Archives for category: Brandy

I’ve been posting a lot of drinks that involve ingredients most people don’t have, or are a bi-atch to make.  So here’s the first in a series of cocktails with ingredients that are easy to find and fairly simple to make.  It’s a classic Prohibition-era cocktail, named for the distance you had to go from shore to consume hooch legally.  Hooray for boats!

12 Mile Limit

(It’s prettier than I managed to capture in this crappy picture.)

1 oz white rum (I like Cruzan, and it’s cheap!)
.5 oz brandy
.5 oz rye (I like Bulleit rye, if you can find it, and it’s also cheap!)
.5 oz lemon
Pomegranate grenadine

Combine everything except the grenadine in a mixing glass.  Ice, shake, and strain into a cocktail glass.  Drizzle a dash or two of grenadine and garnish with a lemon twist.  Toast to Will Rogers, who once said “Prohibition is better than no liquor at all.”

Now about that grenadine.  Most of that stuff you’re going to find in the store is a hot sticky mess of high-fructose corn syrup and red dye.  Leave it on the shelf with the plastic maraschino cherries.

Real grenadine is made from pomegranates.  You can make your own from scratch, but that’s a total pain in the ass.  If you want an easier alternative, get yourself some POM juice and make a syrup with half juice and half water.  Even easier, but not nearly as good, buy a semi-decent brand.

If none of this works for you, no worries.  The drink’s still good without the grenadine, although you might want to add a little simple syrup to it to make up for the sweetness.  That’s just one part sugar to one part water, dissolved.

This one is a fine way to get your home bar started, if you don’t already have all the stuff to make it on hand.  You’ll get a lot of mile-age out of the components.  (Booo.)

Another one from Ted Haigh’s wonderful book.  This seemed perfect for a lazy holiday weekend, especially since the mint is taking over our garden again.  The julep cups were a gift from a friend who knows us all too well, so we even had the right hardware.

Georgia Mint Julep

2 oz Cognac (I used Chalfonte)
1 oz peach brandy
Mint leaves
1 tsp sugar

Dash of water

You have to love any drink that calls for “a dash of water”.

Muddle the mint leaves, water, and sugar in a julep cup (or a rocks glass, if you don’t have generous julep cup-bearing friends).  Add a bunch of crushed ice.  Pour the Cognac and the peach brandy in and stir the hell out of it.  Garnish with a right purdy sprig of mint. 

This is pretty much three ounces of straight liquor.  I’m slowly figuring out that vintage cocktails were all designed to knock the imbiber on his / her ass as efficiently as possible.  I’m going to have to do some adjustment to these; I just can’t kick ’em back like Don Draper did.

Cheers, y’all.