MxMo LVII: The Bouquet (Floral Round-Up)

Thanks to everyone (all 27 of you!) who dropped by my corner of the Intertubes for MxMo LVII: Flores de Mayo with some great drinks for the springtime.  With all these cocktails to try, I expect I’ll be “in my cups” for quite some time.   Sticking with the format of this blog, which was inspired in part by the index card box that my Mother kept her recipes in, I’m including the ingredient list and directions for each cocktail in the round-up, so y’alls can have it all in one place.  Photo first, then recipe with links.  Bottoms up!

Kennedy gets us rolling with a twist on a traditional crusta and a fantastic “flower” garnish.

Bourbon Bloom

1 1/4 oz. bourbon
1/2 oz. St. Germain elderflower liqueur
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/4 oz.  simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura orange bitters

Shake & strain into cocktail glass prepared with sugared rim and lemon peel flower.

Recipe courtesy of Kennedy at That’s The Spirit!

Next, Adam takes an ingredient that I am growing increasingly fond of in cocktails – tequila – for a South of the Border spin through the garden.

South of Tuitan

1 3/4 oz. blanco tequila
1/2 oz. elderflower liqueur
2 dashes orange bitters
3/4 oz.  red grapefruit juice

Recipe courtesy of Adam at Inspired Imbibing.

Dominik went the route of a floral infusion – in this case gin and a flower called osmanthus that was new to me.

Osmanthus White Lady

4 cl Osmanthus infused Beefeater 24
2 cl orange liqueur
2 cl lemon juice
splash egg white
dash orange bitters

Shake & strain into cocktail glass.  Garnish with orange spiral.

Recipe courtesy of Dominik at Opinionated Alchemist.

Jon riffs off a selection from Left Coast Libations with a cocktail that looks really quite elegant.

Elderflower Descant

1 oz. Bluecoat gin
3/4 oz. St Germain elderflower liqueur
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. Dolin dry vermouth
dash Clear Creek pear brandy

Shake & strain into cocktail glass.  Garnish with a long twist of orange and a lilac flower.

Recipe courtesy of Jessamyn at Food on the Brain.

Fellow Bay Area boozehound Rowen throws down with tequila and violets – I really need to try this one.

Arrow of Time

1 1/2 oz. blanco tequila
1 oz. Punt e Mes
1/4. oz crème de violette
1 dash Regans’ Orange Bitters

Shake & strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon twist.

Recipe courtesy of Rowen at Fogged In Lounge.

Going old school, Kim spins up the drink that was first responsible for the ever-expanding exotic ingredients section of my bar.

Aviation

1 1/2 oz. gin
1/2 oz. maraschino liqueur
3/4 oz. lemon juice
a dash of crème de violette

Shake & strain into cocktail glass.  Garnish with cherry.

Recipe courtesy of Understanding Cocktails.

With the weather turning warmer, Mackenzie comes up with a refreshing patio drink.

Greenhouse Collins

1 inch of fresh cucumber
1 3/4 oz. Sagatiba Pura Cachaca
1/2 oz. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
1/2 oz. lime juice
1/4 oz Orange Tea Syrup*

Muddle cucumber.  Add remaining ingredients, shake & double strain into Collins glass filled with ice.  Top with soda water.  Garnish with cucumber wheel.

* To make orange tea syrup brew one cup of a strongly flavored orange tea (with at lease two tea bags).  Add tea to a pot with equal parts sugar over low heat until all the sugar has dissolved.  Let cool and bottle in your fridge.

Recipe courtesy of The Spirit of Imbibing.

The ever prolific Frederic busts open a can of Creme Yvette and a vintage recipe to provide one pretty looking drink.  (And by pretty, I mean that in the Treme sense.)

Lilac Domino

1 oz. calvados
1 oz. gin
1/2 oz. yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz. Crème Yvette
1/2 oz. lemon juice

Shake & strain into a cocktail glass.  Garnish with a cherry.

Recipe courtesy of cocktail virgin slut.

In a move sure to rile up half the state of Kentucky, Doug deconstructs a Southern classic and turns the volume to 11.

Mint Julep

2 oz. rye
1 oz. dark rum (not Jamaican)
1/3 oz. simple syrup
8-10 mid-sized fresh mint leaves
1/4 tsp. orange flower water

Place mint leaves in bottom of a double old-fashioned glass, and cover with simple. Muddle gently but thoroughly (don’t tear the leaves). Add other ingredients and stir. Top with crushed ice and swizzle until a good frost develops on the outside of the glass. Garnish with a generous sprig of fresh mint.

Recipe courtesy of The Pegu Blog.


Lindsay offers up not one but two cocktails involving Fernet arm wrestling with roses.

The Gatsby

1 1/4 oz. Four Roses bourbon
3/4 tsp. Fernet Branca
1/3 oz. rosewater simple syrup*

Shake & strain into Collins glass filled with ice.  Top with ginger ale.  Garnish with lemon twist.

The Daisy

1 oz. Hendricks gin
1/2 tsp. Fernet Branca
1/3 oz. rosewater simple syrup*

Shake & strain into champagne flute.  Top with prosecco.  Garnish with lemon twist.

* Rosewater simple syrup – one drop of rosewater per ounce of 2:1 simple syrup.

Recipe courtesy of Mix It Up Cincinnati.


David strolls through his garden and comes up with something so downright pretty, it might make a Mardi Gras Indian cry. (Sorry, can’t help the Treme references – curse you David Simon!)

The Rosemond

2 oz. Leopold’s gin
1 oz hibiscus-infused dry vermouth
0.5 oz rose syrup
2-3 drops of lemon juice

Shake & strain into cocktail glass.  Garnish with rose petal.

Hibiscus-infused dry vermouth – 3-4 hibiscus flowers in 1 cup dry vermouth.  Steep for 2-3 hours in fridge

Rose syrup – Bring 2 cups 1:1 simple syrup to boil with a handful of washed rose petals.  Cover and remove from heat.  Cool, remove petals and add 1 tsp. rosewater & 2 drops orange flower water.

Recipe courtesy of 12 Bottle Bar.


Zachary boldy dives in with a full ounce of creme de violette.  Try not to be scared – Zack promises it is all good.

Rose Window

2 slices pineapple
1 twist orange peel
2 dash orange bitters
1 1/2 oz. gin
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. creme de violette
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1 egg white

Muddle pineapple, orange peel & bitters.  Combine remaining ingredients & dry shake for 45 seconds.  Shake with ice for 30 seconds & strain into cocktail glass.

Recipe courtesy of Kindred Cocktails.

Heading out to one of my favorite states at any time of year, Cory brings us something from the islands – Mahalo!

King Coconut

1 oz. Kai Coconut Pandan vodka
1 oz. Crown Royal Canadian Whiskey
Splash of SpriteServe over ice on rocks glass.

Recipe courtesy of Wang Chung’s.


Inspired by the popular St. Germain liqueur, Marc uses it as inspiration for an elderflower infusion.

Bijou a Fleur

1 1/2 oz. gin
1/2 oz. elderflower infused vodka
1/2 oz.   Cynar
1 tsp.   hibiscus gomme syrup
2 drops orange flower water

Stir & strain into cocktail glass.  Garnish with lemon peel.

Recipe courtesy of A Drinker’s Peace.


Over in the Motor City, home of the MC-5, the greatest Sixties band that no can believe came out the Sixties,  Dave K. takes the Negroni for a Springtime stroll.

Spring Negroni

3/4 oz. Lavender infused gin
3/4 oz. Lillet Blanc
3/4 oz. Aperol
dash of Spring bitters*

Spring bitters – equal parts lemon, orange, grapefruit and Peychaud’s, infused with mint for 24 hours.

Recipe courtesy of the Sugar House Blog.

With a dash of strawberry, Filip brings us a cocktail fit for Mother’s Day.

Piwonia

1 1/2 oz. gin
1/2 oz. St. Germain
1/2 oz. lemon juice
2 dashes orange bitters
1 dash The Bitter Trush Aromatic bitters
1 strawberry
Muddle strawberry then add the ingredients. Shake & double strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a rose petal.

Recipe courtesy of Adventures in Cocktails.


Ed brings us a floral spin on a classic Martini.

English Garden

chive blossoms
2 oz. Bulldog London Dry gin
¾ oz. Dolin Blanc vermouth
2 dashes A. B. Smeby Nasturtium-Cumin Bitters

Lightly muddle chive blossoms.  Stir with other ingredients and strain.  Garnish with fresh chive blossom.

Recipe courtesy of Wordsmithing Pantagruel.

From the barker of this carnival, Paul brings us a new way to enjoy everyone’s favorite green liqueur.

Beuser & Angus Special

1 3/4 oz. green Chartreuse
1 3/4 oz. green Chartreuse
3/4 oz. lime juice
1/2 oz. maraschino liqueur
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 egg white
5 dashes orange flower water

Recipe courtesy of Cocktail Chronicles.

Back in the Pacific Northwest, Chris comes up with not one but two floral cocktails of his bar’s spring menu.

PDX

1 1/2 oz. Bols Genever
1 oz. grapefruit juice
1/2 oz. lavender/chamomile infused honey

Shake & strain into coupe. Top with sparkling wine.

1022 Old Fashioned

2 oz. Woodford Reserve bourbon
1/4 oz. simple syrup
3 dashes saffron/cardamom bitters
wide swath of orange peel

Express orange oil into double old fashioned glass and drop peel in.  Add remaining ingredients and stir with large ice cubes.

Recipes courtesy of 1022 South.

Stephan blends the savory with the floral for a garden twist on a mule.

The Mule From The Alamo

1.5 oz. tomato/basil-infused vodka*
1 barspoon of hibiscus grenadine
Juice from half of a fresh lime

Shake & strain into ice-filled rocks glass.  Fill with ginger beer.  Garnish with spent lime shell.

* Infuse vodka with 6 vine ripe tomatoes and 4 ounces of fresh basil for 1-2 weeks.

Recipe courtesy of Liquid Chef.

Chris AKA DJ Hawaiian Shirt provides a great homemade ingredient with a recipe for floral bitters.

Recipe courtesy of Spirited Remix.

Jacob provides a delicious looking submission marrying tequila with the Milanese grappa and flora liqueur Dimmi.

Sally Port Punk

1 oz. blanco tequila
1 oz. white port
1/2 oz. Dimmi
1/2 oz. Campari

Stir & strain.  Garnish with an orange twist.

Recipe courtesy of Liquidity Preference.

Have shaker, will travel Brandon brings the Twentieth Century to the next.

21st Century Girl

1 1/2 oz. gin
3/4 oz. St. Germain
1/2 oz. lemon juice
2 dashed Scrappy’s chocolate bittersShake & strain into cocktail glass.  Garnish with lemon twist.

Recipe courtesy of The Real McCoy.

By way of Martha Stewart (with an assist from Frederic), Nancy combines the vegetal, the herbal and the floral.

Barefoot in the Garden

1 1/2 oz. celery-infused tequila
.3/4 oz. lime juice
3/4 oz. simple syrup
1/2 oz. St. Germain
1/2 oz. Lillet blanc

Shake & strain into a cocktail glass.

Celery-Infused Tequila – 1 1/2 cups tequila, 2 celery leaves & 1 celery stalk cut in half, infused for 2-3 days.

Recipe of courtesy of The Backyard Bartender.

With a bit of tease on the floral ingredient recipe, Amelia provides a drink fit for a warm spring afternoon in the backyard.

Lavender Gin and Tonic

1 1/2 oz. gin
2 dashes lavender bittersCombine with ice in rocks glass and top with tonic water.

Recipe courtesy of Felicia’s Speakeasy.

Finally, my submission via my favorite drink from the Left Coast Libations book party.

Sandalwood Sour

1 1/2 oz. Plymouth gin
1/2 z.  lemon juice
1/2 oz.  lime juice
1/2 oz. saffron sharbat (see below)
1 barspoon Angostura bitters
1 egg white

Dry shake without ice for 20-30 seconds.  Add ice and shake until frosty.  Strain into cocktail glass and garnish with grated sandalwood.

Saffron Sharbat

1 1/4 cups water
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup rosewater
1/4 rounded tsp. saffron
1 Tbs. boiling water

Place 1 Tbs. boiling water into a small bowl and add crushed saffron threads.  Steep for 15 minutes.  Add rosewater.

Mix water and sugar in a saucepan over low heat and dissolve.  Add rosewater saffron mixture.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, let cool and store in bottle.  Store in refridgerator.  You can leave in saffron threads or strain.  Makes enough for 16 cocktails.  Can also be used as a flavored syrup with soda water.

Recipe courtesy of Moi.

Bobby Burns

I first came across this recipe in Jeff Hollinger and Rob Schwartz’s excellent book – Art of the Bar: Cocktails Inspired by the Classics.  The book is from 2006 and captures a period when modern cocktail bars – focused on high quality ingredients, restored classics, a speakeasy style atmosphere – were just starting to open.  (Audrey Saunder’s Pegu Club, for example, had just opened about a year earlier.)  On the West Coast in the birthplace of Chez Panisse and California cuisine, this meant bartenders drawing inspiration from fresh, seasonal ingredients.   Jeff and Rob were managing the bar at Absinthe  Brasserie & Bar, a trend setting “New American” style restaurant that featured an equally excellent full bar program.  It was a combination that was rare at the time, but is now almost ubiquitous in the restaurant scene in places like San Francisco or New York.

Since then, of course, the movement has exploded to the point that even mid-sized cities and towns can boast of at least one “mixology” bar – when even my Rust Belt, blue collar  hometown has a speakeasy, you know a trend has gone national.    Things have changed rapidly and the quality of the bar scene has improved dramatically.  As a result, I’ve found the recipes in the book to be a bit of a mix.  Some still taste fresh and interesting, while others have a dated feel or don’t quite hit the mark.   Partially, I think that is due to a more limited access to niche spirits that we now take for granted.  (Shudder to think about those dark days when one couldn’t get creme de violette for an Aviation! God save Eric Seed.)  It was also during a transition time from the Cosmopolitan and Key Lime Pie on one side of the divide, and the Martinez and Ginger Rogers on the other – all recipes included in the book.

The flipside is many of the recipes are a bit more straight-forward, which is a blessing on those days when I come home exhausted from work and don’t feel like dealing with muddling or tinctures or ingredient lists seven items long.  If you like a Rob Roy, I think you’ll like this even better.  The addition of a barspoon full of herbal liqueur smoothes out the rough edges quite well.  Art of the Bar called for Benedictine, per the original published recipe in Old Waldorf Bar Days (1931).  However, David Embury in The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks includes two recipes, one with Benedictine and the other with Drambuie.  I preferred the latter, but both are good.  Slainte!

2 oz. blended Scotch
1 oz. sweet vermouth
2 dashes Drambuie or Benedictine
dash of Peychaud’s or angostura bitters

Stir & strain into cocktail glass.  Garnish with lemon peel.

Recipe courtesy of Art of the Bar and Looka!.

Tippler’s Delight

If you were going to pick a random spirit to build a cocktail around, I’ll bet “slivovitz” isn’t the first thing to spring to mind.  Me neither – but here it works to fantastic results.  Slivovitz is a fruit brandy or eau-de-vie made from the fruit and pits of Damson plums, which have a fairly acidic skin and thus are most commonly used in making jams.  It’s often referred to as “plum brandy” or rakia in the Balkans.  Most slivovitz comes from the Slavic areas of Central and Eastern Europe - Serbia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria.  The majority of which is also consumed in those countries, or abroad by Eastern European emigrant communities.  Also known as: “my peeps”.

For some, it is the taste of an ancestral home, where boiled vegetables are considered a delicacy and vowels are an endangered species.  For others, it is the taste of diesel fuel infused with old wool socks aged in a damp basement.  In either case, it is not for the faint of heart.  Traditionally, it’s consumed in small shots while toasting, similar to Russians and their vodka, where the burn is likely part of the testosterone experience.  However, I have come across some craft distilleries putting out a domestic artisanal product.  The bottle I have from Clear Creek uses Pacific Northwest Italian blue plums and hews closer to the cleaner profile of the rest of their eau-de-vie lineup – with the exception of their Douglas fir experiment which has a taste only one of Santa’s elves could love.

Here, the often unruly slivovitz provides the backbone while its subtle plum and almond kernel features are brought forward.  It calls for an 8-year aged plum brandy by Navip fromSerbia.  I haven’t had the 8-year brandy before, but I assume the aging in wood mellows out the eau-de-vie and sweetens it.  Not wanting to invest in a second bottle of slivovitz, I used the Clear Creek I already had.  The result was so surprising that I think I’ll pick up a bottle of the cheaper-by-the-ounce Navip before I wind up draining the Clear Creek.  Brian MacGregor of Jardiniere who came up with the “tipple” says he could drink one of these every day – and I really can’t argue with him on that.

1 1/2 oz. Navip 8-year old slivovitz*
3/4 oz. elderflower liqueur
3/4 oz. lemon juice
2 dashes absinthe

Shake with ice and double strain.

Recipe courtesy of Brain MacGregor of Jardiniere (via Cocktail Town)

MxMo LVII: Sandalwood Sour

When I first proposed “Floral” as the theme for Mixology Monday, I had figured I would make some type of gin punch using a chamomile or jasmine infused gin.  But that was way back in the Fall.  By the time it actually rolled around, I had attended a book opening party for Left Coast Libations at Heaven’s Dog where a number of the recipes from the book were being featured for the event.  Although all the drinks we tried that night were fantastic, this particular one really stood out from the pack.  I wasn’t the only one who thought so – the bartenders were slammed making these all night.

The recipe requires two unusual ingredients.  First, you’ll need sandalwood (and not the kind in incense!)  I recommend hunting around in Indian grocery stores.  The other involves making a sharbat.  Sharbat is a type of flavored, non-alcoholic drink from the Middle East and India, served over ice.  Sharbat comes from the Arabic word ‘Sharbah’, meaning ‘a drink’.  It’s a syrup made from fruits and extracts of flowers and herbs.  Common flavorings include rose, sandalwood, saffron, hibiscus, pineapple and citrus.  The syrup gets diluted with water or evaporated milk and served with ice. It can also be used to pour over desserts.  The sharbat here uses rose and saffron as its flavors, providing a rich floral perfume to the drink, which is built off a gin sour.  A healthy amount of bitters adds an earthy tang, with a finish of sandalwood rounding out the exotic spices.  I could drink these all night long.

1 1/2 oz. Plymouth gin
1/2 z.  lemon juice
1/2 oz.  lime juice
1/2 oz. saffron sharbat (see below)
1 barspoon Angostura bitters
1 egg white

Dry shake without ice for 20-30 seconds.  Add ice and shake until frosty.  Strain into cocktail glass and garnish with grated sandalwood.

Saffron Sharbat

1 1/4 cups water
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup rosewater
1/4 rounded tsp. saffron
1 Tbs. boiling water

Place 1 Tbs. boiling water into a small bowl and add crushed saffron threads.  Steep for 15 minutes.  Add rosewater.

Mix water and sugar in a saucepan over low heat and dissolve.  Add rosewater saffron mixture.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, let cool and store in bottle.  Store in refridgerator.  You can leave in saffron threads or strain.  Makes enough for 16 cocktails.  Can also be used as a flavored syrup with soda water.

Recipe courtesy of Anu Apte of Rob Roy. (via Left Coast Libations)

Boukman Daiquiri

I think we can finally kiss the rain goodbye at least until next November here in the Bay Area. This week has been filled with clear blue skies, sunny days approaching as close to shorts weather as we get, and nice warm nights where the fog never rolls in.  All of which  says “I’m springtime bizzatches! Suck on the sunshine till July.”  The next six plus weeks will be glorious, at least until the Fog-th of July.  Perfect weather to indulge in drinks with a more tropical bent.  Preferably with rum.

1 1/2 oz. white rum
1/2 oz. Cognac
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
3/4 oz. cinnamon syrup

Shake with ice and strain. Garnish with lime.

Recipe courtesy of The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company via Imbibe.

The Capheda

I recently picked up a bottle of Firelit coffee liqueur, a collaboration between Jeff Kessinger, a former Bock Spirits sales rep, and St. George Spirits of Alameda.  Its an elegant take on coffee liqueur that eschews the syrupy sweetness of Kahlua in favor of a drier, higher proof spirit with the fruitier, more acidic coffee style of Third Wave coffee roasters.  It combines cold pressed coffee, unaged Chardonnay brandy, brandy made from coffee grounds, and whole vanilla bean.  Initially featuring Blue Bottle Yemen single origin beans, the current batch is made from Aged Mocha Java by Weaver’s in San Raphael. 

 It’s an intensely local, artisanal product through and through.  However, it’s also an intensely particular product as well.  The alcohol content is 30% (60 proof), so when using it in recipes calling for coffee liqueur, the recipe may need adjustment to avoid resulting in a boozy, out of balance cocktail.  Likewise, the sugar content is about half that of Kahlua, so its use as a sweetening agent is also more limited.  I think its great on its own or with a little ice.  For mixing in a cocktail, it requires some thought in order to balance it well – but that’s the fun with ingredients like this.  Limitations in one direction open up (tiki) possibilities in another.

 I’ve previously used it in a variation on a Coffee Flip for Mixology Monday.  (Ironically, the traditional coffee flip recipe does not include any coffee.)  Here, I took the base recipe for a Brandy Alexander and steered it in the direction of a dessert cocktail inspired by Vietnamese iced coffee – which for anyone who has ever had cà phê đá previously knows, it is caffeinated crack dipped in sugar served over ice.   My idea was to add booze to the equation.  Call it Four Loko meets the Pacific Rim.  I promise it tastes better than that sounds! 

1 1/2 oz. cognac
1 oz. Firelit coffee liqueur
1 oz. sweetened condensed milk

Shake with ice and strain.  Garnish with grated coffee bean.

MxMo LVII: Flores de Mayo

Mixology Monday Logo

[ UPDATE: The round-up post is up - here. ]

I’m quite grateful to Paul Clarke at Cocktail Chronicles  for being able to host this month’s Mixology Monday.   Lately, the monthly incentive of MxMo has been the one thing helping me keep the site updated.  Probably like many folks who decided to “start a blog”, after the rush of initial postings, it gets quite difficult to maintain a consistent pace of writing.  Its almost like…shudder…work.  How Erik at Underhill Lounge  or Frederic at Cocktail Virgin Slut manage daily postings is completely beyond me and my liver.  Maybe they are cyborgs.  Or half-alien.  (And yes, I clearly read too many comic books as a kid.)

This month’s round robin will occur on Monday, May 16th with the theme of  Flores de Mayo – Floral Cocktails.  For most of us, turning the page on the calendar from April to May means finally getting to say goodbye to the weeks on end of cold, gray drizzle that followed a winter of endless snow, or in the case of us on on the Pacific Rim, winter of endless rains. (Unless you are living up the glam life in LA or beach bumming in the O.C., in which case I hope you are enjoying that endless SUNSHINE. Grrr.)  As the sun starts becoming more frequent and the temptation to play hooky mid-week gets stronger,  nothing brightens the day better this time of year than the fresh blossoms hanging from the trees on the street and popping up in your neighborhood gardens.   Goodbye cabin fever, hello springtime!

The challenge is to feature a cocktail that highlights a floral flavor profile or includes a floral derived ingredient, whether home-made or off the shelf.  With the ever expanding catalogue of spirits (and the kitchen labs of home enthusiasts), there’s a whole host of directions for you to choose from – elderflower liqueur, creme de violette, chamomile infused gin, hibiscus grenadine, rosewater, lavender syrup – or to create.   With some luck, one of the garnish gurus will figure out a way to turn an orchid into a swizzle stick.

So if you want to join the virtual bar crawl, shoot me an email that includes a link to your blog entry for your drink to barmancometh (at) hotmail dot com, or post a comment to this entry by midnight on May 16th that includes the same.  Also, please link back to the Mixology Monday website and include the MxMo logo.  If you don’t have your own blog, I can feature you here with a guest blog post, but I will need to receive your submission by May 14th.  I will post a round-up of everyone’s cocktails within a few days after, post haste.

Kampai!