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 Daisy

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Here is the third report about what I was drinking this summer. The first and the second were about Gin Fix and Tom & John Collins respectively. Now the post about Gin Daisy completes a story about gin summer adventures.

In my post about Gin Fix I’ve explained in details my vision concerning differences between Gin Fix and Gin Daisy. It’s just an opinion based on some old cocktail books and posts of respected bloggers as well.

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S.I.P.#5: Tom Collins

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The fifth S.I.P. event is coming, and the theme it brings in the spotlight is Tom Collins, an evergreen classic long drink.

Born John Collins, it was mentioned in Harry Johnson’s «New And Improved Bartenders’ Manual» in 1882. At that time Collins was based on Dutch gin also known as genever or jenever. When Old Tom gin has came to market, John Collins found a brother Tom Collins by name. In Tom Collins bartenders utilized English gin – Old Tom, Plymouth and London Dry, of course.

It was Tom Collins who has became popular long drink while his brother John remained little known because of genever’s limited availability.

In the second half of 20th century Americans have thought of John Collins. But for the newfound John they used bourbon whiskey and not genever. New thing is none other than forgotten old thing. Ironically, Americans pretend to be Tom Collins inventors and John Collins is a Britain-born long drink which was named after London Limmer’s Hotel bar waiter John Collins.

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Chanteuse

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This short post is about cocktail combined flavours of unique French liqueur Chartreuse, lemon juice and sparkling wine. There are two popular type of the liqueur – green and yellow, either of them is great in cocktails, and my story is about green Chartreuse, magnificent aromatic spirit with stunning strength of 55% ABV.

This factor is the cause why the liqueur has became base spirit for Chanteuse cocktail. Mixed with champagne and lemon juice, green Chartreuse offers complete solution in creating a cocktail with unique aroma and proper strength.

I’ve found this piece of state-of-the-art mixology at Married… with dinner blog and as far as I understand Anita and Cameron, a couple behind the blog, are the people who invented Chanteuse.

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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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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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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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