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
Dark and Stormy!

I’m gonna pretend that I took a dark low contrast picture on purpose as it suits the name of this highball, but yowza - I need some kind of lighting rig to make these drinks look as good as they taste. Speaking of tasting, the dark and stormy is not doing it for me. Could be the Fever Tree ginger beer, I find their stuff is high quality, but a little precious. At any rate, it’s stepping all over the rum, which is Kraken spiced, which is dark, but no Gosling’s. I’ll give this one another go with some imported ginger beer and Gosling’s sometime. 

Degroff, pg. 157

1 1/2 oz dark rum like Gosling’s or Meyer’s (I used Kraken spiced)
4 oz ginger beer, medium spiced - I don’t recommend Fever tree here
Lime wedge - squeezed not the drink

Pour rum into highball glass filled with ice, then pour in ginger beer squeeze lime in and and stir.
Mai Tai!  If you’re like me, you can’t even think “Mai Tai” without hearing Robin Williams say “Polynesian word for dumbfuck”. Sipping away at this beast, I can see why. Its strong, but very, very drinkable. This is my first Mai Tai, and I was dubious. Not least because the recipe doesn’t specify rocks or neat, or how much ovenproof rum to float on top. I was conservative and went with a quarter oz, but this drink will stand up to a 1/2 oz float of 151 rum. More than that would be madness, as would we serving this drink neat. This drink is amazing. The orgeat (or oratza, if you’re ordering it at an Italian grocers, the easiest place to find it) carries the day and keeps the rest of the ingredients together. I’m not a huge fan of garnishes, but here the mint is necessary - a nice whiff of mint and the overproof rum before the rest of the drink hits your palate is a huge part of this drink. After the initial first two sips, the strong rum taste dissipates, and I’m left feeling like putting back a couple more of these would be good idea. Fortunately, I’m all out of limes and I won’t be able to turn this relatively subdued Wednesday night into an evening of dumbfuckery.   Degroff pg 188  1 1/2 oz anjeo medium rum (Barbados plantation reserve 5yo) 1/2 oz lime 1/2 oz orgeat 1/2 oz orange curaçao (grand marnier) 1/2 oz overproof rum float (Wray and Nephews overproof)  Shake all ingredients except over proof rum with shaved ice, strain into ice filled (3/4) oversized tumbler, float overproofed rum on top (pour slowly over back of back that is touching the surface or the drink liquid), garnish with mint sprig.
Degroff pg 188
1 1/2 oz anjeo medium rum (Barbados plantation reserve 5yo) 1/2 oz lime 1/2 oz orgeat 1/2 oz orange curaçao (grand marnier) 1/2 oz overproof rum float (Wray and Nephews overproof)
Shake all ingredients except over proof rum with shaved ice, strain  into ice filled (3/4) oversized tumbler, float overproofed rum on top  (pour slowly over back of back that is touching the surface or the drink  liquid), garnish with mint sprig.