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



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