The cocktail is an art form that peaked in the middle of the 20th century and has been in rapid decline since. As a young lad, I was schooled in the fine art of cocktailing by my father and grandfathers, I learned many valuable lessons that I plan to pass on. I also want to resurrect some of the old classics that vastly surpass the sugary & fruity concoctions made today with their simplicity, elegance and bold flavors. Most of the time I will focus on one drink, and to provide, at least in my opinion, the definitive recipe, but hope to expand to other related topics as I see fit. Please mix yourself a cocktail, read, drink, and enjoy!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Country Gentleman

There is something about the flavor of calvados that reminds me of fall. Maybe it is the apples being harvested, the apple pie on the table or maybe just the bite to match the chill in the air. Whatever the reason I have a handful of calvados cocktails to share with you. The name also inspires images of an Englishman returning to a one of the quaint villages of the Cotswolds after a day in the field for a drink with his mates.

There is no history to be found on this cocktail which leads me to believe that it is a recent creation, but with other recently coined concoctions covered here, it follows in the traditions of cocktails of decades past.

Begin by donning your finest tweeds, then add one and one-half ounce of calvados to an ice filled shaker, add three-quarters of an ounce of Cointreau, one-quarter of an ounce of fresh squeezed lemon juice, and a teaspoon of simple syrup. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon and serve speaking with your best English accent.

Country Gentleman
1 ½ oz calvados
¾ oz cointreau
¼ oz lemon juice
1 tsp simple syrup
Mix all ingredients in an ice filled shaker. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Maple Old Fashioned

For your holiday drinking pleasure I have a nice variation on one of the all time classics. While I am typically against altering the perfection that is an Old Fashioned, the slight hint of maple in this recipe makes it a perfect accompaniment to all of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes. It would probably go great with pancakes and sausage too if you need to fortify yourself for a day of eating and watching football.

The sweetness of the maple syrup can be a little overwhelming so use caution. I start with one-half ounce of pure maple syrup in an ice filled old fashioned glass. Add two ounces of your favorite bourbon; Wild Turkey seems appropriate for the holiday. Jim Beam Red Stag is good too and imparts a hint of cherry flavor. Finish it off with a couple dashes of orange bitters and stir well, making sure the syrup dissolves into the bourbon. You now have the perfect cocktail to toast the brave souls from the Mayflower and the Native American who saved their asses from starving to death.

Maple Old Fashioned
½ oz pure maple syrup
2 oz bourbon
2 dashes orange bitters
Mix all ingredients in an ice filled old fashioned glass, stirring well.