Archive for the ‘Ty Ku’ Category

Drinks That Burn in Hell-oween

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Other than color (blood red, orange, gruesome green), Halloween cocktails are often chosen by garnish and presentation – we have to dress up our drinks like we do ourselves for this holiday. This year I’m choosing to cloak my cocktails in flames:  Eerie blue flames that spark with a sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon, or turn orange with a bit of salt. I was not aware that I could channel Beavis & Butthead, but there they were, snickering “fire, fire, fire, heheh.”

My first flaming cocktail attempt was the The Goblet of Fire*, created for the Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows movie and appropriate for Halloween. I followed the instructions very carefully and found it quite simple, particularly since I learned how to layer drink ingredients (super duper easy) for last year’s Black + Orange drink. 

 The Goblet of Fire

 2 oz Ty Ku Liqueur
1 oz Kahlua liqueur
Barspoon of cream
1 oz Bacardi 151 rum
grated cinnamon
 
Directions:
  • Shake Ty Ku and Kahlua in a shaker filled with ice.
  • Strain into a cocktail glass.
  • Float cream on top using a bar spoon.
  • Float Bacardi 151 on top of cream.
  • Light the rum with a match.
  • As flame burns, sprinkle some cinnamon onto the flame.
  • Clap hands over flame or blow to put it out.
  • Give a stir and serve.

So much fun to make!  But not a favorite taste for me since I’m not keen on coffee (unlike everyone else in the Seattle area).  So I decided to try another recipe, using green chartreuse as the accelerant. This one was more to my taste.

Cradle of Life 

3/4 oz white rum
3/4 oz spiced rum
1/2 oz orgeat
1/3 oz (= 1T) fresh lemon juice
1/3 oz (= 1T) fresh lime juice
1/3 oz (= 1T) fresh orange juice
2 dashes of Angostura bitters
crushed ice
1 hollowed-out lime half, for garnish
1/2 ounce green chartreuse

 In a cocktail shaker, combine the rums, orgeat, citrus juices and bitters; shake well. Pour into a chilled double rocks glass. Add crushed ice and garnish with the lime cup (the site photo shows the lime cup inside out). Pour the chartreuse into the cup and ignite the chartreuse. Blow out the flame, then tip the chartreuse into the drink.

Really, though, any drink recipe can be made into the flaming variety, provided the accelerant liquor is compatible with the rest of the ingredients and the drink is served up (without ice). Floating a bit of Barcardi 151 on the top of a rum drink will little impact the taste (hmmm, this could be the perfect presentation for my Bloody Sunday drink!).  I did a lot of experimenting and here is what I learned:

  1. Depending on the mouth opening of the glass, as little as a quarter ounce of high-proof liquor floated on top can produce nice flames; if the glass mouth is wide, you’ll need more for dispersal
  2. I didn’t have any luck producing visible flames with less than 110 proof. Liquor can produce invisible flames and perhaps that was the case with the 100-proof vodka, but what’s the spectacle in that?
  3. While ice in a drink does not prevent floating a liquor on top, but it does prevent flaming (I had to see if fire could burn around the ice cubes; wouldn’t that be cool?)
  4. Better to keep the flames going just long enough to serve the drink, ooh and ahh quickly, maybe spark it with some cinnamon or nutmeg, and then blow it out. Otherwise the glassware gets too hot to drink.
  5. Because I was sober and safe, my eyebrows and house remain intact. DrinkNation serves up some safety tips for working with flaming drinks. 

Drinks that appear to arise from the inferno – that’s Halloween!

Cheers, ICE

* The Goblet of Fire is courtesy of Cocktails.About.com and Cradle of Life is from FoodandWine.com and featured in their Food & Wine Cocktails 2011 book.

As always, check out my Glossary of Spirits page for alcohol and mixer definitions and details.

 

New Year’s Resolution: More Cocktails!

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

It’s time to untangle ourselves from the mania of Christmas and focus on the next big event: New Year’s Eve. That night will mark the first anniversary of my home cocktail craziness. Last NYE, armed with my new MixShakeStir cocktail book, I hit the liquor store with a shopping list of liquors culled from the tastiest sounding drinks… and returned to discover that I could really make only half of each drink (thanks a lot, Kirkland liquor store).

Fortunately, the year has been more fun than frustrating, and that deserves a toast. What’s the best beverage to raise high for that toast? You got it — champagne.

But let’s dress up that sparkling wine (because any will do – champagne, Prosecco, cava).  Here are a few recipes that add oomph without hassle.  As is the trouble with all recipes calling for wine or beer, unless a specific brand and year is listed, results may vary. Pop open your bottle and use the ratios below as a starting point and then tinker to preference. Oh, and use chilled ingredients.  All should be served in a champagne flute or coupe.

1. Although around just a few years now, the St. Germain Cocktail is nearly a classic. If you don’t have one of these beautiful St. Germain bottles, stop reading and hit the store!

St. Germain Cocktail

¾ oz St. Germain liqueur
2 oz sparkling wine
Slice of strawberry or a raspberry to garnish (optional)

2. This version of the classic Champagne Cocktail substitutes bourbon for brandy and omits the bitters.  My husband agreed that this would be a good drink for those who like bourbon but aren’t enthusiastic about champagne.  I did cut corners by using commercial vanilla syrup (commonly used in lattes) instead of making my own.

Bourbon Champagne Cocktail

 1 oz bourbon
½ oz vanilla syrup (I used DaVinci’s)
4 oz champagne
½ vanilla bean to garnish (optional)

3. Looking for another use for my Ty Ku (as featured here previously), I played around with recipes from other sites and came up with this:

NY Ty Ku

1 oz Ty Ku
1 oz Prosecco
¾ oz lemonade (I used Simply Lemonade)
Add agave or simple syrup sweetener if desired.

Shake Ty Ku and lemonade with ice, then strain into a flute glass. Add chilled Prosecco and stir gently. This is a light sipping drink.

Cheers to 2011!  ICE

Next: I’m going to take a blog-break for a few weeks to work on my cocktail resolutions. Stay tuned!

 

A Green Cocktail for a Festive Season

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

There’s a reason most New Year’s resolutions focus on eating better and drinking less, and it’s called Holiday Hangover. We are thick into the season of treats, heavy buffet tables and boozin’. So if you want a cocktail that is a bit lighter in calories and alcohol, it’s right here for you. And, being green, it’s perfect for those Christmas parties.

Single Ladies (not mine, I didn’t name it)

1 oz Ty Ku sake liqueur
1 oz ginger liqueur (Loft Spicy Ginger; if using Domaine de Canton, add  ¼ to ½ oz)
3-4 oz white cranberry juice
Splash of Green Apple Jone’s Soda (optional and only to bump up the color)

Shake all of the above with ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass and serve.

I originally discovered this drink and the Ty Ku liqueur after a friend asked me to suggest a green cocktail for a fraternity alumni banquet last month. The drink was such a hit there was a rush to the bar and they ran out early! The Ty Ku has a light, slightly melon flavor and comes in a groovy illuminating bottle. Being less sticky-sweet, I have found it preferable to Midori in other drinks.  

I suggested to another friend planning a holiday party that she serve red and green drinks – this one and my Bloody Sunday punch (although perhaps it should be renamed for this occasion), and she got great reviews for both.  Serving a fabulous cocktail is expected; having it match the decorations is a bonus.

 

Cheers, ICE