Thursday, July 28

Teaser post.

I'm going to be out of town for more than a week. Here's something to tide you over.

Monday, July 25

Beauty Spot Cocktail

Another twist on the Bronx.

Beauty Spot Cocktail:
  • 1 oz. Gin
  • 1/2 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 1 tsp orange juice
Shake and strain into 3 oz. cocktail glass with dash of grenadine in the bottom.

A few things to learn from this one. First, it's maybe my favorite variant of a Bronx, being basically a "perfect" Bronx cocktail with some grenadine thrown in. Here, "perfect" is shorthand for having equal parts dry and sweet vermouth, rather than one or the other. As you'll probably see if I ever get around to it, it's a pretty common term. But the dash of grenadine is a nice touch, adding both in terms of presentation and flavor profile.

Next, and I can't stress this enough, fresh orange juice. The difference between just taking an orange, cutting it in half and squeezing out a bit of juice, versus using the preservative-and-sugar-laden store-bought stuff or the stuff from concentrate is, well, incredible. Something gets lost in translation when you use the frozen concentrate stuff, and the juice from a carton tastes like an approximation of orange juice. What it lacks in flavor, it makes up for in sweetness. Both of which are not strong qualities in a cocktail ingredient. So use fresh juice whenever you can swing it, which, in North America, is pretty much year-round.

And lastly, you'll find the Bronx is fine. It's not my fave, as I tend to find a drink that includes orange juice to be somewhat lacking, but this one came together nicely. Probably a 4 out of 5, if you'd like an arbitrary ratings system....

Wednesday, July 20

Beals Cocktail

Here we have another scotch-based cocktail, but this one is a bit more balanced.

Beals Cocktail:
  • 1 1/2 oz. scotch
  • 1/2 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
Stir and strain into 3 oz. cocktail glass.

I've often heard that if you want to take a dominant ingredient and make it play well with others, you have to introduce an equally dominant ingredient. Fight fire with fire, if you will. Well, there's not much to dry vermouth, but sweet vermouth has a bit more...character. Dry vermouth is understandably more refreshing and light, whereas sweet vermouth is, well, sweet. And deeper in flavor. Simply adding a bit of sweet vermouth really does do a lot to balance things out. It's still very, very heavy on the flavors in the scotch, but it's bearable. Not my favorite, but yeah. Bearable. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but then, there really aren't a lot of "good" classic scotch cocktails. For a reason.

Tuesday, July 19

Beadlestone Cocktail

Beadlestone Cocktail:
  • 1 1/2 oz. scotch
  • 1 1/2 oz. French (dry) vermouth
Stir and strain into 3 oz. Cocktail glass.

Man...scotch is hard to mix with. I know I keep saying that, but even I, who happen to love scotch, had a rough time with this one. Granted, the old half-and-half isn't exactly the golden ratio of mixology, and with something as mild as dry vermouth, it's no wonder that this didn't quite work out. Not sure what else to say, other than "no."

I tried to get cutesy with the picture, though. So I guess that's something....

Thursday, July 14


So I went to start doing some recording when I realized that I didn't have ProTools on my computer anymore! That was kind of a shocker. But, now it's remedied, and I'll be doing some recording.

That's really all I had to say. I've gotten like 4 new pieces of gear since I last updated all that, and am rapidly approaching a fifth, so there's some stuff in the back-logs that I'll get to once life slows down just a tad, but for anyone in youth ministry, I'm sure you can appreciate just how busy summers can be!

Friday, July 1

Barton Special Cocktail

Barton Special Cocktail:
  • 1 1/2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz apple brandy
  • 1/2 oz scotch whisky
Stir with cracked ice and strain into 3 oz. Cocktail glass.

Oof. This is one of those cocktails for someone who likes alcohol. I've kind of touched on it before, but there are a few things that put a "cocktail" apart from a "drink", as commonly imbibed by your typical sorority sister. One of the more....uncompromising detail is that, if you're drinking, you should taste the alcohol. This one definitely passes that test.

A few potential reasons for it. The obvious is, it's alcohol mixed with more alcohol and a bit of water. But besides that, the scotch I'm using definitely isn't the smoothest. Granted, that's 100% by design. Scotch is really hard to mix with in general since it's such a stringent spirit, but great scotch is incredibly smooth. It's also hundreds of dollars. Decent scotch, like what I'm using, is a pretty good middle-ground between taste and dollars, but again, when you're mixing, it's often....fussy. In cocktails. Otherwise it's straight-up manly.

But yes, an intense cocktail. I'm not going to give it full marks because it's a little too much, which is saying something when you've had as much experience with alcohol as I have. But the combination of the smokiness of the scotch and the apple from the apple brandy is really nice, so maybe there's something there, waiting to be discovered....