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.

Sebastian
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. 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. 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)

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
ice

build a la highball in whatever glass that’s clean

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

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.”

So that’s Bourbon Street

July 16th, 2008 by Colonel Tiki

After surviving the banality of the Denver airport and 1 lost garment bag we’ve arrived in New Orleans. At the airport we met up with Trader Tiki, Chuck and Wes, & Jeff Morganthaler who happened to arrive at the same time we did. We split a cab with Trader.

I had a Vieux carré at the Carousel bar and met up with Rick, Jay, My compatriot in naming Craig (the Good Dr. Bamboo), Trader, Paul Clarke, Mr. Morganthaler, and Seamus. We headed off for a bit at Coop’s place. Perfect Choice, Paul. A belly full of fried seafood, gumbo and jambalaya made a good ballast.

We hit Arnaud’s French 75 Bar where we met with more who’s-who of the blog and non-blog cocktail scene. Matt came along presently and after a french 75, a cigar, a Negroni, and Gabriel‘s arrival we headed to a location not to be discussed. We bumped into Ed Hamilton on the way out which was lovely.

Going via Bourbon street to the non-disclosed location, I couldn’t help notice that the block that most smelled sewer-like happened to be the block with the live sex act clubs, Larry Flint’s Barely Legal, and other assorted gentleman’s clubs. It was such a mix of wonderful and horrible: Gaudy, tawdry neon are contrast against shuttered 300-year old windows. The moist heat of the evening was interrupted by cool breezes escaping from the open doorways of the aforementioned establishments. Garbage binge drinkers surrounded the group of cocktail snobs in the birthplace of the cocktail. It is beautiful and shocking and hideous and profane and I love every single damn thing about it.

We finished off the evening back at the Carousel bar. We closed it. Martin Cate dropped by and it was good to play catch-up with him.

Now for today’s fun. I’ve already missed the blog breakfast event (9:00am? Are you serious?). We’ll be toasting the Sazerac at 2pm. Join us, won’t you? I want to find a Rum Swizzle today.

P.S. Anyone have an SD card reader? Just realized this laptop is free of one. The USB cable is resting comfortably back on the table at home.