The other day I received my mug from MST3K. I was one of the lucky (or unlucky) ones that received an intact mug. Of course, calling it a mug is debatable, since it has no handle. So the task with which I was faced was to create some kind of drink that does not require a handle. For that, I created the Mad Scientist cocktail, named after the Mad family from the show. « Continue »
The dalmation is a grapefruit cocktail, made with either gin or vodka, and black pepper syrup. Forgo the black pepper and you have a traditional grayhound cocktail. I chose to go with gin, and specifically Uncle Val’s botanical gin, as I thought it would complement the flavor profile of the other ingredients.
For whatever reason, I have a metric jigger, and honestly, I think metric is the way to go anyway. This recipe makes about 2 cocktails. You can adjust the alcohol and simple syrup levels for personal preference. I made it a little sweeter and a bit less boozy so it would work for breakfast (don’t judge).
- 150 ml grapefruit juice
- 7cl simple syrup
- 12cl uncle val’s botanical gin
- 4 dashes grapefruit bitters
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker, fill with ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice, or a chilled coupe.
The drink is initially sweet and tart, with that hint of bitterness that you get from grapefruit. You don’t notice the heat from the long pepper at all. It’s only after you finish your sip that it starts to become noticeable. Then the warmth lingers for some time, or at least until you take another sip.
Some people aren’t a big fan of grapefruit because of the bitterness, but I think it cuts through the sweetness of the drink. It just wouldn’t be the same with another citrus fruit as a substitute.
Long Pepper Margarita
I’ve had spicy margaritas before, and I have some “seedless” (read more seeds than normal) lemons, so I decided to give it a go with the long pepper syrup. I tried the drink both with triple sec and without and decided that I prefer to skip the triple sec in this case, both to highlight the flavor profile of the drink and to avoid it being overly sweet.
I used about 6cl blanco tequila (Corazón is my preferred brand), 2cl simple syrup, 4 cl lemon juice, and a splash of Grand Marnier. For the rim of the glass, I went with a combination of salt and grains of paradise (also available from Amazon), another once popular spice that doesn’t get enough attention these days.
This one is a work in progress I think. Maybe I just need to make more margaritas. Overall not bad, but it wasn’t as refreshing as I wanted it to be. I think next time I’ll use some fresh orange juice and skip the Grand Marnier which can be a bit overpowering.
Calvados Old Fashioned
Calvados, for those poor souls who are not familiar with the product, is a brandy made from apples, which has been produced in Calvados France. In some ways, it’s the cognac of the apple world. Calvados makes a fine autumn substitute for whiskey in an old fashioned, and seeing as I had some on hand, and wanted to see how the long pepper syrup would go with the recipe, I decided to give it a try.
- 6 cl Calvados
- 2 cl long pepper simple syrup (this makes a slightly sweeter cocktail)
- 2 – 3 dashes of Angostura bitters
Add Calvados, syrup, and bitters to a cocktail mixer, add ice, and stir until chilled (do not shake). Strain into an ice filled rocks glass.
It works, but admittedly the long pepper is harder to find in this cocktail than in some of the others. The Calvados Old Fashioned is rather boozy, and that masks some of the peppery quality, but it is there. The apple profile is quite apparent however, and I might relist this eventually under a Calvados article. You can also find out a lot about Calvados from Calvados: The Spirit of Normandy.
The long pepper is a relative of black pepper, but it has a distinct sweet aroma which adds a unique touch to cocktails. « Continue »
The following is a paper that I wrote for a bio-archaeology course in 2013 focusing on the interrelationship between human evolution and alcohol.« Continue »