Tuesday, April 26

Baltimore Bracer Cocktail

A bracer cocktail seems to be one that has Anisette or some other Anise-flavored liqueur in it. This one is apparently from Balitmore.

Baltimore Bracer Cocktail:
  • 1 oz. brandy
  • 1 oz. Anisette
  • white of an egg
Double shake and strain into 4 oz. Cocktail glass.

This is a pretty good cocktail. Egg really adds a whole other dimension of texture to drinks, and here it mellows things out. I really like the combination of anisette and brandy, and the egg draws it all together. If you're still afraid of raw egg in a cocktail, I think you're missing out on a lot...

This is definitely a keeper. A good, quick drink for when you need, well, something bracing.

Tuesday, April 19

Need to play acoustic AND electric?

So as is apparently my style, I posted furiously for a few days and then did nothing for a week. This has got to be murder on my readership (if any), but maybe it will make it sound cooler if I say that I was busy working on side-projects. That's what rock-stars do, right? Side-projects? Like when Bono teams up with Elton John to...help him move his couch...or...something. Bam. Side-project.

Anyway, despite the fact that I haven't said anything much about guitars in a while, there have been some updates/upgrades/poor decision-making on my part that you'll likely be hearing about in the next few days, but the punchline is that I have actually been quite busy over the last month, playing a lot of guitar and leading a lot of worship. Basically, playing music rather than writing about the things that help me play music. I thought I'd tease you with a shot of what I've been rolling with for about a month now. It's a good, small board for leading via acoustic or electric that has everything I need and nothing I don't and manages to get it all onto one Pedaltrain Jr.

It also draws inspiration from Kristian Stanfill, because of course I can never just make my own decisions, but the idea is, like he says there, just to have some basic electric tones and to let your electric guitarist really do his thing, not step on any toes, things like that. But The acoustic side runs through the Hardwire tuner, the Fishman magic pedal and the Strymon OB.1 and then to my direct box and on out to the house. The electric goes through the Boss tuner, the MXR compressor, the Tubescreamer and the Boss DD-7 to the amp. This lets me do a lot of rhythmic things, clean or dirty, and lets the guy who is focused on making electric guitar noises make the crazy, lead-sounding ones. And of course this board is getting broken up as we speak because I'm going to be playing with my big electric board over the Easter weekend...but I'll probably come back to this, or something like it, very often. Maybe with some reverb, too.....

Tuesday, April 5

Bachelor's Bait Cocktail

...wow. What an incredible name.

Bachelor's Bait Cocktail:
  • 1 1/2 oz. gin
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • 1/2 tsp. grenadine
  • white of one egg
Shake and strain into 4 oz. Cocktail glass.

This really is quite delicious, though I think I probably put closer to two dashes of orange bitters in than one. But I love the egg white, as it really mellows out a drink that otherwise is all alcohol and doesn't taste at all like it. Which makes me laugh even more at the name, as I'm sure it could very well have been the Appletini of the 1930's. Definitely one for anyone who likes tasty things and would recoil a bit at a strongly alcoholic drink. Like a beautiful young lady. Or pretty much anyone today. But the lots of gin plus the hint of orange and grenadine really meld well with the frothy egg white to make this a really delightful drink with a (presumably) wonderful back-story.

Also note, since it's a drink with egg in it, I employed the dry-shake method first with the spring from a Hawthorne strainer to whip it up nicely and emulsify the egg, after which I put in the ice and shook it to chill. While it's definitely possible to get the same great texture without using this method, it takes literally ninety seconds or so of good, hard shaking which will really wear you out. Use this little trick and enjoy the benefits of technology.

Bacardi Cocktail

Here we have a cocktail that shows us evidence of just how old (and actually distinguished/legit) Bacardi is as a company. Interestingly enough, they started out in Cuba and the recipe and/or process hasn't really changed much, so when you're looking for a good Cuban rum (say, for your Daiquiri or your Mojito), Bacardi is not only a cheap brand, but it's actually very stylistically faithful.

Bacardi Cocktail:
  • 1 1/2 oz. Bacardi rum
  • Juice of 1/2 of a lime
  • 1/2 tsp. Grenadine
Shake and strain into 3 oz. Cocktail glass.

Taste-wise, it's very like a Daiquiri, by which I mean, the cocktail invented long, long ago, and not just the fruit syrup mixed with rum that you get today. The main difference is that it's much more tart, in that the only sweetening ingredient is the grenadine, and there's not much of that. But it does contribute a nice, cheerful pink color.

Not super well-balanced from a sweet/sour perspective, but this is also a classic, so maybe that's okay. Maybe not. I'd just go for a bit more balance.