This here’s a new drink I whipped together for the recent Forbidden Island cocktail contest on Tiki Central, held by Martin Cate of Forbidden Island! I revealed this last night at the Thursday Drink Night. No awards for this one, but I still think it’s a doozy of a drink.
- 1 1/2 oz El Dorado 12 (sub Lemon Hart 80)
- 1/2 oz Clement VSOP
- 1/2 oz Cointreau
- 3/4 oz Ginger Syrup
- 3/4 oz Grapefruit juice (1:1 white and red, if available)
- 2 dash Fees Bitters
- 2 drops Vanilla Extract
- 2 drops Don’s Spices #2
Mix with 6 oz crushed ice in top-down, and pour into a small Hurricane glass (sub chimney). Garnish with a dash of Cinnamon and piece of Candied Ginger.
If you’re looking for something to hit your sweet spot, this’ll do the trick. It needs a few moments in ice to cool its jets though, so let it sit a spell, it’ll still be there waiting for you.
I just can’t stop mixing with the El Dorado 12 lately, it’s a bit addictive. I may have to start weaning myself away with Mount Gay Extra Old. A new shipment of bottles just got into the galley, these are exciting times indeed!
Like it? Tried it? Got a tweek? Post a comment!
Orgeat, fashionably French soda sweetener, or one of the best ingredients ever set behind the bar?
Here is a classic recipe from 1835. It’s quite a bit simplified, and I’ve got a bit more detailed modern method below it, with plenty of pictures.
Orgeat has been around since somewhere around the dawn of time. Originally a barley based syrup flavored with almonds, eventually the barley was ditched for the far more flavorful, but still oily and wonderful almonds. Most of the commercial product is made as almond flavored syrup, and can be purchased from Fees, Torani, and Monin. They all just have a bit of something missing though, and the effort to make real orgeat is well rewarded with some of the best flavors possible. Real Orgeat, as made below, is a thing of beauty. It is an aromatic enhancer with rose and orange flower water, and acts not to purely sweeten the drink, but really changes the profile to something entirely different, neutralizing a lot of the bitter and sour flavors. It’s what made the Mai Tai, so there’s gotta be something to it!
I’m not going to push too heavily that you should blanch and chop your own almonds, but it seems to give it just a little bit more flavor and texture. There’s something about that fresh oil just under the skin of the almond that works wonders.
The following recipe yields around 1/2 gallon
You will need:
- 1/2 lb. blanched whole almonds
- (approximately) 3 Quarts Sugar
- 1 Quarts Water
- Bitter Almond Extract
- Rose Water
- Orange Flower Water
|To blanch the almonds, set the almonds in a large bowl. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil, then cover the almonds with the boiling water. After 2 minutes, strain the almonds from the water, return the almonds to the bowl, then cover the almonds with cold water. The almonds should now slide easily from their skins.||[singlepic=276,320,240,,center]|
|[singlepic=275,320,240,,left]||Roughly chop the whole almonds. A food processor at a low speed is highly recommended.
Add the roughly chopped almonds, and pour an equal amount of sugar to almonds (by volume) into a large pot.
|Add 1 quarts water to the pot and bring to a boil.
One it has hit boiling, take the pot off of heat, and leave to rest for 12 hours or overnight.
After 12 hours, strain the liquid through a cheesecloth. Repeat a few times if greater clarity is desired. Me, I strain it once as I like to preserve a bit of the almond powder for each bottle, but to each their own.
Measure the strained liquid by volume. Add sugar in a 3:2 ratio the strained liquid (for example, 16 oz of strained liquid would require 24 oz of sugar). Put the pot on a low heat to carefully dissolve the sugar.
|DO NOT let the mixture BOIL. You’ll ruin the batch and give yourself one helluva cleaning job for the pot. Like I recommend for any syrup, a combination of agitation, low heat, and an alert cook in the kitchen should do just fine.
Once the sugar is dissolved, and no more granules are present, remove the pot from heat.
Leave to cool before adding the extra flavorings. Just a few drops, 3-6 each, of bitter almond extract, rose water and orange water seem to add plenty of aromatics and flavor. If you add them while the syrup is hot, their flavor might evaporate.
This makes a big batch of Orgeat, somewhere around 1/2 gallon. Hit up your local brewing supply (mine is F. H. Steinbart) for a case of 375 mLs with twist on caps. A case of one dozen usually costs you just under a dollar per bottle, and it makes a great hand out once your friends are hooked on Mai Tais and Japanese made with the real deal.
Real orgeat syrup will split after a few days in a thick, solid white layer of almond powder on top and syrup below. This is normal and happens with real orgeat syrup, all you need is insert a skewer in the bottle to break the top layer a bit, close and shake.
If you’ve made the above recipe one too many times, you can try varying it here and there. For example, try using natural cane sugar, such as Zulka, for a bit of a richer flavor. Just be sure to give it a turn in the food processor so it dissolves easier. I recently took some Cane Sugar I had mixed some Vanilla Beans in and made a rich Vanilla Cane Orgeat, which is getting a good reputation as Liquid Heaven.
For those interested parties, here was my initial entry into the Great American Distillers Festival 2008 Mixology Competition.
- 1 ½ oz Dry Fly Gin
- ¾ oz Yellow Chartreuse
- ¾ oz Carpano Antica
- rinse Campari
- 3 dashes scorched Dry Fly Bitters
Rinse a chilled cocktail glass with Campari. Stir liquors with ice and strain into Campari-rinsed cocktail glass. Spray Dry Fly Bitters through a flame and into the glass.
About the drink
The cocktail is named Old Wood because I had originally wanted to base a drink on the Bijou (Jewel) cocktail, a favorite of mine. Since Dry Fly is distilled is Washington, I figured the name of the state jewel, if not already taken, would be a fine choice. Well, there’s no state Jewel for Washington, but there is a state gem. That gem, is petrified wood. Hence, the Old Wood cocktail. I also think it leads in nicely to the use of Yellow Chartreuse VEP, with the name Very Old Wood.
Dry Fly Bitters
- 3 parts Caramel Syrup
- 3 parts Toasted Coriander Tincture
- 2 parts Lavender Tincture
- 2 parts Spearmint Tincture
- 1 part Madagascar Vanilla Bean Tincture
- 1 part Seville Orange Tincture
- ½ part Dried Granny Smith Apple Tincture
- ¼ part Wormwood Tincture
Solids should be infused in 95% grain spirit. The Coriander, Apple and Orange take around 3-4 days to infuse, the Lavendar, Mint, Vanilla and Wormwood take 24-48 hours.
Caramel Syrup is Caramelized Cane Sugar mixed 4:1 with water, then shaken until dissolved.
The Dry Fly Bitters were developed to aromatically accentuate the botanicals found in Dry Fly Gin. Flaming them brings a bit more of the fragrance into the air, and adds to the nose of the drink.