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Archive for 2011

Updated My Liquor Cabinet Page!

Posted by Reese On November - 5 - 2011

Well, it took two years, a move, completely tearing down and rebuilding my liquor shelves and drinking too many cocktails to count, but, here it is, my updated Liquor Cabinet.  I’ve updated the picture and the full listing of everything in the collection.  I must say, listing it all really gives a much better view of the magnitude for me.  Time for a drink!

Liquor Cabinet as of 2011-11-03

Review – Pama Pomegranate Liqueur

Posted by Reese On November - 3 - 2011

Pama Pomegranate LiqueurI received a review bottle of Pama about two years ago and it got lost in the shuffle.  It’s a shame, but it happens.  And, now that I’ve tried Pama, I’m doubly disappointed that I waited so long.  Pama has a fantastic flavor and is a dream to mix with.

Pama’s color is a bright, well…pomegranate, red.  The aroma is sweet with the pomegranate notes coming through loud and clear.  And, now, the important part, the flavor.  The flavor of Pama definitely manages to hold on to some of the fresh fruit flavor.  Sadly, there really isn’t any way to keep it all.  The sweetness is definitely present, this is a liqueur after all, but it’s cut really well by the sour notes leaving you with a nicely balanced spirit.  The base spirits are a combo of vodka and tequila and you can definitely taste hints of the tequila coming through, which I really like.

Wanting to know how it would hold up to other bold flavors we mixed up a couple cocktails from the Pama website.  Though, I have to give you a tip.  There is a secondary Pama site that’s kinda hidden in the lower right of the main site, Pama Professionals.  This is where you want to go look for cocktail recipes.  They’re a step above the recipes on the main site and they sport more nuanced flavors and complexity.  To get us started, Elisabeth wanted something with Champagne.  I couldn’t complain as the Champagne would cut some of the sweetness and play really well with the fruitiness.

Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette (Pama Professionals)
1 oz PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
1 oz Gin
1 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
Champagne
1) Combine the Pama, gin, lemon juice and simple syrup with ice
2) Shake until well chilled
3) Strain into a Champagne flute and top with Champagne

This drink has definite ties to a French 75 and that is a great thing.  The sourness of the lemon and Pama are tamed a bit by the extra simple syrup and the champagne cuts through it all giving it a great lightness.  If you use a bold gin its flavor come in and play ball as well, the herbal notes working especially well with the fruitiness.  Definitely give this one a try next time you’re jonesing for a French 75.

Following that I wanted to play off the tequila base so I checked out their site and opted for the Persephones Elixir.

Persephones Elixir

Persephones Elixir (Pama Professionals)
3/4 oz PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
1 oz Blanco Tequila
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
Ginger Beer
1) Combine the Pama, tequila and lemon juice with ice
2) Shake until well chilled
3) Strain into an ice filled collins glass and top with ginger beer

The added tequila harmonizes extremely well with the pomegranate.  The ginger beer adds light effervescence and flavor complexity.  This is a great drink and I would definitely mix this up on a hot day.  And, since you added some volume with the ginger beer, you might actually get some hydration out of it too.  Win win.

I learned some valuable lessons with this one.  One, here are another pair of pink cocktails that are delicious.  I’m starting to see a real trend developing here.  Two, I’ll think twice before putting something on the back burner again.  I’d hate to miss something as good as Pama as a result.

PS – If you’re a cook, you should definitely check out some of the food recipes on their site.  There look to be some great recipes on there.  For one, the Pama Flourless Chocolate Torte has been on my mind since I saw it.


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

Review – Ice Cream Happy Hour

Posted by Reese On November - 1 - 2011

Ice Cream Happy Hour CoverDo you like ice cream?  Since you’re human, I’m going to bet yes.  And, since you’re reading my blog I think it’s safe to also assume you like booze.  So, friends, can you imagine the combination of the two?  Neither could I.  Mind you, I tried.  But my brain basically rebooted from joy every time I tried.  Salvation came in the form of Ice Cream Happy Hour, a new book from Valerie Lum and Jenise Addison.

The book is compilation of 50 recipes for ice creams, sorbets and sherbets.  There are boozy twists on the classics, like the one we chose Mint Chip with Creme de Menthe.  There are cocktail inspired recipes that definitely sound awesome.  Whiskey Sour ice cream, yes please!  And, to round it all out there are recipes for boozy sundaes, floats and the like.

The part I liked best about this book is that they break down the ice cream making process into distinct, simple steps.  I hadn’t made ice cream before (despite having my own ice cream maker, go figure) and I found the recipe very easy to follow.  You will need an ice cream maker, but they’re pretty easy to find and, if you don’t want to buy one, I’m betting you have a friend who would gladly loan you theirs.  And, I can tell you, once you’ve had boozy ice cream, all others are just a little boring.

Creme de Menthe Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Mint Chip with Creme de Menthe
2 cups Milk
2 cups Heavy Cream
3/4 cup Sugar
4 Egg Yolks
2 tsp Mint Extract
3-4 drops Green Food Coloring
1 packet Gelatin
1/4 cup Cold Water
3/4 cup Cold Creme de Menthe
1 cup Chopped Chocolate
1) Scald the milk, cream and sugar
2) Whisk the egg yolks and temper with 1/3 of the milk mixture
3) Thicken the custard over low heat
4) Whisk in the mint extract and food coloring
5) Strain, cover and chill the custard for at least 8 hours
6) Dissolve the gelatin in the cold water
7) Melt the gelatin over low heat
8) Spike the custard with the cold creme de menthe
9) Churn the ice cream for at least 20 minutes
10) Fold in the chocolate 

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

Halloween Cocktails 2011

Posted by Reese On October - 27 - 2011

It’s Halloween time again fellow drinkers!  This year I went for a smallish cocktail menu for a game night with my friends.  I included one classic because, let’s face the facts, the Corpse Reviver #2 is damned delicious.  As for the other two, I went with a couple interesting recipes that I found on the web.

The first, the disturbingly named Fetus in a Glass, comes from fellow cocktail bloggers over at Cocktails, 365.  The recipe is fairly standard until you get to the end.  The last step is to drizzle a fine stream of heavy cream into the mixed cocktail.  The result is a congealed mass of seriously nasty looking cream floating atop the cocktail.  My drizzle doesn’t look nearly as good (or is that bad) as theirs though so definitely go check out their pics.  The cocktail itself, however, is really tasty.

Fetus in a Glass

Fetus in a Glass
1 1/2 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon
1 oz Barenjager Honey Liqueur
1 oz Hazelnut Liqueur
Heavy Cream to Drizzle
1) Shake the bourbon and liqueurs with ice
2) Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
3) Drizzle the cream in a fine stream into the cocktail

The flavor is sweet, as you’ve probably guessed from the Barenjager and hazelnut liqueur, but not overly so.  The cream smooths things out really nicely and the bourbon flavors come through great.  Overall this is a super tasty cocktail.  The cream makes for an interesting mouth feel to the cocktail, but not unpleasant.

The second recipe isn’t really all that interesting on its own, but the visual is pretty stunning.  I took a spare bottle of vodka and added a bunch of black food coloring, yielding jet black vodka.  Which, on a side note, you can also buy.  Now you take a few ounces of orange juice and pour it in a glass.  Add an ice cube or two.  Then slowly, very slowly, pour two ounces of the vodka into the bowl of a spoon held just above the level of the OJ.  The vodka will layer on top of the juice cleanly.  Which leaves you with this.

Screwdriver to the Brain

Screwdriver to the Brain
4 oz Orange Juice
2 oz Black Vodka
1) Add the OJ to a glass with a couple ice cubes
2) Slowly layer the vodka on top of the juice

Enjoy the holiday, fellow drinkers!

The Afterlife of a Bourbon Barrel

Posted by Reese On October - 13 - 2011

According to a recent article on Yahoo! Finance there are currently over 5 million barrels of whiskey aging in Kentucky alone.  And, unlike other spirits industries, those barrels will be used for bourbon only one time.  You see, per federal guidelines, to be called bourbon, whiskey must be aged in new charred oak barrels.  So, that begs the question, where do all of those barrels go after they’ve aged delicious bourbon.

Maker's Mark Display Barrel

Turns out they go all over the world and get used for all kinds of stuff.  The one you’re likely already aware of is that they get sent to other distilleries to age other spirits.  Scotch and rum are the two big users of bourbon barrels.  But did you know that some bitters are aged in whiskey barrels?  How about cocktailsBeer? Fish sauce?  Yeah, me either.

The folks over at Tasting Table followed a few barrels as they left Kentucky distilleries to see where they ended up.  They have a great artcile and infographic showing what they found.  Some of the uses sure surprised me.