Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pisco Portón

After I finished having the Threesome at the Isla Verde Cafe, I found my myself wanting to keep with the trend of trying out something new. I found myself looking at the higher shelves and a bottle caught my attention. It was labelled "Pisco Portón". I was definitely curious since I have never had a taste of Pisco. What is Pisco Portón? Well, read on.

According to the Pisco Portón website:
Pisco Portón is handcrafted using centuries-old distilling methods in combination with new technology to create a mosto verde pisco made from a blend of grapes that is of superior quality and true to Peruvian tradition. To preserve the full character of the grapes, Pisco Portón uses the mosto verde method of distilling from a partially fermented grape juice known as must. Our pisco is never adulterated with water or artificial flavors. What is in the glass is pure and natural.

This new ultra premium white spirit is made at Hacienda La Caravedo in Ica, Peru, which is home to a new state-of-the-art and environmentally friendly distillery, as well as the oldest distillery in the Americas (est. 1684).

The three grape varietals that give Pisco Portón its flavor are Quebranta, Albilla and Torontel.
I had the bartender give me some of the Pisco Portón neat. At first smell I found it to be somewhat natural. When I mean natural, I mean that it seemed to have a woodsy type scent. Upon first taste I found it to also have a somewhat woodsy taste. Its consistency was like a dry silver tequila. I asked the bartender what she thought of it and she had not tasted it before. Upon her tasting it, she said that it tasted "Leafy" to her. At the time I was not particularly sold on it. But in defense of the spirit, I had already ruined my palate by having the Threesome, The Nude-Tini and a number of beers earlier in the evening. I would have to give Pisco Portón a pass this time around and try it again with a clean palate.

On a side note, what I didn't realize about Pisco in general is that it was a popular spirit here in the United States and in San Francisco specifically as early as the 1830's straight into the Prohibition Era. Why is that?

According to the Pisco Portón website:
In the second half of the 19th century, pisco was king in San Francisco’s watering holes. Back then, it was easier to ship pisco up the coast from Peru than to transport whiskey overland from the East Coast. Newly rich gold prospectors, thirsty sailors, and eventually all of San Francisco developed a robust appetite for pisco that lasted until the supply was cut off by Prohibition in 1920.
Pisco is now making a comeback in bars and cocktail lounges throughout the United States. One such cocktail that was (and still is) quite popular was the Pisco Punch. Here is a little history lesson on how the Pisco Punch was created (Also from the Pisco Portón website):
Pisco Punch was the most famous cocktail in San Francisco, made at the Bank Exchange on Montgomery and Washington by famous bar owner, Duncan Nicol. At 25 cents, the drink was preposterously expensive yet incredibly popular.

A true gentleman barkeeper, Nicol had a house rule that two pisco punches were enough for any patron of his bar. If a customer wanted a third, he had to walk around the long block and come back in to qualify as a new customer. When John Mackay, perhaps the richest man in America at the time, asked for a third, Nicol said no. Mackay grabbed his hat and obediently walked around the block to have his third Pisco Punch
Discoverpisco.com adds another layer to the Pisco Punch lore:
He (Duncan Nicol) remained mum on the recipe even after the Exchange closed its doors in 1919 due to American Prohibition. The recipe was thought to have died with him when he conveniently did so in 1926. However, thanks to his backstabbing bar manager, John Lannes, the formula was unearthed once again, and in 1973, California Historical Society published the components of the punch for all the world to steal and enjoy the heaven-bestowed drink.
Here is the recipe for a Pisco Punch using Pisco Portón:
PORTÓN PUNCH
1/2 pint (8 oz.) of simple syrup
1 pint (16 oz.) of distilled water
3/4 pint (10 oz.) of lemon juice
1 750 ml bottle (24 oz.) of Pisco Portón
1 fresh pineapple

Cut a fresh pineapple in squares about 1/2 by 1 1/2 inches. Put these squares of fresh pineapple in a bowl of simple syrup to soak overnight. In the morning, mix the rest of the ingredients in a big bowl. Use 3 or 4 oz. of punch per glass adding a square of the soaked pineapple to each. Lemon juice or simple syrup may be added to taste. Serve very cold. Simple Syrup Recipe: Using two parts sugar and one part water, bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. Dissolve the sugar into the boiling water, stirring constantly. Once the sugar is dissolved completely, remove the pan from the heat. Do not allow the syrup to boil for too long or the syrup will be too thick. Allow to cool completely and thicken, then bottle. The cook time is approximately five minutes.
So there you have it. A little history lesson for us all when it comes to the spirit known as Pisco. I will definitely have to give Pisco and Pisco Portón specifically another chance. When I do, it'll be posted here as usual.

Until Then Happy Drinking,
Sisco Vanilla

For Further Reading:
Click here to access Tim Leffel's article On the Pisco Trail
From pisco sours to purple corn juice, Peru offers a diverse drink culture from the Jul/Aug 2007 issue of Imbibe Magazine


Click here to access Discoverpisco.com for a wide array of information, recipe and history concerning Pisco

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Threesome at la Isla Verde Cafe

Upon the ending of the Bronx YMCA fund raising event I found myself a bit unsettled and anxious. I didn't want to stay home after the event and decided to go out locally which in reality isn't something that I tend to do. Why? I just find that at times there is an element that hangs out in the local spots that I try to stay away from.

My first stop was to the Step In Restaurant and Lounge where I was bombarded with some very loud and bad karaoke while trying to watch the end of the Yankees game. I didn't have anything spectacular there past a Bacardi Limon and diet coke to drink and decided to move on to another location. I remembered about a place called Isla Verde Cafe which is located under the 6 Train El 1859 Westchester Avenue (Between Thieriot and Leland Avenues) and decided to head there.

Upon walking in, I made eye contact with the bartender and asked her to make me what she would consider her signature drink. She asked if I wanted something sweet or strong. After the debacle known as the Nude-Tini Passion Fruit Cocktail, I did not want something sweet so strong it would have to be. I found an empty seat at the bar and a minute later she came by with the drink she called a Threesome. Now I'm not totally sure of the counts involved with the three ingredients that made yup the cocktail so here it is:
Threesome
Hpnotiq
Alizé Gold Passion
Hennessy Cognac

Build over ice in a Collins glass or a pint glass.
Apparently I would be stuck with a Passion fruit theme this evening after all. LOL. Before I go into what I thought of the drink, here is a brief description of the ingredients for those of you unfamiliar with them.

Hpnotiq as per their website is:
A Refreshing Blend of Premium French Vodka, Exotic Fruit Juices, and a Touch of Cognac. HPNOTIQ delights all your senses. Its eye-catching aqua blue color and refreshing blend of natural exotic fruit juices and premium spirits make any occasion more fabulous. Best served chilled by itself or with your favorite mixer – we recommend keeping it classic with vodka, coconut rum or champagne
Alizé Gold Passion as per their website is:
Was first introduced to the United States in 1986...blending exotic passion fruit with premium French spirits
I would hope that you would know what Hennessy is, aside from a popular girl's name here in the Bronx (I kid you not), one of the leading Cognac brands in the world and has been in existence since 1765 when Irishman Richard Hennessy built the first Hennessy distillery. See that is interesting, an Irishman created Hennessy. Gotta love the backstory.

My friend Stevie saw that I had posted on FB that I was having this cocktail and was very surprised since this kind of cocktail is not normally something I'd drink. But hey, when in Rome aka the Bronx, right? The liqueurs seem to have been layered with the Hpnotiq on the bottom and I assume the Alizé in the middle and the Hennessy on top. Perhaps she floated the Hennessy? I have to say, this cocktail was indeed strong and sweet. I would say that the sweetness came directly from Alizé and the Hpnotiq while the kick in the teeth came from the Hennessy. It was quite tasty though I can't have more than one of these. The sugar in this cocktail would have me bouncing off the walls after two of them let alone more than two.

Isla Verde Cafe has a very decent bar. It actually surprised me since the places in my neighborhood tend to be few and far between and are lacking a decent selection. I would categorize it as being very "Bronx-centric". Mind you, I don't mean that in a bad way. They know what their clientele is and they have spirits that cater to them such as the various blends Alizé and Hpnotiq. Their bottle beer selection was quite diverse (they don't any have beer taps) and from what I hear their food is quite amazing. They have live music on the weekends and a DJ spinning as well. It can get somewhat loud in there with the music but you're not going to Isla Verde Cafe for a quiet drink.

I would definitely go back and recommend to others to also go if they want a lively locale with good food and dancing. I also managed to have my first ever taste of Pisco here at Isla Verde Cafe, that is for the next post.

Until Then Happy Drinking,
Sisco Vanilla

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Nude-Tini Passion Fruit Cocktail

A few weeks ago Momma-San and I attended a fund raiser at the Bronx YMCA called "Bon Appétit at the Bronx YMCA". We attended the event with amazing company in the form of Charles and Elsie and sampled different food from many local restaurants. Now I was told that the event would have an open bar and I was hopefully looking to try out something new as I am prone to do. Well folks, to be honest, I was quite disappointed in the definition of what an open bar was at this event. They had wine and beer and a mixed cocktail that was called the Nude-Tini Passion Fruit Cocktail...and that was it. Imagine my surprise (and disappointment) when I realized that there was no booze at this event aside from the above mentioned cocktail. Now, being as game as I am, I decided to try cocktail out.

Before I go into what I thought of the cocktail, allow me to show you the recipe and describe to you what went into the cocktail:
The Nude-Tini Passion Fruit Cocktail
2 parts XO Wine (Blanc)
1.5 part Nude Vodka
2 part Passion Fruit drink
Splash pineapple juice

Shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker over cube ice and garnish with a slice of pineapple and/or kiwi.
Alrighty then, you might be wondering what XO Wine (Blanc) is. As per the XO Wine (Blanc) website, the XO Wine (Blanc) is a blend of one-third 1.5 year old aged cognac to two-thirds of white wine that is aged for 5 years in an old cognac barrel. It is listed as "Great for Making Cocktails".

Nude Vodka is five times filtered over crushed volcanic lava rock and is made with ultra-clean Oregon Cascade Mountain spring water. Ok then. Enough of the hyperbole.

What did I think of it? Two words: DIABETIC OVERLOAD!!!!!

This cocktail is WAY too sweet. As you can see from the picture of Momma-San and I, the cocktail has a nice color to it but it is somewhat thick. I think the combination of the XO Wine (which is after taking a sip of it by itself sweet on its own) and the passion fruit (which is loaded with sugar) something that I definitely could not finish. Both Momma-San and I left our wine glasses half full which for those of you who know me know doesn't happen very often. I can't even talk about the vodka since I don't think that it made a difference in the cocktail. In my opinion, using well vodka wouldn't have made a difference. This cocktail is definitely a morning headache waiting to happen. I don't think that even substituting the Passion fruit juice with a Diet or low sugar alternative would change my mind about it. It is a cocktail that I would probably never try again.

Until Then Happy Drinking,
Sisco Vanilla

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Ginger Smash

Sorry for the delay with the posts folks but life sometimes has a way of getting annoying where posting gets derailed. I'll do my best to get caught up with the five or six drafts that I have sitting here. For now, I wanted to profile a cocktail that has become one of my new favorites: The Ginger Smash.

I saw a tweet dated September 7th from @DomaineDeCanton which stated the following:

Kick start your weekend with a Ginger Smash! 1.5oz Domaine de Canton 1oz Bourbon Juice of 3 lemon wedges http://fb.me/1PbLAf3iL
Since I had that bottle of Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur sitting in my home bar (courtesy of Joel and Peggy) I decided to make the Ginger Smash. For those of you who are unsure what Domaine De Canton is, refer to my blogpost from June 28th entitled Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur for more information. So here is how I made it:
The Ginger Smash
1.5oz Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur
1oz of Jim Beam Bourbon
Juice of 3 lemon wedges

Build over ice, shake vigorously and pour into chilled cocktail glass.
This is one strong but tasty cocktail folks. I like how the bourbon and the sweetness of the Domaine de Canton mix together. The bourbon tends to neutralize the sweetness of the Domaine de Canton and the lemon juice gives it a slight underlying tartness. For as strong as it is, I find that it is hard for me not to slurp it down on a gulp or two and work on the next one. Doing so would cause me to get lit up nice and quick. To the point that I finished off my bottle of Jim Beam in the last Ginger Smash cocktail I made and need to buy another one. LOL.

Life is about simple pleasures folks, and this cocktail is one of them.

Until Then Happy Drinking,
Sisco Vanilla

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Lemon Drop Cocktail

I recently took out a number of cocktail books from the public library in order to do some research. One such book was In the Land of Cocktails: Recipes and Adventures from the Cocktail Chicks by Ti Adelaide Martin and Lally Brennan. As per the Amazon.com listing for the book:
Proprietors of the legendary New Orleans restaurant Commander's Palace, Ti and Lally are cocktail divas, spread-ing the gospel about how to make drinks properly, from why a true Sazerac can only be made with Peychaud's bitters to why hand-chipped ice is best for cocktails. In this marvelously entertaining book—both a guide to making some of the world's best cocktails and a memoir of the authors' lives surrounded by family, friends, and delicious food—there are recipes for familiar classics like the Corpse Reviver and the Old-Fashioned; New Orleans favorites like Brandy Milk Punch and the Sazerac; and new inventions created by Ti and Lally, such as their now-famous Whoa, Nellie!

I highly recommend this fun book to anyone who wants to learn about classic cocktails and are interested in the New Orleans cocktail culture and history. You can also follow the cocktail chicks' exploits on their website In The Land of Cocktails.

One particular cocktail that caught my eye was The Lemon Drop Cocktail. Now this is different from the Lemon Drop shot that calls for a shot of chilled Citron vodka and a sugar encrusted lemon wedge. This cocktail does contain the Citron vodka, sugar and lemon but also calls for the use of Limoncello. And since I had a bit of each ingredient lying around, I decided to make one of these for Momma-San. Here is the recipe as listed in the book:
Lemon Drop
2 tablespoons of superfine sugar
2 lemon wedges
1 ounce of lemon or citron-flavored vodka
1 ounce limoncello

Place the sugar in a shallow dish or saucer. Wet half of the inside and outside rims of a chilled Martini glass with one of the lemon wedges and discard the wedge. Dip the rims into the sugar and set aside.

Combine the vodka, limoncello and juice from the remaining lemon wedge in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain in the prepared glass and serve immediately.

So as you can see, I made it as directed with one little alteration. Instead of using superfine sugar, I used granulated Splenda. In terms of the vodka, I used Ketel One Citron and Pallini Limoncello. I gave the cocktail to Momma-San who immediately told me that it was "Too Strong" but she quickly got used to it. The cocktail is a lemon lover's dream. I would say that it tasted like the lemon filling that you would find in a Lemon pie without it being overly sweet to the taste. The addition of the Splenda on the rim of the glass gives it a slight sweet taste to balance out the tartness of the cocktail. This cocktail is an awesome choice for someone who wants something light and tart with a hint of sweetness.

In the next couple of posts I'll be writing about a couple of new cocktails including cocktails named the Ginger Smash, the Nude-Tini Passion Fruit Cocktail, the Threesome and my first taste of the Peruvian spirit known as Pisco. So keep tuned for those libations in the days to come.

Until Then Happy Drinking,
Sisco Vanilla

Friday, September 7, 2012

Baker's Bourbon at Harley's Smokeshack and Ribs

I was on my way to the Costco and Target located at the East River Plaza on 117th Street and remembered about a BBQ spot that I wanted to check out called Harley's Smokeshack & Ribs. Located at 355 E 116th St and First Avenue, Harley's seems to be the beginning of what I believe will be a renaissance of bars, lounges and restaurants that will undoubtedly transform El Barrio. Since I needed to gear up for my adventures in school supply shopping, I figured I could use a drink. So in I went.

After sitting at the bar and perusing the list of spirits available, I decided to have a Baker's neat with an ice water on the side. Why Baker's? I've never had one and if you've read my other post from bars that isn't the one I work in, I try to sample something that I have never sampled before and it's Bourbon Heritage Month so off I went to the land of bourbon.

According to the Original Small Batch Bourbon Collection website Baker's Bourbon is:
Named after Baker Beam, grand nephew of the legendary Jim Beam, Baker's® Bourbon is seven-years-old and hand-bottled at 107 proof. Embracing over six generations of distilling experience, Baker's Bourbon utilizes a special strain of jug yeast that has been in the family for over 60 years. This time tested yeast provides Baker's with a silky smooth texture and consistent taste from batch to batch
The Baker's has a clear amber color. At first scent the Baker's has a very appealing aroma. At first sip I find that it is strong but has a smooth taste to the lips. The tingling sensation goes away after the first sip. I notice that it has a very subtle sweetness to the tongue and is very smooth going down. It is not the least bit harsh and I don't find it very smoky.


It stands alone from let's say the sweeter Maker's Mark and the stronger and bolder Knob Creek. I would definitely have another one whenever I am back at Harley's. And speaking of Harley's.

The place smells divine: of meat and BBQ sauce. They have a small but decent tap selection with an extra large bottled beer selection including craft beers such as Maduro Brown Ale, Dixie Blackened Voodoo Lager, Sea Dog Wild Blueberry, St. Louis Framboise Raspberry among others. They also have an extensive selection of Bourbons, Whiskeys and signature cocktails. Happy Hour is everyday from 12pm to 7pm.

If you are a carnivore AND a beer/bourbon/whiskey drinker: Harley's Smokeshack & Ribs is the place is for you. Now I want to go back.

Until Then Happy Drinking,
Sisco Vanilla

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Flaming Dr. Pepper: A Trip Down Memory Lane

I was recently asked if I knew what a Flaming Dr. Pepper was by Ms. Kelli and decided that I should retell a story from my days of studying at the School of Stupid Drinkers. Yes, I am very familiar with the Flaming Dr. Pepper. What is a Flaming Dr. Pepper some of you might ask? Well, allow me to describe its glorious form to you.

See, back in 1996 (yes, I was of age in 1996) when I used to work and hang out at Down the Hatch over on 4th Street in the West Village we used to do Flaming Dr. Peppers on a regular basis. It was quite easy to do since the bar there had a glass top. Shots like these are verboten (forbidden for you english monoliguals) at the Bleecker Street Bar. Why? Well we have a nice wooden bar and anything that's flaming shouldn't be applied to it. Don't you think? But I digress. Before I go any further, here is the recipe for the Flaming Dr. Pepper:
Flaming Dr. Pepper
3/4 shot amaretto almond liqueur
1/4 oz 151 proof rum
1/2 glass beer (Bud Light works nicely)

- Fill a shot glass about 3/4 full with amaretto and top it off with enough 151 proof rum to be able to burn.

- Place the shot glass in another glass and fill the outer glass with beer (right up to the level of the shot glass).

- Ignite the amaretto/151 and let it burn for a while. Blow it out (or leave it burning if you're brave - not recommended) and slam it. Tastes just like Dr. Pepper.
Photo Courtesy of Out of the Frying Pan

So the process of consuming the shot is very much like a Jager Bomb. In this case as the directions indicate you light it, drop it and chug it. Though I would recommend using a half full pint glass rather than a mug. I have to admit, it does taste like a Dr. Pepper soda. Quite tasty too if I remember correctly. Very simple, right? Well, except for the one night where I had a "little" accident. Allow me to elaborate.

Now back in my F&F days, we would regularly go out on Friday nights. Usually we'd go out with my supervisor at the time and she was quite game to go anywhere we'd want to go with the provision that we'd end the night where she wanted to go. This time it was Mimi's Italian Restaurant and Piano Bar at 984 2nd Avenue. So this particular night I was feeling particularly feisty (and quite buzzed) and decided that I wanted to flex and have a Flaming Dr. Pepper. Now here is where I got my degree from the School of Stupid Drinkers. I tell you folks, if I had the power to travel time I would go back and tell my younger self "What the fuck are you thinking doing a Flaming Dr. Pepper at a PIANO BAR!!!!" But alas I do not and so back to the story.

So I order for one. Now I might add the bartender was wise in suggesting that I do NOT have one at her bar. But no, Sisco Vanilla circa 1998-2000 thought he knew it all while not knowing squat. He wanted his shot and after a "you are on you're own" shrug from the bartender I got my shot. Now herein lies the rub. I forgot to mention one little detail. Unlike most bars, this particular bar served their shots in PLASTIC shot glasses rather than shot glasses made of GLASS. Can you see where PLASTIC and a FLAMING shot might be problematic? I'll finish my little story while you chew on that one.

So the bartender serves me my shot, I light it and hold it up admiring the bright blue flame that the Bacardi 151 makes when lit. Instead of simply doing the shot right away, the time that I stood there like a jackass admiring the ever burning shot, the heat generated from the flame started to melt the aforementioned PLASTIC shot glass. What happened next? A little fireball leapt from the melting glass and landed on the middle, ring and pinky fingers of my right hand. The customers around me panicked but no I just stood there watching the fingers burn, telling everyone around me not to worry, that the alcohol was burning OFF of my fingers. LOL. What an idiot I must have looked like. No folks, the burning alcohol was burning MY FINGERS. So I drop it in the beer and chug and put the fire out and acted as if I was Caesar marching on Rome. The Fucking King of the World. But no, it doesn't end there.

A number of minutes later, I start to feel a bit of an ache on my fingers. When I look, the skin to the left of my fingernail of the burned fingers was bubbling up. So instead of doing something like go to the Emergency Room, I do what any drunk asshole would do: I ripped the skin off and spent the rest of the night with my fingers in a glass of ice water. Boy, do I remember the pain that I was in the next morning when coming to.

With that little escapade I graduated Summa Cum Laude from the School of Stupid Drinkers. Luckily for me, no study for the Graduate degree in the Flaming major was needed. Well, expect for that time that I took an extra credit course by sucking down a Flaming Bob Marley with a PLASTIC straw. But kids that is a story for another day.

Until Then Happy Drinking,
Sisco Vanilla

Lynchburg Lemonade

Inspiration for cocktail tastings sometimes comes in mysterious but obvious ways. For example, for this post I was inspired twofold. One by a picture of a beautiful statuesque woman holding a bottle to her pouting lips. As she did so, she placed a passionate caress on the side of the bottle with her full lips. Here's I'm thinking what a lucky guy that bottle was. The second piece of inspiration is the following painting below. As you can see from the painting, the spirit is good old number 7 itself: Jack Daniel's.

Photo Courtesy of FaceOfInsane
So for this post I've decided to make a classic Jack Daniel's drink known as the Lynchburg Lemonade. Here is the recipe:
Lynchburg Lemonade
1 part Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7
1 part triple sec
1 part sour mix
4 parts lemon-lime soda

Combine and stir. Garnish with a lemon slice and cherry.
Disregard the reddish hue that it seems to have. The cherries seem to have been a bit saturated with juices that they have seemed to change the color of the cocktail. Upon tasting it I found it to be a bit sweet until I squeezed the lemon into the drink. The lemon seemed to stabilize the flavor profile of the drink. It was very light with a little zest sneaking up on me due to the Jack. I made one for Mayor Kahuna the other day and he thoroughly enjoyed it. It got me to thinking. I wondered if making the Lynchburg Lemonade with some other similar ingredients would yield a slightly different cocktail. Here is the one that I made at home:
Lynchburg Lemonade (Sisco Style)
1oz Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7
1oz Grand Marnier
1oz homemade Sweet and Sour
Diet 7-up to fill

Combine over ice and stir.
The Grand Marnier gave it a bit of a different sweetness as opposed to using just the Triple Sec. It has a somewhat richer and fuller taste. I find that it works well with the Jack Daniel's. The homemade sweet and sour also gives it a bit of a different tartness that the sour mix on the gun gave it. The homemade version had a natural taste that didn't require a lemon squeeze as in the first cocktail. I prefer the second one I made just because it doesn't taste artificial though I wouldn't say no to an original Lynchburg Lemonade on a hot and balmy day.

What do you think folks. The first? The second? Both? Neither one? Let me know.

Until The Happy Drinking,
Sisco Vanilla

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Juicy Pussy

Yes folks, I know the title of this post will raise some eyebrows. It did so with me but I swear, it is not due to anything that I came up with. Here is how this interestingly named cocktail came to be profiled.

I was working the bar on the Sunday before Labor Day and a woman who works at a local spa with some of our regulars came up to the bar and sheepishly asked if I can make her three shots of a Juicy Pussy. Obviously the request caused me to raise my eyebrow and chuckle at her. I was more than willing to look for it and make the shots for her. She quickly changed her mind and asked for three Pineapple Upside Down Cake Shots:
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
1oz of Stoli Vanilla
.5oz of Amaretto
Pineapple Juice
Grenadine

Shake all ingredients (except the Grenadine) vigorously. The Pineapple juice causes a frothiness in the drink. Pour the Grenadine down the inside of the glass causing a layering at the bottom.

They did the Pineapple Upside Down Cake shots and were happy with them. But see, you can't plant the seed within my mind and not expect to not have some mutated plant grow from my crazy head. I decided to look up the drink and make them little shots. Here is the recipe as per the drinksmixer.com listing for a Juicy Pussy:
Juicy Pussy
1 oz Bailey's Irish cream
1 oz peach schnapps
1 splash pineapple juice

Pour the Bailey's irish cream, peach schnapps and pineapple juice into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Shake well, and strain into a cocktail glass over 1/4 cup of shaved ice. Garnish with a maraschino cherry, and serve.

There's also a bomb shot variation of the Juicy Pussy from BarMeister.com. Here is that recipe:
Juicy Pussy
3/4 shot of Peach Schnapps
1/4 shot of Bailey's Irish Cream
1/2 glass of Orange Juice

This shot is the same idea as a Gladiator shot. You first take your shot glass and fill it 3/4 the way full with the Peach Schnapps. Secondly layer the Schnapps with the Bailey's Irish Cream. Fill up a glass about 1/2 way with the Orange Juice. Take the shot glass with the Schnapps and Bailey's and drop it into the glass of OJ. Now just slam it back and taste a nice Juicy Pussy.
I'm sure if I look around I can find more variations of what a Juicy Pussy is. For simplicity sake I just decided to make the first recipe as a shot rather than as a cocktail. I worried about something as I made it. I wasn't sure if the Bailey's would curdle with the inclusion of the Pineapple Juice. Would the person who is doing the shot have to do it quickly as one would do a Car Bomb to avoid the curdling effect. So I whipped up four little shots and sent it over to them. Here is what the shot looked like.


I was expecting bitter looks from them but to my surprise, all I saw was thumbs up and smiles. Apparently the shot is quite tasty. Excuse me for being skeptical and not wanting to try it. I decided to get the opinion of some known and trusted drinkers.

I whipped up three little shots for Chuck, Clarence and Maria and had them give it a whirl. As with me, they were all skeptical and were also pleasantly surprised with the shot. Clarence said that "It was light and summery" and Chuck of course said that it was indeed "juicy". Thanks for your insightful commentary Chuck. LOL. Maria seemed to like it as well. So maybe the shot/cocktail does work. I think I'll wait for the proper moment in order to make one for myself. When I do, I'll let you gals and guys know what I think of it.

Until Then Happy Drinking,
Sisco Vanilla

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey

I don't often find that I taste something new and find that no matter how much I try to look at it objectively, I can't find anything redeeming about it. This is how I feel about the Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey.

Being the first flavored variation of the good old number 7 Tennessee whiskey, the Tennessee Honey is playing into the whole Honey Whiskey kick that seems to be making its rounds as of late. The spirit is more of a sweeter and nuttier version of the original Jack Daniel's. The preferred way to drink the shot as per the website is as a chilled shot. So how does it taste like.

I have to be honest, the spirit has a weird taste that I can't quite seem to place. I don't find it very sweet at the first taste. I do seem to taste the Jack somewhat on my tongue. The honey is taste and aroma is very subtle. It doesn't seem to be very syrupy but there is a certain consistency to the Honey whiskey that is hard to describe.

I decided to make a mixed drink out of it to keep it simple. Here is what came up with:
Jack Honey and Lemonade
2oz Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey
Lemonade to Fill

Build over ice and serve.
The cocktail has the same weird taste that I couldn't quite place. The lemonade does nothing to hinder nor help the Tennessee Honey. Perhaps the Tennessee Honey doesn't mix well with the Lemonade but I find that it to be quite syrupy. It feels like it left a film on my tongue. Yuck.

This is definitely a version of Jack Daniel's that I have no interest in drinking again. The Bushmills Honey still is the better Honey whiskey on the market that I have tasted. I do have a few samples of the Wild Turkey Honey so I'll try to get to it soon enough.

Until Then Happy Drinking,
Sisco Vanilla