Posts Tagged ‘New York Bartender’s Guide’

Rule 37: Beachcomber’s Gold

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.

I wanted rum tonight.
The Lady Friend had a super awesome Manhattan (THIS version) and I was kind of jealous, but I already had my heart set on RUM. I don’t know why, but I did.

So, I started flipping through the New York Bartender’s Guide by Sally Ann Berk, where I had previously found The Million Dollar Cocktail. This book sorts by liquor, which is awesome, so I started in the middle of the rum section. There were a few interesting recipes to save for another time, but I had to start over at the beginning of the section to find this one: Beachcomber’s Gold. I’m going to assume this one was either created by, or named for (or both), Tiki drink legend Don the Beachcomber. Apparently there are other versions out there, but they’re nothing like the version I made. They do use a cool ice “garnish,” but this version is many much more easiers. You heard me.

Three ingredients. And one of them is rum. The other two are actually both vermouth, but they’re different kinds. That’s it. It’s basically a Perfect Manhattan/Martini with rum instead of whiskey or gin. “Perfect” in these cases means using equal parts dry/white and sweet/red vermouths. A Martini uses dry vermouth, a Manhattan uses sweet, and a “perfect” version of either uses both dry and sweet. Got it? Great. Drink time.

Beachcomber’s Gold
From the New York Bartender’s Guide

– 2 oz light rum (Bully Boy)
– 1/2 oz sweet vermouth (Martini & Rossi)
– 1/2 oz dry vermouth (Martini & Rossi)

The book says to shake it, and strain into a cocktail glass full of crushed ice. Nuts to that. I’m treating this like a Martini/Manhattan or any other spirit-only drink, which means STIRRING it. Since she got that first part wrong, I’m also going to ignore that bit about crushed ice, and serve it UP, in a chilled cocktail coupe. There was no word on garnish either, but with rum, a lime peel might work nicely. I left it plain this time.

Broke out the Bully Boy rum for this one. The recipe is for a light rum, but the Bully Boy has tons of flavor. Like a molasses-coated sugar cookie spread its legs, grunted, and gave birth to a bottle of rum. It probably wasn’t the right type of light rum to use for this, as the flavorful Bully Boy tends to overwhelm things, but with only vermouths as the other ingredients, I figure I may as well put something tasty in there. The drink does have a lovely golden hue (hence the name) as the reddish sweet vermouth is diluted by the faint yellow dry vermouth and clear rum.

The drink reeks of the aforementioned sugar cookie offspring, with a touch of grapey wine-ness underneath. This is a brand new bottle of sweet vermouth, and the difference is apparent. Vermouth is a wine, and tends to lose its aroma and flavor after about a month. Keep it in the fridge after opening, but unless you power through Manhattans and Negronis like I do, buy the little 375ml bottles so you don’t feel too bad about throwing any unused remains out at the end of the month.

The taste is a wash of that sweet blackstrap rum up front, with a pleasant warm alcoholic tingle. Interestingly enough, the vermouth strikes back in the middle of the taste, oozing in with a syrupy dark grape and lightly floral essence. I really didn’t expect the wines to put up a fight against the rum, but it really works out well. The vermouths take the sting out of the spirit, leaving behind the flavors, while adding their own grapey contributions. This is certainly a grown-up cocktail, though I would caution that the same recipe with Bacardi will not be terribly exciting. Having had the “perfect” version, I’d like to go back and try both a sweet and dry version of this drink. My guess is that the sweet will have a nice dark syrup to play with the rum’s spice (oooh… especially with a dash or two of Angostura), whereas the dry version will be more akin to a lighter, floral concoction, like the Presidente without the grenadine. I’d go with orange bitters on that one and see how things play out.

Well there you go. I just gave you three cocktails for the price of one. Bunch of moochers. Go make one! NOWS.

The Lady Friend grudgingly tried the recipe and offered the following pearls of wisdom: “I smell the Bully Boy, the cupcakes, rainbows, and all that good stuff. Hmmm. I immediately get the grapey vermouth, but I can pick up some of that sweet Bully Boy. It’s alright. I wouldn’t drink it, but… *shrugs* It’s an interesting cocktail, but I wouldn’t choose it.”

Great. Thanks.

Rule 37: The Million Dollar Cocktail

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.

I desperately need a cocktail.
Seizing a random cocktail recipe book (the New York Bartender’s Guide by Sally Ann Berk, a Goodwill find) I started flipping through looking for some sort of inspiration. Since I just happened to have acquired a big jug of Tanqueray (on super duper secret probationary sale), that’s the direction I was heading in. Now, there are several ways one can arrange a recipe book: alphabetically, chronologically, by primary liquor, or with seemingly no method whatsoever. Almost all are alphabetical, but this one happily goes the extra step and sorts everything by the base spirit, making it easier to find, say, a gin cocktail specifically. Also, the recipes are listed by parts (2 parts this to 1 part that), by ounces (oh yes thank you), and by milliliters, which I’m told is something used by people who don’t speak English, and therefore are of little importance to me. While perusing the pages (nice photography as well), I found myself stopping at the Million Dollar Cocktail. It seemed tasty enough, so I’ll give it a whirl.

Allegedly, this drink was invented by a dude named Ngiam Tong Boon, a bartender at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore around the early 20th century. This is right in Singapore Sling territory, also invented by Boon. A lot of recipes I’ve come across use egg white, but I’m using the book version, and passing on it. Also, many others suggest serving it as a highball, though again, I’m going to stick to the book and use a chilled cocktail glass. Moving away from the printed recipe however, I will add a dash of Angostura bitters, as that seems like a good suggestion from some of the other sites.

It’s good to be the king.

The Million Dollar Cocktail
From the New York Bartender’s Guide

– 2 oz gin (Tanqueray)
– 1 oz sweet vermouth
– 1 oz pineapple juice
– 1 tsp (dash) grenadine
– 1 dash Angostura bitters

Shake it up, serve in a chilled cocktail glass.
Other versions add egg white for extra body and frothiness, and serve as a highball.
It’ll allegedly make you feel like a million bucks.

It’s going to take a hell of a cocktail to make me feel that fantastic. Let’s see what happens.

Give it a whiff: yup. Gin. Though somewhat subdued. The pineapple doesn’t really have much of an aroma, but it does tame the juniper, and the mixture just winds up smelling like sweetened gin. Not a bad thing. Also, I double-strain my cocktails (strain through a Hawthorn strainer AND a tea strainer) to get rid of ice shards and pulp, but it also cuts down on the frothy foam that most shaken pineapple drinks will have. I just don’t like bits of ice in my drinks.

Now the taste: first impression is, again, gin, though the pineapple fruit sweetness comes washing right in behind it. There’s a vermouth grapey roundness, and a hit of the cinnamon spice from the Angostura in the finish. I only used one dash of bitters, where in most drinks I’ll use several, but here it’s perfectly suited to the solo spike. A little hint of the flavor without overwhelming the gin botanicals or the pineapple. The gin and pineapple play together very nicely; what is it about juniper and pineapple that works so well? I think it’s a sweet vs. spice quality that sets your tastebuds all a-quiver. See also: Royal Hawaiian.

The Lady Friend’s take: “GIN.
Half a moment later: “Oh, it’s not that bad though. Juniper right off the bat, but then it mellows out with the pineapple sweetness. Not bad.

Yeah. That’s a decent summation. Gin, but it’s not that bad.
I think it works rather nicely. Try one.

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