20171209

COOKING WITH COCKTAIL BITTERS - The many uses of cocktail bitters outside the bar

http://themartinidiva.com 
 
THE MANY USES OF COCKTAIL BITTERS
Outside of the Bar
 
You've probably seen a bottle in bars, that ubiquitous, mysterious potion the bartender has close at hand to dash a few drops in certain cocktails like Manhattans, Old Fashioneds, Americanos or Sazeracs. Maybe you've even had a few drops on a slice of lime the bartender gave you when you got the hiccups.  (My very first experience with bitters.) One thing's for sure, if you drink any cocktails at all you will have had bitters at one time or another.

Bitters are defined as a "liquor that is flavored with the sharp pungent taste of plant extracts and is used as an additive in cocktails or as a medicinal substance to promote appetite or digestion." (Bitters are also employed in cocktails via drinkable bitter liqueurs called Amari or Amaro, but for today we'll stick with those tiny little bottles of boozy flavor bombs, most often dispensed via an eye dropper.) The plant extracts can be from spices, herbs, barks, nuts and seeds, fruits and berries and/or roots which are used in various combinations to create specific flavor profiles to accent a cocktail.
 
 
Originally bitters were created for medicinal purposes. Extracts made by infusing plant elements in alcohol to draw out the curative powers were prescribed for all natures of ailments. To mask the bitter taste (help make the medicine go down) the medical practitioners would advise adding the bitters to honey, tea, juices and even wines and ales. Yes, the first "cocktails" employing bitters were quaffed down by prescription.

One of the first mentions of the use of bitters simply for taste comes from The Balance, and Columbian Repository which defined a cocktail as a "stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters.” The practice itself was much older, dating back to around 7,000 B.C. when a drink of grapes, rice, honey, and (very bitter) hawthorn berry was discovered in China, though this may well have been a medicinal application.
 

Thanks to the Temperance movement in the 1800s, bitters became mainstream because, as a medicinal cure, they were not subject to spirit taxation. Being touted as medicine they were also a vehicle of profit for flim-flam men who brewed up and sold all nature of nasty bitter concoctions (most often high proof) as cure-alls for nearly every disease known to man. In 1908 the Pure Food and Drug act put an end to the flim-flam trade and only reputable brands remained, at least until Prohibition when alcohol based bitters were deemed illegal. At the end of Prohibition, Peychaud's and Angostura were the only two brands to survive the Volstead Act.

 
 
It wasn't until the early 1950s that Fee Brothers came to join the bitters market with their aromatic and orange versions. Forty years later Gary Regan began the modern day resurgence of artisanal bitters when he introduced his Regan’s Orange Bitters No. 6. Fast forward to the 21st century and we have arrived at a heyday of cocktail bitters with access to dozens of new brands and a multitude of exotic flavor profiles that are limited only by imagination. We even have access to a plethora of online tutorials for homemade bitters should the need arise for a bespoke bitters recipe.
 

TYPES OF BITTERS
 
Types of bitters include aromatic (like Angostura), citrus (orange, lemon, grapefruit) herbal (arugula, tarragon), spice, fruit (peach, cherry, etcetera) and nut (nuts, coffee, chocolate).

The basic bitters necessary to every well stocked bar are Angostura Bitters, orange bitters and Peychaud's bitters. There are too many classic cocktails that cannot be made without one of these three, but you can personalize the classics or any drink (check out my Chocolate version of a Rob Roy) by substituting any one of the wonderful new bitters flavors available in today's craft cocktail loving world. The standard aromatic bitters of the medicinal days are things of the past as bitters rapidly expand into new territory like chocolate, coffee, lemon, lime, grapefruit, cherry, peach, rhubarb, mint, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, lavender, arugula, celery, chocolate mole, fig and sriracha. Combos are gaining ground and even specialties like barbecue, Mexican mole and Prickly Pear are showing up to play. If that's not enough for you to play with, try making your own bitters.

 
NOT JUST FOR COCKTAILS ANYMORE - WHY BITTERS SHOULD BE IN YOUR KITCHEN AS WELL AS YOUR BAR 
 
Bitters are the salt of the cocktail world, like salt they wake up the palate and they help focus the flavors in a cocktail as well as bring their own tastes to play. They can balance out sweetness and acidity, smooth out aggressive ingredients and accentuate a particular taste profile with just a drop or two. They are the "seasoning" of the bar and, as people discover that bitters are just more creative food extracts that can be used much like the familiar vanilla and almond, those little bottles are beginning to show up in cooking environments as well. Bitters can be employed in a multitude of cooking and baking techniques and recipes as well as be the star of non alcoholic beverages. 

WAYS TO USE COCKTAIL BITTERS IN FOOD 
 
PERK UP YOUR COFFEE OR TEA: Add a few dashes of some chocolate bitters or a dash of two of cherry of orange to your morning cup.

CAKES, COOKIE, MUFFINS: Wherever it calls for an extract? Use some bitters instead, just be careful as bitters are generally much more powerful than extracts. Start with a few drops, not teaspoons.

DRINKING WATER: Add a few drops to carbonated soda water for a refreshing cooler. Sweeten this with honey and you have a great way to kick the cola habit. Tap a bit of a citrus bitters into your tap water to cover the taste of the purifying chemicals.

SALAD DRESSING: Add a few drops of an aromatic or herbal bitters to your oil & vinegar. I love using arugula bitters and celery bitters for this application. I've also been know to tap in some orange, pomegranate or fig bitters.

ICE CREAM: Add a few drops of bitters to the custard for homemade ice cream (add after cooking the custard because heat can disrupt the balance and flavor of the bitters depending on its ingredients) or tap a drop right on top of that pint of Ben & Jerry's® or Häagen-Dazs®. My favorite combinations are a drop of floral bitters on fruit ice creams and a drop or two of coffee bitters on chocolate ice creams.

ADD THEM TO WHIPPED CREAM for a punch of extra flavor. My favorites here are coffee, chocolate and cardamom.

Vintage bitters bottles via Wheaton Glass Company, NJ

GET CREATIVE
 
I often use bitters in my desserts to cut the cloying sweetness.  A few drops of cardamom in a caramel apple pie, some coffee bitters in chocolate frosting and a drop or two of cinnamon or orange bitters in cream cheese frosting can take a dessert to another level. I've also been known to add cilantro bitters to salsa when I don't have any fresh cilantro and I even tap a drop of something interesting on a fresh apple or pear sometimes.

If you want to experiment you can buy travel or tester sets of many brands which include several different flavors of bitters. This is a great way to add to your home bar bitters collection as well. Amazon has several sampler sets including The Bitter Truth and Scrappy's Bitters,  which gives two flavor group options.
 
 
There are now too many bitters brands out there to list them all, but some of the most well known are, again, Angostura, Peychaud's, Fee Brothers and Regan's Orange Bitters No. 6.
Here's a short list of some of the other popular bitters available:
Scrappy's Bitters
AZ Bitters Lab
Hella Cocktail Company
Frape & Sons
Miracle Mile
Cecil & Merl
The Bitter Truth
Bittermen's
Bitter End
Boker's Bitters

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20171205

The WHITE LADY, A Prohibition Era Gin Cocktail


Today is Repeal Day, a true drinking holiday created by Jeffrey Morgenthaler, to celebrate the end of Prohibition. That got me thinking about classic Prohibition era cocktails and none is more classic than a White Lady.

The White Lady is a sour cocktail first created either by Harry MacElhone at Harry's Bar in Paris in 1929 or by Harry Craddock of the American Bar at the Savoy, who published his recipe in the 1930 edition of The Savoy Cocktail Book. Frankly, I don't really care who created it, I just like this vintage cocktail and have to have one every so often. 

Neither of the two original recipes included egg white but most modern versions do and I believe the egg really improves the quality of this drink. I'm also a huge fan of the visual of foams on top of my cocktails so that's a plus on the egg side as well. The simple syrup was also not part of those recipes but, for my palate, it balances out the citrus and I always add the sweetness.

Celebrate with us all today and enjoy one.


The
WHITE LADY

INGREDIENTS:
1-1/2 Oz. London Dry Gin
3/4 Oz Triple Sec
3/4 Oz. Lemon Juice
1 Tsp. Simple Syrup*
1 Tbsp. Pasteurized Egg White
Ice

Garnish: Lemon Twist

Tools: Cocktail shaker, Jigger, Coupe glass

Glass: Coupe

DIRECTIONS:
Dry shake all the ingredients (shake without ice) in your cocktail shaker for at least one minute. Add ice then shake until chilled and strain into a chilled coupe. Express the lemon twist over the top then add it to the lip of the glass.

* If you want to play with this a bit try a flavored simple syrup or change out the lemon juice for orange or grapefruit juice. I've done variations with orange juice and tarragon simple syrup, grapefruit juice and lavender simple syrup and lime with cilantro simple syrup.

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20171204

PRICKLEY PEAR (CACTUS) DAIQUIRI COCKTAIL RECIPE

http://themartinidiva.com
 
It has been unseasonably warm here in Tucson this holiday season, I'm talking 90 plus temperatures right through the end of November.  When I had a few friends over the other evening it was warm enough to sit outside until the wee hours without jackets.  That meant I wasn't going to be serving any traditional holiday cocktails, not by a long shot.
 
On top of that, one of my guests was from out of town and I wanted to serve up a little bit of Arizona in a glass for him.  That meant bringing out my Prickly Pear syrup again, but this time I wanted something I could batch up for several guests so I could enjoy my company.
 
Daiquiris are an easy cocktail to mix by the batch.  All you need to do is multiply your recipe for the number of cocktails you need, throw that into a baggie, give it a good shake then freeze early in the morning and by happy hour all you'll need to do is pull out your "bag o' daiquiris", toss it back in the blender and pulse until nice and smooth. (Because of the level of alcohol your "frozen" bag of daiquiris will be slushy instead of a frozen block so no need to defrost or worry about killing your blender.) One added advantage of pre-freezing is you get a finer ice crystal and, thus, a much smoother frozen cocktail from the double blending.
 
I just multiplied my ounces below by cups and I had one blender full.  I did this for 3 bags, just in case we decided we needed more daiquiris while we played Cards Against Humanity.  The great thing about making extra is that it keeps, for several weeks in the freezer, if you don't drink it that same day.
 
http://themartinidiva.com
 
The
Frozen
PRICKLY PEAR
DAIQUIRI
(Multiply times the number of drinks required)
 
INGREDIENTS
2 Ounces White Rum
(I used Bacardi Silver)
1/2 Ounce Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
1/4 Ounce Prickly Pear Syrup
4 Ice Cubes (or 1/2 cup of water if pre-freezing)
   
Garnish: Small cube of cactus candy and/or lime twist
 
Tools: Blender (plus baggies if batching) 
 
Glass: Coupe
 
DIRECTIONS
Throw all the ingredients into a blender and pulse blend until smooth.
Pour into chilled coupes, garnish and serve.
(If pre-freezing just pour into a baggie and freeze.)
 
Bailey was, of course, part of the party. He won't have it any other way.
 
 
This little bag of frozen cocktails is a trick I started using decades ago when I went off in my motor home for a weekend art show and didn't want to drag along a blender.  I would prepare frozen cocktails ahead of time in small freezer bags and toss them in my RV fridge. When it was happy hour I would take them out, smoosh them a bit with my hands and, voila, I had an instant frozen colada, margarita or whatever ready to drink whenever needed.
 
If you like this Prickly Pear cocktail try my:
PRICKLY PEAR MARTINI
PRICKLY PEAR CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL
PRICKLY PEAR OLD FASHIONED
LOADED CACTUS SLIDERITAS
  
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20171203

Hot or Cold APPLE PIE COCKTAIL


Most folks love apple pie. Many folks love cocktails. I love both. You know where I'm going with this, right?  Here's a little bit of hot apple pie in a glass. With rum. You're welcome.

Oh, and don't freak out at the use of  Dale DeGroff's Pimento Bitters, they are basically an allspice bitters. The allspice berry is a berry from the pimento tree which has an earthy clove, nutmeg and cinnamon flavor. (If you happen to have St. Elizabeth's Allspice Dram you can use that instead.)

You can serve this cold or hot.

The
APPLE PIE
COCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS
1 Oz. Dark Rum
1 Tsp. Cinnamon Liqueur
3 Oz. Apple Cider
1/2 Oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Dashes Dale DeGroff's Pimento Bitters

Garnish: Dried Apple Slice, Cinnamon Stick

Tools: Cocktail Shaker (if making cold)

Glass: Cocktail (cold) or Glass Mug (hot)

DIRECTIONS
Hot:
Heat the cider.
Add all the other ingredients to a mug, pour in the heated cider, stir, garnish and serve.
Cold:
Shake the ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker, strain over ice into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish and serve.

December 3rd is National Apple Pie Day.

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20171201

EGGNOG COCKTAILS

http://themartinidiva.com

It's that time of year again when eggnog comes knocking on our doors and I, for one, think it is not drinkable without some booze in it.  Eggnog without alcohol is just too sweet, too thick and no fun. So below I have a few of my favorite ways to make this holiday tradition truly drinkable and way more fun.
 
EGGNOG
COCKTAILS
 
CHOCOLATE BOURBON EGGNOG 
EGGNOG MARTINI
MACCHIATO EGGNOG
PUMPKIN EGGNOG MARTINI
WHITE CHRISMTAS MARTINI
 
December is National Eggnog Month.
 
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20171130

GINGER BOURBON SNAP COCKTAIL


It's the holidays and, yes, I went and visited Gingersnap Cocktails again, only this time with bourbon and coffee. Why? Because I was eating one of my favorite gingersnaps one morning and happened to dip it in my coffee. I discovered gingersnaps are way better dipped in creamy coffee than they are in milk.

I figured creamy coffee with booze would be even better. I was right. Yes I dipped that little gingersnap man in my cocktail and sent him to gingersnap man heaven. Then followed him by finishing the cocktail.


The
GINGER BOURBON SNAP
Cocktail

INGREDIENTS
2 Oz. Knob Creek Bourbon
1 Oz. Homemade Gingerbread Liqueur
1/2 Oz. Coffee Liqueur
(My goto coffee liqueur is Café Borghetti)
1 Oz. Half & Half

Garnish: Whipped Cream, Gingerbread Man

Tools: Cocktail Shaker

Glass: Cocktail or Coupe

DIRECTIONS
Shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with  ice.
Strain into a chilled glass.
Garnish and serve.

Bailey was outside watching the quails and missed the whole thing.
That's what saved my whipped cream topping.


Looks nice with my Make Some Magic Today Necklace from CocktailsAndJewelry.Com.

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20171127

CRANAPPLE PUNCH - A Cranberry Apple Rum Cocktail


This cocktail is the result of using what you have available and not wanting to get complicated. I wanted a cool drink because, despite the fact it is Thanksgiving weekend, it is 89 degrees here in Tucson. For most people that's summer, for me it's summer enough to want a refreshing drink even though I still have a Thanksgiving turkey carcass in my refrigerator.

I peeked into the fridge, past the turkey, saw some apple juice and spied the nefarious leftover jellied cranberry and thought, why not?


The
Not Christmas Here Yet
CRANAPPLE
PUNCH

INGREDIENTS
1-1/2 Oz. Dark Rum
1-1/2 Oz. Apple Juice
2 Tablespoons Leftover Jellied Cranberry Sauce
2 Dashes Regan's Orange Bitters

Garnish: Dried Apple Slice, Rum Soaked Dried Cranberries

Tools: Cocktail Shaker

Glass: Low Ball or Old Fashioned

DIRECTIONS
Chill your glass in the freezer.
Nuke the cranberry jelly just long enough for it to liquefy.
Fill your cocktail shaker with ice, add the rum, the apple juice and the liquefied cranberry sauce then shake until well chilled.
Strain over a large ice cube into your chilled glass, add the bitters on top then garnish and serve.

Bailey approved.


If it was cold I would heat this, add some mulling spices and serve it in a nice mug in front of the fire. Sadly, the only fire we have right now is the last blasting rays of a beautiful desert sunset. I can't complain, at least I'm not shoveling snow off a driveway.


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20171121

PRICKLY PEAR ( Cactus Pear) CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL


I have been promising my friends and followers for YEARS I was going to start a line of handmade cocktail picks. I have made them for many years for myself and my cocktails and, when people kept asking me if I sold them or if I would make some for them, I threatened to start my own line of what I referred to as my "cocktail jewelry".


Yesterday I finally got the first ones up for sale. I thought that deserved a little celebration so I popped open a bottle of bubbly.

Of course there's one of them in my drink!


The
PRICKLY PEAR
CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS
1 Split of Champagne or Prosecco
1 Tsp. Prickly Pear Syrup
2 Dashes Angostura Orange Bitters

Garnish: Prickly Pear (Cactus)Candy, Lemon Twist

Glass: Champagne Flute

DIRECTIONS
Chill a Champagne flute in the freezer for a minimum of half an hour.
Pop the cork on the bubbly. 
Add the Prickly Pear Syrup to the glass.
Gently float the Champagne on top.
Add 2 Dashes of the bitters.
Garnish and serve.
Guests may stir in the syrup as they desire.

Now settle in with your cocktail and go buy some of my fun Jewelry for Cocktails!


You might also enjoy my

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20171115

SPICY MOLE RUM OLD FASHIONED COCKTAIL


I was on an Old Fashioned kick last week for Old Fashioned Week but I wasn't quite ready to let go of my Old Fashioneds until I had one with rum. Being who I am I couldn't just switch out bourbon for rum, I had to go a few steps further.


Since I had worn my Petroglyphs Rock Paper Necklace to a meeting with a jewelry buyer earlier that day, it inspired me to go a little Southwestern so I added in a bit of spice to the mix.


The
SPICY MOLE
RUM OLD FASHIONED

INGREDIENTS
2 Oz. Appleton Estate Reserve Rum
1 Tsp. Spiced Turbinado Rich Simple Syrup*
3 Dashes The Bitter End Mexican Mole Bitters
2 Orange Wedges
3 Homemade Maraschino Cherries*

Garnish: Orange Peel, Homemade Maraschino Cherry

Tools: Muddler, Cocktail Shaker

Glass: Old Fashioned

DIRECTIONS
Chill your glass in the freezer.
At the bottom of your cocktail shaker, muddle the simple syrup, orange slices, bitters and cherries.
Fill the cocktail shaker with ice,add the rum and shake until chilled.
Strain into your chilled cocktail glass, garnish and serve.

* Spiced Turbinado Simple Syrup

Ingredients
2 parts turbinado sugar
1 part water
3 dashes of Cholula Chipotle Sauce 

Directions
Heat the ingredients on medium until the sugar dissolves. Then remove from heat, let cool to room temperature and transfer to a clean glass jar. Cover and keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

for Statement Necklaces, Earrings
and Unique Cocktail Picks.

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20171110

The PRICKLY PEAR (Cactus Pear) OLD FASHIONED Cocktail


Living in Tucson, it was almost a prerequisite that I do a Prickly Pear Old Fashioned for Old Fashioned Week. So I did.

I think I know exactly where the rest of my prickly pear syrup is going.


The
PRICKLY PEAR
(Cactus Pear)
OLD FASHIONED

INGREDIENTS
2 Oz. Bourbon
1 Tsp. Prickly Pear Syrup
2 Tsp. Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
2 Orange Slices, cut in half
2 Dashes
Dash of Bitter Bastards Chipotle Bitters

Garnish: Cactus Candy, Orange Peel, Homemade Bourbon Cherry

Tools: Cocktail Shaker, Hawthorne Strainer

Glass: Old Fashioned

DIRECTIONS
Chill glass in freezer.
Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake until well-chilled then strain into the ice filled chilled glass.
Garnish and serve.

Yes, Bailey was all over this one.


If you like prickly pear you might want to try out my Prickly Pear Martini and my  Loaded Cactus Slideritas.

This cocktail paired nicely with my handmade, one-of-a-kind Dream Big Paper Necklace which you can find at CocktailsAndJewelry.Com.



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20171109

TELEVISION COCKTAILS - Drinks Inspired by TV!


I love watching television. I watch TV shows on my actual televisions, on my computer and on my phone. I  watch via cable, Netflix, Hulu, Crackle and other streaming services. Blame the fact I grew up in the Golden Age of Television, when TV was new and it was a status symbol to have a hulking RCA or Zenith smack dab in the living room, but TV is a part of my personal cultural history. It was, and is, a window to the world, albeit a kind of dirty, smudged window these days, but there are still gems if you wipe off that grime. The gems inspire my foray into bespoke TV cocktails.

At the end of a long work day I often mix up a cocktail, flip on a screen and shut my brain down by watching a few hours of the Boob Tube. It's like a small screen happy hour and, not surprisingly, I've come up with a few TV special drinks for viewing time.

TELEVISION INSPIRED
COCKTAILS

BOARDWALK EMPIRE COCKTAILS

BREAKING BAD BLUE CRYSTAL MARGARITA

DOWNTON ABBEY COCKTAIL

GAME OF THRONES COCKTAILS

HAVEN DROWN YOUR TROUBLES MARTINI

MAD MEN COCKTAILS

ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK CANTALOUPE DAIQUIRI

TWISTED FAIRYTALE for Once Upon A Time

ROMULAN ALE

SEX In The CITY COCKTAILS

SIMPSONS DUH-OH COCKTAIL

SONS OF ANARCHY SAMCRO BOILERMAKER

STAR TREK COCKTAILS 1

STAR TREK COCKTAILS 2

STRANGER THINGS SLUSHY

EMMY COCKTAILS

"Television is a weapon of mass distraction."

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20171107

The ELDER FASHIONED - A Gin & Elderflower Old Fashioned Cocktail


Here's a riff on an Old Fashioned cocktail that will please gin lovers and elderflower liqueur lovers alike. Using Hendrick's Gin with the elderflower liqueur made this a very floral forward cocktail. A little Lavender honey simple syrup blended nicely and a dash or two of grapefruit bitters added just the right amount of citrus to balance out the drink.

Hendrick's is a true floral gin and loves bring paired with Elderflower which is one of its botanicals. I just kept going merrily on down that flower path with the lavender honey and a garnish of dried butterfly pea flowers.


The
ELDER FASHIONED
Cocktail

INGREDIENTS
2 Oz. Hendrick's Gin
1/2 Oz. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
1 Tsp. Lavender Honey Syrup*
2 Dashes Grapefruit Bitters

Garnish: Dried Butterfly Pea Flowers, Grapefruit Twist

Tools: Cocktail Shaker, Hawthorne Strainer

Glass: Old Fashioned

DIRECTIONS
* Prepare the Lavender Honey Syrup by mixing 1 teaspoon of hot water with 1 teaspoon of Honey Ridge Farms Honey Créme Lavender.
Chill the glass in the freezer.
Add the ingredients to an ice filled cocktail shaker and shake until well chilled and blended.
Strain into the chilled glass, garnish with a few dried butterfly pea flowers and serve.

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20171106

BRANDY & COGNAC COCKTAILS


Brandy: A strong alcoholic spirit distilled from wine or fermented fruit juice.

Categories include: Cognac, Armagnac, American Brandies (Apple Brandy was the very first distilled spirit made in America.) and fruit brandies.

Brandy began being distilled as a medicine in France around 1313 with commercial distaillation of drinking brandy beginning in the 1500's. According to Wikipedia, "Brandy" is a shortening of brandywine, which was derived from the Dutch word brandewijn, which literally means "burned wine", (derived from the process that most brandies are made with by applying heat, originally from open flames, to wine.)
 
Brandy has a defined rating system, the most common of the ratings include:
V.S. (very superior) or V.S.P. (very special) or three stars designates a blend in which the youngest brandy has been stored for at least two years in a cask.
V.S.O.P. (very superior old pale), Reserve or five stars designates a blend in which the youngest brandy is stored for at least four years in a cask.
XO (extra old) or Napoléon designates a blend in which the youngest brandy is stored for at least (recently upgraded to) ten years.
Hors d'âge (beyond age) is a designation which is formally equal to XO for Cognac, but for Armagnac designates brandy that is at least ten years old. The term is used by producers to market a high-quality product beyond the official age scale.

Though I am not as well versed in brandies as I would like to be, I do enjoy a good snifter of very excellent (hidden and hoarded) Cognac and I love brandy in cocktails.  I generally opt for a good mid-range VSOP for my cocktails, leaving my much pricier Cognac as a treat for very special occasions.

BRANDY COCKTAILS
 
B & B 
Equal parts Brandy and Benedictine served in a snifter.

BRANDY COCKTAIL 
2 ounces brandy,1/2 ounce orange curacao liqueur
2 dashes  each of Angostura bitters and Peychaud's bitters with a lemon peel garnish

1492 COCKTAIL
AN APERITIF TO REMEMBER
BLACKBERRY FIZZ
BLACKBERRY CAIPIRINHA
BRANDY ALEXANDER
BRANDY OLD FASHIONED
CHERRIES JUBILEE MARTIN
CHERRY CLAFOUTIS MARTINI
CHERRY PIE MARTINI
CHICAGO COCKTAIL
CRÊPES SUZETTE COCKTAIL
DRUNKEN CHERRY MARTINI
END OF THE WORLD MARTINI
IRISH STINGER

METROPOLITAN
 
A brandy version of a cross between a Manhattan and a Martini with 2 ounces of Brandy, 1 ounce of sweet vermouth, a bit of simple syrup and a few dashes of Angostura bitters

NOSTERATU'S REVENGE
PURGATORY PUNCH
RATTLED SKULL
ROSH HASHANAH COCKTAIL
SAGZERAC
SIDECAR
SPARKLING PEAR MARTINI
SPICED APPLE OLD FASHIONED
STINGER
TANGELO BOURBON TANGO WITH COGNAC FOAM
VIEUX CARRÉ
WICKED WITCH'S BREW

 
You might also like to make some homemade BRANDIED FRUIT.
 
 
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SPICED APPLE OLD FASHIONED COCKTAIL


I wanted an Old Fashioned but I didn't have any fresh oranges which are kind of an essential part of a classic Old Fashioned cocktail. According to the I.B.A., an Old Fashioned is basically a bitters soaked sugar cube muddled in the glass (with a bit of water to help dissolve the cube) then topped off with ice and whiskey and garnished with an orange and a cocktail cherry. Most of the time, when you order an Old Fashioned in a bar, they will muddle the orange slice and cherry with the sugar to release their juices into the cocktail. Though this is heresy to some, I happen to like this application of the muddled garnishes, it brings back fond memories.

But, again, no oranges. What I did have was an apple, fresh ginger and spices and I'm never shy when it comes to mixing things up, especially basic recipes like an Old Fashioned. There are tons of Old Fashioned recipes replacing the brandy or whiskey with rum, tequila and even vodka and moonshine. You can also replace the sugar with flavored liqueurs or simple syrups and even switch out the orange for another citrus.

Of course, by that time, you end up with a new cocktail, one that can no longer be called simply an "Old Fashioned". My thought is that if you only change out the spirit you add that spirit, as in "Rum" Old Fashioned (like a "Vodka" Martini). In my opinion, if you start messing with more ingredients an ingredient precise moniker is called for.

So, meet my:


SPICED APPLE
OLD FASHIONED

INGREDIENTS
2-1/2 Oz. Brandy
1/2 Fresh Apple (I used a Gravenstein), chopped fine
1 Tsp. Cardamom Ginger Simple Syrup (Recipe Below)
1/2 Oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
3 Dashes Orange Bitters

Garnish: Apple Cube, Homemade Maraschino Cherry, Orange Twist (if you have an orange ...)

Tools: Muddler, Cocktail Shaker, Hawthorne Strainer

Glass: Old Fashioned

DIRECTIONS
Chill the glass in the freezer.
Muddle the apple pieces and lemon juice in the bottom of the cocktail shaker until the apple pieces release juices.
Fill the shaker with ice add the brandy, cardamom ginger simple syrup and bitters then shake until well chilled.
Strain into the chilled glass, garnish and serve.

Cardamom Ginger Simple Syrup

Ingredients
2 Tablespoons of Thinly Sliced Fresh Ginger
15 Cardamom Pods
1 Cup Turbinado (Raw) Sugar
1/2 Cup Water

Directions
Bring all the ingredients to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
Immediately reduce the heat o low and and let simmer for 15 minutes.
Let it cool and allow it to steep for an hour or longer.
Strain and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Yes, Bailey was all over it.


Old Fashioned Week is November 2nd through November 11th.

Check out my other signature
Old Fashioned Recipes here.

PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY

20171103

OLD FASHIONED COCKTAIL RECIPES for Old Fashioned Week

http://themartinidiva.com
   
Well, whaddya know? November 2nd through November 11th is Old Fashioned Week! Every year!

Lucky for me because I happen to love an Old Fashioned, it's actually one of my first "signature" cocktails, having been introduced to it by a very great lady back in my early college days. It became a weekly ritual with us after I finished classes on Thursdays, one week at her house, next at mine. Mrs. Smothers, my neighbor, made hers the way they were expected in those days, with lots of Maraschino cherries and several orange slices muddled together before tossing in the ice and her brandy. Though many consider this a blasphemy in this age of bespoke cocktails, I ignore the critics and will still make an Old Fashioned this way occasionally (though I skip the toxic chemical loaded "Maraschino cherries" found on your local grocery shelf and use my own Homemade Maraschino or Bourbon Cherries instead.)

Below is the International Bartenders Association (IBA) recipe for the Old Fashioned:
  • 4.5 cl Bourbon or Rye whiskey
  • 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1 sugar cube
  • Few dashes plain water
Place sugar cube in old-fashioned glass and saturate with bitters, add a dash of plain water.
Muddle until dissolve. Fill the glass with ice cubes and add whiskey. Garnish with orange slice and a cocktail cherry.

This recipe is exactly what is defined as a "cocktail" making the Old Fashioned one of the first drinks to be called a cocktail.

I love every iteration of this classic drink, from brandy to bourbon to whiskey and even rum when the spirit moves me, and have several unique recipes based on it.  Try them out and check back all this week, I think I might be going on an Old Fashioned binge for Old Fashioned Week!

FUN
OLD FASHIONED
RECIPES
 BOURBON OLD FASHIONED
DOOMSDAY OLD FASHIONED
ELDER FASHIONED
PUPMPKIN SPICED OLD FASHIONED
PRICKLY PEAR OLD FASHIONED
RHUBARB GINGER OLD FASHIONED
  SPICED APPLE OLD FASHIONED
   
If you've never had an Old Fashioned, now is the time to try one!

http://themartinidiva.com

PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY

 

FERNET CADILLAC COCKTAIL


I was on a quest to add some more fernet drinks to my cocktail list and stumbled on a recipe for a Fernet Alexander. That recipe is not only in the Alexander family of drinks, it's similar in ingredients, ratios and taste to a Golden Cadillac. Where a Golden Cadillac is typically made with equals parts Galliano, crème de cacao and cream, the Fernet Alexander employs Fernet Branca, another herbal liqueur, in place of the Galliano.

Fernet is an Italian amaro and one of the more aggressively herbal liqueurs, definitely an acquired taste. Though typically served as a digestif, it can add some serious aromatic herbal essence to a cocktail if used judiciously. Usually made with the basic components of saffron, myrrh, rhubarb, chamomile, cardamom and aloe, the recipes vary from brand to brand and all are heavily guarded secrets. My personal favorite is Fernet Branca and over the last few years I have developed a fondness for it's bitter, minty licorice forward flavor, especially when mixed into the right cocktail.

Here I have replaced the white crème de cacao with dark crème de cacao, added a dash of orange and adjusted the ratios to create a fernet infused Golden Cadillac / Alexander which I've called a Fernet Cadillac.


The
FERNET CADILLAC
Cocktail

INGREDIENTS 
3/4 Oz Fernet Branca
1-1/2 Oz Dark Crème de Cacao
1-1/4 Oz Half & Half
2 Dashes Angostura Orange Bitters
Dash of Sea Salt*

Garnish: Dusting of Dark Cocoa Powder, Orange Twist (express over top of cocktail)

Tools: Cocktail Shaker, Hawthorne Strainer

Glass: Coupe

DIRECTIONS
Chill the coupe in the freezer.
And the ingredients to an ice filled cocktail shaker and shake vigorously (to dissolve the salt) until well chilled.
Strain into cocktail glass, garnish and serve.

* Why the salt? Because it tames the very aggressive herbal nature of the Fernet a bit and it brings up the chocolate.

PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY

20171030

ZOMBIE ANEURYSM SLUSH HALLOWEEN COCKTAIL


Looking for a sure fire way to kill a few brain cells on Halloween?

Yeah? Well, this ought to do it.

Warning: Not kidding. Line up your Lyfts and Ubers now and make sure you have the next day(s) off - this cocktail is named after zombies for a reason.*

Oh, and did I tell you? You get brain freeze too.

Happy Halloween.


ZOMBIE
ANEURYSM SLUSH
COCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS
1/2 Oz. Crystal Head Vodka
1-1/2 Oz. White Rum
1 Oz. Dark Rum
1/2 Oz. 151 Proof Rum
3 Oz.  Pineapple Juice
1 Oz. Orange Juice
1 Oz. Lemon Juice
1 Oz. Lime Juice
1 Tsp. Papaya Juice
1 C. Finely Crushed Ice

Garnish: Shot of Homemade Pomegranate Simple Syrup (Grenadine),  Halloween Straws

Tools: Blender, Funnel, Syringe or Meat Injector

Glass: Empty Crystal Head Vodka Bottle or Skull Glass

DIRECTIONS
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and pulse until slushy smooth.
Pour into your empty Crystal Head Vodka bottle through the funnel. (I filled the funnel then lightly tapped the bottle on a towel covered counter several times until the bottle was full to the eye ridges.)
Remember to leave space for the freezing cocktail to expand.
Freeze for about an hour, just long enough to let the bottle frost over and the slushy to solidify a bit.
Stir with the skewer to loosen.
Just before serving, fill the meat injector (syringe) with the pomegranate simple syrup then shoot this against the inside of the glass somewhere near the eye sockets and brain. The syrup is heavier than the cocktail and will slowly slide down to the bottom for a nice layered effect.
Add the straws and serve.

* MartiniDiva.Com and subsidiaries take no responsibility for any stupidity arising from this recipe. Drink at your own risk.

PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY

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