Sunday, September 17, 2006

Mixology Monday - Goodbye Summer


Out here in California, it's summer-like most of the year. We don't have to put away our summer cocktails just because it's September. It's a shame to miss out on all the seasons. We soldier on.

Looking back.

For me this summer was about rum. A lot of my cocktail expirimentation involved tiki drinks. Mai-Tai's, Fog Cutters, Test Pilots, you name it, if it was tiki I tried it this summer. I got a lot of inspiration from my fellow bloggers, and from Beachbum Berry's great tiki drink books.

Gin was also a great inspiration this summer. What's summer without a few Gin & Tonics? But there's more to humble genever. This was the summer I realized that gin is the ultimate mixer. I think more great cocktails are based on gin than any other spirit. 20th Century, Corpse Reviver, Negroni, Martini &c.

The Caipirinha was huge this summer and we saw more choice in the cachaca category.

This summer was also the summer of Mixology Monday. We started back in April and haven't looked back. (Stop by The Cocktail Chronicles to see the rest of this week's posts.)

Looking Forward.

Now I'm looking into the future to see what will be popular this fall and winter. I've already started to see more orders for "brown spirit" cocktails. I'm looking forward to Old-Fashioned Cocktails, Sazeracs, Manhattans, and plenty of single-malt whisky and Cognac orders. Martini's seem to cut across the seasons, so I'll make plenty of those too.

I think I'll focus my creative energy around malt whisky this season and see if I can come up with some nice scotch-based cocktails.

Here's one to get your fall started off on the right foot.

Jose MacGregor

2 oz. Scotch Whisky
0.5 oz Licor 43
2 dashes Regan's orange bitters
Garnish with a lemon twist

This is a great Scotch cocktail for people who don't like Scotch. You can adjust the amount of Licor 43 to the preference of the drinker. If they like sweet drinks, use an ounce of 43, if they like a drier cocktail, use half an ounce.

I normally make the Jose MacGregor with a blended whisky like Dewar's or Chivas, but it is fun to experiment with strong single-malts.
A Jose MacGregor made with Ardbeg is a thing of beauty. The sweetness of the Licor 43 punches right through Ardbeg's powerful smokiness, while the sweet vanilla flavors mingle. Make one with Glenrothes or Macallan and see how the fruity raisin notes mix with the sweet vanilla of the Licor 43.

Goodbye Summer. See you soon.

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