November 11th, 2007

Dexter & Stagg
  • tmfiii

Mixology Monday - Gin!!!


Welcome to my first ever Mixology Monday!  This is pretty exciting for Sean and I here at The Scofflaw's Den.  If you haven't been by to visit us yet, I hope you enjoy reading about our mixology adventures.  Hopefully, you'll have a good visit and we'll be able to add a little something to the resurgence of classic cocktails, have some good times and make a few friends along the way.

First and foremost, I want to thank Jay Hepburn over at Oh Gosh! for hosting this month's Mixology Monday.  Jay's blog was one of the first that I found on the interweb and have been a devoted reader ever since.  Thanks again Jay!

Now on to business.  I'll tell you, I had a difficult time coming up with something to post.  I love gin and a great many of the cocktails I've used it in.  But, one thing that I like to do is experiment.  So I decided to get in the kitchen and try to come up with a drink that would be tasty and appealing to cocktailians and weekend mixers across the board . . . and yes, even those odd folks who say they don't like gin.  

I started by doing some research in the blogosphere, the interwebs and a few books.  I found a lot of great ideas and cocktails, one being the Pink Lady.   The Pink Lady uses two of my favorite ingrediants, apple jack/calvados and grenadine.  But I also wanted to use one of my favorite new ingredients, St. Germain.  Hmmm . . . gin and St. Germain.  Well, after my research, I decided that my cocktail for the masses would be something light and fragrant with a nice sweetness.  Well, something with gin, grenadine and St. Germain would certainly be delicious in theory . . . 

First, lets start with the gin.

What could be in this nice little package???  Let's open her up!

Ohhhhh . . . what's that inside?  Looks like the neck of a very familiar bottle . . . (okay, I know you can read the writing on the case, but hell, I'm just having fun here.)

Ahhh, Hendrick's.  One of the best gins I know.  Hendrick's has a light rose petal and cucumber aromatic that is (at least to me) refreshing and quite good.  I felt this is the perfect gin for me to experiment my MxMo cocktail.  

One thing that I was a bit worried about was having a drink that was too sweet.  I tend to have a serious sweet tooth, so I wanted something that would help tame the St. Germain and the grenadine (homemade of course.)  I decided on using some maraschino liqueur.  I hoped that the slightly musky cherry flavor and aroma of the maraschino would tone down the sweetness and add a nice background flavor to the cocktail.  Something people wouldn't quite know what it was when they drank it, but without it, the cocktail just wouldn't be the same.

(Not the best maraschino out there, but the best I can find in VA and DC . . . but I think I know where a bottle of Luxardo is hidden . . . )

And now dear readers, a quick confession.  I have never had a cocktail containing egg white.  No flips for me.  It has always been a mental block of mine, one that I knew I had to overcome.  One thing I learned in my research was that egg white, when added to a cocktail, can transform it seemingly like magic.  It can tame the harsh edges of a rough spirit.  It creates a silky smooth texture.  It can turn something good into something great.  In short, I knew that I had to break this block and make my MxMo cocktail a flip!!!

Well, the aromatics of the Hendrick's, St. Germain and maraschino for some reason got me thinking of orange.  Another aromatic that if used correctly would be just barely there, a gentle touch of orange.  But what did I have sitting around my liquor cabinet?  Oh yes, some Fee Brother's West Indian Orange Bitters and Orange Flower Water.  Now I was ready to create!

After a little trial and error, I hit upon this concoction that blew my socks off.  

The Orchard Flip
2 oz. Hendrick's Gin
.5 oz maraschino liqueur
.5 oz St. Germain
2 dashes Fee Brother's West Indian Orange Bitters
3 dashes Fee Brother's Orange Flower Water
1 Tsp Grenadine
One half an egg white*

Shake everything over ice until you feel your hands have frozen to the shaker.  
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  
Twist orange rind over drink to shower the top and edge of the glass with orange oils.  
*After my initial trials, I only had half an egg white left, which is what was in the final drink.  A full egg white would lead to a much more velvety mouth feel, but honestly, I enjoyed the results from the half.

You can see from the picture that the cocktail just looks as smooth as silk.  It was sweet (not overly so) and was incredibly aromatic.  One thing I forgot to do when I took the photo was add the garnish.  Oh well . . . 

The St. Germain and maraschino combined to a flavor that reminded me of cherry blossoms on the National Mall while being backed up by the sweet-tart grenadine and light orange aroma.  The drink screamed spring time orchard blossoms.  

While I did have reservations about making and drinking a light pink drink, my goal was to create something new that would appeal to a lot of people.  I really believe I accomplished this.  Please give it a go and leave a comment if you like.  Personally, I would love to know what you think of the drink and the blog.   So feel free to leave us a note.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this MxMo entry and you enjoy The Scofflaw's Den.  Sean will have a post as well and I'm sure you will enjoy it.   

See you around the blogosphere, folks.


Mixology Monday - Gin!

It's time for our first Mixology Monday!  tmfiii has already posted his new drink, while I went with a couple of classics.  Let's hear it for Jay of Oh Gosh! who is hosting it this week!  (And thanks to Cocktail Chronicles who came up with the idea.)

Mmmm, gin.  I wasn't a big fan of gin in the past, but recently I've gotten into it with a vengeance.  Let's hear it for gins!

I let Marshall rock out with the Hendricks while I started with the Tanqueray 10.  My first drink of the evening would be the venerable Income Tax cocktail - a drink mentioned in Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails as well as a few other sites, so I wanted to try the different recipes.

If you're familiar with another classic drink, the Bronx, you'll recognize the Income Tax Cocktail as being a Bronx with bitters.

First we need the ingredients.

I'm reciting the recipe from memory; my copy of the book is floating around somewhere unreachable.

1 1/2 ounces gin
3/4 ounce dry vermouth
3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters
juice of 1/4 of an orange

I garnished it with a thin wheel of orange.

This one I wasn't a huge fan of, to be honest.  The vermouth was very strong in it, and I felt that the directions to use "1/4 of an orange" in juice was a bit vague.  How big are the oranges?  How juicy?  Like that.  So I switched over to Robert Hess' recipe from

1 1/4 ounce gin
3/4 ounce orange juice
1/4 ounce dry vermouth
1/4 ounce sweet vermouth
1 dash Angostura bitters

No, it's not fresh squeezed, but it's second best.

This one was a lot smoother, and as you might be able to guess, the vermouth was nearly non-existent.  I thought about fiddling around with the recipe - those measurements such as "1/4" of an ounce can be a pain in the butt with the measuring cup I had - but then I remembered the whole thing about a Bronx with bitters.

This time I went to Straight Up or On the Rocks by William Grimes.  In the back he had a recipe for a Bronx - I'll just add bitters to it, I figured.

1 1/2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce dry vermouth
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
juice of 1/4 orange  (instead, I used 3/4 of an ounce)
and I added a dash or so of Angastora bitters.

(No pic - it looks the same!  Trust me!)

This one really hit the spot.  You could taste the vermouth, but it wasn't overpowering like the first one, and gave it a bit of depth of taste.  I was wondering about trying different bitters - such as the Fee's Orange or Regan's Orange - but decided to leave well enough alone for now.

And next time I'll squeeze the OJ.

But the night was still young!  I went ahead and made myself a martini.

A real martini, if you will, in fact.  3 parts Bombay Sapphire gin, 1 part Noilly Prat sweet vermouth, and a twist of lemon.

WOW.  I mean...damn.  But what I'd forget?


I had to make another one.  The differences in taste were remarkable, but it was still just so good, I'd had no idea what I'd been missing.  I needed another one.

This time I made it with dry vermouth.  Also quite tasty.

The lemon made a big difference, too.  The next night I went to make a martini at home, and unfortunately for me, my channel knife is nowhere near as good as Marshall's, so it wasn't as good of a drink.  I need a better one.

That was about it for me that night, as you can probably guess.  Well, actually, I did have a couple of Yuenglings later, but that's neither here nor there.  The Income Tax cocktail is definitely going into my little metal notebook where I, uh, keep notes on drinks, and the martini I'm going to have to start doing more often.

(The next trick for a martini?  The martini con queso as a friend goes by - Bombay Sapphire, Noilly Prat dry vermouth, and a small cube of stinky blue cheese.  I hear it's good - so what the heck.)