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Archive for August, 2009

Review – Roundhouse Corretto

Posted by Reese On August - 13 - 2009

You listened patiently while I waxed poetic about Roundhouse Gin, which I still claim is one of the most interesting and tasty gins I’ve ever tried.  Well shortly after posting that review I got an email from Roundhouse‘s founder and distiller Alex Nelson letting me know that they’d recently released Corretto a new coffee liqueur.  Knowing this I zipped out and picked up a bottle.

Roundhouse Corretto Coffee Liqueur

Corretto is aptly named after a popular coffee preparation in Italy, the Caffe Corretto.  In a Caffe Corretto your shot of espresso is corrected with the addition of a shot of liquor.  I think I could really change my stance on coffee if I can expect each cup to have a nice shot of alcohol included in each.

Given this week’s cocktail it seemed like a great time for a review.  The White Russian always calls for another prominent coffee liqueur, which for this review will remain nameless. It seemed only logical that I should compare the two.  Corretto has a light maple syrup color while the other is darker, closer to molasses.  The nose on the Corretto is certainly lighter than the leading brand, but has a cleaner coffee aroma.

Let’s face it the flavor is what really counts.  Corretto is less sweet but the coffee flavor is intense and very fresh.  While I do like the leading brand quite a lot for me Corretto is the winner.  Alex summed it up best in his email when he described Corretto as “a coffee liqueur that’s been blowing the pants off of <nameless giant> in our blind taste tests.”  If Corretto is for sale in your area pick up a bottle.  If not, let me know and we can work something out.  Either way happiness will ensue.

White Russian

Posted by Reese On August - 9 - 2009

If you’re a fan of The Big Lebowski you’re already familiar with this week’s cocktail.  And, well, if not let’s do some familiarization.  This week I’m going to be mixing up White Russians.  The source of this drink seems a bit shaky.  Wikipedia references both an insert to the November 21st, 1965 edition of the Oakland Tribune and that the drink was created shortly after WWI.  No matter where it came from it looks tasty, so let’s get started.

White Russian (Joy of Mixology)
2 oz Vodka
1 oz Cream
1 oz Kahlua
1) Combine ingredients with ice in shaker
2) Shake and strain into an ice filled glass

The Mojito – I’m a Believer

Posted by Reese On August - 8 - 2009

If you had asked me 6 months ago if I liked Mojitos I would have been hard pressed to say yes.  Heck even a week ago I was still on the fence, but this week has made me a believer.  The drink is ubiquitous as I mentioned in my intro and I now realize why.  When mixed properly with good ingredients the Mojito is a fantastic drink.  It’s refreshing like few other cocktails I’ve sampled.

Mojito

I really don’t have much to say about the recipe as I found Gary’s to be just right for me.  I definitely suggest you try some variations (check out the comments for some interesting suggestions).  They can certainly elevate this drink to even higher levels of greatness.  As for lime juice versus lime wedges I say go lime wedges all the way unless you’re mixing up a bunch for a party.  The visceral sensation of muddling the lime, sugar and mint really adds to the whole experience.  Also, people far smarter than me have said that the muddling extracts oils from the lime peel that you wouldn’t get by using juice.  Same goes for sugar versus simple syrup.  Go sugar, it adds to the experience and acts as an abrasive to extract flavors from the mint and lime.

So, I guess if I can only leave you with one thing about this cocktail it would be this.  If you’ve had Mojitos and since convinced yourself you don’t like them, give it another go with good fresh ingredients.  I bet you’ll be surprised by what you find.

Mojito Variations

Posted by Reese On August - 5 - 2009

With ubiquity comes variation.  For, as it’s said, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  It really makes sense with the Mojito though.  Each of the base ingredients lends its self well to substituion.  Rather than link to a bunch of variations (you all know how to use Google I assume) I’m going to give you some possibilities that you can explore on your own if you so desire.  I’m going to group the mods into categories, namely herbal, additive, spirituous and citrus.  Modding the sugar is also an option, but the choices there aren’t as many or as interesting, so I’ll be skipping those for now.

Blueberry Basil Mojito

Herbal: The sky is the limit here.  Raid your herb garden, grocery store or farmer’s market and let your curiosity go nuts.  Some possibles: basil, verbena, rosemary, tarragon, sage, and that doesn’t even begin to touch the hojillion varieties of mint.  Heck, you could even use catnip if you so desire.

Additive: There are lots of things you can add to the base to change up the mix.  Here are a few to get you thinking: ginger, jalapeno, berries (oh man, there’s too many to even mention), other fruits (peach, cherries, mango?).  There are no doubt others, and I’d absolutely love to hear about any you love.

Spirituous: White rum is the classic and for good reason.  It’s smooth, lightly sweet and works fantastically well with the citrus.  For me you’re starting to get outside the realm of modification when you start making a Mojito with a completely different base spirit.  That said, there are lots and lots of rum options out there.  Get creative and more importantly use what you like.

Citrus: Here’s another where the sky is nearly the limit.  Living in Colorado I don’t have as many options as I’m sure some of you do but again, look at your grocery store’s supply and hit up the farmer’s market.  How about key limes or maybe yuzu?  Going to be tasty no matter what route you take.

For every possible flavor combination you come up with there are two more that pop up.  But, in this case, that’s good thing.  Everyone has had a standard Mojito.  So, for your next event mix up something unique and personal.  For this week my variation of choice has been a Basil Blueberry Mojito.  Very tasty.  The basil flavors are a nice change from the mint and the blueberries and lime go together well.

Let me know what you’ve been mixing up!

Blueberry Basil Mojito

Basil Blueberry Mojito
1/2 Lime Quartered
2-3 tsp Sugar
10-12 Blueberries
10-12 Basil Leaves
2 oz White Rum
Club Soda
1) Combine basil, limes, sugar and blueberries in a glass
2) Muddle until sugar is dissolved
3) Add rum and ice
4) Top with club soda

Mojito

Posted by Reese On August - 2 - 2009

Over the last couple years it’s become a ubiquitous cocktail.  In fact, if you look around I bet there’s one within eye shot of you right now.  The Mojito, you know it and I’m certain you’ve had a crappy one, everyone has.  But, this week, I’m here to teach you how to do it right.  It’s another one of those deceptively simple cocktails that can go wrong so easily.

We’ll start with Gary Regan’s recipe.  Because, if for no other reason, I’m sure it’s been carefully researched. :D

Mojito (Joy of Mixology)
4 Limes Wedges
2 - 3 tsp Sugar
8 - 10 Mint Leaves
2 oz White Rum
Club Soda
Mint Sprig for Garnish
1) Combine lime wedges, sugar and mint in a glass
2) Muddle until sugar is dissolved
3) Add rum and ice
4) Top with club soda
5) Garnish with a mint sprig