1. I finally gave in and started myself a tumblr.
2. I realized that all the creaky nuts and bolts in my brain that start turning when I cook also rev up when reading about proper cocktails. I fear, o my brothers, that I am becoming a liquor snob. To that end, here's my current bar (limited, of course, by my budget):
- Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey
- Ruskova Vodka
- Green Chartreuse
- Leroux Creme de Cacao
- Paolo Lazzaroni & Figli Maraschino
- Kraken Black Rum
Some cocktails I've enjoyed with that bizarre collection of bottles (NB: when I mean juice, I write juice; if not assume the real thing):
Courtesy of Phil Ward at Death & Co, a bar I almost had the pleasure of visiting a few weeks ago when I was in the East Village. Rye, green chartreuse, maraschino, and lemon juice-- had to sub in Jack for the rye, and while it was still incredibly delicious, the sweetness of the Jack was really too much. Still, one of the best cocktails I've had recently-- go for it.
What it's supposed to be: gold rum, pineapple, lime juice, green chartreuse, white creme de cacao.
What I drank: that, with regular creme de cacao instead (was lucky enough to be with a friend who had some gold rum on hand at the time).
I am always pretty skeptical of creme de cacao and bought it only because I've heard it can work wonders with chartreuse, so expect some experimentation on that front. This one, at least, was pretty good.
Put this one in quotes because I'm not sure how fair it is to call this a julep, but hey, I had some ginger beer laying around I'd been meaning to get rid of, so why not? Bourbon (used Jack), simple syrup (skipped it), ginger beer, pineapple, and mint. I didn't have any mint, and man was I sad-- this is a perfectly passable summer drink as is, but I think the mint would've leveled it up.
This sounded fascinating right from the start: black rum, light rum, pineapple juice, balsamic reduction, and ginger beer. I wanted to try this just to see how the balsamic reduction fit in, but by the time I got to it (I was at a friend's showing off my new shaker that night) I was too lazy to whip some up. So, minus the balsamic, and with gold instead of light, it's certainly tasty, but nothing particularly interesting, and I can think of better things to do with the Kraken. I do intend to mix it up proper at some point, though, so stay tuned.
With all that in mind, what do you suggest? I know, I know, I need to get my hands on some gin if I really want to mix with chartreuse, and probably pick up some blood orange bitters-- but if you have suggestions, fire away!
*I like Kahlua in espresso "martinis", sometimes. There, I said it. Your disdain has no power over me.