Apple Bellini Ingredients Balvenie and Glenfiddich Tasting Room - Tales of the Cocktail

Made in Scotland Makes Mixing at Home a Cinch

Christmas Cake Martini Ingredients - Made in Scotland room Tales of the Cocktail 2009
Christmas Cake Martini Ingredients – Made in Scotland room Tales of the Cocktail 2009

I almost missed the Made in Scotland tasting room at Tales of the Cocktail while sitting through a seminar about cocktail photography.  Luckily my partner slipped into the tasting room early to taste and photograph and I ducked out of my seminar early to do the same.  What a delicious treat!  Charlotte Voisey must have been the hardest working spirits personality at all of Tales of the cocktail from a few bystanders point of view.  She shook up fresh cocktails using The Balvenie.  It seems this busy lady could be found just about everywhere lively debate or Hendrick’s Gin needed a fresh smile.

Charlotte Voisey - Balvenie and Glenfiddich Tasting Room - Tales of the Cocktail
Charlotte Voisey

While I did not have the pleasure of tasting the Glenfiddich offering of the Scottish Pair cocktail my impressions remained solid.  First off many Scotch enthusiasts would cringe at the thought of placing Glenfiddich 12 Year Old in a cocktail rather than consuming it neat or on the rocks.  However the representative on duty at the table assured me this cocktail tasted wonderful.  Since there was nothing left to sample, I assume it went over quite well.  My other observation happened to be the number of ingredients contained within the recipe, ease of obtaining the ingredients and degree of difficulty in building the cocktail.  All measured an overwhelming ‘trouble-free’ on the ‘simple’ scale.  Glenfiddich is relatively easy to find across the nation rather than one of the harder to find Scotches available only in selected markets.  The ingredients may be found in nearly any moderately stocked grocers shelves.  The Scottish Pair is a simple shake and strain variety that can be prepared with a cocktail shaker or mixing glass and strainer.  Straight forward.  When I mentioned how much I appreciated the detail of uncomplicated recipe for the average home bartender, the Glenfiddich representative said that is exactly what the brand was going for with this particular recipe.  Nice to know that while there are thousands of fabulous recipes swirling about that tempt our taste buds with more ingredients than we can juggle and names we can’t pronounce there are also offerings of a more simple nature to choose from.

Scottish Pair Martini Recipe

Scottish Pair Ingredients Balvenie and Glenfiddich Tasting Room - Tales of the Cocktail

Scottish Pair

3/4 ounce Glenfiddich 12 Year Old

3/4 ounce Hendrick’s Gin

2 ounces Pear Juice

1/2 ounce Agave Nectar

1/2 ounce Fresh Lemon Juice

Combine ingredients and shake well.  Serve up in a martini glass.  Garnish with a lemon wheel.

Christmas Cake Martini Recipe

Something more along the lines of wintry and warm to set our sights on the days ahead comes from The Balvenie.  This marvelous cocktail surprised me a bit with its beautiful color and flavor.  The cinnamon notes revealed in lovely form with The Balvenie remaining intact throughout the cocktail.  It would be a pity to cover up the delightful flavor personality of The Balvenie with over the top additions.  The Christmas Cake Martini harmonized the essence of all the flavors perfectly.  This would be an excellent cocktail to serve at your next Christmas party or family gathering this winter.

Mixing Christmas Cake Martini Balvenie and Glenfiddich Tasting Room - Tales of the Cocktail
Mixing Christmas Cake Martini

Christmas Cake Martini

1-1/2 ounce The Balvenie Portwood

1/4 ounce Raynal VSOP

1/4 ounce Cherry Brandy

1/4 ounce Orgeat

1/4 ounce Fresh Lime Juice

Pinch of Cinnamon Sugar

Combine ingredients and shake well.  Serve up in a martini glass.  Garnish with a fresh cherry.

Apple Bellini Drink Recipe

Apple Bellini Ingredients Balvenie and Glenfiddich Tasting Room - Tales of the Cocktail
Apple Bellini Ingredients

Tired of the usual champagne topped cocktail for Sunday brunch?  The Balvenie offered the Apple Bellini for something just a little unique and more than a little divine at the Made in Scotland tasting room.  This cocktail is so easy to prepare you won’t have to wait for a visit to Scotland.  You can make it in your own home to enjoy for Sunday brunch, Saturday afternoon on the deck or anytime something refreshing suits your mood.

Apple Bellini

1 ounce The Balvenie Doublewood

1-1/2 ounce Fresh & Cloudy Fiji Apple Juice

2 ounces Brut Champagne

Combine ingredients in a champagne flute.  Stir gently before serving.

Glenfiddich Tasting Dropper

There are other cocktails offered by The Balvenie, Glenfiddich and Hendrick’s Gin that should be sampled as well.  These recipes are taken from the Stir Your Soul drink recipe book offered at Tales of the Cocktail.

Balvenie Smash – created by Charlotte Voisey

Balvenie Signature Cocktail

2 ounces Balvenie Doublewood

3/4 ounce Fresh Lemon Juice

3/4 ounce Agave Nectar

2 dashes Angostura Bitters

4-6 Mint Leaves

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker.  Shake well.  Serve over fresh ice in a Double Old-Fashioned glass.  Garnish with a fresh spanked, mint sprig.

Sweet Solera – created by Charlotte Voisey

Glenfiddich Signature Cocktail

1-1/2 ounce Glenfiddich 15 Year Old

3/4 ounce Lillet Rouge

1/2 ounce Caramel Syrup

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker.  Shake well.  Strain into a martini/cocktail glass.  Garnish with a fresh cherry complete with stem.

Abandoned Rocket Ship – created by Jim Ryan

Hendrick’s Signature Cocktail

1-1/2 ounces Hendrick’s Gin

1 ounce Yellow Chartreuse

1/2 ounce Honey

3 Medium Hulled & Sliced Strawberries

1/2 ounce Lemon Juice

Fist full of Arugula (rocket)

Murray River Australian Sea Salt to rim glass

In mixing glass present in this order: fist full of arugula, strawberries, lemon and honey.  Muddle with a spring in your stick.  Add Hendrick’s Gin and Yellow Chartreuse.  Ice.  Shake and fine strain into a salt rimmed double rocks glass.  Smile.

Blood & Sanguinello – created by Charlotte Voisey

Featured at: Wolfe’s of New Orleans Spirited Dinner

3/4 ounce Glenfiddich

3/4 ounce Sandeman 10 Year Old Tawny Port

4 Muddled Luxardo Cherries

3/4 ounce Solerno Blood Orange Bitters

1/2 ounce Pink Grapefruit Juice

1/4 ounce Lemon Juice

1 dash of Orange Bitters

1 Egg White

Shake ingredients vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with an orange zest.

All content ©2009 Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist. All Rights Reserved. Chat with Cheri @Intoxicologist on Twitter and facebook.com/Intoxicologist or str8upcocktails@gmail.com

Mixing Up Something Beautiful

This weekend the ‘Mix Up Something Beautiful’ contest came to a final close as the winner became exquisitely clear.  Judges for this cocktail contest included myself (Cheri Loughlin-The Intoxicologist), Virginia Roode and Steff Childs (The Kitchen Trials).  We started out with a quick sampling of Pinky Vodka to get a sense of the base spirit. Virginia Roode - Pinky Vodka Contest

Pinky Vodka certainly lives up to its reputation of the world’s most beautiful vodka with its pretty pink hue, but there is more to this sexy bottle than girlish good looks.  Comments from Steff and Virginia leaned toward the floral garden feel of this spirit.  Steff said the pretty presentation of Pinky leant itself well to a Girl’s Night Out theme party.  There is undeniably feminine appeal to this spirit, yet both judges agreed their male friends would sample Pinky if it were offered at a gathering.  Though it has floral tones there are also herbal notes in the background with a hint of citrus.

Winning cocktail of The Intoxicologist ‘Mix Up Something Beautiful’ with Pinky Vodka contest is 3,2,1…Pinkies Up entered by Charles Steadman, Palm Beach Bartender.  This particular cocktail has fabulous color, exquisitely deep strawberry flavor with a bit of Pinky Vodka flavor still coming through underneath. 

321 Pinkies Up Club Soda Version - photo copyright Cheri Loughlin3,2,1…Pinkies Up

3 Fresh Strawberries

2 ounces Pinky Vodka

1 ounce Fresh Lime Juice

1 ounce Agave Nectar

Soda Water

Garnish: Thin slice of strawberry (taken from the ingredients)

Preparation: Remove the green and muddle the strawberries in a mixing tin. Add the Pinky vodka, lime juice and agave nectar into the mixing tin with ice. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds and strain into a highball glass with ice. Top with a nice splash of soda.

Steff Childs 321 Pinkies Up“I like this,” said Steff.  “I can imagine this being served at a bar with fun outdoor patio.  I’d serve it at a Sunday brunch or bridal shower.  It’s cute!  Visually it looks like it could be strawberry limeade.”

“I like the burst of citrus,” Virginia commented immediately after the first taste.   However, Virginia’s feeling was a bit mixed about presentation.  “I don’t know if I would use the same glass.” 

There was much discussion about the 3,2,1…Pinkies Up cocktail before choosing it as the contest winner.  This cocktail is rather nice without the addition of soda water for starters.  The soda water actually thins it out just a little rather than adds to the flavor.  The soda water addition and conversation among judges gave us the idea of substitution.  This cocktail would be better suited for champagne rather321 Pinkies Up Champagne Version - photo copyright Cheri Loughlin than soda water.  Champagne also suits the Pinky Vodka flirty, fun, sexy spirit a little better.  Thinking of where we might order or serve this particular cocktail and what type of glass might fulfill that need better we topped this cocktail with champagne and loved it even more.  This showed the versatility of this particular recipe.  The only drawback on this cocktail is the name.  Three female judges concur that we would never order the 3,2,1…Pinkies Up cocktail from a menu based on the name.  Something more suited to the flavor of the cocktail and characteristic of Pinky Vodka would be much more appealing.

Many thanks to all who participated in the ‘Mix Up Something Beautiful’ with Pinky Vodka contest.   Charles Steadman will receive his contest prize shortly.  Stay tuned to The Intoxicologist site for a new cocktail contest to be announced soon!

Cheri Loughlin is a leading cocktail and photography resource for beverage companies, event planners, businesses and individuals. High resolution cocktail and beverage stock photography images are available in downloadable digital format in the newly redesigned Stock Photography Gallery at www.cheriloughlin.com.

Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon – str8upcocktails @ gmail.com – ©2012 Cheri Loughlin-The Intoxicologist, All Rights Reserved. All opinions, reviews and spirits’ coverage are the personal opinion and decision of Cheri Loughlin.

Grand Marnier Celebrates the Moonwalk

GPN-2000-001137 photos credited to: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Arizona State University

Today marks the 40th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s 1969 famous walk on the moon.  NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has documented five of the six Apollo moon landing sites with recent photos posted on the NASA website.  The Apollo 12 landing site is expected to come into view within the next few weeks, so look for that on the NASA site soon. 

The photos are not extremely detailed as up close and personal photos are of the original walk on the moon from so long ago, but they are fascinating!  As the NASA website aptly states, “Although these pictures provide a reminder of past NASA exploration, LRO’s primary focus is paving the way for the future.”  LRO’s purpose is to continue the efforts of lunar exploration.  By studying the past, future technology advances.  We may look at history with a view to stirring memories of good times and the way things were or may have been.  At times we often use historical moments in time as grounds for celebration.  No doubt NASA celebrates today as well. 

Grand Marnier enjoys a little moonlit celebration today, too.  This illustrious liqueur was used in the first cocktail the astronauts enjoyed upon landing back on earth.  Joe Gilmore, head barman at the Savoy Hotel in London, created the Moonwalk to commemorate the first moon landing. 

GPN-2001-000013 photos credited to: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Arizona State UniversityThe Moonwalk

1 part Grand Marnier

1 part fresh grapefruit juice

2 dashes Rosewater

Moët & Chandon (top with)

Shake ingredients well and strain into a wine glass. Top up with Moët & Chandon.

More information about NASA and the LRO photos may be found here.  LRO photos credited to: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Arizona State University.  Moon landing photos credited to NASA.  A great read on the behind the scenes moonwalk: What we didn’t know about the moonwalk by Jay Barbree NBC News Correspondent.

Cheri Loughlin is a leading cocktail and photography resource for beverage companies, event planners, businesses and individuals. High resolution cocktail and beverage stock photography images are available in downloadable digital format in the newly redesigned Stock Photography Gallery at www.cheriloughlin.com.

Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon – str8upcocktails @ gmail.com – ©2012 Cheri Loughlin-The Intoxicologist, All Rights Reserved. All opinions, reviews and spirits’ coverage are the personal opinion and decision of Cheri Loughlin.