Scandinavian Sling

Scandinavian Sling.

I’m going to say right up front that the proportions called for in this recipe are a bit crazy. This was my entry into the 2012 Cherry Heering Sling Award competition, in which competitors were challenged to make their own variation on the Singapore Sling. The catch? The initial rules that I read mandated the use of at least two ounces of Heering. I like the stuff, but that is a lot of it! Looking at the site now it appears that one ounce is all that was required, so I’m not sure what happened there. In any case, this is a very tasty drink and it made the top ten in the competition. Besides, sometimes a super-sized tropical cocktail is just what the doctor ordered.

2 oz cherry Heering
1 oz Krogstad Festlig aquavit
1 oz lime juice
1/2 oz Angostura bitters
2 oz sparkling wine
1/2 orange wheel, for garnish
cherries, for garnish
sprig tarragon, for garnish

Pour the sparkling wine into a chalice filled with ice. Shake all the other ingredients with ice and strain into the goblet. Garnish with the fruit and tarragon.

For Aquavit Week at Metrovino, we’ve downsized the drink to more sensible proportions. Here’s a revised recipe:

1 oz cherry Heering
3/4 oz Linie aquavit
3/4 oz lime juice
1/4 oz Angostura bitters
1 oz sparkling wine
1/2 orange wheel, for garnish
cherries, for garnish
1 sprig tarragon, for garnish

Serve as above, in a rocks glass instead of a chalice. The drink is a bit drier in this formulation, so feel free to add more Heering for greater lushness.

The new Black Glove and fancy garnishes

black-glove Today’s Wall Street Journal includes a story on fancy and functional cocktail garnishes. I’m flattered that they chose to include a cocktail recipe from Metrovino, the Black Glove:

It’s not the ebony color that surprises drinkers most when they order a Black Glove cocktail at Metrovino in Portland, Ore. It’s the curious frill straddling its rim. The garnish, a preserved green walnut wrapped in a strip of orange peel, embodies the flavors of the cocktail—the sweetness of rum, nuttiness of nocino (a green walnut liqueur) and sharpness of bitters—in one bite. “The walnuts bring out the flavor of the nocino and add a texture like chewy candy,” said the Black Glove’s creator, Jacob Grier.

I posted about this drink once before, but for the article I adapted the recipe to work with commercially available ingredients. The nocino made by Todd Steele, the owner of Metrovino, is drier and spicier than what’s commercially available. I changed the rum selection, altered the proportions, and added a dash of bitters, and I have to say I’m very happy with the results. If you wanted to try this drink at home, make it this way:

2 oz aged rum (Gosling’s Black Seal)
1 oz sweet vermouth (Dolin)
1/2 oz nocino (Nux Alpina)
1 dash Angostura bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with orange peel and preserved green walnut. You can buy the walnuts from Harvest Song here.

Read the whole article for more garnish ideas, including a beer cocktail garnished with speck.

[Photo by F. Martin Ramin for the Wall Street Journal, styling by Anne Cardenas.]

Sherry cocktails at Culinate

px-flip

My latest column at Culinate gives a little sherry 101 and suggests three ways to mix with it, along with the newest addition to the Metrovino menu, the PX Flip:

2 oz. Pedro Ximinez Sherry
1/2 oz. Angostura bitters
1 whole egg

Shake hard with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg. For the sherry I suggest the Lustau San Emilio PX, which is balanced by more acidity than some other PX sherries.

Sherry has appeared in a few other cocktails on this site, including the Decatur, Walking Spanish, and the Two Item Rule.

Mixology Monday: Beer!

coconut

I’d be stupid not to take part in this month’s Mixology Monday hosted by Cocktail Virgin:

This month the chosen theme will be beer cocktails.

While beer being used as an ingredient in modern cocktails has gotten a lot of press as of late, this is not a new trend. Beer has played a historical role in mixed drinks for centuries. For example, it can be found in Colonial drinks like the Rumfustian, Porter Sangaree, and Ale Flip. While many of these drinks are not seen in modern bars save for craft cocktail establishments, other beer drinks are though, including the Boilermaker, Black Velvet, and Michelada. And present day mixologists are utilizing beer with great success including Kelly Slagle’s Port of Funchal, Jacob Grier’s Averna Stout Flip, and Emma Hollander’s Word to Your Mom. Bartenders are drawn to beer for a variety of reasons including the glorious malt and roast notes from the grain, the bitter and sometimes floral elements from the hops, the interesting sour or fruity notes from the yeast, and the crispness and bubbles from the carbonation. Beer is not just for pint glasses, so let us honor beer of all styles as a drink ingredient.

Coincidentally, July is Oregon Craft Beer Month and we’re coming up on the one year anniversary of the first Brewing Up Cocktails event put on by me, Yetta Vorobik, and Ezra Johnson-Greenough. In the time since we’ve been experimenting with themed beer cocktail events, whether that be creating a menu around a specific brewery (Ninkasi, Oakshire, and Hopworks) or a type of drink (nothing but flips!). For our anniversary party we’ll be serving beer cocktails with a loosely interpreted tiki theme. Details are coming soon, but in the meantime here’s a preview of one of the new (and thus far unnamed) drinks:

2 oz Maui Brewing Coconut Porter
1 1/2 oz English Harbour rum
1 1/2 oz coconut milk
1/2 oz Galliano Ristretto
1/2 oz allspice or pimento dram
Angostura bitters mist, for garnish

Shake the first five ingredients, strain into a rocks or wine glass, and garnish with the Angostura mist.

This is a weird drink. The idea of mixing coconut porter and coconut milk was Ezra’s, and I was skeptical at first. However this comes together really nicely and has a rich flip-like consistency. The pimento dram adds big spice flavors, the Galliano Ristretto espresso liqueur adds depth and sweetness, and the coconut milk puts this in the running for the most unhealthy cocktail we’ve come up with yet.

Stay tuned for more info about the Brewing Up Cocktails anniversary event on Saturday, July 30, at The Hop and Vine.

A Terrible Two for Labor Day

weather1

It’s Labor Day in Portland and the weather couldn’t be better for grilling out. For today, anyway. It looks like the wonderful Portland summer is starting to give way to months of rain, but I knew what I was getting into when I moved here. To enjoy the sun while we can, here’s a cocktail to cap the summer with. We served this at Hop and Vine a few weeks ago to celebrate their two year anniversary. The Terrible Two is a refreshing, easy drink made for cooling off outside:

1.5 oz Krogstad aquavit
.5 oz lime juice
.5 oz simple syrup
3 dashes Angostura bitters
soda

Shake the first four ingredients, serve in a rocks glass over ice, top with a splash of soda, and stir.

A duo of beer cocktails

dutchdevil

With our “Brewing Up Cocktails” event successfully wrapped up at The Hop and Vine with co-conspirators Ezra Johnson-Greenough and Yetta Vorobik, I thought it’d be fun to go into the details on a couple of the drinks. These both use products from the Bols line and adapt popular cocktails for use with beer in place of the usual ingredients.

First up is the Dutch Devil, pictured up top in the flute. There were two inspirations for this drink. The first is the classic champagne cocktail, made with champagne, a sugar cube, and Angostura bitters. The second is Stephen Beaumont’s Green Devil, which deliciously mixes gin and Duvel Golden Ale with an absinthe rinse. This drink sort of combines the two, putting Duvel in place of sparkling wine and taking advantage of the malty notes in genever:

1 oz Bols Genever
1 Angostura-soaked sugar cube
Duvel

Build in a flute. We were serving these with the sugar cube added first, but the cocktail science article I linked to this morning suggests that adding it last might be a better way. At The Hop and Vine, this drink is now on the menu with a candied ginger garnish.

The second drink is a variation of the Bramble, a lovely cocktail created by London bartender Dick Bradsell. It’s made by mixing gin, lemon, and simple syrup in crushed ice, then topping it with blackberry liqueur and fresh berries. Our idea for this one was to take out the lemon and simple syrup and replace them with a sour ale. But which beer to use? Ezra likes it with the Cantillon Gueuze. My preference is the Bruery’s Hottenroth Berliner Weisse. Berliner Weisse is a tart style of wheat beer native to Germany, where it’s often served with raspberry or woodruff syrup. I like the way it balances this drink and the way the final addition of blackberry liqueur mirrors the way it’s traditionally served:

3/4 oz Damrak Gin
Bruery Hottenroth
3/4 oz Clear Creek blackberry liqueur

Build the first two ingredients in an ice-filled rocks glass, top with the liqueur, garnish with fresh blueberries, and enjoy.

For notes on the rest of the drinks featured at the event, check out Hoke Harden’s write-up for the Examiner.

Climbing Jacob’s Ladder

jacobsladder2

I don’t plan on writing about every Bols cocktail around town but when a drink is named Jacob’s Ladder of course I’m going to post it. My friend Andrew at Branch Whiskey Bar came up with this one combining three of my favorite things: genever, Fernet-Branca, and single malt Scotch:

2 oz Bols genever
.25 oz Fernet-Branca
.25 oz simple syrup
A few drops of Talisker
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 dash orange bitters

Stir with ice, strain, and serve up with an orange twist.

It’s an imposing list of ingredients but they come together nicely and the cocktail is very smooth. If you’re in Portland stop into Branch and give it a try.