Nov 282012

San Francisco Winter League for Ultimate Frisbee is back in the swing of things. I am still knocking of the rust from my body and getting in shape, and getting back into the groove of making large batches of cocktails for my team after the games. (The theme for team names this year is Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, and our team is named after an incidental character, Gogrilla Mincefriend.)

Last night, despite forgetting some equipment, I was able to put together some Eastern Sours for us. This is one of the fantastic Bourbon and Lime Juice combinations (besides the Ninth Ward). Both are on the sweet side, but they have the tart lime juice undercutting them.

Eastern Sour

  • 2 oz Bourbon (Bulleit)
  • 1.5 oz Orange Juice
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • 0.25 oz Orgeat
  • 0.25 oz Simple Syrup
  • Lime Wedge, for garnish

Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lime wedge.

If this is a little too sweet for you, drop off the simple syrup, as the Orgeat is quite sweet on its own.

Speaking of Orgeat, the Trophy Wife and I were in Paris a few weeks ago, and went into The Experimental Cocktail Club on the recommendation of friends. Paris is not quite a cocktail city – at one place I had to teach the bartender how to make a Martini. There are, however, amazing exceptions, including The Experimental Cocktail Club. They had a cocktail they called “Inna da house”, which we tried despite the name and it was fantastic, in no small part due to the house made Orgeat which was both fresh and super creamy so it gave the drink a foamy head as though they had used an egg white. I’ll be working on recreating that soon.


 Posted by at 10:11 am
Aug 172010

I was visiting Vancouver, BC, and headed out to dinner with the Trophy Wife(tm). I’m not sure what got it in my head, but I was craving cherries, and I mentioned this to her.

When we got to our restaurant, Boneta, and saw their version of Blood and Sand on the menu, well, just had to try it. It had enough cherry in it for me. The staff was kind enough to let me take home the drink menu, as they had some interesting tweaks on some interesting drinks. I promptly lost that piece of paper, but I do remember at least one of the tweaks they made to the Blood and Sand cocktail.

The story is that it was created for, and named after, a Rudolf Valentino flick called, wait for it, Blood and Sand. It’s a simple recipe – the four main ingredients are mixed in straight proportions.

3/4 oz Scotch (Boneta used cherry-infused Irish Whiskey)
3/4 oz sweet (Italian) vermouth
3/4 oz cherry brandy (I have kirsch, which makes it a bit less sweet)
3/4 oz orange juice
dash bitters (orange or Peychaud’s – Ben’s touch)

Shake over ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

I performed a very simple infusion – dropped a bunch of sweet cherries into a bottle of Tullamore Dew and let it sit for a few days. The balance is really nice, but I likes me the bitters, so I tried it with a few options. Angostura didn’t work so well for me here. Orange bitters were good, but you had enough orange in there from the juice. I thought that the Peychaud’s added the right complexity on top of the beverage.

So for the cherry brandy – I’m not an afficionado, I just happened to have Kirsch on hand. Wikipedia tells me that Kirsch (a.k.a. Kirschwasser) is made from the whole fermented cherry, including the pit. So it has a little bitterness to it, and a hint of almond. I’ll try this again sweeter, when I get some cherry brandy.

I’d also try this with a heartier Scotch whisky, to see what that does. I have some 10 year old Talisker that might do the trick…


Jun 212010

Here’s an original from me.

We’re taking a vacation on the Russian River at Sanctuaire. Our friends Eric and Margie brought up a bottle of Fraser River Raspberry Vodka from Hangar One. I actually had the pleasure of watching the distillation process on a tour of the facilities a few months ago. Pictures of that in a bit.

So our ingredients were restricted to what we had on hand, but happened to have some good stuff.

Sanctuaire Summer:
1 oz Hangar One Fraser River Raspberry Flavored Vodka
2 oz orange juice
1 dash aromatic bitters (Angostura, or homemade “60 First Street” bitters, if you got ’em)
1 mint leaf

We just built them in wine glasses, but since there is juice, probably best to shake the liquid ingredients over ice, then strain into a wine glass. Gently crush the mint leaf and add.

Good on a sunny afternoon, or would be a great brunch accompaniment!