Rattan Cocktail & Last Gasp

I can’t overemphasize my love for Cocchi Americano. Regardless of appropriateness, it’s one the first ingredients I reach for when I’m creating new cocktails and variations. Here, I’ve tinkered with two of the most iconic cocktails, the Manhattan and Martini/Martinez. I’ve got them all Cocchi-ed up and also fancied or improved (I can never remember which is which) with some pastis.

The whiskey variation is almost a cross between a Manhattan and a Sazerac. Actually, the most similar thing I could find at CocktailDB was the Satan Cocktail. Garble those three names together enough and you kind of get the…

Rattan Cocktail
2oz rye (Bulleit)
1oz Cocchi Americano
dash Angostura bitters
dash Peychaud’s bitters
absinthe or pastis (Legendre Herbsaint)
Stir rye, Cocchi and bitters with ice, strain into a chilled, absinthe/pastis rinsed cocktail glass and garnish with lemon peel.

Switching the rye for gin, the Angostura for orange bitters and the lemon peel for orange peel gets you the…

Last Gasp
2oz London dry gin (Beefeater)
1oz Cocchi Americano
dash Regan’s #6 orange bitters
dash Peychaud’s bitters
absinthe or pastis (Legendre Herbsaint)
Stir gin, Cocchi and bitters with ice, strain into a chilled, absinthe/pastis rinsed cocktail glass and garnish with orange peel.

To find out why this one is so named, inhale sharply through your mouth after swallowing a sip.

Unfortunate name, decent drink.

I created a new cocktail and it visually reminded me of something very unpleasant. Maybe try the drink before you click the link.

Requiem for a Gleet Requiem for a Gleet
1.5oz rye
.75oz Cocchi Americano
.25oz Bénédictine
1 dash Regan’s orange bitters
Stir with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a brandied or maraschino cherry.

A little of the cherry juice wouldn’t hurt either for that extra gross effect, though it might make things a bit sweeter. Wait, why am I making this so repulsive?

A Winter Warmer (or Vinter Varmer as I like to say.)

Inspired by this video by Jamie Boudreau, I have been experimenting. This is the best and most delicious result (my ingredients in parentheses):

Fireside Chat
3/4oz bourbon (Jim Beam Black)
3/4oz applejack (Laird’s – is there another kind?)
3/4oz sweet vermouth (Martini & Rossi)
1/4oz peach amaretto (see Sept./Oct. 2010 issue of Imbibe)
2 dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters No. 6
1 dash Angostura Bitters
Combine ingredients in a mixing glass. Stir with ice until very cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of orange peel.

If this seems to vary from Mr. Boudreau’s formula, it is because I split the spirit into two equal parts. Just bourbon didn’t quite work, nor did just applejack. The blend of the two is a happy medium. Also, you don’t want a high proof whiskey here as it will unbalance the drink. I find Old Overholt rye works just as well.

[Note: I’m sorry there is no photo. Though like most everything I make, this is a brown drink with some citrus oil on the surface.]

Brown, Bitter & Stirred

MxMo Brown Bitter & StirredThe ampersand tells you those three words belong together.

This is my first participation in a Mixology Monday. The theme is Brown, Bitter & Stirred, curated by Lindsay Johnson of Lush Life Productions and —wait for it—Brown Bitter and Stirred.

I’ve been waiting for an internet booze order for days and it didn’t get here in time. That’s a shame as three of the four bottles were bitter liqueurs. Since I’ve already played around so much with Fernet-Branca, I was forced to borrow some Cynar (one of the bottles in the aforementioned order) from my sister-in-law.

After various experiments —mainly Toronto variations— I realized I needed to move in a different direction. A friend left half a bottle of brandy at our house at the end of a west coast road trip, which made me think Vieux Carré. But I knew that I couldn’t just substitute the Cynar for one of the ingredients; it makes no sense. Then I remembered an article David Wondrich wrote in Esquire [if anyone has a link please let me know!] where he talked about an after dinner drink consisting of equal parts rye and amaro. Then my brain combined that with the Vieux Carré. The result (with what I used in parentheses):

Bitter SquareAmer Square

1oz rye whiskey (Jim Beam Rye)
1oz Cynar
1/2oz brandy (Raynal VSOP)
1/2oz dry vermouth (Boisierre Extra Dry)
2 dashes Angostura
2 dashes Peychaud’s
Stir with ice until very cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist lemon peel over glass and rub on rim.

The result is simultaneously bitter and sweet, ideal for a cool, rainy evening such as this in Portland, OR. This could also be served in a rocks glass with a large ice cube.

My backup drink is a nightcap.

Bitter Dreams
Drink whiskey all night.
Leave a bit of the last one in the glass.
Swirl and dump, like a rinse. But dump into your mouth.
Fill with Fernet-Branca.

Not stirred, but I know that happens to me some nights. Cheers.