MxMo XLX: Brown, Bitter and Stirred – Rendevous

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Mixology Monday is in action again, and that’s great!

Thanks to Lindsey Johnson, next MixMo event is hosted at her Brown Bitter and Stirred blog. And the theme for the event is the same – Brown, Bitter and Stirred!

I like bitter cocktails very much so that’s nice to make something like Rob Roy or Manhattan. But later I changed my mind and decided to be more orthodoxal. No bourbon, no rum and no scotch. Only dry London gin – bitter and strong. And as regards requested brown colour, Italian amari can tint my gin.

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The Transfiguration Day

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That was inspired by Cheri Loughlin’s article about Drambuie. Some cocktails mentioned there imprinted themselves in my mind. One of them, The Forty-Five, was earlier on my blog, adapted and tried with various whiskies.

Created by Jamie Stephenson, Drambuie global ambassador, Renaissance is another cocktail with Drambuie I like very much. And for me, it was another target to adaptation and changing.

My experiments with Renaissance were very productive so eventually  the recipe has been heavily changed, and I decided to rename it to The Transfiguration Day because…

Because the taste of the new drink reminded me of  our patrimonial tradition to celebrate together old Russian Orthodox  feast called Yablochny Spas, or The Transfiguration Day.

Maybe it was too conceitedly but my remembrances were too lively. I could’n resist that temptation.

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Gin Basil Smash

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We have an abnormal hot weather here in Moscow. No rains, dust, burning hot stone. Absolutely no intention to do anything. Cocktails I drink now are extremely simple.

But there was one exception when I have been told to use some basil we gathered at our garden. Gin Basil Smash, a cocktail I saw at  Gin, Not Vodka was so interesting, and I’ve summoned all my strength to do it.

By the way, Daniel Nadasi in his article about Gin Basil Smash mentioned that Jay Oh Gosh! Earlier wrote about it too. And Jay mentioned that Gin Basil Smash has been invented at Le Lion Bar in Hamburg, the place which Daniel Nadasi visited before writing that article (and the place that article was about).

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One day I’ve red a little story about a cocktail made by Murray Stenson, bartender at Zig Zag Café, Seattle, USA. That article has been written by well-known mixology expert Gary Regan for his San Francisco Chronicle column. It was very warm-hearted text among other things.

I was intrigued with such complex ingredients combination – whiskey and equal parts of cherry brandy, lime and Fernet Branca.

That cocktail is called Porteño. As far as I know it means Argentinean who lives in Buenos Aires. Another interesting fact is that Argentineans are mad about Fernet. While all world drinks Coca-Cola with rum, they drink Fernando – Coca-Cola mixed with Fernet.

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Baltic Martini

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Vodka-based Martinis now become an everybody’s fad. A lot of recipes, variety of vodkas – flavoured or not, juices, liqueurs, bitters… Crazy times, crazy drinks.

I have to admit that recently I’ve gave up and started to invent my own Martinis too.

Here is one of that recipes. I’ve called it «Baltic Martini» because of Riga black balsam and Finlandia Vodka used there. The third ingredient is homemade black currant infusion traditionally made in Central and Northern Russia.

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Auchentoshan Classic Single Malt Scotch Whisky

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Auchentoshan Classic Single Malt Whisky is another attempt to release a single malt whisky for beginners at a reasonable price. Such whiskies are very attractive because of their extremely low prices but some doubts about their quality are present though.

I had have the experience testing similar Bowmore Distillery product, and the result of that test encourages me to taste another young single malt scotch.

Auchentoshan Classic is produced at Auchentoshan Distillery, one of only three distilleries located in the Lowland region.

It’s known that Lowland whiskies are smooth and delicate. Auchentoshan Distillery traditionally uses triple distillation and unpeated malt so accordingly press release spirits produced there have especially mild flavour.

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The Forty-Five

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There are a lot of alcohol combinations which now became classic. These combinations are so good that you’re always reverting to it and think that you do need any others.

Whiskey (and whisky too) with sweet vermouth create such combination, a wonderful duet, an exceptional base for further experiments. Well-known Manhattan (with bourbon or rye) or Rob Roy and Bobby Burns Cocktail (with scotch), it all are just three great cocktails among dozens of other good ones in which whiskey mixes with sweet vermouth.

The Forty-Five recipe has been found at Drambuie American promo-website. Another place where the cocktail was mentioned is The Intoxicologist blog. The article about cocktails based on Drambuie liqueur is awesome as well as most of other posts there.

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Belgian beer round-up #1

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Almost ten years are gone since I’ve fell in love with liquors.

To be honest, nor whisky nor cognac or other noble spirits were the reason for my love. It was beer that caught me and turned me to alcohol enthusiast.

Yes, it wasn’t just cheap lager but German weizenbier (wheat beer) and  rauchbier (smoked beer), Czech velvet beer and other unusual things. And the most interesting beer for me were Belgian ales.

This is short Belgian beer round-up, just three kinds among others I sipped recently: two ales and one kriek.

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Bourbon Sours

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For some time bourbons became my favourite strong alcohol I’m used to utilize in cocktails.

I think the perfect companion for bourbon is fresh orange juice possibly with lime juice or syrups to bring sweetness and sourness to the balance. I’ve knew it from my own experience but later I’ve got that this combination is well-known so I’ve ended my attempts to find a perfect recipe and started to search for the known mixologists’ cocktails.

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