Homemade Cocktails — Experiments, Critiques & Travels
How are new cocktails created? Well, one fairly simple way is to take an existing drink and swap some or all of the ingredients for new ones. It’s best to exchange one ingredient for another of the same “type,” however — you can swap one base spirit for another, one liqueur for another, one citrus for another, etc. Following this method, a Negroni — itself a variation of the Americano — can become a Boulevardier, or a White Negroni, or an Agavoni. A Manhattan can become a Rob Roy, a Red Hook, or a Little Italy. It’s an extremely versatile formula of creation.
Find a recipe, either new or old, and switch around at least two of the ingredients to sister or cousin ingredients but holding the proportions and some of the ingredients the same. The new recipe should be recognizable as a morph of the old one when viewed side by side.
[Check out the Roundup Post to see everyone’s MxMo entry]
Coincidentally, I had shaken up a new drink a month or so ago that was a variation on the Blood & Sand. I was unsure of what to name it at the time, and the recipe was shelved for further tasting. Since it fits our MxMo theme so nicely, I figured I’d give it another try, balance it out, and name it after another one of Rudolph Valentino’s movies. Presenting…
- 3/4 ounce Pig’s Nose Blended Scotch
- 3/4 ounce Martini Bianco Vermouth
- 3/4 ounce Kronan Swedish Punsch
- 3/4 ounce Orange Juice
Shake with ice and fine strain into a chilled coupe.
An original drink, adapted from the Blood & Sand.
For The Sheik, I’ve switched out the sweet vermouth for white / bianco — Martini’s is distinctly sweet and savory, with notes of oregano, vanilla, and citrus — and the Cherry Heering for another Scandinavian liqueur, Swedish Punsch. The resulting cocktail is highly complex and exceedingly easy to drink, with a decidedly old-school, Punch-like quality about it. I was pleasantly surprised by the combination of scotch and punsch, which is something I’ll have to play around with more often — the funky hogo of the arrack is perfect against the fruity malt of the whisky. The orange here is nice and laid back, its citrus qualities emphasized by the punsch and vermouth; lime could work well, but lemon would be a bit too sour and zippy, I think.
Amazing how a couple simple swaps can generate and entirely new blend of flavors. Can’t wait to see what the rest of the MxMo crew mixes up!
Photos by IJL