Author: johnkazuo

Raspberry Beret

Listen y’all, coming up with names is hard. I mean, I titled a drink “You Average Rum Drink” the other day because I just couldn’t come up with anything better. I was trying to come up with something clever for this, but had this song stuck in my head for the last several minutes so I’m just going with that name in the hopes that I can maybe move on to some other tracks from The Purple One’s catalog.

2 oz cognac
½ oz Liber & Co’s raspberry gum syrup
½ oz lemon juice
3 dashes of The Bitter Housewife’s old fashioned aromatic bitters

Stir gently with ice and serve up. Finish with a breath of soda water and a wee bit of lemon peel rubbed around the rim.

This is a strikingly good drink. There’s a nice shock of tartness, but this thing is near candy sweet. The raspberry takes a second to get there, but the flavor is that of overly ripe, juicy berries, and I love it. The fact that this is using a gum syrup gives the drink a velvety quality, and makes this have a fuller feel than it would otherwise. The bitters help balance things out, and the vanilla and ginger come through more than I would expect, and I’m well pleased with
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Raspberry Beret

Listen y’all, coming up with names is hard. I mean, I titled a drink “You Average Rum Drink” the other day because I just couldn’t come up with anything better. I was trying to come up with something clever for this, but had this song stuck in my head for the last several minutes so I’m just going with that name in the hopes that I can maybe move on to some other tracks from The Purple One’s catalog.

2 oz cognac
½ oz Liber & Co’s raspberry gum syrup
½ oz lemon juice
3 dashes of The Bitter Housewife’s old fashioned aromatic bitters

Stir gently with ice and serve up. Finish with a breath of soda water and a wee bit of lemon peel rubbed around the rim.

This is a strikingly good drink. There’s a nice shock of tartness, but this thing is near candy sweet. The raspberry takes a second to get there, but the flavor is that of overly ripe, juicy berries, and I love it. The fact that this is using a gum syrup gives the drink a velvety quality, and makes this have a fuller feel than it would otherwise. The bitters help balance things out, and the vanilla and ginger come through more than I would expect, and I’m well pleased with
via Instagram
https://instagr.am/p/CDUwQjnJyM6/

Chile Watermelon Margarita

You won’t see tequila crop up on here very often, as I’m not a fan, personally, but my darling goblin bride does and so once in a while I try making something with it for her. This was a result of today’s experiment, as I wanted to surprise her with something.

4 oz spiced watermelon puree
2 oz Patron Silver
½ oz lime juice
¼ oz Blood Orange Cointreau

Combine with a handful of ice, blend, and serve.

The watermelon puree was made by blending the following and then triple straining through increasingly fine strainers.

1½ cups of fresh watermelon
¾ oz simple syrup
½ oz lime juice
⅛ tsp New Mexico chile powder
A nice pinch of lime
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Chile Watermelon Margarita

You won’t see tequila crop up on here very often, as I’m not a fan, personally, but my darling goblin bride does and so once in a while I try making something with it for her. This was a result of today’s experiment, as I wanted to surprise her with something.

4 oz spiced watermelon puree
2 oz Patron Silver
½ oz lime juice
¼ oz Blood Orange Cointreau

Combine with a handful of ice, blend, and serve.

The watermelon puree was made by blending the following and then triple straining through increasingly fine strainers.

1½ cups of fresh watermelon
¾ oz simple syrup
½ oz lime juice
⅛ tsp New Mexico chile powder
A nice pinch of lime
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https://instagr.am/p/CDUi3tApaQI/

On Sabbatical

I came up with this a few weeks back, but was intent on just enjoying the drink instead of going through the fuss of posting it. It was damned delicious though, and I kept saying I ought make one for a post later, and I guess now is later.

2 oz Appleton Estate Reserve
¾ oz Frangelico
¼ oz velvet falernum
2 barspoons orgeat

A squeeze of lime juice (maybe half a barspoon’s worth)
3 heavy dashes of Fee Brothers’ cherry bitters

Combine all but the bitters in a shaker with a small amount of cracked ice and give it a short, vigorous shake. Serve up and finish with the cherry bitters.

This is a delightful after dinner drink for me, though truth be told, I’ve had no dinner yet, and it’s still delightful. It’s definitely a sweet one, but a nice treat that I’ll keep
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Your Average Rum Drink

It’s been a long week and it’s only Wednesday. Admittedly, it felt like a long week when it was only Monday. The work day is finally over, I have no obligations tonight, and so a drink was in order, and strong one at that.

2 oz passion fruit juice
1 ½ oz Brugal Añejo rum
1 ½ Rhum Barbancourt 8 year
1 oz Xotikal coconut liqueur
½ oz John D. Taylor’s velvet falernum
½ oz Benchmark brown sugar liqueur
1 barspoon lime juice
1 barspoon salted yuzu juice
5 dashes of Bittermen’s Elemakule Tiki bitters

Combine all ingredients into an ice-filled glass, realize you should have used a bigger tiki mug but somehow still manage to get it all in there. Stir very gently, because seriously, there is no room for error. Take a couple delicate sips, and then spill some on your feet as you go to take a picture for the interwebs.

This is delightful, and refreshing, and feels like a pretty standard rum punch at first blush, but has some interesting notes going on in it with each sip.

The front end is passion fruit tartness and sweetness from the Brugal and the brown sugar liqueur. The coconut creeps in along with the spices of the falernum and bitters, but quickly gives way to the twang of the Barbancourt towards the end. You don’t get to linger on it too long though because of the very, very slightly salty finish of the salt preserved yuzu juice that comes as a nice
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Smoke in the Orchard

This little number got thrown together in a rush as I was running late for an online rpg session with some friends, but the work day was more frustrating than normal, and I really needed to start playing with these new bitters I got for my birthday. The result is dynamite, and seems well suited to the darkening sky and rumbles of thunder here.

2 oz applejack
½ orgeat
¼ lime juice
1 barspoon of allspice dram
5 dashes of The Apothecary Bitters Company’s Mystic Caravan smokey pear bitters

Combine all over ice, add a splash of soda water and stir to combine, finish with another 3 dashes or so of the bitters.

These bitters, y’all. These are some of the most flavorful bitters I have ever had, and the flavors are wonderful! The smoke notes are full front, but the warm pear is inarguably there as well. There’s a clove note that plays really well with the allspice dram, and a background lemon note that is really nice, but that I wanted to keep as a minor player so I opted for lime as the citrus going into this drink, and I think that was the right call. The orgeat isn’t coming across with any distinction, but I’d be willing to go out on a limb and say that if I had opted for simple syrup to sweeten this up it would feel a little flatter.

All in all, I’m a big fan of this, though it perhaps feels better suited to a cool autumn evening, but I suppose I’ll have to make do with this rainy summer one.
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I have some wonderful friends y’all.

Get ready for a wall of text, friends. My birthday was on Saturday, and while usually I don’t like making a big fuss over it, this year was my 40th, and so I felt like it should have been… I don’t know, something. Back around the turning of the year I had the seed of a plan of what I wanted to do, and while nothing extravagant, it would have involved getting to share some drinks with some close friends.

Fast forward to the present and living in a pandemic, and well, that idea just wasn’t going to happen. And dear gods, I was sad about it.

Luckily, my amazing goblin bride secretly reached out to our friends, asking for folks who could to maybe send me a letter or a card and let me know they were thinking of me. My friends, being who they are did so and then some. Saturday morning I was greated with a stack of cards and letters, and several gifts to boot, some mailed, others secretly (and not so secretly) dropped off by hand.

And my heart was utterly filled; with joy, laughter, and above all the sincere appreciation for the love my friends had for me. That reminder of how lucky I am to have such wonderful people in my life made my day.

I wanted to share a few of the delightful bar related gifts I received. There was more, including handmade pieces of art, lovingly written letters, funny little knick-knacks, delicious treats, and even a socially distanced mini-concert on my patio.

If this is what my life at 40 is going to be, filled with love and kindness, I think I’m going to be just
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Poison Apple

Poison AppleSo, I had planned to kick off the new year with a recent recipe for a coffee based drink inspired by a favorite drink of my favorite fictional assassin that I made for the first time recently to high praise from someone what is arguable a bigger fan of both coffee and Vlad Taltos than I, which is saying something.  While that post will be coming, you’ll have to wait until next month, as inspiration for another drink hit me today.

As I was driving in to work this morning, I was struck by an idea for this cocktail.  As to what it says about how things are currently going at the office that I was thinking of cocktails before my work day had started, well, I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.  The point is, I was thinking of absinthe in particular, and how maybe a nice Corpse Reviver #2 would be a good way to celebrate the end of the day once it shambled around.  Now, I love the Corpse Reviver #2, but of course my mind started working through permutations of it, and what it was about that drink that I was craving.

When it came down to it, I was looking for that hint of absinthe, and the crispness of the citrus.  What I didn’t really want was the tartness, but something lighter.  I started thinking of flavors that I like to put with anise, and thought of doing a gin drink heavily laced with rose water, but that didn’t intrigue me.  I moved on to apples, and that’s where I dwelt for most of the rest of the drive.  The crispness and natural sweetness of apples works so very well with absinthe, and while I went through many ideas, I ended up settling on this really quite simple recipe:

  • 2 parts applejack or calvados
  • 1/2 part simple syrup
  • 1 barspoon of absinthe
  • 1/4-1/3 of an apple
  • lemon juice

Upon arriving home, I told my darling wife about this cocktail idea, and shared that I even had a name for it already, which is surprising as I usually struggle with naming my creations.  After telling her about the idea, she shared that thanks to a trip to the grocery store earlier today, we had some nice fresh apples in the fridge, which I took as a sign, and set off to cobbling this first experimental glass.  I must say, I am well pleased with the results, if I do say so, as was the wife.

I started by thinly slicing up some apple, in this case a Kiku apple, which is a variety we hadn’t tried before.  Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for a better apple for this cocktail; it’s quite juicy, very sweet, but with a nice light tartness.  After cutting the apple into suitably thin pieces, I muddled that in a Boston shaker with a bit of fresh lemon juice, about what you’d get from 1/8th of a medium lemon.  I kept muddling until I had worked as much juice out of the apple pieces without completely pulverizing them.  To this I added some crushed ice, the applejack, absinthe, and after sampling a bit more of the apple and deciding it was going to make for a decently sweet drink, the small amount of simple syrup.  I shook the drink briefly to chill it and let some of that crushed ice melt down, and then strained it into a coupe glass for service.

What I had in that glass was a lovely little drink; very light, with an almost floral sweetness from the apple, and the nice clean finish of absinthe passing fleetingly through the end.

A year later…

Well, it’s been just over a year since I made my last blog post, where I talked about my personal favorite recipes for eggnog.  I’m indulging in a cup of said holiday cheer as I type this, in honor of that, and because ‘tis the season, after all.

I have all sorts of excuses for why I haven’t written here in so long; craziness at work as we went through a reorg, house hunting and moving, more craziness at work as I took over a new team, and another reorg.  Really though, it just comes down to losing steam, and having a hard time building it back up.  No promises that this won’t just be a false restart, but I’ll be aiming to post at least monthly here.

 

Despite my silence here for the last year, I’ve kept whipping up new cocktails, and enjoying old favorites.  Last January I put together a collection of eight original cocktails based on various nations for an in-play party hosted by one of the LARPs I am involved in, and offered flights for those that wanted to sample all eight but still be able to walk.  They all seemed to be a hit, as I spent the entire event frantically working behind the bar, with no time to even pour myself something until half way through the event.  I failed to get any photos, so I’ll be making and shooting those as part of the planned content for the coming year.

 

At another LARP related event during the summer, I was asked to provide recipes for some of my greatest hits, so that they could be served at a catered event.  I have to say, it was a bit of surreal experience seeing the bar staff making my drinks, but it was incredibly satisfying.  Some of the drinks were from the new set of eight, but one was my old favorite, the Epi, which as expected was a big hit and the first drink we had to 86 when we ran out of the ingredients.

 

As I mentioned earlier, the year has had some pretty crazy moments, the biggest of which was when my wife and I purchased our first house together.  We moved in a little over a month ago, and I’ve just now gotten my bar unpacked beyond the couple random bottles I pulled out along the ways for much needed post moving cocktails.  Our house is wonderful, and just about perfect for us, though I will continue to lament that at some point in the past the previous owners tore out a wetbar original to the late 70’s home and replaced it with a giant walk in cedar closet off the living room.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, the extra storage is great, but I could have had a wet bar!

 
I hope that all of you out there have had a good year, and are enjoying the holidays, and that you’re doing so with a nice cup of cheer.  I hope that you’ll be joining me here for a new year of recipes, musings, and fun.  Now, I’m off to enjoy this drink and settle in by the fire.