JiggerWocky: adventures in alcohol and academics

JiggerWocky: adventures in alcohol and academics

Friday, October 30, 2009

Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow
2 oz. gin
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/4 oz. apricot brandy
1/4 tsp. sugar or simple syrup
Mint sprig
Ice cubes

Muddle mint in shaker. Add remaining ingredients, shake with ice and strain

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bourbon Season!

I know, it's not even Halloween and I should be posting more Absinthe recipes, which I'm sure to do, but it's cold here in Vegas and I'm way too excited about bourbon. Also, I found this great background to share:

First, bourbon can be produced anywhere in the United States. A lot of folks assume bourbon must be produced in Kentucky and more specifically Bourbon County. In fact, there are currently no distilleries in Bourbon County.

Second, bourbon must contain a minimum 51% corn in the mashbill, but it could be as much as 80%. The mashbill is your basic recipe of grains which are used to create the spirit. Distilleries use varying recipes for their mashbill and these are closely guarded secrets. The remaining ratio of the mashbill could be barley, wheat or rye.

A bourbon with a high wheat content in mashbill is generally referred to as a “wheated” bourbon and a prime example of this is Maker’s Mark bourbon. The bourbons with a higher wheat ratio is generally sweeter and more mellow than other styles of bourbon.
A bourbon with a high rye content in the mashbill is generally referred to as a “high rye” bourbon and a prime example is Bulleit bourbon. As you may guess, a high rye bourbon is a little spicier and bolder than other styles of bourbon.

Third, bourbon must be aged in brand new American white oak charred barrels. The barrels are not reused after the aging process. Most bourbon distilleries sell their used barrels to scotch, rum, and other spirit producers. One of my favorite sayings is that the best thing about scotch is the small amount of bourbon coming from the used barrels. Once the raw spirit is put in the new charred barrels, it must be aged for a minimum of two years. The charring of the barrels provides much of the flavor and color to bourbon.

So how should you enjoy this wonderful spirit? When trying a new bourbon, I always suggest having it straight or with ice. Simple, elegant and allows you to appreciate flavors of the bourbon. Of course, a cocktail is always welcome too!

Bourbon Old Fashioned:
2oz bourbon of your choice (I prefer Bulleit)
3 dashes aromatic bitters (Angostura is traditional, but feel free to experiment with others, like Mole)
1 bar spoon simple syrup
lemon peel for garnish
Place bourbon, bitters and syrup in an old fashioned glass and stir. Add ice and stir again. Garnish with lemon peel. Alternatively you could stir all ingredients with ice and strain.
Serve in an old-fashion glass, a low-ball if you're Don Draper.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


1 1/2 oz. gin
1 1/2 oz. fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 tsp. fresh cherry syrup
1 tsp. absinthe
Tools: shaker; strainer
Glass: cocktail, chilled

And Jim Meehan's Chrysanthemum Cocktail with a higher proof, less sugar and a little bitterness:

2 oz. dry vermouth
1/4 oz. Benedictine
3 dashes absinthe
Tools: mixing glass; bar spoon; strainer
Glass: coupe, chilled
Garnish: orange twist

add ingredients to a mixing glass and fill to top with crushed ice. Stir, don't shake, for 30 seconds, then strain and serve.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

In the spirit(s) of the season: Corpse Reviver #2

To celebrate this month, and commemorate a wonderful night at Flora with friends, this month's cocktail is the infamous Corpse Reviver #2:
The #2 retains the enigma displayed by its forebear, employing London Dry Gin, Cointreau, Lemon Juice, Lillet Blanc (known at the time as Kina Lillet – also one of the essential components of the original James Bond cocktail, the Vespa), and another frequently misused and misunderstood liquid, Absinthe. True Absinthe was banned in the US starting in 1912, well before the start of Prohibition, and remained so after its repeal. Because of its association with French artists and poets whose overindulgence reportedly drove them mad (Van Gogh’s ear-severing incident was famously blamed on Absinthe intoxication), early Temperance Movement devotees successfully implicated Absinthe in a host of social ills of the day, warning that it would lead to the downfall of society. The presence of the chemical Thujone, an element of the extract of wormwood which is used as a flavoring element in the production of Absinthe, was identified as the likely culprit. Studies discrediting these conclusions have since led to the recent legalization of true Absinthe in the US. Absinthe is a fascinating spirit with an amazing history and some very specific applications and techniques associated with it, so don’t be surprised to find a future column (or two) devoted entirely to the study of it.
3/4 ounce London Dry Gin
3/4 ounce Cointreau
3/4 ounce Lillet blanc
3/4 ounce Fresh Lemon Juice
Rinse absinthe (dash in glass, swirled, then drained)

Combine in a shaker with cracked ice; shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a stemless cherry