I promised my friend Lacey (who I made the Frilly Lace Panties cocktail for) that I would do this list. her suggestion was that i do my favorite beers but since I've been depriving all of you of wine reviews, I need to throw in a few good products. Hope you enjoy. here are my Top Ten lists of my favorite things to drink!
Top Ten Spirits
#10 - Pearl Flavored Vodkas
Available in such a crazy array of flavors, Pearl has really left a mark on me. Distilled six times for an unusual smoothness, this Canadian vodka distilled primarily from wheat is a perfectly acceptable substitute for some of those higher end products. The good news is, it will only run you about ten bucks. Available in Pomegranate, Blueberry, Plum, Coconut, Caramel, Cucumber, Citrus, and Orange.
1½ oz Pearl Pomegranate Vodka
3 oz Lemonade
½ Blue Curaçao
Splash of Grenadine Syrup
Twist of Lemon
Shake vodka, lemonade and curaçao over ice and strain into a martini glass. Drizzle in grenadine and add a twist of lemon for garnish.
#9 - Midori Melon Liqueur
A wonderful mixing product that's a little hard to get use to at first, Midori was one of the hottest beverages in the past year. The Midori sour and Emerald Martini became hits along the Gulf Coast in all the casinos, rapidly becoming a favorite amongst drinkers young and old. The flavor is hard to pin, most thinking it's a mock watermelon, but the real flavor is Musk Melon, a slightly less sweet variety of Honeydew available in Japan. A must have for any modern bar.
2oz Midori Melon Liqueur
3oz Sweet and Sour Mixer
Mix in a glass with ice, stirring gently. Top with club soda or tonic water.
#8 - Maker's Mark Bourbon
Some of the finer drinks I enjoy are not widely available and some are not even heard of in some areas. One thing I can rely on is Maker's Mark to be nearly everywhere I go and for a reasonable price. A nice smooth whiskey that's good not only for people being introduced to drinking, but for the well experienced as well. Strong notes of honey and vanilla make it a great drink for before, during, or after dinner. Or you could do what I do and do all three. Best to drink neat or on the rocks.
#7 - Illy Espresso Liqueur
For years I've known that Illy has made premium quality espresso products (some half pound containers go up to $15 each!!!) but I only recently stumbled upon a liqueur that they produce. Unlike most of it's competitors, this is not your usual coffee flavored alcohol, but it tastes just like espresso. Unsweetened, black, and aromatic are gross understatements of it's true nature. It is a raw and untamed beast of flavor that shines with bitter chicory-like qualities and a truly beautiful roasted notes. It's a hard fine but absolutely worth it.
2oz Illy Espresso Liqueur
2oz Steamed Milk
2oz Milk Foam
1oz Vodka (Optional)
This is nearly impossible if you don't have an espresso maker at home, but you can do it but slowly heating milk in a pot and skimming some of the foam off. I would highly suggest not using any real espresso in this because of the added caffeine. Optional ingredients for taste: whipped cream, sugar or other sweeteners, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, or any other crazy shit those people at Starbucks push on you.
#6 Cruzan Coconut Rum
Believe it or not but there are other coconut rums besides Malibu out there. And honestly, Malibu comes from Canada. Not saying Canada is bad or anything, but I don't remember what their last coconut season was like.... What's cool about Cruzan is not just the fact that it comes from a place where coconuts actually live, but it's a lower proof drink that you can consume straight. It's a little on the sweet side but that's not a bad thing either now is it?
16oz Monster M-80 Energy Drink (Yellow Label, Pineapple Flavor)
2-4oz Cruzan Coconut Rum
This is such an easy cocktail. But for the love of God don't drink more than one of these a week.... When I was packing the house, I made that mistake a few too many times and couldn't get the toaster to stop spreading lies about me. The easiest way to make it is brass monkey style! Drink it down and add more liquor.
#5 - Magellan Iris Gin
I think one of the most disappointing things in adulthood is finding out that Bombay Sapphire is not actually blue. Magellan is a gin not only for people suffering from the Bombay shock but for those who truly enjoy some unique gins. Very floral and light, it's best served simply with tonic and lime. It's beautiful translucent blue color will draw you in instantly but its taste and superior quality have keep you going.
#4 - Meukow Cognac, Azul Tequila, and Amaretto di Amore
These three belong in such a special category together because they hold a place in my heart. Amaretto di Amore is the liqueur of choice of my lovely wife and Meukow Cognac brandishes a puma across the label, an animal related to an inside joke between my wife and I. Azul Tequila is also a beverage that my wife got me on her last trip to Mexico and to my knowledge is not available in the States. I highly suggest trying to obtain a bottle but it might cost you a trip down South. More or less I keep the cognac around for sentimental reasons but the taste itself is astounding. A little spicy and sweet and is very pleasant on the nose. For you Cognac enthusiasts out there, it may not be your thing, but this is my blog :P.
2oz Azul Reposado Tequila (or other)
½oz Grand Marnier Orange Cognac
Pour tequila and triple sec into a rocks glass over ice.
Twist the lime quarter and drop it in, giving it a gentle swirl.
#3 - Kraken Black Rum
A truly sinister beast composed of spiced rum as black as night and liquid AWESOME. This is without a doubt the single best spiced rum I have ever drank. Rum and Coke, Mojitos, Rum Runners, and many other rum-based cocktails are given a whole new life due to this amazing spirit. At 94 proof it is sure to give you a slight kick but the strong essence of blackstrap molasses and plethora of spices with keep you coming back to face the Kraken man to beast.
Grand Ilse Iced Tea
1½ oz Kraken Black Rum
2oz Sweet Tea Vodka
Mint Leaves to garnish
Pour rum and sweet tea vodka over ice in an iced tea glass and fill with lemon-lime soda. Add mint leaves and stir gently.
#2 10 Cane Rum
Another amazing drink, this time from the island of Trinidad, 10 Cane is amazing yet conflicting. What is so strange about it is that in all essence, it is technically a Cachaça (a Brazilian rum) which is distilled from straight cane juice instead of molasses as is most rums. The difference between the two besides not coming from Brazil is that 10 canes is slightly aged in new oak barrels until a soft cloudy yellow color is achieved. It bares its name from the traditional method of binding sugar cane in batches of ten stalks at a time, which is nice because the sweetness of it convinces you that all ten of those canes were packed into this bad boy. Hands down, this makes the best Mojito on the planet. Well, maybe not. It's all in the method, but Hell, this rum will definitely enhance it a few notches.
10 Cane Mojito
3oz 10 Cane Rum
1 oz Lime juice
1 oz Sugar or Simple Syrup
About 24 mint leaves
First muddle the mint leaves in the bottom of a shaker with cracked ice, lime juice, and sugar. Make sure that it is muddled very well, you want all that yummy menthol to leak and saturate into the ice. Add the rum and shake until the shaker is frosted. Pour everything into a tall glass and top with club soda. Just to note: This particular recipe is a double so grab a big glass, maybe 16oz. Also, a good rule of thumb is make sure the mint leaves are, well, about the size of your thumb.
#1 - Bulleit Bourbon
If you didn't see this one coming then you obviously don't know me well enough. I drink this stuff like my life depends on it and it is one of the best things to ever come out of Kentucky. I used to drink Woodford Reserve whenever I wanted a super premium drink, and one day out of the blue, someone turned me on to this wonderful spirit. It now holds a special place in my heart for two reasons: A very close coworker of mine gave me one last Christmas, and I actually have a hand-signed bottle from Tom Bulleit, the mastermind behind this drink. With the smoothness of a rye whiskey, and the intense aroma and oak of some of the finest red wines, I can guarantee everyone that this will always have a common stock in my bar. Drink neat, on the rocks, over poured over a few freshly picked berries.
Well that's all I have for tonight guys! By Monday I should have the beer and wine lists up as well. Right now I think I'm going to go over to my bar and mix all of these together and see what happens.