Sunday, 23 April 2017

Cocktail No 56 - Empire

Another brilliantly clear cocktail, on the sweeter side.

The viscosity of the Apricot Brandy is felt before the actual taste - the Calvados dominates with a nutty apply taste followed by the apricot. The gin is omnipresent as a base under pinning everything else.

Normally I don't like too sweet a drink, but this one has everything going for it - complexity, changing flavours on the palate, each element distinctive yet blending and supporting the others. And then of course there is the booze laden Maraschino cherries for double th epleasure.

Recipe

25 ml Birkdale Gin
15 Calvados
15 ml Apricot Brandy
2 Maraschino cocktail cherries

Put ice in mixing glass with Birkdale Gin, Calvados and Apricot Brandy. Stir well and strain into a cocktail glass. Decorate with cherries and serve.


Cocktail No 65 - Cooperstown

Having launched the Churchtown Deli Gin last night, which ended up being a very late night, 5 pm could not come around soon enough today for this most welcome pick-me-up.

A variation on the Martini, a dominance of gin, supported by both dry and sweet vermouths and lifted with a sprig of crushed mint leaves.

Visually, its a beautiful drink crystal clear with the faintest hing of green. The first taste is the sweetness of the Bianco vermouth, then the herbs come rushing through and suddenly you realise that you are tasting the Noilly Prat over and above the Bianco. The gin is there of course as a master slug underpinning everything with the faintest hin of mint finishing the taste profile.

A very welcome to the start of the end of a glorious sunny day.

Recipe

25 ml Birkdale Gin
15 ml Noilly Prat or Dry Vermouth
15 ml Bianco Vermouth
1 sprig of mint

Put ice in a mixing glass along with Birkdale Gin and both vermouths. Stir well and strain into a Cocktail glass. Decorate with the sprig of mint.


Saturday, 15 April 2017

Cocktail No 64 - Clover Club

Bright strawberry coloured from the grenadine, with a creamy head from the shaken egg white, it tastes as sweet as it looks. The grenadine dominates and if you like pomagranates, that's great. The gin is there, but I initially mistook it for the chill of the drink.

Don't be put off by the egg white - you can't taste it and its there to thicken up the drink and give it some texture.

Very pleasant for a hot summer's day. If you are new to gin and unsure, this is a very good starting point as the gin is there, but not over present.

Personally I think a little more lemon juice, but that's just personal taste.

Edit

Wow - wait for the end and the crema - its like drinking liquid meringue - wonderful

Recipe

2-3 ice cubes
1 egg white
15 ml lemon juice
40 ml Birkdale Gin
20 ml grenadine

Crack ice and put in shaker with other ingredients. Shake very well (more so than usual to incorporate and "whip" the egg white). Strain into a small goblet.


Sunday, 9 April 2017

Cocktail No 63 - Blue Lady

Highly recommended to try.

Icy Chilled, the first impression is of a sherbet dipper, if you remember those from your childhood. The tart lemon juice gives the "fizz"and the Blue Curacao the sweetness. The citrus in the gin complements the bitter orange in the curacao and the colour - just look at the wonderful shade of turquoise blue.

Sweet & sour play against each other, with orange the dominant flavour. It is also very refreshing - shame the day has clouded over after brilliant sunshine all day. A perfect sundowner for a hot & humid evening, with the delicious reward of the maraschino cherry at the end.

Recipe

2 measures Birkdale Gin
1 measure Blue Curacao
1 measure lemon juice

Add Birkdale Gin, Curacao and lemon juice to shaker with ice. Shake well until very chilled and strain into cocktail glass. Decorate with Maraschino cherry, impaled on a cocktail stick.





Saturday, 8 April 2017

Cocktail No 62 - Bronx

The rosso vermouth is the first taste to come through, giving that caramel herbal flavour. Then orange blasts across the mouth, followed by the dryness and cleaness of the Noilly Prat competing for attention. The aftertaste reminds my slightly of the Dry Martini with the gin becoming noticible.

Don't think this is one for me.

Recipe

1 measure Birkdale Gin
1 measure Noilly Prat (or Dry Vermouth)
1 measure Rosso Vermouth
1 measure Orange Juice
1 dash Angustura bitters
Spiral of orange peel

Add Ice with gin, vermouths, orange juice and bitters to shaker. Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass. Spear orange peel on a cocktail stick and use to garnish



Saturday, 18 March 2017

Cocktail No 61 - Bloodhound

I nearly didn't make this today as it calls for strawberries and strawberry liqueur and I have neither. Then I remembered the stewed straberries in the freezer from last year and the strawberry spirit produced from strawberry wine. Its possibly sweeter than the original, but as I haven't tasted strawberry liqueur, I can't say.

Its like a slushpuppy with high octane. The complexity of flavours and organoleptic (mouth feel) qualities of the drink are quite extraordinary.

The dash of strawberry spirit dominated the initial taste, but in a great way - none of the harshness that accompanies some Eaeu de Vie drinks. Immediately next is the strawberry fruit followed by sweetness. Then a warmth boosted with the herbs from the vermouths floods over the roof of the palate. The clean high notes of the Noilly Prat are clearly discernible, but so is the caramel and the earthiness of the Rosso. The Birkdale Gin is not noticible, but binding everything together we presume.

I am not normally one for sweet drinks, but the complexity and the kick of the Strawberry spirit makes this one to try. Will be fantastic on a summer's evening when the strawberry plants are fruiting.

Recipe

4 ice cubes
1 part Birkdale Gin
1 Part Noilly Prat or dry vermouth
1 part rosso vermouth
2-3 dashes Strawberry Liqueur
4 Strawberries.

Crack ice. Put half cracked ice in an electric blender with gin, vermouths, strawberry liqueur and 2 strawberries.

Blend briefly and strain into a cocktail glass. Add remaining cracked ice and decorate with remaining strawberries.

Serve with straw and a spoon.


Sunday, 12 March 2017

Cocktail No 60 - Berlin

Madeira is a new drink for me, so this is the first time I have tried this cocktail. Where else could I rely on stocking Madeira, but the Wine Rack in Birkdale, where they have 3 varieties. I went for the traditional Blandy's as that would fit the chronology for the original Berlin Cocktail.

The Madeira surprised me as I was expecting something similar to port, but it is much lighter in colour, almost rosé in colour and lower viscosity. Sweet as an after dinner drink should be. but not cloying.

The Berlin isn't the prettiest drink in the world. The orange juice gives a turbidity and the Madiera dampens the colour from a bright orange to tangerine.

The nose is mainly from the Madeira, but the Angustura bitters are also poking through.

Then the first taste - orange hits you immediately. Very full, very strong and very delightful if you like your citrus. The Birkdale Gin is giving it a kick, but isn't over-powering - I would almost say you can't tell its there. The Madeira is also doing something, but its all blended in. The Angustura is contributing, but not over-powering.

I have to confess that I am extremely surprised by this cocktail - its a perfect blend of its component parts and the Birkdale Gin and Madeira are supporting roles boosting the orange to an unexpected height.

I have just added a dash of orange bitters and that extra zest boosts it even more.

Very, very, very pleased with this cocktail - think alcoholic and complex oranges.

Looks like Madeira is going to be in the cocktail cabinet from now onwards.

Recipe

1 part Birkdale Gin
1 part Madeira
1 part Orange Juice
1 dash Angustura bitters
(Optional 1 dash Orange Bitters)

Put ice in shaker with other ingredients. Shake well and pour into cocktails glass. Serve with straw, which I did not have, so omitted.