New Years Day Cocktails

belliniAfter a New Years Eve party and all the drinking and champagne, the following morning can be a little rough. Even if it was a quiet, stay at home night, you should at least bring in the new year with a drink and a toast. For both reasons, the post party and New Years day toast, champagne or sparkling wine is the way to go. The left over champagne can be used to make a Mimosa or a Bellini. Both are an excellent way to start a new year.

Singapore Sling

singapore slingNo discussion on cocktails is complete with out discussing the Singapore Sling. The history of the Singapore Sling was thoroughly documented by Mr. Ted "Dr. Cocktail" Haigh in the Journal of Mixology (a book in which I also contributed an article). However, this post is going to deal with flavour and why the Singapore Sling is a great example of a creative cocktail. If you want to impress guests, friends, family or customers, throw away your old recipe and try the following recipe.

Cherry Marnier

cherry marnierThis is another quality liqueur from the house of Grand Marnier. Instead of their flagship product made from the distilled essence of wild oranges and fine cognac, or the vanilla infused cognac called Navan, Cherry Marnier is made from cherries and quality eau-de-vie. This cherry aroma and taste is amazing. Unlike cheap cherry brandy, Cherry marnier is made without any artificial colouring or flavours. You can sip Cherry Marnier straight, or use it in a good cocktail, like a Singapore Sling.

Hot Buttered Rum

On Christmas eve, or anytime during the holiday's and winter months, nothing hits the spot like a good hot drink. Hot buttered rum is one of those drinks that sets the mood. I found a recipe over at Too Many Chefs that hits the spot. Hot buttered rum is a nice simple drink, where the recipe isn't carved in stone. The base of the drink is rum, butter, water or cider, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Use good quality rum and try it with apple cider. Enjoy your night and enjoy your holiday's!

Rum Cream Liqueur Recipe

Many people love Irish cream liqueurs, like Bailey's or Bushmill's. These cream liqueurs are gentle and full of flavour, which appeals to a large section of the population. On the rocks or in a coffee, you really can't go wrong. So what makes these liqueurs so special? Well, I'll try to explain but you may be surprised to find that there really isn't anything magical about these products. One cool thing is that you can make this liqueur at home and using rum is a great way to make a different version.

Fionn McCool Cocktail

Living in the "Great White North", some of the best icewine is in regular supply. Depending on your mood and the food accompanying your drink, straight icewine may not fit the bill. Icewine is almost always served with dessert, but this product has such great qualities it should be consumed more often. Now, the idea of making an "anytime cocktail" from this painstakingly produced product, might send chills up some peoples spine. However, this cocktail is very simple, highly enjoyable and retains the character of the icewine and is very similar to an icewine martini.

Monty Python Holy Ale

holyale.jpgWhile I was perusing my local liquor store I came across Monty Python Holy Ale. How could I not pick up a bottle or two of this beer. Monty Python made me laugh many times so I felt obligated to at least try the beer. According to Black Sheep Brewery, Holy Grail Bitter was specially commissioned to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Monty Python. They describe it as a distinctive taste with plenty of fruity hops, and is full flavoured with a dry and refreshing bitterness.

Canadian Whisky - Part I

canclub.jpgCanadian whisky has been around for a very long time and is the number one spirit imported into the United States. It currently accounts for 11.5% of spirit consumption in the US and only trails behind vodka for market share. The key reason for this is the smooth nature of Canadian whisky. For most people, drinking is a casual affair and Canadian whisky is a casual whisky. However, there is more to this spirit than meets the eye.

The Mai Tai Cocktail

mai tai drink recipeThe Mai Tai is a very misunderstood cocktail. Many people think this is a tropical fruit juice cocktail, but the reality is that this is a very strong rum based drink. The confusion comes from a hotel in Hawaii that modified the original formula in the 1950's and added pineapple juice (often called a Maui Mai Tai), then someone added guava and orange juice and eventually the drink barely resembled the first incarnation. The classic recipe uses top quality rum and curacao* plus orgeat (pronounced: or-zat) and lime. A small amount of sugar can be added to balance the lime. The grenadine is strictly added for colour. The Mai Tai was created by Trader Vic.

Jagos Vanilla Cream Liqueur

jagos vanilla vodka creamA couple of times a month the LCBO (Ontario liquor store) brings in a bunch of new products. Back in the spring they brought out Jagos Vanilla Vodka Cream Liqueur. Since one of my favorite flavours is vanilla, I picked up a bottle, just because. I tried it, found it pleasant, and put it on the shelf for six months, and then I discovered a good use for it!

Octavian Cocktail

This drink was created because I was not a fan of the Caesar. For some reason I never acquired the taste for Clamato juice. But, the Caesar is the number one cocktail in Canada, so there must be something to this drink. Instead of fighting the favorite Canadian cocktail, I decided to pay tribute to it and develop something for people, like me, who don't appreciate the complex flavours of clam and tomato juice.

Underberg Bitters

underberg bittersWell I picked up a 3 pack of Underberg bitters. They come in single servings and are suppose to be a great digestive. I tried it straight and they are definitely bitter. They have overtones of cinnamon and other roots. The gentiana has a medicinal taste, but it's not overpowering. There is a subtle aftertaste that lingers, but it is pleasant.

It happened that I had a can of Coke sitting beside me, so I decided to mix the two together and it actually turned out pretty good. I'm sure traditionalists will say to only drink it straight, but it goes great with Coke too.

The Rum Kick

RumFest in New York had a competition for cocktails this year. Unfortunately, I did not win, but that doesn't mean I can't share the recipe with you. It's a relatively simple drink that uses cold coffee for it's unique ingredient. Plus the caffeine gives a little "kick."

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