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Mar 13, 2012 08:32 AM

Feedback on hypothetical cocktail recipe

Now this is going to sound a little silly, so don't judge me too quickly!

I have a bit of a thing for cocktail names - not the gross sexual innuendo type, but the clever cultural-reference type. And today I spotted a recipe for a 'Bonita Applebum' and immediately thought "now i MUST create a cocktail named after a classic hip-hop track." So you can see where this is going, the name came before the actual drink... Settled on 'Gangster's Paradise' and then agonized for a long time over what it would constitute. I don't have a home bar to test it out with (student budget!!) so at the moment it's entirely theoretical, and I'd love to know what you think of the idea (especially whether you think it would be awful!)

So without further ado:

1.5 oz Cognac/Armagnac
0.5 oz Cointreau
0.25 oz lemon juice (fresh)
0.5 oz pineapple juice (as in, the actual 100% juice)
0.5 oz ginger syrup

Shake over ice, serve down, garnish with a large thin slice of fresh ginger

Yes, I know it's a Sidecar with extra stuff added.

The reasoning behind the major ingredients was (a) Rappers are always dropping references to sipping yak i.e. Cognac/Armagnac; (b) the pineapple and ginger are for the 'Paradise' part of the name (tropical connotations). I'd love to use ginger liqueur instead of syrup but the cheapest one I can find in Australia is $65 AUD for a 700ml bottle!!! (Gave up on the metric-to-imperial conversions) - so not really practical.

Anyway - any opinions? Suggested proportion/ingredient changes?

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  1. You're 1:1 sweet to alcohol, with 1/4 oz acidity. I'd bump that to 3/4 oz at least, and use a higher proof brandy if you have one available.



    1. Sounds good -- I agree with ZacharyK on upping the lemon, though I'd try it at 1/2 oz before going to 3/4 (in my book, pineapple is acidity + sweet). I make ginger sidecars all the time, and although I'm not a pineapple fan I'll give this a try soon.

      Ginger liqueur is super-easy to make -- lots of recipes on the web for either brandy- or vodka-based ones. Give it a try!

      1. I doubt any rappers have ever heard of Armagnac, or any Cognac besides those mentioned in rap lyrics - Hennessey, Courvoisier, Conjure (Ludacris's brand), and Louis XIII when they are trying to sound high class.

        I despise the way rappers take something classy and make it sound trashy - such as "bub" for champagne or "yak" for cognac.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ncyankee101

          Thanks guys, will do, also think that a drop of orange bitters could give a bit more depth. ncyankee - relax, I'm not pushing a rapper lifestyle, it's just a bad pun

          1. re: verysimple

            I know you're not, and the comment wasn't directed at you - just at rappers.And not all rappers mind you - just the one whose only seem interested in rapping about how much money they make, and how extravagant their lifestyle is. I remember a line from some song they used to play to death, "Louis thirteen $150 a shot three for you three for me" or something like that.

        2. About the ginger liqueur, I personally haven't tried it but have heard good things about King's Ginger I've seen it for under $25 before although it might be hard to find being from the UK and not all that popular.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Allyl

            I have tried 3 ginger liqueurs: Massenez Creme de Gingembre, Canton, and King's Ginger. King's has the most ginger heat, or is the most like spicy ginger beer, rather than ginger ale flavor. Canton is my second favorite.

            However, in this recipe, since it requires fresh ginger for the garnish, I'd put a couple of slices, smashed with the side of a chef's knife, in the drink. Fine strain out after shaking. If using fresh pineapple, you could probably eliminate the Cointreau and the lemon. If you want complexity, I'd add some bitters of some sort. I think having fewer fruit flavors going on might help. I find that drinks with many fruit components end up have a generic "fruit punch" flavor, which I guess is alright if that's what you're looking for, but it's not to my taste.

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            1. re: Allyl

              The King's Ginger here in Boston in the $42-44 range. It's one of the priciest but best ginger liqueurs that I've had. I haven't tried the Massenez that EvergreenDan has, but I have tried Art in the Age's Snap -- good ginger flavor but a lot of other notes going on in there as well.

              You can make your own ginger liqueur -- this one was posted on SeriousEats recently:

              Also, I'm missing the point of a hypothetical recipe being drawn out this long. Just make it already and figure out what needs to be increased, decreased, dropped, or added. Zack's increase in lemon juice comment was dead on.


              1. re: yarm

                Yikes! Then again, here in Texas I've found all of our alcohol is a bit cheaper. That recipe looks amazing though! Any suggests for a good yet not to expensive brandy to make it? I'm a gin drinker usually and besides my dad's cognac I know nothing.

                1. re: yarm

                  Yarm, your directness is refreshing but as someone who only works part-time with studying and is scrounging every dollar to go travelling later this year I can't justify buying either armagnac or ginger liqueur. Firstly I will most certainly not be able to drink these in the next 5 months and secondly the only ginger liqueurs available in Australia are Canton for $60/bottle and a South African one called Butler's that sounds preeeeeetty hideous. Nor do I know of anyone who actually owns ginger liqueur, or even brandy EXCEPT the restaurant at which i work, and so the reason it's only hypothetical is that I am yet to convince my supremely tight-fisted manager to let me make it. So if/when he eventually does I don't want to screw it up.

                  1. re: verysimple

                    Not that your going to make the drink anyways, but the make-your-own ginger liqueur recipe I provided would make it rather inexpensive to make your own (especially if you used vodka instead of brandy to make it via that recipe. Maybe $4 or so for 250 mL depending on your liquor cost..

                    1. re: yarm

                      Not that it's really relevant, but in Australia spirits start at $35 for 700ml ("sin taxes"), and that's for the cheapest, paint-solvent stuff. $20 for a 200ml bottle of Angostura. I'm sorry that my wanting to wait to use my work bar to test it out instead of buying everything myself, or whatever else I said, irritated you so much. Looking forward to giving that liqueur recipe a try though. I'm really not big on vanilla though, think i could leave it out with no ill effect?

                    2. re: verysimple

                      And stay off Yarm's grass!

                      I kid, I kid....