Tag Archives: mixed drinks

The Ten Best Unpopular Highballs

It’s officially Spring in Baltimore. The good news is that Flowermart and Preakness are right around the corner. The bad news is that Spring also means household chores and Spring cleaning. There is a silver lining though, and it is that Spring cleaning also means cleaning out your home bar.

If you’re like us, you’ve been hoarding bottles the way squirrels hoard nuts during your winter hibernation. There’s no time like the present for streamlining your bar, and one of the easiest ways to do that is by mixing highballs.

Drinks in the back yard are often different from drinks at the bar.

First a clarification: Wikipedia tells us that the term highball originally referred to scotch and soda, but has grown to encompass almost any combination of liquor and soft drinks, mostly but not exclusively of the carbonated variety. A highball is usually what people refer to with the term “mixed drinks” as opposed to “cocktails” which are typically comprised mostly of liquor.

In bars and taverns, some particular highball combinations enjoy a longstanding popularity; Jack and Coke, Gin and tonic, Bourbon and ginger ale, Seven and Seven, etc. Those are all solid choices, but at home having too much, or not enough of one ingredient can lead to some unexpected choices. After all, the best part of home bartending is experimentation…

  • 10: Vodka and Flavored Seltzer. Take a trip up the soda/water aisle in the grocery store and you’ll find plenty of lightly flavored seltzers which aren’t stocked in bars and which are much cheaper than regular sodas. these are a perfect choice for Spring and Summer drinking.
  • 9: Jameson and Lemonade. This doesn’t sound so good on paper, but something about it just works. The combo of malt and citrus makes for a slightly organic taste, and of course, there’s a ton of sugar in there too. We once brought home a bottle Wasmund’s malt whisky, and the only way we could power through it was by adding lemonade.
  • 8: Vodka and Sweet Tea. Sometimes known as an Icepick, this is a drink that is best drunk at home, because no bar or restaurant we know of locally makes tea the right way: Sweet.
  • 7: Gin and Sprite. Most gin drinkers will reach for tonic every time, but we’ve got a sweet tooth. Sprite is the only thing we’ve found so far that makes us like gin enough to drink it throughout the evening.
  • 6: Vodka and Cran-Raspberry. This is actually our father’s drink of choice. Any bar can pour you a Cape Cod, but you’ve got to be at home to make it with cran-raspberry. And trust us, it’s much better that way.
  • 5: Dark Rum and Lemon Water. It’s hard to say what we mean by lemon water. It’s much more tart and lightly flavored than lemonade, and only slightly carbonated. Not quite water, not quite soda, you’ll know it when you see it. Whatever it is, the lightness and crispness of it is a perfect complement to the syrupy quality of a rum like Myers’s or our own favorite, the Kraken.
  • 4: Light Rum and Fruit Punch. Check your fridge, you might have a bottle of fruit punch hanging around back there. You know the kind we mean, mostly grape juice, some pear juice, a small fraction of other juices, and a palm tree on the label. make sure to use rum and not vodka to avoid unpleasant memories of “jungle juice.”
  • 3: Tequila and Snowballs. Most people who are from here don’t realize that snowballs are native regional fare for Baltimore. They also often don’t realize that they’re best enjoyed with liquor dumped all over them. There are a ton of winning flavor and liquor combinations, but you can’t go wrong with tequila and a key lime pie flavored snowball. Just be sure to skip the marshmallow topping.
  • 2: Bourbon and Apple Cider. Granted, this is more of a seasonal drink for the Fall, but it is good enough to drink year round. Plain old apple cider is such a great mixer, it’s surprising that more hoity-toity bartenders haven’t caught on to its use as a cocktail ingredient.
  • 1: Anything and Limeade. Limeade is pretty gross on its own, but it’s one of the most versatile mixers you can buy. Most of the types you find at the store are of pretty good quality too, since they’re not all artificial sweeteners and citric acid like most lemonades. Works with rums, tequila, gin, and just about every one of the 10,000 flavored vodkas out there. Best bet: Cherry vodka limeade.
    Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Cocktails

The Chop’s Cantonese Cookie Cocktail Recipe

First things first: since this is Baltimore, you can feel free to pronounce it ‘Duhmain d’Cant’n’. We really don’t think anyone’s going to call you on it, Hon. If they do look at you funny either for ordering it or for mispronouncing it… then fuck ’em. You’re in the wrong bar anyway.

Now then, you don’t need us to tell you how good Domaine de Canton is. Their website takes pains to tell you just how ‘Ultimate’ and ‘Extraordinaire’ and even ‘Fait a’la Main’ their product is. Fortunately for the rest of us, Boozeblogger translates that into ‘English, Motherfucker!’ and tells us it’s pretty good stuff.

We agree with their assessment, and recommend Domaine whether you’re at home or on the town. Any fan of B & B or Grand Marnier should feel right at home with this stuff. It is, however, a bit on the spicy side, and we doubt you’ll want to polish off the bottle by drinking it straight or on the rocks. There are a lot of great recipes on the Domaine site as well, although none of them are quite as simple, and probably not as tasty as ours.

The Cantonese Cookie

4 oz. Domaine de Canton

juice of half an orange

2-3 dashes blood orange bitters

Note that that says ‘juice of an orange’, and not orange juice. Bottled orange juice will not work for this drink. The bitters are important as well. It’s going to be much too sweet without them, and even with them sort of tastes like a fancy exotic cookie you’d get after your meal in an Asian restaurant. Mixed properly, this drink balances sweet and spicy perfectly. It’s ideal for fans of GM or the Sidecar, and like a Sidecar, it’s a good call year round.

Fucking magnifique, pardon our French.

________________________________________________________

Speaking of fancy Asian restaurants, the Baltimore Sun’s Mobbies party is at RA Sushi on Tuesday, and if you can keep us on top of the Music/Nightlife category, we might just show up and buy you a Cantonese Cookie.

1 Comment

Filed under Cocktails

The Chop’s Veracruz Cocktail Recipe

A lot of you may be scratching your heads on this one. You’re probably thinking to yourself ‘October is a great time for spiced cider drinks and rich, strong cocktails like Sidecars and White Russians. Why the hell is this blog giving me a recipe for a beach bar type cocktail? And you’re not wrong. But remember, we just returned from the desert. And it was hot in the desert. Even in the last week of September, it was hot enough to put us in mind of tequila.

A Veracruz vacation. Now available in a glass.

When you’re sitting out in a hot, dry desert during Ramadan, there’s nothing more natural than daydreaming about booze, which we did frequently, and which is exactly how this recipe came into our head. We had to wait until our return to gather the necessary ingredients, and it took a full 2 weeks of mixing and sipping to get this one down. The end result was certainly worth the wait.

The Veracruz

2 parts tequila

1 part pear juice

1 slice jalapeno

1 drop bitters

Cut a strip of jalapeno as thick as your taste will allow. Muddle it lightly in a few drops of pear juice, just enough to open up the flavor. Transfer the muddled pepper to a cocktail shaker full of ice and add the tequila, juice, and bitters. Stir thoroughly and strain into a cocktail glass.

*If a garnish is desired, a slice of fresh pear will work better than a slice of jalapeno. The drink should taste like a spicy fruit, and not a fruity vegetable.

*We’ve found that for one drink, a slice of pepper about the size of a nickel is just right. Be sure to remove the seedpod entirely. Having little pepper seeds floating around in your cocktail is less than appealing. Also, be careful not to slice the jalapeno too thin, lest tiny pieces of it end up in your glass.

*Pear juice is delicious, but it can be hard to find. We used Gerber brand juice from the baby food aisle, which is 100% juice. Pear nectar from the Goya aisle will not work in this recipe.

*Go easy on the bitters. One good drop really is quite enough.

*Finally, something like Jose Cuervo or Hornitos will work just fine for this. You always want to stay away from generic tequila, but for this drink, there’s no need to reach for the expensive stuff. Enjoy.

Share

6 Comments

Filed under Cocktails

Booze of the Future! The Chop’s Slurm Drink Recipe

Good news, everyone! We’re not going out tonight. There is not a club, party, or event that could possibly bring us one billionth of an iota of the joy we’re about to experience tonight when we tune into the RE-Premiere of Futurama on Comedy Central. It’s going to be the greatest hour of television since the last hour of television.

In celebration of the arrival of the distant future, and of the fact that we’re not driving anywhere, we’ve decided to turn our home bar into a miniature Slurm Factory with this recipe that we pulled out of the Slurm Queen’s cloaca.

The Chop’s Slurm Recipe

2 oz. light rum
1 oz. sour apple schnapps
2 oz. pineapple juice
3 oz. 7 up.

Build it in a Collins glass over ice and you can give yourself a bunch of cavities and a nasty hangover at the same time. Please don’t write in and tell us this drink is gross. We know it’s gross. That’s the point. It’s the future. Stuff is gross now. Anyway, it’s probably not as gross as the product actually branded as slurm, which may or may not still be available somewhere in the universe.

Next summer it’s all about bros slurming bros. Bite my shiny metal ass, Chump.

___________________________________________________________

The one-hour season premiere of Futurama airs on Comedy Central tonight at 10 pm.

Share

Leave a comment

Filed under Cocktails

The Chop’s Chatreuse Gimlet Cocktail Recipe

So we find ourselves in the thick of Memorial Day Weekend, and those of you that aren’t at the beach are probably spending today at some sort of cookout, potluck, garden party or other social event. In the spirit of the season, we’d like to humbly suggest you forgo the cheapie bottle of Australian Sauvignon Blanc and instead swing by Hopkins Deli for a more potent and memorable hostess gift; a bottle of Chartreuse.

As you already know, the Chop loves a classic cocktail. Unfortunately, we’re not big on gin, and very picky about rum (and not snobby picky… we like Bacardi). So when spring and summer roll around and it’s time to lighten up with the brown liquor, we find ourselves drinking too many things that taste like lemons and limes.

How can we add a little more flavor and still keep the vodka gimlet a crisp, refreshing, warm weather drink? The answer was simpler than we thought.

The Chartreuse gimlet will look similar to a traditional gimlet or daquiri.

This one’s another Baltimore Chop original as near as we can tell, and it took us a lot more tweaking than we thought it would. We’ve got a sweet tooth, so we started out by adding simple syrup, which was a mistake. The Chartreuse and citrus are sweet enough as-is, and you may even want to add a dash of bitters if it suits your taste.

Matters were also complicated by the fact that not all bars carry Chartreuse, although they probably should. A special hat tip is in order to Bad Decisions who not only carries green and yellow Chartreuse, but has a citrus press juicer behind the bar.

The Charteuse Gimlet

1 part Stolichnaya vodka

1 part Yellow Chartreuse

Juice of half a lime

It’s as simple as that. Shake, strain, and enjoy. Its got all the complexity of flavor you’d want in a gin gimlet, without the bitter, medicinal juniper taste of gin. As we said, you might like to add bitters, and if you do, we recommend Fee Brothers’ Grapefruit Bitters which will add a new note of complexity to the drink, without altering the flavor drastically. You can also try the green variety of Chartreuse, although in our experience the yellow is much more enjoyable in this cocktail.

A new twist to an old classic, a pitcher of these at today’s function will insure that everyone has a great weekend, and that no one actually remembers it.

Share

8 Comments

Filed under Cocktails

The Chop’s Lemon Stick Cocktail Recipe

The Chop had a good idea once. It was the kind of idea that’s so good it can wake you up out of a sound sleep and demand your entire attention. It was the kind of idea that was so simple it was brilliant. But it was the dead of Winter, and eventually, the idea allowed itself to lie dormant until spring.

But Spring is here, Baltimore! Our idea is back, and after much mixing and measuring and tasting and tippling, The Baltimore Chop is proud to debut the Lemon Stick Cocktail.

The lemon stick should have an opaque white appearance, like this.

The lemon stick is one of our favorite things… an exclusively Baltimore tradition which hasn’t been cheapened by overexposure and continuous gratuitous references. It claims it’s origin at Flowermart, and can be found at spring and summer festivals throughout the Baltimore area. In honor of Flowermart, which begins today at Mount Vernon Place, we give you the Lemon Stick cocktail. It’s every bit as refreshing as the eponymous treat, delicious enough to serve to Grandma while she wears her fancy hat, and strong enough to make you stop and smell the roses (and maybe lie down in them for a while).

The Lemon Stick

2 parts Stolichnaya Vodka

1 part Rumple Minze

1 part simple syrup

2 large lemon wedges

Technique: Mix vodka, Rumple Minze, syrup, and the juice of one lemon wedge in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain over new ice in an old-fashioned glass and add second lemon wedge as garnish. Or, strain into a chilled cocktail glass and add a twist of lemon.

Comment: You may wish to use just a bit less than one part of RM or Syrup. Use any brand of vodka as long as it is of acceptable quality. Do not attempt to substitute generic peppermint schnapps for Rumple Minze. RM is 100 proof. The cheap stuff is typically 30 proof. This drink depends entirely on quality ingredients. Do not use commercial sour mix for any reason. If you really want to get fancy, serve over crushed ice with a peppermint stick as garnish.

It’s also worth noting that this is an original recipe. We couldn’t find anything very similar anywhere we looked. We hope it will catch on and spread throughout the land of pleasant living. Make it a new summer tradition.

Share

2 Comments

Filed under Cocktails