Tag: spirits

Weekend In Review

 

If you follow the Winekindasseur on Twitter, you may have noticed my Monday morning Tweets called Weekend In Review. In the weekly photo, a few empty wine and booze bottles are lined up, ready to head out to the recycle bin. A concerned friend tweeted, “Did you guys really drink a whole bottle of Limoncello over the weekend?” No, but it’s funny you should ask…

Just as we were inspired to clean out the pantry a few weeks ago, we’re attempting to reduce our liquor bottle count as well. The motivation isn’t expiration dates, since most spirits last for years, but rather that we’ll be moving eventually. Now you’re probably wondering, why don’t we just pack up the liquor and wine and drive it to our new place? To some extent we will do just that, but our problem is that there are hundreds of bottles.

Prior to becoming liquor store entrepreneurs, we had an average size collection of spirits. In order to be knowledgeable for our customers, part of our ‘homework’ was to try products at home. After the store, our curiosity led us to continue trying new products and testing in the drink lab. Oftentimes, we made a few cocktails from one bottle and then put it aside to move on to the next experiment. This behavior has resulted in every nook and cranny of our kitchen and dining room being occupied by a partly-consumed bottle of booze. Open a cabinet door and you never know what you’ll find.

I can imagine some less thrifty readers may want to suggest that we pour the bottle contents down the drain and be done with it.  Blasphemy!  This dilemma has delivered an opportunity to revisit our prior mixology dabbling and encourage friends to help us with our project. Certain bottles are ‘targeted’ for completion. When the goal of emptying each bottle has been accomplished, they are collected on the counter for a final farewell photo in memoriam.

Here are a couple of highlights:

Lemon Sorbet

We originally made this cocktail with Dr. McGillicuddy’s Intense Lemon Drop Schnapps. Since the shapely Limoncello bottle was targeted for completion, we’ll substitute it for the Schnapps. We give ourselves a pat on the back for our efficiency because finishing the Smirnoff Whipped Cream Vodka is next on the project timeline. I just love achieving my milestones!

  • 1.5 oz. Smirnoff Whipped Cream Vodka
  • .5 oz. Limoncello
  • .5 oz. lemon juice
  • .5 oz. simple syrup

Shake over ice and pour through a strainer.

Sazerac

Our friends who like to travel to bourbon and whiskey country in the south brought us a souvenir bottle from a distillery they visited. Davy Crockett Whiskey was a gift that kept on giving but after a year or so, it was time to bid farewell to our Tennessean friend. We’ve made a couple of minor changes to the traditional preparation of the Sazerac cocktail: using simple syrup in place of a sugar cube, and shaking instead of stirring.

  • Splash of Absinthe
  • 1.5 oz. whiskey
  • .25 oz simple syrup
  • Few dashes of Peychaud’s bitters
  • Lemon rind
  1. Prepare the glass with a wash of Absinthe and fill with crushed ice. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, peel some lemon rind.
  3. Fill a shaker with ice and add the whiskey, simple syrup, and about 3 dashes of bitters. Shake vigorously.
  4. Pour out the crushed ice from the glass. Strain and pour the whiskey into the glass. Twist the lemon rind and garnish the drink.

Sazerac

Goslings Black Seal vs. Bacardi Black Rum

BacardiBlack

In the beginning of the summer when I had a hankering for a Dark n’ Stormy we conducted cocktail lab (It Was A Dark and Stormy Night http://wp.me/p4rcsv-bq) pitting Goslings Black Seal against our collection of dark(er) rums. Since there was much discussion online about the importance of using Goslings as opposed to any old dark rum, we wanted to test this theory for ourselves.

Our conclusion was that none of the other rums delivered similarly to Goslings in the Dark n’ Stormy. Black Seal neat is dry and smooth with notes of molasses and coffee. Although Brugal Extra Viejo blended well with ginger beer, the rum’s wonderful nuances were wasted by mixing. Bacardi Gold was just about acceptable, but nowhere near as complex as Goslings.

We just added Bacardi Black to our selection of rums so let’s give it a try! Excitement is building as we note the pretty burnt amber color in the pour. High alcohol in the nose blows off to reveal wood fire, oak and vanilla aromas. My expectations mount as I swirl and sniff, anticipating something splendid in the sip.

But in place of the dreamy euphoria I found in Goslings is a rude awakening. An overwhelmingly bad medicinal flavor engulfs my entire mouth. There are a few nice caramel notes on the finish but I can barely notice them as I try to recover from the heinous assault on my palate. Did rum and botched moonshine get mixed up in the bottling line at the Bacardi distillery?

I had intended to make a Dark n’ Stormy with the Bacardi Black for comparison with the Goslings, but it’s so bad, I don’t want to waste the ginger beer. I really hate to trash any product. After all, we all have different tastes and to each his own. But for me, this one was so awful it may actually get poured down the drain. At least the bottle is attractive…

Dark and Stormy Cocktail Recipe

  • 4 oz. Ginger Beer
  • 1.5 oz. Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
  • Lime wedge (optional, I liked it better without)

Pour the chilled ginger beer in a glass over ice. Top with rum and admire the variations in color. Stir, swill, and talk like a pirate, matey.