donderdag 25 november 2021

Pardon my peach


When I spotted a cocktail recipe with cognac and peach on a good friends’ Instagram, I just knew that I had to make a simple drink in that same direction. But balancing the flavours, I ended up using Rye Whiskey as a base instead of Cognac. A switch which is often suggested in spirit-forward drinks such as e.g. the Sazerac. To stay true to the vision and mission of my blog, I drastically cut down on ingredients, the result was a pretty nice drink packed with flavour. 

Pardon my peach

Ingredients
40 ml Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey
15 ml Peche Melba
15 ml Fresh lemon juice
7 ml Campari
7 ml Orgeat syrup

Method
Add everything to a shaker with lots of ice. Give it a hard shake and double strain in a vintage wineglass. No garnish.

Disclaimer: All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.

zaterdag 20 november 2021

Poison Apple


Sometimes I spot a recipe that seems so easy it’s hard to believe it can actually be tasty. This ‘Poison Apple’ I saw on the social media of Jack Daniel’s is a good example of such a recipe. It’s an extremely easy but tasty low alcohol drink that will surprise you. 

Only two ingredients, so this is the easiest it will ever get. I was out of Jack Daniel’s Apple (what almost never happens) but found a bottle of Jim Beam Apple in the back of my home bar.

Poison Apple

Ingredients
45 ml Jim Beam Apple or Jack Daniel’s Apple
60 ml Cranberry juice

Method
Add both ingredients to a mixing glass with lots of ice. Stir for 15 seconds and strain into a tumbler with fresh ice. Garnish with a wedge of an apple. 

Disclaimer: All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.

maandag 15 november 2021

The Corleone


The core of my activities as a drinksblogger (=a hobby that got a little bit out of hand…) is searching for interesting cocktail recipes, often forgotten old classics, and experimenting with those recipes to give them a modern update. That was also the idea with this beauty today.

The original recipe was of course ‘The Godfather’ (50/50 whisky and amaretto), but I saw a recipe online using cola as a mixer to top off the drink, which inspired me to use cola syrup instead of cola. This result in a more balanced drink with subtle tones added to a good quality whiskey. It’s almost like a special kind of Old Fashioned.

As a base for this drink I selected Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage 2013. This is a Kentucky Straight Bourbon put on oak in December 2013. Handpicked by the Master Distiller and bottled as a single barrel on 29 January 2021 at 86,6 Proof (43,3 % ABV).

The Corleone

Ingredients
50 ml Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage whiskey
10 ml Amaretto Adriatico Roasted Almonds 
10 ml Cola Syrup

Method
Add everything to a mixing glass with lots of ice. Give it a good stir for 15 seconds. Strain into a Cognac glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a slice of lemon.

Disclaimer: All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.

woensdag 10 november 2021

Pineapple Sour


Pineapple is just an ingredient for tiki-rum cocktails, isn’t it?
That’s probably a fixed idea in many people’s minds. But actually pineapple mixes very well with lots of spirits. I love to add a splash to my whisky sour. It adds a nice fruity touch. 

I picked a special kind of whisky for this drink: Larceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon, probably the most unique bottle from Heaven Hill Distillers. It's a Bourbon, which means the mashbill needs to have at least 51% of corn. But instead of using rye as the secondary grain, for this whiskey they use wheat. From all wheated Bourbons that exist today (actually just a handful), this one is probably the "most wheated".

Most other wheated Bourbon: 70% Corn, 16% wheat, 14% malted barley.
Larceny wheated Bourbon: 68% Corn, 20% wheat, 12% malted barley.
This results in a softer and rounder character. 
Bottled at 92 Proof this a spirit that works very well in cocktails. 

  • Aroma: Bread, butterscotch.
  • Taste: Butter, caramel, honey.
  • Finish: Long gentle finish.

Pineapple Sour

Ingredients
50 ml Larceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon
10 ml Simple syrup
15 ml lime juice
15 ml pineapple juice

Method
Add everything to a shaker with enough ice. Shake hard for 15 seconds. Strain in a tumbler with fresh ice. Add a cocktail cherry. 

Note: No real need for egg white or aquafaba in this sour. The pineapple will automatically create a natural (thin) foamy layer on top of your drink.

Disclaimer: All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.

zondag 7 november 2021

Old Fashioned Week 2021 : Rum & Rye


Tomorrow I have a busy day ahead, so let's round up #oldfashionedweek with this delicious drink based on a mix of Rum and Rye. I got a little bit inspired by drinks I saw on the Instagram page of my friend Matthias. I experimented a bit with different bottles, but these two premium spirits blended nicely.

Saint James VSOP is a pure cane rum aged for 4 years on new American oak barrels and selected ex-Bourbon oak barrels. The combination results in a good balance and a deep and lively intensity. Lots of vanilla, cinnamon and candied fruits. 

Pikesville is a straight rye whiskey by Heaven Hill Distillery, produced in Kentucky. Lots of flavours in this spirit. Cacao, sweet liquorice, vanilla, crème caramel. Then it gets fruity and the more spicy notes come to the front. Rye, oak and cloves. Lots of cinnamon and apricot in the finish.   

Rum & Rye Old Fashioned

Ingredients
30 ml Pikesville Straight Rye Whiskey
30 ml Saint James Rum VSOP
10 ml Simple Syrup
2 dashes of Angostura Aromatic bitters
2 dashes of Angostura Orange bitters

Method
Make it the American way, quick and dirty. Add everything to a tumbler with ice cubes. Stir for 15 seconds. Garnish with orange. Enjoy. 

Disclaimer: All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.

vrijdag 5 november 2021

Old Fashioned Week 2021 : Johnnie Walker


One of the most frequent questions I get is “Should you also use the better and more expensive spirits for cocktails? Isn’t that a shame for those finely crafted liquids?”.

I can understand why people ask this question, but let’s compare it with the work of a Chef in a fine dining restaurant. Do they cook their fantastic dishes with high-quality ingredients? Or do they use cheap stuff? 

I do agree that some spirits are absolutely outstanding and that you should at least try them neat to experience the full aroma and taste. But I don’t see any objection to using them in a well-balanced recipe. The Old Fashioned is a perfect example of a recipe that always puts the spotlight on the base spirit. 

”And what about blended whisky?”. In every liqueur store, you will find cheap blends that are mostly sold to mix with cola. But you will also find the better kind of blends, in most cases, they are blends of just a few excellent malts. 

Johnnie Walker is one of the best known blended whisky brands in the world. The range starts with the (cheap) Red Label that’s behind almost every bar in this world, but they also have better quality blends in the Black, Gold and Blue Label. 

Recently Johnnie Walker opened a new flagship store in the heart of whisky-making Scotland called Johnnie Walker Princes Street. Do visit the website, they did a nice job in creating this experience. I joined the online press launch a month ago. This week I received a special bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label Princes Street Edition.

Princes Street Old Fashioned

Ingredients
60 ml Johnnie Walker Black Label
10 ml Simple Syrup
2 dashes of Angostura Aromatic bitters

Method
Add whisky, syrup and bitters to a tumbler with ice cubes. Stir for 15 seconds. Twist an orange peel over the glass to express the oils. Garnish with orange, toasted rosemary or a blood orange wedge.

Disclaimer: All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.

donderdag 4 november 2021

Old Fashioned Week 2021 : Candy Old Fashioned with Jack Daniel's


The annual Old Fashioned Week is probably my favourite week of the year. For my friends at Paal 26 Grand Café I created a small selection of Jack Daniel’s drinks for this week. The ‘Candy Old Fashioned’ is one of the most fun drinks you’ll ever taste. It’s like a carnival, mardi gras and Disneyland mixed together into one delicious sweet drink. 

Candy Old Fashioned

Ingredients
50 ml Jack Daniel’s Whiskey
10 ml Monin Popcorn Syrup
1 dash of Nutty bitters (I used walnut bitters, other nut bitters are also fine)

Method
Just add everything to a tumbler with ice cubes and stir. Garnish with orange or a cherry. Serve with some fresh sweet popcorn. 

Disclaimer: All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.

woensdag 3 november 2021

Old Fashioned Week 2021 : Ardbeg


When you’re creating a schedule for Old Fashioned Week with a focus on different styles of whisky, you just can’t ignore Islay. Today’s Old Fashioned is the peatiest and most smoky one for this week. It might even cure your cold. 

Ardberg Old Fashioned

Ingredients
60 ml Ardbeg 10y
10 ml Ginger Syrup
3 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters

Method
Stir everything together in a mixing glass with lots of ice. Strain in a tumbler with fresh ice cubes. Add a cherry. Or not. This drink is bold enough to stand out. 

Disclaimer: All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.

dinsdag 2 november 2021

Old Fashioned Week 2021 : Yoichi


During this edition of Old Fashioned Week, I want to use whisk(e)y from all over the world. This week I’m stirring the oldest cocktail recipe with spirits from Scotland, America and Japan. I try to serve them in a style that is typical for their country. 

Let’s have a look at Japan. This country is a long and narrow island with lots of coastlines. This should be the perfect environment for a smoky coastal whisky. 

Nikka Yoichi Single Malt whisky is distilled by Nikka in Japan. Since 1934 they distil Single Malt at the Nikka Hokkaido Yoichi distillery. They blend several batches to create a nice balanced spirit. They distil in a very traditional way with fire and coal. In this Single Malt, you will detect smoke and peat, but also dark chocolate, nutmeg and dried fruit. In the nose lemon, fresh-baked bread and vanilla. It’s soft and sweet, clouded with some smoke. The finish has a saline touch. 

So, what’s the Japanese style? Clean drinks, clear ice, no fancy garnishes. Every aspect of the drink needs to contribute to the taste and aroma. Keep it simple.

Nikka Old Fashioned

Ingredients
50 ml Yoichi whisky
15 ml Gonzalez Byass Cristina Medium Sherry
5 ml Rose syrup
1 dash (or approx.. 4 drops) of Calamansi citrus bitters (If you don’t have these, use grapefruit bitters, those are available at most liqueur stores)

Method
For the Japanese style Old Fashioned, we are serving this drink on a large rock of clear ice. This means we’ll first stir the cocktail in a mixing glass with lots of ice cubes. Keep it simple with the garnish, I used a piece of dehydrated grapefruit. 

Disclaimer: All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.

maandag 1 november 2021

Old Fashioned Week 2021 : Timorous Beastie


It’s always a bit unclear what the exact dates are for Old Fashioned Week. The leading whiskey brands that support this theme week seem to pick their weeks slightly different. In the past, it always used to be the first week of November. Since that’s also pretty convenient for me (Autumn holidays) I’ll share a series of Old Fashioned drinks in the next days. Prepare for some tasty easy-to-mix and spirit-forward cocktails. In the last years, I did a mix of whisky, rum and other spirits. This year my focus will be mainly on whisk(e)y from Scotland, USA and Japan. 

Old Fashioned Week in short: Thousands of bars and restaurants all over the world will put the spotlight on the “father of all cocktails” while donating a small percentage of the revenue on these drinks to charity. Very often they pick a local charity, so I can highly recommend supporting this action week. 

Let’s kick off this year’s Old Fashioned Week with a real Scottish drink. The base spirit for this drink is Timorous Beastie, a blended malt whisky by Douglas Laing. This blend is a mix of Highland malt whiskies from distilleries such as Dalmore, Glen Garioch, Glengoyne and more. As we all know, the Scottish Highlands are the real heart of Scotland. If you want to add a bit of atmosphere, try this special version of Scotland The Brave

Red Tartan Old Fashioned

Ingredients
60 ml Douglas Laing Timorous Beastie
10 ml Simple syrup
2 dashes of walnut bitters

Method
Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with lots of ice. Stir for 15 seconds and strain in a tumbler with fresh ice. Garnish with a maraschino cherry. 

Disclaimer: All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.