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If any of you read (or write) blogs which cover cocktails, you might know that Paul over at Cocktail Chronicles has been organizing a monthly online cocktail event he calls Mixology Mondays.

This month's event is being hosted by Marleigh over on her blog SLOSHED! The theme is Brandy.

To quote Paul from his announcement of the topic:

Christmas is right in front of us and New Year’s is on the radar, but once the tumult of the holidays has died down, drink bloggers from all over will congregate on the Internets to raise a glass to the new year. In that glass will be Brandy, the topic for the first Mixology Monday of 2008, hosted by Marleigh at SLOSHED! on Monday, January 14. Grab a bottle of spirits from the grape — or the apple, or the pear, or the cherry, or the…you get the drift — put a drink on the web by the end of January 14, let Marleigh know about it, and keep an eye out for her wrapup soon afterward.

If you would like to participate, please write up a cocktail in this topic before Monday, January 14th at midnight. I will compile a list of cocktails posted and email them to the organizer.


Pretty wide open topic here, let's show those pesky bloggers we mean business!

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Champagne cocktails are OK to me. They make enjoyable relatively low alcohol aperitif cocktails. Great for serving at dinner parties and the like. Still not something I'm going to go out and order if I'm out on the town. However, if you add a little booze to that champanski, you start to speaka my lang-guage. Limoncello makes a nice addition, but brandy has to be just about my favorite.

Fortunately, there's an interesting Champagne cocktail in "F" section in the Savoy Cocktail Book, so I thought I would tackle it for this month's Mixology Monday.


Fancy Cocktail

(6 People)

Pour into the shaker 5 glasses of Cognac and a dessertspoonful of Angostura Bitters. Shake thoroughly and serve, adding a little champagne and a piece of lemon-rind after having rubbed the edges of the glasses with lemon syrup.

This is one of those "Savoy Cocktail Book" recipes, that just sort of leaves you scratching your head. Rub the edges of the glass with lemon syrup? How would that even work?

Facing the challenge of making this for one person, I decided to more or less follow the method of another champagne cocktail, the "Chicago Cocktail".

Fancy Cocktail for one

Rub the rim of a cocktail glass with a slice of lemon. Frost the edge with superfine or caster sugar. Pour into the mixing glass 2 oz Cognac and dash in a generous amount of Angostura Bitters. Stir with cracked ice until well chilled, and strain into the frosted glass. Top up with a bit of champagne, and squeeze a piece of lemon peel over the glass.

I have to admit I really enjoy both this cocktail and the Chicago. They are two of a very small list of cocktails, where I think a sugared rim makes sense. There's just something about sipping the combination of Champange, Cognac, and bitters through that sugar rim that is extremely, oh, I hate myself for using this word, sexy.

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I don't have a name for this drink, and few people out there will be able to replicate it, but I figured I'd throw it out there for fun anyway. I have a regular customer who comes in every Monday and hangs out, and occasionally brings in items from his garden for the chefs (and sometimes bartenders) to use. Recently, he had a tree that was producing tiny sour oranges, about the diamter of a nickel or so, in his back yard. He challenged me to make a drink with them. The first batch contained many bitter ones that were not quite ripe, though the chef was able to incorporate them into several wonderful specials. After a new batch of ripe sour oranges and several false starts, I finally came up with the following:

2 oz Pierre Ferrand Ambre

1/2 oz Sour orange juice (this takes a LOT of oranges, like 8 or so)

1/2 oz nut liqueur; I Frangelico, but I think I might try it with Marrone, a roasted chestnut liqueur, for fun.

Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass.

The drink isn't exceptional, but it's pretty solid in my opinion. The oranges are a pain in the ass to juice, and I have no idea what the variety is called, but they are pretty dang sour, probably roughly equivalent to lime juice, and the flavor probably resembles a very tart tangerine more than an actual orange. I'll see if I can't find out what the name of them is.

In the unlikely event that anyone is able to replicate this, let me know what you think.


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Something I've made a few times and enjoyed is a version of Dr. Cocktail's East India cocktail. He gives two versions, one on CocktailDB with pineapple juice and one in Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails, which calls for brandy, raspberry syrup, a teaspoon each of Curacao and Maraschino, and Angostura bitters. That's the one I've tried.

For me, it's a nice after-dinner drink. Sweet enough, but not too sweet.

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