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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French 75

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Recently I’ve opened a bottle of prosecco bought in Christmas sale. Springs comes, and it seems like the time to get some fizzy booze, light at the tongue and strong when getting into our heads.

My choice was a cocktail based on the combination I can’t resist – gin, lemon juice and sugar. Yes, I love Tom Collins and I considered French 75 as Tom Collins with sparkling wine instead of soda water.

This cocktail is old and popular so Internet has provided me with tons of French 75 recipes. But I decided to seek advice in «The Savoy Cocktail Book», my favourite source of classic cocktails.

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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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The Remaining Balance

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Here is the document I started almost a year ago. That became something like a ritual. When buying new single malt whisky, I eventually ended up using the whisky in this magnificent cocktail.

Now I told myself to stop and to write this post. I’m continuing with buying and drinking Scotch whisky but  I need to comprehend all my emotions and experience. And for me, the best way to do it is to write about it.

All that started when I was browsing Imbibe website. I’ve took many ideas from there, and The Remaining Balance cocktail recipe by Jason Littrell was one of them.

Imagine a mixture of Grand Marnier, two single malt whiskies, amaro and two bitters. Sophisticated bizarre mix? Not for me! My love to Scotch whisky and experimenter ‘s itch gave me no chances to leave the cocktail unnoticed.

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Borden Chase

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I’m continuing with my Scotch whisky experiments. Now I’m about to learn Borden Chase, one more cocktail based on wonderful combination of Italian vermouth and Scotch whisky.

This cocktail should be called Rob Roy variation but if it were not for pastis. With pastis and orange bitters, this cocktail turns to something unique. Yes, there are Rob Roy Holiday Style and Bobby Burns with lightly anise-flavoured Drambuie and Benedictine, respectively. And there is almost identical Robert Burns Cocktail. But at first I’ve known it as Borden Chase at David Wondrich’s Esquire drinks database.

Both Drambuie and Benedictine work perfectly with whisky so I thought that pastis’ strong anise note could be nice addition to Scotch whisky flavour.

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The Smoking Gun

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Here is one more cocktail with single malt scotch whisky. That looks unusual but personally I love this trend.

The Smoking Gun was created by bartender Mark Allen, Red Feather Lounge, Boise, Idaho.

In this recipe Fernet combines with peaty scotch – unusual and a bit audacious decision at first sight. Both spirits ain’t components in general use. Quite the reverse, they look like very unfriendly when mixing with other spirits. But here is the case when first sight is absolutely wrong.

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The Dreamy Dorini Smokin’ Martini

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As you know, Martini Cocktail is very popular one and has lots and lots of varieties which often have nothing in common with classic Martini.

As a conservative person, I love traditional approach and always make old good Dry Martini including Vodka Martini, one of my favourite nightcaps.

Smoky Martini is the creation of dazzling «Libation Goddes» Audrey Saunders. The recipe looks very nice, audacious and austere at the same time. It was luring me, and once I’ve gave in to it.

When reading «Thinking Bartender Barbook» by George Sinclair, I’ve saw there this recipe with gorgeous title «The Dreamy Dorini Smokin’ Martini» and decided to make t immediately.

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D’Artagnan’s Wish

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As I wrote earlier, I love to spend my time lurking on cocktail blogs and sipping a nice drink. One day I was reading Kaiser Penguin blog, one of my favourite blogs, thanks and respect to Rick , the author (Sorry if I’m wrong…).

There is a nice recipe called “D’Artagnan’s Wish”.

I’ve red it carefully and said – “Wow! I have all ingredients for it, and it looks very-very-very interesting. I should make it immediately!” Then I went and made it.

After first sip my reaction was “Oh dear Lord! Man, bookmark this page quickly! No, no, don’t bookmark, just save it as PDF!!!”

It was a great experience, a moment of pleasure. And I later I felt that I have to write about it.

The essence of this cocktail is a combination of very different flavours of Demerara rum and heavy peated and smoked Islay single malt whisky. They look like different but their combination set me thinking about their similarity.

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Flora’s Own

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Some cocktails have been created to be stylish.

Genius take classic ingredients, mix it in good proportions and… A little magic, and now we have Dry Martini, Manhattan, Margarita and a lot of other good cocktails men like to drink.

But what women want? Ha-ha-ha, not love. I mean what do they want to drink? For them Manhattan is too dry, Martini is too strong…

Maybe Cosmopolitan, a perfect drink for girls?

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