TDN – Bols Genever: G.V.D. (godverdomme)

June 8th, 2009 by Colonel Tiki

Sometime ’round about 2002 a friend of mine returned from Amsterdam with a ceramic bottle of Corenwyn. Since then, I’ve been completely enamored with Corenwyn, genevers, and old-tom gins. Blair over on the Mixoloseum Blog can tell you more about Genever and such, I’ll just say it is delicious.

This past Thursday’s TDN was centered around Bols new launch of their Genever. It is a fabulous product. Right now it has limited availability and I look forward its expansion (and support from the OLCC, I hope). It has a mouth feel of velvet and a refined balanced flavor profile that ends in warm malty notes.

The strange late spring heat wave we’ve been having here in Portland directed me toward my concoction that I delivered to TDN. My friends Molly and Zorn (both PDX bartenders with decades of experience) introduced me to the wonder of chile peppers and fruit in cocktails. Greg Hoitsma over at Andina also has great success with Habañero and Passion Fruit (an amazing combination). I am particularly obsessed with the pineapple/lemon/simple/chile, featuring a good earthy chile such as a Jalapeño or a Serrano. For a Thai chile or birds-eye I think I might switch out the lemon for lime.

I’m very happy with the result from the below concoction. It is amongst the four finalists over at the Mixoloseum Blog. Please go over there to vote for it if you find it surpasses the competition, as I do. Also if you’re over there try out the “Malt Gasoline.” It’s a wonderful swizzle only slightly less of a winner than mine. 😉

G.V.D. (godverdamme)

Photo courtesy Tiare (

G.V.D (godverdomme)
2 oz Bols Genever
½ oz pineapple juice (fresh, please)
½ oz lemon juice
½ oz vanilla syrup (sub simple)
few pinapple chunks
3 slices jalapeño or serrano chile
dash aromatic bitters (fee’s old fashioned, angostura, &c.)

Muddle pinapple chunks, chile, and juices. Add remaning ingredients and shake with ice to mix and form head. Double strain into cocktail glass and garnish with lemon twist (or as Tiare has in her beautiful shot, pineapple wedge and chile).

Martin Cate to open Smuggler’s Cove: Fall 2009

June 3rd, 2009 by Colonel Tiki

EXTRA! EXTRA! SAN FRANCISCO: Rum rapscallion Martin Cate to open new Rum based Cocktail bar in The City. Bay area denizens: Ready your livers!


SAN FRANCISCO, CA- This fall, San Francisco will become home to Smuggler’s Cove, a new bar designed to celebrate the incredible diversity and versatility of the world’s most exciting spirit: Rum. Smuggler’s Cove offers a whole new approach to rum by featuring a vast array of traditional Caribbean drinks, classic libations of Prohibition-Era Havana, and famous exotic cocktails from legendary tiki bars- all under one roof. In addition, Smuggler’s Cove will offer an unparalleled selection of rare and premium rums from around the world carefully selected for enjoying on their own or skillfully blended into cocktails. For over a decade, owner and creator Martin Cate has been passionate about rum & tropical cocktails. He was the co-creator, designer and chief mixologist for Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge in Alameda, CA. He has judged in international rum competitions, met with over a dozen rum distillers in five countries, and lectured at Bourbon and Branch’s Beverage Academy, Tales of the Cocktail, and Tiki Oasis. “I am very excited to help showcase this wonderfully varied spirit both on its own and in delicious cocktails. A great rum drink can be simple and elegant, or complex and dynamic, but it must always be balanced, approachable, and just a pleasure to drink,” says Martin Cate. “Too often, people associate rum with syrupy and artificial drinks and we’re here to change that.” Martin has traveled the world to learn the rich history and explore the traditional spices and regional ingredients of the world’s rum producing countries in order to feature them in the cocktails of Smuggler’s Cove. As an award-winning mixologist and member of the United States Bartenders Guild for the last four years, Martin is committed to using only the best quality spirits, fresh-squeezed juices, and housemade ingredients. But while Martin is serious about the drinks, he knows that people are looking for a memorable and fun experience as well. “Smuggler’s Cove will be more than just a tiki bar, but it will feature the kind of dramatic, mysterious, and escapist atmosphere that makes a tiki bar so special- and makes rum taste better!” Smuggler’s Cove will include waterfalls, vintage nautical décor and rum memorabilia, and relics from some of San Francisco’s most famous historic watering holes. Smuggler’s Cove will open November 2009 in San Francisco, CA.

For more information, please visit and sign up on our mailing list to get all the latest news.

About Martin Cate:

Contact Martin Cate at or 415-999-7929

Mixology Monday May 2009: Amaro

May 18th, 2009 by Colonel Tiki

mxmologoIs it that time of the month again? Sakes alive, how time flies. Sebastian is just past 4 months old and Tiki Kon is only 2 months away.

This month the Internet’s favorite all-around superb stylish talented and popular fellow, Chuck Taggart hosts May’s Mixology Monday. He’s chosen Amaro for the theme.

Italian Amaros (Amari?) are bitter liqueurs meant to stimulate digestion or alleve indigestion if need be — digestive bitters. We’re all familiar with Campari and Fernet and likely some are familiar with Cynar which is made with artichokes. The Italians have dozens (if not near past 100) more. They are usually built on wines fortified with high-alcohol extractions of botanicals, spices, and bittering agents. Amaros are current loves of stateside bartenders who are reaching for something to suit the body of the cocktail more than the traditional shake of strong aromatic bitters for the nose of the drink.

I’ve loved every amaro I’ve tried withough fail, so I though it fitting to pair my cocktail with a liquor that I’ve been fighting to develop a taste for and until only recently failed: Tequila. Try as I might to find avenues and gateways into appreciating tequila (mescal, cachaça, etc.) it was no use. This was my bane – my last liquor to conquer and I had failed. That is, until recently. It just clicked into place – it finally made sense. Much to my relief I now have another color in my pallete and this is my first recipe using the toungue-timber of the hearts of blue agave. I hope you enjoy. I pair it with two of my favorite amaros: Cynar and Averna.

Amaro Amigo

Amaro Amigo

½ oz Cynar
½ oz Averna
¾ oz Tequila Ocho Plata (or other 100% blue agave blanco tequila)
½ oz blood orange juice
¼ oz lime juice
½ oz Cointreau
dash cinnamon tincture (or cinnamon heavy bitters)
dash herbsaint

Stir with ice in mixing glass and double strain into cocktail glass. Olé

Thanks to Chuck for hosting!

MxMo XXXVIII: Superior Twists

April 13th, 2009 by Colonel Tiki

mxmologoAnother month, another Mixology Monday. This month’s roman numeral sure looks impressive, doesn’t it?

Tristan over at The Wild Drink Blog hosts this month’s session and the theme is “Superior Twists.” In his own words:

This month’s Mixology Monday is all about twists on classic cocktails, that for one reason or another do an even better job than the drinks upon which they are based.

This could be as simple as a classic Margarita with a dash with a special touch that completes it, or maybe as complicated as a deconstructed Hemingway Daiquiri with a homemade rum foam/caviar/jus/trifle. It might be taking a classic like a Manhattan and using Tequila instead of Bourbon?

Well, as chance would have it, my twist is a Manhattan — with a twist, no less. One fateful night, Murray Stenson said the now fateful (to me) words: “Well, have you had a Manhattan with Punt e Mes?”

“Punt e Mes,” Says I: “What’s that?” The bottle came out, the cocktail was placed before me. Little did I know it was also new and glorious world he was also placing before me. So I’ll honor that epiphany with what I do to Manhattans whenever I’m drinking them, which is quite often.

Too often enough as luck would have it. I take my Manhattans with rye and I’m fresh out.1 I instead subbed Bulleit Bourbon for the whiskey.

Black Manhattan

Black Manhattan2
2oz bourbon (or rye)
1oz Punt e Mes
dash simple
dash aromatic bitters3
orange twist

Stir ingredients and pour into cocktail glass. Express orange oil onto cocktail and garnish with orange twist.

I adore how the orange oil mixes with the deep gorgeous depths of the bitter and herbal Punt e Mes. A million thanks to Ben and Kacy and Murray for pushing me off that cliff three years ago. Cheers!

  1. anyone want to send me any? []
  2. or Dark Manhattan, &c. you’ll find it named all kinds of things []
  3. anyone want to give me a lead on the Bitter Truth’s aromatic? Yum. []

TDN – Mount Gay Extra Old

April 8th, 2009 by Colonel Tiki

tdn_mgxoThis week’s Thursday Drink Night (or TDN to us cool cats) is centered around a magical rum from the birthplace of rum: Barbados.1 I speak of Mount Gay Rum, Extra Old.

RumDood has a better and more informative post over at his digs, but to be brief: Mount Gay Rum is a perfect example of Bajan rum: Rich without being overbearing, smooth without being insipid. You can even taste the ocean breeze wafting over the coral containers they use in the distillation process. It’s heavenly. And the Extra Old which we’ll be mixing with? It’s almost a shame to mix it.

But mix it we will – We’ll just have to be sure to give it the respect it deserves.

Join us this Thursday, April 9 @ 4pm PDT. We usually go on until the wee hours of the night. Point your browser over to the Mixoloseum Bar for the fun! See you there!

  1. or so the Bajans claim. I like to believe them. []

MxMo February 2009 – Hard Drinks for Hard Times

February 16th, 2009 by Colonel Tiki

mxmologoThere’s no two ways about it. It’s a hard time out there in the workaday world. Whether you’ve been laid-off, had your hours cut, or taken a pay decrease there’s less of the green to go around. Those hard facts are the theme for this month’s Mixology Monday. My esteemed friend Matt Rowley is hosting the grand sioree over at his whiskey forge. Please add it to your RSS feed if it isn’t already: He’s a good man — and thorough.1

I’ve been absent for a bit on the blog an MxMo front lately. There is good and wonderful reason for this however: The birth of my first Son, Sebastian Milton Felix.2 I was tempted to “pull a doug” and post Sebastian as my “broaden your horizons.” Because believe me, my horizons now are broad and far.

Babies as they say, however, ain’t cheap. Even more the reason for a hard times drink. The fabulous wife was also hard-up for a tipple for nine months.3 Hard times all around. I have a panacea to cure all these ills: Home-made Southern Comfort. This recipe is the #3 or #4 version and finally ready for release into the wild. Sebastian has another 17 years and 10.5 months till he gets to say the same. My friend Martin gave me this recipe back in … 2004? Time – where does it go? During Tiki Kon II, while we were chatting in the kitchen Heather mentioned how she loved southern comfort while I complained about the artificial flavors. He said something along the lines of “Really? Make your own. Easiest thing: just add orange rind, a bit of juice and vanilla syrup to cheap bourbon. It’s delicious.

Along the way, I’ve picked up a few extra ingredients and methods and it is cheap and delicious. This batch was made during the summer especially for Heather when she was out of labor (don’t tell anyone I sneaked a flask of it into the hospital)4

Home Comfort & Soda

Home Comfort Liqueur ($11.60)
1 750ml bottle Old Crow ($8.95)
2 peaches ($1)
1 orange ($0.50)
¼ cup vanilla sugar ($0.30)
¼ cup orange blossom honey ($0.75)

Cut the peaches into chunks, zest the orange and reserve the juice. Add the peaches, zest and juice into a mason jar with the bourbon. Let this infuse for at least a week (or two). Strain and blend with the sugar and honey and let sit for at least a month in a cool dark place, shaking regularly. Strain again and enjoy (in a cocktail below?)

Home Comfort & Soda
2oz Home Comfort (recipe above)
4oz Lemon Lime soda

build a la highball in whatever glass that’s clean

Stop on by and Heather might let you have a sip.5

  1. He’s a good man, Jeffrey — and thorough. []
  2. Yes, Sebastian M.F. Hermann for those playing the home game. []
  3. Ask her about it for a lark. []
  4. I love posting ‘secrets’ on publicly available media. []
  5. You’d better bring her a gift. []

Mixology Monday Wrap-up December 2008 – Spice

December 17th, 2008 by Colonel Tiki

mxmologoIt’s the Hap-Happiest time of the year! It’s Mixology Monday again, and this month we’re talking about spice. I know it is contemporary to think about oil or water or wood as natural resources to fight over, but spice was THE resource though much of human history. I won’t go on a preachy teacher mission here, but this season take a moment to appreciate the importance and history of spice to our culture, our cuisine, and most importantly, our booze!

Enough of my prattling, let’s get to the wrap-up!

Jake at Liquor is Quicker is first off the bat this time. He gives us his version of a flip with applejack, using cinnamon and cayenne. I love the addition of a nice hot element so he has my attention. Calling it a Flipjack gets only groans. Good groans, though. Please don’t tell anyone I secretly delight in puns.
Jon gives us a recipe for home-made Krupnik at Ednbrg. While nary a cocktail recipe is in view, the combination of cinnamon, honey, cloves, vanilla and nutmeg sound super dreamy. I’d like to try it as a replacement for Licor 43 in some tiki recipes I have.
Tiare at A Mountain of Crushed Ice Gives us the glory of Glogg, which I’m due to post about later in the month for the Mixoloseum. Perhaps I can peek at her crib sheet for influences? Her usual outstanding photography draws you in to the riches of the spiced wine beverage. I’m particularly jealous of the yearly editions she sports. Oh, and of the Demerara in her collection. Oh, and the Cuban Rum in her collection. Yeah.
Jacques at Rosarita Beach Cafe writes about Morgenthaler’s Eggnog (too busy to put one in this month, poor dear), Boudreau’s version of the Alabazam (Seattle’s No.2 strikes again!), and the Curacao cocktail finishes out spice (though that last one is questionable, Jacques 🙂 ).
Tristan at The Wild Drink Blog goes a wassailing in Cornwall. You know, the tip of Great Britain that  sticks its’ tongue out under the nose of Wales? Tristan’s photography is lovely, and his recipe for Wassail is not to be missed. If only I were close enough to get fresh Cornish cider…
We met Steve and Paul from Cocktail Buzz at tales of the cocktail this year. They cover mace as their spice of choice. Nutmeg’s wrapper (as I call it) is like an exclamation point to nutmeg’s period. Sharper, spicier, and less lasting, Mace is a perfect tool to have when you want to instill that flavor at the forefront of a flavor. They showcase it in The Fascist, a mixture of Mace, Pear, and nut flavors. Delicious.
rct Recent newcomers on the blogging scene Jon and Kelley over at Spirits and Such infuse 100% blue agave tequila with Serrano chiles for which to use in a Red-Chile Guava Margarita. The balance of Guava against the heat of the chiles sound heavenly. Welcome to MxMo, here’s to many more!
Frederic at Cocktail Virgin uses Mexican Chocolate to create a tequila-based Choclatl inspired hot drink with cayenne that he calls “Mexicano Hot Chocolate.”
Anthony at Abelha Cachaça creates a Christmas-spice and pear infused cachaça with which to create an old fashioned. The addition of aged cachaça makes me wish I lived next door. If that weren’t enough, he goes on to infuse mince pies into liquor. Oh, Stop! Save a place for me, Anthony.
Stevi at Two at the Most is my three-hour neighbor to the north. We chat all the time at the Mixoloseum bar. Until she sent me the link, I had no idea she decided to make such a fabulous item as Juniper syrup. A bourbon sour is the recipient of the syrup and it sounds completely delicious. I think I’ll have to play with my own juniper berries here. Hmm. Juniper and grains of paradise syrup?
Reese at Cocktail Hacker tackles ol’ Drink Boy’s house bitters for his Spice entry. Hey Reese, feel like shipping some of those out to certain cocktail bloggers? Wink, Wink? Next time I’m in Colorado, I’m ringing you up.
Paul at Cocktailiana get inspired by Indian flavors producing Coriander and Cumin spiced cocktails. Intriguing! I’m glad we have some good stretching of the spice theme – I’m dying to try these recipes myself.
Michael at My Aching Head referces Batanga which is comprised of coca-cola, tequila, salt and lime.
Drinkmix makes an intriguing mix of genever and caraway/juniper. In looking up my own drink name, Heather came across Frau Wacholder from Grimm’s fairy tales – the female spirit of the Juniper tree. Meines Deutsch ist sehr schlecht. Entschuldege!
Christian at Cocktailwelten ist ein andere Deutches Blog. Gruss dich, Christian! Christian puts rosemary togeher with Tequila and agave syrup for a Tommy’s Platino Margarita. Fröliche Weinnachten, Christian!
Felicia at Felicia’s Speackeasy wins some kind of award for using beets in a champagne cocktail. Cinnamon and cayenne show up again. The color looks gorgeous and I’ll bet it tastes just as lovely.
Vidiot at Cocktailians reveals a fascinating mixture of egg nog and cider from Jerry Thomas and makes it his own: General Harrison’s Egg Nog becomes the Tippicanoe Sparkler. We tiki mad folks can also thank President Harrison for presiding over the annexation of Hawaii (just ignore the empire-building nature of it, won’t you?)
Mat1 aka Rumdood provides a delectable recipe for a Mulled Apple Punch at his site. Spice indeed, he later added a recipe involving Sriracha hot sauce (which is a personal house favorite).
Doug at The Pegu Blog gets eyes rolled at him for choosing to go with his namesake, the Pegu and trying to con us all into Angostura bitters qualifying for the Spice. Only because we like you Doug. Be sure to chide him over at his blog.
Drink of the Week rides the bacon meme with a bacon salt martini. I do believe the vegetarian pope has declared bacon a non-animal product, so veggers, please feel free to partake guilt-free.
Jay at Oh Gosh! is a charming fellow. I also made his acquaintance at Tales this year after following his wise and entertaining blog. He rewards us this month with a Winter Sidecar, using Pimm’s Winter Cup. Oh, how I wish I could get my hands on some of that stateside.
Cynthia at My Brilliant Mistakes creates a cranberry spice syrup and proceeds to offer up a daisy and a sidecar using the product. I’ve often thought that cranberries might make an interesting sloeberry replacement for gin infusion: anyone else find that idea noteworthy?
Marshall at Scofflaw’s Den shows us how to mix up a spice tincture. He bases his off angostura, minus the bittering agents. I highly approve of the mix, and had a similar thought in my offering (at the bottom of the list).
SeanMike at Scofflaw’s Den gives some love to Morgenthaler’s egg nog recipe (that’s 2 so far, Morgey!) as well as an original recipe, “Apple Cider Heaven” which features St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram.
Chuck at Gumbo Pages once again does amazing work with the Chen-san, playing with a Szechuan Peppercorn tincture. Chuck recommends some online spice sources as well. Superior!
Meade at Kincke takes out a contract on us with the “Mob Hit.” It’s killer cocktail of rum and spices. Dead Gorgeous. I warned you about the puns.
Darcy at Art of Drink produces a challenging mixture with goldschlager, wasabi-infused rum, spiced rum and rose wine. Spice Girls jokes aside, Darcy is a talented and skilled flavor master. I look forward to trying this concoction.
Michael at A Dash of Bitters has a Ward Cleaver, made with  rye infused with walnuts, peppercorns (pepper is hot this MxMo), cinnamon and lemon zest. I’m dying for this one. Rye is the perfect companion to the spices listed. Good job, Michael!
The Scribe at A Mixed Dram writes about The Redcoat’s Aunt, a spiced tea-based tipple as well as mulled wine. Two great hot beverages for a cold winter.
Nat at Alpha-Cook uses tea, St.Elizabeth allspice dram, and a home-made cinnamon compund butter to construct a tasty-looking hot buttered rum. Winter warmer, indeed!
Kate at Tiny Bubbles reclaims the classic cinnamon with  The First Lady, a pear brandy and champagne cocktail that sounds as delicious as I’m the victory in November was for a majority of my readers.
Blair at Trader Tiki has been a close friend for nearly 10 years. It is a joy to share cocktailia and tikiana and basement tiki bars (not to mention Portland itself). Blair joins the hot/sweet/pungent zeitgeist with his 5-spice syrup and constructs the FIN, a exotic intoxicating mixture I look forward to savoring over the winter holidays. Okole Maluna, Hoaloha!
Jacob Grier may have won first prize with yon Sleeping Scotsman. Dr. Demento listeners should get the reference. If not, you have Google there, people. Use it. The smoky and salty quaff pictured here has my mouth watering. Also, Embury while being a font of great information, is a snotty purist who needs to be taken with these grains of salt. 😉
Matthew at Blotto! uses House Distilleries Ouzo in his Alexandros cocktail, which I have personally sampled and declared highly imbibable. Indeed.
Anita at Married with Dinner offers Shai Hulud, named after the likeness of the hibiscus flower garnish to those pesky sand worms. The Spice is life!  
The Coursing Sling is Kevin’s drink at Beers in the Shower. Sage adds an earthy greyhound variation. I’d argue that sage is a Herb, not a Spice, but Kevin is such a wonderful bartender and fellow that I’ll just let this one slide. After all – I’m sure too see him as he’s a Seattle neighbor. Also, this drink looks amazing.
Paul at The Cocktail Chronicles is the source of all of our merry making and monthly fun. Three cheers to Mr. Paul Clarke for starting Mixology Monday (and in many ways, many if not most of our inspirations to become online cocktail writers as well). Paul gets extra credit for drinking hot gin in his Mr. Micawber‘s Gin Punch. This recipe comes from a volume I myself have recently picked up, “Drinking with Dickens.” It is put together by old Chuck’s Great-Grandson, Cedric. Also, Paul (as is his wont) closes out the list with the last entry.
Craig at Tiki Drinks & Indigo Firmaments is your host this month. I’ll simply let my link speak for itself here. But just *look* at those spices, would, ya? Man that’s impressive.
Gabe at Cocktail Nerd takes a flip and cooks it! Well, he makes the most amazing pumpkin pies I’ve every seen. I wish Oklahoma wasn’t so far away, because I want some slices. Using Pimento Dram in one and Falernum in the other (and Cruzan Blackstrap in both), Gabe satisfies your sweet tooth and your lush’s liver. A Corn’n’Oil finishes out his wonderful post. It’s almost better than your mom would make!

I’d like to thank Paul Clarke for the opportunity to host a month of MxMo and each of the 37 contributors. If anyone is late, please send me email and I’ll get you in. I’m not one for hard-fast rules nor will you find me a stickler. Especially during this season of Giving.

From me and mine to you and yours, I bid you peace.

  1. He left off my double N, so I’m leaving off his double T []

Mixology Monday December 2008 – Spice

December 15th, 2008 by Colonel Tiki

What did I get myself into? This month’s Mixology Monday’s Theme is Spice – picked by yours truly, hosted by yours truly. You’d think that if I pick and host that I should be pre-prepared, right? Nope. Here I am at 8pm writing up my own entry.

I would recommend having a perfect wife as I do. It makes things far easier. Also, try to get a Medieval History major if you can. There are a great deal of interesting ties to medieval cuisine in modern cocktailia. Orgeat comes out of the medieval use of Almond milk to better store fat in nut form to prevent spoilage: Just grind the nuts, and form some emulsion to get the nut fat and you can cook or bake with it. Orgeat is also tied to Barley-water which follows a similar method of extraction to nourish.

In a secret project she’s working on, I’ve pulled out the existence of a spice mix popularly used called “Powder Forte,” or Strong Powder. There was also a “Powder Dulce,” sweet powder. Powder Fort was used with meats and pies and other places where hot/strong flavors are desired. Western Medieval cuisine was what we would connect with savoury today – the French would put a stop to the idea that spices such as ginger, nutmeg, and cloves go with meats in the 1600s.

Powder Fort Mise en Place

The recipes for powder fort vary depending on which text you read, so my approximation is just that – the general ingredients are: Pepper(s), ginger(s), cloves(s), nutmeg(s), cinnamon(s), and grains of paradise. My only lost ingredient I’m still searching for is Long Pepper. Our current Pepper is the individual dried berries of piper nigra, but contemporary medieval cooks would be more familiar with piper longum – a family member that has smaller berries that are dried completly on the catkin, hence the term Long pepper. I have not as of yet been able to been locate a source. (I’d appreciate any help out there in the internets!). Stories say that a certain Spanish King owned orchards of piper nigrum and therefor forbid long pepper so he could push his form of pepper and so now we all know it as pepper, rather than the former more popular long pepper.

I thought I would first make a syrup to play with the mixure to get a hold on the flavor before further experimentation. Some recipes call for a 7-1 cinnamon/pepper/ginger – nutmeg/mace/grains/cloves, others 3-1. I decided to start with 4-1.

My recipe is as follows

Black Pepper 4 tsp. Black Pepper (sub for Long Pepper)

Galangal 1/4 Cup Galangal, diced.

Ginger 1/4 Cup Ginger, diced.

Cassia 2 tsp. ground Cassia

Cinnamon 2 tsp. (2 sticks) ground Cinnamon

Ceubeb 1 tsp. Cuebeb (tailed pepper)

Nutmeg 1/2 tsp ground Nutmeg

Mace 1/2 tsp. ground Mace

Cloves 1 tsp ground Cloves

Grains of Paradise 1 tsp. ground Grains of Paradise

Syrup cookin'Mix with 4 cups sugar, add 3 cups water and slowly bring to a boil. Simmer on low for 30 minutes. Let stand for at least 4 hours and strain.

The finished flavor was amazingly balanced for the number of ingredients. The finish is clean, the shape round and gorgeous. After tasting it Heather immediately thought of Gin. I agreed. She suggested a gin milk punch, since she finds it usually one-note or weak. I again agreed. She’s usually right (damn her.)


Melcan Cwicbeam
¾ oz Powder Forte Syrup
2 oz Plymouth Gin
3 oz Milk (Almond milk would also do)

Shake all with cube ice and strain into footed huricane or brandy snifter. Grate nutmeg on top, cinnmaon stick garnish.

The name is a bit anacronistic, being Old English rather than Middle English, but you know – screw the damn Normans. Filthy beggars. The drink itself is anachronistic anyway – distilled liquor comes late to the medieval period, first as elixirs in monasteries, let’s pretend, shall we?

Next I’ll plan to make a Liqueur from the mix, perhaps also a bitters – I’m really in love with this spice mix. I’m definitely in love with Grains of Paradise.

I’ll have the wrap-up posted by tomorrow night, thanks to everyone who particiapted. Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Joyous Yule, Happy Hannukah, Happy Solstice, Joyous Saturnalia, Happy Kwanzaa, and Adequate Festivas to you and yours!

Mixology Monday December 2008 – Spice

December 5th, 2008 by Colonel Tiki

Greetings everyone! This month’s Mixology Monday is popping up on December 15 – a little more than a week away. Tiki Drinks & Indigo Firmaments has the honors of hosting this merry edition of our monthly fest and I’ve chose the theme to be Spice.

Spice should give you plenty of room to play – from the winter warmers of egg nog, wassail and mulled products to the strange and interesting infusions of pepper, ceubub, grains of paradise, nutmeg — what have you! I would like to stretch the traditional meanings of spice (as the bark, seed, nut or flowering part of a plant used for seasoning) to basically anything used for flavoring that isn’t an herb. Salt? Go for it. Paprika? I’d love to see you try. I hear that cardamom is hot right now.

So have your entries posted by 11:59pm on the night of the 15th and send me your links (and pics if you choose) in email to craig at nwtiki dot com (and/or comment to this post). Time to get crackin’!

MxMo November 2008 — Made From Scratch!

November 10th, 2008 by Colonel Tiki

It’s been a while, dear readers. It’s been crazy around Mathom House here. There will be a little monkey joining us in January so we’ve been busy getting a nursery together and of course the new basement temporary tiki bar, the “Monkey Hut in Exile.” It’s been hard to keep up with posting – I have about 3 or 4 posts in the queue. When I get more than about 30 minutes to myself, I’ll hope to put ’em up.

This month, Doug at The Pegu Blog is hosting and the theme is “Made from Scratch!

While this must be the easiest MxMo to date for us Tiki cocktailians, it does offer the opportunity to make something new. I’m always making something in the kitchen: falernum, pimento dram, orgeat, forbidden fruits liqueur, orange curacao, bumbo, &c.

Hiram Walker was nice enough to provide some samples of their holiday line of liqueurs for sampling. I received them and I really can’t say much about them here and now. I was, however, moved to try my hand at making my own pumpkin liqueur. About two years ago I made a few batches of pumpkin syrup that were a hit. I wondered if my skills learned in the past year with infused liqueurs would yield something at least better than I could find on the shelf. The first version surpassed my expectations but needed a little tweaking to get the pumpkin flavor better represented. Here is the second version:

Pumpkin Liqueur

Pumpkin Liqueur ( this recipe makes over half a gallon, split accordingly)
2 Cups pumpkin, chunked and roasted
½ Cup ginger, sliced
½ Cup allspice berries, crushed
¼ Cup cloves, crushed
1 Nutmeg, ground
4 Sticks ceylon cinnamon, broken into pieces
1 Tbsp cassia cinnamon, ground
1 Tbsp mace, ground
2 pods vanilla, scraped
750ml LemonHart 151
8 cups sugar for syrup

Separate all spices and pumpkin into 2 equal parts. Infuse spices and pumpkin in 151 for at least one week. Combine the balance of the spices and pumpkin with the sugar and 4 cups of water. Bring to near boil and simmer for 30 minutes and pour into separate container for at least one week. After 1 week strain all solids from 151 infusion and syrup and combine. You can pour through a brita filter device, but I wait for the tiny solids to settle and I cart off the clear top liqueur.

I made this liqueur for a party benefiting the Portland Women’s Crisis Line. I featured it in a few cocktails. Here’s one of ’em:

Harvest Old Fashioned
1 oz Pumpkin Liqueur
2 oz bourbon
Cherry and Orange wheel, muddled
Dash Fees bros bitters

Muddle fruit in mixing glass. Add ice, liquors, bitters and stir. Pour into rocks glass.

Yes, I not only include but also muddle the fruit in an old fashioned. It’s not an old fashioned old fashioned. Here is another just for MxMo:

Hot Rummin' Pumpkin

Hot Rummin’ Pumpkin
¾ oz Pumpkin Liqueur
¾ oz Jamaican dark rum
1½ oz demerara rum
4 oz cream, steaming hot
nutmeg, ground

Combine all ingredients in heated glass and top with ground nutmeg. Garnish with cinnamon stick.

Another month and another MxMo. Next month, I’ll be hosting so I’ll see everyone on the flipside for December’s MxMo – “Spice.”