Tuesday, June 25, 2013

More Fun with Smoked Tea Syrup: Rain Cloud Tiger

It seems like whenever I tell people I’m taking a vacation they ask where I’m going. Go? I’m going to go home, lock the door and shudder. “Just a little moment away. I’ll be fine—really.” (Eesh.) So I’m holed up here in the Fogged In Lounge with plenty of nice things to get interested in that I don’t otherwise have much time for. It’s gray and rainy, perfect weather for listening to records, eating cereal out of the box and writing my blog.

And of course it’s perfect weather for a sherry cocktail! Recent visitors will note that I’m on a fortified wine kick, going at the amontillado like a crazed lemur. (It is a scientific fact that lemurs love Spanish fortified wines. Trust me, I’m an expert. I’m also guy who sits around on his vacation eating dry cereal.) And liking a little smoke flavor with my sherry, I’ve paired it with the rich and tasty Russian Caravan tea syrup I’ve become fond of. It’s a very versatile ingredient, adding subtle depth and complexity. I’m always on the lookout for new ways to get smoke flavors into cocktails.


Rain Cloud Tiger
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Powerful tang of the sherry-tea-lime combo up front accentuated with the hint of salt, subtle smoke and aguardiente notes rounding things out in the background.

Monday, June 17, 2013

MxMo LXXIV: Cherries—Silver Spurs

A very warm Fogged In thank-you to Andrea of Gin Hound for Hosting this month’s Mixology Monday, and for her excellent theme, cherries. These stone fruits are essential to so many great and varied cocktails that it took me a while to decide on a direction that I hadn’t explored before. But lately I’ve been working with wine-based ingredients, which suggested a cherry-sherry combination. Tequila seemed a natural compliment to both.


Silver Spurs
  • 1 1/2 oz blanco tequila
  • 3/4 oz amontillado sherry
  • 1 barspoon Maraschino liqueur
  • About 1/2 tsp mezcal
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Lemon twist.

Off-dry; delicate fruit and florals. Black pepper from the tequila softened by the sherry.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Booze Up Your Sherry

When it comes to wine cocktails, I find there’s no flavor compliment more felicitous than a good slug of liquor. The drink below by yours truly is an equal parts trio like Whispers of the Frost except with rum instead of port. Puerto Rican rum is a good choice for this Manhattan-type drink, though a more full-bodied style like Pampero Aniversario seems appropriate and would add interest.


W 67th St
  • 1 oz rye
  • 1 oz gold rum
  • 1 oz East India Solera sherry
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Brandied cherry.

For the sherry, East India Solera was what I happened to have though anything in the medium-to-cream zone would probably work. Or use madeira.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bamboo Cocktail

All right—this here’s the Bamboo Cocktail. It’s another sherry drink in this wine series I’m doing. A classic 19th-century thing, I had it just this weekend at Comstock Saloon here in San Francisco, a fine place to drink in Barbary Coast style. The next day, I tried my hand at the Bamboo as well.

Bamboo Cocktail
  • 1 1/2 oz dry sherry
  • 1 1/2 oz dry vermouth
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • 2 drops Angostura bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist a strip of lemon peel over the glass and discard. Stuffed olive.

I worked from David Wondrich’s Imbibe! which recounts the creation and naming of this light, dry cocktail by saloonman Louis Eppinger. The recipe calls for two dashes orange bitters, though results vary considerably with the brand. Fee Bros seemed better at one dash. Regans’ added a nice cardamom note. And because I’m a scotch nut, I tried a dash of single malt as well, which didn’t hurt a thing.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Fred’s Sherry Mai Tai

This is a great wine cocktail remix by the incomparable Frederic Yarm of Cocktail Virgin Slut. The recipe follows the basic Trader Vic template, changing the Jamaica and Martinique rums for two styles of sherry. These wines as well as the classic Mai Tai are house favorites here so of course I jumped when I saw this item on Fred’s blog. Rich and flavorful, the crushed ice held onto the sherry flavor to the last.

tropical drink

Sherry Mai Tai
  • 1 1/2 oz amontillado
  • 1/2 oz Pedro Ximenez (subbed East India Solera)
  • 1/2 oz curaçao
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz orgeat
Shake with ice and strain into a double old fashioned full of crushed ice. Mint garnish. (Used a cherry.)

Sorry to be all out of mint last night when making these but the sweet almond aroma of the (naturally) candied cherry worked well enough with the other nutty flavors in the drink.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.