Sep 292011

Having recently invested in a bottle of Barenjager (sorry I don’t know how to put the little dots over the letters) NMD commander Ben linked me to Barenjager’s recent cocktail competition. A beautiful warm evening in the garden ensured that I would try the winner.

Grand prize winner, Kyle Ford, mixed up the SS Europa a perfectly balanced cocktail that according to the judges “highlighted Barenjager beautifully and created an instant classic.”

SS Europa
1 part Barenjager Honey Liqueur
2 parts Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
3 dashes St. George absinthe
Method: Stir for 20 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

I lacked St. George’s absinthe (which is excellent) but some dashes of Tabu absinthe made a fine stand-in.  Very refreshing and light, slightly sweet, almost as if there were a kids drink called honey juice. Will definitely make again.

 Posted by at 11:01 pm
Sep 142011

Once again my wife, Miranda, had the urge to spend $60 on booze to make one cocktail she had just read about… but life is to be enjoyed, right? My brother happened to stop by at just the right time (to borrow a pipe wrench) and ended up with a cocktail in the garden as well. Credit goes to Bon Appetit and creator Eyal Raziel.


5 tablespoons rye whiskey
3 tablespoons honey liqueur (such as Bärenjäger)
1/4 teaspoon orange bitters
Ginger ale
2 orange twists

Fill 2 Old Fashioned glasses with ice. Divide rye, honey liqueur, and bitters between glasses. Stir for 5 seconds. Top with a splash of ginger ale. Garnish with orange twists.

I used Redemtion Rye, Bärenjäger (which comes in a very silly bottle), Regans’ orange bitters, and Fentimans ginger beer.

Sweet without being overly cloying, tasty, and packs a punch.  I’d like to do it again with much less interesting Canada Dry ginger ale to allow more of the Rye and honey flavors through. The strong ginger of the Fentimans (while good) was too dominant in a recipe without the word ginger in the title.



 Posted by at 9:55 pm
Aug 012010

Brad from St. George’s Spirits came around to Game Revolution for our podcast (#119) and the first installment of their cocktail of the month feature. He brought their Qi Black smoked tea liquor. That’s pronounced “chee” by the way, like you know, your aura or some crap.

His drink, the Dr Qi:

2oz Qi Black
4oz Dr Pepper

Combine on the rocks. Not bad, but we can do better, and I took home the extra bottle.

The stuff is delicious just straight, by the way. A bit smokey like scotch, but otherwise very different. My wife, Miranda, and I both detected hints of orange (bergamot?) so we started there and ended delicious.

2oz Qi Black
4oz Aranciata (natural orange soda from San Pellegrino)
Dash orange bitters (Regans’ No 6)

Combine on the rocks. Fantastic.

 Posted by at 6:18 pm
Jul 172010

California discount remainders store Marshalls had bottles of agave nectar today, so we bought some… as it is the new black in upscale cocktails. I made a drink created for the launch party for the movie The Departed, the Departini.

2 oz reposado tequila
1 oz cognac
1 oz cointreau (or any top shelf orange liquor)
Juice of one lime
1 tbsp (I used less as I am not a sweet person) agave nectar

Combine with ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake. Pour into a martini glass.

Delicious, and dangerously alcoholic. My wife, Miranda, described it as “a margarita martini”. However, I am starting to feel a bit guilty that I choose my cocktails so carefully. I need to start using a random recipe generator so I can drink something nasty and write a bad review.

 Posted by at 6:30 pm
Jun 242010

We recently recorded the podcast live at St. George’s Distillery in Alameda, California. This concoction prepared for us by Inebriation Consultant (yes, it says that on his card) Brad McLelland.

3 oz Root Beer
1 oz St. George’s Absinthe

Pick a nice root beer, not a cheap one. Fill a tumbler with ice. Add root beer then absinthe. Stir delicately. As intensely flavored a drink as you’ll ever have, it’s not for everyone, but we thought it was delicious.

 Posted by at 4:53 pm
Jun 242010

This one is from a local Berkeley favorite for fancy cocktails, Fonda, and it’s absolutely delicious. We knew the basic ingredients, so it just took a little tweaking.

2 oz vodka
2 oz fresh lime juice
1 dash simple syrup
sliced serrano chili

Rim a tumbler with salt. Combine all other ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice (2 or 3 slices serrano should suffice). Shake. Strain over ice. Drop in another slice of chili for garnish. Salty, sour and spicy. Dangerously good.

 Posted by at 3:10 pm
Apr 302010

Quick, what the best selling liquor brand in the world? Stolichnaya? Johnnie Walker? Not even close. Unless you’ve spent a lot of time in Korea, you’d never guess Jinro. Brewed and distilled in South Korea, it is traditionally drunk straight up with meals.

Soju is an interesting liquor, as it has a specific exception in California and New York allowing it to be served with only a beer and wine license. Also, at 48 proof, it allows you to make a mixed drink an a cocktail glass that doesn’t knock you on your ass after a couple of them. For all it’s glory, the Martini is a drink you cannot take lightly.

Perfect, thought my wife, Miranda, for a little experimentation. Her creation: the Chick Korea follows.

2 oz soju
1 oz lemon juice
1 oz St Germain
1 oz Cherry Liqueur (homemade in this case)

Combine everything with ice in a cocktail shaker. Serve in a cocktail glass with a twist.

Frankly, I really liked it, not too sweet and the cherry lends it a little color while not overpowering the delicious elderberry.

 Posted by at 10:54 am
Mar 292010

We made this one exactly to spec and didn’t experiment (minus the edible flower). Tasty, like ginger beer with more complex florals and herbals. Tasted mostly like ginger, however as we used a strong ginger beer.

Per Bon Appetit:

This Cognac-based fizzy cocktail gives a nod to one of bartender Vincenzo Marianella’s favorite chefs: Lyon native Daniel Boulud. (makes 2)

1/2 cup Cognac (Courvoisier)
3 tbsp St Germain
3 tbsp egg whites
1 tbsp green Chartreuse
2 dashes orange bitters (Regans’)
Ice cubes
1/2 cup chilled ginger beer (Cock & Bull)
2 edible flowers

Combine first 5 ingredients in cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice cubes. Cover; shake vigorously 18 times  (Really? Exactly 18 times? Go see a shrink). strain cocktail into 2 sour glasses, top each with 1/4 cup ginger beer.  Garnish each with one flower (meh).

 Posted by at 6:54 pm
Mar 282010

Small tastings and tweakings this time because this is a seriously strong drink. Pretty tasty though. The recipe from our book was a bit sweet and boring, so we tweaked it with more lemon and used spiced rum for more character. Viola!

Lemon wedge
Superfine sugar
3/4 oz Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum
3/4 oz Cognac
3/4 oz Grand Marnier
1 oz lemon juice

Rub the rim of a cocktail glass with the lemon and rim with sugar. Shake ingredients with ice, strain into glass. Garnish with lemon.

 Posted by at 5:54 pm
Mar 242010

Our first original cocktail!

Jeremiah Weed is best known for their eponymous Southern Comfort-esque rocket fuel that every U.S. fighter pilot keeps in his/her freezer. However, they’ve recently branched out into some tea-flavored offerings. The following drink is seriously delicious.

2oz Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea flavored Vodka and Borboun Whiskey (It’s in one bottle, seriously)
4oz San Pelegrino Limonata
Orange wheel
Mint Sprig

Fill a highball glass with ice, orange wheel, and Jeremiah Weed. Top with the Limonata and garnish with mint sprig. Too freakin’ delicious,

 Posted by at 10:04 am