Italian Cousin – a Bitter Sweet Balance

Italian CousinThis drink combines the herbal St. George Botanivore Gin with the slightly bitter and equally herbal Aperol and the nutty, bittersweet Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur.  The Pimento Bitters add depth of flavor and mellow the sweetness of the Luxardo.  It is a very smooth drink.  I started out with the following recipe:

  • 1 1/2 oz. St. George Botanivore Gin
  • 3/4 oz. Aperol
  • 1/4 oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1 Dash Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters
  • Orange peel for garnish

This ratio, 1 1/2:3/4:1/4, produces a cocktail that bolsters the herbal and floral notes of the Botanivore with the orange, slightly bitter Aperol, with the Luxardo decidedly in the background.

Next up was a ratio of 1:1:1/2

  • 1 oz. St. George Botanivore Gin
  • 1 oz. Aperol
  • 1/2 oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1 Dash Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters
  • Orange peel for garnish

This cocktail was more balanced and significantly more bitter.  Now I like bitter, so this appeals to me, but the bitterness hides the herbal flavors just a bit.

Lastly, I used a 1:1:1, (Ah, yes, the Negroni ratio!).  To my taste, this brings the herbal flavors of the Botanivore and the Aperol in concert with the bitterness of Aperol’s cinchona.  You can actually taste the nutty, bittersweet Maraschino, helping to bring everything together.

  • 3/4 oz. St. George Botanivore Gin
  • 3/4 oz. Aperol
  • 3/4 oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1 Dash Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters
  • Orange peel for garnish
  1. Chill a cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Combine gin, Aperol, Luxardo and bitters in a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill
  3. Strain into chilled glass
  4. Express the orange peel over the drink and discard the peel.

Which ever way you choose, don’t forget the bitters.  They really add some depth and a touch of spice.

Cheers!


 




Hendrick’s Cocktail

 This cocktail plays on the herbal notes of the Hendrick’s.  Add the citrus and it makes for an excellent libation.Hendrick's Cocktail

  • 1 ½ oz. Hendrick’s Gin
  • ¾ oz. Green Chartreuse
  • ¾ oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1 oz. lemon sour
    • or: 2/3 oz. lemon juice and 1/3 oz. simple syrup (1/3 oz = 2 tsp.)
  • 1 dash rhubarb 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

Cheers!


 




Casino Cocktail

  • 2 oz Plymouth gin
  • ⅛ oz lemon juice
  • ⅛ oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • 2 dashes orange 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



Honey Badger

One of these and you won’t care.  Two and you won’t give a #?*! !

I found this recipe somewhere and renamed it for a party.  It is very strong.Honey Badger

  • 1 ½ oz. Lemon Hart or Bacardi 151 Rum
  • ½ oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • ¾ oz. lime juice
  • ¼ oz. grenadine
  1. Shake well with ice
  2. Pour unstrained into pilsner or double old fashioned



The Z

This daiquiri was inspired by my friend Marcus Zuazua.  At his instigation, (I swear it was all his fault), I purchased a bottle of premium aged rum.  Then I went looking for a way to enjoy it.  My search brought me to Hemingway’s favorite daiquiri.  With some alterations and a nod to Hemingway, here is my concoction.IMAG0281

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. good aged rum
  • ¼ oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • 2 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz. simple syrup

Directions

  1. Chill a martini glass with ice and water.
  2. While the glass chills, combine all of the ingredients in a shaker.
  3. Shake with ice until shaker is fully frosted: 10 – 15 seconds
  4. Strain into the chilled martini glass.
  5. Enjoy (and toast my friend Dr. Z)



The Aviation Cocktail

A classic, pre-prohibition cocktail, created to honor the brand new heroes of aviation.  It was invented by Hugo Ensslin, head bartender at the Hotel Wallick in New York sometime in the early 1900’s.  He included it in his 1916 book Recipes for Mixed Drinks.  I have changed this recipe to conform to his original.  I also found that, depending on the sweetness of the lemon juice, 2 – 3 drops of lemon bitters works well.DSCN1224

  • 2 oz. Plymouth Gin
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • ½ oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • ½ oz. Crème de Violette**
  • 2-3 drops of lemon bitters – optional
  1. Chill cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Add all ingredients to shaker
  3. Shake well with ice 10 – 15 sec.
  4. Strain into chilled glass

** Not Creme Yvette, which is purple but tastes different