Saturday, January 9, 2010

Treasure blown in by the Country Breeze

As a general rule, I love beer. And I'm a big fan of cocktails.

Ignoring the range of options within those large categories for a moment, I've vacillated between the two ever since I started drinking "regularly" in my mid-20's (before that, I was something of a teetotaler.. of the non-preachy kind, of course). ;)

And so, for the past couple of months, I've definitely found myself in the beer-loving camp, having a single 12oz or 22oz bottle, say, a couple times a week with dinner or shortly thereafter. Think: Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing or Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing. Think: delish (if you think in words so fey; haha).

But recently, I've had the excuse to break out the ol' cocktail shakers (which, as it so happens, spent their previous lives as Bubbies Sauerkraut jars before finding themselves as implements of my home bar shaketastic effervesce). And while I mostly stuck to some old favorites, like The Aviation -- with an exceedingly *light* touch of crème de violette -- and the Vesper (certainly, monsieur), I threw a few new ones in the mix, so to speak. My guests were game.

The surprise winner -- and it "wins", insofar that it will make regular appearances in my cocktail lineup from here-on-out -- of this informal contest-that-wasn't-really-a-contest was a simple, sweet delight called the Country Breeze, a lovely mix of apple juice, gin, and crème de cassis:

2 1/2 oz. Apple Juice
1 3/4 oz. Gin (works well with a London Dry)
1/2 oz. Creme de Cassis (French, all the way!)

Play with the ingredients a bit, but the ratio above made a lovely nightcap. Crank up the gin if you want something with more bite; or let the apple juice flow more freely if you'd like something lighter in body. No matter how you make it, pour over ice and and add garnish of sliced apples and/or blackberries, if available.

(Liquid) treasures abound; there is always something new to learn! Salud!

5 comments:

nick said...

uhhh, Rico, what's up with these other two comments? Also, your next cocktail should feature Behrenjager, it's way better than any kegger at Rice's

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