I really should post here more often. Not sure why, but it always seems to be the impending deadline of finding the right cocktails for my annual Christmas party that gets me motivated. Granted it’s August and I have plenty of time, but still…
For this year’s gin cocktail I wanted feature my new favorite gin produced by a local microdistillery. Lucky Sign Spirits in Millvale, PA is cranking out some awesome products and this cocktail highlights both their rested gin and limoncello. From the moment I first tried the “Gin Rested in Bourbon Barrels” I was determined to make a martini with it. While the rested gin certainly elevates a standard martini, this MoM variation brings a lively and refreshing twist to the classic.
The Lucky Gold cocktail has a clean citrusy aroma and a jewel-like pale yellow color. On the front of you’re palette you’re greeted with a sweet honey flavor, followed by the rested gin in the middle. The finish for this drink is a wonderfully complex lemon and vermouth finish (a very earthy flavor) which delights the tongue for sure. For a spirit forward cocktail there’s very little burn which makes for a fantastic party cocktail. As far as a simple martini variation goes this is easily one of my best creations to date! If you can’t find yourself some rested gin (and I don’t expect it to be honest) then a simple American style gin with 1/2 a barspoon of a smokey bourbon or rye should get you very close.
Alcohol Taste Rating: 5/10 Overall Rating: 9/10
Lucky Gold 1 part Rested Gin 1/2 part Limoncello 1/4 part Dry Vermouth Barspoon Honey Syrup Thin Lemon Slice
Mix all in an iced mixing glass for 45-60 seconds. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a thin lemon slice.
Well, well, well…here we are again just a month out from my annual Christmas party. So to get back into posting again (hopefully) here’s the last cocktail I designed and the first one to post. As per usual I pick one cocktail for each core spirit to highlight and make for my guests throughout the evening. I found this year however, that picking a solid whiskey drink to be the most challenging. Thusly, after a few iterations I settled on this spirit forward creation using Maker’s Mark 46 Bourbon and some homemade ginger syrup.
The Ginger 46 is all about the right presentation, since it’s a simple brown bourbon sour style drink it doesn’t looks like much on it’s own. Adding a skewer of crystalized ginger not only adds a little extra flair, but creates a difference in the flavor experience entirely. On the nose you’re mostly just smelling the bourbon. Maker’s 46 has a wonderful oaky sweetness that is a pleasant start. The cocktail (like any good one) has a threefold layer of flavor. It begins with sweet ginger, moves to the mellow but complex taste of the bourbon, and finishes with another round of ginger, but a bit more tart thanks to the lime and bitters. This cocktail really transforms however, when you take a nibble of the crystalized ginger and chase it with a sip of the cocktail. The ginger comes in sweet thanks to the coating of sugar, but by the time the cocktail hits its tail flavor notes, the spice of the root comes full force at you! Like a slap of gingerbread in the face, the experience is sure to delight your guests this holiday season.
Alcohol Taste Rating: 7.8/10 Overall Rating: 8/10
To be begin start by making a batch of the ginger syrup: 1.5 Cups (360mL) of Water 2 Inch (5-6cm) Peeled Ginger Root 2 Cups (400g) Granulated (White) Sugar
Slice the ginger and add it to a pot of water. Bring to a boil and be sure the water has taken on a light brown color from the ginger. It should also be very fragrant. Remove from heat and stir in sugar until dissolved. Pour into a glass container (preferably disinfected with a little vodka), and seal. Store in fridge and use within 2-3 months.
Ginger 46 2 oz (60mL) Maker’s Mark 46 Bourbon 1/2 oz (15mL) Ginger Syrup 1/4 of a Lime (Squeezed for Juice) 3 Dashes of Orange Bitters Crystalized Ginger
Mix everything but the ginger in a shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain into a small cocktail glass or coupe. Skewer 2-3 pieces of Crystalized Ginger on a pick, and balance on the edge of the glass. Serve and enjoy responsibly!
So, earlier today I was digging through my recipe book, looking for something else when I came across the recipe for “The Lusty Lady.” It was a featured cocktail on the back of a sampler pack of bitters, and given the elegant design of the cocktail I decided it would be worth featuring here on the blog…and it does not disappoint!
Though the recipe isn’t a super easy one in it’s execution, it is a good test of the home bartender to give a little extra class to a simple gin based recipe. Now in advance this cocktail calls for an egg white, and subsequently a dry or reverse dry shaking method. Although it is perfectly safe to consume egg whites in cocktails as the alcohol kills off any latent bacteria, it is worth noting that if it bothers you, you might want to pass this one by.
That said this is an impressive and deceptively simple cocktail. Any drink with egg white is going to create a nice foamy head and be velvety smooth on the tongue and this drink certainly fills that standard out nicely. The texture is extremely light and smooth from start to finish. The aroma is mostly blocked by the egg white foam, but there is a slight hint of the lavender bitters that comes through. It begins with simple and sweet tastes, but without a lot of distinguishing flavors, it then moves to a warm gin on the mid palette, and finishes with a slight hint of citrus and lavender with very little burn. Do note that I opted for an American Gin, which is significantly milder and than a traditional London Dry or Ginever. With that change up you can expect an earthier and more pronounced flavor to come through across the entire cocktail.
This is simply an OUTSTANDING cocktail, and with fresh ingredients it really takes a simple recipe to a new level. If you’re looking to impress a friend or date (with restaurants being closed) this will certainly do the trick.
Alcohol Taste Rating: 3/10
Overall Rating: 9.5/10 (Could be higher with a London Dry)
The Lusty Lady
2 oz Gin
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1/8 oz (A bar spoon) Cranberry Juice
1 Egg White
2-3 Dashes of Lavender Bitters
Shake all ingredients without ice for 8-10 seconds to emulsify egg. Add ice and shake for an additional 15 seconds to chill. Double Strain into a chilled coupe glass, and garnish with two cherries on a pick.