So it’s half way through the year, and I’m wondering why all of my time went recently. Thinking about making drinks I realized I’m about due to start curating my list of cocktails for my annual Christmas Party. I know what seems really far away for most of you, but building the right drink list for that party is everything to me, and it was recently that I tried today’s cocktail and it really stuck me as a strong contender for my party. If you yourself host guests around the holidays I highly suggest you work on your drink list now, and possibly include this one.
The Ambassador is the second rum cocktail listed in one of my recipe books, and I was shocked I hadn’t made it sooner. Granted I may have been looking for “Passion Fruit Liqueur” which it does call for, but I realized when it’s only about a 1/4 oz then it’s really not about the liqueur and more about the flavor, which can be done with juice or syrup, thus I’ve reflected that in the recipe below along with my substitution of Crown Royal Regal Apple for the Apple Liqueur (because apple pucker won’t cut it for this)
As for the cocktail itself, we’re looking at an inviting reddish color, and a rich apple and cranberry on the nose. The drink starts with a sweet and tart cranberry, moves quickly to a sweet apple, and finishes with a whiskey and passion fruit finish. The rum really feels lost in this drink, but I’m really not complaining here. It fills space in the glass and makes room for other great flavors! The Crown Apple is really the star of this drink. Granted it might be different if you can find an apple schnapps in your area, but I don’t feel it would really be worth it to cheapen out of this drink. From start to finish it’s a smooth and simple cocktail with rich flavors. It’s not perfect, but it’s really close. Perhaps some orange bitters or even a orange peel twist would make it just a little better.
Alcohol Taste Rating: 4/10
Overall Rating: 9.5/10
1 oz Light Rum
1/2 oz Apple Liqueur (or Apple Whiskey)
1 oz Cranberry Juice
1/4 oz Passion Fruit Juice or Syrup
So, a few months back I was starting to make and review enough drinks for another blended cocktails week, but things got in the way and I ended up with only a couple daiquiris and a bunch of banana drinks (banana cocktail coming next post). Around that same time I also picked up a number of the Torani flavor syrups to supplement flavors in the bar. Among the few I got 2 of them created very unique and interesting variations on the traditional frozen Daiquiri. For these recipes I used the traditional Daiquiri recipe, but replaced the simple syrup with one of the Tornai Syrups, and of course blended with a handful of ice.
Frozen Strawberry Torani Daiquiri Taste Profile: Equal parts sweet and sour. Tastes like concentrated springtime!
Frozen Green Apple Torani Daiquiri Taste Profile: Strong candy flavor. Sweeter than what you’d expect from a Sour Apple Pucker. Tangy and sour.
Well as we continue on blended cocktail week there was bound to be a drink that isn’t exactly perfect. Now the “South of France” is still a very good drink, but the flavor is certainly more interesting than anything. A pleasant and inviting drink as it is resembling in taste and look to that of the “Pina Colada,” this cocktail however has a slightly more complex flavor thanks to the B&B. Once you drink through the frothy pineapple foam, the drink starts you off sweet and rummy. The drink then moves to a pure pineapple, and finishes with the interesting mix of pineapple and coconut with a strange herbal taste mixed in underneath. This certainly isn’t my favorite blended drink but it is still very good. I’d be interested in how this drink would taste with a pure Benedictine.
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.
Well, my vision for this drink a “core sample” of an alcoholic watermelon. Green floating over pink working our way to the juicy and sweet red center. I was recently leafing through my cocktail book when I remembered the “electric watermelon” that I featured back in May. This however I designed to take on both flavor and the appearance of watermelon. Granted the green is on top, how ever that could easily be rectified by mixing the melon liqueur with simple syrup on the bottom (1/4 oz each to make a 1/2) and topping it with a mix of the 1/4 oz of rum and 3/4 of pucker. Today though we’ve got our core sample of the Lil’ Watermelon.
The taste starts with a powerful melon taste as the Melon Liqueur creates a more natural taste with the pucker. After a little burn it ends on a slightly sweet finish from the grenadine
Alc. Rating: 9/10
Overall Rating: 8.5/10
Lil Watermelon (Core Sample Version) Shot
1/4 oz Grenadine
3/4 oz Watermelon Pucker
1/2 oz Mix (1/4 oz Midori/Melon Liq. + 1/4 oz Light Rum)
Layer in order in a tall double shot glass. OR half all ingredients in a standard shot.
Today we get our first taste of fall (although the start of the season is still a few weeks off). The apple swizzle highlights a new ingredient in my bar “apple brandy.” Now my recipe for this drink calls for an iced highball glass, although given the small size of the drink I feel anything bigger than a lowball or tumbler will make the drink seem silly and out of place a bit. The drink is characterized by a tan color and smells mildly of apples, but leans closer to a bourbon smell (this could be use of the applejack as it is made primarily with neutral grain spirits). The drink starts on a mild sweet then moves the a slight rum and bitters burn. The apple brandy comes through in a lingering aftertaste which makes you go back for more. If you have some apple brandy around or are thinking of picking some up this season, you may want to give this one a try. Just be sure to go easy on the bitters (or be wise about which ones you use). This is one drink where they can be overpowering. I do wonder how different this drink would be with some cherry bitters to liven up the harvest.
1/2 oz Apple Brandy 1 oz Light Rum 3/4 oz Lime Juice 2-4 Dashes of Aromatic Bitters 1 Teaspoon SugarLime Slice
Straight build over ice in a tumbler. Stir well and garnish with a lime slice.
Well as long as we still have a full month of summer, let’s keep the tropical drinks flowing!
The Trade Winds is a wonderfully aromatic cocktail with citrus and raspberry notes. It has a dark and mysterious burgundy color with an inviting lemon twist within. The drink starts sweet, moves to a tart raspberry, then finishes with a sour brandy flavor. A great sweeter drink and well balanced it’s easy to recommend as a light starter.
Overall Rating: 8/10
Alcohol Taste Rating: 6.5/10
3/4 oz Light Rum 3/4 oz Brandy (Apricot Brandy Used) 3/4 oz Raspberry Liqueur 1 oz OJ 2 oz Sweet/Sour Lemon Twist
Shake and strain liquid ingredients into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Well it’s after midnight, but I haven’t been to bed yet…so it still counts as Monday right? Ok then.
Today’s drink is called “A Day at The Beach” and for good reason as it’s a very tropical themed cocktail. I didn’t have the necessary ingredients for the garnish, but the color still delivers here. A powerful red-orange makes for a brilliant presentation. Smelling of amaretto and OJ it’s a very inviting cocktail. The drink starts sweet with orange, moves quickly to a little almond/amaretto flavor and finishes on the great taste of coconut rum. It certainly reminds me of a relaxing day at the beach as there is hardly any bite at all. This is a perfect drink for those looking for a sweet summer cocktail.
Overall Rating 8/10
Alc. Taste Rating: 2/10
Make it again? Yes, actually a little too sweet for the menu, but a great one to suggest on a hot summer day.
A Day At The Beach
1 oz Light Rum
1 oz Coconut Rum
1/2 oz Amaretto
1/2 oz Grenadine
4 oz OJPineapple Wedge and Orange Slice Garnish (not used in photo)
Well this was supposed to be a 2 for 1 tuesday, but I’m not getting around to the post until after midnight, so now it’s just two drinks without the snappy title. So today we’ve got two interesting cocktails, one much better than the other.
First up is the “Wall Street Wizard,” which is straight alcohol stirred and strained for a great emerald look. Unfortunately that’s about all the drink has going for it. It has an earthy citrus aroma, but so much of the midori flavor is lost with the other alcohols. It starts with a hard curacao bite and finishes with equally hard gin flavor. It’s not one I recommend very much as it’s a tough one to drink, unless you’re looking for something VERY different:
Overall Rating: 3.5-4/10
Alc. Rating: 9/10
Wall Street Wizard
1/2 oz Gin 1/2 oz Vodka 1/2 oz Light Rum (Gold Used) 1/2 oz Blue Curacao 1/2 oz Midori
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
So next up we’ve got something much better. The “.44 Magnum” is a powerful mix that doesn’t quite taste as powerful as the ingredients at work here. The topping of 7Up/Sprite makes for a citrus fizz aroma and start to the drink. Mid pallete is a sweet/sour rum, followed by a Jamaican dark rum finish with a hit of pineapple. Due to the less than appealing color and presentation in this drink, an opaque tiki glass would probably be better than the listed “bucket glass” in my recipe book.
Overall Rating 7/10
Alc. Rating 6.5/10
1/2 oz Light Rum (Gold Used) 1/2 oz Dark Rum 1/2 oz Jamaican Rum 1/2 oz Vodka 1/2 oz Triple Sec (or Cointreau) 3/4 oz Pineapple Juice 1 1/2 oz Sweet/Sour Sprite
Shake all but sprite with ice. Strain into an iced tumbler (or tiki glass). Top with sprite.
Do you live dangerously? Well you might want to start, by downing this powerful cocktail. The American Graffiti is a summery tropical drink with a lot of flavor without a harsh punch (taste wise). The main aroma builds from pineapple and sweet/sour and its bright red color is reminiscent of the Red Demon cocktail. The drink starts off very smooth and then hits the back of your palette with a mild and full bodied rum. Considering the amount of alcohol present, I am surprised it doesn’t have more of a harsh kick. I imagine this is thanks to the mix of sloe gin and roses lime to build a fruity citrus into the mix.
My only concern with the original recipie is that it calls for both “light rum” and “rum.” Because the first rum is specifically light, but the second is unspecified, I decided Bacardi Gold would be a nice balanced choice. I do wonder how Some Captain Original Spiced would change this drink. Even a flavored rum would be a good choice (something like mango or coconut). Either way though it’s a very solid drink with a great open end for variations.
Alcohol Taste Rating: 4/10
Overall Rating 8/10
Make it again? Yes. Try flavor variations too!
American Graffiti Cocktail
1 1/4 oz Light Rum
3/4 oz Rum (Bacardi Gold Used)
1/2 oz Sloe Gin
1/2 oz Southern Comfort
1/4 oz Rose’s Lime Juice
1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1 1/2 oz Sweet/Sour
Shake and strain all ingredients into an iced tumbler. Garnish with an Orange slice and a Cherry.