Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mixology Monday: Ginger

Ok, I started this whole blog because I wanted to throw my hat into the ring for this month's Mixology Monday. Don't know what that is?

Check here: Mixology Monday.

Hosted this month by RumDood.

I actually have two submissions, just because my two recent concoctions both fit the bill nicely. They are both instances of having the name first and coming up with a cocktail to match. In this case both recipes were inspired by some descriptive terms we have for a couple of our friends.


Ginger Balls
  • ¾ oz ginger infused vodka*
  • ¾ oz Domaine de Canton Ginger Liquer
  • ½ oz Cherry Heering
  • ¾ oz fresh lemon juice
  • 2 marasca cherries and one slice candied ginger for garnish
Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass.

A bit sweet, a bit tart, a bit spicy from the ginger, I thought it was nicely balanced and it seemed popular at the party, so I hope you like it.

* for ginger infused vodka, wrap a 2 inch chunk of fresh ginger in foil and bake at 300 degrees for 40 minutes, then peel and slice into match sticks, then slip those into a 750 of vodka. It will be good after a few days, but I literally had one hiding in the back of my freezer for 5 years, and it was still great, and only recently met its fate after I came up with this drink and offered it at a cocktail party.

As far as I'm concerned, vodka is vodka, so use whatever you like, but you can see in the above pic I used Crystal Head vodka because I thought the bottle was cool and it was on sale when I got it, even though I'm sure I still overpaid for the neat vessel.

And my second submission:

The Chinesey
  • 1 ¾ oz Bulldog Gin**
  • ½ oz Domaine de Canton Ginger Liquer
  • ½ oz sake
  • 3 dashes Fee Brother's Cherry Bitters
  • 1 dash Orange Flower Water
  • 1 Star Anise pod
Stir all ingredients with cold ice, fish out star anise and drop in chilled nick&nora glass, strain drink over star anise pod.

This is entirely another beast, but I thought balanced as well. A riff on a martini with the sake standing in for the vermouth to round out the edges of the gin, but with some sugar and spice from the Canton and a hint of fruit from the bitters to add some additional depth and complexity, along with the slightest whiff of anise from the garnish. And I think much more approachable than a martini for those not so fond of gin.

In our group, we (ok, just I) sometimes refer to one or a group of our Asian friends as "Chinesey", thus the combo of sake and other vaguely Asian flavors in this drink. Hey, I warned in my first post that stuff like this was liable to pop up, remember the part about "jovial drunkard characterized by rough, extravagant humor"?

**Bulldog is only yet available in the NY tri-state area, maybe a few other places, and some European cities, so if you don't have it use some other London Dry Gin with not too assertive juniper, but I think Bulldog works especially well in this one because it is flavored with poppy and dragon eye so fits with the Asian theme. I also played with 1.5-2.0 oz of gin and they all worked, depending on your fondness for gin, so there's some leeway there.

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