Ritz Cocktail

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Ritz, Cointreau, Cognac, maraschino – от этих слов согреется сердце коктейльного энтузиаста, это синонимы коктейльной роскоши, основы коктейльной традиции.

Ritz Cocktail was invented by Dale Degroff, and this fact is the only thing I knew about it when I enjoyed the cocktail for the first time. That was enough to awake my interest. A list of the cocktail’s ingredients looked so luxurious, it was pure temptation. Since that time I have no intention to look for more information about Ritz Cocktail. It’s one of my favourite cocktails with sparkling wine and that’s all I need to know about it.

The recipe appears like having some resemblances to Sidecar cocktail. Also Ritz Cocktail has similar noble and fine taste as well as Sidecar. I have no idea whether there is accidental likeness or not but definitely that’s an advantage in my opinion.

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Americano

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For a long time I thought that Americano is something like infantile version of splendid Negroni. As a gin lover, I always preferred Negroni as Americano was a natural outsider for me. But summer comes, and it’s a time to switch over to lighter and more refreshing drinks.

But I can’t imagine my cocktail life without Negroni, so I see gin exclusion as the only way to keep myself enjoying sophisticated mix of Campari and sweet vermouth.

Last summer monstrous heat confirms my thoughts. Two months without single rain and with 35-40°C temperature in the Moscow megalopolis were very hard time to drink strong alcohol so sparkling bittersweet Americano was a salvation for me.

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MxMo LVIII: Favorite Niche Spirit – Transalpine Cocktail

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Rare, little known and local spirits can bring cocktail experimenters to excited state. Often they have a peculiar taste. Definitely they add special ethnic flavour to well-known drinks. Also they help to obtain important experience in work with new spirits and understanding how to use them properly in cocktails.

Current «Mixology Monday» event is about similar topic. «Favourite niche spirits» is the theme for it, and the present MixMo hoster Filip from Adventures in Cocktails wants to see us making cocktails based on the «niche spirits» which are not from «Big Six»: whisk(e)y, rum, gin, vodka, tequila and Cognac.

Well, what a spirit to choose? Calvados, Armagnac, genever, kirschwasser, akvavit? Due to my Russian origin I should prefer samogon, an old Russian spirit which later became similar to American moonshine, but since ancient times is produced by many home distillers with a good quality – better than most vodka brands of today.

But recently I was in experiments with Bavarian apple and pear schnaps so the story how I got it was fresh in my memory. Once I’ve bought it in a souvenir shop when I visited a small village in Bavarian Alps. Also there was transparent spirit in a bottle with blue flowers on the label. «Oh, Enzian Schnaps (gentian schnaps)» – venerable shop owner told me when I’ve pointed at the bottle and asked what a spirit is it. Certainly I’ve bought it too!

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Screwdriver

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Summer comes, and people are going for drinking more refreshing cocktails. Even die-hard Martini lover like me starts to think about Tom Collins when buying another bottle of gin.

For a long time I was neglecting long drinks. Usually I would prefer to shake orange juice with gin and serve it straight instead of building orange juice with vodka over ice in a highball. Sometimes I was trying to avoid ice-cold drinks and not to catch cold, sometimes I just wanted straight and strong drink in the end of another hard day.

This time I have an intention to break my prejudice. The first long drink in the series will be Screwdriver, a mixture of vodka and orange juice.

I have no idea how matters stand in America but in Russia Screwdriver has a bad reputation thanks to ignorant bartenders who mix cheap vodka with surrogate juice.

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Thyme Cocktail

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It’s summer now, and everything around are in blossom. I have my wish for consuming fresh vegetables strengthened so for me greengrocery has became very popular place for shopping at least until next month when we expect to gather first vegetables at our countryside house’s garden.

Recently I’ve enjoyed black tea with thyme and lemongrass. It was quite tasty, and once I think about using thyme in cocktails. I wasn’t pondering long over future cocktail’s formula: neutral alcohol to underscore thyme aroma, syrup as sweetener and lemon juice to add more sharpness.

After a week of unhurried experiments I’ve got eventually my new cocktail with simple formula and simple name – Thyme Cocktail.

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Old Fashioned. The story continues

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For me, Old Fashioned cocktail is a pure inspiration. I love it made in traditional way with bourbon and also I love to tweak a bit the cocktail’s classic recipe.

My first post is dedicated to normal Old Fashioned. Current one is about all Old Fashioned variations I love so much.

In my work I applied two basic methods: a) to change a spirit and b) to replace (partially) syrup with a liqueur. Additionally I was trying to combine various bitters and extracts.

Another method  is to mix two or more brown spirits. In my opinion that’s a tricky way and today I feel I’m not ready to go in for these experiments. Now I just adopt another bloggers’ practices, and my latest effort was theSpeakista’s cocktail called Final Five. That’s not Old Fashioned but I dare suppose it a cocktail in Old Fashioned style. In any case, I’ve made two cocktail in similar manner and wrote about it below.

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S.I.P.#4: Old Fashioned

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Old Fashioned cocktail is the topic for the fourth round of our online imbibers party called S.I.P.

For me, this drink is an essence of cocktail culture. An icon. Or a symbol.

I prefer gin-based cocktails but when I have no idea what to drink tonight usually my choice is not Dry Martini but Old Fashioned. I love his strong character and his dry and sweet flavour. I love to make Old Fashioned, this simple procedure calms emotions and creates special atmosphere.

Old Fashioned is an immortal classics and an inspiration for creative boozing.

And that’s enough. Stop talking, take a bottle of whiskey and bring yourself down to make the cocktail.

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Inaugural Orange Punch

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It was first time when I made punch. There is no tradition to drink punches so for me it was something strange.  After long time of hesitation I started to look for a decent punch recipe, and Bombay Punch from Harry Johnson’s «New And Improved Bartendes’ Manual» was the option I scrutinized. But unexpectedly I’ve chose another recipe that I’ve saw recently at Chuck Taggart’s Looka! blog.

That was Andrew Jackson’s Inaugural Orange Punch containing interesting mulled orange syrup. I love to make and to use handcrafted components so I started my preparations immediately.

By the way, Chuck give a link to the source for the punch, the article in The Wall Street Journal by Eric Felten.

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Cidre Normandie

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After my thrilling experience with prosecco cocktails (here the first), I’ve turned to another fruit-based sparkling low-alcohol drink. Cider isn’t as popular as sparkling wine at least as a cocktail component.

There were some recipes but I had my doubts about mulled cider or shaken cocktails with cider included. So my cocktail was Champagne-based drink with calvados. Usually I substituted prosecco for Champagne therefore I didn’t hesitate to mix calvados with cider instead of  prosecco.

So Champagne Normandie has turned to Cidre Normandie.

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