Friday, September 6, 2019

Liqueur Cabinet: A Series of Libations featuring Madison Cellars liqueur selections Part 12

About The Brandy Alexander Cocktail

Lots of cocktails get dubbed “dessert in a glass.” But the Brandy Alexander is one of the few that deserves the accolade. A variation on the largely forgotten gin-based Alexander, the Brandy Alexander originated around the turn of the 20th century at Hotel Rector in New York City. During Prohibition, drinkers began swapping gin for other spirits, and cognac was the one that stuck. Why? Because it blends so perfectly with the combination of cacao, cream and nutmeg, making the Brandy Alexander the one Alexander people know today.

Ingredients in The Brandy Alexander Cocktail 

1 1⁄2 oz Cognac
Try it with Hennessy V.S Cognac

1 oz Dark crème de cacao

1 oz

Cocktail or coupe

How to make The Brandy Alexander Cocktail

Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake.
Strain into a chilled cocktail or coupe glass.
Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Grilled Fruit Cocktails for Your Labor Day!

Try something new while you have the grill going!

Fresh grilled pineapple pairs perfectly with mint and lime. Adjust the amount of sugar according to the sweetness of your pineapple.


  • 1/2 a small pineapple, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch thick planks
  • 2 teaspoons neutral oil, such as canola
  • 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 2 limes, cut into eighths
  • 1 small bunch of mint, stems removed and discarded
  • 8 ounces light rum
  • 16 ounces seltzer, chilled
  • Garnish: additional mint sprigs

  1. 1.
    Heat a grill to medium-high. Brush both sides of pineapple slices with oil and grill, turning occasionally, until lightly charred at edges and fruit is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool to room temperature. Roughly chop fruit.
  2. 2.
    Divide pineapple, sugar, limes, and mint equally among four large glasses. Muddle until mint is mashed and fruit releases its juices. Add rum and muddle to incorporate, then fill glasses with ice. Divide seltzer between glasses, stir gently to mix. Garnish with mint sprigs. 

    Source: Serious Eats

    Grilled Sangria

    When the grates are hot but still clean, before you start grilling your meal, throw on the fruit for this drink. The caramelized sugars will add richness and smoky-sweet depth to every sip.
    Cooking Note: Please allow 2 hours for chilling
    Featured in: The New Grilling Essentials
    Yield: serves 4-6
    Time: 15 minutes


    • 1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
    • 1 mango, peeled, cut away from pit, and sliced
    • 1 orange, sliced
    • 1 star fruit, sliced
    • 1⁄2 pineapple, peeled, cored, and sliced
    • 1 stick cinnamon
    • 1⁄2 vanilla bean, split
    • 1⁄2 cup soda water
    • 2 tbsp. honey
    • 1 cup Italian lemon soda, such as San Pellegrino Limonata
    • 1⁄2 cup apricot brandy
    • 1 (750-ml.) bottle white wine
    • Mint sprigs, for garnish


    1. Build a medium-heat fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium. (Alternatively, heat a cast-iron grill pan over medium-high.) Working in batches, grill kiwi, mango, orange, star fruit, and pineapple, turning once, until charred on both sides, 4 minutes for kiwi, 6–8 minutes for mango and orange, and 8–10 minutes for star fruit and pineapple. Transfer to a pitcher with cinnamon and vanilla bean
    2. Bring soda water and honey to a simmer in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high. Cook until honey has dissolved, 2–3 minutes; transfer to pitcher with fruit. Add lemon soda, brandy, and wine. Refrigerate 2 hours; serve with mint sprigs.

Here are some more interesting drinks!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Liqueur Cabinet: A Series of Libations featuring Madison Cellars liqueur selections Part 11, featuring Aperol

A pitcher for the weekend brunch or anytime:

The simple Screwdriver (vodka and orange juice) is an essential tool in the cocktail kit: tall, refreshing and almost impossible to screw up. But add a few bells and whistles, like fresh thyme and bitter Aperol, and you have the makings of a summer blockbuster.

The Summerthyme Screwdriver Cocktail 

serves 6-7

5  Orange wheels (sliced thickly)
2  Lemons
11 oz  vodka
5 1⁄2 oz  Aperol
17 oz  Fresh orange juice
Club soda, to top

Thyme sprig
Orange wheel

How to make The Summerthyme Screwdriver Cocktail

Lightly muddle the orange wheels at the bottom of a pitcher.
Hand-squeeze the lemons into the pitcher, and discard the shell.
Add the vodka, Aperol and orange juice and fill with ice.
Top with the club soda and gently stir.
Garnish with thyme sprigs and orange wheels.
Serve in a Collins glass.

Source: Liquor.ocm

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Welcome summer with a classic cocktail

The Singapore sling is a classic gin-based cocktail that every cocktail connoisseur needs to taste. The story goes that it was developed by Ngiam Tong Boon at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore sometime around 1915. It is a smooth, slow, and semi-sweet cocktail with a complex flavor that has remained a favorite for over 100 years.

The problem with the Singapore sling is that few people can agree on the recipe. You'll find many references to the "original" Raffles recipe and few of them are the same. The disparities seem to have begun as early as the drink's first decade and they've only grown over the years. It is really up to each drinker to decide which version of this famous cocktail they prefer most.

This recipe is one of the newer variations. Others include anything from pineapple to grenadine or liqueurs like Cointreau. A couple of today's top cocktail historians have also dug up older recipes with are worthy of discussion and a taste. No matter how you end up taking your Singapore sling, it is a fascinating cocktail that is well worth your time to explore.


1 1/2 ounces gin
1 ounce Benedictine
1 ounce lime juice
1/4 ounce simple syrup
2 ounces club soda
1/2 ounce cherry brandy (or kirsch or Cherry Heering)
Garnish: ​lemon slice and ​​maraschino cherry
Pour the gin, Benedictine, lime juice, and simple syrup into a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes.  Shake well and strain into a highball glass.  
Float the cherry brandy on top by pouring it over the back of a bar spoon.
Garnish with the lemon slice and cherry.

The "Original" Singapore Sling?

In 2015, the Raffles Hotel Singapore celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Singapore sling. It is an iconic cocktail and the showpiece of the hotel's Long Bar to this day.

The problem is that Ngiam Tom Boon's original recipe is under great dispute. According to Raffles, however, his intent was clear: to produce a cocktail that looked like juice and had a rosy color that would appeal to women. It was, as the hotel notes, "a socially acceptable punch for the ladies."

Further, Raffles notes that the Singapore Sling is a gin cocktail and its primary ingredient is pineapple (something lacking in the modern recipe above). It also includes grenadine, lime juice, Benedictine, and—for the "pretty pink hue"—cherry brandy and Cointreau. Note how they don't mention grenadine's contribution to the color, but that's a technicality (which sling recipes are filled with).

That doesn't help you with the "original" recipe, so it's time to turn to the cocktail historians. In the book, "Imbibe!," David Wondrich tells a completely different story. He points out that the Singapore sling may actually have been around since 1897 or so. It was a popular hangover cure and general cure-all for anything that might ail you. This clearly contradicts Raffles' historical claims.

The cocktail sleuth and author dug up a reference to the recipe written down from the Singapore Cricket Club. This version pours 1 ounce each cherry brandy, gin, Benedictine, and lime juice. Wondrich recommends stirring it with ice, then finishing it off with 1 to 2 ounces of sparkling water and a dash of Angostura bitters. The gin? Go with a traditional London dry or Old Tom. The suggested garnish is a lime twist.

Did you notice the lack of pineapple juice? This was the "key" ingredient in Raffles' recipe, so that may have been how Ngiam "improved" on a popular drink found throughout Singapore at the time.

Popular Singapore Sling Variations

To further open up your Singapore Sling possibilities, Wondrich also notes that you can play around with that formula. For instance, he dug up a few recipes from the 1930s that used the red wine claret or sloe gin to give the sling its signature color. When doing this, he recommends cutting back on the lime and Benedictine, then adding more gin.

You can then turn to another trusted source, Gary "Gaz" Regan and his book, "The Joy of Mixology," which is essential for a bartender's library. He shares two recipes that represent the spectrum of possible Singapore Slings.

In Regan's Singapore Sling No. 2 recipe, pineapple juice is used at a full 2-ounce pour, equaling that of Beefeater Gin. It also adds 1/2 ounce each Cherry Heering and triple sec with 1/4 ounce Benedictine and 3/4 ounce lime juice. It's topped with Angostura bitters and club soda. This is apparently a recipe found on a Raffles coaster, though it lacked the measurements, so experienced bartenders had to wing it to come up with these recommendations.

The Singapore Sling No. 1 in Regan's book is completely different and pineapple is excluded. Instead, it uses 2 ounces gin, 1/2 ounce each Benedictine and kirsch, 3/4 ounce lemon juice, and both orange and Angostura bitters. As with most slings, it is topped with club soda.

Which Sling Recipe Is for You?

The five Singapore Sling recipes shared here do not even begin to reflect the many variations you can find. There are simply too many to count.

To make matters worse, many drinkers try to replicate the look of the sling they were served at Raffles and inundate it with too much red (typically grenadine). This can easily make the drink too sweet. Keep in mind that the appearance of any cocktail is not as important as the taste, and the color may be off for any number of reasons. For instance, you may be using the colorless kirsch while the bar is using Cherry Heering or a cherry brandy with a similar deep red.

The goal is to find a Singapore sling that you enjoy. Chasing the original recipe or going for the "right color" is going to end in heartache and a good-sized headache. Some of these recipes have a drier profile while others are sweeter, and you can always make your own adjustments. Why not? Everyone else did.

The good news is that most Singapore sling recipes agree, for the most part, on similar ingredients. That means you can save a little money and stock your bar with the essentials while playing around with these recipes until you find your ideal formula. Write it down so you can duplicate it later, then sit back and enjoy this iconic cocktail.

How Strong Is a Singapore Sling?

Using the recipe above as an example, the Singapore sling is indeed a lovely fruit punch that's relatively easy on the alcohol. You can expect it to mix up to about 15 percent ABV (30 proof), which is average for highball drinks. Since all the variations result in about the same volume and generally use the same ingredients, most should fall within this range as well.

Source The Spruce

Monday, April 22, 2019

Liqueur Cabinet: A Series of Libations featuring Madison Cellars liqueur selections Part 10

Monday, March 18, 2019

Liqueur Cabinet: A Series of Libations featuring Madison Cellars liqueur selections; Part 9 - Lillet

About Lillet (lil - lay)

A  native of Saint-Morillon in Gironde, Jean Lillet moved to Podensac, a small village of the Graves wine region, near Sauternes, in 1680. In 1872, his descendants Raymond and Paul Lillet, fine wines, liquors and spirits merchants, funded Maison Lillet. They created the first and only aperitif from Bordeaux, the Lillet (called Kina Lillet until the 1970s), a blend of wines and fruit macerations crafted in Podensac cellars.

Lillet Hugo

In the serving glass, place
  • 5cl of Lillet Blanc
  • 1 serving of elderflower cordial (St. Germain)
  • 10cl of sparkling water
  • 1 slice of lime
Glass: Highball
Decoration: Fresh mint leaves
Preparation: Pour 5cl of Lillet Blanc and the elderflower cordial into a glass full of ice. Add the sparkling water and a slice of lime. Decorate with a few mint leaves.