cocktail recipes, drink experiments, good cocktails

No Shortage of Cocktails From New Orleans

Since starting on this cocktail mania, I’ve heard a lot about the Tales of the Cocktail event in New Orleans each summer (July 21-25 this year). Since it combines two fascinations for me – cocktails and New Orleans – I am understandably interested in the goings on. While I won’t be attending this year, I am content with a few related pleasures, namely sipping the official Tales of the Cocktail drink, a new season of HBO’s True Blood, and three bottles of New Orleans booze my friend Dee brought back from her visit there.  I am hardly suffering.

I had hoped that Dee could bring me back a mini-bottle of rye whiskey to sample. Instead, she hauled home a fifth each of Sazerac Rye Whiskey, Old New Orleans Cajun Spice Rum, and Praline Pecan Liqueur for me. I’ve had fun experimenting with these, and it still surprises me that I like whiskey:  I have always associated it with stiff, hair-on-your-chest drinks, but have been shown otherwise by some great recipes and generous friends.

If you have some rye whiskey, try out The Scofflaw. It was created during the Prohibition in Paris and named after those illegally drinking in the U.S., called scofflaws. Another blogger provides more history and the recipe here.  This is a good year-round drink, not too summery or too heavy for any season, and I would happily order it in a bar. As a bonus, I was able to use some of the grenadine I made recently; however, I have learned that Stirrings now makes a genuine bottled grenadine that sounds promising.

The Scofflaw

1 oz rye whiskey
1 oz dry vermouth
3/4 oz grenadine (homemade or Stirring’s brand)
3/4 oz lemon juice
2-3 dashes orange bitters

Add ice and all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake until well-chilled. Strain into a chilled glass and enjoy!

I also found a great refreshing summer drink in the Cajun Spiced Rum bottle: The Cajun Iced Tea. The beauty of this kind of drink is that it’s “loose” because it doesn’t require exact measurements, and it’s easy because no shaker is involved. It was also a great excuse for a drink in the afternoon (you know, so the caffeine wouldn’t keep me up at night). This rum is different than other spiced rums I’ve tried – mainly of the Captain Morgan’s variety – but not hot spicy like the “Cajun” would imply.

Cajun Iced Tea with my New Orleans trio.

Cajun Iced Tea

1 ½ oz Old New Orleans Cajun Spice Rum
½  oz simple syrup
½ oz lemon juice (optional but a good addition)
Unsweetened iced tea

Fill a tall glass with ice, add all the ingredients to fill, and then stir and serve with a lemon slice.

The above fulfill my liquid New Orleans needs at home, but I also discovered an incredible drink at the Chantanee Thai Restaurant’s Naga Cocktail Bar, which boasts that it is the only craft cocktail lounge in Bellevue, Washington. No surprise that it is the official Tales of the Cocktail drink this year, because it is fabulous. Head straight there – now! – to order the Death in the South Pacific and go to cocktail heaven.

Cheers, ICE


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