The Southside!

I always expect the southside to taste like a  distant second to the mojito because they’re practically the same and the mojito is practically perfect. And while not quite in the same league, a Southside is still very, very tasty. This is a Degroff recipe so it’s sweet and tart, and the gin is an equal partner! in fact some might say it takes a back seat to the other ingredients. While not as complex or sophisticaed as Wonderich’s recipes ,Degroff’s are always very, very drinkable. So, no surprises here. 

1 1/2 oz gin
3/4 lemon juic
1 oz simple syrup (1-1)
7/9 mint leaves
Club soda

Muddle mint leaves gently in the syrup. Add rest of ingredients, shake and strain into Collins glass half filled with ice, using both a Hawthorne and julep strainer. Add 2oz of club soda on top and stir gently. Garnish with mint sprig.
The Silver Fizz!

Both Wonderich and Degroff have a recipe for this and though they use same ingredients they are very different.  I’ve made W’s tonight and it’s much drier compared to D’s. This drink was, back in the proverbial day, the go to hangover helper and I can see why. It’s light, refreshing and goes down quickly. I found the soda to be a bit overpowering, next go round I’d probably only splash a couple of ounces in, this go round had 3-4 oz of soda. I guessing that’s because the glasses I used are 10 oz instead of 6-8 oz glasses. Still. Pretty tasty. 

2 oz gin
1/2 oz lemon
1 1/2 tsp simple syrup 2-1
1/2 egg yolk

Shake together very hard with fine ice, strain into a 6/8 oz chilled glass and top with cold club soda or seltzer.
Jersey Cocktail!

Way back before anyone knew what a Snooki was, there was this thing called the Volstead act which meant that you couldn’t legally drink in the United States. Naturally this didn’t stop people, it just made getting decent hooch tricky (and sometimes deadly). But sometimes (rarely) as a result of kludging drinks together with ingredients that were “less than” you ended up with something good enough to order even when there were other options. Take this post’s titular Jersey Cocktail. Bon vivant’s ordering a champagne cocktail during prohibition were likely being served this drink instead -  smuggling champagne from France being slightly more costly and dangerous than say, getting some hard cider from a local apple farmer. 

As for the drink, it’s pretty great. Not as dry as a champagne cocktail, and perhaps not as sophisticated, xbut funkier - earthier. You wouldnt want to try this with a very sweet cider - the tarter the better. You’re looking for something decidedly undelicate, so steer clear of the English ciders.  A nice bonus is that you can order this at your local. Sure, most bartenders won’t know what the hell a Jersey Cocktail is but you can ‘splain it to them real quick like. They looooooove that. 

1 sugarcube
2-3 dashes bitters
Hard cider (Waupoos cider works well)

Dash bitters over the sugar cube (already in your large tumbler) until it’s coated. Pour cider overtop, add ice if needed. 

Wonderich pp 209
Smith and Curran!

This drink is the boozey version of a an egg cream. If you don’t know what an egg cream is, your best bet is to get a time machine, travel to Manhattan circa 1955 and order one from a soda jerk. Of course, you then have to endure the taunts of nearby school children for not being flush enough to afford a milkshake, as well as the pangs of guilt from using the awesome power of time travel for a such a frivolous excursion instead of to kill Hitler. 

Like an egg cream, this drink also has no egg in it. It’s a light bubbly, chocolatey, milk concoction that’s tasty, and a bit weird. If you like egg creams, you’ll probably like this. If you’re looking for something rich and sweet and creamy, you’re better off with an Alexander #2, or even a properly made Irish coffee. 

2 oz Creme de Cacao (Dale says dark, I only had white)
3 oz whole milk (I used 2 % and splashed in some table cream)
1 1/2 oz club soda

Fill a highball glass half full with shaved ice or 3/4 with cubes. Build the drink starting with the booze and milk, then add the soda slowly, whilst stirring. 

Degroff, pp216
It’s Cobblering Time!

I have a confession to make. I’m not actually drinking a sherry cobbler right now. I snapped this photo a week back and was too busy making a cardboard tin man for a tiny person’s birthday to blerg it. Anywho, sherry has always seemed to me like the lowest class of fortified wine. Port is the classic after dinner sipper, vermouth is the magic ingredient in the two greatest cocktails of all time, dubbonet is mysterious and classy, Madeira is, uh, continental. But sherry, well, it’s always seemed to me to be cheap and undignified. But the cobbler is a whole category of ol timey drinks and the sherry cobbler is the classic. Perhaps I can’t say objectively that sherry is undignified, but it certainly is cheap - I picked up a bottle of fino (dry) and amontillado (med) for under $20. I made a cobbler with each, and the fino was definitely the way to go. In fact, I’m sipping on a glass of the amontillado now, and it’s…coarse. But the sherry cobbler (with fino sherry), is delightful. It’s familiar yet strange, rich but finishes light, sweet but not cloying - a fantastic summer drink. And a breeze to make:

4 oz fino Sherry
2 tsp superfine sugar
3 slices orange 

Shake in glass filled with crushed ice, serve in the glass it was shaken in. Garnish with berries and straw.
El Presidon’t…

Oh dear, I’m afraid I’ve bungled this. The first time I made this drink I used Degroff’s recipe (the classic), which calls for dry vermouth. I found it to be tasty if overly austere. Then I read Wonderich’s article in Imbibe magazine complaining of the same austerity, though I think the word he used was undrinkable.  His solution (based on historical research) was to swap the dry vermouth with bianco and throw in some orange Curaco for good measure. Sounds reasonable. He also specifies homemade grenadine, which is much more tart than store bought. Much more tart. I used store bought grenadine and the result is a bit of a mess. An overly sweet vermouthy cup of bourbon manhattan barf. And I _like_ a good bourbon manhattan (though rye is better). Even with homemade grenadine on hand, I’m not sure I’d bother making this again. 

1 1/2 oz Cuban white rum
1 1/2 oz bianco vermouth
2 tsp Orange Curaco
1 tsp grenadine (homemade, if you’re making this)
Orange twist, cherry garnish

No citrus or egg, so stir, then strain.
Mojito!

I nailed this one tonight. The mojito is what I would term a robust drink, by which I mean you can find a lot of recipes with different proportions and preparation methods. That said, this particular recipe is killer, and I would only tweak one thing with it in the future, the syrup. Normally I like to start off making a drink following the recipe to the letter, but I’ve been making mojitos for close to a decade now, I feel like I know the drink well enough to tinker (even with Degroff’s recipe). He recommends building the drink in them glass, I prefer giving it a light shake first to get things nice and cold. I also went with crushed ice in the glass, and I’m never going back (even though crushed ice necissiates the use of a straw). You may notice that this drink is not the color of mojitos you may have had before, I add bitters to mine - a tip I picked from a bartender in Cuba who claimed to have one the world mojito contat in 2003. Best damn mojito I’ve ever had until five seconds ago. The one thing I’d like to change up is to try a 2-1 demerara syrup instead of the 1-1 white sugar syrup I’m using. The mojito originated as a farmers drink, and they wouldn’t have had access to processed sugar. The more raw demerara is also likely to add a bit of body to the white rum, we’ll say.  You’ll also notice that unlike the mojito you made at home, mine has no crappy bits of mint floating around in it. That’s cause I used the weird metal triangle guy you see in the picture - it’s a julep strainer. You use it as a second strainer to catch excess ice and mint leaves as you pour the drink. Does this require an action shot?

Oh, if you’ve never had a good mojito, the lime rum and sugar meld into in this wonderful bed of tastyness that the mint springboards off of straight into your taste buds. White rum has a bit of natural funkiness to it (haut gout as the French call it, or hogo as it became bastardized chez America - try cachaca for a wallop of hogo) that prevents the mint from being too front and center (as it can be in the Southside) and the bitters give a wonderful spice that is both islandesque and old timey urban. So make one of these, and make it like this. 

2 oz white rum (Havana Club)
1 oz simple syrup 
3/4 oz lime juices
8-10 mint leaves
1 - 2 oz club soda

Pour the syrup and the mint leaves the mixing glass of your shaker and muddle gently (until the leaves get a bit darker). Add the rest of the ingredients save the soda. Get your Lewis bag and beat the ever loving crap out of a whole bunch of ice, say 4 handfuls, until it’s Snoopy Snow Cone crushed.  Fill your 10 oz highball glass 2/3 full with crushed ice and your mixing glass half full with the rest. Shake gently. Using both your shaker strainer (either the built in metal mesh of your metal Martin shaker, or the Hawthornew strainer of your Boston shaker) and the julep strainer, pour into glass. Top with soda, give it a couple of stirs and a straw. 

Adapted from Degroff pp 131
Paperol!

Taking a bait of a break from th double Ds tonight,with a drink from Goncalo de Sousa. My partner in crime picked up a bottle of Aperol so I took mister de Sousa’s Paperol for a test drive. The predominant spirit in this drink is Aperol, which has aptly been described as “Campari with training wheels”. It’s a sweet, low proof (11%) digestif with a very forward orange flavor and some of the characteristic bitterness of Campari. Similarly, the Paperol is like a Negroni with training wheels - not nearly as strong or as bitter, but still nuanced. Like the Negroni, this drink is an ideal midday before meal appertif, though it’s lower proof makes it less likely to inspire dinner shenanigans. 

1 1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz gin
2 tsp Cointreau
1/2 oz lime

Shake with ice and strain into chilled martinit glass. Garnish with orange twist.
Morning Glory Fizz!

The trick with this you’ve got to drink it quickly. At least that’s the idea this drink and the fizz category in general.  The title suggests this drink was conceived to be consumed first thing in the morning with what one can assume is a truly epic hangover. Perhaps a bit on the sweet side, the absinthe and scotch nicely balance each other and the lemon and lime provide a subtle back drop. A very interesting drink, old timey goodness through and through. 

2 oz Blended scotch (Johnny Walker Red)
1/2 oz lemon
1/4 lime
3/4 tbsp simple syrup (2-1 Demerara)
3-4 dashes absinthe 
1/2 egg white (modern eggs are bigger than their forebearers)

Shake with shaved ice very vigoriously, strain into an 8oz glass and top with seltzer/club soda. Drink immediately. 

Wonderich, pp. 115
Blood and Sand!

I have a confession to make, I’ve generally made drinks calling for blended scotch (or any blended whisk[e]y) with Canadian whiskey. Specifically 40 Creek, far and away the best Canadian whiskey I’ve ever had. Here in Canada we have a bad habit of referring to said whiskey as “rye”. While it is true that there is rye in every Canadian style whisky, the only “rye” from Canada that is 100% rye guaranteed is Alberta Premium. Suffice it to say, that if I see a recipe that calls for rye, I make sure it is a 100% rye (usually Rittenhouse) and a recipe that calls for blended whisky I reach for 40 Creek. 

But this time I’ve followed the recipe as written and instead of a Canadian style blend, I’ve gone for Johnny Walker Red, a blended scotch. And I have to say, I prefer the Canadian whisky here. With the Johnny Walker, this drink is all smoke, with a sweet punch of cherry at the end. Like shooting Laphroaig and chasing with cough syrup. With the 40, the drink is definition of harmony, and one of my favorite cherry cocktails. 

3/4 oz blended scotch (I prefer Canadian whisky)
3/4 oz Cherry Brandy (Cherry Heering - don’t bother with other brands)
3/4 oz Red vermouth
3/4 orange juice

Degroff pp. 68