cocktails you've invented that worked or didn't
I made myself a delicious cocktail the other night, which deserves perfecting. Old Monk rum, parfait amor, and lime juice (i might try a dash of bitters in the next go round - think that would work there?). the vanilla/floral notes of the parfait amor pick up the vanilla/caramel notes of the old monk nicely. Only problem is I don't know if I could ever serve this to anyone else as its the color of swamp slime.
any stories of cocktails you've created, and did and didn't work in them?
When Absolute Ruby Red was introduced, my dh was given a sample bottle. We aren't big fans of flavored vodka,but liked the idea of grapefruit. Dh came up with a drink that has been a big summer hit among our friends and family. Mix the Ruby Red with a healthy splash of tonic (but less than say for a gin and tonic) a "tiny" splash of cranberry and a big squeeze of lime.
Substitute lemon for the lime juice in your recipe, and you've got a Stardust, a forgotten cocktail that the great cocktailian, DJ, musician, and bon vivant Brother Cleve reintroduced to the world (or Greater Boston, at least) with his opening cocktail menu for Cambridge's awesome B-Side Lounge. A very fine drink, and pretty, too. There aren't many violet-colored cocktails worth drinking, but this is one.
Didn't work: my Tequila Sunrise variant that substitutes Captain Morgan's for tequila. Tastes exactly like St. Joseph's Aspirin for Children. I call it a St. Joe Sunrise. No one ever likes it, and I don't blame them.
MC Slim JB's Anastasia Cocktail
2 oz ginger-infused vodka *
1 oz pure pomegranate juice (I like POM Wonderful)
1 oz Marie Brizzard Triple Sec **
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup ***
Shake long and hard (at least 20 seconds) over ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with a thin strip of lemon peel and a lump of crystallized ginger. (I don't recommend a sugar rim: too sweet.) This one isn't that potent as shaker drinks go, but it has some zip.
* Infuse 750ml of vodka (I think Smirnoff 80-proof is ideal for this application, though I've also used Skyy to good effect) with 1/2 cup of peeled, grated fresh ginger for 3-5 days in a sealed container in the fridge, shaking occasionally. Strain out the ginger with a fine sieve and/or a paper coffee filter.
** Next best substitutes: Cointreau, then a good Curaçao. Avoid cheap Triple Secs, which are syrupy and headache-inducing.
*** 5 parts sugar dissolved in 4 parts water. You shouldn't heat this to make it; vigorous shaking is better. If you prefer the cocktail a bit sweeter; increase this element a 1/2 oz at a time, but don't forget that the balance of a little tartness is good in a cocktail.
A refreshing summer drink, a rare use I have for vodka.
I used light rum in The Stardust (which is a variation of Don The Beachcomber's Royal Diaquiri, circa early '40's). We had Bacardi in the well at the B-Side, but these days I'd use Flor de Caña or Prichards (or Havana Club when I have it around).
btw, I've been a huge fan of Old Monk since I first encountered it in India years ago. Here's a cocktail I've invented that works quite nicely; I call it The Maharaja's Revenge -
2 oz Old Monk
1 ox Apricot Brandy (I recommend the Rothman & Winter's if available in yr area)
3/4 oz lime juice
shake with iced and strain into a cocktail glass; garnish with a lime wheel.
re: MC Slim JB
Is your simple syrup recipe where it's shaken only good for your stock simple syrup, or is it particular to this drink? I ask because I had a particularly ruinous experience making rock candy while in middle school: we needed to buy a new sauce pan, but the kitchen smelled sweet (or burnt, if you ask my mother) for weeks and am so hesitant to trying it in the pan again.
I use that syrup for any cocktail that calls for simple syrup. Shaking in lukewarm or even cold water does the job; there's no need to cook, and good reasons not to. The stovetop method often introduces some faint level of carmelization, when what you want is a consistent, controllable amount of cane sugar sweetness and nothing else.
re: Sam Fujisaka
When I was a seminarian in Rome, we had a guy with us that couldn't learn the language, and he "regressed" with some memories of his wild college days, including the names of strange cocktails (like a Hop, Skip, and Go Naked and some interesting things from Nepenthe's at Big Sur). Soon we were mentally inventing bizarre mixes. One was a Crippled Hippopotamus, which would have consisted of rum, sauerkraut juice, and Rose's lime juice. Some years later, I mentioned this weird idea to friends who had the nerve to try it. They tell me that it was actually rather good.
re: Sam Fujisaka
When my wife was on South Beach a few years ago, and carbs were bad, she (we) cheated a bit when I had a big mint crop coming in, and used Splenda instead of sugar in the mojitos we were drinking...
...the birth of the Splendito!
I've also found frozen tropical fruit pulps fro Goya in the local ShopRite, and have experimented with using passionfruit pulp in place of lime juice to make passionfruit margaritas.
Last, Absolute citron with a splash of sake,shaken and up with a twist of lemon for a Sak-it-to-me-tini.
I'm not sure any of these cocktails qualify as inventions, though, more like variations on a theme...
Years ago I went to make Moscow Mules. Turned out I was out of lime, so I used a small splash of Amaretto. Didn't make sense as a substitute, but it went over well. I named it a Des Moines Donkey. It debuted at the bar in my basement, progressed all the way upstairs to my kitchen, and then sadly was forgotten.