Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Doctor Funk

We’re off on a mysterious island adventure again. (Pack your Somerset Maugham.) As Mr. Bali Hai notes, there are a lot of recipes out there for this classic. Most of ’em have a lot of lime juice for my taste and sit cold on my liver. (Shudder.) Below is my own version with the citrus scaled down to half an ounce. It is friendlier with lemon, though lime gives it more bite. I like Mount Gay Eclipse for the Doctor.

Doctor Funk
  • 2 oz gold Barbados rum
  • 1/2 oz lemon or lime juice
  • 1/4 oz real pomegranate grenadine
  • 1 tsp pastis
  • soda to fill
Shake all ingredients except soda with ice cubes and pour unstrained into a chimney glass or slender mug, adding more ice cubes to fill if necessary. Top with soda.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Banana Daiquiri

San Francisco is having one of its infrequent hot spells. It’s actually the whole area, and during our warm season besides, but we’re least used to it here. Forget about saving that banana for breakfast—it’s time for a frozen tropical drink.

The Banana Daiquiri in Beachbum Berry Remixed, created by Mariano Licudine of the Mai-Kai restaurant in 1971, looked a little light on the spirits for the loungers here so I added a little Charbay vanilla rum. And a batch of Jamaica rum-flavored syrup happened to be handy, so that went in too.

Banana Daiquiri
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup (rum flavored syrup)
  • 1 1/2 oz gold Puerto Rican rum (subbed Flor de Caña 5 year)
  • (1/2 oz Charbay vanilla rum)
  • Half a ripe banana, cut into thin slices
  • 4 oz crushed ice
Pour everything into a blender. Blend at high speed for at least 30 seconds until smooth. Pour unstrained into a cocktail glass.

This has no crème de banane, just banana, so it’s subtle and not candied. There’s a delicate interplay between the fruit and the rum. That said, a whole blender of it could lead to trouble in short order.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Royal Bastard

I based this Martinique rum cocktail on Saint James Royal Ambre: bright, dry and assertive, and a favorite of mine for mixing. The aldehyde and woodsy notes combine well with the ginger of Domaine de Canton. I’ve tried this drink with other dry ambers and it’s OK, but Martinique rum makes this one come alive.

Royal Bastard
  • 2 oz amber Martinique rum (Saint James Royal Ambre)
  • 3/4 oz Domain de Canton
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Firelit Coffee Liqueur

St. George Distillery’s Firelit is truly coffee brandy in the sense that it is a coffee-flavored, brandy-based liqueur, and a fairly dry one at that. There are no vanilla or cacao notes. Sampled side by side with Kahlúa, it’s clear that Firelit would be strange in a White Russian. Simply put, it tastes like brewed coffee—at first, anyway. It’s got the strong vegetal note of a plain black iced coffee but with the warmth of brandy under it. This liqueur has obvious applications in after dinner drinks and tropical fantasy items like Mr. Bali Hai, but it also makes me think of the all-too-neglected category of Brunch Cocktails for Serious Drinkers. Yeah, let’s have some gin with that French toast.

All Lit Up

  • 2 oz Junípero gin
  • 1 oz medium sherry
  • 1/4 oz Firelit
  • 2 dashes chocolate bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Lemon twist.

Good any time of day except maybe before dinner. Coffee before dinner just seems weird. Hm—during dinner?

Mr. Bali Hai

  • 1 1/2 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz sugar syrup
  • 3/4 oz coffee brandy
  • 1 1/2 oz light Puerto Rican rum
  • 1 oz dark Jamaican rum
Shake with crushed ice. Pour into a Mr. Bali Hai mug. Or if you’re like me and pathetic enough not to have the desired mug, a large snifter or something will be fine.

While I still prefer Kahlúa in my cocoa, Firelit is more successful for Mr. Bali Hai. I tried the updated instructions in Beachbum Berry Remixed, and the drier quality of the Firelit is exactly right. It also works a little better visually with this recipe.
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