Shake ingredients with ice, then strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.
Here's another of those National XYZ Days that I love so much. This time it's the Whiskey Sour's turn, a classic cocktail and one of the easiest drinks to make. I made mine with Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon and it was quite tasty. (I did alter the ratio from the above recipe, though, instead using equal parts lemon juice and simple syrup. I don't like my sours quite that sour.)
Everything under the sun has its own day. And today is rum's chance! (Apparently August is also National Rum Month, but that seems to be pushing it a little.)
Rum is probably my favorite spirit. It encompasses so many different possibilities. Sweet, spicy, dry, fiery, toasted, smoky, mixed in a cocktail, or enjoyed on its own. If there's something spirituous you have in mind, rum can probably make it happen.
My favorite rum to drink neat is El Dorado 12 Year Old. I have many more expensive rums in my collection, but this remains a favorite. It's affordable, versatile, and delicious. Costing under $30 a bottle, it makes a great cocktail, but is also a pleasure to sip like a fine whiskey or brandy.
El Dorado is a demerara rum from Guyana, so it has a rich flavor of brown sugar, along with fruit and spice. It's not overly sweet, though, and some find it slightly smoky (although it's very subtle). It's easily one of the best rums around.
My favorite mixing rum is probably still Appleton Estate V/X. I adore Jamaican rums in general, and the V/X works well in so many different drinks. Plus it costs less than $20 a bottle.
It's hard to beat the classics, but if you're looking to try something new, here are a few recipes that you might want to explore further.
For a twist on a classic, try substituting an aged rum for bourbon in a Manhattan.
2 oz. Ron Zacapa 23 Rum 1 oz. Sweet Vermouth 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Stir ingredients with ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
Another classic with a slight difference.
Deck Hand Daiquiri Adapted from a recipe by Tony Abou-Ganim
2 oz. Shellback Silver rum 3/4 oz. Fresh Lime Juice 1 oz. Simple Syrup Fresh, seasonal fruits and berries
In a mixing glass, muddle fresh fruits with simple syrup. Add lime juice and rum, then shake with ice. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a thin slice of lime and fruit of your choice.
Looking for something savory? Try this.
Garden Mojito Adapted from a recipe by King & Grove
1 1/2 oz. Brugal Extra Dry Rum 1/2 oz. Dry Vermouth 1/2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice 1/2 oz. Simple Syrup 4 Cucumber Slices 6 Basil Leaves Club Soda
In a mixing glass, muddle cucumber and basil with simple syrup. Add remaining ingredients (except soda) and shake with ice. Strain over crushed ice, then top with club soda. Garnish with a cucumber slice.
Do you like sweet and easy? Here you go.
Port Royal Punch
1 750 ml bottle Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum 1 32 oz. bottle Pineapple Juice 3 cups Mango Juice 4 1/2 oz. Grenadine 3 Oranges (sliced thin and quartered) 1 cup Soda Water
In a punch bowl or large serving vessel, add the ingredients and stir. Serve over ice in a punch glass.
1 1/2 oz. Limoncello 1 oz. Gin 1/2 oz. Lemon Juice 8-10 Mint Leaves Club Soda
Gently muddle the mint leaves with lemon juice in the bottom
of a mixing glass. Add the limoncello and gin and shake with ice. Strain into
an ice-filled highball glass. Top with club soda. Garnish with a mint sprig.
1 1/2 oz Bourbon Whiskey 3/4 oz Simple Syrup 1/2 Bar Spoon Vanilla Extract (a couple dashes) 3 oz Whole Milk or Half and Half Garnish with freshly-grated nutmeg and/or cinnamon.
Shake well with ice, then strain into an ice-filled Old Fashioned glass.
Mardi Gras is coming, and this classic New Orleans brunch cocktail is the perfect way to start off a day of revelry. Or any day, for that matter.
The Milk Punch is often made with brandy instead of bourbon. (That's the way they make it at Commander's Palace.) I like bourbon better, though, so I make it this way. You can also substitute rum or spiced rum.
Combine ingredients into a mug. Top with whipped cream, if desired. Serve hot.
Gin Peppermint Fling
2 oz Citadelle Gin 1 oz Heavy Cream 1/2 Egg White 2 oz Peppermint Simple Syrup (see below)
In a shaker, build cocktail in order of ingredients listed. Dry shake (without ice) vigorously until egg white becomes frothy and heavy cream is incorporated. Add ice and shake again. Strain into a chilled, peppermint-rimmed cocktail glass.
Peppermint Simple Syrup
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar 1/2 cup Water 10 large Red/White Peppermint Candy Canes
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Dissolve sugar and candies on medium heat, stirring continuously. After sugar and candy has dissolved, heat the syrup to just short of boiling, until it begins to thicken, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow syrup to cool.
Crush candy canes and place on a flat plate. Moisten the edge of the cocktail glass with the peppermint syrup. Dip the edge of the martini glass into the crushed candies and allow rim to dry for one minute.
Thanksgiving is tomorrow in the U.S., that national holiday in celebration of overindulging. Millions of turkeys will be devoured, along with enough sides to make a new set of Dungeons and Dragons dice. But we're not here to talk about the bird.
Wine is the traditional accompaniment for the Thanksgiving feast. Pinot Noir and Riesling make good choices, and Champagne is perfect. I always drink plenty of the latter when I'm cooking. But it's important not to overlook the cocktails. Here are some suggestions for libations you can mix up.
2 oz Bourbon 8 Cranberries (Fresh or Frozen) 2 tsp Sugar (Preferably Caster or Superfine) Piece of Orange Zest 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
In an old-fashioned glass, muddle the cranberries, sugar, orange zest and bitters with a small amount of water. Add bourbon and ice.
3/4 oz Gin 3/4 oz Dry Vermouth 3/4 oz Apricot Brandy 1/4 oz Lemon Juice
Shake with ice and then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a Maraschino cherry.
1 1/2 oz Rum 1/2 oz Grand Marnier 1/4 oz Allspice (Pimento) Liqueur 1/2 oz Lime Juice 1 oz Orange Juice 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Shake with ice and then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Can also be served warm. Dust with freshly-grated nutmeg.
1 1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth 1/2 oz Dry Vermouth 1/2 oz Brandy Splash of Pernod Splash of Triple Sec 2 dashes Orange Bitters
Stir with ice and then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
2 oz Applejack 1 oz Triple Sec 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
Shake with ice and then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a thin slice of apple.
1 1/2 oz Van Gogh Wild Appel Vodka 1/2 oz Van Gogh Dutch Caramel Vodka 1/2 oz Licor 43 1/2 oz Lime Juice 1/2 oz Cranberry Juice
Shake with ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
A lot of cocktail people look down their noses at vodka, especially flavored vodka. I don't get it myself. I've always been a fan of vodka, and I enjoy experimenting with the flavored variety in different drinks. They're certainly not the first thing I reach for, but that doesn't mean they should never be used.
This was based on a recipe I found in Gaz Regan's book. It has delicious fall flavors and has quickly become one of my wife's favorite drinks.
You don't need to use the Van Gogh brand vodkas, although I've found these varieties to be very tasty. The Sobieski Karamel is also good.
If you don't have any Licor 43, you can replace it with a little simple syrup. It's not going to taste quite the same — the Licor 43 has a very nice sweet vanilla flavor — but it'll give you the general idea.