Cocktail Recipes

Mix This: Basic Cooler with Plex Lowery

September 14th, 2011 — 11:44am

The heat. The Heeeeat!

For the past week, it has been close to unbearable here in downtown Los Angeles. Birds have been falling out the sky mid-flight, car radiators exploding on the 10W and humans scurrying out of the stabbing heat into shade–any shade! Luckily, things have mellowed out a bit…but don’t get too comfortable. I expect that we are not out of the woods yet, and we are not going to get out of this summer without one or two more Mad Max apocalyptic style heatwaves before fall officially makes its debut this year.

So I think there’s more than enough time to enjoy a Cooler. Basically, a Cooler is sugar+soda+a healthy dose of ice and mostly any damn liquor you want. Highballs are just fine for this, but I much prefer them to be in a collins glass. The only thing you need to keep in mind when making this is: “Will this truly be refreshing? Would I slay another man gladiator style for a goblet of this to quench my savage thirst? If the answer is yes, you did it right.

Basic Cooler

1/4-1/2oz Simple Syrup (depending on taste)
2oz your choice of Liquor (personally, I like Chambord)
Club Soda
Long citrus peel

add simple, liquor and soda to glass, add ice to the top and stir a few times. Garnish with peel, sit back, relax and drink.

Plex Lowery, Tony’s Saloon, GM

Mix This: Fancy Free

September 7th, 2011 — 3:58pm

A good one for all of us gentlemen to have in our back pockets is from Ted Saucier’s “Bottom’s Up” (1951). I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy for strewn throughout the cocktail book are pictures of saucy and scantily clad ladies in some form of cocktail erotica. Remember Gents…1951! The cocktail below is prepared in the style of an Old Fashioned.

Fancy Free
- 9 oz Whiskey Glass or Tumbler
- 2 oz Elijah Craig Bourbon or similar Bourbon
- 1/2 oz Maraska Maraschino Liqueur
- Dash of Angostura Bitters
- Ice Rocks (the larger the better)
- An Orange

step 1
Start by building all the ingredients in the glass.

step 2
Place a big rock of ice in the glass, making sure one point of the rock touches the bottom and that the top of the rock doesn’t peek over the rim. If you can’t get a big rock, use four large ice cubes, at least an inch in size.

step 3
Using a yoked vegetable peeler (not a knife), shave off a long strip of orange peel. Squeeze the peel to spray the top of the drink with oil, and then garnish the drink with the peel as if it was a long feather.

* I always use Elijah Craig Bourbon in my bar, but if you can’t get hold of it any bourbon of choice that is in the 90 proof (45 per cent alcohol by volume) range can be used.

* Use Luxardo Maraschino liqueur if you prefer, but be careful because the Luxardo is pretty potent, floral stuff. I would use a short 1/2 oz pour of it.

Eric Alperin, co-owner, The Varnish bar

Mix This: Vanilla Plum Manhattan

August 23rd, 2011 — 1:32pm

Vanilla Plum Manhattan

This is a simple Manhattan variation using a flavored sugar syrup to add character to one of my favorite cocktails. The drink is dark purple in color and is great after a meal. I lived with a Chef who had a library of cookbooks which were a great resources for Cocktail ideas, especially Dessert recipes. This recipe was inspired by a very simple dessert consisting of fresh plums and home made vanilla ice cream served over biscotti. The drink recipe essentially takes the flavor elements from the dessert and redesigns them.

2 oz Rye Whiskey (higher proof recommended)
1/4 oz Sweet Vermouth Red
1/2 oz Vanilla Plum Syrup
2 Dashes Aromatic Bitters
Stir ingredients in a mixing glass over ice until glass is frosted
Strain into a chilled Cocktail glass and garnish with lemon Zest

To make Vanilla Plum Syrup:
Boil 2 pints of water. Add 3 plums halved and pitted and cook on high heat for 5 mins or until water is purple
Remove plum halves and strain liquid to remove plum chunks. Using a heavy bottom pan on low heat simmer plum liquid with 2 split vanilla pods (scrape inside of pod into liquid) and 1/2 cup of sugar. After 5 minutes add sugar to taste. Do not cook longer than 10 minutes unless you want toffee. Let cool and keep refrigerated.

Angus McShane, GM, Seven Grand

Mix This: Dusty Road Chelada

August 17th, 2011 — 2:11pm

Dusty Road Chelada

½ ounce Tamarind pulp
1 pinch of lime rind
¾ ounce lime juice
¼ ounce agave nectar (optional)
1 bottle Uncommon Brewers Siamese Twin Ale (or Dos Equis)
½ ounce mezcal

Shake all ingredients (except beer and mezcal) without ice and strain into an ice filled glass rimmed with one part orange zest, one part salt and a half part black pepper. Top with beer and float the mezcal.

The beer cocktail is a tribute to the open air markets of Oaxaca: dried chilies, fresh and dried herbs, raw meat, grilled meat, stewed meat, braised meat and fresh fruits and veggies all greet your senses with joy.

Check out the piece on the Dusty Road Chelada in the Wall Street Journal here!

Raul Yrastorza, Las Perlas, GM

Spirit Guide: 28 Days Later

August 16th, 2011 — 11:34am

28 Days Later

The original Zombie’s recipe was a better kept secret than most presidents’ mistresses. Donn Beach’s bartenders and even managers didn’t know what the ingredients were via a system of coded flavorings whose codes changed frequently enough to keep the wolves at bay until the craze died down and American bartending became unconcerned w/ quality drinks.

Well, nowadays it’s a much different story.  Through years of diligent sleuthing Jeff Beachbum Berry uncovered the original just so we could pervert it enough to call it our own.  Though we like to torture ourselves by making everything ourselves, we’ll sometimes turn to the fine work of B.G. Reynold’s for his amazing syrups, and they all work well as subs for our house stuff.  Which is great for you because there’s 3 of ‘em in this drink I’ll tell ya how to make.  Here’s the most complicated thing we’ll ever serve as seen on The Cooking Channel’s Summer’s Hot Cocktails, currently in semi-regular rerun.  As an added bonus, I ensured there’d be a simple yet effective drinking game built in: Every time I say “booze,” take a sip.  You’d be surprised and delighted about how fast you get to base camp beneath that mountain of rum-soaked crushed ice.  And yes, if you’re going to rip off a sitcom for a drinking game, you could do a lot worse than How I Met Your Mother.

Twenty-Eight Days Later
.5oz Gosling’s 151
.5 goslings 80
1.0 Don Q
1.0 reposado mezcal [try Ilegal, since our chosen brand isn't retailed in SoCal]
1.0 pineapple
.75 lime
.5 GF
.25 trader tiki passionfruit syrup
.25 trader tiki grenadine
3/8 tuaca
3/8 luxardo maraschino
dash angostura bitters
dash peychaud’s bitters
8 drops absinthe
.25 Smith & Cross Rum
.25 Trader Tiki Don’s Mix

-Very brief shake, strain over cubes + crushed mixed in a 19oz. vessel: preferably of the tiki mug variety
-garnish w/ mint bouquet dashed w/ Smith & Cross

Allan Katz, GM, Caña Rum Bar