Floridita

Recipe courtesy of Ben Clemons

You've heard of a daiquiri. You've heard of Ernest Hemmingway (we hope). And you might know that those two things go together like Pat Sajak and Vanna White. Used to be, when we thought of a daiquiri, it was of the strawberry variety; bright red and fresh out of the island oasis machine, possibly topped with canned whipped cream. How misinformed we were! The original daiquiris of Hemmingway's day were simple concoctions of rum, sugar, and lime with crushed ice. Papa Doblo (Daddy Double), as he was known to the bartenders in Cuba, earned his name by ordering two drinks at a time. Sometimes referred to as Daiquiri #2, the Floridita stays true to it's roots, embellished only with a little bit of Luxardo and grapefruit juice.

When it comes to frozen or blended drinks, ice becomes a measurable ingredient. You don't want to use too much or too little, otherwise the proportions of booze will be off, and we certainly don't want that! We consulted a bartender friend of ours on the matter and he gave us a great tip on measuring the perfect amount of ice. Simply fill the glass you plan on serving your drink in with ice, and dump that right into your blender. The liquid will fill in the gaps. This recipe makes one drink but is easy to multiply, just measure your ice accordingly.

Equipment:

Blender
Bar spoon

Ingredients:

2 oz Flor de Cana White Rum
.75 oz fresh lime juice
.5 oz Luxardo
.5 oz grapefruit juice
granulated sugar
maraschino cherry for garnish

Method:

Combine two bar spoons of sugar, rum, lime juice, Luxardo, and grapefruit juice in blender with (measured) ice. Blend until smooth and garnish with a cherry. Ideally the drink will be thick enough for the cherry to rest on top with out sinking. Thats how you know you used the right amount of ice.

Vermouth of the South

It doesn't get much more classic than gin. It also doesn't get much more distinct or polarizing, at least in the world of booze. What started out as medicine a very long time ago has evolved into a most flavorful British spirit. Now we know that not everyone loves gin, or at least thinks they don't love it, so we are always on the lookout for fun new drinks to make with the stuff! The point isn't to mask the taste of the gin, but rather to complement its unique flavors with other components, while softening those specific tastes to make them more approachable. 

Some of the most popular gins worldwide are those that we all know: Tanqueray, Bombay, Beefeater, etc are all traditional London Dry Gins that fall into that specific flavor profile we're all familiar with. A relatively new player in the gin game is Hendrick's, which hails from Scotland. While Hendrick's uses the traditional juniper berry/botanical blend we all know and (maybe) love, they also infuse their products with the pleasing flavors of cucumber and rose. These additions add a subtle finish to the spirit, without overpowering its traditional gin roots. We wanted to make a cocktail that appreciates the unique flavors in Hendrick's, honors the gin spirit, and still be something that we think most people would enjoy drinking. We used nothing but the most old-school ingredients, so we hope you enjoy. 

Equipment:

Cocktail mixing glass
Bar spoon
Cocktail strainer

Ingredients:

1.5 oz Hendrick's Gin
.75 oz vermouth rouge (or sweet vermouth)
.5 oz vermouth blanc (or dry vermouth)
1 oz red grapefruit juice

Method:

Combine all ingredients in mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into stemmed cocktail glass.

 

 

Ruby Red

In 1837, a young man from Ireland known for his remarkable whiskey-making skills, came to America with his family’s whiskey recipe that had been passed down for generations. Young Mr. McKenna settled in Kentucky and began producing whiskey at the distillery he founded in 1855 near Fairfield, KY. 

He was a stickler for aging his product and insisted the whiskey get proper aging in oak barrels prior to being sold to the public (this process was not as common back then). But, lucky for us, what he started still continues today, generations later. 

We decided we would take this tasty bourbon whiskey and make something classic - with a new spin. Instead of a classic sour, using lemon juice and egg white, we swapped out the lemon for ruby red. The extra sweetness and subtle bitterness of the grapefruit actually pairs quite well with the bourbon. The key, of course, is all about a proper two-step shake. 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
strainer
fine mesh strainer
rocks glass

ingredients:

2 oz Henry McKenna Bourbon Whiskey
1 oz ruby red grapefruit juice
.5 oz Eli Mason Gomme Syrup
strip of orange zest and cherry for garnish

method:

Pour the booze, grapefruit juice, gomme syrup and egg white into your cocktail shaker. As with most egg white sours, you'll want to actually shake this cocktail twice. The first is what's called a 'dry shake,' without any ice. So go ahead and shake the shit out of it. Then fill with ice and shake like hell again. Strain it into a rocks glass with a couple fresh ice cubes, garnish and serve.

The Wreck

Mmmm, rum

Do you ever feel like rum does not get the attention it deserves? We do. Don't get us wrong, we love whiskey and tequila and gin....well, everything, but rum often seems to be left out when people talk about serious cocktails. 

Obviously, they have not had Pyrat Rum. Coming from the folks behind Patrón, you know it has to be good. And it is. So good in fact, you can drink it right from the bottle. Yeah, we tried.

So while you could (and should) try drinking Pyrat on the rocks, we figured it's getting warm so why not do something a little more refreshing?

Here you go...

 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
rocks glass

ingredients:

2 oz Pyrat Rum
1.5 oz fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
.25 oz simple syrup
lime wedge


method:

Add the rum, juice and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker. Fill it with ice and give it a real quick, light shake (not so much to water it down) before dumping the entire thing into a chilled rocks glass. Squeeze a wedge of lime on top and you're good to go!

Age of Distinction

It's been said that we're in the middle of a craft cocktail renaissance. Regardless of what you call it, we're thrilled to see bars of all types offering up more than just a rum and coke and some sort of sickening-sweet-tini as 'cocktails.'

For years, we as a country have been expanding our palates to appreciate those flavors on the outlines - sour and bitter. Just a few years ago, most people would have never heard of balsamic vinegar or arugula - now, they're on the damn menu at Applebee's. But we digress...

This awakening of sorts means that new and creative ingredients are not just making it onto the food menu, but the cocktail menu as well. It's with this in mind that we're pulling together an incredible group of products for Bitter Lovers, our February 3st of the Month. Today, we introduce you to two of those amazing boozes you'll be tasting; Art in the Age's RHUBARB Tea and Cardamaro. Cardamaro is the only wine-based amaro (which literally means bitter in Italian) in the US. It starts with Moscato wine that's infused with cardoon and thistle before being aged in new oak barrels. RHUBARB Tea is one of the most complex spirits you've ever tasted with tangy taste of rhubarb compounded by everything from cardamom to beet.

To showcase these two exceptionally-unique ingredients, we present the Age of Distinction:

 

equipment:

cocktail mixing glass
bar spoon
strainer
rocks glass

ingredients:

2 oz Art in the Age RHUBARB Tea
1 oz Cardamaro 
1 oz fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
2 dashes Fee Brothers Cardamom Bitters
strip of grapefruit zest


method:

Combine ingredients in a cocktail mixing glass with ice. Stir to chill for 20-30 seconds before straining into a chilled cocktail glass. Express oils from the grapefruit peel over the glass before running it around the rim and dropping it into the glass.


London Holiday

As we've discussed before, no two gins are alike. Each one is unique in their blend of botanicals, imparting distinct flavors and characteristics to the finished spirit. Boodles Gin is a British-made "London Dry Gin," yet it's not made with any citrus as many other London-style gins are. 

Believe it or not, most "London" gins are not even made in London. The term refers to several factors, one of which is the requirement that the botanicals be infused through distillation (some gins are simply flavored) and that it cannot contain more than 0.1 grams of sugar per liter of the finished product, hence the dry nature of London-style gins. 

Boodles is joining us for our January 3st of the Month, so we've been having fun mixing up some cocktails. With Christmas just around the corner, we figured it would be nice to make something fitting for the season. We paired it up with our Cranberry Ginger Syrup (see the easy recipe here) and the result was pretty damn tasty if we do say so ourselves. Well, it looks like we just did say so.

 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
strainer
martini glass

ingredients:

2 oz Boodles Gin
2 oz fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
1 oz Cranberry Ginger Syrup (recipe)


method:

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously to chill for 10-15 seconds before straining into a chilled martini glass. If you really want to get festive, garnish it with a few cranberries.

Figgy Pudding Cocktail

People seem to forget just how mixable gin can be in cocktails. It's surprisingly versatile - especially when you think of the different types of gin - London Dry, Plymouth, Genever or Dutch, Old Tom and the new American-Style gins. There's more variation between each brand of gin than perhaps any other spirit category.

One that we've recently discovered thanks to their participation in our January "Holiday Hangover Brunch" 3st of the Month is Edinburgh Gin. Made similar to the Dutch or Genever style, it starts in a Scottish copper pot still before being infused with eight signature Scottish botanicals. 

While this cocktail calls for a few specialty ingredients that you may not have at hand, we encourage you to experiment with what you do have. Don't have grapefruit? Use lemon or orange. Don't have fig preserves? Try orange marmalade or peach jam. Don't have pimento dram on hand? Just add a pinch of ground allspice.

equipment:

cocktail shaker
rocks glass

ingredients:

2 oz Edinburgh Gin
1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
.5 oz Eli Mason Classic Grenadine
.5 oz fig preserves
1 bar spoon pimento dram (allspice liqueur)
orange zest for garnish


method:

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake to chill. Strain into rocks glass with fresh ice3 and garnish with a strip of orange zest.

Mexican Voodoo

Anyone that came to the October 3st of the Month "Tikitober" party knows just how many amazing drinks were served that night. 

One of the most popular of the night was the Mexican Voodoo cocktail from Maestro Dobel Tequila. Like many other great Tiki Drinks, it has a good mix of fresh juices, booze and spice. 

So, here it is folks. Make this one. You can thank us later.

 

 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
rocks glass

ingredients:

2 oz Maestro Dobel Tequila
1 oz cinnamon syrup (recipe here)
1.5 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
1 oz grapefruit juice
.5 oz lime juice
innamon stick or cinnamon-sprinkled pineapple wedge for garnish

 

method:

Combine all ingredients with ice in a shaker and shake to chill. Transfer to rocks glass, garnish and serve.

Western Sour

There were a string of "sour" Tiki Drinks throughout the years, including the Eastern Sour, London Sour and Munich Sour, but this 1950s Western Sour is as good a place to start as any.

Unlike the others mentioned above, the Western Sour is made with Falernum instead of Orgeat. While Orgeat has a distinctive almond extract-like flavor, Falernum has a more complex combination of spice, notably lime and clove.

It may also come as a surprise that this Tiki Drink is not made with rum, but instead bourbon - or in this case, whiskey.

A simple shake and it's ready to go.

Recipe adapted from Beachbum Berry Remixed: A Gallery of Tiki Drinks.

 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
rocks glass

ingredients:

1 oz white grapefruit juice
.5 oz fresh lime juice
.5 oz Velvet Falernum
.25 oz Turbinado simple syrup (recipe)
2 oz Bourbon or Whiskey (we used TINCUP Whiskey)
ocktail cherry for garnish

 

method:

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake to chill. Pour unstrained into rocks glass and garnish with a cherry.

 


Big Bamboo

If ever there were an example of what a mix of fresh fruit juices can do for a Tiki Drink, the Big Bamboo is the one. With fresh-squeezed lime, orange, and grapefruit juices - plus a little passionfruit syrup, each simple flavor layers with the next to make this classic from 1960 a true Tiki Drink.

Originally from Mariano Licudine of the Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale, Florida this cocktail eventually became known as the "Mara-Amu." Some suggest they changed the name when they lowered the booze content, which was probably not a bad thing.

Like many other classics, this cocktail gets a quick zip in the blender, but if you prefer to leave the appliances out of the mix, just shake the shit out of it - but go with crushed ice, as you'll need every drop of water you can get to soften the punch of the rum.

Speaking of rum, we chose to use Flor de Caña Anejo Oro for the primary spirit in this one. This gold rum is aged 4 years and proves to be that perfect balance of soft yet full. Better still, you can try it next Friday, October 3rd when we gather for "Tikitober" at Track One!

Recipe adapted from Beachbum Berry's Sippin' Safari.

 

equipment:

blender
tall glass

ingredients:

1 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz fresh orange juice
1 oz fresh white grapefruit juice
1 oz passionfruit syrup (recipe)
1 oz dark Jamaican rum
2 oz Flor de Caña Anejo Oro
4 dashes Angostura bitters
1 cup crushed ice


method:

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high for 5 seconds. Pour into glass and serve.

Pennington's Punch

By now, you surely know how we like to challenge the conventional.

Just because most Tiki Drinks are made with rum, does not mean that they have to be. To prove that point, we've invited the local Pennington's Strawberry Rye Whiskey to join us at our Tikitober event on October 3 at Track One. 

If you've never had Pennington's, it's basically pure rye whiskey with natural strawberry flavors and a touch of sugar. It's great as a shot, but also surprisingly mixable too (check out all the recipes they have on their website). Unlike some other flavored spirits, it does not taste artificial (well, because it isn't). 

So back to the cocktail... Like any other good Tiki Drink, this one needs fresh juices and layers of flavor. The fresh juices from white grapefruit and lemons add the 'juice,' and the spice of the rye, a little grapefruit bitters and fresh grated nutmeg the all-important layers of flavor.

 

equipment:

blender
glass

ingredients:

2 oz Pennington's Strawberry Rye Whiskey
2 oz fresh-squeeze white grapefruit juice
1 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 dashes grapefruit bitters
1 cup crushed ice
freshly-grated nutmeg

 

method:

Add Pennington's, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, bitters and ice to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into glass and grate fresh nutmeg on top. Serve.

 

Grapefruit Hammock Tiki Drink

We've recently announced that our October 3st of the Month theme will be all about Tiki Drinks. We're kinda obsessed with them actually. . .but we're also excited about educating some folks about what Tiki Drinks are all about. 

As we've discussed before, a good Tiki Drink is all about complexity and layers of flavors. They typically start with fresh fruit juices and a combination of rums, but it's the other elements that really make them 'tiki' - the spices, syrups and flavors. 

But it's a common misconception that they have to be sickeningly sweet. In order to set that straight, we've whipped up this grapefruit-based cocktail, using original 'white' grapefruit, not the candy-sweet ruby red variety (thought they will work as well).

But we've also added another fundamental of many Tiki Drinks - Falernum. Falernum is available as a liqueur or flavored syrup and refers to a combination of lime, ginger, spice and almond flavors. It's a key ingredient in the classic Zombie cocktail and adds immediate complexity to cocktails. 

 

The Grapefruit Hammock - a refreshingly tart Tiki Drink from 3st of the Month

equipment:

cocktail shaker
strainer
tiki glass or collins glass

ingredients:

3 oz fresh-squeezed white grapefruit juice
.75 oz aged white rum
.75 oz black rum
.75 oz spiced rum
.75 oz falernum
.5 oz apricot liqueur
pinch freshly-grated nutmeg
fresh grapefruit and cherry for garnish


method:

Combine all ingredients except garnish in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake for 15 seconds to chill. Fill glass with ice and strain cocktail into glass. Garnish and serve.


Violet Beauregarde Gin Cocktail

When you think of gin and crème de violette liqueur, you probably think of the classic Aviation cocktail. While we won't deny the delicious boozyness of the Aviation, that lonely bottle of crème de violette needs some other cocktails every now and then.

One of our favorite violet offerings is Rothman & Winter Crème de Violette. Made with a base spirit distilled from grapes and violet flowers from the Alps, it has an obviously floral flavor to it. But there is more than just flowers to the flavor. It is sweet, vegetal and slightly herbal. A little goes a very long way with cocktails, so use it sparingly - a bottle should last you for quite a while.

We've paired it with another obtuse bar staple: Velvet Falernum. Most often used in tropical tiki drinks, Falernum has a complex lime/spice/almond flavor profile.

Intended for sipping, we've made this cocktail with a spherical ice ball, so it will slowly melt while you take your time sipping little nips of this fragrant boozy beverage.

 

equipment:

cocktail mixing glass
bar spoon
strainer
rocks glass
spherical ice ball (or large cube)

ingredients:

2 oz Prairie Organic Gin
.5 oz Crème de Violette 
.5 oz Velvet Falernum 
.5 oz dry vermouth
2 dashes grapefruit bitters
strip of grapefruit zest for garnish


method:

Chill your glass with ice while preparing cocktail. Fill your mixing glass with ice and add gin, crème de violette, falernum, vermouth and bitters. Stir for 20 or so seconds to chill. Place ice ball in your prepared rocks glass and strain cocktail into glass. Garnish with grapefruit zest.


The Gilligan

What makes a Tiki drink a Tiki drink? It's pretty simple really and takes about three main components, but it's really all about layers of fresh, tropical flavors.

First, start with great rum. While not all Tiki drinks are made with rum, most are. Find some good rums, like the ones we've been using from Sugar Island Rum Co. Many Tiki drinks have more than one rum - using light, dark and especially spiced rums to add to the layers of flavor we mentioned earlier. 

The second element to a good tiki drink is fresh fruit juices. We're not talking about Ocean Spray out of a bottle...we're talking about squeeze your own damn fruits until they weep. But a good Tiki drink is often made with more than one fresh juice - and typically tropical in nature. Be it pineapple, citrus, mango, passionfruit - whatever. 

And the third component to a good tiki drink is spice and other flavor accents.  Be it spice from the rum or spiced syrups, many have elements of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger or liqueurs that add flavors of almond or citrus. 

When you pair all these together, you get that complex layered flavor that makes a delicious Tiki drink - like this one, The Gilligan.

 

Make. This. Now. The Gilligan Tiki Drink from 3st of the Month

equipment:

cocktail shaker
strainer
highball or Tiki glass

ingredients:

1.5 oz Sugar Island Spiced Rum
1.5 oz Sugar Island Coconut Rum
1.5 oz fresh-squeezed pink grapefruit juice
1.5 oz fresh pineapple juice
1.5 oz fresh watermelon juice
.5 oz Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
pinch fresh nutmeg
fresh fruit for garnish


method:

In a cocktail shaker with ice, add all ingredients except the garnish. Shake for 20-30 seconds before straining into a chilled glass. Top with ice, garnish with fresh fruit and enjoy!

Salted Grapefruit Margarita

Oh yeah. Margaritas kick ass. Well, tequila kicks ass, so therefore a margarita does too - especially when made with fresh fruit juices. 

We've fallen head over heels for Casamigos Ultra Premium Tequila. If you've not tried it yet, get out there and get a bottle...or five. It's very smooth, yet still has a distinct agave flavor. While we probably most often drink it neat, this simple margarita is by no means a waste of good tequila. 

What makes a good margarita? Simple. Good tequila, fresh citrus and orange liqueur. That's really about all you need. 

 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
strainer
highball glass

ingredients:

2 oz Casamigos Blanco Tequila
1 oz orange liqueur
2 oz fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice
.5 oz fresh lime juice
kosher salt for rim
wedge of grapefruit for garnish


method:

Prepare your glass by running a slice of lime or grapefruit around the rim before dipping into kosher salt. In a cocktail shaker full of ice, add tequila, orange liqueur, grapefruit juice and lime juice. Shake the shit out of it for about 15-20 seconds. Fill your glass with ice and strain margarita into glass.