Ok, gotta make up for not posting in a year and post a bunch this week!
This is the second cocktail I designed (or I should say modified) for my annual Xmas party this year. While the base recipe is essentially the modern vodka classic of the “Lemon Drop” my variant once again utilizes an infused simple syrup and bitters to transform the basic sour into something a bit more complex. The Savage Drop gets it’s name from the two respective flavors Sage and Lavender.
Visually you’ve got a classy presentation with a classic “cloudy” sour color and a garnish of fresh sage (not optional this time). The garnish in this case adds a bright floral aroma to the cocktail. Without it you only have a faint citrus to smell. As flavor is not only about taste but also about smell, a nose full of sage leaves makes this a very inviting cocktail. For your inner palette however, you’re greeted with a slight sour, but it’s not over powering. Mid palette the drink transforms and opens up into a sweet citrus and vodka that you’d expect from the standard lemon drop. The finish is where everything comes alive though. The sage and lemon create an earthy and complex flavor balanced out but the whisper of lavender at the end. If you were unaware of the bitters used while drinking it, it’s unlikely you’d pick out that what it was.
This cocktail is certainly one for the season with the herbal notes, citrus zing, and just enough bite to please any guest at your event this year!
Add 3-4 springs of sage to 1 cup (240-250mL) of water over a stove top. Bring to a boil and give an extra 5 minutes to extract the flavor of the sage. Remove from heat and add 1.5 cups (192g) of granulated sugar. Stir to dissolve. Once dissolved, fish out sage springs and set aside on a paper towel. Pour syrup into a sterilized glass container. Before sealing container slip in 2-4 of the sage springs into the bottle, then seal. Store in the refrigerator. For best flavor use within 1-3 months.
The Savage Drop 2oz (60mL) Vodka (Ideally Kettle One) 1oz (30mL) Lemon Juice 3/4oz (22mL) Sage Simple Syrup 1 Dash Lavender Bitters 2 Leaves of Fresh Sage
Shake all ingredients (except sage garnish) with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Clap the sage leaves in your hands to release the aroma/oils. Gently place in the side of the glass.
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.
It’s been quite a while since the last cocktail and I figured I wanted to make my triumphant return to the cocktail blog with a really solid drink. I recently picked up some Luxardo Maraschino Cherry Liqueur, and found it to be a very interesting ingredient. It’s a clear bitter liqueur with a distinct cherry aroma and flavor that alone, isn’t something worth drinking. However, the product really shines in small quantities (1/4 to 1/2 oz) in a variety of cocktails.
So today’s drink is something of a modern flair on a classic cocktail. With just a dash of the Luxardo and some Lavender Bitters you get a VERY well balanced drink.
The drink has the lime and gin aroma of a classic gimlet along with its signature yellow-green jewel appearance. It starts light and sweet with a forward floral note of the lavender bitters. You’re rewarded with a sweet lime flavor on the mid palette, and to finish it’s a 3 stage level of complex flavors of; bitter, strong, and a little floral and bitter cherry as it settles.
Both the Luxardo and the lavender bitters and their own unique bitter complexity to this classic cocktail. If you’re looking for a modern twist on an already nearly perfect cocktail, this could be one for you!
Alcohol Taste Rating: 7/10
Overall Rating: 9.5/10
Cherry Lavender Gimlet
2 oz Gin
2 oz Sweetened Lime Juice
1/4 oz Luxardo Cherry Liqueur
3-4 Dashes Lavender Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a (larger) chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a floating lime slice.