Cocktail of the Week: Simple Whiskey Sour

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I’m starting to see a lot of fruit on the citrus trees around town. I’m considering making a map of Davis that highlights all the best spots to glean fruit from people’s yards. All the oranges, limes, and lemons got me thinking about sours. And I had all this whiskey lying around…

The ingredients (minus powdered sugar)

The ingredients (minus powdered sugar)

Simple Whiskey Sour

  • 1 1/2 oz. Whiskey
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 lime
  • 2 tsp powdered sugar

Juice lemon and lime. Combine whiskey, juice, and powdered sugar in a shaker full of ice. Shake. Strain into a old fashioned glass. garnish with lemon wedge or wheel.

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This is not a real whiskey sour, as it lacks egg white and cheats on the simple syrup part. I don’t know if I had a pair of really strong lemons or I didn’t add enough powdered sugar but my drink was sour. Really, really sour. I was unprepared for the sour. Definitely made pucker faces while drinking it. That isn’t to say it wasn’t good, just to say that bar made whiskey sours are a sad, sad, imitation of the almost real thing. Future whiskey sours will probably have a little more sugar in them.


Cocktail of the Week: Pimm’s Cup

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I don’t know where I first heard of a Pimm’s Cup. It’s really starting to bother me… I’m not British and I don’t have any British friends, so, I don’t know why it would have come up in random discussion. I’ve never heard anyone order it at a bar. I’ve never even seen a bottle of Pimm’s until today when I decided to hunt one down. Maybe it was somewhere on the internet? Or in one of my cocktail books or magazines… Anyway, somehow I knew about them and somehow I also knew that they’re fairly standard drinking fare for the summertime in Great Britain. You’d think that the land of tea would have stumbled upon bourbon sweet tea, but I guess not… I had to visit three different stores but I finally located a place that not only knew what I was talking about but also carried the product. I picked it up and, well, you’ll see.

The ingredients

The ingredients

Pimm’s Cup

  • 2 oz. Pimm’s No. 1
  • 1/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • Ginger Ale

Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour in Pimm’s and lemon juice. Top with ginger ale and garnish with thin cucumber slice if desired.

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So, really simply, right? Pimm’s No.1, lemon juice, and ginger ale. There are recipes on-line that have a bunch of fruit and mint in them or require two or three types of liquor. I ignored all of those recipes and went with a simpler one that seems closer to what your average bloke would make for themselves at home. It also happens to be really close to the recipe printed on the bottle itself.

What to say about the Pimm’s Cup? It is refreshing. Reminds me a little of a lemonhead candy? I think it has something to do with the herbs used in Pimm’s? Something about the taste reminds me of candy for some reason.  In the future I think I’d swap out the lemon juice for orange juice and probably up the amount to an ounce or 1/2 an ounce.  The cucumber garnish also doesn’t add anything, easier to just use the orange or lemon you squeezed as a garnish.

It was good though! And I can certainly understand why its so popular! If I didn’t already have bourbon sweet tea I could see myself drinking a lot more of these. I suppose if I ever get too lazy to brew tea…

Cocktail of the Week: Little Word

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This weekend was the hottest one so far here in Davis, with temperatures reaching 104° F. So, I really didn’t want to do anything but lie around in a kiddie pool full of ice… But, life doesn’t always give us what we want! I had to make a cocktail for the blog and do a bunch of other chores and errands, etc., etc. I knew I wanted the cocktail to be simple and cold though. Something like a nice ice, cold lemonade. Something like the Little Word.

the ingredients

The ingredients

Little Word

  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 3/4 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. St. Germain
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup

Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into a chilled glass. garnish with lemon slice.

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Perfect. Just perfect. Sweet lemon with notes of elderflower when it first hits the tongue with a pleasant alcohol finish as it washes down the throat. Cool, crisp, subtle. Plus, this drink is incredibly simple to make and takes almost no time at all. I could see this becoming the cocktail of Summer 2014.

Cocktail of the Week: Black Adder

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I had some hard cider left over from last week’s cocktail and some stout that’s been in the fridge for a bit… So, I did some poking around and found a cocktail, or maybe a  shandy, that combines those two things. What I found was the Black Adder. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “that’s not a Black Adder! It’s a black and tan!” Well, no it isn’t. It also isn’t a Black Velvet, though it might be a Snake Bite. So, join me now as we gone on a little journey explaining some terms! A Black Velvet is a stout beer, usually Guinness, with sparkling wine floated on top of it. A black and tan is pale ale or lager with a  stout or porter beer floated on top of it. A Snake Bite, in the UK, is equal parts lager and cider. In the USA stout may be used instead of lager.

A Black Adder is specifically stout with cider floated on top of it. I really tried hard to make one of these! I used a spoon. I didn’t use a spoon. I tried to float the cider on top of the stout AND to float the stout on top of the cider. I couldn’t get anything to work. Though I did end up getting pretty tipsy. This might be because I wasn’t using Guinness or it might simple be because I’m just no good at it. Some people have called what you see above you, where the stout and the cider have mixed a Poor Man’s Black Velvet. I just call it failure.

The ingredients

The ingredients

Black Adder

  • 1 part stout
  • 1 part cider

Pour stout into a Champagne flute until half full. Fill the remainder of the flute glass with cider, slowly pouring the cider over a spoon held in the mouth of the flute glass.

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If by some miracle you’re able to pull it off you’d see a almost clear, lightly straw colored liquid sitting on top of your dark stout. If you didn’t pull it off you’ll see what these pictures show. Regardless it tastes pretty good. The bitterness of the stout is offset by the sweetness of the cider and the drink will be a lot lighter than if you were merely drinking stout. Refreshing but I don’t know if it qualifies as a “summer” drink. Good for semi-formal events and parties though? I think in the end I’d just prefer to drink the cider or the stout on its own.