Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Have A Cocktail!

I may have mentioned it here before, but my devotion to Air America's Rachel Maddow Show has driven me to drink!

Actually, it's just that Rachel is a cocktail enthusiast... and since I've been listening to her, I've become one, too. Last year I got a couple bartender's guides for Christmas, and this year my daughter gave me a cool cocktail chemistry set.

So I figured it was time to go into the lab and cook something up. Flipping through my books, I hit upon a drink called Everybody's Irish, made with Irish whiskey, green creme de menthe, and green Chartreuse. It was a good drink but the creme de menthe made it too sweet for my taste (ironically, since I love mint, and it was the creme de menthe that initially drew me to the recipe), so I tried a version replacing the creme de menthe with Zen green tea liqueur, which tasted much better.

That version, which I called an Irish Buddha, turned out to be a transitional form, though: No sooner had I finished the first one than I started to think it might be even better if I made it with rye (I like Michter's Single Barrel), and finally the Sardonic Buddha was born:

  • 2 oz Rye Whiskey
  • 2 tsp Zen Green Tea Liqueur
  • 1 tsp Green Chartreuse
The mossy green color of the final drink may take some getting used to, but the earthy rye blends exceedingly well with the green tea liqueur, and the herbal Chartreuse adds just the right amount of complexity and bite. I didn't think the green olive garnish specified in the original Everybody's Irish recipe would match, so I omit it. I think the right garnish will turn out to be a bit of sushi-style pickled ginger, but I haven't had a chance to try that yet.


Next Up: I had the kirschwasser out over the holidays, because we were making fondue... and the odd thought hit me of trying some sort of martini, using kirsch in place of vermouth. It might be horrible, but if it turns out OK, you'll read about it here.


Leigh said...

Well, I must say that the kirschwasser martini is, um, adventurous! You'll have to tell us how it turns out.

I'm having a martini (the conventional kind) right now, as a matter of fact. I worked in the greenhouse and schlepped plants around this afternoon, so it's purely medicinal. A friend gave me some good gin, Hendricks, and some Noilly Pratt vermouth, for Christmas, and I must say, I like it even better than Bombay Sapphire. He also gave me olive juice in a vermouth-style bottle, so I don't have to slop it in out of the jar, and some almond-stuffed almond. This is one top-shelf martini.

I used to love grasshoppers, and I'm remembering something from college called a Golden Cadillac, which was wonderful.

Bill Dauphin said...

I've already tried a drink called the Allen, which is made with gin, kirsch, and fresh lemon juice. That recipe was a bit heavy on the kirsch for my taste, but it was good enough to give me hope for the kirsch martini.

I like both Hendricks and Bombay Sapphire: I use the Sapphire when I want a clean flavor; the Hendricks when I want something richer and more botanical.

JC said...

I am going to have to try both the Buddha and perhaps the kirschwasser drink (I will refuse to call it a martini!) as well. That green concoction looks lovely. I would probably add an orange peel garni - but that is just me.

A "challenging" martini can easily be made by employing "Lizard Eyes" - Habenero-stuffed olives. They don't start out too bad, but depending on your drinking style (my martinis last maybe 10-15 mins), the end can be quite brutal.


Bill Dauphin said...

JC, funny you should mention habanero-stuffed olives, as I grow my own habaneros (along with jalapenos and cayennes). Of course, the garden is under a foot of snow at the moment, but in the fullness of time I might try making my own pepper-stuffed olives.

BTW I plan on doing some lab work on a gin/kirsch concoction this weekend.

JC said...

Just peppers? Or are there other fairies in your garden? I have heard that growing peppers and tomatoes together creates some tomatoes that are superb when a spicy tomato base is required - without the need to add peppers (unless you need to up it to a level that I, and I think you, prefer!)

Did you see my note concerning the Canton Ginger? That sounds tasty. Alton recently had a ginger segment I hadn't seen before - must be new. I need to hie thee to a grocery and obtain some hands now - I needs me some ginger beer and candied ginger - stat!


Bill Dauphin said...

We grew a few tomatoes this past season, and I'm thinking of expanding the patch come spring.

I did see the link; thanks. Re ginger beer...

Ginger Beer+Vodka+Lime-->Moscow Mule!