Mixology

I've been experimenting with my recipe of the classic whiskey sour. When I started making them I followed the class, using only Angostura bitters. This makes a really nice cocktail but kind of lacks something in my opinion. I later found the fantastic bitter Peychaud's which marries fantastically with bourbon. Adding some of this, about three dashes, to your sour will lift it a level. It will also add a really nice colour to your cocktail.

Last summer I had the opportunity to add two new bitters to my collection, Boker's and Ornico. Each will give your sour a new dimension. Do keep in mind, I'm not removing any, just adding more. So now I tend to mix them with three, Angostura, Peychaud's and wither Boker's or Ornico.

The other day I found out that the Swedish off-licens chain, which have monopoly on selling alcoholic dries in Sweden, have  stated to sell a cocktail bitter. One of the real downsides to live in Sweden when you enjoy making cocktails at home is that it's impossible to get hold  of bitters. Now they have stated to sell a bitter called Seehuusen's Bitters. It has flavours of coffee and chocolate. It also mixes really well with a sour. So the lates Whiskey sour to be made in my bar is:

2 shots Jm Beam Bourbon
1 shot fresh lemon juice
1/2 shot simple syrup
1/2 egg white
3 dashes Angostura bitters
3 dashes Peychaud's bitters
3 dashes Seehuusen's bitters

Shake all ingredients with ice. Pour into ice-filled old fashion glass.

Enjoy!

In early July this summer me and my family visited BELLE Epoque in Malmö. I asked the staff for a good apéritif to start the meal (which was nice). They served me a variation on a cocktail they had picked up at the bar Tjoget, in Stockholm. The cocktail is called Milano and here is BELLE Epoque's recipe:

5cl Aperol
3cl Blood Grape
1.5cl Coffee syrup (this coffee syrup is made with one part strong coffee and one part sugar)
Top up with tonic - make sure to make it a good tonic.

Mix all ingredients but the tonic in an ice filled wine glass. Top up with tonic. Garnish with blood grape peal.

I found this cocktail very refreshing. The balance between sweet, juicy blood grape and coffee is really nice.

The Milano
The Milano cocktail, at my bar in the kitchen

We've had some good friends to visit over the weekend and of course drunk many good cocktails. One of them was an especially nice daiquiri which I named Vanilla Daiquiri.

It is based on the Embury's 8:2:1 formula but instead of using simple syrup I used Monin's Vanilla Syrup. This makes for a lovely smooth vanilla infused daiquiri.

Recipe:
2 shots Ron Barceló rum
1/2 shot lime juice
1/4 shot Monin Vanilla syrup

Pour all ingredients into shaker. Shake well, and if you are using big blocks of ice allow to dilute a little extra. Fine strain into cocktail glas and garnish with a lime wedge on the rim.

Enjoy!

I was at home taking care of my daughter the other day. She had a could and couldn't go to nursery. When you have a cold what could be better then a vitamin C injection from freshly squeezed citrus juice. To make it a bit more exciting I decided to compose a new non-alcoholic cocktail (mocktail) recipe. It turned out a really nice and refreshing drink with a lovely orange colour.

Ingredients
2 shots freshly squeezed orange juice
1 shot freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1/16 shot pomegranate (grenadine) syrup
3 dashes Fee Brothers orange bitters

Pour all ingredients over crushed ice in an old-fashioned glass and churn. Top up with ice and churn some more. Make sure the glass is filled with crushed ice. Decorate with a grapefruit zest. Serve with straws.

My daughter and I loved it as did the rest of my family. Next test will be how it holds up at our next cocktail party.

If you give it a try, please comment and tell me what you think.

Ice is one of the most important ingredients in a cocktail. Even when it's not in the glass it's used during mixing. This makes the quality of ice very important.

First of all the water used has to be of good quality. If you don't have good quality tap water I would strongly recommend that you filter the it. This greatly improves it. This is important since badly tasting water will affect the taste of the drink.

Secondly the temperature of the ice is important. I always take my ice directly from the freezer when putting it into the shaker or the glass. I never use ice that has been out on the bar for a while since it gets wet. Wet ice dilutes the drink to much.

Third is the size. If I don't use crushed ice, which I don't very often, I used large chunks. I freeze ice in freezing boxes of various sizes. Most are five by ten by two centimetres. But some are about ten by ten by ten centimetres. I then use a cast iron pester to crack the ice into suitable chunks. A small block is usually made into two pieces. One piece like this is enough when shaking a cocktail.

The reason the size is so important is that it makes it possible to control dilution more precisely. Since the ice is so large it will cool the drink faster whilst melting slower. This makes it possible to mix the cocktail until it's perfectly diluted without worrying about its temperature. The same is true when serving on the rocks. The larger the chunks of ice the slower they melt and the better they keep the cold.

But when serving on ice it also provides for a nice visual effect. Imagine your sour or old-fashioned poured into a glass with one single block of ice that is so large it just fits in the glass. Or being served a long drink on hand cracked pieces of ice, not one looking like the other. It always impresses my guests 🙂