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Cocktail Recipe: Brooklyn

Now that I have a bottle of Amer Picon, it was time to make a Brooklyn cocktail. This was long one of the better variations on the Manhattan, but it has frustrated bartenders in recent years due to the unavailability of the French bittersweet liqueur.

There are some substitutes for Amer Picon that have gained popularity over the years. Assuming you don’t want to make it yourself, Bigallet China-China liqueur is probably the best replacement, although you can also use Amaro CioCiaro in a pinch. But I wanted to try it with the real thing.

If you like the taste of a Manhattan — strong, yet balanced, with the rich, spicy flavor of rye — but are looking for something a little less sweet, then the borough of Brooklyn is definitely where you want to go.

Brooklyn Cocktail

Brooklyn Cocktail

The whiskey is the star of the show here, so make sure to use a good one.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. Rye Whiskey
  • 1/2 oz. Dry Vermouth
  • 1/4 oz. Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz. Amer Picon

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice, then stir until very cold. Serve in a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry, if desired.
https://professorcocktail.com/2017/09/20/cocktail-recipe-brooklyn-2/

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Cocktail Recipe: Strawberry Whiskey Smash

The Whiskey Smash, resurrected and tweaked many years ago at the Rainbow Room by Dale DeGroff, is one of the best summertime bourbon drinks. Cold and refreshing, the mix of tart citrus and sweet mint/fruit makes for a delicious balance with the whiskey. (And it’s also, in my opinion, a better drink than the far more popular Mint Julep. It’s certainly a more complex one.)

Here is a variation with strawberries from Benny Hurwitz, bartender at Jack Rose Dining Saloon in D.C. This is an easily modifiable cocktail, so you can change up the ingredients based on what you have, as long as you stick to the same basic concept and proportions. And, as always, use a good bourbon.

Strawberry Whiskey Smash

Strawberry Whiskey Smash

Adapted from a recipe by Benny Hurwitz of the Jack Rose Saloon in Washington, D.C, after Dale DeGroff.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 oz. Bourbon Whiskey
  • 3/4 oz. Simple Syrup (1:1)
  • 1/2 Lemon (cut into 3 wedges)
  • 2-3 Strawberries (depending on size)
  • 5 Mint Leaves

Instructions

  1. Muddle the strawberries, lemon and mint with the simple syrup in the bottom of a shaker. Add the whiskey and shake with ice. Fine strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig and strawberry.
  2. For a stronger drink, you can increase the amount of bourbon to 2 oz.
https://professorcocktail.com/2017/07/20/cocktail-recipe-strawberry-whiskey-smash/

Original recipe courtesy of WTOP.

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Cocktail Recipe: The Apple Claus

A charming seasonal cocktail, containing two of my favorite cold-weather flavors: bourbon and apples.

The Apple Claus

The Apple Claus

Adapted from a recipe by Laura Moore at The Epicurean Hotel Edge rooftop bar.

Ingredients

    Cocktail:
  • 1 1/2 oz. Four Roses Bourbon Small Batch
  • 3/4 oz. Apple Cinnamon Tea Syrup
  • 1/2 oz. Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Angostura Bitters
  • Orange Twist or Apple Slice (for garnish)
  • Apple Cinnamon Tea Syrup:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 whole apple (minus core) cut into pieces
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 tea bags or 4 tbsp loose tea

Instructions

  1. To Make the Cocktail
  2. Shake all ingredients with ice, then strain into a chilled coupe. Top with sparkling wine (prosecco, Champagne or Apple Cider.) Garnish with an orange twist or apple slice.
  3. To Make Apple Cinnamon Tea Syrup
  4. In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil, then remove from heat. Add tea and steep for 5 minutes. When finished, remove the tea bags or strain out loose tea.
  5. Return tea to the stove and add sugar, cinnamon and apples. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat, then simmer on low for approximately 5 minutes.
  6. Cool and strain, then pour into a sealed bottle. The syrup will easily keep in the fridge for at least 2 weeks.
https://professorcocktail.com/2016/12/16/cocktail-recipe-the-apple-claus/

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Cocktail Recipe: Eye-Opening Eggnog

This festive and decadent drink will put you in the mood for the holidays with a delicious mixture of Caffè Borghetti Espresso-Coffee Liqueur (to give you that little extra eye-opening jolt), a top-quality spiced rum like Chairman’s Reserve, and eggnog. You can make your own eggnog — that’s always preferable. But I generally use a good-quality store-bought version.

Think of it as a very grown-up holiday version of a caffè latte. Enjoy!

Eye-Opening Eggnog

Eye-Opening Eggnog

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 oz. Caffè Borghetti Espresso-Coffee Liqueur
  • 3/4 oz. Chairman's Reserve Spiced Rum
  • 6 oz. Egg Nog
  • 1 dash of Angostura Bitters

Instructions

  1. Add the ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake gently. Strain into a festive glass. Top with grated nutmeg, if desired.
https://professorcocktail.com/2015/11/23/cocktail-recipe-eye-opening-eggnog/

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Cocktail Recipe: Spanish-Style Gin Tonica

Surprising though it may seem, the most popular cocktail in Spain is the Gin and Tonic or “Gin Tonica” as it’s often known.

Taken for granted by many Americans — and many of the British as well — the Spanish have adopted this stolid stand-by as a refreshing, versatile quaff with an endless stream of variations.

Beyond the expected gin, tonic, and lime, the Spanish version contains all matter of fruits, herbs, and other aromatic flourishes. It could lemon peel or grapefruit, but it could also be rosemary, mint, cardamom, Serrano chili, cloves, lavender, kumquat, lemon verbena — you get the picture.

Also of note is the glass the Gin Tonica is usually served in. In this case, the bigger, the better. A large balloon glass (sometimes used for red wine) or copa glass is a great choice, but a pint glass will work in a pinch.

The skill of the bartender is in guiding the guest’s palate towards the right additions for the right gin. But this is where you can play mixologist at home. Almost none of these combinations would taste bad, so you can feel free to experiment without risking doing serious damage to your drink.

So lay in a handful of different ingredients and a gin or three — and maybe even a variety of tonics to explore — and let your imagination and your palate run wild.

Spanish-Style Gin Tonica

Spanish-Style Gin Tonica

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. London Dry Gin (such as Tanqueray)
  • 4 oz. Tonic Water (such as Fever-Tree)
  • Thin slice of Pink Grapefruit
  • Medium Slice (or Wedge) of Lime
  • Sprig of Rosemary
  • Lime Wheel, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Build in a balloon glass over ice. Add gin, tonic, fruit, herbs, and/or other aromatics, and stir briefly. Garnish as desired.
https://professorcocktail.com/2015/09/28/cocktail-recipe-spanish-style-gin-tonica/

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Cocktail Recipe: Mai Tai-IPA

You folks know that I love Tiki drinks, and that the regular Mai Tai is one of my favorites. Here’s an interesting twist on the classic that includes Indian Pale Ale. Sounds strange, I know. But including beer in cocktails is a popular trend right now.

Bartender-turned-author Jacob Grier literally wrote the book on beer cocktails. It’s called Cocktails on Tap: The Art of Mixing Spirits and Beer and it’s a fascinating book with a lot of good recipes.

Take a look at what he’s done here with Trader Vic’s creation.

Mai Tai-IPA

Mai Tai-IPA

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 oz. IPA Beer
  • 1 oz. Aged Rum (such as El Dorado 8)
  • 1 oz. White Rum (such as El Dorado 3)
  • 1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
  • 3/4 oz. Orgeat Syrup
  • 1/2 oz. Orange Curacao
  • Maraschino Cherry, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Shake everything with ice (including the beer), then strain into an ice-filled glass. Garnish with a cherry.

Notes

Recipe from Jacob Grier's "Cocktails on Tap."

Co-created by Ezra Johnson-Greenough.

Photo credit: David L. Reamer

https://professorcocktail.com/2015/08/20/cocktail-recipe-mai-tai-ipa/

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Cocktail Recipe: Sangrita

Sangrita is a traditional Mexican accompaniment to tequila, a delicious, umami-filled chaser made from tangy fruit juices, spices, and sometimes a little tomato juice. (You can read more of the Professor’s thoughts on sangrita and see a previous recipe.)

Here is another recipe that I tried, that gives it a different kick. I like the use of Clamato — it takes this sangrita more in the direction of the flavor I associate with a Michelada or coctel de camarones.

This pairs beautifully with a reposado tequila, such as Don Julio (who kindly provided me a sample to try it out).

Spicy Sangrita

Spicy Sangrita

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Clamato
  • 5 oz. Vegetable Juice (e.g., V8)
  • 1/3 cup Tangerine Juice
  • 3 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
  • 7 dashes Hot Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Kosher Salt (for rimming)
  • 1 Lime, sliced into wedges (for rimming)

Instructions

  1. In a pitcher, combine Clamato, vegetable juice, lime juice, tangerine juice, and hot sauce. Stir to combine, then chill in the refrigerator.
  2. Rim shot glass with salt, then fill with sangrita. Pair with a shot of tequila.

Notes

Adapted from a recipe by Presley’s Pantry.

Image courtesy of Tabasco.

https://professorcocktail.com/2015/08/03/cocktail-recipe-sangrita/

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Cocktail Recipe: Mint Julep

The Kentucky Derby is coming up on May 2, and you know what that means. Mint Juleps! No, not because they’re trendy — because they’re good.

The Mint Julep, a frosty-cold and sweet snow cone of an adult beverage, is one of the true treats of the warm weather season. In the days before air conditioning, they were cherished in the South for their ability to cool you down when the temperature was hot, and thus became a traditional summertime libation that continues until this day.

The recipe for a classic Mint Julep, courtesy of Dale DeGroff, is included below.

Or try The Queen’s Julep from Bob Peters, a twist on the original featuring the addition of Fernet Branca Mentha, the bittersweet and minty Italian  amaro.

Mint Julep

Mint Julep

Adapted from a recipe by King Cocktail Dale DeGroff.

Feel free to substitute your favorite brand of bourbon. Woodford Reserve is the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby, while the Old Forester Mint Julep is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby. But any good quality bourbon will work.

Use tender, young sprigs of mint, which last longer and look better.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 oz. Bulleit Bourbon
  • 3/4 oz. Simple Syrup or 1 tsp. Sugar
  • 4 Fresh Mint Leaves
  • Mint Sprig, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Prepare some very cold, very dry powdered ice by crushing chunks of ice inside a canvas ice bag. Bruise the mint leaves in the bottom of a julep cup with simple syrup or sugar. Add ice to the three quarter mark and add half of the bourbon. Stir to chill the julep cup. Top off with more powdered ice and the remaining bourbon. Continue to stir until the outside of the cup begins to freeze. Garnish with the mint sprig and set aside to rest while the julep cup freezes over on the outside. Pick up carefully to imbibe.
https://professorcocktail.com/2015/04/23/cocktail-recipe-mint-julep/

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Cocktail Recipe: The Queen’s Julep

The Queen’s Julep

The Queen’s Julep

Adapted from a recipe by Punch Room Head Mixologist Bob Peters.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 oz. Bulleit Bourbon
  • 1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
  • 1/2 oz. Fernet Branca Menta
  • 8 Fresh Mint Leaves
  • Mint Sprig, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Muddle mint leaves in a shaker. Add bourbon, simple syrup, and Fernet Branca Menta. Add ice and shake. Double strain and pour over crushed ice in a julep cup. Garnish with fresh mint sprig.
https://professorcocktail.com/2015/04/23/cocktail-recipe-the-queens-julep/

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Winners of Third Annual “Show Me the Proof!” Cocktail Competition

Louis Royer, an iconic Cognac house dating to 1853 and led by the fifth generation of its founding family, announced today the winners of the Third “Show Me the Proof!” High Proof Cognac Cocktail Competition held on Dec. 1, 2014.

Timothy Miner (The Long Island Bar) won the Grand Prize of an all-expense paid trip to France for two. Second and third place winners were Jason Cousins (Da Claudio) and Gregory Buda (The Dead Rabbit), respectively, with each awarded a cash prize of $1,000.

Included below are the winning recipes.

Winning Cognac Cocktials

Grand Prize:
The Frenchmen Street Cocktail by Timothy Miner (The Long Island Bar)
2 oz. Louis Royer “Force 53” VSOP Cognac
1/2 oz. Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz. Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
1 barspoon White Crème de Cacao
3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

Second Place:
Simmer Down by Jason Cousins (Da Claudio)
1 1/2 oz. Louis Royer “Force 53” VSOP Cognac
1 oz. Antica Distilleria Russo Nocino
1/2 oz. Caffè Borghetti Espresso Liqueur
2 dashes Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters
1 piece Flamed Orange Disc, garnish

Third Place:
Orientation by Gregory Buda (The Dead Rabbit)
1 3/4 oz. Louis Royer “Force 53” VSOP Cognac
1/2 oz. Barbadillo Amontillado Sherry
3/4 oz. Orgeat Syrup
1/2 oz. Lemon Juice
3 dashes Angostura Bitters