BuckarooI usually drink a cup of coffee a day, and it’s decaf at that. However, I find that if I don’t have any caffeine, come early afternoon a slight headache develops. Perhaps its all in my mind (can you really be addicted to decaf?! I know it still has some caffeine, but come on…), but today was one of those days where the morning flew by and suddenly it’s 3pm and I’m rubbing my forehead. The weather has turned warm, and it’s rather hot in the sunbeam (sorry Ohioans), so I was in no mood for a cup of coffee. My backup plan: Coke! It’s also Friday, and I’m at home just finishing some web updates, so the perfect time for a drink.
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A cocktail from morgueFile

As per request, I recently embarked upon playing with the Rob Roy. This drink is very simple, pretty much the Manhattan of the scotch world. Now, I’ve made many a delightful Manhattan, and the proportions normally stay more or less the same. Unfortunately, with a Rob Roy, all such bets are off.
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13. June 2007 · Comments Off on Income Tax Cocktail · Categories: Cocktails · Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Income Tax Cocktail This cocktail is actually what led me into researching a somewhat distant variant, the Monkey Gland. I first came about them both in Dr. Cocktail’s very enjoyable book “Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails.” The ingredients for the Income Tax are easier to find, so it’s more likely you’ll be able to try one of these out with even a modest liquor collection.

The Income Tax Cocktail

1 1/2oz gin
1/2 oz sweet vermouth
1/2 oz dry vermouth
Juice of 1/4 orange (about 3/4 oz)
dash of angostura bitters

Shake with ice, strain into cocktail glass and garnish with an orange wheel.

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Picked up a bottle of Pisco to try a Pisco Sour and are now looking for other Pisco-based drinks to try? By a strange coincidence, I am as well! This is a much simpler drink, and not as fun as the Pisco Sour, but still enjoyable. I’ve also seen it referred to as simply a “Chilcano.”

Chilcano de Pisco

Pour a shot or two of Pisco over ice into whatever tumbler or highball glass you have handy. Fill with ginger ale. Add in a squirt of lemon juice and a shake or two of angostura bitters. Garnish with a slice of lemon.

As you can see, it’s an exact recipe. The core of it is Pisco and ginger ale similar to a rum & coke. In fact, I’ve seen some recipes that stop right there, and that’s an enjoyable drink. If you’re feeling like you simply must measure things, 6:1 ale to Pisco seems about standard. The lemon juice and bitters make it more fun, but it’s a subtle change. This is a summery drink, which Christy also enjoys sampling.

The problem with browsing through cocktail blogs is that I invariably find someone else who is posting delightful, well informed information and my list of places to read increases. The Handy Snake is one of those, and I earlier wrote about Kurt’s Manhattan Special. Being a big fan of the tasty manhattan, I tried it out and was intrigued enough to recreate it with some slight modifications. Mainly, I don’t like drinking mine on the rocks, so I just reduced the amounts and ended up changing the proportions a hair. If you’re interested, I really recommend you check out the original.

The Manhattan Special

1.5 oz rye whiskey
.4 oz sweet vermouth
.3 oz Benedictine
2 dashes of Angostura bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

Note that Kurt makes a good point about wanting a strong rye to take on the Benedictine. I always like Wild Turkey in my Manhattans, and it serves well in this case.

What’s up with the .3 and .4oz measurements? I tend to make a Manhattan at 3:1 rye to sweet vermouth, but that’s too weak if you then add Benedictine. You could certainly just do 1/4 oz each of vermouth and Benedictine, but I liked it better with a hair more than that, and adding more vermouth than Benedictine. The end result is a very soft and sweeter Manhattan. It’s handy for those times when you want a Manhattan, but aren’t really looking forward to it standing up and socking you in the mouth for the first few sips. Of course, I think that’s part of a good Manhattan’s charm, but this is nice to have in the recipe book. Thanks, Kurt!

Manhattan Special

Yes, there’s a cherry there but I shook it instead of stirred the drink. This also dilutes it a hair more, in addition to making it colder quicker, which I think works well in this case.

This is theoretically a bit of a trendy drink these days, but I hadn’t heard of it until National Repeal Day when I noticed it floating about the internets. Christy sent me to BevMo tonight to pick up some wine. Sending me unsupervised to a liquor store with decent selection is a poor financial decision, but I managed to contain myself to just picking up some Pisco. It’s an interesting spirit, it’s actually a brandy based on muscat grapes and has a fairly unique flavor. Not something I need to drink straight, but I had purchased it for a Pisco Sour anyways.

DeGroff’s recipe:

Pisco Sour

1½ oz. Pisco Aba
3/4 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 oz. Simple Syrup
Several drops of Angostura Bitters
One Small Egg White

Shake all ingredients (thoroughly!) with ice and strain into a small cocktail glass. Sprinkle a few dashes of Angostura Bitters on the foam created by the egg whites.

Ok, the thoroughly bit is my addition, but it’s important. Do your hands hurt? If you pause do you see layers (plural) of ice on the shaker? Ok, you’re almost done. You need to destroy the egg, and in the process produce a foamy drink to float the bitters on.

I often enjoy DrinkBoy’s take on cocktails, and I actually made his first before trying DeGraff’s. DeGraff has a lot more simple syrup and bitters in it, which rounds out the drink and keeps the Pisco from being quite so vocal. I liked it better, and so did Christy, so that’s what is posted above. Finally, a tragic admission, I didn’t have fresh lemon juice which means I used that crap out of a plastic lemon and it’s blatantly obvious in the drink itself. Do yourself a favor and use fresh lemon juice.

The drink is fun, and the egg whites give it an enjoyable texture. The bitters form a nice, orange-brown color, and the bitters and Pisco end up giving it a different flavor up front than at the end. It certainly seems like a summer drink, which perhaps makes sense given its Peruvian (or Chilean, depending on who you ask) origins. I’d love to muck with it and a fresh lemon, although after making two I ended up using more fake lemon “juice” to play with the Combustible Edison mainly due to the fact that it’s fun to play with fire. That and I love me the Campari.

Variations at:
The Art of Drink
DC Drinks
and, of course, Wikipedia

Update: picture of the Pisco Sour (v.1)

Pisco Sour I

Having recently picked up a half-priced(!) bottle of Plymouth Gin at BevMo, I am once more enjoying Pink Gins. Now, I tend to have a fair amount of gin in my possession at all times, but a Pink Gin is one of the few drinks where it really must be made with only one brand of gin.

Pink Gin

  • Plymouth Gin
  • 3 dashes of Angostura Bitters

In a cocktail shaker, pour gin over ice and add bitters. Technically you should stir until cold, although shaking is also ok. Pour into a cocktail (martini) glass and enjoy.

Some people drink it with the gin warm, the thought of which always makes my skin crawl. Also, it’s common to prepare by coating the glass (sometimes shot glass) in bitters and dumping out the extra instead of adding it directly in. Just a little variation makes a noticeable difference, so it’s worth the delight of experimenting to find your optimal proportions.

The Pink Gin has a proud history. I’ve read various accounts, all of which seem to match Wikipedia’s note: “Pink gin is a typically English way of enjoying gin. It was made popular worldwide by members of the Royal Navy, where it rose to prominence because the Angostura bitters were a cure for seasickness.”

Incidentally, does anyone know of a good place to buy spirits in San Diego? BevMo is ok, but they’re sometimes too much of a chain to carry the really good stuff.

Luis Buñuel’s martini recipe:

“For those who are still with me, let me give you my personal recipe, the fruit of long experimentation and guaranteed to produce perfect results. The day before your guests arrive, put all the ingredients – glasses, gin, and shaker – in the refrigerator. Use a thermometer to make sure the ice is about twenty degrees below zero (centigrade). Don’t take anything out until your friends arrive; then pour a few drops of Noilly Prat and half a demitasse spoon of Angostura bitters over the ice. Shake it, then pour it out, leaving only the ice, which retains a faint taste of both. Then pour straight gin over the ice, shake it again, and serve.”
My Last Sign (1983)