Monday, June 1, 2020

Lockdown Cocktails - A Recap

During the COVID lockdown, I replaced my normal routine of simply pouring a neat glass of my favorite spirit and instead became more creative by mixing various cocktails using ingredients that were already available. This process including replacing some ingredients with equivalents such as tonic water with seltzer or simple sugar with dissolved honey. The cocktail recipes were posted on Instagram but with the lockdowns slowly easing the series will most likely be discontinued and thus recaptured in this post.

Tonight's #lockdowncocktail is a salute to Route 15 from Frederick MD to Harrisburg PA. The #cocktail contains a base of equal parts grapefruit juice and Appalachian Ginger Beer then augmented with a large shot (or two) of Puerto Rico Distillery Clandestino Pitorro Diaspora Rum and a dash or two of Tenth Ward Smoked Corn Whiskey for added aroma.  I will discuss the Clandestino in the near future, but for now, it's a style of moonshine that dates to 1797 and still an integral part of Puerto Rican culture.

Tonight's #lockdowncocktails are dueling recipes based on a post the week from the Wizard of Whiskey we followed his recipe using grapefruit tonic, Left Foot Charley 2017 Dry Riesling, and for gin, the Barr Hill Gin from Vermont's Caledonia Spirits and made from honey. Completely refreshing and the Riesling creates a creamy body and tamps down the botanicals.  On the other hand, when replacing the Riesling with the 12 Corners Vineyards 2017 Traminette, the botanicals burst forward in conjunction with the wine's aromatics. Combining the two creates a happy medium.

Tonight's #LockdownCocktail is The Bishop, a rum - red wine cocktail that comes from the 1935 printing of "The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book" by A.S. Crockett. I used Cotton and Reed Sherried Cask Strength Rum and its honeyed nut character blended well with the 12 Corners Vineyards River Stone Red wine. The wine is a unique blend of five grape varieties leading with Chancellor and Chambourcin then rounding out with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Its quite pleasant, fruit-forward berry flavors with a velvety texture, and a chewy smooth finish. 

3 ounces Cotton & Reed Sherried Cask Strength Rum ($50)
1 ounce 12 Corners River Stone Red wine ($14)
1 teaspoon simple syrup
1/2 lime (juice of)

The Cotton & Reed Sherried Cask Strength Rum starts out as White Rum ($29) made from Lousiana grown raw cane syrup and blackstrap molasses (6,000 pounds per batch) and fermented with a Rhum Agricole yeast strain and a Chenin Blanc yeast strain. The rum is then aged in used bourbon barrels just like their Mellow Gold Rum ($29). Afterward, the aging rum is transferred to PX Sherry seasoned casks where PX refers to Pedro Ximénez grapes aged in a solera system where the grape brandy undergoes oxidative aging for an Oloroso.

Today's #lockdowncocktail is the Horsefeather, a Kansas City favorite that legend says originated in nearby Lawrence, Kansas. It's related to the Moscow Mule trading the bourbon for J. Rieger & Co. Kansas City Whiskey ($40), Appalachian Ginger Beer, squeeze of lemon, and using the equivalent of Angostura bitters - Peychaud's Aperitivo. The cocktail sizzles in the mouth with a long spicy tail. And that's the last drop of an amazing whiskey where the corn, malted, and rye mash was fermented then aged in part in 15 year Oloroso sherry casks.

1.5 oz J. Rieger Whiskey
4 oz ginger beer
4-5 dashes Angostura bitters
1 squeeze of lemon

Here's a refreshing cocktail suggested by Golden Moon Distillery using their single varietal Grappa (2 oz), lime juice (1 oz), and simple syrup (3/4 oz). The grappa is made using chardonnay pomace from Bookcliff Vineyards. The cocktail is truly refreshing, any grappa sharpness is mediated by the lime juice and syrup. Cheers.

Tonight's #lockdowncocktail is based on an Italian recipe using grappa, cocoa liqueur, and coffee served in a martini glass as a dessert cocktail. I used my mead glass and combined equal parts Springfield Manor grappa and Blacksnake Meadery Red Queen Coffee Mead with a dash of FloraLuna Apothecary Cayenne bitters. Perhaps my favorite so far.

Another lockdown cocktail using existing spirits. This unnamed drink is 2 parts River Hill Spirits bourbon, .5 parts Golden Moon Distillery  Kummel, .5 parts honey water, and a dash of bitters. The Kummel and honey tame the heat, and the bourbon blends in with the caraway liqueur.

Cocktails with miniatures. Last night I discovered that Grappa Nonino Amaro is a great partner with Bourbon or Tennessee Whiskey and FloraLuna Apothecary Orange bitters. 

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