Cranberry Shrub Cocktail, Cocktail of the Week

Cranberry Shrub

The Cranberry Shrub cocktail is a variation on a venerable cocktail that was popular in America during the colonial era! A shrub is a sweetened vinegar-based syrup that is often used as a mixer in alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. For instructions on how to make the one I used in this recipe see here. I know, I know another cold drink!? But it’s winter! It is, but cranberries are seasonally appropriate and I’d drank a shrub cocktail, let alone make my own, before. Also, a good friend asked me to make this for them…

Cranberry Shrub
The ingredients

Cranberry Shrub Cocktail

  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • 3/4 oz. cranberry shrub
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 3 drops bitters (your choice)
  • 1/2 oz triple sec (optional)

Add all to a shaker half full of ice. Shake well. Pour into a chilled glass. Garnish w/ cranberry or orange peel.

Cranberry Shrub

It’s hard to describe what this drink tastes like. Vinegar is not something people usually mix with their alcohol. It’s not something people use at all, except for making salad dressing. There’s this tangy, refreshing, sweet crispness to the drink. It’s very bright on the tongue. Then comes the mellowness and warmth of the bourbon. I’m glad I used orange bitters I think the citrus helped bring everything together. (Note: I made another cocktail and added triple sec to it which also does the job nicely) If you’re getting bored with traditional mixers or you just want to up your cocktail game give this a try. Or make a different kind of shrub and let me know hot it worked for you.

Cranberry Shrub

Daiquiri, Cocktail of the Week

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It got very cold very quickly in Davis. Autumn lasted but a few weeks it seems and now I’m stuck with the dry, bitter cold. Of course with the cold weather I’m supposed to be making punches, warm rums, and hot toddys. The last of those I can’t stand and the other two I’ve had no experience with whatsoever. Besides, I thought I’d try to capture a bit of the lost summer and make a Daiquiri

Daiquiri
The ingredients

Daiquiri

  • 2 oz. dark rum
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1 oz. simple syrup

Add all ingredients to a shaker filled with ice. Shake, and strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Daiquiri

You’ll notice that this drink isn’t being served in a pineapple, a bright color, or got half a fruit basket popping out of the top of it. Frozen Daiquiri’s are quite something else. Some might call them an ‘abomination.’ Not me, I’m too kind. But some might. A real Daiquiri is a simple cocktail, and an old one. Originating in Cuba sometime in the late 19th century the drink is attributed an American engineer and brought to the United States, New York specifically, by a Congressman! The drink caught on from there with the US military before becoming popular nationwide during World War II, rationing made vodka and whiskey harder to come by!

The original drink was white rum served in a tall glass over cracked ice, with sugar being poured over the ice and then limes squeezed into the glass. The cocktail was then stirred until the glass frosted. Today, it is shaken with shaved ice and served in a cocktail glass. Dark rum is often substituted today as well.

Anyway, despite being delicious the Daiquiri did not quite warm me up as much as I had hoped. Oh well!

Jockey Club, Cocktail of the Week

Jockey Club

There was a time when the Manhattan cocktail was brand new. A time when hip drinkers would walk into a bar ask for the drink and get a blank stare back from their bartender. In those earliest days of the cocktail there was still variation in the recipe and looking through old bartending guides one can find recipes for the cocktail that included Maraschino liqueur or Curacao. In time as the cocktail settled into the form we know today those alternatives took on other names. The Jockey Club is one of those variants, excluding bitters and adding a small amount of Maraschino liqueur.

Jockey Club
The Ingredients

Jockey Club

  • 1 1/2 oz. bourbon
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 oz. Maraschino liqueur

Add ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

Jockey Club

The Jockey Club, as one would expect considering its history, is a lot like a Manhattan. And that isn’t a bad thing. The real difference is that there is a herbally, cherry sweetness that lingers in the mouth that you won’t find when drinking a Manhattan. Both though will instill a bit a warmth in your throat and chest though. Just the sort of thing you’d want on a cool Autumn evening.

Cocktail of the Week: Garibaldi

Garibaldi

If you can cast your mind to September, and this blog, you might remember a post I made on the Grapefruit Garibaldi cocktail. I enjoyed that cocktail quite a bit, enough to look up the original and make a note to return to at some point. It took a little longer than I wanted. Vacation and New York City cocktails got in the way. So, what would be a perfect fall cocktail seems a little out of place as we move into the chill of winter! Oh well!

The Garibaldi is named after Italian General Giuseppe Garibaldi who played a pivotal role in the unification of Italy and is considered one of the country’s founding fathers. This drink takes its name from the popular historical figure’s red shirt and is inspired by its crimson ingredients. It is believed the cocktail was invented at the beginning of the 20th century, by mixing all-Milanese Capari with orange juice, the symbolic fruit of Sicily, where Garibaldi’s red-clad men landed in 1860 to liberate it and annex the island what would soon become the newly constituted Italian state.

Garibaldi
The ingredients

Garibaldi

  • 1 oz. Campari
  • 3 oz. Fresh orange juice

Fill old fashioned glass with ice. Add Campari and top with orange juice. Stir. Garnish with half slice of orange.

Garibaldi

This drink tastes as lovely as it looks. Sweet orange citrus with a slight bitter bite. I sat on my back porch last night watching the sunset sipping this drink hoping that through the act I might invoke an Indian Summer but it doesn’t seemed to have worked. Next time I’ll just have one in Sicily during the Mediterranean summer. Yeah, that sounds about right.