Cocktails + Libations = Cocktations

If you are wondering what a cocktation is, yours is a valid question. Cocktation is in fact a made-up word that tumbled from my mouth one day when I was trying to say the word concoction. That nifty little neologism was the seed idea for this blog, and here we both are today.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Homemade Eggnog Cocktail

After spending Christmas Eve day at the office (ala Bob Cratchit), I came home to a mistake--a carton of "fat free" eggnog that I had picked up at the grocery store. What was I thinking?

Thick, gloppy, and schmaltz-yellow, it plopped forth like cold, gelatinous gravy from the container into my glass--not exactly inviting. The taste was worse than the visual presentation. Metallic and fantastically craptacular, I pondered if there actually might be schmaltz in my glass. The flavor was vile and horrific; not at all what eggnog should be.

I ran to my computer scanned Google for homemade eggnog recipes and saw Alton Brown had one posted on Food Network. Thankfully, I had bought some farm-fresh eggs, whole milk, and half-and-half at the grocery store (along with that evil fakenog). Not an hour after my fortuitous stumbling upon Alton's recipe (with some tweaking of my own) I sit before you drinking the most sumptuous homemade eggnog cocktail I have ever had.

Let's start with the eggnog recipe, which as previously mentioned, is based on Alton Brown's recipe.

Separate 4 fresh (the freshest you can find) egg yolks from 4 egg whites, placing each in their own bowls*. Starting with the yolks, whip with a beater until buttery yellow. The add 1/3 cup of raw sugar and blend until dissolved. To this add 2 cups of whole milk and 1 cup of half-and-half. Finally, add in the proportions you prefer some nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and clove (not totaling more than 1.5 tsp of spices in all). Now for the egg whites. Whip with a beater until medium stiff peaks form and add 1 T of raw sugar, whipping to incorporate. Fold the egg whites into the egg and milk mixture and refrigerate to chill.

Now for the cocktail. The following recipe is for 2 drinks.

2 oz good dark rum (e.g. Barbancourt 8 year)
4 dashes of Angostura orange bitters
6 oz homemade eggnog
1 barspoon of St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram

Shake the rum, bitters, and allspice dram over ice. Strain into 6 oz eggnog and stir. Split between two cocktail glasses that have been garnished with a twist of lemon zest.

Cheers and Merry Christmas! ~Dr. Cocktation

*NB: The American Egg Board states: There have been warnings against consuming raw or lightly cooked eggs on the grounds that the egg may be contaminated with Salmonella, a bacteria responsible for a type of food-borne illness.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Wormwood Society's Musique d'Absinthe Volume 1

Ladies and Gents, I present to you a musical offering to delight your senses and broaden your musical horizons--the Wormwood Society's first compilation of original pieces gathered together for your aural pleasure on one CD: Musique d'Absinthe Volume 1

How much would you expect to pay for these 10 dynamite songs, specifically composed and rendered to enhance your absinthe-imbibing experience? $20? $10? $5? Tish tosh, gentle reader. You can be the proud owner of this unique collection of music for the low, low price of $2 (plus shipping and handling). Run, don't walk, your fingers over to and order yours today!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hot Buttered Rum

Today in St. Louis, MO we had a few snow flurries. It's almost Christmas and shoppers were hustling and bustling about in the chill to get the last few gifts on their lists, myself included. After spending a cold Winter day braving the holiday crowds and elements, nothing sounds more comforting than a warm, inviting mug of hot buttered rum.

Hot Buttered Rum (for two)
5 (or so) allspice berries, 4 (or so) cloves, 1/3 (or so) of a cinnamon stick
Pulverize the spices into small chunks with a mortar and pestle and add to 2 cups of boiling water.
Stir and set aside.
In two pre-warmed mugs use a channel knife to cut a swath of orange zest and lemon zest into each cup.
(Be sure to get the oils that spray forth into the mugs as well.)
Grate a bit of nutmeg into each mug.
Add 1 tsp of butter to the bottom of each mug.
Add 1 to 1.5 tsp of brown sugar to each mug.
Add 1 to 1.5 tsp of demerara sugar to each mug.
Add 2 oz good dark rum (I used Barbancourt 8-year-old) to each mug.
Stir the spice and hot water mixture and measure out 6 oz for each mug.
Pour the hot water into each mug, stirring to melt the butter.

The result should be a hot, spicy-sweet, rumlicious beverage with a hint of citrus and creamy foam on top--perfect for warming up while the wind and snow blows outside.

Cheers! ~Dr. Cocktation

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Floral Absinthe Frappe

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am a big-time absinthe dork. While I will be saving the in-depth absinthe education for another post, I wanted to share a simple absinthe drink for those of you who live in an area where absinthe is readily available at your local drinking and dining establishments.

Oftentimes, well-meaning bars and restaurants, eager to jump on the absinthe bandwagon, will lack the equipment and knowledge to make a properly louched absinthe for customers. Enter the absinthe frappe. Armed with this simple recipe, you can order a properly diluted and sweetened absinthe drink from any establishment that has the requisite main ingredient--absinthe.

As an aside, this particular absinthe frappe recipe uses orange flower water and Peychaud's Bitters, which can be omitted if one desires only a basic absinthe drink, and uses no ice in the glass, as is traditional for a louched absinthe. One may always add ice to this drink, but I would suggest decreasing the amount of water in the shaker if this is the case, as the ice will melt as you imbibe, further diluting your absinthe.

Judy's Floral Absinthe Frappe
1-1.5 oz absinthe (My recommendations for US available absinthes include Marteau, Pacifique, Walton Waters, and Meadow of Love.
3 oz water
1 tsp simple syrup
1 scant tsp orange flower water
2-3 dashes of Peychaud's bitters
Shake in a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice and strain into a highball glass.

Cheers! ~Dr. Cocktation

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Repeal Day and The Japanese Cocktail

Today is December 5th, Repeal Day. On this date in 1933 the 21st Amendment was ratified, putting an end to the 13 years of darkness and despair ushered in on January 16th, 1919, when Congress passed the 18th Amendment establishing Prohibition in the United States. The 18th Amendment along with the Volstead Act, which served to define prohibited intoxicating liquors, banned the manufacture, sale, and transportation of all intoxicating liquors within the United States and its territories. While prohibition did not ban the consumption of alcohol explicitly, it did make obtaining alcohol in a legal manner almost impossible.

To celebrate this momentous date in US history, I can think of nothing better than having a Japanese Cocktail. This recipe comes from Jerry Thomas' 1887 Bar Tenders Guide, and while it is a rather obscure cocktail, it is very simple and delicious. My individual opinion is that such a delectable beverage should never have fallen out of popularity, and deserves to be rescued from obscurity by cocktail enthusiasts.

The Japanese Cocktail
2 oz brandy or Cognac (I use Camus VS)
1/2 oz orgeat syrup (Fee Bros)
2-3 dashes of bitters (I use Fee Bros, but Angostura would work as well)
Shake in a shaker with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon, making sure to allow the lemon oils to fall onto the top of the drink while cutting the twist.

I've included Robert Hess' (aka Drink Boy) video on how to make The Japanese Cocktail, which also includes some information on how brandy, Cognac, and Armagnac is defined. I hope that watching it and reading this might inspire someone to try this amazing drink. Once you've had one, you will wonder how you lived a life without knowing such glorious goodness.

Cheers! ~Dr. Cocktation