Covid Cocktails 3

posted on 20 Nov 2020 | Blog

After a break, I'm back with a 3rd round of Covid cocktails. First off, I finished off the sweet vermouth and bought some proper Dolin.

Also, Collective Arts gin is pretty expensive as London dry gins go, but I bought myself a bottle as a treat... and then my wife bought me another bottle as a birthday present. So I have a lot of gin to use.

Covid cocktails 3 collage

Covid Cocktails, Round 3

Day 1

The New York Sour, which is a Chicago invention and was maybe named as an insult because it's so fancy-looking.

  • 2 oz rye
  • 1 oz (half a lemon) fresh lemon
  • 1 oz 1:1 simple syrup

Shake w ice, strain to glass

Then float

  • 1 oz red wine over bar spoon on top.

New York Sour

Definitely a nice drink. The wine hits your nose first and it's wine-forward, before switching over to the lemonade and whiskey flavors. I used a wine that was way too good for this drink because it's what we were drinking the night before, but any fruity red should do. Good thing to make if you've already got a bottle open.

How To Drink vid for New York Sour:

Day 2

I figured I should get at least one Italian amaro, and patriotism made me pick Fernet Branca because it's big in Argentina.

Fernet is commonly drunk as a short shot digestif - like an after-dinner mint, so before mixing with it I thought I'd give it a try straight.

...

It tastes like dentist's polishing paste, but without sweetener. I'm not kidding, it's powerful. Concentrated mint and herb and very little sugar to help it go down.

So, in Argentina the standard club drink is Fernet con Coca, which is Fernet Branca and coke.

  • 1.5 oz fernet
  • half a can of Coke (I'm using Coke Zero)
  • Ice

Fernet con Coca

... best thing I can say about this foamy minty Coke is that it grows on you. Reminds me of how much Argentinos smoke.

Seriously, Fernet tastes like liquefied menthols. It is bracing. Like it's the perfect digestif if dinner was a half-pack of cigarettes. Reading about how they like to mix it 1:1 with coke, I can't even imagine.

It's not without its appeal, but damn.

How To Drink vid for Fernet con Coca:

Day 3

A nice normal gin martini. I attempted this one twice because I wanted to get the seminal classic right... my first attempt, I half-assed and it was bad.

3:1 ratio of Collective Arts gin and dry vermouth, and an olive.

Okay, Dolin dry vermouth is great stuff - fruity and just a little sweet, and mixes nicely with the subtle Collective Arts gin... but I'll do a 5:1 next time.

Tiny gin martini

I put it into one of my tiny stemless glasses because I wanted a small one and it looked ridiculous in my huge cocktail glasses. I love savory drinks though, and I don't see what the olive adds at all, albeit I used the wrong kind (Kalamata instead of a stuffed queen). At the very least I need proper garnish skewers.

Basically everything I did on this was dumb and wrong. My FB followers informed me of that and they were correct.

Addendum

I tried this again later, and it went much better.

In honor of... wait, no, he was an unrepentant wife-beater. To mark the passing of Sir Sean Connery: I made another dry martini.

  • 2.5 oz London dry gin
  • 0.5 oz vermouth
  • 2 dashes of orange bitters
  • olives

Stirred, because do I look like I give a damn?

Proper gin martini

Definitely better in a 5:1 ratio, and the saltiness of the queen olives aren't a bad mix in this format. Collective Arts gin is more a of a subtle flavor and that might not match this perfectly, but it was very nice. The olives add a nice nose too.

Day 4

Irish Coffee (or rather, Canadian coffee, since I'm using Canadian whiskey and maple syrup)

  • 1 oz Canadian whiskey
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • a half-cup of coffee

Add whiskey, syrup, coffee to cup.

  • 1/4-cup of whipping cream in a measuring cup, blended with an immersion mixer & a little maple syrup.

Dump the whipped cream on top, and grate some nutmeg.

Irish coffee

This is very, very tasty, but I put too much nutmeg. But on the plus side, my first time whipping cream with an immersion mixer and it's surprisingly easy to do unless you drop the immersion mixer on the floor like an idiot and spend the next hour fixing it. I don't recommend that step.

Day 5

The Midnight Stinger. The Fernet makes its big return.

  • 1 oz whiskey
  • 1 oz Fernet Branca
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz sugar syrup (mine is 1:1)

Shake with ice, pour into a glass full of crushed ice.

Midnight Stinger

... okay, this tasted too harsh at first, but it grew on me as the ice melted and softened it. I get a lot of sore throats because of allergies and asthma, so I'm a bit of a connoisseur of lozenges. This is a pretty darned good Ricola slushie.

In hindsight I shouldn't have used the blender for ice, it was too fine - a bag and some smashing might've produced something a little less slushie-esque. But yeah, it really tasted like Ricola.

Source, Difford's Guide

Day 6

We go back to sours for a minute for a nice twist on a vodka sour: the Bernice

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 3/4 oz lime
  • 1/2 oz galliano
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup

Shaken with ice, pour to a chilled cocktail glass.

Bernice

Nice, tangy sour with a vanilla twist. Don't overthink it, it's good.

Hat-tip, Difford's Guide

Note: I'm an idiot. It took me how long to suddenly notice the obvious - I have Galliano Vanilla, not Galliano L'Autentico. The LCBO doesn't even sell Galliano L'Autentico. All this time... I'm using the simple vanilla one, not the proper complex one.

Everything I'm doing is wrong. I want you to know this.

Day 7

Named after a British bar in Rangoon, the Pegu Club cocktail is a nice glass of colonialism.

  • 2 oz gin
  • 0.75 oz curacao
  • 0.5 oz lime
  • dash orange bitters
  • dash angostura bitters

Shake with ice, pour to a chilled glass, garnish with a lime wheel.

Pegu Club

Comes out complex and fruity but very dry and boozy. I probably put too much lime. It grew on me as I got further down the glass, but overall I probably won't mix this again. Collective Arts gin probably isn't a good fit for this either - a more mix-y gin would go better.

Day 8

Covid cocktails 3, day 8: the Patriota, an iced espresso drink.

  • 1.5 oz Moka pot espresso
  • 2 barspoons fine sugar mixed in the shot glass with the coffee
  • 0.5 oz 360 double chocolate vodka
  • 0.5 oz fernet branca
  • 2 oz white Cuban rum

Shake with ice, strain to chilled glass.

I've scaled up the recipe a bit, and am using a Moka pot instead of true espresso and double chocolate vodka instead of creme de cacao. Also when I first read the recipe I thought it was a hot drink, hence the goblets. Would've been fine in a cocktail glass.

Patriota

...

I loved this one. It's rich and sweet. Minty dark chocolate and coffee, with a little bit of natural foam on top.

This time the double chocolate substitution wasn't overpowering as the strong Fernet and coffee flavours stand up to it.

This completely eclipses the espresso martini for me.

Hat-tip, Difford's Guide

Day 9

Toronto. Yes, that's the name of the drink, Toronto. I mixed it in the glass, on the rocks.

  • 1.75 oz whiskey
  • 0.25 oz fernet branca
  • 0.25 oz syrup
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • ice

Basically an old fashioned with a little Fernet.

Toronto

...

And yeah, it tastes like an old fashioned with some Fernet... which isn't a bad idea, really. The hit of mint was very nice. I've switched to regular Crown Royal Deluxe for drinks like this - solid caramel & rye flavors without overpowering the rest. CR deluxe isn't great on its own but for mixing I like it - some mixing whiskeys disappear into the drink, and by contrast the Crown Royal Harvest Rye (which I love straight) overwhelms mixed drinks with its bitterness.

So, apparently I liked Toronto.

Day 10

The Yellow Bird (one of many drinks by that name apparently, I forget where I found this specific instance of the recipe). Similar to Bernice in that it's a sour with Galliano, but some big differences:

  • 1 oz white Cuban rum
  • 0.5 oz lime
  • 0.5 oz triple sec
  • 0.5 oz Galliano

Shaken with ice, strain to chilled cocktail glass.

Yellow Bird

A nice easy drink. Like a mashup of a daiquiri and a Harvey Wallbanger. Creamsicle and lime.

Day 11

El Presidente, an old Cuban cocktail from pre-revolution days.

  • 1.5 oz white rum
  • 0.75 oz triple sec
  • 0.75 dry vermouth
  • 0.5 oz grenadine

Did some slight modifications - more grenadine (proper recipes call for a few barspoons instead of a half-ounce), and it's not blanc (semi-sweet) vermouth.

El Presidente

...

Nice. Boozy, fruity, and sweet. The vermouth and the grenadine and the triple sec are like a little fruit salad. I'm a little off-book on this but I think it's close-enough since the extra sweetness from the extra grenadine counteracts the tartness of the dry vermouth.

Enjoyed this one enough that I made a pair of them for my wife and I to mark the US election night.

Day 12

Covid Cocktails 3: Day 12. Named for the three-fingered Romani jazz guitarist, the Django Reinhardt.

  • 3 oz dry vermouth
  • 0.5 oz simple syrup (I'd switched to 2:1 ratio at this point, use 0.75 for 1:1)
  • 0.75 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 2 slices of orange (I used 3 slices clementine)

Combine in shaker, muddle the orange (well, clementine, whatever), then add ice and shake, strain to a rocks glass with ice in it. Garnish with an orange slice.

...

Django Reinhardt

It's pretty tasty - a tangy vermouth mimosa. No big surprises, just a nice orangey drink. Surprisingly straightforward for such an elaborate name.

Cleaning the orange bits out of the shaker sucked, though. I'll just use a normal press instead of muddling next time.

Hat tip, Epicurious

Appropriate Music

Day 13

A nice hot toddy.

  • 2 oz whiskey
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 dashes angostura bitters
  • 4 oz hot water
  • lemon twist

Just mix in a mug.

Hot Toddy

Yeah. A nice hot drink for a cold day for your whiskey of choice. The bakery-spice notes of the whiskey and bitters are very nice served hot. I think this is going to be my "pumpkin spice latte" for the winter.

I'm using a "How To Drink" recipe that is technically a "whiskey skin" but whatever.

Also, because this is a hot drink I'm using brown sugar instead of his demerara syrup, because it's handy and it's going to dissolve anyways.

How To Drink vid

Day 14

Wifey bought me a beautiful metal mug for my birthday so I'm doing the Moscow Mule for my finale.

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz lime
  • 6(ish) oz ginger beer

Build in the traditional copper-plated Moscow Mule mug, stir with ice, garnish with lime wheel.

Moscow Mule

Tasty, but too much lime. I'd cut that back to 3/4 ounce. And strong Jamaican ginger beer is definitely an acquired taste - "mule" describes the noise my kid made when I gave her some leftover ginger beer.

The best part of this drink is the mug, honestly. The cold flows right out of it into your hands and the condensation just goes everywhere. It's refreshing just to hold it. I'm going to be using the heck out of this in summer.

Final Thoughts

I've been having a good time exploring new flavors here. I'm happy I had good uses for the gut-punch powerful flavor of the Fernet Branca, especially. Also, Dolin vermouth is so nice I've been having it straight once in a while as a night-cap. And the Collective Arts artisan gin is wonderful (albeit expensive). It's probably to mix it like I have, the gin tastes wonderful straight after a good chill in the freezer.

There were a lot of good hits in this round. Stand-out favorite was the Patriota, but I definitely enjoyed the gin martini, el presidente, and the hot toddy, and have made all of them more than once since first trying them. And the sheer balls-out weirdness of the midnight stinger won't be anybody's favorite but it was a memorable fun drink. Maybe when summer comes around I'll put that into the copper cup.

In the meantime until coming back to exploring new cocktails again, I finally got my home gym set up. Holy crap I'm out of shape.

Home Gym

Cheers.

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