Sometimes I walk up to the bottles and start grabbing things, going on impulse and not much premeditation. “This one’s gonna be with....” I have to be in an intense sort of mood, so it’s not surprising that I picked up two big tastes this time, white agricole and Campari. The rawness of the one is balanced by the bittersweetness of the other, with some dry vermouth to calm it down.
Isle of Campari
1 1/2 oz agricole blanc (J.M)
1 1/2 oz dry vermouth (Dolin)
3/4 oz Campari
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Lemon twist. SOURCE: ROWEN, FOGGED IN LOUNGE
This one’s all about dashes of stuff. I remember reading somewhere that a dash was a sixth of a teaspoon, though I’d like to know how this was worked out, never having seen a spoon that size. I generally reckon the dash at something around a quarter teaspoon. (I’m freer with my splash.)
Strong flavors can bulldoze a drink, though I think it’s funny when I see a bartender drip the Angostura over a Manhattan, for instance, like it’s going to explode with any sudden movement. If you use Fee Bros Orange Bitters in the drink below, as I’ve done, it’s fine to spike the bottle, though if you do that with Angostura Orange it would be better kept at one dash or you’ll taste nothing else.
Bustle In Your Hedgerow
1 1/2 oz dry gin
3/4 oz sloe gin
1/2 oz lemon juice
2 dashes (1/2 tsp) Laphroaig
1 – 2 dashes orange bitters
1 dash (scant 1/4 tsp) absinthe
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. SOURCE: ROWEN, FOGGED IN LOUNGE
Herbal candy, juniper and blackthorn. Seaside at the end of the wood. Something in the underbrush is late for an engagement.
Playing with slivovitz again. It’s pretty distinctive and I want to be able to taste it, so there aren’t lot of intense ingredients in this one. A little amaretto and honey help bring out the stone fruit taste of the plum. I used lemon blossom honey because it was in the cupboard though anything light and mild would probably work. Slivovitz can be pretty rich so you may want to adjust the sweet-tart balance according to the dryness of your base spirit.
2 oz slivovitz
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz honey syrup, 1:1
1/4 oz amaretto
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Lemon twist. SOURCE: ROWEN, FOGGED IN LOUNGE
I like random processes when I make up my mind to. Maybe it’s because this world requires an ever increasing level of deliberation for the thoughtful person just to stay sane. So once in a while in a moment of whimsy (meaning boredom), I like to spin the Mixilator and see what comes out. Since the fun is in letting the machine make the drink, I don’t fiddle with the buttons too much except to specify that the cocktail be simple to prepare. Even if the results are too bizarre to try—and they tend to be—I’d like to be able to make the drink if I want to. And now and then, it gives you something good. Take the Languisher Cocktail, a simple boozy drink with nice ingredients.
Chill cocktail glass. Prepare as follows:
In pre-chilled cocktail shaker combine
2 oz tequila añejo
1 oz Johnnie Walker
1/2 oz St. Raphael
3 drops cherry liqueur
Shake with large cubes of ice as though you’ve just perceived a rapidly advancing case of the trots. [You see, the charm of the Mixilator is the element of surprise. And don’t you find that sometimes it’s best not to try to follow a recipe too closely? Stir.] Strain into chilled cocktail glass. SOURCE: THE MIXILATOR
This is a rich, strong, medium-dry cocktail not unlike a Manhattan but with the black pepper bite of añejo tequila. (I used Hornitos.) Specific though the instructions are (maybe too specific), there’s no garnish mentioned. I went with a couple of Luxardo cherries, which brought out the taste of the scotch as I ate them. I had no St. Raphael so I substituted another quinquina, Punt e Mes. For the cherry liqueur, maraschino seemed like the obvious choice. I might have had a few more drops than three. Tequila-forward without citrus. Very cool.
For Friday the 13th, here’s one that has become a standby here at the Fogged In Lounge, Ada Coleman’s Hanky Panky. It’s a Savoy Cocktail so I’ll let Erik tell the story. I like the Hanky Panky with Punt e Mes in place of regular sweet vermouth, though if made that way following the printed formula, it becomes too heavy for me.
I bought a bottle of Tres Agaves on impulse, and it had an unexpected caramel note that took me off in a different direction from the cocktail planned for the evening.
2 oz blanco tequila (Tres Agaves)
1/2 oz Amaro Nonino
1/2 oz lemon juice
1 tsp mezcal
1 tsp coffee brandy (Firelit)
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. SOURCE: ROWEN, FOGGED IN LOUNGE
I had been thinking of something with vermouth on the lines of a Manhattan but the caramel thing made me reach for the Amaro Nonino. The lemon’s very bright with the Nonino but the smoke and touch of coffee in the background give it some depth.
Some notes on my cocktail life in San Francisco—mostly thoughts about classics or an idea I’m working on. Once in a while, I even go out and drink someone else’s liquor. (I try to take pictures to prove it.)