Measure & Stir

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


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Mixology Monday: Equal Parts

Mixology MondayIt’s been a while, Mixology Monday. I was always a little disappointed that this fine cocktail blog tradition became suspended just as I was getting started. This month it’s hosted by Fred of Cocktail Virgin Slut, which was one of the main resources I have used to learn about the world of fine drinks. Before I started this blog, easily ninety percent of the drinks I made came from CVS, and I still use them every time I am exploring a new ingredient. Their site is easily the best cocktail database on the web.

Anyway, as I was digging around in various blog archives, looking for inspiration, I came upon this comparison of Zombie recipes by Kaiser penguin, and I noticed that the recipe they selected as their favorite was equal parts. That version is the Dr. Cocktail version from Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh. I will confess that this recipe takes a bit of license with the theme; Fred said that dashes of bitters were OK, but this recipe also called for 1tsp of brown sugar. We’ll call that a couple of dashes.

Sadly, I did not have any powdered sugar to sprinkle on top of the pineapple and lime, but I made up for it with a parasol on the straw. I also served it over cubed ice, and I think crushed might have been a bit more in the spirit of the drink, but even so, it was utterly delicious. I was serving several rounds of tiki drinks on this occasion, so I ended up serving half of this recipe to each of my guests, and finishing it with a float of Kraken in equal measure to the other ingredients. That was actually an accident, intended for my second round, but it made the drink beautifully aromatic, and I would do it exactly the same way again.

Zombie

1oz Lime Juice
1oz Lemon Juice
1oz Pineapple juice (Must be fresh!)
1oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1oz gold Puerto Rican rum (151 Cruzan)
1oz 151 proof Demerara rum (El Dorado 12)
1oz light Puerto Rican rum (Ron Matusalem)
1oz Spiced Black Rum, Floated (Kraken)
1tsp brown sugar
1 dash Angostura bitters
Shake over ice and strain over fresh ice. Garnish as outrageously as possible.

Astute readers will notice that I switched the rums up a bit, out of necessity. I am not so fortunate as to have a bottle of Lemonheart, so I ended up using an 80 proof demerara rum and a 151 proof gold rum. So the demerara and 151 proof requirements were satisfied, but not quite as per usual. By far the most difficult ingredient in this recipe was the passion fruit syrup. Passion fruits are costly, but I was not about to use a commercial product. It’s probably pretty obvious how to make a passion fruit syrup, but just in case:

Passion Fruit Syrup
1 cup water
1.5 cups sugar
pulp from 7 passion fruits
Dissolve the sugar in the water on the stove top, and then add all of the passion fruit pulp. Reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes, then strain through a cheesecloth and fortify with an ounce of vodka or everclear. (I prefer everclear)

A huge thanks to Fred for hosting MxMo, and Cheers to all the other participants. Full round-up is here.


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Malibooya! Rum Daisy in Coconut

Note: If you came here looking for Kanye’s “recipe” in his song, this is my take on it, and it bears only a vague resemblance to what he says in the song. If you want to make the recipe from song, I suggest the following proportion:
1.5 oz Grey Goose Vodka
.5 oz Malibu Coconut “Rum”
Combine all in a mixing glass with ice and stir 40 times. Stirring with ice dilutes the drink, in addition to making it colder, so that it will taste smoother. Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass. This recipe tastes like shite, so I humbly suggest that you use also add one ounce of coconut water, from a brand such as Zico or Vita Coconut Water. If you really want to class it up, of course, read on:

In the words of the philosopher Kanye West:

Chick came up to me and said,
This the number to dial
If you wanna make your #1 your #2 now
Mix the Goose and Malibu, I call it Mali-BOOYA

As you probably know, we don’t believe in Vodka here at Measure and Stir, except for fortifying syrups and disinfecting minor cuts and scrapes. We also don’t believe in Malibu, which is probably the least appetizing thing in the world ever to be labelled rum. Indeed, on account of Mr. West, I now refer to any drink as Malibooya when its chief components are drawn from the following: (Flavored or not) Vodka, Malibu, Midori, Jager, Sour Apple Pucker, Peach Schnapps, low-proof fruit-flavored “liqueurs”, red bull, sprite, and pasteurized orange juice.

Even so, I sometimes hear the siren song of coconut rum, whose call I answer by pouring J. Wray and Nephew into a coconut. And yes, I did, in fact, put lime in the coconut, and then I proceeded to “drink it all up”. Though to be honest, even though I adore fresh coconut water, I’m not sold on it as an ingredient for a mixed drink; coconut milk and cream provide a much more rounded and robust coconut flavor, because they incorporate the qualities of the coconut meat, and the richness of its fat, into the drink. Coconut water is so thin that it almost makes this a grog.

(not my greatest photo, I know)

Malibooya #2

3 oz Fresh Young Coconut Water
2 oz Traditional Rum (Wray and Nephew)
.75 oz Curacao (Clement Creole Shrub)
.5 oz Lime Juice

Drain a fresh young coconut, and measure out just enough coconut water for your drink. Shake all ingredients over ice, then double strain and funnel back into the coconut. Drink it through a straw.

The more astute of you will have noticed that this is a rum daisy that has been diluted with fresh coconut water. I put my coconut in the freezer for half an hour before I drained them, so that the interior of the shell would be cold. A true bad-ass of tiki would, of course, lop off the top of the coconut with a machete, instead of just punching a hole in it with his ice pick, but my training is not yet complete, and I have yet to purchase a machete. (Incidentally, can anyone recommend a good one?)

If I had done that, I would have been able to fill the coconut with ice, and it would have been a much better drinking experience for this relatively low-proof drink. Drinking out of a coconut is a lot of fun, but I regretted my choice of Clement Creole Shrub in this drink. CCS (as we say in the biz) has a very robust orange flavor, and it stomped on the relatively light coconut flavor. You would be better off with Cointreau (or similar) for this one.


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Pineapple Gewurtztraminer Sangria

Happy Washington state liquor independence day! Starting today, liquor sales are privatized in the state of Washington, and I will fight anyone who thinks this is a bad thing.

It was a very summery weekend and my friend John had invited me to a bbq in the park. I have found that sangria is perfect for a picnic, and I wanted to try something a little different from my standard rioja, orange, peach, brandy routine, so I picked up some Gewurtztraminer, carved up a pineapple and set it out to infuse. Sangria is best if you allow it to infuse over night, but if you don’t drink it all the next day, it’s not worth hanging onto. For this sangria I wanted to follow a tropical theme, so I added kiwis and orange supremes, the former of which contributed much more to the presentation than they did to the end flavor.

I knew that going in, but the romance and the drama of a drink can contribute as much to its success as its flavor. At the end of the day, you are drinking sugared ethanol,  so don’t settle for function without form. Perfect every tiny detail of the drink, in order to elevate the whole experience.

Image

Tropical Sangria

One whole pineapple, carved into chunks

8 kiwis, sliced and peeled

6 Oranges, juice

4 Oranges, cut into supremes

2 cups of traditional white rum (Wray and Nephew)

1 cup of triple sec (Patron Citronge)

6 bottles (4.5 Liters) of Gewurtztraminer (Fetzer)

Allow the whole mixture to sit overnight. Chill before serving.

Since we drank this at a picnic, I ended up pouring it over crushed ice, which I chipped from a block of ice using my new ice pick. The funky flavor of the Wray and Nephew complimented the pineapple very well, but the kiwi was completely lost, as I had predicted. It might have contributed to the overall flavor, as it has a lot in common with the rum in this drink, but I doubt I would have missed it.

At first tasting, the rum was too strong, but after mellowing for a night, the flavors really came together, and the end result was crisp, dry, and fruity. Those with a sweet tooth might consider adding simple syrup to sweeten it up, but I would do this very slowly, in 1/4 cup increments. A little bit of sweetness could bring out the fruit, but too much would crush the delicate notes in the wine.


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Zig Zag Cafe

On Wednesday night I went to the Zig Zag Cafe by Pike Place Market. It no longer has the prestige of Murray Stenson, but the drinks are still great and the service is lively. Their menu is on the conservative side, which I think reflects the aesthetic of the place, and probably also the tastes of an older man. You won’t find cantelope lemongrass soda or tamarind foam, but you will find top shelf spirits handled with the care they deserve.

In all of my visits to the Zig Zag I have found that they dilute their drinks slightly more than other craft bars I have visited, and also more than I do at home. I am not criticizing their choice — I think it is more stylistic than cheap. The higher water content means that their drinks are always immaculately cold and smooth, but they sacrifice a little bit of the intensity of the flavor. The additional dilution makes their drinks very accessible; there is nothing harsh or caustic about anything that they serve, and I surmise that caters to the crowd in a major tourist location like Pike Place Market.

For my first drink I ordered the Cubano, and unlike many bars, the Zig Zag does not say where their drinks were created.  A quick google did not prove fruitful, so I’m guessing it is a Zig Zag original. The Cubano features light rum, green chartreuse, dry vermouth, lemon and lime juice. I don’t know the exact proportions, but it was fairly Chartreuse-forward, so I’ll take a guess:

Cubano?

1 oz Light Rum (Wray and Nephew, but maybe try Mount Gay)
.5 oz Dry Vermouth (Dolin)
.5 oz Green Chartreuse
1/2 Tsp Lemon Juice
1/2 Tsp Lime Juice

Stir and double strain (or just don’t get any citrus pulp in there, anyway)

I made the drink with these proportions and it was very much as I remember, but I do not think they used Wray and Nephew. The funkiness from my choice of rum combined with the the dry vermouth was a bit more assertive than in the one at the Zig Zag, and I may try it again with something milder.

For my second drink I had the Bitter Pimm’s, which was a marriage of Pimm’s No. 1 and Amaro Montenegro. This was among the best application of Amaro Montenegro that I have tasted. I’ve always felt that it has a cotton candy, bubblegum kind of flavor, and it fit right in with the fruity qualities of the Pimm’s. (Apologies for the terrible glare on the lemon.)