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Archive for October, 2010

Milk Punch

Posted by Reese On October - 10 - 2010

It’s raining outside.  It’s been cold all day.  There is a dusting of snow of the mountains.  Fall has officially arrived in Colorado and I’m loving it.  For me, with fall comes a desire for things dense, comforting and likely unhealthy.  So, naturally I chose a punch for this week’s cocktail.  It’s not a punch like you’d think, though.  There’s no fruit, no bubbles, and milk.  Yes, milk.  Looking at the recipe it should really be thought of as more similar to eggnog than the punches we’re most used to.

With that, a recipe.

Milk Punch (Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails)
1 oz Brandy
1/2 oz Dark Rum
2 tsp Simple Syrup
2 dashes Vanilla Extract
4 oz Whole Milk
1) Combine in a shaker with ice
2) Shake and strain into a shaved ice filled glass
3) Top with nutmeg

Interesting thing about this recipe is that, despite it being from a book called “Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails”, it’s not really forgotten or vintage.  This recipe is more akin to what’s currently served in New Orleans as a brunch pick me up.  Dr. Cocktail mentions that the original recipe included dark rum but no vanilla extract.  The rum giving the drink a touch of vanilla flavor.  So, one thing I plan to do is to track down a truly classic recipe and give that a try as well.

To the shakers!

Tequila Sunrise – Mildly Uninspiring

Posted by Reese On October - 9 - 2010

As a cocktail writer, some of these wrap up posts are much easier than other.  Sometimes I’m very excited to pass on what I’ve learned over the course of my experiments and other times I need a swift kick in the ass to get it all down.  Sadly the Tequila Sunrise falls under the latter category.  I love good orange juice.  I love good tequila.  I don’t love this cocktail.  It’s kinda boring in the same way that Screwdrivers are boring.  Sure, they’re not bad.  In fact, they’re pretty good.  Problem is, I’ve had the best and now, okay isn’t good enough.

Tequila Sunrise

I’m not just going to whine about this cocktail for the whole post.  As I said, it’s really not all that bad.  If you’re interested in a refreshing tequila drink and you’re bored with the Paloma, here are some tips for making a decent Tequila Sunrise.  First, unless your orange juice has a good bit of sourness you’re going to a want a squeeze of lime with this one.  Second, much like a Gin and Tonic this drink is all about the ratio.  Specifically, it’s all about the ratio you like.  Want it more intense, use less orange juice, more mellow, use more.  I think you get the idea.  Third, add your grenadine last, even after you have all the ice in the glass.  Then give it a very gentle stir.  This will help the grenadine mix just a touch and give your drink a gorgeous color gradient.  Fourth, use a tequila that you like.  For me I go with a nice plata tequila, like the Olmeca Altos I reviewed earlier in the week.  However, if you like a mellower agave flavor then a reposado is what you want.  Lastly, please, please, please use good grenadine.  Don’t buy colored sugar water.  If you really want something good, make up a batch of Hibiscus Grenadine and be very happy.

So, there you go.  It’s tasty, but not a recipe that I’m going to find myself craving.  Onward, friends, onward.

Review – Olmeca Altos Tequila

Posted by Reese On October - 6 - 2010

Let’s get something out in the open.  I am, by no means, a tequila expert.  I enjoy the spirit, but haven’t had a ton of experience with it.  That said, I’ve been really disappointed by the number of tequila cocktails I’ve featured on Cocktail Hacker over the last couple years.  Truth be told, there aren’t a ton of them out there to work with.  Obstacles aside I promised myself to keep looking.  So, when I was contacted about receiving some samples of a new tequila being launched in the US, Olmeca Altos, I jumped at the opportunity.  Seemed  perfect impetus for me to find a great tequila cocktail to mix them with.  And, indeed, I’ve been using them for my Tequila Sunrises to great success.

Olmeca Altos is one line in the Olmeca family of tequilas that includes Olmeca, Olmeca Altos and Tezon.  Olmeca Altos differentiates itself from the others in that all of the blue agave used in its production is grown in the Altos region of Jalisco, Mexico.  The clay-like properties of the soil in this area make it particularly good for growing agave and the mineral content gives the plants from that region their own special character.  All of the Olmeca Altos tequilas are 100% blue agave and they’re all 40% ABV.  Pretty much par for the course for the premium tequila market.

Olmeca Altos PlataOlmeca Altos Plata – 40% ABV

This tequila has a very clean, crisp aroma dominated by the nice smell of agave.  Which, while dominant, is by no means overpowering.  The flavor follows suit.  It’s an extremely clean flavor.  Agave is again the main player with the flavor lingering for quite some time on the palate.  There is a very subtle sweetness present in the tequila as well that I found quite pleasant.  Finally there is no “burn” per se, but rather a light warmth.  Overall a very nice tequila and definitely my choice for mixing cocktails.  The agave flavor is prominent enough to where it isn’t lost to other flavors but still very smooth.

Olmeca Altos ReposadoOlmeca Altos Reposado – 40% ABV

The reposado version of Olmeca Altos presents a very warm golden color.  The agave in the nose is less prominent than I found in the plata, but still present.  This was paralleled by the flavor with a gentler agave taste and more flavors of the wood coming through.  The pleasant sweetness that I enjoyed in the plata is still present here as well.  This representation is very well balanced.  The tequila maintains the agave core flavor, but mellows and increases in complexity during the barrel aging process.  I could definitely see myself enjoying this as a sipping tequila.  Finally, while this tequila also makes a great cocktail it’s much more subdued than the plata.  For me I enjoy the agave flavor coming through in my cocktails so I’ll stick to the plata for cocktails and the reposado for sipping.

If you’re interested in learning more about Olmeca Altos and the tequila process as a whole you should check out the Olmeca Altos page on YouTube.  They’ve released the first two of five short films and I really enjoyed them both.  You get an up close and personal view of the land, the process and the people.

One last note.  For those of you across the pond, Olmeca Altos is nothing new to you.  And, that said, the stuff we’re just now getting in the US is the same that you’ve enjoyed for some time.  I’m a bit envious.

† The product reviewed here was provided to me as a free sample. If you’re wondering what that means check out my sample policy.