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.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Paradise Louched

Paradise Louched

It's been exactly one year since I entered an cocktail contest, so after returning from Tales of the Cocktail and feeling full of renewed inspiration, I decided that it might be time to step up to the plate again.
It just so happens that the July/August contest for this year just happens to involve one of my favorite spirits--absinthe, so I was immediately excited about getting to work on my entry.

As a long-time member of The Wormwood Society, America's Premier Absinthe Association & Information Network, I have a great deal of knowledge about the myths and realities of absinthe, and have sampled in the realm of 60+ different absinthes, including one pre-ban absinthe. I used my familiarity with the different flavor profiles to select what I believe is the perfect absinthe to use in my creation. 

My new-found love and enthusiasm for all things tiki led me to pick up a signed copy of Beachbum Berry's new book, Remixed: A Gallery of Tiki Drinks while I was in NOLA. From my reading, I learned that one of Don The Beachcomber's tricks was to use Pernod (once a great absinthe, now a pale shadow of it's former self) in small quantities to add depth and dimension to certain tiki drinks. So if a few drops of Pernod could punch up a tropical drink, could a tiki drink be created that used absinthe as the base? I decided it was my task to find out!

I chose to use a Swiss/blanche absinthe as the base of my drink since I believe the more anise and fennel-forward flavors would work better with tropical tiki flavors than would a more herbal verte. While I believe La Valote works best in Paradise Louched (a play on Paradise Lost), I realize that in many areas the selections of absinthes are limited at best and so I will mention that Pere Francois or Kubler would also work well in this drink.

In Paradise Louched, the absinthe is clearly present, yet functions in harmony with the rhum agricole, fresh juices, floral water, and is supported by the cinnamon syrup’s subtle spice. My goal was to create a drink that is readily accessible to even those who might not otherwise try or believe they would enjoy absinthe. Absinthe’s history is filled with so much myth, misinformation, and mystery, that the come-hither allure of a tropical drink presented in a whimsical tiki mug may just be the perfect introduction to the green (or in this case white) fairy.

1.25 oz of La Valote (Pere Francoise or Kubler are also acceptable)
1 oz Rhum J.M Gold
1 oz pineapple juice
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz homemade cinnamon syrup (recipe below)
½ tsp orange flower water

In a blender, puree all ingredients with 1.5 cups of crushed ice until slushy. Serve in a tiki mug, adding additional ice to fill, and garnish with a straw and a sprig of fresh mint.

To prepare the cinnamon syrup take 3 cinnamon sticks, crushed, 1 cup water, and 1 cup demerara sugar and boil until sugar dissolves. Let the mixture sit to further infuse for 2 hours, then strain into a container and refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Friday, February 25, 2011

What's Up Doc?

I love Cocchi Americano. I also love Plymouth Gin. Aperol?  Love it. And I can't get enough of Meyer lemons. They make winter more tolerable. What can I make with all 4 ingredients?

What's Up Doc?
1.5 oz Cocchi Americano
1 oz Plymouth Gin
0.5 oz Aperol
0.5 oz Meyer Lemon juice
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

The color is a beautiful cloudy apricot. The flavor starts out with a hint of sour, pungency, slight sweetness, and ends with a significant bitterness. This, my friends, is cocktail magic.

Cheers! ~Dr. Cocktation


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Irish Dinner

It's a cold and rainy Thursday evening nearing the end of a hard week. While I typically avoid drinking on "school nights", the recipe for a Complete Irish Meal cocktail passed before my thirsty eyes on Facebook via A few years back, in 2009, Bushmills held a contest asking someone to create a Bushmills and egg drink. One of the entries was the Complete Irish Meal by Anthony Malone. I'm both hungry, but not too hungry, and thirsty. Oh, what the heck. I'll try one, but with my own twists.

Luckily I have a few free-range eggs laying around in the fridge, but no Bushmills, and which cherry liqueur should I use? Also, for reasons unexplainable, I despise the word meal, so...

Irish Dinner
1 oz Paddy's Irish Whiskey 
1/2 oz Cherry Heering
1/2 oz freshly squeezed orange juice
1 fresh egg

Dry shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker for 20 seconds, the add ice, and shake to chill. Strain into a coupe glass. 

The whiskey is present, but not overbearing, and the texture is like a thinned eggnog. The flavor has a hint of cherry, orange, and nuttiness interwoven with the hint of Irish whiskey and bound together with the creaminess of the egg. A lovely dinner indeed!

Cheers! ~Dr. Cocktation

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Doctor Is Out

To compensate for the grievous faux pas of missing the birthday of a new friend, I offered to make her a birthday cocktail.  She likes lemony things, gin, and bitter stuff, so here's what I created:

The Doctor Is Out
1 oz Boomsma Genever Jonge 
1 oz Cardamaro 
2.5 oz San Pellegrino Limonata  
Build over ice in a short glass and garnish with a slice of lemon.

It's refreshing, a hint bitter, and bracing. Just like Kate. ;-)  

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine Sour

2 oz Maker's 46
1 oz Meyer lemon juice
1 oz Toschi Vanilla syrup
1/2 oz Joseph Cartron Pomegranate liqueur

Shake with ice and strain into a short glass filled with ice. Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bernheim Sweet Tea

Today I went to a CEU conference. Those things are expensive! And the main difference between a $119-a-day conference fo 6 CEU's and a $189-a-day conference for 6 CEU's is a continental breakfast. Said continental breakfast typically consists of fruit, pastries, bagels, coffee, and tea. It's good tea--Tazo Tea. But is it worth the $60 price difference? Hardly.

So today, trying to eek my money's worth out of the anger management conference, I tried the Tazo Green Ginger tea with lemon grass. Delicious! As I sipped my tea and listened to the Southern gentleman speaker, I started daydreaming. "This tea would be really good with some sugar and Bourbon," I thought.

Tonight, I was asked to make a cocktail that would pair well with a BBQ dinner, ordered from Bandanas. My cocktailian mind started to process. What does BBQ pair with well? Sweet tea! I ran to my purse and grabbed the 3 packets of Tazo Green Ginger tea I had snagged at the end of the conference (trying to fully make up for that $60 price difference). I quickly decided on Bernheim Wheat Whiskey as I believed the soft, sweet, wheat character would pair best with the sweet citrus tea.

Bernheim Sweet Tea
(for two cocktails)
3 oz of Tazo Green Ginger tea (made with 2 cups hot water to 3 tea bags, steeped 3-4 minutes)
1/2 oz Scrappy's Sirope de Gomme
2 oz Bernheim Wheat Whiskey
Stir with ice and strain into two short glasses, each with one large ice cube or ice ball.
Garnish with a long strip of Meyer lemon cut over the glass.

Cheers! ~Dr. Cocktation

Edelster Aventinus Cocktail

So I've been getting more into beer as of late. Thanks to a cool new audio blog, Expert Drinking hosted by Dr. Bill (Bill Sysak) and his ever-faithful side-kick and drinking companion, Stephen Johnson, I've been learning about the history of beer. 

As usual, once I begin learning more in depth information on a new aspect of the world of delicious booze, I cannot resist jumping in with both feet in terms of tasting. Schneider Aventinus is one of the few 100 point beers on, and as such, I couldn't resist, inspired by my new-found beer "expertise", trying it. With it's rich, deep brown color and sweet pumpernickel bread meets over-ripe banana nose, this is one 100 point beer I can get solidly behind.

Along side the eminently recognizable purple-labeled Aventinus beers at my favorite liquor store, I noticed a 375mL clear bottle with the same label. What was this? Beer liquor? In a sense, yes. It is actually distilled Aventinus beer, and according to reviews, it tastes strikingly similar to the beer from which it comes. Tonight I bought a bottle and brought my new discovery home. First I sampled it neat to discover that the critics were correct--the taste is entirely recognizable as a distilled form of Aventinus beer. But could a cocktail be made with this already delicious and complexly flavored spirit? A quick internet search revealed nothing. So it was up to me. I wanted to create something that didn't mask the signature Aventinus flavor, but rather brought it forth even more so...

Aventinus Cocktail
2 oz Edelster Aventinus
1/2 oz Scrappy's Sirop de Gomme
3 dashes Regan's Orange Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a spiral of Meyer lemon peel cut over the glass. 

While Edelster Aventinus is very drinkable on its own, mixed with the gum syrup, it gains a slight sweetness and weight, which when paired with the orange bitters and lemon oils, make it into a wonderful cocktail that allows all of the inherent complexities of the spirit shine through. 

Cheers! ~Dr. Cocktation 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Beer Haikus

I've been listening to the history of beer on Expert Drinking's new website. Good stuff! As a result, I've written two haikus about beer...

Fermentation is
Civilization. If so,
Please pass me a beer.

The spontanous
Fermentation has begun.
God is good! Let's drink.

I think the second is of higher quality than the first, but I'm relatively new to poetry so cut me some slack. ;-)

Cheers! ~Dr. Cocktation

Friday, January 28, 2011

Full Metal Jacket

I recently read on Eye Weekly about a Toronto bar, Melody Bar , located in the Gladstone Hotel, whose mixologist, Sandy De Almedia, has created a beautiful new cocktail...the Full Metal Jacket.

Yet being without any Crown Royal, and sans Flor de Cana 5 year, I made a few alterations and came up with my own riff on this beautiful drink. The only question, is this still a Full Metal Jacket if I tweak the ingredients slightly? Is it other? I don't rightly know. I do know, however, that it is important to cite my sources (hence the links above) and give credit where it is due. Regardless, here is my own riff on this cocktail and I must say it works quite nicely.

0.75 oz Averna Amaro
0.75 oz Sazerac Rye
0.75 oz Mount Gay XO
3 heavy dashes Fee Bros Grapefruit bitters

Stir all ingredients with ice and pour into a lowball glass over a large ice sphere and garnish with a long swath of Meyer lemon rind that has been cut across the glass to capture the essential oils.

Cheers! ~Dr. Cocktation