I’ll admit it is getting harder and harder to preface these posts. Do I really need a reason or pretense to make myself a delicious alcoholic beverage once a week and share it with my friends? Who knows, I don’t make any of the “rules” around here. I just slavish obey them like I’m supposed to…
Anyway, it was hot this week. Hotter than it should be in September in Northern California. I keep waiting for people to decide to work together through the tool of government to do something about the ever increasing global temperature but nothing seems to happen… Must be why I keep drinking.
This week’s cocktail is a twist on the popular Italian aperitif, the Garibaldi, which may one day be a cocktail I make on this very blog. It doesn’t have whisky in it though so don’t hold your breath. This tweak of the recipe adds bourbon, grapefruit juice and honey. All things that make the serviceable Garibaldi into something sublime.
1 1/2 oz. bourbon
1 oz. Campari
2 1/2 oz. grapefruit juice
1 teaspoon honey
Combine all ingredients in an old fashioned glass. Stir gently until honey dissolves. Add a few ice cubes. garnish with 1/4 grapefruit slice.
I’m trying to remember where I first heard of this drink, so I could properly credit the source for enlightening me! The Grapefruit Garibaldi succeeds in juggling three very distinct flavors into something delicious without losing the uniqueness of each ingredient. A lovely blend of sweet bourbon, sour grapefruit, and bitter Campari. The only way this drink could be improved is if I was drinking it in a village on the north coast of Italy. Which, to be honest, would be a vast improvement…
Ice cream floats were fun but after three weeks of experimenting ice cream, soda, and liquor I’m feeling a little bloated. A little heavy. Time to go back to the simple pleasure of cocktails. This week’s is a delicious mix of sweet, bitter, savory, and spicy: Trouble in Paradise.
Trouble in Paradise
1 oz. bourbon
1 oz. Campari
3/4 oz. grapefruit juice
3/4 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. honey syrup
2 basil sprigs
Combine one basil spring, bourbon, Campari, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, honey syrup and pepper in shaker. Fill shaker with ice. Shake. Strain into rocks glass filled w ice. Granish with remaining basil sprig
When I saw this cocktail I was naturally apprehensive. Campari is not a liquor with trifle with. While the liquor has hints of cherry and citrus with an edge of spice the predominate taste is bitterness. The liquor is usually served as an aperitif with the herbal bitterness being used to prep the palate for the meal. The black pepper intrigued me though and lemon and grapefruit juice pack plenty of their own punch. So, I went ahead and tried it. I’m glad I did. Between the grapefruit juice, lemon juice, and honey syrup there’s plenty to counteract the bitterness of the Campari. The ground pepper? It adds a little kick and texture. This is a complex little cocktail that rewards slow sipping to capture all the subtleties and depths in this one!
I follow a cocktail maker on Tumblr, named DrinkShouts, they often show cocktails that look amazing. I’ve often wanted to make them but they usually require liquors that I don’t have and aren’t willing to purchase. They recently promoted the Bee’s Knees, a cocktail that dates back to Prohibition times. It is believed that the inclusion of lemon and honey was in order to mask the taste of bathtub gin. That might be the case, but it’s a delicious cocktail even with good gin.
2 oz. Gin
3/4 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
.3/4 oz. Honey Syrup
Combine ingredients in a shaker full of ice. Shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail coupe, if you have one. I don’t so I used a margarita glass. No garnish, or a lemon twist.
The Bee’s Knees has a nice smooth honey flavor with a hint of sour. Depending on the type of gin you use there’ll be a hint of juniper as it goes down. The honey syrup is delicious and I think I’m going to try using it in other cocktails that call for simple syrup. It has a distinctly honey taste to it, one I found quite appealing.
That crisp coolness is finally in the air and I’m finally comfortable enough saying that Autumn is here. Autumn means apples, pumpkins, and long evenings on the couch sipping tea or a nice hot cocktail.
Bourbon Apple Cider
5 oz apple cider
2 oz bourbon
1 apple, thinly sliced
1 tsp. honey
1/8 tsp cinnamon
In a sauce pot combine cider, apple slices, honey and cinnamon, bring contents to a boil and then simmer for five minutes. Strain mixture (save apple slices for garnish) and add bourbon. Pour into glasses, garnish with apple slices. Serve warm.
This reminds me a lot of the Honey Bourbon Toddy, and why shouldn’t it? Both are hot drinks and share the majority of their ingredients. Where the Toddy has water this has apple cider but other than that, and lemon juice, the two drink are almost identical. This is certainly a drink you want to sip, the bourbon is very noticeable with a nice apple crisp taste as it rolls down your throat. Sit down, relax, sip from this drink and let the season sink into you as you sink into it.