Yet another incoming cocktail for my annual Xmas party!
A few months back I found myself picking up a bottle of the Italian Liqueur Aperol. My last venture into this class of bitter spirits led me to Campari, which… I’m not gonna lie is probably the worst tasting stuff on the face of the earth. The only reason I keep it in the back of my liquor cabinet is on the off chance I ever meet anyone who wants a Negroni. Knowing that it’s basically a Manhattan ruined by Campari, you’ll never see me reviewing that on this blog. That said I was skeptical that I’d even like the stuff, but was pleasantly surprised by the flavor. To my friends I’ve been describing it as “Campari that doesn’t suck.” Where Campari is strong, bitter, and horrible, Aperol is light, less bitter, and quite pleasant. The most common cocktail using it is the Aperol Spritz, however I couldn’t bring myself to get a bottle of Champagne just for one drink. Therefore I found myself looking to take the base recipe and replace the fancy sparkling wine for a more common ingredient. Enter club soda, and the Aperol Fizz.
This is both a liqueur drink and a gin drink depending on how you decide to categorize it. For my party I’m considering the gin cocktail, even though the Aperol is really the star and main flavor throughout. Served in a tall glass, the inviting pink color makes for a striking presentation. On the nose it’s a strong bitter citrus mostly from the liqueur. The cocktail begins light and sweet with a hint of carbonation in the front, on the mid palette you taste the bulk of the Aperol’s bitterness, and it finishes a bit less bitter with the gin and lemon coming through. The cocktail thanks to it’s main ingredient has a very distinctive flavor. Muck like the liqueur itself it’s best used as an aperitif, and for that it makes for a perfect starter for a cocktail party. Light on palette without sacrificing flavor, it’s certainly worth a try. Just be sure it’s a flavor you and your friends/family would enjoy.
Alcohol Taste Rating: 5/10 Overall Rating: 7.8/10
Aperol Fizz 1 1/2 oz (45mL) Aperol 1/2 oz (15mL) Gin (Bombay Sapphire Preferred) 1/2 oz (15mL) Simple Syrup 1 oz (30mL) Lemon Juice Club Soda
Chill a collins glass in the freezer with 3 large ice cubes. Once chilled, fill glass with each ingredient and top with club soda. Stir lightly to combine.
I’ve been off and on returning to my “wandering around” in the game Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and I was struck with inspiration on the 4 “powers” you get in the game (Incoming SPOILERS). Revali’s Gale lets you glide upward with a gust of wind, making it easier to traverse mountains. For this original cocktail I wanted to play with both the visuals of the power and the flavors of the game’s region. Specifically using Grey Goose vodka to mimic the Rito (bird-like race) and the regional wheat flavor (wheat vodka); I played with various iterations of a mix of flavors to get the desired color and flavor. It had to be green, light, airy, and in a tall glass. Thinking about it more and more I wanted to also incorporate some mint to reflect the tall mountains and snow shown in the game. For that reason I decided to do a riff on the classic Mojito.
The “Revali’s Gale” is a light summer style drink, with refreshing flavor that will elevate you to new heights. The drink looks very similar to a classic Mojito, but is considerably greener and the bottom. It has a light minty aroma and paired with a few visual mint leaves a very inviting presentation. Like any Mojito you’re greeted with a light taste of your choice spirit and club soda which moves quickly to a little sweet lime. With this variation you get a finish of melon and mint which keeps you going back for more. As you drink to the bottom and start to mix in the darker liqueur components, you get more melon and citrus, but it’s not overpoweringly sweet. Overall this is a nice twist on the summer classic, and can really be enjoyed in any season. If you’re not a huge rum person and want to go for a vodka variant, this might be the cocktail for you!
Alcohol Taste Rating: 4/10
Overall Rating: 7.7/10
2 oz Grey Goose Vodka (or other Wheat Vodka)
1 oz Lime Juice
2 sugar Cubes 6-8 Mint Leaves
Splash Blue Curacao
Muddle Lime Juice, Mint, and Sugar in a mixing glass. Add ice, and vodka. Shake well. Strain into an iced collins glass and top with club soda. Add a splash of blue curacao, then a splash of Midori. Serve to a wandering hero.
Well I would be an idiot if I didn’t post some kind of green drink for St. Patrick’s Day, so here’s a little Mojito variation to quench your thirst. The Green Whiskey Mojito works with any kind of whiskey, but if you really want to be festive get some Irish Whiskey. In my stock I’ve only got Canadian so it will have to do. Just like a regular Mojito it’s got a strong minty and lime core flavor with a bubbly start to the palette. The biggest taste difference is that where you would be looking for a sweet undertone you get a more complex whiskey finish. The mint bitters I added here (mostly for color) round out the sweet to a slightly more bitter aftertaste.
Even if you’re not Irish, I bet you’ll enjoy this!
Green Whisky Mojito
1 oz Lime Juice (Fresh Preferred)
5 Sugar Cubes
6-8 Mint Leaves (Big ones!)
2 oz Whiskey
3-4 Dashes Fee Brother’s Mint Bitters (Or any green mint bitters)
Muddle bitters, sugar cubes, lime juice, and mint together in the bottom of a Collins glass. Add ice and Whiskey. Top with club soda. Stir gently until remaining sugar is dissolved.
For today’s blended cocktail I decided to combine 2 recipes and make something of a variation and a hybrid (Mojito and Raspberry Daiquiri).
Depending on who you are you might find the top of the drink appealing or revolting. The blended mint creates a mossy top for the drink which isn’t the most visually pleasant thing out there, but it does give you a nice minty aroma to the start of the drink. The drink starts with a sweet and icy raspberry flavor, it moves the a refreshing lime and rum, then finishes with a bit of mint. I’m not sure if I can actually call this an original cocktail, but it certainly is a great hybrid recipe that I highly recommend.
Alcohol Taste Rating: 5/10
Overall Rating: 9/10
Frozen Raspberry Mojito
2 oz Gold Rum
3/4- to 1 oz Lime Juice (1 lime)
12-15 Fresh Mint Leaves
1 oz Raspberry Syrup
1 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
Blend all (but the club soda) with a cup of ice. Pour into a large pint glass, top with club soda and garnish with a lime slice and a mint leaf. Note: Use raspberry syrup not actual raspberries unless you want seeds in your drink.
Well it had to have happened sooner or later the first mediocre cocktail of the year. The Simply Crimson just lacks something interesting and tries to replace it with something bitter…and it just doesn’t really deliver. The drink smells a bit like oranges thanks to the Cointreau, but also a bit like a generic brown soft drink which isn’t super inviting. The drink starts sweet and pleasant moves quickly to a orange and cranberry mix, and finishes with a harsh bitter taste that just doesn’t belong at all. It is a drinkable cocktail, but it certainly isn’t one I’d choose to drink (or even make again).
Alcohol Taste Rating: 6/10
Overall Rating: 4/10
1 1/2 oz Cointreau
4 dashes of Bitters
1 1/2 oz Cranberry Juice
Splash Club SodaOrange Slice and Cherry (Garnishes)
Stir Cointreau, bitters, and juice with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, top with club soda.
Possibly one of the more interesting names for a drink I’ve come across and it certainly didn’t disappoint on taste. The Sassafras Sunset has a pleasant citrus aroma and starts with an equally light citrus flavor with a bit of fizz. Mid palette it hits you with a nice juicy mix and finishes off with a mild rum and hit of raspberry. The shift in flavors in this drink are exactly what I like to find in a drink, and the addition of club soda makes this a perfect drink for any occasion. The taste of alcohol in the drink in minimal sitting at around 3/10 and overall it’s a solid 7/10. I do wish the juice and club soda was a bit more balanced, but that is something that can easily be tweaked depending on which type of tall glass is used.
1 oz Light Rum 1 oz Gold Rum 3/4 oz Triple Sec 1 oz OJ 1 1/2 oz Cranberry Juice 1 1/2 Sweet/Sour Club Soda 3/4 oz Raspberry Schnapps Orange Slice and Cherry
Shake Rums, triple sec, and juice ingredients with ice. Strain into an iced pint or highball glass. Top with Club soda and float raspberry liqueur (sinks to bottom). Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.
Did I really think I’d be wearing shorts in April? Nope, but in case where you live it didn’t get unseasonably warm this weekend, here’s a tropical themed delight to at least fool your brain that you’re on the beach. Pedro’s Blue Island is a drink I’ve built based on the traditional Pedro Collins. With a light lemony upper drink (similar to lemonade) and a smoother tropical end toward the bottom, this one is worth making even if it’s not terrible warm out.
This drink features my new favorite ingredient (pineapple rum) and my old one (Dekuyper’s Island Punch Pucker).
Alcohol Rating 2-3/10
Overall Rating 9/10
Make it Again? Yes! Already on the Menu
Pedro’s Blue Island
2 oz Sweet/Sour
1.5 oz Pineapple (or Coconut) Rum 1/2 oz Island Punch Pucker
Club SodaLemon Wedge
Straight build sweet/sour, rum, and pucker in an iced Collins Glass, stir, add club soda. Garnish with lemon wedge.
So this is my new blog, hopefully to be updated every Monday. My goal if any is to have this site be a record of my diving head first into the partially unknown territory of Mixology. The fine art of shaking making and creating cocktails and mixers. As a visual fine artist I find myself perusing greatness in every new hobby I encounter and this one is no different. Much like Mitch Hutts (Geek and Sundry Vlogger and creator of thedrunkenmoogle.com) I found myself turning 21 with very little knowledge of alcohol. but the desire to know more.
In recent months to fulfill my 2013 New Year’s Resolution (yep I actually remembered and am working on it) I learned to make a traditional Mojito. From the mojito I moved to a daiquiri and a few other basic drinks, but of course this was just enough to get my feet wet from a shaker.
Currently I’m in the process of gathering ingredients for my bar and looking up new cocktails for my menu. Hopefully by the time the annual family Christmas Party rolls around I’ll be able to offer a diverse set of drink for our guests.
For today however, I offer you a tasty spin on my first cocktail that I call the “Melonball Mojito”
3/4 oz Melon liqueur
3/4 oz white rum (bacardi)
12 mint leaves
1/2 lime (1 oz)
2 tbsps simple syrup (or 4 teaspoons sugar)
Add all ingredients together with ice an a shaker. Strain into a highball glass, top with club soda. Garnish with a mint leaf.
Please Drink Responsibly.