Friday, 31 May 2013

Father's Day Cocktails

For those of you, reading this, after the event, don't let the title put you off. This post's selection have been curated and created with Father's Day in mind and are perhaps a little less feminine than is my wont, but are in no way limited to the chaps. What I will say, is that they are not overly fruity or floral and even include a couple of drinks that can be knocked together without the aid of a cocktail shaker or any fancy shenanigans. Whether young or old, I'm sure you'll find something to impress dad, this June 16th and you might want to consider my Bespoke Cocktail Service, that takes into account, taste, personality and lifestyle to create a tailor made mix to perfectly suit the recipient. For further information, please click here.

This first cocktail is being hailed as a modern classic and deservedly so. It was created by Sam Ross; beardy Australian and celebrity bartender at Attaboy, the Uptown reinvention of New York's Milk and Honey bar. It's a whisky cocktail that cleverly uses two types of scotch, a blend for the main body of the drink and a small amount of a good smokey, single malt, floated on the top. As someone who doesn't really like whisky, I wasn't too sure about this, but the initial taste of a good single malt is fine and just as it gets to the point where I would normally gag (yes, I really struggle with whisky), the sweet ginger and lemon flavours come through. Of course, it does involve making Honey-Ginger Syrup, but that in itself is delicious and worth making a small pot of it to keep in the fridge. Click here for Honey-Ginger syrup recipe. The original recipe does specify using an Islay single malt to float on top. I have used Jura Superstition for it's spice and smoke and as the isle of Jura is a stone's throw from Islay, the whiskies produced from distilleries on both, share many of the same tasting notes. Laphroig, Laguvilin and Bowmore would all work well.

Penicillin Cocktail

2oz blended scotch (I used Grants)
1/4oz Islay single malt
3/4oz lemon juice
3/4oz honey-ginger syrup

Add all of the ingredients, bar the single malt, to a cocktail shaker, with ice
Shake vigorously and strain into an ice filled rocks glass
Pour the single malt over the back of a spoon, to float on the top of the drink

This next drink is simplicity itself to make and can be adapted to make any number of variations. It works well with whisky too and you can substitute lemon for lime. Use white rum and fresh lime and it's practically a mojito. The main thing is, it's a doddle to mix up and will appeal to those who don't like too much fuss. I used Blackwoods gin which already has slight mint undertones from the watermint in it's botanical mix.

Gin Smash


2oz Blackwoods gin
1/2 lemon, cut into quarters
3/4oz simple syrup
7 fresh mint leaves
Dash of Angostura bitters

Muddle (squish) the mint, lemon and simple syrup in the bottom of a large tumbler or highball glass using a muddling stick or similar implement
Half fill the glass with crushed ice, pour in the gin and bitters and stir carefully, ensuring that the alcohol mixes in well
Top up with more crushed ice  and stir again before drinking

Followers of the blog will know that last week I made Vanilla Infused Vodka and deemed it such a success that I then went on to make a slightly larger batch. One of the things that really struck me about it was the earthiness that using natural vanilla brings - absolutely nothing like sweet vanilla flavouring and with a touch of the pipe tobacco about it. 'What could be more manly than pipe tobacco and single malt?', thought I and so the Old Timer was conceived. Otherwise, the cocktail is made just as you would make an Old Fashioned, using a little simple syrup, rather than a sugar cube, as the extra work is entirely unnecessary in my opinion. In an ideal world , you would serve the drink with one very large ice cube in the glass so as to keep it chilled, but not over diluted. The initial aroma is mellow and sweet from the vanilla and orange, but the lingering taste is the smoke of the single malt.

Old Timer

1oz vanilla vodka
1oz single malt whisky(I used Jura Superstition)
1/4oz simple syrup
Dash of Angostura bitters
Large strip of orange zest

Using a sharp knife, cut a long thin strip from the peel of an orange, leaving behind the pith and set to one side
Add the simple syrup to the glass, along with a dash of Angostura bitters
Add the spirits, stir and add ice - preferably a large cube or two
Squeeze the orange zest around the rim of the glass to release the oils. This creates an orange aroma without adding juice to the drink

The final cocktail today is loosely based on the El Diablo cocktail, a big favourite of mine and you can get the recipe by going to my Summer Spice cocktails post. What surprised me about the El Diablo, when I first tried it, was how well tequila and ginger work together and so, pairing tequila with King's Ginger, one of my favourite liqueurs, seemed an obvious move.

El Rey


1oz tequila resposado
3/4oz King's Ginger
1/4oz Creme de Cassis
1oz lime juice
Dash of Fever Tree Naturally Light Ginger Beer

Add all of the ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 20 secs
Strain into a tumbler with ice and top up with a dash of ginger beer.

This drink also works rather well without the lime and prepared in much the same way as an Old Fashioned.

Old Fashioned El Rey

1oz tequila resposado
3/4oz King's Ginger
1/4oz Creme de Cassis
Dash of bitters
Strip of orange zest

Add all of the ingredients apart from the zest, to a tumbler/ rocks glass and stir well to combine
Add one or two large ice cubes
Squeeze the strip of zest to release the oils and wipe around the rim of the glass

I gave myself the challenge of 'manning up' this week and I have to admit that I am rather enjoying it - so much so, that I have had to force myself to stop because we can't possibly drink any more cocktails. Still, watch this space as there are many more to come in the future. Have a fabulous weekend and test a few cocktails before you try them out on dad for Father's Day x

All of the glasses used and indeed, any in my Etsy shop, can be personalised to make a special gift for Father's Day.

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