Turkey Grog Revisited

Had a grapefruit to kill so I made this cocktail that I developed a few years back and it remains a popular favorite. The use of flavorful Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon is the key component and where the cocktail gets its name.

Turkey Grog by Kevin Crossman
¾ oz Lime Juice
½ oz Ruby Grapefruit Juice
½ oz Honey Syrup (1:1)
½ oz Velvet Falernum
½ oz Don’s Spices #2
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
¾ oz Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum
1½ oz Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon
Shake with ice, garnish with mint. Serve in glass of choice.

Don’s Spices #2: Equal parts Vanilla Syrup and Pimento Dram/Allspice Liqueur.
If you have non-alcoholic Falernum syrup then drop the amount to ¼ oz.

Drunken Monkey at Trader Vic’s Emeryville

This cocktail appeared on the menu at Trader Vic’s Emeryville a couple years ago and I decided to revisit with lunch. The drink features unaged Cachaça and Tequila, along with Banana liqueur, grapefruit and lime juice, plus Trader Vic’s favorite ingredient – Orgeat. The Whipped Cream topping with Lime Zest makes this an attractive cocktail.

The blend of Cachaça and Tequila works really well here, providing different spirit notes than what you’d get with Rum or Bourbon. Cachaça is distilled from cane juice and the light herbal qualities pair well with Tequila’s agave-based flavor. The banana is there just as a hint, and when we upped the ratio at home it still wasn’t forward in the cocktail.

At Trader Vic’s the cocktail is served in this tall glass with nugget ice, which meant it was difficult to incorporate the topping into the drink due to the chunky ice. My preference would be for this to be in an old fashioned glass with a wider brim or with shaved ice that would be easier to work with.

Trader Vic’s hasn’t published the recipe but observing the prep and trying at home this seems pretty close. Give it a try!

Drunken Monkey by Trader Vic’s
½ oz Lime Juice
½ oz Grapefruit Juice (pink)
½ oz Orgeat
½ oz Giffard Banane du Bresil
1 oz Blanco Tequila
1 oz Silver Cachaça
Shake with crushed ice and top with whipped cream and banana chips.

At home I used El Jimador Tequila and Novo Fogo Cachaça, along with Latitude 29 Orgeat, and I felt this tasted even better than the one at Trader Vic’s. I’m a newbie to both spirits, so I couldn’t tell which brands were used at Vic’s.

Jamaican Highball at Dr. Funk

Dropped by Dr. Funk on Monday before the Surfrajettes show for dinner and some cocktails. Aside from continued “product testing” of Dr. Funk’s still awesome Mai Tai, I tried the Jamaican Highball this time.

More than just a “Wray and Ting”, the Jamaican Highball features Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum, lime, turbinado, grapefruit soda, and Bitter Truth Grapefruit Bitters. Those additional ingredients and flavors help to enhance the the rum and soda base. I was looking for a slightly lower ABV and asked for Rum-Bar Silver to sub for the Wray. This still provided that classic unaged Jamaican rum flavor and worked great in this cocktail.

The Murderqueen Cocktail: a Dark Cocktail for Halloween

This original cocktail was developed by Tonga Tim Harnett of Tiki Underground bar in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. It was featured last week on Spike’s Breezeway Cocktail Hour on YouTube, named in honor of Spike’s girlfriend Larissa – otherwise known as the Murderqueen. Check out the video on YouTube, and then check out the amazing surf/horror single “Theme from The Murderqueen” that Spike put out a couple years ago on Hi-Tide Recordings.

The Murderqueen Cocktail by Tim Harnett
1½ oz Pink Grapefruit Juice
½ oz Solerno Blood Orange Cordial
¼ oz Orgeat
¼ oz Passion Fruit syrup
½ oz Raspberry syrup
1 oz Plantation OFTD Overproof Rum
1 oz Rum Bar Overproof Rum
4 heavy dashes Peychauds Bitters
Shake with ice and garnish with three dark cherries

I subbed Liber for the Blood Orange Cordial, and Chambord liqueur for the raspberry syrup. I used Latitude 29 Orgeat and Small Hand Foods Passion Fruit Syrup.

Despite the grapefruit juice and heavy rums, this cocktail is actually pretty easy to drink. It has a real nice set of flavors and seems timely for Halloween season.

Glassware: new Halloween Mai Tai glass from Trader Vic’s, available for sale online.

Recipe: London Dry Spin

I still had more White Grapefruit Juice so I did a little riff that actually ended up tasting quite nice. This is definitely grapefruit-forward, but I think it pairs well with the gin and the hints of orange and the rich orgeat syrup. This leans tart, so if you like it sweeter I’d suggest bumping the Cointreau to ¾ oz.

London Dry Spin by Kevin Crossman
1 oz Fresh White Grapefruit Juice
¼ oz Fresh Orange Juice
¼ oz Orgeat
½ oz Cointreau
2 oz London Dry Gin (Beefeater)
Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass

The Orgeat used was homemade from Pearl’s Hideaway and is bit on the cloudy side compared to some commercial syrups such as Latitude 29. In this case, the cloudy white cocktail made this look a bit different from Daiquris and other cocktails served up. Liber & Co. orgeat would have similar cloudy results.

The Breezeway Cocktail

This was posted by Spike Marble on @thehulagirls Instagram and it was perfect timing as I was looking for something to use with the last of the White Grapefruit was I was gifted. They held up pretty good this month. 

This is the cocktail that Spike developed for his Spike’s Breezeway Cocktail Hour show on YouTube, which I have enjoyed every Friday for the last two years. Spike talks cocktails (always in the glass that it was served in) and tiki, sometimes with special guests. It is educational and entertaining, so check it out if you’ve somehow missed it. You must be a fan of corks to fully appreciate the show.

The Breezeway Cocktail by Spike Marble
¾ oz Lime Juice
¾ oz Orange Juice
¾ oz White Grapefruit Juice
¼ oz Demerara Syrup
¼ oz Cinnamon Syrup
¼ oz Falernum
1 tsp Ginger Syrup
1 oz Soda Water
1 oz Hamilton White Stache Rum (sub: Denizen 3)
1 oz Doctor Bird Jamaican Rum

Blend for 6 seconds with crushed ice. Pour soda water into tiki mug, then rest of the drink with ice. Garnish with sliced limes, orange wedge, Luxardo Cherries, mint, orchid, garnish.

I didn’t go extreme with the garnishes, and used my favored Hay! Straws rather than the glass one specified by Spike.

This cocktail is light and refreshing, and the mix of spicy syrups does give it an interesting twist. I don’t have the Breezeway Cocktail Hour tiki mug, so I used this nice pilsner glass from Trader Vic’s. This is a tribute to Spike who often makes vintage Trader Vic’s cocktails on the show.

Spike has a Patreon for supporters of the show, and if you’re at the $10 level you can get a cool Breezeway Cocktail Hour pin shown below.