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#144741 - 08/04/06 08:26 PM Cocktail anyone?
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3922
Loc: Up yonder
Iíve been known to tie one on in my youth, but the appreciation of keeping my few remaining brain cells in good health and my inability to withstand hangovers has lead me to a life altering outlook on consuming alcohol. I no longer Ďtie one oní and simply enjoy a good drink or glass of wine with dinner nowadays. I rarely have more than two, and maybe once a year wake up feeling the texture of burnt cotton in my mouth and find myself unable to move from the couch for a day and half after a long night of swilling booze. That one day and a half is usually enough of a reminder to why I donít party anymore and holds me over for a year or so. (if I could just figure out how to avoid wine hangovers now, I'd be set)

It must have been about six years ago when I first stumbled into a Ďmartini barí that Iíd snubbed my power drinking nose at numerous times before. Iím not sure what inspired me to sit down at that bar and order my first Cosmopolitan, but it was good, real good, and Iíve been trying my hand at different drinks ever since. But I rarely write down the recipe and figured what the heck, Iíve been told by all my friends that Iím a pretty good mixologist and should open a bar, so I figured Iíd keep track of them here. And as a bonus, maybe some of you had some dandy comboís youíd like to share. Thereís already a beer thread and a wine thread, might as well have a cocktail thread.

Instead of simply jotting down a bunch of recipes right now, Iím going to start off with some basic drink mixing techniques so you all know what Iím talking about and will add recipes later.

Iím not about to argue with those strict classic martini lovers that think a martini is only gin or vodka and a little vermouth. The name martini has become commonplace with any mixed drink that you strain into a martini glass without ice. For the sake of this thread, Iím calling strained drinks that I pour into a martini glass, some sort of martini.

I like to infuse vodka. By doing so, it seems to Ďmellowí out the bite at the same time as adding a subtle flavor to the vodka. I prefer to infuse my own verses buying the new types of infused vodka ready to go. What you get at the store has sweetener added to it; it tastes and sells better with sweetener added. Plus, I add my own type of sweetener, so I donít buy them pre infused. Itís pretty simple and I recommend anyone give it a try. You can infuse anythingÖ..pepper, jalapenos (no kiddin), fruit, vegetables, spices, etcÖ. All you do is cut up a piece of fruit or anything else and drop it in an air tight container with your favorite bottle of vodka. Wait 48 hours; strain it and your done. Iíll mention a few drinks that have some type of infuse vodka in them.

While talking about vodka, my favorite is Finlandia. Iíve tried them all (literally) and find that Finlandia is the smoothest vodka for under $25 a ltr. Some of the others like Grey Goose, Kettle One and the rest of those high priced bottles are as smooth, but most definitely not worth the money to me. Especially if itís going to be mixed. All my vodka drinks are made with Finlandia.

I also use Crown Royal quite a bit with mixed drinks. It can be bought for under $25 a ltr and mixes with just about anything. I also like it straight up or on the rocks, but for those whisky drinking moods, I prefer Pendletonís over Crown Royal (Pendletons is one of the best deals in a bottle that I've found). All my mixed whisky drinks have CR. Itís not too sweet, too harsh, too much of anythingÖitís just right.

Bourbon on the other hand is entirely different. Iíve got several bourbon drinks with all sorts of different brands of bourbon.

For the drinks with Gin in them, I use Bombay Sapphire. There really is a difference when it comes to Gin. While itís definitely not my favorite drink, a little bit of Gin can make a heck of a difference in the overall taste of a drink. Sapphire is by far the best Gin that Iíve ever tried. Before you get all weird'ed out over gin, give it a try. Youíll be surprised.

Iím not a Scotch drinker. It all tastes like potting soil to me. Iíve tried it and tried some that goes for $500 a bottle. I like none of it. YukÖ..

I donít stir drinks, I shake them. The real trick to a good martini is making it cold. Even a bad one tastes good if itís really cold. I shake for a count of 20, no less. The shaker should have frost on it before you pour. I also donít mess around with little glasses either. I use a short pint glass (12 oz) and a regular old stainless mixer that the short pint glass nestles into. With ice, they hold about 8 oz of liquid, which is just right for me and fills a 9 oz martini glass just perfectly. Iím not real sure what their Ďrealí name is, but they are what you get at most of the pubs when you order a draft of micro brew. Iíve tried numerous fancy shaped, insulated pretty shakers with strainers and they all suck. They either leak, stick together so you canít get them apart or come apart while shakingÖ The regular old stainless Manhattan shaker that you see in any bar is what I use. They work, forever. When I mix the drinks, I fill the glass all the way with ice, add the booze and mixer, shake and pour.

Seeing how itís too time consuming and messy to measure quantities, I go by parts. IE: one part this, two parts that, one part this. So when I reference Ďpartsí, that what I mean. The parts all equal the whole. Just guestimate it.

I use a sweat and sour mix for several of my drinks and I make my own S/S mixer. Itís two parts lime juice, one half part lemon juice, one half part simple syrup, one half part triple sect, one half part vodka, mandarin oranges, cherries, cherry juice. I let all this infuse for a couple days, strain and squeeze/crush the juice from the fruit and then keep it in the fridge. With the vodka and triple sect, itís only about 20 proof, so it does well as a mixer without diluting the overall alcohol content of the drink. When mixing drinks by shaking with ice, about half the ice melts anyway, so the drink is already diluted. You may prefer it sweeter, but try this mix first. If you want it sweeter, just add more syrup until it has the right combination of sweet and sour. Also, you may want to add some cherry syrup (coffee flavouring works very well).

So, is there any interest in this sort of thread? If so, Iíll add a few drinks as time permits. If not, I might anyway.
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#144742 - 08/04/06 10:15 PM Re: Cocktail anyone? [Re: michael_d]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8305
Loc: Tacoma
You go, Mike!

Julie was hoping there was a recipe in there, because she has not had hers yet tonight.

The world would be a more civilized place with the return of Cocktail Hour.

I only have a few, but I'll post them. Later.

Excellent thread. I look forward to your thoughts and experiences.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#144743 - 08/04/06 10:44 PM Re: Cocktail anyone? [Re: michael_d]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8305
Loc: Tacoma
I was amused by how many things in Mike's post struck a chord with me.

We also long ago decided that Finlandia hits the sweet spot between flavor and value for vodka. A high end vodka we prefer over Ketel One is Ciroc - made from grapes in France.

I've had the same experience with shakers.

I also have not found a Scotch worth my hard-earned money.

My current classic (which I developed):

Tomegranate Martini

2 oz Vodka (Finlandia)
1/2 oz Triple Sec (Bols)
1/2 oz Gran Gala (like Cointreau but Italian)
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 oz pure pomegranate juice (Langer's from Costco)

Shake using the mdrew method. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Enjoy. Yes, I know that's a lot of "mixer". Get over it.

Now, please understand, this is a tremendous leap of faith for me. I have steadfastly refused to even write down these recipes in the past, because I do not wish Julie's second husband (in the unfortunate event he becomes necessary) to be able to replicate such rapture. So, you know, credit where it may become due.

btw, I've found the two ounce oxo measuring cuplet to be heinously unfashionable but terribly practical barware.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#144744 - 08/05/06 01:50 AM Re: Cocktail anyone? [Re: michael_d]
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5446
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
My ultimate martini:

- 1/3 fill a stainless steel shaker with ice

- add a splash of vermouth

- swirl for a few seconds, then dump the vermouth into the sink

- pour five blubs of gin into the shaker (the gin coming out of the bottle makes a noise like "blub, blub, blub, blub")

- shake until your guests start to look slightly annoyed

- pour immediately into martini glasses and serve

If you must add olives, take the toothpicks out first; the dogs like olives but choke on the toothpicks. Don't be getting my dogs drunk unless they are going home with you.


Edited by bridgman (08/05/06 01:58 AM)

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#144745 - 08/05/06 02:02 AM Re: Cocktail anyone? [Re: michael_d]
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5446
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
I think there is obviously some interest

That "pre-mixed" sweet & sour mix is a great idea.

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#144746 - 08/05/06 11:26 AM Re: Cocktail anyone? [Re: bridgman]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3922
Loc: Up yonder
Iím looking forward to your drink Tom. I just recently started messing around with Pomegranate juice. Itís a hard mixer to use. Not everything goes well with it, and so far it seams to Ďneedí a splash of lemon. Never had or tried the Gran Gala. I usually stick with Cointreau, but at $40+ a bottle, Iím interested in finding a suitable substitute.

Loved you martini mix John. Especially the shaking till irritating part. Iíve tried that before too. I just keep shaking until thereís no more ice, and only for those that insist on making me mix them something I donít want to mess with.

Hereís one of my favorite martinis. (yes, my mix by mistake that was an unexpected surprise)

Two parts blackberry infused vodka
One half part Chambord
One half part Cointreau
One part sweat / sour mix (my S/S mix above)

Shake and strain into a martini glass. Throw in an orange peel if you wish.

I have no name for it, or any of my other mixes for that matter. I can stumble onto something tasty, but have no creativity for names. Any ideas to what I should call it?

--------

Another drink that I tend to mix on a regular basisÖ.. (again, no name)

Fill 12 oz glass with ice.
Fill it about 5/8 full with Crown Royal.
Fill it to about ĺ full with Disaronno Amaretto (my favorite amaretto)
Top off with cranberry juice.
Give it a couple shakes and pour it back into the glass with ice.

A slight variation to this drink is to use half part of Amaretto and half part Chambord. (need a name for that one too)

----------

My Bourbon Sour variation

12 oz glass filled with ice.
Fill glass 5/8 full with Makerís Mark bourbon
Fill it ĺ full with Chambord
Top off with sweet / sour mix
Shake and pour back into the glass.
_________________________


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#144747 - 08/05/06 12:39 PM Re: Cocktail anyone? [Re: michael_d]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8305
Loc: Tacoma
I like the idea of the sweet/sour mix, too. Mostly, I use about half/half simple syrup and fresh lemon juice. I find that simple syrup keeps very well in the refrigerator.

Mike, how "fine" is your ice? cubes or crushed or what? I have a (GE?) fridge with an icemaker that produces those little truncated half moon deals. I just use those because I think the crushed is WAY too fine.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#144748 - 08/05/06 01:08 PM Re: Cocktail anyone? [Re: tomtuttle]
Ken.C Online   content
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17809
Loc: NoVA
I'm hoping someone has a good recipe for a margarita. Love the things, I just can't manage to make one I like.

I used to be a good mixologist (or I had no taste buds) but I seem to have lost it. Or I got some taste buds.

Aaaanyway.... I just got some Citronage, made by Patron. It's another Cointreau like liquor.
_________________________
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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#144749 - 08/05/06 04:05 PM Re: Cocktail anyone? [Re: Ken.C]
samandnoah Offline
devotee

Registered: 03/11/03
Posts: 320
Loc: Austin, TX
Quote:

I'm hoping someone has a good recipe for a margarita. Love the things, I just can't manage to make one I like.




Love the topic. OK, I'll take a crack at the margarita request by sharing my 2 margarita recipes.

This first recipe is for making a pitcher for a crowd, but does scale down (by eye). It is basically the traditional 3:2:1 ratio for margaritas. It is a little on the sweet side, and can be adjusted.

1 12 oz Can Limeade
2 Cans of water (yes, use the can as the measuring device)
2 cans of tequila of choice (for margaritas I like Cuervo Gold, I save the Patron etc for straight sipping)
1 Can of Cointreau (or the Citronage, which I really like!)
Juice of one lemon
Splash of orange juice (completely optional)

Now you've got the base for the drink. As you need to make margaritas, fill shaker with ice, add margarita, and shake for a LOOOOOONG time. Pour into ice filled glass with salted rim. Other options: you can use lemonade instead of limeade, and then add some lime juice at the end instead of lemon. You can use triple sec or other less expensive orange liquer, but I'm really a fan of the more flavorful options.

I recommend you try this in these proportions once, and then adjust as you like (personally I like it less sweet, so I use less frozen mix), but my wife likes it this way, as do most of our guests.

The second recipe is basically squeeze a lime (hopefully getting about an oz) into a shaker. Add 1.5 - 2 oz of simple syrup, 2 oz of tequila (with this recipe I'll use the good stuff), 1 oz of Cointreau. Shake thoroughly, and strain into a martini glass. Enjoy!

Rich

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#144750 - 08/05/06 04:18 PM Re: Cocktail anyone? [Re: samandnoah]
Ken.C Online   content
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17809
Loc: NoVA
I'm liking the second option. I've got that stuff!

I'll give it a shot later today.
_________________________
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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