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Last active Apr 16, 2016
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Drink Recipes

Gin Blossoms

If you thought Smash Mouth has a strong drink connotation, this band's just cheating: There's a delicious drink just sitting there waiting for you, called, appropriately, the

Gin Blossom

BUT there is some contention about what that is. The one I know is apparently

The Clover Club version

Brooklyn's Clover Club provides what I'd probably consider the "definitive" version of the Gin Blossom:

  • 1.5oz Plymouth gin
  • 3/4 oz apricot eau-de-vie (or Apricot brandy)
  • 3/4 oz Martini Bianco vermouth (see Note)
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • 1 lemon twist

Fill a pint glass with ice. Add the gin, eau-de-vie, vermouth and bitters and stir well. Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with the lemon twist.

Note: Martini Bianco is a slightly sweet, vanilla-flavored vermouth, not to be confused with extra-dry vermouth.

While both you and I would probably very much enjoy this, the juiciness of the comparably named "Orange Blossom" spawned a sweeter, more populist recipe:

The "Elderflower Greyhound with Gin" version

From drinksmixer.com

  • 2oz gin
  • 1/2oz Elderflower Liqueur
  • 1.5oz grapefruit juice

Chill martini glass. Squeeze grapefruit juice. In shaker with ice pour ingredients in and shake. Pour in to martini glass. Garnish with grapefruit twist.

For the elderflower I'd use the magnificent and shockingly affordable St Elder liqueuer, but I doubt it's made it from MA to IL yet so St Germain it is!

The Elderflower and Lillet version

For a drier take without the juice, another variant (claiming to be inspired by The Iron Lady) uses a bit of Lillet Blanc instead:

  • 1.25oz London dry gin
  • 3/4oz Lillet Blanc
  • 1/2oz St Germain Elderflower liqueur

First add ice and water to chill classic champagne coup, next add all components into shaker tin, add ice and stir to chill. Discard ice and water in glass, garnish glass with two “spritz” of orange blossom water, next strain contents of shaker tin into chilled glass, garnish with flamed orange zest.


Out of all of those, I'd probably be most interested in the original, Clover Club version. The one that I think would appeal to the most average drinker is probably the Grapefruit one (gin, st germain and grapefruit marry brilliantly).

Smash Mouth

There's one blindingly obvious classic cocktail that jumps to mind when you say "Smash Mouth:"

Whiskey Smash

While the original, 1860's version didn't feature the lemon or the bitters, americandrink.net describes the modern Whiskey Smash as follows:

  • 2-4 lemon pieces (cut a lemon in half and then quarter one of the halves. Bam! pieces)
  • 5-10 mint leaves
  • 3 dashes bitters
  • 1/4 to 3/4 oz. Simple syrup to taste
  • 2-3 oz. Rye, bourbon or whiskey

Muddle the lemon pieces, mint leaves, bitters and simple syrup in the bottom of a shaker glass. Add the bourbon and shake well with ice. Strain into a rocks glass with ice. Garnish with a mint sprig and a lemon wedge.

Regarding the appropriate whiskey, I would use either a common rye like Old Overholt (for a slightly drier, sharper flavor); a good mixing Bourbon like Jim Beam (for a sweeter option), or a Canadian blended Whiskey for a slightly more mellow flavor. The version of the recipe from the Maker's Mark website, of course, specifies a particular brand:

  • 2 parts Maker’s Mark® Bourbon
  • 4 mint leaves
  • 3/4 lemon
  • 1 part simple syrup
  • Lemon wheel, for garnish
  • Sprig of mint, for garnish

Muddle all ingredients except Maker’s Mark® Bourbon in a bar glass. Add Maker’s Mark® Bourbon and shake with ice. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a sprig of mint and a lemon wheel.

Personally I'd go the Rye route, but I tend to favor that over Bourbon generally. If they're looking for a name-brand well drink, Rittenhouse or Riverboat are excellent ryes that work well alone or in cocktails.

As I mentioned on the phone, I'd probably want to try to do something crazy like make a beer cocktail with a sweet bitters (maybe a molasses bitters), Stone's excellent Vertical Epic beer, and a dry rye, but I doubt that'd work terribly well without a lot of experimentation... And getting that much Vertical Epic might be an epic task. Not to mention that my friends would consider using Vertical Epic in a cocktail to be a waste of a superb beer.

So. Since nothing is really named "Vertical" anything in the cocktail recipes I know, that leaves us with Horizon... There's a drink called the Blue Horizon that's made with two kinds of rum, blue curacao, OJ and Grenadine, but it looks horrible. My suggestion would be to lose the blue by swapping the blue curacao for ordinary triple-sec, mess with the balance a bit, and end up with what we can call a

Vertical Horizon

  • 1oz Dark Rum (e.g. Black Seal))
  • 1/2oz Spiced Rum (e.g. Captain Morgan)
  • 1/2oz Triple Sec
  • 1/4oz Grenadine
  • Orange Juice

Build the ingredients in an ice-filled collins glass, then top with orange juice. Stir and serve with a cherry.

For a more grunge-y take, lose the OJ, add a dash of Regan's orange bitters, and add a dash of soda.

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