frequently. Note: the honey will foam and multiply several times in volume, so use at least an 8 qt pot.
  2. When the honey begins to boil, about 3 minutes, begin stirring constantly. The foam will be so thick that you will only see the color of the honey in the spoon.
  3. Continue to boil, lowering the temperature if needed to keep control of the foam, until the honey is dark brown to black – about 12 minutes.
  4. Slowly add the water. WARNING: the water will spit molten honey onto exposed skin or your eye. Keep adding water, stirring constantly until incorporated.
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
  6. Store in the refrigerator.

Creating New Cocktails with Fortified Wines

Using vermouth or another fortified wine, along with a base liquor and flavoring liqueur, is a simple way to make a good cocktail.  Jamie Boudreau calls this the “Golden Ratio.”  It is:

  • 1 1/2 oz. Base Liquor (gin, vodka, rye, tequila, etc.)
  • 3/4 oz. Fortified Wine (sweet or dry vermouth, Lillet, Punt e mes, Cocchi Americano, etc.)
  • 1/4 oz. Liqueur (you can go wild here!)Vermouths

This is the starting point.  A way to taste a new liqueur, develop a “custom” drink or recreate a cocktail you enjoyed.  For instance, I had a cocktail that contained Hendricks, sweet vermouth and Chartreuse.  Starting with the “Golden Ratio,” playing with green vs yellow Chartreuse, and tinkering with the ratio, I settled on this:

  • 1 1/2 oz. Hendricks Gin
  • 3/4 oz. Dolan Sweet Vermouth
  • 1/2 oz. Green Chartreuse
  • Lemon zest

Another “for instance”: I was trying Cocchi Americano in various drinks.  To me, Cocchi Americano does not have the spice of a premium sweet vermouth.  What it does have is an herbal/bitter note.  I chose St. George’s Botanivore Gin as the base – herbal but not as much as Hendricks. For the liqueur, I used St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur vs Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur.  Here are the finals: Gin Ratio 1b

  • 1 1/2 oz. St. George’s Botanivore Gin
  • 3/4 oz. Cocchi Americano
  • 1/4 oz. St. Germain Elderflower LiqueurSt Germain
  • 4-5 drops Rhubarb Bitters
  • Lemon zest


  • 1 1/2 oz. St. George’s Botanivore Gin
  • 3/4 oz. Cocchi Americano
  • 1/2 oz. Luxardo Maraschino LiqueurLuxardo
  • 4-5 drops Rhubarb Bitters
  • Lemon zest

Both of these drinks are good.  Your guests will be impressed.  They may not order a second, but they will enjoy their first.

Now. lets push this a little further.  Substitute Aperol for the Cocchi Americano.  Aperol is not a fortified wine but it has a low ABV (11%) and is herbal/bitter.Gin Ratio 5

  • 1 1/2 oz. St. George’s Botanivore Gin
  • 3/4 oz. Aperol
  • 1/4 oz. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • 4-5 drops Rhubarb Bitters
  • Lemon zest
  • Sprig of fresh thyme for garnish

All of the above are stirred with ice in a mixing glass, strained into a chilled cocktail glass and garnished.

Now for one more stretch.  The first cocktail listed above with Hendricks, sweet vermouth and chartreuse.  Add cucumber and shake with ice and you have the Lido Martini.Lido

Remember to use all premium liquors and liqueurs, and fresh premium vermouth.


Tequila Moonlight

Mixology Monday

Mixology Monday

This is my entry into the MixologyMonday LXXXIX, hosted by abarabove.   September’s theme is “The Unknown.”  The challenge is to venture out and do something new.  So I have chosen Kahlua Midnight and pecan infused tequila.

This drink is a testament to the fact that my wife and I are not good together in a liquor store.  Thus, not so very long ago in a liquor store not so very far away, she walks up to me and I point out a bottle of Ancho Reyes and say, “If you weren’t here, I’d buy this.”  Her response as she wonders down the aisle is, “Oh! We have to get this Hibiscus Liqueur.”  Then we both spot the Kahlua Midnight.  We ended up buying all three.  This is why I usually stop by the liquor store on the way home from work.  It’s less expensive.

The Ancho Reyes and Hibiscus liqueur were tried immediately with good results.  I’ve been thinking about the Kahlua Midnight.  Coffee, at least in my mind, goes with chocolate and pecans.  This led back to my thoughts of trying to infuse something with nuts.  Thus the Tequila Moonlight.

Tequila Moonlight

Tequila Moonlight

In the creation of this, I compared silver, reposado and anjeo tequilas combined with Cocchi Rosa, Dolan Sweet Vermouth, Punt e Mes, and Lillet Rouge.  The reposado and Cocci Rosa won with the sweet vermouth a close second.  The Punt e Mes was too bitter and the Lillet too mild.

I tried using nitrogen cavitation to infuse the tequila with pecan, cocoa and bitter orange.  The cocoa and orange came through but the pecan flavor was missing.  It took 7 days in a mason jar to adequately infuse the pecan flavor.

So here’s the drink:

Tequila Moonlight

Tequila Moonlight

  • 1 1/2 oz. Pecan Infused Milagro Reposado Tequila – see below
  • 3/4 oz. Cocchi Rosa
  • 1/2 oz. Kahlua Midnight
  • Garnish: brandied cherry such as Luxardo and an orange zest
  1. Chill a cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Stir all of the ingredients, except the garnish, with ice in a mixing glass.
  3. Strain into chilled cocktail glass
  4. Drop the cherry into the drink, express the oils from the orange zest over the drink and drop it in.

Pecan Infused Tequila

Pecan Infused Tequila

Pecan Infused Tequila

  • 8 oz. Milagro Reposado Tequila
  • 1/3 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tbs Cocoa nibs
  • 1/2 tbs Dried bitter orange peel (available on line)

Combine all ingredients in a mason jar and seal.  Store in a cool place, shaking daily, for 5-7 days.  Pass through a fine mesh strainer, followed by a gold coffee filter and finally a paper coffee filter.  Decant into a bottle.  Will keep indefinitely,  but the flavor will fade after a few months.

The Manhattan

Basically brown liquor and fortified wine.  The classic is rye or bourbon with sweet vermouth.  However, you can use any sweet vermouth type product, such as pictured.

Take a look at these simple variations.

The Manhattan

Gary’s Redo Classic Manhattan

Tequila Manhattan

Make some Cocktails!

There are several popular cocktails that are simple to make and require only a few ingredients.  Check out these:

  • The Old Fashioned

    The first cocktail.  It is a base liquor, usually rye or bourbon, plus bitters and a sweetener.  That’s it.  No red candy cherries and no muddling orange peels.  So check out these examples to get started


  • The Martini

    Either gin or vodka.  Add a fortified wine, typically vermouth, and stir.  Sorry James.  This cocktail is easy to make and to customize.  Look here for examples


  • The Manhattan

    A popular classic cocktail that has remained virtually the same for decades.  Check out the classic and some variations here.


  • The Margarita

    The famous drink from Mexico.  Use good tequila and fresh lime.  Here are a few easy recipes.


  • Sours

    This is a wide ranging group of drinks.  From a whiskey sour to Tiki drinks, they’re booze and juice.  Look here and start shaking.

Lido Martini

This drink plays on the faint cucumber note in Hendrick’s and doubles down with the herbal Chartreuse.  Allowing the ice cubes to muddle the cucumber in the shaker, produces just the right flavor intensity.  Unless, of course, you want your cocktail to taste like a salad!

  • Lido1 ½ oz. Hendricks’ Gin
  • ¾ oz. Sweet Vermouth
  • ¼ oz. Chartreuse
  • 3 -4 thin slices of English Cucumber
  • Lemon Zest for Garnish
  1. Combine all ingredients except the lemon zest in a shaker with ice cubes (not crushed). Shake for 30-45 sec.
  2. Double strain into chilled coup or martini glass and express the lemon zest. Float the zest.

Vieux Carré

  • ¾ oz. rye whiskey
  • ¾ oz. brandy
  • ¾ oz. sweet vermouth
  • ¼ oz. Benedictine
  • dash Peychaud’s Bitters
  • dash Angostura 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 thick lemon twist

The Manhattan

Sazerac is my rye whiskey of choice.  Made at the Buffalo Trace Distillery, it is spicy and sweet with flavors of orange peels, pepper and allspice.  It blends very well with the Italian Vermouth.  Note that this is the same recipe as the Irish Manhattan, just substituting the Irish Whiskey for the rye.

  • Sazerac-Rye-Black2-1-290x2901 ½ oz. rye whiskey
  • ½ oz. sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  1. Chill a cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and stir with ice
  3. Strain into chilled glass
  4. Garnish with a cherry

Vodka Martini

  • 2 oz. vodka
  • ½ oz. St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur
  • ½ oz. sweet vermouth
  • dash rhubarb bitters
  1. Chill cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and stir with ice
  3. Strain into chilled glass

Rosita Cocktail

  • 1 ½ oz. plata tequila
  • ½ oz. sweet vermouth
  • ½ oz. dry vermouth
  • ½ oz. Campari
  • dash of Angostura Bitters
  1. Stir with ice
  2. Strain into an ice filled rocks glass