Measure & Stir

A Craft Cocktail Blog for the Home Bartender that Focuses on Original Creations Drawn from Culinary Inspiration.


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Stouthearted: Strawberry, Amaretto, Coffee-infused Bourbon, Oatmeal Stout

I’m so glad the election is behind us, and now we can get back to focusing on the thing that truly makes America great: Bourbon whiskey.

Usually when I am brainstorming for drinks to make for the blog, I start with a concept based on a flavor pairing that I want to try. In this case, I was inspired by two separate drinks, both from the series Drink Inc. First, they made a drink of gin, pineapple, lime, and Lillet, floated with Amaretto and strawberry juice. I personally thought that was too complicated, but I was taken with the idea of the strawberry juice/amaretto combo. No one has to tell you how delicious that is; its deliciousness is self-evident. I wanted to take that flavor pairing and extract it into a drink where it could shine on its own.

I was also inspired by their beer-based drink, the “Heiferweizen”, consisting of apricot puree, lemon juice, orange marmalade, and hefeweizen. Since beer is already relatively viscous, it matches well with the texture of a fruit puree or jam. For my first iteration on this drink, I mixed up an ounce and a half each of strawberry juice (very thick, for a juice) and amaretto, shook it up, and then topped it with four ounces of stout. It was excellent, but it was slightly too sweet for my taste.

For round two, I had been planning to cut the sweetness with vanilla-infused bourbon, but James came over with some coffee-infused bourbon, recipe courtesy of Boozed and Infused, and I knew that the coffee would pair well with both the amaretto and the stout. The coffee bourbon tastes very similar to a cold-brewed coffee, with notes of bourbon on the back end, and a nice alcoholic kick. This is only my third beer cocktail, the first two being a pair of Singha highball drinks for Thai week. (Technically it is not a cocktail if we are being pedantic, though I don’t think there’s really a name for this genre other than “beer cocktail”).

Stouthearted
1.5 oz Coffee-Infused Bourbon (Evan Williams)
1.5 oz Fresh Strawberry Juice
1 oz Amaretto (Luxardo)
3 oz Oatmeal Stout (Rogue)
Shake all but beer over ice and double-strain into an old fashioned glass. Top with 3 oz of Oatmeal stout and then garnish by floating coffee beans on the foam.

The stout mostly dominates the sip, along with some fruitiness from the strawberry. Strawberry, Amaretto, and coffee round out the finish. There is something a little bit romantic about the combination of amaretto and strawberry–something you might serve to your girlfriend. Hence we called it, “Stouthearted”. Even so, it is not an unmanly concoction, though it’s probably best saved for dessert.

Since it’s a beer drink, I can say: Prost!


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Elena’s Virtue

This is not the version of Elena’s virtue that I intended to make for you, but it is the one I unwittingly made, and therefore, it is the one you get. I first learned about this drink when I was researching the Kingston Club, and it did not take me long to find the original over at Cask Strength. Unfortunately, I googled for it again and instead I found a really gimmicky PDF full of Mai Tai variations in from various Seattle restaurants, and one of them was a different version of Elena’s virtue, published by the same bartender, but modified to include the rum that sponsored the promotional PDF, which was half full of drink recipes and half full of ads for a rum that tricked me.

Anyway, when I went to make the drink, I followed the PDF rather than the blog post, because I was not paying attention, and as a result I did not make the drink that I intended. What I made ended up being pretty good, also, it just did not achieve the goal of a mai tai flavor using only Italian liqueurs. The original omitted the lime juice, and substituted Amaro Nonino in place of rum. Using rum and lime guarantees a flavor much closer to a Mai Tai, but the original also, I am sure, would achieve the impression of a Mai Tai.

Elena’s Virtue

1 oz Aged Rum
.5 oz Amaro Montenegro
.5 oz Lime Juice
.25 oz Tuaca
.25 oz Luxardo Amaretto
.25 oz Ramazzotti

Shake ingredients and strain over crushed ice. Garnish with an orange zest and basil, then pour .25 oz Ramazzotti amaro into a decanter, fill with hickory  smoke, and pour over the drink.
— Mixologist: Andrew Bohrer

I did all of that, except I did not smoke any Ramazotti. Instead, I added a dash of mezcal to .25 oz of Ramazzotti and poured that over the drink.

Let’s face it; you’re probably not going to go around smoking a decanter of Ramazzotti in your home. I certainly don’t care to. Mezcal may not have a hickory flavor, but it certainly adds a lot of smoke. Even though I made the more mainstream version, it’s easy to see how an ounce of Nonino instead of rum, and no lime juice, would be Mai-Tai like. Amaro Montenegro has a noteworthy lime flavor, and the combination of Amaro Nonino and Tuaca does a passable impression of rum, while remaining true to its bitter roots.

Morever, Ramazzotti has a pronounced orange flavor, taking the place of the curacao in this drink, and Amaretto, although made with peach pits, has a flavor very similar to orgeat. All of the elements are there, but they are present in the form of tones of flavor in liqueurs and bitters. Mr. Andrew Bohrer’s drink is very clever, and you should read his blog.


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Morgenthaler’s Amaretto Sour

After all those Bloody Maries, I was craving dessert, so I decided to make Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s Amaretto Sour. Since he serves it on the rocks, it’s technically an Amaretto fix, but why quibble? The basic recipe (I’m no historian, but the one I know) is 1.5 oz of Amaretto and .75 oz of lemon juice. I like to add Regan’s orange bitters, because they are light, and they add a pleasant orangey tang to the drink without killing the bright flavors from the lemon. Mr. Morgenthaler takes it in a different direction, modifying the liqueur with some cask-strength bourbon. In his recipe he uses Booker’s, and I just so happen to have some.

Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s Amaretto Sour

1.5 oz amaretto (Luxardo)
.75 oz cask-proof bourbon (Booker’s)
1 oz lemon juice
1 tsp. 2:1 simple syrup
.5 oz egg white, beaten

Shake and strain over ice. Garnish with a lemon peel and brandied cherries.

I’m not always in the mood for an egg white sour, but it’s a nice indulgence once in a while. The bourbon added a pleasing oaky quality to the drink, and made it much dryer, but I didn’t think it was worthy of all of the braggadocio in the blog entry. Given a choice, I would probably pick this version of the drink over the classic. I like egg white drinks, but the use of amaretto as a base makes this drink so rich that the egg is almost unwelcome.

It was a very nice place to stay, and I will make it again, but even so, my quest for the perfect amaretto sour continues.