Category Archives: cocktails

There Comes a Time When One Craves Appetizer No. 3!

For better or worse, the lockdown period has made cocktail hour a “thing” for me here in Tartu.

I have tried lots of different variations. Each time, I fall in love with the cocktail, proclaiming “This is it! Nothing else will do!” And so it was for dirty martinis, manhattans, daiquiis, whiskey sours, and now the old fashioned.

The old fashioned is my current fav — but only when it combines one additional ingredient. It must have a splash of Cointreau. At first I thought that this was my own invention. But I was wrong. This is, in fact, a drink that was called “Appetizer No. 3.

The Appetizer No. 4 Recipe

The history

Appetizer No. 3, which appeared in Patrick Garvin Duffy’s The Official Mixer’s Guide in 1934. Taking the crisp orange flavor of Cointreau, it applies it in a trace dose to a bourbon base; further accented with the soft anise-hinted character of Peychaud’s bitters, the drink is finished with a spray of lemon oil. Couldn’t be easier, or more approachable.

BTW, I am using a Jim Beam bourbon that I highly recommend.

Jim Beam Double Oak 43% 70cl - Goalco

I first bought it because it was on sale. And I keep going back to it!


Buttered Old Fashioned at Hawksmoor’s?

I was just passing the time by watching Sam do ribs, when he started in on something more interesting than ribs – a buttered bourbon old fashioned.  I have had many an old fashioned, but never a BITTERED old fashioned.  Hmmm … if this interests you, here is Sam going at it

I began to think, perhaps there are other ways to do this? A quick Google and voila, Dave Lebovitz writes about doing a brown butter old fashioned!

One problem – this is not a drink you can just whip up after work. You need to do some prep work and let the concoction sit in the fridge. And I am not sure that a buttered drink would work in the summer as well as in the winter.

So this goes on my “I can’t wait until Christmas” list of stuff I want to do. And wouldn’t it be great to be able to just order a buttered old fashioned in London at  Hawksmoor’s!

Yes, Hawksmoor’s is a steakhouse chain

The original establishment is in Spitalfields, near to where the architect Nicholas Hawksmoor built Christ Church. Subsequently, there are five other restaurants in London: in Seven Dials, Air Street nearby Piccadilly Circus, Knightsbridge, Guildhall district of the City and Borough, near Borough Market. Hawksmoor also have two restaurants outside of London, Hawksmoor Manchester on Deansgate, near Spinningfields and Hawksmoor Edinburgh opened in 2018, just off St Andrews Square. Hawksmoor New York will be opening in 2020.

But I am ok with that — if they offer a buttered old fashioned!

London's best deal on London's best steak: Hawksmoor with ...

BTW while Hawksmoor is a premier butter old fashioned peddler, that is not the last word in London’s world of old fashioned’s. Not by a long shot!

Time Out offers a list of high end establishments that offer other riffs on this classic drink. A double nut old fashioned? It boggles the mind! This is a pre-pandemic list, so no guarantees that these places are still around, but possibly flawed intel is better than no intel at all!

Go for it!

The Heat Wave Means Tanqueray and Tonic

I agree with this

The secret to this simple hot-weather drink is high-quality ingredients. Smooth, straightforward Tanqueray gin meshes perfectly with bittersweet tonic water.

To make this work well, do not skimp on the lime!

Greek Gin and Tonic | Flair Project

In case you were wondering

Tanqueray is a brand of gin produced by Diageo plc and marketed worldwide. Although it originated in London, the spirit is now produced in Scotland. In 2016 it displaced Beefeater as the number one global seller.[1] While it does not command a sizable market share in its native market, its largest market is in the United States, where it is the highest-selling gin import, followed by southern Europe.

What makes it special?

While the Tanqueray recipe is a closely guarded trade secret, it is known to contain four botanicals: juniper, coriander, angelica root and liquorice, all common botanicals in gin productions overall.

Tanqueray London Dry Gin - Best Local Price | Drizly

I am a fan of this Tanq as well

Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla Distilled Gin 70cl: Grocery

But for martinis, not gin and tonic.

What is your favorite gin?

But this is not the last work on what makes a gin and tonic great. Some argue that “bubble retention is everything”. That means doing everything possible to make sure your G&T does not go flat. And one can go beyond bubbles – perhaps your gin selection will dictate a garnish other than lime? Egads! Check out this Epi post on the ultimate G&T.It has my head spinning!

There is more. Commercial tonic is “ok”, but as the Epi article points out, you can do better. So why not go all the way and make your own? Dave Lebovitz has a fun story about that with a recipe. And if you make your own, don’t be surprised that it comes out yellowish or even a bit brownish. The store bought brands are clear because they use “synthetic or pharmaceutical quinine”. Also, it will be stronger – so you will need to cut it with carbonated water.

And btw, have you wondered where the word “skimp” comes from? No one knows for sure, but

The word skimp appears in the mid-1800s as a back-formation of the word skimpy, which in turn may be derived from the Old Norse word skammr, which means shortly, hasty. Skimp is a verb, related words are skimps, skimped, skimping, skimper, skimpy, skimpily, skimpiness.

And it is not to be confused with scrimping!

Need to Chill? There’s a Meditation App for that!

NYT is profiling them. They advise

Just as you’d probably head to a department store with an idea of what you want to buy, have an objective in mind before you wade into the app store. Experts said some goals could be: reducing stress, minimizing anxiety, quitting smoking, fighting insomnia and cultivating mindfulness. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, you could get overwhelmed with the choices.

And this advice is sound!

Hopefully, any app you download will be a supplement to a meditation habit you’re looking to grow. You shouldn’t think about buying this app to depend on forever, Dr. Jha said. Over time, try to reduce the amount of guidance you need to get to the point where you might just have a bell ring at the beginning and at the end.

And if you do a search, you will find lots of them.

Here are five free ones from Mindful!