MixMo LXXIII: Witches’ Garden – Southside

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May is a month when vegetal world starts to flourish. So this month’s Mixology Monday event has been awarded with an appropriate spring-related theme. It was cleverly called «Witches’ Garden» by Mark Holmes who hosts the event at his Cardiff Cocktails tumblr.
Here is an excerpt from explanations that Mark gave in his announcement post:

 

As far back as we can look, the use of fresh herbs have been prevalent in the world of mixed drinks. From the early days of the julep, through Williams Terrington’s 19th century Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks, to Don the Beachcomber’s ahead of their time Tiki drinks, fresh herbs have always been at the forefront of mixology. So lets take influence from the bartenders that once ruled the world of mixology, raid your herb garden that too often gets neglected, and start mixing.

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M5 Raspberry Punch

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Last summer was a busy time for me. I’ve planned to produce some homemade infusions and liqueurs and spent a lot of time gathering berries, fruits and herbs, selecting and preparing them and eventually infusing various spirits with selected stuff.

Raspberry infused gin was the first point in my to-do list. I’ve decided it in winter when I’ve enjoyed Clover Club with raspberry syrup time after time. But that’s not the only cocktail where raspberry gin could be used. Many gin-based cocktails and longdrinks definitely benefit from substituting raspberry infused gin for regular one. But the first drink where I’ve started to use my raspberry gin was a punch variation which has been improvised by myself once when I’ve wanted to drink something refreshing and berry-flavoured.

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Gin Fix

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I have a secret: my favourite summer drinks are based on gin so it’s not Mojito or Paloma but Tom Collins, Gin Fizz, Gin Fix, Gin Daisy, Gin Smash etc. I found it a bit weird when I saw people going mad about Mojito or Cuba Libre. Sure, rum is exceptional in tiki but I can’t imagine summer without dry Gin & Tonic or Negroni.

So I’m going to talk about simple long drinks with gin, lemon juice and sugar. Honestly, I don’t know how far I’ll go but Gin Fix is the first drink I want to talk about.

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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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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.#3: Manhattan

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Our third S.I.P. event is dedicated to another cocktail icon called Manhattan as well as its numerous variations made with other whiskey (whisky) and vermouths (or aperitifs and maybe amari).

For me, Manhattan is a counterpoise for Dry Martini. Warm, sweet and spicy side of cocktails against dry and bitter world of clear and cold gin flavoured with drops of vermouth. Brown spirits versus crystal clear alcohol, Alpha and Omega of cocktail world.

I’m not interested in stories about Manhattan. I just enjoy it when I get tired of other cocktails – classic of modern, it doesn’t matter. Manhattan is the special mood, the atmosphere of calm and confidence.

The never-ending experiment with whiskey and vermouth pairing. The search for the best additions – bitters or liqueurs. Much attention to details, technique improvement. Careful sipping, enjoying aroma, appearance and taste. It’s a more than cocktail, almost a lifestyle.

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Tuxedo Cocktail

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I’ve learnt about Tuxedo cocktail from David Wondrich’s Esquire Drink Database. So I thought that it’s made exclusively with sherry. Once enjoying Tuxedo with genever and dry sherry, I started to search for more information about this cocktail. To my shame, it appears that Tuxedo was a well-known and popular cocktail in the first half of 20th century.
The oldest source I could find, Harry Johnson’s «New And Improved Bartendes’ Manual» described Tuxedo as a cocktail with French vermouth, not sherry.

Later sources, «The Savoy Cocktail Book» and «Approved Cocktails, authorized by UK bartenders guild» also mentioned Tuxedo with vermouth. Moreover, «The Savoy Cocktail Book» contains two Tuxedo versions.

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