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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

White Russian Cocktail – it sounds wintry but is good all year round

There’s something about the White Russian that just sounds cold; it reminds people of those snowy winter scenes in Doctor Zhivago.  If thinking of that makes you feel cold, think instead of the classic film The Big Lebowski, set in sunny California, where The Dude abides thanks to two essential items: bowling and White Russians.  As you can guess, White Russians did not originate in Russia, legend has it that they got their name because Vodka is the main ingredient.  Kahlua®, of course, comes from Mexico, but has a distinctly minority position in this fine cocktail, so don’t get hung up on names.

The White Russian is easy to make.  If you’re lazy and not too picky about how cold it is, you can build it in the glass and save having to wash the shaker, but most mixologists prefer to make the extra effort to obtain a superior result.  It is possible to substitute other coffee liqueurs for Kahlua, but be careful here.  Starbuck’s® Coffee Liqueur, for example, replaces the subtlety of Kahlua with an overpowering coffee taste.  Either stick to Kahlua or cut back on the quantity.

White Russian

2 oz Vodka
1 oz Kahlua liqueur
Light cream, half and half, or milk

Pour Vodka and Kahlua into a shaker half full of ice.  Shake well for around 15 seconds.  Strain into an Old Fashioned glass about 2/3 full of ice cubes.  Fill with light cream and stir thoughtfully while dreaming of Maude Lebowski.  Garnish with a cinnamon stick (make sure it’s long enough) and enjoy.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Savoy’s Bolo – a cocktail recipe to throw you for a loop

Flipping through the Savoy Cocktail Book can be rewarding. Sometimes you find recipes for cocktails that you’ve heard of, sometimes you find unheard of (but interesting) recipes, and sometimes you find recipes that you had marked during an earlier browsing and never gotten back to. This was the case with the Bolo. It’s an interesting sounding recipe, calling for Rum and citrus, and fairly simple for the amateur mixologist to shake up for personal consumption or for friends at an Oscar party. The original Savoy recipe includes orange juice and gives you a choice between lemon and lime juice. Add some sugar (or substitute simple syrup) to offset the sour, and finish it with some light rum.

The Savoy can be rather vague on quantities. In the case of the Bolo it calls for “1/2 Wineglass Bacardi Rum,” which could be anything up to 3 ounces. That seemed a little much, so it’s been rounded down to a healthy 2 ounces. The original recipe uses freshly squeezed juices, and they will make a difference in the quality of the cocktail. So pick up some fresh citrus this afternoon and be prepared to watch the Oscars this evening.


Juice of ½ Lime or ¼ Lemon (1/2 oz)

Juice of ¼ Orange

1 teaspoon Sugar (fine) or Simple Syrup

2 oz Light Rum

Add ingredients to a shaker 2/3 full of ice. Shake briskly until frost begins to form on the shaker (well, that’s the ideal). Strain into a pre-chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a citrus wheel or a slice of strawberry. Enjoy!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Lovers of Rye cocktails: Utah DABC loves you in March, 2010

The Utah DABC State Stores have a pleasant surprise this month for lovers of Rye Whiskey and Rye Whiskey cocktails. Whether you love a great, old-style cocktail like the Sazerac (pictured) or the Manhattan, or a relatively new cocktail like the Rimshot, you’ll want to get yourself down to your favorite outlet store to pick up a bottle (or two or three) of (ri)1 Rye Whiskey that has been put on clearance this month (March 2010) for little more than half ($24.30) of its normal price ($44.99). Now that’s a deal. Sometimes items go on clearance, but are still sold in the system later on. The bad news this time is that (ri)1 has been coded “D” for Discontinued… a bad sign. We can only wait and see, but if you’re a fan of (ri)1 Rye (or just a fan of good Rye Whiskey), you might want to stock up. When the Utah Mixologist saw this bargain, he made his way to the store through a raging blizzard to pick up a few bottles. This Rye is highly rated on, where it scored an impressive 93 points.

It’s never a waste of time to download the sale book to see what’s marked down during the current month. (You can also download the price spreadsheet, but that’s a topic for another post.) Every once in a while you can find a great bargain like (ri)1 Rye is this month. If you don’t know how to obtain this useful information, check out the post on “What’s on sale” at the Utah DABC, and see the associated posts for more information. As always (and especially on clearance items) call ahead to your favorite store and ask if they have CS Code # 027081 in stock. Avoid serving any blue cocktails at your Oscar party. Instead, class it up a little with one of the great Rye cocktails linked to above. In any case, here’s a recipe for a Sazerac to get you in the mood. Enjoy!


2 ounces Rye whiskey

1 tsp bar sugar or simple syrup

3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters (or substitute Angostura)

½ tsp. Absinthe (or other anise-based liqueur like Pernod, Ricard, etc.)

lemon twist

Chill an old-fashioned glass in the freezer. Put the sugar or syrup in a mixing glass; add the bitters (and a couple of drops of water, if using sugar), and stir until you have a smooth liquid. Add the whiskey and some ice cubes and stir briskly for at least 30 seconds. Retrieve the chilled glass and add the Absinthe; roll the glass to coat the inside with Absinthe and dump (or drink) the excess. Strain the whiskey mixture into the prepared glass; twist the piece of lemon peel over the glass, rub it once around the rim, and drop it in.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Utah Mixologist creates cocktail for ECNY Awards: The Rimshot

Last October, the Utah Mixologist was contacted by Carol Hartsell of the ECNY Awards to create a signature cocktail for the 2010 ECNY award program scheduled for March 8 at the Comix NY club in New York. The Mixologist threw himself into the task with gusto, mixing and drinking cocktail after cocktail until the dirty job (well, someone had to do it) was done. When he emerged from his secret cocktail lab, the Rimshot, a close relative of the Manhattan was born. The Rimshot has everything a good comedy routine needs: wry humor, bitterness, pratfalls, and a little sweet and a little sour. So if you like Rye whiskey or the Manhattan cocktail, give the Rimshot a try.

The Rimshot starts with 3 parts of wry humor (1 ½ oz Jim Beam Rye), half again as much pratfall humor (3/4 oz Noilly Prat Vermouth), add some ethnic bitterness (2 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters), then throw some fruit (a maraschino cherry) at the simpleton (1/4 oz simple syrup), and finish with an unexpected twist (a twist of lemon peel).

The Rimshot

1 ½ oz Jim Beam Rye

3/4 oz Noilly Prat Vermouth

1/4 oz simple syrup

2 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters

1 maraschino cherry

1 twist of lemon peel

Pour the liquid ingredients into a mixing glass 2/3 full of ice. Stir well and strain into a pre-chilled cocktail glass. Drop in a maraschino cherry. Twist the lemon peel over the top of the drink, rub the outside of the peel around the rim of the glass and drape the twist gracefully over the rim.