Archive for the ‘Cocktails’ Category

winter mist

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

The Man leaves the Atlanta Urinal Constipation, a sorry excuse for a newspaper, laying around the break room. While I feel the Atlanta Urinal Constipation is a completely useless contribution to the carbon footprint of Atlanta, reading even a worthless paper is better than working, so I occasionally peruse it. Amazingly, last Monday I discovered the Winter Mist in the Atlanta Urinal Constipation. Much to my surprise, the Winter Mist is a decidedly interesting cocktail.

The Winter Mist was created by Stephanie Ruhe, who mixes at The Mansion on Peachtree in Buckhead. Since I would prefer not to be caught dead in Buckhead*, I will likely never grace that particular establishment and experience her concoctions. Therefore, I was grateful to find the recipe printed in the Atlanta Urinal Constipation.

The Winter Mist is reminiscent of Key Lime Pie in concept, but not flavor - the drink looks sweet, but has a nice tartness and complex flavor. The initial flavor is bitter lime, nicely offset by simple syrup. Next, the subtle mint hits the palate. Finally, the herbal flavorings of the absinthe and gin kick in. Overall, the Winter Mist is a well balanced drink.

Prior to tasting it, I had misgivings, as the recipe calls for a full dose (one ounce) of absinthe. A drop of the anise flavored liquor is usually more than enough flavor a drink, however, in this recipe, the absinthe does not overwhelm the lime, mint, and gin. Based on this drink, Ms. Ruhe clearly has mad mixology skills.

This drink pours a gorgeous cloudy light green, complements of the absinthe’s louche. While the Winter Mist looks pretty and tastes great, it packs a serious punch in terms of alcohol, calories, and flavor. One is most assuredly enough.

Because the Atlanta Urinal Constipation requires an annoying registration, the recipe is as follows:

  • 1.5 ounces gin;
  • 1.0 ounces absinthe;
  • 1.0 ounces simple syrup;
  • 0.75 ounces lime juice; and
  • 3 sprigs fresh mint.

In a shaker, muddle mint and simple syrup. Add the gin, absinthe and lime juice and shake with ice. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with mint.


* This is a serious concern, because dying in Buckhead is not unusual. Despite efforts by area businesses to paint the area as the new bourgeoisie shopping district, Buckhead citizens are forcibly removed from the neighborhood if they do not shoot at least four people before breakfast. Even criminals who do not normally operate in the area stop by to enhance their street cred. For example, Brian Nichols, who went on a murderous rampage led a slave rebellion back in 2005, also stopped in Buckhead and whacked a federal agent after escaping from the highly secure Fulton County clink.

mai tai

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

In the 1970s, due to unfortunate fashion trends such as leisure suits and mustaches, American men had a terrible time getting laid. To address this issue, a few intrepid entrepreneurs invented Fern Bars. The purpose of Fern Bars was to get women so intoxicated they would overlook the aforementioned questionable fashion of the era and be convinced to put out. The seduction was accomplished by serving syrupy sweet fruity drinks that packed a fucking shit-ton of alcohol. These abominations were detrimental to the reputations of classic savory cocktails, but in no way resembled them.

Trader Vic, inventor of the Mai Tai, is often accused of being associated with the fern bar movement. While his signature drinks were co-opted and bastardized by the fern bar proprietors, Trader Vic actually created a wholly different animal: the tiki bar.

Given its affiliation with fern bars, and their modern equivalent, TGIFriday’s, the Mai Tai is one drink I avoided. However, Paul Harrington did see fit to include it as one of the 50 classics in Cocktail: The Drinks Bible for the 21st Century. So I got over my prejudice and mixed a couple of Mai Tais for the Photographer and myself.

While the rum is buried in the Mai Tai and it is a sweeter drink than I normally prefer, when made properly the sweetness is not overwhelming. The Mai Tai pours a nice red and the flavor is fairly fruity, with a hint of almond. I recommend the Mai Tai, but probably will not mix it terribly often.

The recipe I used is the simplest one of three available in my collection of bar books. The other two call for the addition of apricot brandy, which would cause excessive sweetness and extraneous fruitiness. In Cocktail: The Drinks Bible for the 21st Century, the recipe provides the option of simple syrup or grenadine - I chose to use Fee Brother’s American Beauty. Using a cheaper brand would make the Mai Tai saccharine sweet.

planter’s punch

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

After sampling the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, I mixed up two Planters Punches for the photographer and I. However, at this point in the evening, I was a bit into my cups and all I had written on my notepad was make more.

So in the interest of providing quality reviews to all five Propeller Skies readers, I made a few more Planters Punches this evening. Depending on who is telling the story, the Planters Punch was invented in St. Louis or Jamaica. Also depending on the source, the recipe varies substantially. The recipe I used consists primarily of rum and lemon juice, with a dash of orange juice and simple syrup.

The Planters Punch is an extremely tart libation. Initially, I was overwhelmed by the lemon, next came the sting of the alcohol, and finally a hint of orange appeared in the aftertaste. While the flavor is similar to the Frisco, the Planters Punch lacked the herbal complexity of the former. I found the Planters Punch rather boring.

On the second one, I increased the orange juice slightly and replaced the simple sugar with Stirrings Blood Orange Bitters*. The orange flavor was slightly more pronounced and the bitters added a hint of complexity. Even modified, Planters Punch is not recommended and will not be in regular rotation at Casa del Smoove.


* These are not bitters in the traditional sense of the term, in that they are non-alcoholic and rather sweet.

royal bermuda yacht club cocktail redux

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Alert Propeller Skies readers will recall I previously cheated by making the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club with rum from an improper island. A few days ago, The Photographer came over for drinks and dinner, so I acquired some actual Barbados rum to make the drink correctly. I found Mount Gay Special Reserve at Green’s on Ponce de Leon, which worked perfectly.

While I liked the previous version of the cocktail, when made properly it is off the hizzle fo’ shizzle. The flavor remains about the same, however the Mount Gay Special Reserve makes for a much mellower and slightly sweeter concoction. The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club is smoove as hell. Try one today.