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Archive for June, 2009

20th Century Cocktail – Wow…yeah, wow

Posted by Reese On June - 6 - 2009

I mixed this cocktail for the first time with a bit of trepidation.  Chocolate, lemon, gin and aperetif wine, really?  I’m happy to report that someone had a lot more depth of cocktail thought than I do.  I never would have guess that this combination would taste so good.  But taste good it most certainly does. I started my journey with the recipe from Dr. Cocktail’s Vintage Cocktails and Spirits (1 1/2 oz Gin, 3/4 oz Lemon Juice, 3/4 oz Creme de Cacao, 3/4 oz Lillet Blond).  This recipe proved a little too sweet for my palate so I transitioned to the Joy of Mixology recipe instead (1 1/2 oz Gin, 1/2 oz Lemon Juice, 1/2 oz Creme de Cacao, 1/2 oz Lillet Blond).

20th Century Cocktail

The interplay of flavors in this cocktail is unlike anything I’ve had before.  On the front of the flavor curve you’re going to taste the citrus from the lemon juice and the Lillet.  The herbal notes of the Lillet are going to come next mingled with the herbal notes of the gin.  Finally as the curve tapers off you’ll get a hint of chocolate from the creme de cacao.  Cutting down the sweetness was just what the doctor ordered.  Truly a unique and delicious cocktail experience.

Some notes to keep in mind.  I tried Plymouth gin at first but found its flavors to be too light for this application.  I chose Tanqueray next and that worked out well.  This is another instance where I wonder what the impact of the original recipe Kina Lillet would make.  Certainly there would be some added bitterness, but that might play really well with the sweetness.  Finally, I ran across a recipe in Difford’s Guide that called for the use of dry vermouth instead of Lillet.  I mixed it up and found the cocktail to not be nearly as good.  The drink was much drier and not particularly well balanced.

20th Century Cocktail (Joy of Mixology)
1 1/2 oz Gin
1/2 oz Lillet Blond
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz White Creme de Cacao
Lemon Twist for Garnish
1) Combine ingredients in a shaker over ice
2) Shake until combined and well chilled
3) Strain into a chilled cocktail glass

Cruzan Single Barrel

Posted by Reese On June - 4 - 2009

Earlier this week a bottle of Cruzan Single Barrel arrived on my doorstep to sample.  Looking back it was clearly brought by some kind of booze angel.  Never having tasted a single barrel rum before I popped the cork that night and poured a bit noticing first the mellow amber color.  This color is imparted during it’s dual aging process.  First the rum is aged for 4-12 years in refilled bourbon or whiskey barrels.  After this first aging the rums are blended to the satisfaction of master distiller Gary Nelthropp.  Once the blend is perfected the spirit is returned to the barrel, new American white oak this time, for a second aging.  6 – 12 months later, when the flavor profile is just right, Cruzan Single Barrel is bottled, numbered and sent off for lucky rum lovers to enjoy.

Cruzan Single Barrel

My first whiff of this delightful elixir introduced me to a wide range of vanilla notes and oaky aromas.  You can definitely tell this rum was aged in new oak barrels for that second aging.  In the vanilla and oaky aroma you also pick up the sweetness of this rum.  On your tongue those vanilla and oaky flavors are more fully expressed.  The light sweetness detected in the aroma comes through in a very pleasant way that works extremely well with the complex vanilla notes in this rum.  The spirit has a lasting light finish echoing the oak and vanilla notes.

Since the bottle arrived Monday and I had my first taste that evening I’ve been having a small bit, neat,  every evening as a night cap.  This rum truly is wonderful tasting and it’s complex flavor keeps me coming back sip after sip.  Although I have been drinking the rum neat I’ve included a couple munchies in my tasting.  Last night I sampled it with a bit of homemade banana bread, which was simply fantastic.  Tuesday I tried it with a bit of good quality milk chocolate, also super tasty.  I think it would also go very well with fresh tropical fruits like mango or pineapple.  All these additions aside first give it a try all by itself with nothing to complicate the enjoyment.  You may find yourself simply sipping and enjoying the flavor of this complex rum all on it’s own.  I know I certainly have.

Bar Foamer vs. Egg White

Posted by Reese On June - 2 - 2009

About  a week ago Pam commented on my Pisco Sour post wondering if artificial foamers are still around.  I remembered having seen some at the Boulder Liquor Mart last time I was there and  figured it would be an entertaining experiment.  Since I’m always willing to put my well being second in line to a good experiment I picked up a bottle of Collin’s Bar Foamer and mixed up a Pisco Sour.

Pisco Sour with Collin's Bar Foamer

The bottle provides no instructions as to how much to use so, not surprisingly, I winged it.  I added about 12 drops to my favorite Pisco Sour recipe and shook for a solid 30 seconds.  The resulting foam was actually pretty impressive.  There wasn’t as much as there would have been with a 1/2 egg white, but I think that could be remedied with a few more drops.  The foam is a little less viscous than that created by egg white and the mouth feel of the cocktail isn’t as silky either.  The foamer didn’t add a noticeable flavor, which was a huge plus.  Basically the bar foamer provides just that, foam, nothing else.

I think if you’re worried about using eggs or are looking for a quick alternative then this option is certainly a viable one.  Know that the resulting cocktail won’t be as good as if you were to use egg white it will still be tasty.  This was a great experiment.  Throw some more my way.