Cocktail of the Week – Horse’s Neck

Horse's Neck

I know I talked about Autumn and cooling weather last Monday but as soon as I posted last week the temperatures here in central Northern California spiked with the mercury rising back into the 100s… One step forward and two steps back. This week we go with a the refreshing and cool Horse’s Neck.

Since I went ahead and picked up a bottle of brandy I wanted to make sure I included it in some cocktails. The first of which is the Horse’s Neck, a simple cooler that was popular before Prohibition. Originally made with brandy and ginger ale or soda when it was revitalized bourbon replaced the brandy, ginger beer was substituted for ginger ale and angostura bitters were added.

Horse's Neck
The ingredients

Horse’s Neck

  • 2 oz. brandy or bourbon
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Ginger beer/ale
  • lemon for garnish

Peel a lemon in one long spiral, twist the peel around finger or spoon to create a coil. Place the peel in a Collins glass with one end hanging over the lip. Fill glass with ice. Add brandy and bitters. Top glass with ginger beer/ale.

Horse's Neck

The sweetness of the brandy blends nicely with sharp, pepperiness of the ginger beer and the bitters. It’s also really easy to make! By far the hardest part was peeling the lemon for the garnish, a step you may skip if you want. Though the long coil going up the Collins glass makes for a great presentation it isn’t actually necessary for the cocktail.

Best of all when its over 90 degrees outside at 8:00 PM this is a cold, delicious drink.Tonight I’m enjoying mine at my kitchen table instead of out on the patio…

Cocktail of the Week: Blue Mule

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I needed an excuse for using my copper mugs so I poked around on the internet for ideas and tweaks of the Moscow Mule. I saw this blueberry syrup on something and thought it’d be neat to try in a Moscow Mule. So, I bought some blueberries cooked them down and strained them into a syrup and then I made some Mules! I called it a Blue Mule because that seemed the easiest, my first inclination was to call it a Mule of a Different Color but I don’t know how I feel about putting Wizard of Oz references into my drinks…

The ingredients
The ingredients

Blue Mule

  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup Ginger beer
  • 1/2 oz – 1 oz. blueberry syrup

Pour vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer into copper cup and stir. Add crushed ice to top of cup. Pour a small amount of blueberry syrup on top and stir again. Garnish with a lime wedge and blueberries.

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Wow! This was a good idea! To get the perfect blend of blueberry, lime and ginger you might have to play with the proportions some but it’s worth it! Also, you can adjust those three ingredients depending on which flavors you want to be strong or subtle. I put in a little bit more lime juice than 1/2 oz and a 1 oz of blueberry syrup and I thought it was just about perfect though. If you need a recipe for making blueberry syrup I’ve included one below.

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Blueberry Syrup

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Combine all into a small pot and bring to a boil for five minutes. Then lower temperature and simmer for another ten. Stir throughout or else you’re going to have a burned pot. Using a strainer or cheesecloth strain over a bowl and then cool.

Cocktail of the Week: Dark and Stormy

I'm beginning to think every good cocktail has ginger beer in it
I’m beginning to think every good cocktail has ginger beer in it

After kicking off Cocktail of the Week with the Moscow Mule I received some feedback from a reader who recommended this week’s cocktail. Specifically, they wanted to know what I would think of the Moscow Mule after having a Dark ‘n’ Stormy. Now, the Dark ‘n’ Stormy is a trademarked cocktail by Gosling’s Export Limited of Bermuda and it calls for using only Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. I didn’t have any of Gosling’s black rum and neither did any of the local grocers… So, this technically this can’t be a Dark ‘n’ Stormy. I guess we’ll call it a Dark ‘n’ Kraken, you’ll see why in a second.

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The components

Dark ‘n’ Kraken

  • 1.6 ounces (50 mL) of black rum
  • 5 ounces (150 mL) of ginger beer
  • lime wedge

Pour the ginger beer into a glass over ice. Top off with black rum. Squeeze in the lime wedge and drop in.

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These were good! I don’t think they’re as good as Moscow Mules though. I’d like a little more lime flavor to help with the sweetness of the rum and ginger beer. In the future I might add more lime juice and cut out some of the ginger beer.