Category Archives: Ginny, Gin, Gin

An Americano Holiday

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As I sit here a four day weekend 100 miles from my basement bar is staring me in the face. What to pack? Don’t want to over pack, don’t want to under pack and be at the mercy of host’s bar. Whatever you’re bringing needs to be versatile, mobile, and it must play well with others.

I’m headed to my Father’s house. Fortunately he will have plenty of gin and bourbon, as well as a variety of dusty liqueurs and a weathered bottle of Angostura bitters. I would venture to guess his stock is similar to what you’d find in many basement bars. Just with more gin and bourbon. That being said, certainly not everything you need for a four day weekend.

I’ll be poolside for much of the weekend, but night caps and eye openers will also be required. I could lug Cointreau, Absinthe, and Lillet down to go with the gin for my eye opening Corpse Reviver. Follow that with a series of Dark and Stormy talls, a case of Goslings ginger beer and rum later, how will I have room for the pre dinner Aviation makings and night cap Manhattans.

I’m a solutions oriented guy, so here’s the solution:

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Campari, sweet vermouth, oranges, and Spanish Bitters? Yes. And here’s how it works.

Eye opener; 1 to 1 Campari to Dolin, adjust to fit your palate.

Poolside? Poolside on Independence Day? Why an Americano of course; 1 to 1 to 2 parts Campari, Dolin, club soda.

To garnish the first I’d do a swath of orange, for the second, an orange wheel or three. I like the Spanish Bitters in each. Heavier in the eye opener, just a couple dashes in the Americano.

What about the night capper? Well, remember that gin I mentioned? A classic Negroni; 1 to 1 to 1 of our three players. Spanish Bitters to finish. And if the fireworks aren’t delivering, flame the orange for a finale.

I chose the Spanish Bitters for this weekend because they work well in the above drinks, but also in a Gin & Tonic or martini in case those are called for and I want to add a twist for the drinker.

Additionally, by going this route I also ensure that after a sixxer of Bell’s Two Hearted tonight, when my dad wants to switch to Manhattans, I know the vermouth will be fresh, because I brought it.

But most importantly, you arrive with only two bottles, no hassle, no strange looks, no scene. Yet, you can make all the above cocktails, and many more.

More you say? Yes. Take for example the Esquire Cocktail a 1 to 1 to 1 to 3 part ration of Aperol, liqueur, lemon, base spirit. Now, you’ve packed Campari, so that’s going to pack a bigger punch than Aperol, but if some wisenheimer cousin or brother in law starts talking cocktails and you want to show who the family cocktologist really is, give it a spin. I’d suggest pairing Dad’s bourbon, that crusty bottle of Benedictine, some lemons you saved from drowning in sun tea, and the Campari, with a splash of the Angostura or Spanish Bitters. Shake it up, or if you’ve finely strained the juice, you could even try stirring this one. It may not be the smoothest sipper, but it’ll put any naysayer in their place.

If you aren’t looking to over rattle your cocktologist’s saber, try the Golden Ratio by Jamie Boudreau. 1.5 parts spirit, .75 parts vermouth or other modifier, .25 parts liqueur or amaro. This ratio produces many fine cocktails. Simply use the vermouth you brought, the gin or bourbon available, and a quarter ounce of one of those dusty liqueurs.

So there you have it. Toss a bottle of Campari, some bitters, and a not too complex sweet vermouth in your bag and you’ll be ready to enjoy this long weekend in true cocktologist fashion.

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A Mood Reviver

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I was in a foul mood upon arriving home. Definitely needed a stiff drink, an best make it a double.

Went to the fridge and grabbed an unsuspecting lemon. Juiced the bastard and came up with 1.5 ounces fresh squeezed lemon juice. What to do with the juice? Pulled Regan’s “Joy of Mixilogy” and rifled through looking for a recipe calling for .75 ounces of lemon juice. Remember, needing a double.

My eyes caught the Corpse Reviver #1, well that nasty thing wouldn’t due, but #2 sounded good. Wasn’t looking for 1.5 ounces of Triple Sec, too sweet, so I improvised.

I saw Gary Regan’s recent tweet;

“@gazregan: When you make a Béarnaise sauce, do you go looking for Chef Jules Colette’s nineteenth-century recipe?: http://t.co/sdVxpF9T”

this very AM and can’t say I was inspired, because I held the same views, but I do suggest reading his blog posting. He speaks to playing with ratios when using higher proof spirits or sweeter/stronger modifiers, but my tampering is in the same vein. Ted Kilgore of Taste suggests playing with ingredients in classic recipes when working on your own concoctions.

But back to the matter at hand:

Mood Reviver
1.5 ounces Gin
1.5 ounces Lilet Blanc
1.5 ounces Lemon juice
.75 ounces Mandarine Napoleon
.75 ounces Maraschino Liqueur
3.0 dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters
2.0 dashes Dr. Adam’s Spanish Bitters

Combine in a cocktail tin, fill with ice, shake till frosty. Double strain into a cocktail coupe. Garnish with a swath of lemon peal.

Enjoy, don’t drive, that’s 4.5 ounces of booze mister, just have a second one and take a nap. Throw your keys under the couch before starting the first cocktail, just in case your mood worsens or improves too much.

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A Revived Corpse Indeed

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On most days a simple cup or eight of coffee will be enough to face the day, some days I need it bit more to brace myself for the coming onslaught, so coffee and a whiskey, then there are those other days…Like the day directly following Cinco de Drinko, I refuse to say Mayo, when the majority of revelers are reveling independence from France, and not an excuse to drink bottled margaritas, I’ll call it Cinco de Mayo. Anyway, today follows that nonsense, as well as Derby Day, something I do celebrate. Not only that, but for my StL brethren, today is Pigs and Pints at Civil Life Brewing Co.

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As much as I’d love to be there, I have a higher calling this day, a baptism, and an opportunity to wear seersucker.

Still, after the numerous Juleps and the 750 ml of Imperial IPA I put down yesterday, I needed something strong and fortifying to get going this very morn.

When reviving a corpse, one has two options, Corpse Reviver No. 1 and Corpse Reviver No. 2, I like No. 2. Number 1 appears to be an after dinner or a boozer up fruity Manhattan.

Corpse Reviver No. 1
2.0 Applejack (Laird’s Bonded please)
.75 Sweet Vermouth
.75 Brandy

Stir in a mixing glass with ice, double strain, prepare to set hair on fire.

I drink, occasionally to excess, and if I started the morning with that blast of booze I’d end the evening with an arrest warrant. Therefore, I prefer the kinder, gentler, but buzz providing No. 2.

Corpse Reviver No. 2
.75 gin
.75 triple sec
.75 Lillet Blonde
.75 lemon juice
.25 Absinthe

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Shake with ice, double strain, classically garnished with a lemon. I deviated here, I garnished with a grapefruit peel and added ten or so drops of Bittermens Hopped Grapefruit bitters.

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Bittermens bitters are available at Boston Shaker where I get most of my shakers, specialty cups, and bitters. The Bittermens line is now available in the St. Louis market, you’ll see them proudly displayed at Taste, Blood & Sand, and Sanctuaria. They’ve got the full line, including shrubs, I’ve got the Tiki, Boston, and aforementioned bitters.

I also used Cointreau over triple sec, I just prefer it. Mandarine Napoleon or Grand Marnier have to heavy a brandy quotient and bog down the drink. As I prepared it, it’s tart, refreshing, and eye opening. Just the way it needs to be.

This drink also works well as an aperitif. It is the last cocktail I had on the last night of Monarch.

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It did the job, getting me ready for a meal of five or so of there best appetizers. One should note, they didn’t double strain. Double straining is the dividing line between good and great. As I twitter tweeted Friday at @AmuseDouche11, if I wanted a snow cone, I’d order one. Of course that drink wasn’t even proportioned correctly and was horribly unbalanced, some that as simple as following the recipe for an Aviation would have corrected. The Monarch drink was perfect, other than the lack of tea strainer involvement. This versatile concoction can start a day, or start a dinner in style.

Harry Craddock noted, in “The Savoy Cocktail Book” that this drink should be “taken before 11 AM, or whenever steam and energy are needed.” I bet there are many of you out there, especially on this morning, needing a bit of both, so dust off the Lillet, pull your favorite local craft gin down, juice a lemon, and make Number 2 work for you.

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In this shot No. 2 looks as angelic as I’m sure baby Kennedy will at her baptism later today. Good luck to proud papa and long time reader, Lance, and let’s hope for no impromptu No. 2s today.

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Summer is here.

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Summer is here, the Cardinals are playing tonight, the Schlafly Farmer’s Market started today, the Masters starts tomorrow, the mercury has hit ninety in the last week, I don’t care what the calendar says, it’s summer, and that means it’s time for more gin, more KMOX Cardinal’s baseball, and more seersucker.

Nothing like sitting on the porch, sipping Aviations, and listening to Mike and John call a Cardinal’s game. I know you’re probably thinking, listening to the game, yes. For one, I can’t spend 162 nights glued to a TV, I need to be doing things around the house. For two, radio is the theatre of the mind, and listening to a game keeps the imagination and mind sharp. For three, Mike and John are the best announcer team in baseball, and I don’t feel like I’m drinking alone when I listen to Mike Shannon call a game.

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Tonight I am having my first Aviation of the season. This is my go to drink when the weather gets warm. It’s also my go to drink if I want to test the mustard of a new cocktail lounge. If they have Maraschino and Creme de Violet, they ought to be able to shake one of these up.

This once blew up in my face at 360, the over hyped, douche filled, completely disappointing bar at the top of the Ball Park Hilton across from Busch Stadium. The bartender made me an on the rocks Aviation with way too much Creme de Violet after I simply asked for an Aviation. The barman asked if I liked it, my shock at the fact that there was cubes of ice in my drink kept me from bringing that up, but I was able to mention the fact that my drink was cloyingly sweet. His response, “I usually make these for women.” What? DoIi look like a woman? What does that have to do with the ratio? If you don’t know how to make one, ask the customer, don’t assume anything. It’s a quarter ounce of Creme de Violet , wether or not the patron has a penis or a vagina, unless the customer asks for some other version, never assume they want anything other than a classic. In addition to that, my buddy who asks for Last Words when he sees Maraschino and Chartreuse, asked for a Last Word, and I had to walk the moron barman through the equal parts cocktail. Terrible. That place is a huge disappointment. Why have the liqueurs if all your barmen know how to do is pour a vodka tonic?

Anyway, unlike that no talent ass clown, I’ve made a million Aviations, the right way, but I thought I’d try something new and asked Dr. Adam Elmegirab for some advice on the Twitter, follow me at @AmuseDouche11, follow Dr. Adam at @AdamsBitters, I wanted to know what bitters to try in this traditionally bitterless beverage, so i asked the good Doctor. I wasn’t looking to add sweetness, sorry, still bitter about the 360 experience. Dr. Adam suggested his Spanish Bitters, for more on them click here , they worked wonderfully, and I wasn’t surprised as when it gets warmer Fee Brothers Rhubarb and Peach, Dr. Adam’s Spanish, and Bitter Truth’s Grapefruit are my usual reach fors.

Aviation
2.0 ounces gin
1.0 ounces Maraschino Liqueur
.50 ounces lemon juice
.25 ounces Creme de Violet

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Shake ingredients for twenty five seconds and then double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. I garnish with a strip of lemon.

I went with Dr. Adam’s Spanish Bitters, but could have easily gone with Bar Keep’s Lavendar Spice. It would have accompanied the Creme de Violet nicely.

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Either way, it’s a dynamite cocktail.

I’ve been known to make pitchers of Aviations in preparation for a Cardinal’s game.

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They’re great, but you need to use large cubes so that the drink isn’t diluted to far. You can see I used round ones from a ice sphere mold my boss gave me.

I’ve had Aviations without the Creme de Violet, they aren’t bad, but they lack the beautiful sky like blue color and a bit of sweetness. Go that route if you don’t have the Creme de Violet, but feel like a boozey, yet refreshing, warm weather cocktail. But, go get a bottle, it’s not that pricey checking in at about $25 a bottle, and at .25 an ounce per drink, it’ll take a lot of Aviations to run through a bottle. At one Aviation per Cardinal’s game, you’d go through two bottles on a season, a worthwhile investment. While you’re investing, get some Dr. Adam’s Spanish Bitters at cocktail kingdom or thebostonshaker.com.

There’s no Cardinals baseball tomorrow, but as it’s officially summer in my book, which is the only book that matters, I’ll be rocking the seersucker

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and white bucks,

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to start the new season. I’m sure I’ll also find a reason to have a spot of gin on the porch. The only thing better than seersucker and an Aviation is seersucker and a Mint Julep. The Kentucky Colonel Mint I picked up at the Schlafly Farmer’s Market will help with those later this summer.

#STRAIGHTHEAT

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