Tag Archives: whisky

Cocktails O’ Clock: New Orleans Buck

“I am goin’ down Louisiana way” – George Strait

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Down Louisiana Way: the inspiration for this post comes from somewhere every bartender has heard of: New Orleans…
Picture courtesy of: National Geographic

This cocktail is one I like to drink when chilling out and thinking about the good old west. Here in the UK the wild west carries some sort of romance, we’ve all seen the films and wish we could be the good gun slinger clearing up the town. And whilst they all drank rye and sarsaparilla, these days cocktails can help you chill out the very same way. This is something i like to do whilst listening to a bit of George Strait and co. Hopefully it’s one you will all enjoy as much as me. If not, better luck next time eh? Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

New Orleans is a cocktail legend, the home of Tales of the Cocktail, and world renowned jazz haven. This cocktail, whilst not the city’s famous Sazerac cocktail, is a great example of what New Orleans cocktail prowess is all about. It may look like a simple recipe, but it’s all in the balance.

Citrus works well with rum, as we all know, and the lemon and orange also work well together. The ginger ale is the special ingredient though, it binds the citrus with the rum seamlessly and also creates a spicy, sweet and fruity drink you’ll not long forget…

New Orleans Buck Recipe:

(42ml) 1 ½ measure Light Rum

(28ml) 1 measures Orange Juice

(14ml) ½ measure Lemon Juice

Top up Ginger Ale

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Perfect long or short: The New Orleans Buck.
Picture courtesy of: urbancomfort.typepad.com

Method:

1)      Shake all the ingredients (except the ginger ale) over ice and strain into an ice filled glass.

2)      Top up with the Ginger Ale.

3)      Garnish with a lemon and orange slice.

“The sweet rum, sharp fruit and spicy ginger create a perfect balance of tastes.” – Brian Lucas, 365 Cocktails.

This is another simple, yet effective, cocktail I’ve recently added to my rum collection, and is one I’ll be making for a photography session with a friend of mine. It’s best served long and over ice (hence the ginger ale) but for a martini version you can very simply muddle some ginger in the shaker before shaking and serve with a dash of the ale on top after.

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With a twist: The New Orleans Buck works well with dark rum also, try floating it on top of the other ingredients…
Picture courtesy of: theadvocate.com

This cocktail is so versatile (long with the ginger ale, short without etc) it really is quite special. You can add different citrus juices to tweak, with grapefruit being a very good choice (it’s my personal favourite), and various herbs and fruits also available to muddle/garnish with this drink can really become so much more. It’s all down to your tastes and preferences.

This recipe was taken from ‘365 cocktails’, a book by Brian Lucas. It was the first cocktail book I ever purchased for myself, and it still holds up today, 8 years on.

Fervent Shaker Top Tip: To give this cocktail a real kick, try using Dark rum and layer it on top of the other ingredients in this drink… Stir if you want, but if you’re feeling real brave you can sip it as served…

Perfect with a stronger drink as a chaser, this cocktail works wonders with party menus. With its universal flavour, and low level of alcohol (in comparison to other similar sized drinks) not only will the alcohol go further, but this drink is a great staple to have on a menu , especially for those who want to try something a little different to normal Rum cocktails…

Cocktails O’ Clock: The Whisky Sour

Bourbon on the rocks, with the addition of sugar, lemon and a straw…

The whisky sour is another rather famous cocktail that is both simple yet effective. Utilising 50ml (2 measures) of Bourbon, this cocktail is a bit stronger than I’m used to, but it is a great tasting sugary cocktail.

This cocktail is the basis for several similar cocktails including both the ‘Boston Sour’ and Ward 8. The idea is that the combination of the sugar with the lemon juice supplies a sour taste to the whisky and that (obviously) makes it a whisky sour.

Here’s a classic but tweaked recipe, it’s how I prefer mine…

Whisky Sour Recipe

50ml Bourbon

15ml Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice

2tsp caster sugar

1tsp vanilla syrup

2 dashes Angostura Bitters

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Whisky cocktails done right: The Whisky Sour.
picture courtesy of BBCFood

Method:

Shake all of the ingredients over ice and strain into a tumbler filled with ice. Garnish with a lemon slice and maraschino cherry.

Top Tip: For a Boston sour, remove the vanilla and add 1 whole egg white to the shaker.

This is a great cocktail, and whilst I don’t usually drink whisky (I can’t say I like the flavours very much) this is one of the very few whisky based cocktails I actually like drinking.

Another version of this cocktail, known as the Ward 8, is based on the whisky sour, but couldn’t be more different flavour wise…

Ward 8 Cocktail

50ml Bourbon/Rye Whisky

20ml Fresh Lemon Juice

20ml Fresh Orange Juice

1tsp Grenadine

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A red sour is a treat indeed, this one may taste slightly sweeter but it’s still whisky at heart…
Picture courtesy of http://www.saveur.com

Method:

Mix all of the ingredients over ice and then strain the mixture into an ice filled tumbler. Garnish with a lemon and orange slice.

Fervent Shaker Top Tip: for a splash of instant flavour, wipe a mint sprig around the rim of the glass. If mint is not your thing you can squeeze an orange twist over the glass releasing the oils for an intense flavour hit.

Interesting Fact: Ever tried a cocktail sorbet? They are rather popular and done right they are just as good as the cocktails themselves… Check out this post for a cosmopolitan sorbet I prepared recently…

Hopefully this will whet your appetite for more to come.

My Favourite Liqueurs: Spoilers! Spoilers! Warning, Spoilers!

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What’s your favourite?

So everyone enjoys a cocktail (if you don’t? Leave! NOW!), and I’m no different. But when it comes to liqueurs I just love a story. It adds a bit of romance to the bottle your drinking from. To know where it came from, and where it is now. 

When I first started out on my journey up this cocktail brick road I met some truly wonderful liqueurs. There was the Tin Man looking for a heart: Disaronno, The Lion: looking for its courage: Southern Comfort and finally the Scarecrow searching for it’s brain: Cointreau.

Now let me briefly explain the above metaphors are by no means insults. They are just observations of where these spirits were, in my mind at least, around 8 years ago as well as their personal histories and challenges they faced…

The Tin Man: Disaronno

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Disaronno: An extremely famous Italian liqueur. Popular all over the world.

                Disaronno is a liqueur through and through. The company claims the recipe was given to an artist under the guidance of the Leo Da Vinci, by a greatful innkeeper, then rediscovered several decades later and produced it for family consumption. If you fancy reading more about the liqueur’s history then click here and enjoy the story. I’m not one to call their bluff as I don’t care if its a fake or real story; I love it when liqueurs like this have romantic stories behind them…

The Lion: Southern Comfort

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Southern Comfort: One of, if not the, leading whisky based liqueur from the States.

                Southern comfort, back in my teenage days, was a lowly bottle of whisky-based liqueur on the shelf for about £15 (yeah I know, cheap right?!), I knew of three or four people that drank it, and they always recommended it, but everyone else I asked had either never heard of it or never tried it… Now you look for it, and it’s one of the most famous liqueur brands full stop. When you think about liqueurs, SoCo will always be on someone’s tongue. And to further point out its heightened market share it has, over the last couple years, released both lime and black cherry flavours (going back to their fruity routes with the latter).

The Scarecrow: Cointreau

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Cointreau: without doubt the worlds leading triple sec liqueur, It’s quality speaks for itself…

                I cannot remember a time when Cointreau was not a Christmas favourite, but always I have thought of it as more – I mean think about some of the most famous cocktails in the world, they all include Cointreau (think Margaritas & cosmopolitans). Now in recent years they’ve really gone for the jugular when it comes to advertisement, they are plastering our T.V. screens, they are subtly creating an air of affordable exclusivity. As recent as June-July this year they have held 4 ‘Cointreau Fizz Garden’ Parties where they invited limited numbers to attend the specifically designed Magdalen house rooftop (with an amazing view of the Shard I might add).

 

So with those explanations out of the way I’d like to think you have taken away 3 things:

1)      My love for cocktails, doesn’t stop with the drinks, it extends to both the spirits and other ingredients.

2)      Nothing is straight forward when it comes to describing a spirit. I like to think of things a little more creatively and to me, the above 3 liqueurs bring all the things above to mind when I think about them.

3)      Liqueurs are great. And to prove this I’ll be sharing my top 10 favourite liqueurs below…

And with luck, tomorrow evening you’ll be able to see (a) were I’m going with this. and (b) that all important top 10 of my favourite liqueurs… And believe me there are some wonderful liqueurs on that list…