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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hot Cocoaretto a hot, chocolaty cocktail recipe to evoke childhood memories

This will be the last chocolate drink on this blog before Christmas. That’s a promise. The other chocolaty drink recipes have been for chilled cocktails served in a glass, but this recipe is for a hot chocolate cocktail served in a mug like real men drink from... (ignore the glass cup in the photo, make yours in a heavy, chipped china mug). Hot cocoa in December always evokes memories of Christmas Eves of long ago, when slightly scalded hot chocolate, usually with a skin on top, was served in tan melmac cups. As one ages, however, one finds that cocoa can be greatly improved by making minor additions to the recipe, and by not boiling the milk. Hence the Hot Cocoaretto.

Scharffen Berger® is probably my favorite cocoa, so this recipe calls for it, but feel free to substitute your own favorite cocoa powder. Brandy (or cognac) go well with chocolate, so feel free to use either one. If you have vanilla cognac (or brandy) in your bar, feel free to use it and leave out the vanilla extract. The taste of almond from the Amaretto adds a candy-bar-like dimension to the taste, which differs from the hot chocolate d’antan; feel free to vary it to suit your taste. For the garnish, this is another opportunity to use jelly candy rings in a holiday theme (see photo). Here a green jelly ring was selected to echo the memory of a Christmas tree (just use a sharp knife to cut through the ring and perch it on the glass). Potential alternative garnishes are either a large dollop of whipped cream or a candy cane. The candy cane has not been taste tested, so try it out yourself before serving it to your guests. If you do try one, post your thoughts as a response to this post.

Hot Cocoaretto

6 oz Milk

3 level tbsp Scharffen Berger ® unsweetened cocoa powder

1 level tbsp Sugar

½ tsp Vanilla extract

1 oz Brandy

½ oz Amaretto

Spoon the cocoa and sugar into a cup. Put the vanilla extract into a measure; add Brandy to total 1 ounce (or use 1 ounce vanilla cognac or brandy). Add the Amaretto. Pour into the cup and stir until the cocoa and sugar have dissolved into a thin paste. Heat the milk in a microwave for about 90 seconds, or warm to a simmer on the stove, but don’t let it boil. Pour milk into the cup and stir until well mixed.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chocolate Covered Cherry – a holiday drink that lives up to its name

There are a lot of recipes for the Chocolate Covered Cherry floating around out there, and all of them are good if you like a sweet drink every now and then. (If you don’t like sweet drinks, quit complaining and mix yourself a Bulleit® Manhattan.) My recipe has the unbeatable combination of Baileys® Original Irish Cream, coconut rum, and Amaretto, and while it’s a little sweet, it’s nowhere near as sweet as a real chocolate covered cherry. You’ll enjoy the mix of almond, coconut, and chocolate with a hidden cherry waiting at the end. You may notice that the Chocolate Covered Cherry has three ounces of liqueurs in it, but don’t worry: it comes out to only about 20% ABV.

The secret to the garnish for this cocktail is to scout out a couple of grocery stores until you find one with jelly candy rings in a holiday theme (see photo). The holiday theme is important because you really want just red, green, and (possibly) white rings. Last year we got some called “Holiday Wreaths” that worked pretty well, but any brand of jelly candy rings should work. Just use a sharp knife to cut through the ring and perch it on the glass. You can also use other jelly candies (Christmas bells?) to garnish your glasses by cutting a slit in them, but do a trial or two to determine the correct angle so they look the way you want them to.

Chocolate Covered Cherry

1 oz Baileys® Original Irish Cream

1 oz Coconut rum

1 oz Amaretto

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker half full of ice. Shake like Jolly Old Saint Nick’s tummy until it feels ice cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a red or green jelly ring, drop in a maraschino cherry and watch it disappear. Now, prepare yourself for a treat and go find the cherry.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Champing at the bit – sparkling wines under $20 for the holiday season

It’s December, time to get ready for the holidays and the champagne occasion of the year: New Year’s Eve. Wine connoisseurs are all aware that real (capital “C”) Champagne comes only from France, as are most card carrying cocktailians. The French discourage others from using the appellation “champagne” on their sparkling wines, and many of the quality wineries (especially those who wish to sell their wines in France) comply, so many sparkling wines (bubbly for short) will not say “champagne” on the bottle, although some do. Unfortunately there are few (none?) legitimate Champagnes available in the under $20 (for 750ml.) price range. If you would like to learn more about Champagne, including the names of the big Champagne houses, check out the New York Times Champagne navigator page.

For those of us on a recessionary (or depressionary) budgets who still want to celebrate with some sparkling wine, the Utah Sate Liquor Store system has obliged us with a great selection of American sparkling wines for under $20 with some pretty good ones for under $10. (Those of you who live in bigger markets should be able to buy all of the wines mentioned here.) Regular readers are doubtless aware of my love for champagne cocktails like the French 75 and the Kir Royale. When cocktail recipes call for champagne, though, it’s usually more economical to use a good sparkling wine. Drink your high quality Champagne (and high quality domestic bubblies) straight so you can appreciate them. For champagne cocktails, there are some very good sparklers under $10 that are ideal for mixing. Readers should always have a bottle or two of better quality champagne around for celebrations and several less expensive bottles for mixing. If you have a spare fridge in the basement, keep it stocked.

This post will only recommend wines from houses that have had some of their sparkling wines score at least 85 or 90 points by some well known rating service like Wine Spectator or Wine Enthusiast. Although quality will vary year to year with the vintage, etc., it’s safe to assume that these winemakers know what they are doing and will turn out a good product. That means that while individual wines mentioned here may not have been rated (or not rated high enough to brag about), you will be buying a reliable product and not junk wine.

Under $20

Before we get into the real bargains, lets look at the bubblies that price out closer to $20. Gloria Ferrer makes some excellent sparkling wines that are among my favorites. Although not on sale this month (that’s a shame) their Blanc de Noirs ($18) and Brut ($17) have both been highly rated by multiple rating services. Domaine Chandon is another producer of highly rated bubbly in our price range. Their Brut and their Blanc de Noirs are both on sale this month for $16, and Chandon Riche Extra Dry, while not on sale, is a bargain at $19. Rated only a couple of points lower is Mumm Napa’s Brut, on sale this month for $19. Piper Sonoma doesn’t rate quite as highly, but their Brut is on sale this month for $15 and is worth a try.

Around $10 and less

Korbel used to be the best of the budget bubblies, their Extra Dry has been rated respectably in the mid eighties and is on sale this month ($10.5), as are several other of their sparklers, a Brut and a Chardonnay among them. Now, however, they have some competition in their price range. Domaine Sainte Michelle, also scoring in the mid-eighties, is another bargain bubbly on sale for $11 this month. The real bargains in this price range, however, are some of the sparklers from Barefoot Bubbly. Three Bubblies (Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay Brut, and Chardonnay Extra Dry) are all on sale for $8. Wine Enthusiast gave one of their bubblies an 87 rating and a Top 100 Best Values award several years ago. Barefoot Bubblies are a great value; the first time I tasted one I couldn’t believe the price. Barefoot’s sparklers are very drinkable on their own, and are great in any champagne cocktail you might care to try.

There are some even less expensive bubblies on sale this month: André wines are on sale for $3.5 and Cook’s for as low as $4. Needless to say, these are not among my recommendations, and so far as I know they have never been highly rated. They can serve a purpose in punches or in other concoctions where “champagne” is a minority ingredient or is overpowered by the other ingredients, but my recommendation is that you never drink them straight.

If you have an affinity for some other bubbly (domestic or imported) that is available for under $20, please share the information with others by adding a comment to this post. Happy Holidays! In the meantime, if you want to know what you’re looking for when you go to the wine store, view this slideshow for photos of most of the bubblies mentioned in the post, plus a couple of serving suggestions.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Bathtub gin anyone? Gin cocktails for Repeal Day

December 5, 1933: sunrise in America as Prohibition comes to an end, freedom and enlightenment return, and honest people can once again legally drink cocktails. To celebrate Repeal Day, here is a short list of gin cocktails to tickle your taste-buds. Several gin cocktails will be shaken (or stirred) at my house tonight. In case you’re wondering. Gin was selected as a nod to the memory of the bad “bathtub gin” that people had to drink during the dark years of the twenties.

Let’s start with one that’s almost straight gin, albeit on the rocks. Plymouth® is a brand name for a distinctive type of gin. Although you can use London Dry gin, Plymouth gin makes a great Pink Gin, so give it a try. All you need is gin, bitters, and ice.

The Gin and Tonic is another classic gin cocktail that you’re probably familiar with, and it’s not just for summer, either. I had my first Gin and Tonic back in my early twenties and thought it was just OK, never realizing that the problem was the gin. Quality gin, which wasn’t available during Prohibition, is the key to a good Gin and Tonic. I like to use Bombay Sapphire®; sip it slowly and savor the flavor.

During Prohibition, most people didn’t have access to quality cocktail ingredients imported from Europe like Lillet® Blanc, Campari®, and vermouth. The imported liquors they were able to obtain were mostly bootlegged whiskey and rum smuggled into the country from Canada (like Canadian Club®). Their grandchildren are much better off, so let’s have a Martini, a Vesper Martini that is. Gin, vodka, Lillet, and bitters (optional) are all you need to enjoy James Bond’s favorite drink.

The third recommendation is the Twelve Squared, a cocktail containing 144 Botanicals in a single cocktail. For this tasty beauty, you’ll need Lillet Blanc and a bottle of Green Chartreuse®, but the investment you make in these ingredients will pay off in future enjoyment.

If you’re in the mood for something not quite as strong as these gin intensive cocktails, try a French 75 – a reliable champagne (and gin) cocktail that is just what you need. Named after the famous French cannon of World War I, this little beauty has a nice kick and never misfires.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Five delicious cocktail recipes to try this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day commemorates the day of giving thanks that the Pilgrim Fathers established after their first harvest at the Plymouth Colony on old Cape Cod. It’s a day when we gather with our families and give thanks for all the good things we have while watching football, preparing and eating a feast, and perhaps having a cocktail or two. Here’s a selection of cocktails that should please you this Thanksgiving. One is related to the Pilgrims geographically and another by direct association while a third will just warm you up whenever you think of the Plymouth Colony shivering in their cabins.

The Cape Codder, named after the peninsula where the Plymouth Colony was located, is a simple drink with only two ingredients: Orange Vodka and Cranberry Juice. Think of it as a form of liquid cranberry sauce.

Plymouth® is a brand name, but also a distinct type of gin, and probably the last gin the Pilgrim Fathers drank before (and perhaps while) sailing to America. It makes a great Pink Gin. The poor Pilgrims probably didn’t have any cocktail bitters and had to drink their gin neat, but we can do better.

Rum is the quintessential liquor of the new world, so what better way to beat the winter weather than with a Hot Rum Toddy? The poor Pilgrims probably didn’t have any rum at the first Thanksgiving, but why should you suffer?

While the Pilgrims were far from New York (and even further in time considering their seventeenth century travel technology) a Manhattan just tastes good this time of year. So if nothing has appealed to you so far, give it a try. It’s a cocktail even your mother can love.

At Grandma’s house every Thanksgiving the kids could be found either running around “like wild Indians” (commemorating Thanksgiving?) or drinking glass after glass of non-alcoholic egg nog. Meanwhile Grandpa would be serving up Old Fashioned’s for Dad, Mom, and the aunts and uncles. Here’s hoping that this cocktail reminds you of the Thanksgivings d’antan as it does me. Happy Thanksgiving!

View a slide show of these great cocktails.

Remember the Pilgrim Fathers with a Cape Codder

When the Pilgrim Fathers landed from the Mayflower on Cape Cod in 1620, the thought of having a cocktail named after the site of the Plymouth Colony almost certainly never entered their minds. Never mind that they didn’t even know what a cocktail was in those quasi-prehistoric days. You should not, however, let a little recalcitrance on the part of a gun-totin’ man in a funny hat stop you from enjoying a different type of cranberry sauce before Thanksgiving dinner this year. The Cape Codder is a simple drink with only two ingredients: Orange Vodka and Cranberry Juice. It’s almost as simple as the Pilgrims’ favorite drink (Plymouth Gin, neat), but with one fewer ingredient. So this Thanksgiving, sit down in your easy-chair and kick back with a Cape Codder while you’re waiting for the game to start. Before the game starts, however, be sure to take a few moments to give thanks that you weren’t born in the seventeenth century.

Cape Codder

1 1/2 oz Absolut® Mandrin (or other orange Vodka )

3 oz Cranberry juice

Pour Vodka and Cranberry Juice into a mixing glass half full of ice. Stir well until ice cold and strain into a highball glass full of ice cubes. (Okay, if you’re lazy just build it in the highball glass.) Garnish with a lime wedge. If you prefer your drinks “up”, strain instead into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lime wheel.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Beat the winter weather with a Hot Rum Toddy

While we were watching Réal Salt Lake win the MLS Cup on TV last night, the weather in Salt Lake City was turning nasty, dropping about two inches of snow in the valley for people to wake up to. What better time to have a Hot Rum Toddy? Not when you wake up, of course, but in the evening… The most important ingredient of an HRT is some good, dark rum. I recommend Gosling’s Black Seal® or Myer’s Planters Punch®. Gosling’s is an excellent rum, and it’s a bargain at under $20/750 ml. (You can also use it in a Dark and Stormy when the weather is nicer.) The recipe below is easy to throw together in just a couple of minutes, and is guaranteed to cure what ails you (or at least warm you up on a cold winter’s night). Remember, though, that an HRT is another cocktail that is definitely better stirred than shaken.

This recipe is pretty basic, designed for those of you who like to keep things simple, but there more sophisticated recipes on the web. I found a nice one at for those of you who like to consume mass quantities of Hot Rum Toddy. Try it if you want something a little more elaborate. My first HRT was finished while this post was being written, now it’s time to make another. Stay Healthy!

Hot Rum Toddy

1.5 oz Gosling’s Black Seal® rum

1 dash Ground nutmeg (freshly ground, if available)

1 Cinnamon stick (or 1 dash Ground Cinnamon)

3-5 Whole cloves (or 1 dash of ground Cloves)

½ Lemon wheel

1 pat of Butter (unsalted preferred, but use what you have)

5-6 oz Boiling water

Stick the cloves into the lemon wheel, either from the side or by piercing holes through the rind with a cocktail pick. Put the butter in a warm cup or mug. Fill 2/3 full with boiling water. Stir until butter is melted. Pour in the shot of rum (and a little more if there’s room). Sprinkle with nutmeg (and cinnamon if you don’t have a cinnamon stick, and ground cloves if you don’t have whole ones). Add the “cloven” lemon wheel to the cup; you can use the lemon wheel as garnish, but be sure to give it a squeeze and drop it in before drinking. Serve with a teaspoon for stirring (or just stir with the cinnamon stick). Drink slowly, the longer it steeps, the better it tastes.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Suzette – a hot cocktail from Vancouver

One of the fun parts of being a cocktail blogger is that friends send you cocktail recipes to try. The mention on Twitter and FaceBook of the ingredients in a recipe then under development led one of my futurist colleagues (and friends), Wendy Schultz, to offer to trade the recipe for her favorite cocktail, the Suzette, for the recipe that was later posted as the Twelve Squared. This sounded like a great deal, and when Wendy received the link to the Twelve Squared recipe, she replied via FaceBook with the recipe for the Suzette that she had picked up at NU restaurant in Vancouver, where it was developed for the introduction of Navan ® Cognac by Grand Marnier®. If the Suzette is an indicator, winter sports fans from Salt Lake City who enjoyed the 2002 Winter Olympics here, and are planning to visit Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics, should plan on a dinner and cocktails at NU.

This tart, orange flavored cocktail is a close (but much younger) relative of the Sidecar, a classic cocktail from the World War I era made from Cognac, Grand Marnier, and lemon juice. The major differences in the Suzette are the use of Navan Madagascar vanilla infused Cognac and the switch to lime juice; the Madagascar vanilla adds an extra dimension to the cognac. Fortuitously, the State Liquor Store system in Utah has Navan on sale this month, so if you decide to give the Suzette a try, this is a good time. (Note: As of this writing, only the Cottonwood and Sandy stores have Navan in stock, so call ahead.) If any of the adventurous among you decide to try making your own vanilla-infused brandy (E&J VSOP might be a good candidate), post a comment to let us all know how it comes out.


1 ½ oz Navan Vanilla (Madagascar vanilla-infused cognac)

½ oz Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge

1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice

1 Dash of orange bitters

Pour the ingredients into a shaker half full of ice and shake vigorously until ice cold. Strain into a pre-chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with freshly shaved orange or lime rind. Imagine you’re on the veranda of your orchid plantation on Madagascar as you take your first sip.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bottled by Bond? Recipe for the Vesper cocktail

One of the most visually stunning blogs going is The Errant Aesthete, the essential blog of choice “for cocktail swilling savants.” Although it’s not, strictly speaking, a cocktail blog, there are many posts of interest to cocktail lovers. Browsing through the archives turned up a post with the irresistible title “The BOND Classic Martini” that explored James Bond’s relationship with perhaps the classic cocktail: the Martini. One of the Martinis lovingly described is the Vesper, named after Bond’s girl in Casino Royale, Vesper Lynd. The Vesper was designed for Ian Fleming back in the early fifties by Gilberto Preti in London. In the book, Bond orders his Martini “Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel.” Thus contributing to the great Martini Shaking vs. Stirring controversy without even uttering the phrase “shaken, not stirred”.

Shaking and stirring both have two functions: chilling the drink and contributing some water (in the form of melted ice) to it. (That’s why you shouldn’t use freezer vodka for cocktails, or at least not too much of it). The water subtly (that’s why you always want to use clean ice) “opens up” and changes the flavor of the liquor in whatever cocktail you’re making. The real difference between the two techniques is the cloudiness of the final product. A stirred Martini will be crystal clear, while a shaken one is cloudy when poured, but will gradually clear up (if it lasts that long). The cloudiness is caused by the tiny air bubbles introduced into the drink during shaking. Appearance is why today’s craft mixologists say you should stir clear cocktails (like Martinis) and shake the rest (those already cloudy from fruit juices, like the lime juice in Margaritas). The flavor change during shaking and stirring is a function of two things: how much the temperature of the drink is lowered and how much of the ice melts. These two are clearly closely related. You must stir longer to get the same effects that you can get from less time spent shaking, but you can still get the same end result (chilling & dilution) from stirring. The only end-product advantage in shaking is ice crystals, which definitely add to the impact of the drink. The end-product advantage in stirring is clarity; the cocktail will look better when it is served, immediately after pouring.

Bond’s (Preti’s) recipe is an interesting one when you consider “why is the vodka in there at all?” Vodka is not a particularly strong flavored liquor, and during the length of Bond’s literary adventures Martinis made with Vodka (yes, they’re not really Martinis) slightly outnumber Martinis made with Gin (yes, “made with Gin” is redundant). The Vodka can only be there to tone down the taste of the Gin to bring out the flavor of the Lillet. Kina Lillet, has a distinctive orange-based flavor that differs from the Vermouth used in a Martini, and changes the character of the drink a bit. You can still create a pretty good approximation of the original Vesper, even though Kina Lillet hasn’t been made for over 20 years. It turns out that Kina is another name for quinine. So adding two dashes of Angostura Bitters to the mix will move the flavor a little closer to what James Bond actually was drinking. If you don’t have any Lillet, and aren’t motivated to buy some, you could experiment with dry French Vermouth and orange bitters. If you do, write a comment on this post and let us know how it turned out. Using a half-ounce as a measure is recommended. Anything larger results in a pretty stiff drink that will have warmed up by the time you finish. Better to have a smaller cocktail, and then have another ice-cold one later if you want more. Two variations on the Vesper follow. I recommend trying both to see which you enjoy more.

(A close to) Original Vesper (after Gilberto Preti)

1 ½ oz Gordon’s® Gin

½ oz Teton Glacier ® Potato Vodka

¼ oz Lillet Blanc

2 dashes Angostura Bitters (to simulate the “Kina”)

Pour ingredients into a shaker half full of ice. Shake very well until ice cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass (Bond specified a “deep champagne goblet”). Twist a lemon twist over the glass to express the oils, rub it around the rim, and then drop it in or drape it gracefully over the edge of the glass. An olive is optional. Enjoy your slightly cloudy, but ice crystal imbued, cocktail.

Vesper Martini

1 ½ oz Bombay Sapphire Gin (or premium gin of choice)

½ oz Teton Glacier ® Potato Vodka

¼ oz Lillet Blanc

Pour ingredients into a mixing glass half full of ice. Stir very well until ice cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist a lemon twist over the glass to express the oils, rub it around the rim, and then drop it in or drape it gracefully over the edge of the glass. An olive is optional. Enjoy your crystal clear cocktail.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Twelve Squared: a cocktail with 144 botanicals

144 Botanicals in a single cocktail? How can you fit that many herbs, fruits, and vegetables into a glass? Where does that number come from? Last Friday, a new bottle of Green Chartreuse® was serendipitously placed next to a bottle of Lillet® Blanc, leading to the question: what recipes contain both Chartreuse and Lillet? A search with Google said there were not too many. There was, however, an intriguing one for a Chartreuse Martini on Colleen’s Cocktail Blog that sounded good. On first taste, it seemed like the Chartreuse and Lillet overpowered the Bombay Sapphire® Gin from my bar, which led to a decision to play around with the proportions and garnish to see what would develop. Doubling the gin and substituting an orange twist for olives produced the surprisingly delicious Twelve Squared cocktail that is documented below. But, you are asking, where did that gross of botanicals come from?

Some Chartreuse label reading that same night resulted in the discovery that Chartreuse contains 130 botanicals (the list is “secret”). Bombay Sapphire’s distinctive bottle features line drawings of ten botanicals, five on each side, all labeled (no secrets there). The numbers were adding up, so what about the Lillet? Lillet (on their web site, there’s no info on the bottle) admits to three kinds of oranges in addition to quinine and several kinds of wine and then throws in an “etc.”, so let’s credit Lillet with at least eight botanicals, and probably more. Subtract out a few probable duplicates, and let’s call the total 144 botanicals. That’s quite a cocktail.

Twelve Squared Cocktail

½ oz Green Chartreuse

½ oz Lillet Blanc

2 oz Bombay Sapphire® Gin

Combine ingredients with ice in a mixing glass. Stir briskly for 45-60 seconds, until well chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Using a knife, zester, or peeler, cut an orange twist over the glass so any oils spray into the glass. Rub the twist around the lip of the glass and drop it in. As you savor this cocktail, be sure to contemplate both the bouquet and the taste, savor those botanicals.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Five stakes through your heart: a handful of Halloween cocktails

The best way to put down a vampire is with a stake through the heart. What, you are probably asking, is the best way to put down a Halloween cocktail? What should you do if you see a Halloween cocktail lurching toward you down a lonely road on a cold, dark, moonless night? When, after you’ve run yourself to exhaustion and are leaning against a stone wall to catch your breath, you realize it’s the wall around the graveyard and scream… and the cocktail continues to draw inexorably nearer and nearer… What do you do? Experience shows that the most effective action is to grasp it firmly by its scrawny neck and toss it down before it can attack. And that, children (only if over 21), is the best way to handle an aggressive cocktail. Feel free to click the links below, or view the slideshow.

The first Halloween cocktail is one even your mother would enjoy, the Bob for Apples. What’s not to like about Rum, cinnamon, and apples? Think of Mom’s homemade apple pie with a kick (and with a spider garnish).

Although it sounds horrid, the Spider’s Venom cocktail actually verges on the sweet. The Spider Venom (a distant relative of the Piña Colada) should be drunk from a specially prepared cocktail glass as a charm to protect you from the venom.

It pays to keep an eye out for the Bloodshot cocktail when walking past the graveyard at night. Watch out, having been evicted from its own socket, this roguish cocktail’s roving eyeball may want to settle in one of yours.

If you should manage to escape the graveyard intact and alive (though just barely) and make it home, the best way to get your blood flowing again (but not too much, you don’t want to attract the wrong sort of undead) is with a Corpse Reviver. This beauty doesn’t look like a Halloween cocktail, but it’s sure to cure what ails you. The medley of flavors in this cocktail is very enjoyable, so give it a try at your Halloween soirée.

Last, and far from the least, is the Zombie, a cocktail that will knock you on your ass if you’re not careful or don’t show it the proper respect, a cocktail whose namesake must have had a Corpse Reviver poured into it, for there’s no other plausible explanation for its existence. Don’t be seduced into having several, or think you’ll have “just one more,” or you may end up a zombie yourself.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Zombie: a cocktail to make you feel like the living dead

What would Halloween be without zombies? Zombie cocktails, that is. If there was ever a drink that could make you feel like one of the living dead, this is it. This is one cocktail where you should definitely limit yourself to just one to better preserve both your health and your dignity. The Zombie has been attributed to Don the Beachcomber, but some say the first zombie arose when a defrocked, Haitian priest (no offense intended to any group mentioned in this post) poured a Corpse Reviver cocktail into a fresh corpse. Furthermore, there is evidence that Zombies (cocktails, that is) can make you lose your memory. My memories of my Zombie drinking days are fuzzy; so it’s a good bet that I never stopped at just one, but now age and wisdom have both fallen upon me (age perhaps more than wisdom), so there is probably just one Zombie in the cards for me tonight. As the bottom of the glass approaches, however, I find myself noticing that all of the bottles are still open and waiting for me on the bar…

A Zombie cocktail is either a double or a triple, but who’s counting? Begin with rum: an ounce each of light, gold, and dark. (You may combine the light and gold into two ounces of one or the other if you’re short (on rum) or lazy, but you must have one or the other of those two and a dark rum (Gosling’s® is good).) Then a half ounce of Crème de Noyau (almond) or Amaretto (if that’s all you have). (Believe me, after you’ve drunk your Zombie you won’t care which one you used). The classic Zombie then calls for a half an ounce of Bacardi® 151 to be floated on top, but dark rum is an acceptable substitute and will moderate your intake of alcohol. As for the glass, size matters. The Zombie in the beautiful photograph featured here is in a Hurricane glass. That glass left little room for the addition of OJ and Dark Rum, so you can guess which one won out. If there was still to be room for the dark rum, only about ½ oz of OJ could be (and was) used (by now you have probably realized that the OJ is not perhaps viewed as an essential ingredient). You might want to use a Collins glass or another, larger, glass to make room for more OJ if you’re trying to increase your Vitamin-C intake.

Zombie Cocktail

1 oz Light Rum (your favorite)

1 oz Gold Rum (ditto)

1 oz Dark Rum (Goslings® works well)

½ oz Crème de Noyau (or Amaretto)

1 oz Lime Juice, freshly squeezed

1 tsp Simple syrup (or substitute ½ oz Grenadine)

1-4 oz Orange juice

½ oz Bacardi® 151 or more Dark Rum

Pour all ingredients except the Orange juice and the 151 into a shaker half full of ice. Shake like the living dead are really after you. Fill the glass half full of ice (cubed or cracked) and strain the mixture from the shaker into the glass. Add ice to almost fill the glass, leaving room for the desired amount of OJ and the 151. Pour almost as much Orange juice as will fit into the glass and stir, being careful to leave room for the 151. Float the 151 on top, garnish with a cherry (or a slice of lime or orange), and serve with a black straw in honor of the dead on All Souls Eve. I would say “Santé,” but that kind of goes against the sprit of the thing…

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Bob for Apples cocktail – a recipe with ups and downs

Do you remember Halloween when you were a kid? On Halloween, of course, we always went trick-or-treating, but the Saturday before Halloween we used to go to the Halloween party at the F.O.P. hall. For refreshments, they had apple cider and fresh donuts coated with powdered sugar. Games were normal party games like pin the tail on the donkey and (the ever popular) bobbing for apples in a tub of ice-water. Brrr, that water was cold. Today my Halloween tastes are more inclined toward cocktails (no, they didn’t give us cocktails at the F.O.P. hall). Some might think, however, that the Spider Venom cocktail with its spider garnish is a little extreme, even for Halloween. For those, I have developed Bob for Apples, a Halloween treat that is not in the least bit scary and should help you channel the spirit of Halloween past.

A cocktail named Bob for Apples must contain (drum roll) some apple, so the apple juice was a no-brainer. A few variations using vodka didn’t quite work, so I switched to rum. It still lacked a little kick, so I added some Sour Apple Pucker and bitters for depth. The cocktail is a little dry, but the cinnamon sugar offsets that as you drink it, in addition to spicing it up a bit. Don’t skip the cinnamon sugar; it’s an important contributor to the overall taste of the cocktail. In case you’re too lazy to bother with it, you need to add a little simple syrup and cinnamon to the mix to balance the drink.

Bob for Apples

1 ½ oz light Rum

¼ oz Sour Apple Pucker

1 oz Apple Juice

1 dash (about 2 drops) Angostura Bitters

Rim a cocktail glass with cinnamon sugar and put it in the freezer. Combine the ingredients with ice in a mixing glass and stir briskly for as long it would take you to bob an apple out of a tub of ice-water. Strain into the prepared glass and garnish with a Maraschino cherry. Sip your way around the rim while musing on Halloween d’antan.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Spider Venom cocktail – a recipe for Halloween horror

One thing the teachers at my school were adamant about was that we should never, never drink warm spider venom. There was a rumor that a kid in the fourth grade had done just that, but the stories then diverged and got vague as to exactly how the kid had died… or had he? That’s why the Spider Venom cocktail should be drunk ice-cold. Drink it fast and never, ever let it get warm. The Spider Venom (a distant relative of the Piña Colada) should be drunk from a specially prepared cocktail glass as a charm to protect you from the venom. If it seems too sweet, vary the amount of lime juice a little to balance the sweetness of the cocoanut and Rum to get the taste you like.

Preparing the glass for this creepy concoction is not as difficult as you might think, and well worth the effort for the chilling affect it can have on your friends. Prepare several glasses and have them ready in the freezer when your guests arrive. Pour some chocolate syrup into a small bowl. You can also use Smuckers® Magic Shell as shown here; it will harden and last longer, not deteriorating into a messy looking, smeared web that would shame any self-respecting spider as the cocktail is consumed, but Hershey’s ® Syrup works well, too. Using a small paint brush, draw the radii first. Add the connectors, trying to have them “droop” consistently so the web will have a symmetrical appearance. If you don’t have any fine enough paint brushes, you can use a stirrer straw. You could also try squirting the chocolate syrup onto the chilled glass if you have a squeeze bottle with a nozzle that is small enough. (Warning: too much syrup in the glass can result in a sugar high.) Put the glasses in the freezer until you are ready to serve.

Spider Venom

2 oz light Rum

½ to 1 oz (one good, healthy squirt) Coco Reál® Cream of Coconut

1 tsp freshly squeezed Lime juice

Prepare a glass as described above and keep it in the freezer. Add the ingredients to an empty mixing glass or shaker bottom. Stir briskly to dissolve the Coco Reál. Fill about half full of ice, put on the top, and shake like your life depends on it, as well it may. (Remember: never drink warm spider venom.) Get the prepared glass from the freezer and strain the drink into it. Add a dash of grenadine; it will settle to the bottom like a drop of blood. Garnish with a spider (preferably artificial or deceased). Provide small spoons for those with a sweet tooth who want to eat the chocolate web.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bloodshot Cocktail – an eyeful of a recipe for Halloween terror

Have you ever faced a night of dread, fearing what you would feel when you woke in the morning? Well the Bloodshot cocktail can give you just such a night if you have too many, so keep a bleary eye on your drink tally. This recipe for disaster tastes so good and goes down so easily that it’s easy to over indulge (assuming that you like Cassis the way I do; my motto is “a Kir a day keeps the doctor away.”) Conceived in a fit of lust for Halloween blood and gore and perfected in a single evening of over-consumption, this watchful cocktail would scream in terror as it approached your glistening eye-teeth and greedy gullet if it only had a mouth. Do the humane thing and eat its bloodshot eye first so it can’t see what’s coming…

The Bloodshot is best served in a tall, narrow glass so you can skewer its weeping eyeball on a cocktail pick and perch it above the drink. My eyeballs (see photo) are constructed from a Maraschino cherry for the ball, and a half of a dried Montmorency cherry for the pupil (a whole dried cherry is a little too large, you could substitute a raisin). Split the Maraschino just enough to jam the pupil in and then skewer it. You will need to balance the eyeball so that it is either looking up or tilting toward the drinker, which is harder to do. There are other eyeball construction techniques on the web, just pick one that looks gross enough and be sure it looks good and red. Use you favorite mixed-drink vodka (Gordon’s is a steal at $10/bottle). Don’t go too cheap on the Crème de Cassis (unless you like the taste of cough syrup). In Utah, you will have to spend over $20 a bottle for Cartron to get something decent. If this cocktail doesn’t suit your Halloween taste, try a Corpse Reviver.


1 ½ oz Vodka

¼ oz Crème de Cassis

1 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice

Make and skewer an eyeball (see above). Add ingredients to a mixing glass half full of ice. Stir for as long as it would take for a blind zombie seeking eyeballs to chase you half a block. Strain into a shot glass (2 to 2 ½ oz) and perch the Bloodshot eyeball on top. Here’s looking at you, kid.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Tequila Lavanda cocktail – a new twist on Tequila and Lavender

A Tequila recipe caught my eye recently. It was for a Tequila cocktail called a Tamarindo Borracho. The recipe was pretty simple, having just three ingredients: Añejo Tequila, lime, and syrup, and the photo made it look really appetizing. In this case the syrup was a Tamarind-Chile syrup that is (sadly) missing from my bar, but it got me thinking about the bottle of lavender syrup that was on the top shelf of the fridge. My Tequila Mojito recipe had taught me that tequila goes well with mint (a relative of lavender) and I once mixed one using lavender syrup (instead of ordinary simple syrup) that had turned out quite well, so it looked like a syrup substitution was in order. Lavender syrup is obviously not hot and spicy like Tamarind-Chile syrup, so the two cocktails are not remotely similar in taste, but the result was surprisingly good and reminded me that it’s usually wise to experiment, especially where cocktails are concerned.

In the spirit of experiment, and if you think you would enjoy it, you should give the Tequila Lavanda a try. It might work with a nice Plata, too. If do try it, post a response and let all of us know how it comes out. If you don’t have any lavender syrup around your bar, there are lavender syrup recipes on the web that can be made using either fresh or dried lavender. My preferred garnish is a wedge of lime because you can squeeze a bit into your cocktail if you decide it’s a little too sweet for your taste.

Tequila Lavanda

2 oz Añejo Tequila (or try some Plata)

juice of ½ Lime, freshly squeezed (½ oz )

½ oz Lavender syrup

Put the ingredients into an empty shaker and stir well to mix the syrup. Add ice and shake until your hand gets cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or serve on the rocks in an Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with a wedge of lime. As always, vary the syrup to suit your taste.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Get stirring with the Corpse Reviver Cocktail

The Savoy Cocktail Book (1930) continues to be a treasure trove of interesting cocktails. Thumbing through it on a day off resulted in the discovery of an amusing sketch of “the beautiful Lady Cynthia, after imbibing a Corpse Reviver Cocktail.” The sketch of red-faced Lady Cynthia piqued my interest. For some unknown reason, the recipe for the Corpse Reviver turned out to be thirty pages away, and it came with the advice that a Corpse Reviver could be “taken before 11 a.m., or whenever steam and energy are needed.” A quick glance at the clock told me that a little fast action would get me in just under the wire, and all the ingredients were available. Hopefully, you invested in some apple jack when you tried out the Jack Rose, and you should have some Italian Vermouth around the house.

There are a variety of Corpse Reviver cocktail recipes to be found on the web (there are two in the Savoy book alone), and they are sometimes classified under the “hair of the dog” type of hangover cure. You can be the judge of that. The blend of flavors in this cocktail is enjoyable, so give it a try. With Halloween just around the corner, this is one cocktail recipe we will have to revisit. The following recipe is faithful in proportion to the Savoy, but you should, as usual, play around with proportions to get the right taste for you.

Corpse Reviver (No. 1)

1 ½ oz Cognac or Brandy

¾ oz Calvados or Apple jack

¾ oz Italian Vermouth

Combine ingredients with cracked ice in a mixing glass. Stir briskly until it’s far colder than a (shudder) corpse. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a twist of lemon. Prepare yourself for a high energy day!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Pink Gin: a cocktail the Pilgrim Fathers would have enjoyed

Discovered the other day while trying to get caught up on my cocktail blog reading was Erik Ellestad’s recent post on the Pink Gin, a simple cocktail recipe with only two ingredients that delivers a surprising treat. The striking photos on Erik’s site told me that this was one cocktail I had to try. The recipe is one that Ellestad was mixing for his project to recreate every cocktail recipe in the Savoy Cocktail Book (1930), and he faithfully recreated that recipe (well, except for serving it on crushed ice). He also mentioned that the recipe was explored in Dr. Cocktail’s (Ted Haigh’s) book “Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails”, a copy of which sits near my easy chair. Ted has experimented with the recipe enough that he recommends a couple of specific gins and has upped the bitters from a single dash to a grand total of six! That’s two “goodly dashes” of bitters per ounce of gin.

Just these two sources gave me plenty of variations to play with to develop a recipe that I could write home (or, at least, you) about. First step was a little less gin. Harry Craddock calls for a glass, and Haigh wants three ounces. That’s a little much for most people, especially if you like to have more than one cocktail. The amount of bitters, however, was intriguing. Erik went for the Savoy’s single dash (although there’s no way there was only one dash in his photos), while Dr. Cocktail went for six. Could the gin hold up to that bitter assault? The bottle of Plymouth gin that I had in my bar definitely did. The drink was surprisingly good in spite of its simplicity, and sipping the gin that was probably the last gin the Pilgrim Fathers threw back before departing England is a patriotic bonus. This cocktail is great on the rocks or straight up; I prefer rocks because the cold offsets the bitters, but you should experiment both ways to determine your preference.

Pink Gin

2 oz Plymouth Gin

4 dashes Angostura Bitters

Pour the gin into a mixing glass 2/3 full of ice. (If serving up, add the bitters now.) Stir briskly until it looks cold enough. Strain into a chilled white wine glass 2/3 full of ice and dash the bitters on top. (If serving up, strain into a chilled cocktail glass.) Garnish with good will and enjoy!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Upside-down Martini: recipe for Julia Child’s favorite cocktail

The opening of Nora Ephron’s latest film, Julie and Julia, has revived interest in one of America’s national treasures: Julia Child. My wife and I saw the film the week-end it opened, and couldn’t help but notice that cocktails were present in many scenes for both Julie and Julia. There was no great surprise, then, in discovering that America’s most famous chef had invented her own apéritif: the Upside-down (or Reverse) Martini. Julia’s recipe calls for a 5:1 ratio of Noilly Prat Vermouth to Gin, stirred with ice and then strained into a cocktail glass. Noilly Prat is one of (if not the) great French Vermouth; I have used it to rinse many Vodka Martini glasses, and even imbibed higher concentrations in the Paris Cocktail, but 5:1 with gin? I think not.

A little web-based research uncovered the usual number of recipe variations, including some served on the rocks… that seemed to be the ticket even though the chances of Julia obtaining much ice in late 1940’s France seemed low. Taking a white wine glass and filling it three-quarters full of ice, I discovered it would only hold an ounce and a half of Noilly Prat if there was to be room for much gin. Sometimes sacrifices must be made. Next a half ounce of Tanqueray® Gin was poured over the ice and given half a stir with an espresso (i.e. small) spoon. Twisting a bit of lemon peel over the glass and rubbing it around the rim was all it took to finish this delicious apéritif cocktail. As Judith Jones said in the movie, “yumm.”

Upside-down Martini

1 ½ oz (or more) Noilly Prat® Vermouth

½ oz Tanqueray® Gin

Fill a white wine glass three-quarters full with cracked or crushed ice. Add the Noilly Prat® Vermouth, leaving room for the gin (you might be able to add a little extra vermouth based on the size of the glass and the quantity of ice. Add the Tanqueray® Gin and give the glass a half stir (not too much!) with a small espresso spoon. Twist a strip of lemon peel over the glass, rub it around the rim, and drop it on top. Bon Appétit!

Six Classic Cocktail Recipes from the 1950’s

Viewing newscaster Rachel Maddow’s amusing video about six classic Cocktails of the Fifties on YouTube made me realize that while many of the cocktails mentioned in that old article in Esquire magazine were old even in the Fifties, they had never gone out of style. Two reasons for that are 1) they’re delicious, and 2) they are fairly easy to make. Rachel gives her recipes in the video (sorry, no demos), and you can find links to my recipes in the World Cocktail Brain or in this article. It’s fun to compare recipes and use them as starting points for developing your personal twist on a classic cocktail. Just go with the flow and do what comes naturally.

The traditional Champagne Cocktail is so simple that I have never even blogged a recipe for it. Just drop a sugar cube into a champagne flute, add 2-3 dashes of Angostura Bitters, and fill the flute with champagne. If you’re looking for some tasty champagne cocktails that are a little more work, click on the above link to see recipes for the French 75 and the Cranberry Champagne Cocktail.

The Daiquiri is another classic. Beloved of Ernest Hemingway (and countless others), this blend of Rum and freshly squeezed lime juice (plus a little sweetener) is hard to beat. It may also be served frozen, but I prefer mine shaken and poured into a cocktail glass taken straight from the freezer.

If you haven’t sampled a Manhattan, what are you waiting for? This American original may be mixed with either Bourbon or Rye. Be careful though, these are so delicious they may be addicting. I like mine with a Luxardo Marasche® Marasca Cherry. Mmmm.

The Martini is sure to please all lovers of Gin. Since this cocktail approaches 100% in content (when well made), you will want to use quality Gin. Don’t forget: Martinis are better stirred than shaken. I’ll let you try Rachel’s recipe for a “real” Martini, and give you my recipe for a Vodka Martini instead.

Rachel’s recipe is for the traditional Old Fashioned made with Bourbon, but an Old Fashioned can also be mixed with Canadian Club, Brandy, Gin, Rye, or Rum. You can make an Old Fashioned with almost whatever liquor happens to be your favorite, just vary the bitters to compliment the liquor.

The final classic is the acclaimed Stinger, a simple mix of Cognac and Crème de Menthe that is sure to please lovers of brandy and mint. Vary the ratio of Cognac to Crème de Menthe to get just the taste you like. Besides, experimentation can be fun.

Here’s a link to a slideshow on my blog.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Stinger – This classic cocktail recipe is a blast from the past

Newscaster Rachel Maddow is also a great lover of classic cocktails. Discovering her amusing video on six classic Cocktails of the Fifties on YouTube reminded me that I hadn’t had a Stinger in ages. This classic cocktail recipe is easy to prepare and is great as an after dinner drink or to sip anytime you want (or need) a cocktail. This cocktail’s name, and its potential for double meaning, have resulted in mentions in many movies. I always get a laugh from the scene in The Bishop’s Wife where the angel Dudley (Cary Grant) suggests that the catty group of gossips order Stingers with their luncheon.

The Stinger is easy to make; it’s what’s known as a Duo, a cocktail with only two ingredients: a liquor and a liqueur. A Stinger is made with Cognac (or Brandy) and white Crème de Menthe. Some Stinger recipes go as high as a 1:1 ratio of ingredients; they must either love Crème de Menthe or be using bad Brandy! I like mint, but not that much. The recipe below is 2:1 Cognac to Crème de Menthe, but you can go as high as 3:1 and still enjoy the Stinger experience. Experiment until you get just the taste you like. By the way, if you don’t have white Crème de Menthe you can use green. The taste will be the same, but you will actually be drinking a Green Hornet.


2 oz Cognac (or Brandy)

1 oz Crème de Menthe (white)

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with cracked ice. Stir briskly until it’s ice cold while imagining your parents at a swank cocktail party in the fifties (this may be quite a stretch). Strain into a chilled cocktail glass enjoy!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Daiquiri anyone? Simple recipe for a classic cocktail.

The Daiquiri is an easy cocktail recipe to make and can be very rewarding, especially when it’s a proper Daiquiri made with freshly squeezed lime juice. While he was living in Cuba, Ernest Hemingway became a great fan of the Daiquiri (and the Mojito). The other night as I was adding Papa to the World Cocktail Brain and linking him to the entries for his favorite cocktails, I remembered that there was an excess of limes in the fridge. Serendipity. I was soon at the bar, squeezing limes and looking for the white rum (you could use gold or dark rum for a Daiquiri, but that would make the color look a little strange, so best stick with white).

This classic Daiquiri is served straight up in a cocktail glass, but if you’re looking for something icy to sip, you can serve it on the rocks. As a third variation, you could even make it into a nice summer cooler by mixing it in a Collins glass and adding seltzer water.


2 oz white Rum

1 oz (approx.) freshly squeezed lime juice (1 lime)

1 tsp Simple syrup (or sweetener of your choice)

Combine ingredients in a shaker. Shake briskly while thinking about Papa Hemingway in a Cuban bar, gazing at the sea under a slowly turning ceiling fan (this may be harder to do than you think). Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with a lime wheel, and enjoy!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Tequila Mojito cocktail – a twist on a classic recipe

I had my first rum Mojito at The Beach House hotel in Miami. It was expensive, but delicious. Ever since then I never fail to have a Mojito when there is fresh mint in the house. In my continuing quest for great summer coolers (well, I was short on light rum, too), I decided to try a Tequila Mojito. I thought the clean taste of a nice Plata would go well with the mint, and it was a good guess. So if you have some Plata around, and want to try something a little different, give this cooler a try.

Fresh mint leaves are an absolute requirement for a good Mojito. Accept no substitutes. You should be able to get a bunch of mint in the produce department of your grocery store if you’re not lucky enough to have any growing in your yard. For a while, Delta Airlines was serving a “Mile High Mojito” on their flights using a mix, and it wasn’t bad as airline cocktails go. It was not, however, anywhere near as good as a Mojito made with fresh mint. Bacardi® has a great video of making a Mojito here. Just don’t tell them you’re using tequila…

Tequila Mojito

2 oz Plata (silver) Tequila

fresh squeezed juice of ½ Lime (½ oz )

1/2 oz simple syrup

6-8 mint leaves

soda water

Put the mint leaves and syrup into an Old Fashioned glass. Squeeze the lime juice into the glass. Muddle well to bring out the smell and flavor of the mint. Add the tequila and stir well. Fill the glass with ice, then top off with soda water and stir lightly. Garnish with a sprig of mint and serve with a straw. Vary the mint and muddling to suit your taste.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Pimm’s Cup: a cocktail recipe from across the water

It’s summer in the UK, and Pimm’s Cup has been showing up a lot on Twitter recently. On my TweetDeck there’s a search that shows me almost every Tweet that mentions the word “cocktail,” and several Tweeters have mentioned having a Pimm’s Cup. The name “Pimm’s Cup” reminded me of a fun afternoon in London several years ago with a mixed group of American and British friends. We had walked along the Thames near the London Eye (across from St. Paul’s), lunched near the restored Globe Theater, and had ended up at a pub drinking several pitcher’s of Pimm’s Cup garnished with cucumber slices and fresh fruit. The afternoon was a blast, and at the airport on the way home we checked out the price of a bottle of Pimm’s No. 1 at the duty-free shop (there are several numbered varieties of Pimm’s (some of which are no longer made), but No. 1, a mixture of Gin and fruit juices, is the most common). It was pretty expensive, so we passed it by. Imagine our surprise when we discovered that not only was it available in Utah, but at a much lower price. We bought a bottle, drank about half, and left the rest to languish at the bottom of the pantry for a few years until the Tweets reminded me it was there.
Spying a cucumber fresh from the grocery the other evening shortly after reading one of these Tweets planted the seed of a thought of Pimm’s Cup in fertile ground. Rooting around under a shelf soon turned up the half empty bottle of Pimm’s. Most web recipes call for a simple mixture of Pimm’s No. 1 and lemonade, but I recommend that you use freshly squeezed juices in your cocktails whenever possible, so that’s how I’ve written my recipe. On the other hand, if you have an ice-cold pitcher of delicious lemonade sitting near your bottle of Pimm’s (or if you’re just feeling lazy), go for it.
Pimm’s Cup
2 oz Pimm’s No. 1
fresh squeezed juice of ½ Lemon (½ to ¾ oz)
4-5 oz Seltzer water
1 tsp simple syrup or sugar or equivalent sweetener
Pour the Pimm's into a mixing glass half full of ice cubes. Add the lemon juice and sweetener. Shake or stir until well mixed (i.e. sugar is dissolved) and let it rest. Fill a chilled Collins glass ¾ full of ice. Strain the Pimm’s mixture into the Collins glass and fill it with seltzer water. Stir lightly and garnish with either a lemon twist or a slice of cucumber (or both if you’re feeling frisky). Add a straw, and serve. If you have lemonade available, you can make this drink with just Pimm’s and lemonade and top it with a squirt of seltzer.