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Yellowknife-cocktail

“The Yellowknife Rescue” Cocktail (Guest Post)

Photo by @Sharayahphotography

Check her out at instagram.com/sharayahphotography

• • •

This was a really fun post to do. My good pal, and aviation pilot extraordinaire – Mr. Robin Robertson – and I got together to fool around with his original cocktail, The Yellowknife Rescue.

We started to play around with the drink – and got a little tipsy during the process – until we arrived at the finished product!

• • •

Interview

Okay, this is a really cool name. What’s the story behind this cocktail?

Robin RobertsonWhile they lived up north, my parents dabbled in hunting caribou. And this one time, my dad was out with his buddies. Most sleds up north are less than 250cc, and that makes for a nice lightweight hunting machine. So him and two buddies, let’s call them Al and Steve, are headed out. Al is a longtime local and knows the use of a small snow machine. Steve, not so much. He has this beast with more weight on it than is normally suggested. They head out, and since Steve has more power, he suggests he’ll break off and scout ahead.

Anyways, my dad and Al find themselves a ledge and a herd of caribou. They lay down to set up their shots, and just then my dad looks over his shoulder.

Now, the Canadian arctic is a barren place, so a pillar of smoke rising from the horizon is less than normal. My dad shakes Al, so as to ask what it means, and Al simply responds with “oh fuck, Steve.”

They set off immediately, and after a few rises come across a very rare sight. A single tree, about a meter high, sits there next to a lake. It is thoroughly aflame.
And there’s Steve, his snowmobile half-sunk, jerry can of gas in his hand, and the only tree for five miles burning like a pyre. He’s a geologist, and he knew his only option to dry off was to light that little tree.
What inspired you to make this cocktail?

Robin RobertsonMy inspiration for the egg white and smoked glassware was, of course, the burning tree in the snow, the Gin just seemed appropriate as the liquor to accompany it.

As for the citrus… you recommended it, but let’s just say it was inspired by a yellow jerry can.
Thanks, Robin! I’m going to take over here. Here are the ingredients and the recipe:

Aviation gin 2 oz. | Egg White | Fresh Lemon Juice 3/4 oz. | Simple Syrup 3/4 oz. | Yellow Chartreuse 1/4 oz. |  Smoke the glass with Pine Needles | Garnish with Flamed Pine Needles

Combine all ingredients in a Shaker tin with ice and shake | Strain out into other tin, dump out ice and “Dry Shake” again. Strain into a coupe glass or rocks glass.

Process/Trial-&-Error

Robin had the general idea of the cocktail that he wanted to make, paired with the story that he wanted to tell. All I did was help him fine-tune the cocktail by getting the proper (and fresh) ingredients and adding something to give the Drink character! The Yellow Chartreuse felt like the perfect calling for this drink, especially for the drink’s namesake.

I tried experimenting by dashing in a few colorful bitters into the drink and it did not look that appealing (See below).

Enjoy the Yellowknife Rescue, courtesy of Robin Robertson and Joseph Plant.

Cocktail-Yellowknife-rescue

This was the first tasty mistake we had!

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More Curious Cocktailian

If you want to understand Liqueurs better, check out these posts:

Fernet Branca

Yellow Chartreuse

And here’s the cocktail basics that every bartender needs to know:

An Easy Guide To Bar Tools

The Ultimate Guide To Making The Perfect Manhattan

• • •

The-ultimate-guide-to-making-the-perfect-manhattan

The Ultimate Guide To Making The Perfect Manhattan

The Manhattan cocktail is the epitome of classy and is a solid go-to drink for any lady or gentleman. Want to know how to make the perfect Manhattan? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

• • •

Requirements

Bourbon – Sweet Vermouth – Angostura Bitters – Mixing Glass – Stirring Rod (Barspoon) – Julep Strainer ( or any strainer) – Shot Glass/Jigger – Fresh Ice

How-To

Combine the Whiskey (Bourbon/Rye/Tennessee), Vermouth, and Angostura bitters into the bottom of a mixing glass | Fill with two-thirds full of ice | Stir for 25-30 seconds | Place Julep strainer inside and strain into cocktail glass

And that’s it!

Do not panic. I will walk you through this entire process, with photos, and by the end of it all, you will be able to make a classic cocktail for yourself, for your friends, and maybe even impress a lady or a gentleman.

If you want to skip down to the actual preparation of the drink, feel free to do so. If you literally have no idea what you have gotten yourself into or just want to know why you’re buying all of these things, read this. If not, read on, friend.

First, I’m going to take into account the Bartender-On-A-Budget. You, my imbibing friend, are going to need some equipment.

ESSENTIALS

I have chosen this cocktail specifically so you can begin to grow your cocktail equipment (as well as your home bar) AND to get your tongue wet with the good old Classics. We are only going to need four things:

1) Mixing Glass

Mixing glass

You may have seen this before…

For the Bartender-On-A-Budget, you can probably steal a pint glass from your local bar after you finish a Guinness or two. Or maybe don’t do that. You can get a cheap one at the dollar store – try to ask for one that is between 16 and 20 oz (OZ. stands for ounces. If you still don’t know what that is, one ounce is equivalent to one shot glass).

Japanese-yarai-mixing-glass

Japanese Yarai mixing glass

2) Shot Glass/Jigger

Jiggers

Every single person in the Amerikas has a shot glass lying around the house. So, case closed. Unless you want a Jigger – to measure for success and precision + look like a pro while you mix drinks in front of your friends.

Jiggers are measuring tools and can be found at any cocktail specialty shop and even some wine shops. They aren’t all that expensive, maybe a 5 dollar price tag. Grab one if you are serious about the craft of the cocktail. You’ll want a basic jigger for now with two ends. One end should say 1 oz. and the other 2 oz.(Ounces!) Like so:

3) Barspoon/Stirring Rod

Barspoon

When we put all of our ingredients into the mixing glass, then fill with ice, we are going to have to actually mix these sum-na-beechs togetha’. And please don’t stick in any old spoon. I cannot bear witness to any such atrocities again. Unless… You’re on a budget.

But seriously, it won’t cost you more than 10 bucks and you’ll have that spoon for the rest of your career. I still have mine!

Barspoon-personal-stirred-cocktail

Never let go of yours!

4) Julep Strainer

Julep-Strainer

Okay, so we have stirred the ingredients with the ice to chill down the drink and to melt some of that ice into the cocktail to make it less intoxicating. Perfect. Now, we need to get it into a glass for you to drink.

But you can’t just dump the whole thing into a new glass. This is where the julep strainer comes in. The strainer can be found at quality cocktail shops as well for a low price, but you can also sometimes find them kicking around in cooking stores.

If you feel that you can spare a little extra – and even then, it won’t be that much – you are going to want to go to Cocktail Kingdom

They are an online shop based out of New York and they deliver worldwide. They are the best at what they do and a little investing at this site and your career – whether at a bar, cocktail bar, or as a home bartender – will thank you. Using cocktail equipment lets your audience know that you mean business.

Now that we have all the ingredients, we get to do the fun part… alcohol, as known as the spirits!

For this post, I’m going to be using my Yarai Mixing glass and the Hawthorn Strainer. If you don’t know much about the equipment, check this post out.

Ingredients

We only have three ingredients: Bourbon / Sweet Vermouth / Angostura Bitters

Bourbon

1) Bourbon

I will be using Woodford Reserve Bourbon because I love the taste it leaves in my mouth. You do not have to buy the 26er. But if you do, you can practice making more manhattans.

Side Note: The Manhattan can be made with Bourbon, Rye, and it has been made and will continue to be made with other whiskeys, which is fine. I have opted to use Woodford Reserve.

2) Sweet Vermouth 

What is sweet vermouth? Basically, it is a fortified wine. But right now, all you need to know is that the S.V. is the sweetener in this cocktail. It also pairs very well with whiskey. As you can see, I am using Carpano Antica Vermouth, because it is a quality ingredient and rocks the socks off the ladies (Sorry for that joke, plz stay). For the Bartender-On-A-Budget, you can buy cheap Red Vermouths at any liquor store (mostly).

DO NOT buy white vermouth – a.k.a. dry vermouth. What you want is sweet vermouth, which is RED vermouth. Try the Cinzano Rosso bottlings.

Sweet-Vermouth

3) Angostura Bitters

Alright, 3 simple dashes of this bad-to-the-bones bottling and you’re going to tie up the two aforementioned ingredients and add a complexity that would go on to shake the foundations of das bier hall forever.

Old Angus can be found in cocktail ingredient stores as well or ordered online! OOOOKAY. So, we have everything now (Don’t forget the ice, though. Buy an ice tray, freeze ice in the freezer, you have ice. Congrats!). Now we can begin the preparation process.

Angostura-bitters

COCKTAIL PREP

Step 1 – With your jigger/measuring device, pour in 2 oz. of bourbon and drop it into the bottom of your mixing glass. (Or two 1 oz. of bourbon if your jigger does not have a 2 oz. option)

Keep it close to where you’re mixing

Alright, sweet. We have two ounces of bourbon in our mixing glass. High-five.

Step 2 – Take your SWEET vermouth and pour 1 oz. into your jigger, then drop into your mixing glass. Almost done.

Step 3 – Open your angostura bitters and give three good dashes. If you did four, that’s okay. We’re still golden.

Step 4 – Take your lovely Barspoon and hold it like so:

Now, push the barspoon into the bottom of the glass. You will want to keep the back of the barspoon against the side of the glass.

You are going to spin the Barspoon clockwise, with the back of the bar spoon against the side of the glass the entire time. To accomplish this, push out, then pull back in. Push out and around, and pull back in to complete the circle. Two motions.

Do this for 25-30 seconds. Count.

Step 5 – Okay, you have officially mixed the classic cocktail, Manhattan. +100 EXP. points.

Grab your julep strainer and strain your cocktail. I’m using a Yarai mixing glass, which requires a Hawthorn Strainer.

Hawthorn-Strainer

It should just sit in there nicely, but make sure to hold it.

The-perfect-cocktail

Now, Strainnnnnn it into your drinking vessel. The two “correct” glasses, or most commonly used, are the martini glass or the rocks glass. But use whatever drinking vessel you have preferably glass.

Manhattan Cocktail

CONGRATULATIONS. WOW, WE… no, YOU DID IT. Now, enjoy that sum-na-beech.

Congratulations

It’s time to celebrate!

Garnish

Btw, if you want to add an orange twist to your Manhattan…

Peeling-orange

If you hold your thumb down on the peel, you can cut that piece off nicely

Orange-peel-garnish

Then you’ll want to cut it with a paring knife to make it look sleek

Slicing-orange-peels

Beautiful-orange-garnish

And wrap it around your barspoon

Orange-twist-for-cocktails

And then *drum roll*

Manhattan-cocktail-garnish

ALSO, PYROTECHNICS! Slice off a piece of orange peel > hold between thumb and forefinger(fingers) > hold facing your cocktail with a lighter in front of it > SQUEEZE

Aromatizing-cocktail-orange-flame

Orange-zest

You’ve just aromatized your Manhattan, and gotten all the numbers at the bar. Success.

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If you’re into everything cocktail, sign up for the Curious Cocktailian Email List and we’ll send you the new posts right when they come out. That’s the only thing we use the list for – Don’t worry about getting tons of spam or other nonsense!

• • •

More Curious Cocktailian

If you want to understand Liqueurs better, check out these posts:

Fernet Branca

Yellow Chartreuse

And here’s the cocktail basics that every bartender needs to know:

An Easy Guide To Bar Tools

The Ultimate Guide To Making The Perfect Manhattan

• • •

Shaken Jamaican Create cocktails Cocktail

The “Shaken Jamaican” Cocktail

Recipe

Plantation Jamaican Rum 2 oz. | Overproof Rum – a splash | Yellow Chartreuse 3/4 oz. | Grenadine 1/2 oz. | Orgeade 1/2 oz. | Lime Juice 1 1/4 oz. | Creme de Violette – Splash or teaspoon | Jamaican #1 bitters 3 dashes

How-To

Pour in Ingredients / Fill with ice / Shake like crazy / Double-strain into a martini glass

Cocktail Cosmopolitan Shaken Jamaican

Story

Caution: this story is filled with many woes.

I started at a very easy place. I looked at one cocktail recipe that I was inspired by and loved: The Daiquiri. Eventually, I also looked at the Mai Tai, because I love my tiki drinks.

So, right off the bat, I kind of knew what I wanted.

Two things happened next: I decided which spirit I’d used and a few ingredients I wanted to mix the drink with AND I got an idea from a brilliant bartender I work with (We’ll call him Mr. Savage).

I knew the drink was going to be rum-based because the Daiquiri and the Mai-Tai are rum-based. I also knew that Orgeade/Orgeat was going to play a part, as it does in most tiki/tropical drinks.

Lime juice had to make an appearance, for dem citrus notes. And lastly, yellow chartreuse, which oddly does wonders with rum (Courtesy of Mr. Savage).

Now, Mr. Savage filled his highball glass with crushed ice and sprinkled the top with Peychaud’s bitters. I took that idea and one of my own and compared:

Cocktails experimental

The left is akin to Mr. Savage’s drink, and the right is mine. I used grenadine, instead of the Peychaud’s bitters, seen on left. Unfortunately, and predictably, the grenadine sank to the bottom.

I wanted to have three layers: yellow on the bottom (shaken part of the drink), Peychauds, or Grenadine (which, as you can see, did not work out), and a purple layer – Creme de Violette – on top.

This part of the process was a disaster and just did not go as planned. I was disheartened and felt defeated – especially because I had lied in bed at 4 in the morning imagining how brilliant this cocktail would be.

The next day, I wrote the story of the cocktail, which was named, “The Sun Also Sets”:

This is “The Sun Also Sets”. Firstly, the cocktail pays homage to Ernest Hemingway and his first book, The Sun Also Rises, and secondly, is visually appealing and quenches any person’s thirst. This cocktail is the tongue-in-cheek answer to Hem’s masterpiece.

Pretty fun, right? I was really into it. 🙁

Anyways, after some time, I was just like, “Screw it. Let’s shake em’ up altogether.”

So, I had the rum, yellow chartreuse, lime, orgeade, and the Creme de Violette (for oomph), and slammed em’ together. The result was incredible.

Cocktail beautiful Martini glass

After a few more tweaks, I had the style of rum, Jamaican #1 bitters and the exact measurements I wanted and needed.

My drink, the Shaken Jamaican, was finally ready to be consumed.

Choosing Ingredients And Measurements

So, as you know, I had my basic ingredients from the two recipes…

The Daiquiri and the Mai-Tai… which were Rum, Lime, and Orgeade/Orgeat.

I also had the idea of using Yellow Chartreuse and Peychauds bitters from Mr. Savage.

After some frustrating variation tests, I decided to use grenadine as a sweetener, instead of the bitter Peychauds.

It still wasn’t enough. It needed some EXCITEMENT. Fate led me to Creme de Violette.

After the failed “The Sun Also Sets” experiment, I shook everything together, and I shook them hard.

Once I had nailed down my basic recipe, I was ready to start fine-tuning.

Fine-tuning 

This part is essential. Once you reach this stage, you can’t give up and just throw together whatever portions.

The exact opposite needs to be done: this drink requires your obsessive tendencies to reach perfection!

And this is exactly what I did.

I found the perfect kind of rum: Plantation Jamaican Rum (I was using Plantation Pineapple – so good).

Then I added Jamaican #1 Bitters, which paired really well with the Jamaican rum. (It has allspice, ginger, and black pepper notes. Mhm).

To get the exact measurements was challenging.

What the bartender is trying to accomplish is making a cocktail that can be deemed delicious by enthusiasts, connoisseurs, and regular ol’ beer-drinkers. The bartender is also trying to find balance.

First, I sought balance. I balanced the citrus to the sweetness. When I felt that was right…

Second, I had taste-testings. I had bartender buddies try them, for their expertise. I had my dad try one, for his, ahem, beer-drinking expertise.

I made one for my girlfriend, who is not a drinker and offered a unique perspective. Finally, I made some for two of my friends who like drinking all kinds of things.

I took all of their suggestions and altered my measurements yet again – until I was happy.

Taste is so subjective. Not one person tastes the exact same. So, making drinks that everybody will love is hard. And unfortunately, it isn’t going to please everyone.

But I feel pretty damn confident that this drink is going to be (mostly) loved.

Make It

If you don’t know what kind of tools to make, check my other post on bar tools.

Let me walk you through this little doozy. Here, hold my hand.

Cocktail-process

Yeah, I made a fancy picture for this blog post.

First, we pour all of our ingredients (with the help of our jiggs) into a mixing glass or a smaller Boston-tin. Then we fill that mixing glass two-thirds full with fresh ice/the smaller Boston-tin to the top.

Then, I shake everything up – to dilute the cocktail a bit and to cool it down.

I double-strain that sum-na-beech into a chilled martini glass:

Cocktail-bartender-strain-straining-cocktail-hawthorn-strainer-double-strain

Double-straining that sum-na-beech

Finally, I drink the hell out of it.

Naming the Cocktail 

I had a particularly difficult time naming this cocktail, especially since it used to be a layered drink:

Cocktail-sun-also-sets-hemingway

This drink, which is now the “Shaken Jamaican”, used to be called “The Sun Also Sets” because it looked like a sunset (I wanted to layer the purple Creme De Violette on top of the red, but it didn’t work out).  I decided to forgo the layering of the red grenadine/Peychauds on top of the drink and to instead mix up the ingredients. The conclusion was satisfying, to say the least.

I decided to forgo the layering of the red grenadine/Peychauds on top of the drink and to instead mix up the ingredients. The conclusion was satisfying, to say the least.

So, now I had a new drink with a name that didn’t fit.

I loved all of the other tiki drinks, like the Bahama Mama, Mai Tai, in that they had great rhymes and were all super tasty and palatable. I wanted the same thing for my drink.

Here’s a short list of other potential names…

-Destination Jamaica

-Jamaican Destination

-The Flaming Joe

They were pretty depressing names and my unoriginality made me give up for awhile. Then the name just came to me.

I’m sure you guys are going to have a ton of questions. I don’t mind answering them – leave a comment below, or email me if you’d like!

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If you’re into everything cocktail, sign up for the Curious Cocktailian Email List and we’ll send you the new posts right when they come out. That’s the only thing we use the list for – Don’t worry about getting tons of spam or other nonsense!

• • •

More Curious Cocktailian

If you want to understand Liqueurs better, check out these posts:

Fernet Branca

Yellow Chartreuse

And here’s the cocktail basics that every bartender needs to know:

An Easy Guide To Bar Tools

The Ultimate Guide To Making The Perfect Manhattan

• • •