Margaritas – MxMo 82: Sours

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It’s been a month since my last post, but here I’m again answering the call from GinHound and Mixology Monday.

This is also Tiki Month at the PeguClub blog, with all the sun going on here, and the rainy cold winter on the other side of the globe, nothing better than a well concocted sour to wake up and refresh the body.

Andrea call us to go beyond the usual and take the sour to the next level.

See the round-up here.

Even though being very simple, a proper made sour has magical proprieties, but don’t worry, we always try to make it easy, because everybody deserves magical cocktails.

We’ve done it before with the Daiquiri, the Sidecar and the Gin Sour.
Although they might fit the usual formulas of 3:1:1, 4:1:2 and even 4:2:1, there’s always a secret lying within their perfections.

Take the Margarita for example, it is like a Sidecar, right?
But I digress, the Sidecar uses a spirit with a sweeter profile, while a 100% agave blanco tequila is quite dry and savory.

Add that to a 40% orange liqueur and you and up with a very good dry aperitif packing a good punch of booze, and if you don’t watch out and use a very light tequila like Cazadores you’ll end up with a Kamikaze, totally orange forward…

I prefer my margaritas with a little less alcoholic bite, but a nice tequila taste. Something like…

Margarita

  • 2oz 100% agave blanco Tequila
  • ½oz Cointreau
  • ½oz Simple Syrup 2:1
  • ¾oz  lime juice

Shake and strain into an ice filled rocks glass rimmed with salt.

Or just make it up, blue and without salt…

This split between liqueur and syrup is very useful and might be done to correct alcoholic strength or reinforce the base spirit.
You might even consider lowering the sweet and sour ratios to the base spirit, like a 4:1:1 Aviation, so you don’t get your base spirit drowned by your liquor.

Hope to have included one more cheat to bring the balance back!

Thanks to Andrea and Fred Yarm for keeping the flame alive…

Saúde

MxMo: H2O Highballs

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January is the month to put things in order and start the year with the right foot.

In this month’s MxMo, Joel from SouthernAsh, a nice blog about booze, cigar and other “man stuff”, invites us to share our favorites highballs, that one to just get laid back with your mind on your money.

Make sure to check out the RoundUp.

I really like for myself a dry cocktail, trying to utilize the minimum amount of sugar to achieve balance.

I really enjoy some Bacardi Rickeys and Yerba Matte Iced Tea with or without some booze.

Tea is a great way to add flavors without the need to add sugar, be it hibiscus, pineapple or green tea, those healty “skinny” cocktails are all the rage, and you can get them done really simple without artificial sweetners.

I have already done some taste MojiTea with cold infused green tea in sparkling water. Delicious!

But another fun way to add nice flavors to highballs is the Kathy Casey’s H2O cocktails.

Just as simple as that, make some flavored water and add some really quality booze.

H20 Highball Template

  • 1½oz Spirit
  • 4oz Flavored Water

Stir and strain into a beautiful glass.

For my water I used strawberries, hibiscus and cinnamon.

Strawberry Hibiscus Water

  • 1 cup Strawberries
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2oz dried hibiscus flowers

Place all the ingredients in a nice bucket and let it sit for 4h, at least, in your refrigerator.
Don’t muddle the strawberries.

Make sure to use a spirit that will enhance your water, a good quality vodka is a no-brainer here, but you can make one ingredient to enhance the other, maybe some floral-citrus water with gin, or refreshing and herbal with tequila.

Simple and effective a nice way to relax and enjoy all those fresh flavors without any guilt.

Thanks Joel and Fred for hosting the event, see you all in Tiki February!

Saúde!

Mapa da Cachaça – amazing Brazilian site now in English

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I’m very proud to see that Mapa da Cachaça is being translated to english now.

This is a joint operation with Avuá Cachaça, to make the translations.

In their own words (but my translation), Mapa da Cachaça is intended to:

  • Show the importance of cachaça’s ,and other beverages, conscious consumption;
  • Show cachaça as a cultural identity of brazilians;
  • Share and appreciate a brazilian heritage, cachaça has over 450 years;
  • Highlight the premium cachaças without no commercial interest in this;
  • Make this along with friends and people who we’d share a glass of “caninha”.

They have a series of good articles still in Portuguese, and even a not finished project about the influences of different woods in the aging process.
Which was inspiration for a previous post of mine.

Saúde!

Sazerac – MxMo LXXX: Anise

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Sazerac from the scratch

Sazerac from the scratch

 

Nothing says holidays better than spices!
This months MxMo theme is Anise and the host is Nick of The Shorter Straw.

The round-up can be check here.

Anise for me is a love/hate ingredient and it can bring brightness to a cocktail but it can also bring a terrifying taste of the blue aniseed that tasted like All flavors jelly beans from my childhood.

All in all, I really like when anise flavors are well used and in balance with the overall cocktail.

The usual match for anise is smoke or pineapple, I like that pair a lot. Two cocktails that employ this maneuver are the Kingston Club and the Adlon, but you can also think about the Rusty Nail.

My cocktail will be a Sazerac which I made with Zacapa 23, although I know the base spirit should be dry the Zacapa really stood tall in this one, but I think that a drier base would push the anise more forward and make the cocktail brighter.

Since there`s not much to talk about, I`ll present my method for making old fashioneds.

Sazerac

  • 3oz Zacapa 23
  • oz Simple Syrup
  • 3ds Creole Bitters
  • Absinthe (substitute) to rinse the glass

Put the simple syrup and the bitters and half fill the glass with ice. Let it sit for some minutes, these will allow the syrup to thicken, give it a stir, add the base spirit, to with ice and stir to integrate the syrup with the base.

I think this method gives a better texture, I call it glass-aging.

After that, rinse a chilled rocks glass with the Absinthe. Strain & express lemon oils on top, discard the peel.

(If you don`t like any anise at all, you can try the Morandi`s Sazerac…)

As I said the Zacapa was enhanced in the cocktail, just as any old-fashioned should be, missed some bright anise.

Will try latter with a drier base.

Happy Holidays to you folks, thanks for Nick and Fred for hosting our cocktail party!

Saúde!

2013 Review

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This year was a really good year to me, I joined a brand new bar and learned a lot while helping it grow.

I also started my own consulting & catering brand: Ducktails – Bartending & Beverage Solutions.

Besides that, my life is doing great, I’m living with the one I love!

But also, this was a great year for my cocktails understanding grow and also for my bar-tending skills to improve.

I’ll re-link 5 important post for me this year, those were good lessons.

  1. Understand that everything is thought and intended to improve your guest experience;
  2. Better non-alcoholic cocktails really improve your guest happiness;
  3. Understand better what makes certain cocktail, build upon that;
  4. Also understand better your ingredients, know when to use what;
  5. And also understanding better your ingredients will make you know what goes well with what.

Although very simple, those 5 concepts are very strong building blocks for blowing custermer’s mind!
Much thanks for my blog-friends, friends, bartender brothers, and to my beloved baby!
Saúde!

P.S.:
As remembered by Rafael in the comments, I put to use all the 5 ingredients that I listed a year ago:

  1. Herbs: I made my own spiced rum and put rosemary and hibiscus in my cocktails;
  2. Shrubs: I made one, but it’s not accessible, doesn’t have a good smell and is very tart, have to work hard on this;
  3. Tinctures: I made my own orange bitters;
  4. Vermuth: I got to use it a lot more, along with bitters, like Cynar, Aperol and Campari;
  5. Beer: I can’t get enought of beermosas, shandys and even made a beertail for Grey Goose Vive la Revolucion, besides tasting a lot of beers!

Hard Shake & Hosting

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The Japanese school of bar-tending is very famous for the hard shake, I really didn’t catch the fuzz until I understood that although your shaking technique won’t influence your dilution, you can influence your mouthfeel, furthermore, as said by Mr. Ueno, it influences your hosting!

ice

In this interesting video I found a couple of weeks ago, Ueno points out that:

  • For the Hard shake you can’t shake hard!
    The main reason for this:
    - You want to keep your ability to talk, a thing you can’t do while shaking really hard.

This philosophy is really what matter for me, you can’t replicate the aeration if you don’t have access to beautiful crystal clear ice, and although that isn’t possible in your bar environment, you can rethink your shaking technique so it reflects in a better hosting experience.

Saúde!

Somerset (MxMo: Resin)

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It’s that time of the month again, and although I’m writing very little, Mixology Monday can’t be left behind.

This month’s theme is Resin, a nice theme from our hosts of BoozeNerds!

My first cocktail (yes, there will be a second) is a play on the Fitzgerald that I’ve already cited in here, but never made it, it’s the

Somerset  (12bottlebar)

  • 1½oz London Dry Gin
  • ½oz lemon juice
  • ½oz Rosemary Syrup
  • 1ds Angostura bitters

Shake & Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon oils, or a rosemary sprig.

This cocktail was very refreshing and I can see my bottle of rosemery syrup ending in a short future.
With fresh lemon aroma, the taste was bright resin-y rosemary and gin with citrus freshness and the Ango helped the finish playing along with the citrus notes.

Wait for the next post where we’ll have Cedar Syrup made from scratch!

Saúde!

Hemingway Daiquiri – MxMo LXXVII: Intercontinental

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What can bring worlds together better than a cocktail?

As Embury said:

The well-made cocktail is one of the most gracious of drinks.It pleases the senses. The shared delight of those who partake in common of this refreshing nectar breaks the ice of formal reserve. Taut nerves relax; taut muscles relax; tired eyes brighten; tongues loosen; friendships deepen; the whole world becomes a better place in which to live.

This MxMo is hosted by Stewart of PutneyFarm and the theme is Intercontinental.
“Let’s celebrate the global reach of cocktails with an “Intercontinental” Mixology Monday challenge”

For the full run down, please visit his site here!

MxMo is always a time to force yourself and do something different, never tried before.
Although many of you have already taken a Hemingway Daiquiri, I have never.

The Hemingway Daiquiri evokes the get-together-ness of cocktails.

Imagine yourself going into a bar to use the bathroom and seeing a beautiful cocktail, that starts a conversation and 16 drams latter you say that you will only drink Daiquiris in that bar!

That’s the magic!

HDaiq

Hemingway Daiquiri

  • 2oz white Rum   (America)
  • ½oz lime juice    (Asia)
  • ½oz grapefruit juice
  • ½oz simple syrup
  • 1 bsp Maraschino liqueur (Europe)

SHAKE long and serve in a cocktail glass.
Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Although the recipe has various interpretations, this is a Daiquiri with a hint of Maraschino liqueur and grapefruit.

This one was really good and refreshing just as it should.
Luxardo Maraschino blended really well with the kinda funky flavors from Bacardi Superior.

Besides the maraschino heavy notes you get refreshing citrus flavors, but that’s not your usual daiquiri, this isn’t clean lime with a touch of sweetness, that has a good complexity although I couldn’t taste the grapefruit too much.

Frozen

I also did a blended version, that was very light and you can see that taking 16 in a day isn’t very dificult.

Let’s celebrate!
Saúde!

Rangpur Lime

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As a homemade ingredient for my Vive La Revolucion cocktail I decided to make a rangpur jam.

Rangpur here in Minas Gerais are called Devil’s Lime and until recently I thought it was a native fruit, but it is actually Indian. Tanqueray has even made a Rangup Gin!

Rangpur has a very nice aroma, reminding lemon aromatics, but it is also very sour, like a lime or even more. An wonderful fruit, that you can get almost everywhere countryside.  The leaves also have the same aroma as the skin.

Some fungus quickly grow in the fruit skin, leaving it with white spots.

My inspiration for the jam came from Putney Farm.

I was thinking about using just a cordial.

But the jam would take my texture to a next level, and along with the jam idea came the beer idea, but that’s in the next post only.

To the recipes now:

Rangpur cordial

  • 6 rangpur zested
  • 1 part sugar
  • 1 part rangpur juice

Make a oleo-saccharum with the sugar and zests, then strain the juice and mix with the sugar until dissolved. Strain the peels and bottle.

This cold method will save all the aromatics from the peel.

Rangpur jam

  • 6 rangpur
  • sugar
  • water

Cut the rangpur in half, lengthwise, cut the white pith, remove the seeds. Collect the dripping juice from the process above and also squeeze the piths to remove juice.

Cook the limes with water until soft enought to pierce them with a fork.
Strain and puree, just enought to break the peel into little pieces.
Mix equal parts puree and sugar and let macerate for 8 hours or so.

Boil the mixture, reduce the fire and keep stirring until you can easily see the bottom of your pan.
Bottle in a clean jar.
Enjoy!

Saúde!

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