Drinks for the front of your head!
Hello and welcome again to another exciting episode of the Gentlemen of Elegant Leisure. For that title to make sense, you’ve got to listen to the episode! Make sure you do because there is all sorts of important information in there that doesn’t necessarily get transferred to the blog page. Listen in and then come back here for the recipes!
As many people know once or twice a year Dave is kidnapped by some hillbilly monster people who capture him in a raccoon trap and take him to a secluded area somewhere in the Ozark Mountains. This unfortunate incident leaves the remaining gentlemen, Fred and Jason, to carry-on in his stead. This is no easy task. Oddly enough though, easy is exactly what we are after in this episodes two drinks, which can be described as both easy and peasy! This follows on a request from a listener who suggested easy cocktails for cocktail newbies. Both these drinks come from Dale DeGroff's wonderful book "The Essential Cocktail - The Art of Mixing Perfect Drinks", and as I say both are very easy yet deceptively complex.
First up is a Pimm's Cup which was invented by James Pimm way back in the mid-1800s. Mr. Pimm ran an oyster bar in London, which I assume also served some amount of liquor. Mr. Pimm eventually sold his business (and the rights to his name) to somebody else, and these people bottled his mixture for sale to other restaurants.
1 1/2 ounces Pimm's No. 1
Cucumber Spear, for garnish
Green apple slice, for garnish
Combine the Pimm's and 7-Up in a highball glass over ice. Garnish with the cucumber spear and apple slice.
Or ... You can do what they say on the bottle itself.
1 measure of Pimm's
2-3 measures of lemonade, 7-Up, ginger ale or sprite.
Add plenty of ice. Garnish with lemon orange or cucumber slice.
Either way, this is a super easy and super tasty drink. The Pimm's on it's own tastes like gin with big herbal overtones. The fizzy sweetness of the pop takes the edge off the gin and subdues the herbal flavors. All in all, a really good summer drink and so easy. All you have to do is be able to find Pimm's at your local liquor store, and that shouldn't be a problem. Make these out of sight of your guests, and they'll swear that you were slaving for hours over these.
Next up is a little gem called the Black Velvet. This one is from England in 1861 when (as Dale says in his book) England was in mourning over the death of Prince Albert. Everything was draped in black, including their champagne. Apparently the English have a long history of mixing beers and ales and stouts both with each other and with other liquors and this is no exception. This time out we're mixing Guinness Stout with champagne and you know what? It works. Give it a try.
The Black Velvet
In a Pilsner beer glass slowly pour together equal parts stout and Champagne.
Weird right? It's definitely not your usual cocktail. I wouldn't recommend trying this after a round of Bellinis or Mojitos because the flavour profile is so different, but on its own it's a pretty magical thing. The champagne cuts the sweetness and thickness of the stout, the stout cuts the tartness of the champagne. It's like medieval alchemy and you should give it a try. In fact you should give both these drinks a try. Your shopping list is so short…
Fizzy lemon pop
What are you waiting for? Go get them!
See you in two weeks and don't worry, Dave should be back by then.
Canada Day? Didn’t we already do an episode for Canada Day? Sure we did. This one’s different though. Remember we were afraid that to do a Canadian cocktail would mean that it would just be Rye and Maple Syrup? Well, just for the fun of it we searched our cocktail books for drinks that would have maple syrup, but would not just be your average run of the mill drinks. We found two tiki drinks that had maple syrup, and because we DIDN'T do them for Canada Day, we’re doin’ ‘em now. Think of it as Tikanada Day!
Now don’t be freaked out by the maple syrup. It’s just a sweetener remember. It’s not going to make your drink taste like pancakes. Quite the opposite. It makes your pancakes taste like a drink. But you’ve got to drink 4 or 5 of them for that to happen.
Anyway, gather your ingredients and your copy of Beachbum Berry Remixed and let’s get started. First up is the Hai Karate, created by Jeff “Beachbum” Berry in 1999!
by Jeff Berry, 1999. This version from “Beachbum Berry Remixed”, Club Tiki Press 2010
1 ounce lime juice
1 ounce unsweetened pineapple juice
1 ounce orange juice
1 teaspoon maple syrup (grade A only)
dash of Angostura bitters
2 ounces gold Virgin Islands rum
Shake well with ice cubes and pour unstrained into a tall glass. Garnish with an orange slice speared to a cocktail cherry.
Yummerino! This drink is great. Just like the cologne was. (At least it’s commercial was. Go ahead and click this link. to watch!) This drink has got a big kick of citrus and would be perfect in the morning instead of your usual plain old orange juice. You’d better make two of them and bring one for the boss so he know’s why your so sleepy around 10:15!
Next up is the Captain’s Grog. This drink is fabulous. Make it. Sip it. Love it.
from the Hukilau Room of the Captain’s Inn, Long Beach, CA circa 1962 and printed in “Beachbum Berry Remixed”, Club Tiki Press 2010
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce grapefruit juice
1/2 ounce maple syrup (grade A only)
1/2 ounce falernum
1/2 ounce orange Curaçao
3/4 ounce dark Jamaican Rum
3/4 ounce light Puerto Rican Rum (we used Havana Club 3 year Anejo)
3/4 ounce gold Puerto Rican Rum (we used Havana Club Anejo Reserva)
3 drops vanilla extract
3 drops almond extract
1 ounce soda water
Shake everything (except the soda) with ice cubes. Then add soda to the shaker and stir. Strain into a double old fashioned glass with an “ice cone” (if you’ve got one) or over crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.
Delicious, delicious, delicious! So well balanced. Truly a great drink!
So there you have it. Two great drinks to celebrate Tikanada Day! If you're wondering what a Canadian Tiki mug looks like, check out the house mug from the Shameful Tiki Room in Vancouver. A tiki huggin' a beaver. That's what Tikanada Day is all about Charlie Brown!
It’s Canada Day, up Canada way, and what better way to celebrate the 150th birthday of the True North, Strong and Free than with a couple of classy cocktails! Both of these cocktails are featured in the Summer issue of Taste magazine. Check it out right here.
Not only does it have these great recipes but of bunch of other ones too!
First up, since we’re in the Greater Vancouver area, is the Vancouver Cocktail. We believe this was first served up in The Sylvia Hotel in the 1950’s. Look at the Sylvia here. What an awesome place.
The Vancouver Cocktail
1 1/2 ounces Victoria Gin (we used a combo of Bombay Sapphire and Boodles)
1/4 ounce Sweet Vermouth (Martine Rosso)
1/4 ounce B&B (Benedictine and Brandy)
2 dashes orange bitters
Lemon peel for garnish
Stir ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and twist a lemon peel over the drink and use as a garnish.
This is a lovely drink and hard to pin down (just like Vancouver itself). All the flavours play well together and each one seems to get it’s own little part of the tongue to shine on. (just like Vancouver itself).
Next up, we travel across the country to Toronto and a zesty little drink they call the Toronto Cocktail. This drink may or may not have been created in England. Doesn’t matter, we’re making it anyway and you should too!
The Toronto Cocktail
2 ounces rye whiskey (we used Canadian Club 100% Rye)
1/4 ounce Fernet Branca
1/4 ounce simple syrup (1:1)
1 dash of Angostura Bitters
Orange peel for garnish
Stir ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and twist an orange peel over the drink and use as a garnish.
What a surprising drink (just like Toronto itself)! The Fernet Branca (which everybody is kind of afraid of) turns this drink into an amazingly flavourful voyage of discovery (just like Toronto itself)!
Both of these drinks are elegant and a little on the dry side. Neither of them are traditional Summer patio thirst quenchers. These are pre dinner, appetite enhancing marvels and we hope you give both of them a try.
When you do, raise your glasses and give a little toast to Canada. 150 years old is nothing to sneeze at, right?
Happy Canada Day everybody!
OH! I said I'd put a picture that I took of some Echinacea in here. Check this out. I bet you're feeling better already!
The Gentlemen of Elegant Leisure