Tag Archives: Whiskey

Champs Elysees at The Bar at The Peninsula Chicago 016

Classic Cocktails at The Peninsula Chicago

One of the drawbacks of working with cocktails and spirits on a daily basis is deciding what to order from cocktail menus when I go out for drinks. I know; sounds like a horrid problem. But it really is difficult. Often the same handful of classic cocktails appear on the menu with a variety of either way too sweet or way too outlandish signature drink recipes on the opposite side.

Champs Elysees at The Bar at The Peninsula Chicago 016

Two weekends ago I was fortunate enough to visit one of my favorite Chicago hotel bars; The Bar at The Peninsula Chicago. The Bar is a chosen favorite due to the superior quality of service, its intimate, yet dynamic atmosphere and the attention to detail that goes into the cocktails offered on the menu as well as the manner in which they are served. The Bar’s staff is superb for their cocktail knowledge, skill and the manner in which they regard every guest with special attention.

Though I’ve enjoyed the Vieux Carré cocktail before, I usually enjoy this classic cocktail served up in a martini glass. The Bar serves the Vieux Carré on the rocks as it was originally intended. This 1930’s classic cocktail was the creation of Walter Bergeron and named after an old French term in relation to New Orleans’ French Quarter (le Vieux Carré) meaning, “the Old Square.”

Vieux Carré Cocktail

3/4 ounce Rye WhiskeyVieux Carre Classic Cocktail on the Rocks with Glace Ice Image 012 1

3/4 ounce Cognac

3/4 ounce Sweet Vermouth

1 Barspoon / 1 teaspoon Benedictine

2 dashes Angostura Bitters

2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

Lemon Twist

Combine liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Stir or shake to chill. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with lemon twist.

How appropriate the Vieux Carré cocktail continues to make an appearance on hotel bar cocktail menus as it was originally created at what now is the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans. Its hotel bar, Carousel Bar, sometimes substitutes dry vermouth for sweet vermouth. Try the Vieux Carré drink recipe both ways to see how you prefer it.

Though the Martinez cocktail comes up often in social media chatter, I rarely see this particular drink recipe on cocktail menus. It’s also a cocktail recipe I’ve never personally stirred up and poured for myself. When I saw it on The Bar cocktail menu it was an immediate must-try.

The MartinezThe Martinez Cocktail from The Bar at The Peninsula Chicago

2 ounces Carpano Antica Formula (Sweet Vermouth)

1 ounce Ransom Gin

1 Tablespoon Luxardo Maraschino Cherry Liqueur

Dash Angostura Bitters

Lemon Peel Garnish

Combine liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Stir to chill. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with fresh lemon twist.

The Martinez is fairly sweet with a unique flavor combination achieved with the inclusion of the Luxardo Maraschino Cherry Liqueur. This classic cocktail is a predecessor to the classic Martini. Once dry vermouth became plentiful, the Martinez took a back seat to the Martini and bar goers hardly looked back from their Gin Martinis. They just began adding a wider variety of garnish. If you take a closer look at the ingredients you’ll see the Manhattan in its early stages.

Ironically I just talked about the inclusion of the Champs Elysées classic cocktail on another restaurant’s bar menu last week. This is another cocktail I’ve sipped martini style, but The Bar serves on the rocks. I sampled this drink recipe martini style and on the rocks at The Bar in Chicago to test a theory; would it taste differently if it were made exactly the same, yet served differently? The answer; yes it did and I will most likely sip this one on the rocks from here on out. It was that much better in my opinion.

Champs ElyséesChamps Elysees at The Bar at The Peninsula Chicago 016

1-1/2 ounce Cognac

1/2 ounce Green Chartreuse

3/4 ounce Lemon Juice

1/2 ounce Simple Syrup

1 dash Angostura Bitters

Lemon Twist – Optional

Combine liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to blend and chill. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with lemon twist.

The Champs Elysées recipe I posted last week is a little different than the one here. Last week I modified the classic to my taste preference. This week the recipe appears as it is most often referenced by authorities in classic mixology. This version produces a bit sweeter cocktail than my adjusted variation.

The Bar at The Peninsula Chicago also served another favorite; the Corpse Reviver. This cocktail is often thought of around Halloween time due to its name, but the Corpse Reviver is a refreshing cocktail ideal for leisurely summertime sipping. It’s lightly tart with an almost sparkling lilt to it with its faint absinthe inclusion. It’s a drink recipe that should make every classic cocktail enthusiasts “must-try” list.

Champs Elysees at The Bar at The Peninsula Chicago 016

There really is something for everyone at The Bar at The Peninsula Chicago. Scotch flights for the whisky enthusiast, signature cocktails for the adventurous cocktail lover, wine and champagne and of course an array of delicious menu items from the hotel’s wonderful restaurants. Be sure to stop in at The Peninsula Chicago whether it’s for an evening’s stay, dinner or for a drink before evening plans. You’ll be treated well.

Thank you to The Bar’s manager, James, and bartenders, Erik, Tim and Loran for magnificent service, entertaining conversation and delicious cocktails while dining and sipping at The Bar at The Peninsula Chicago.

Cheri Loughlin Beverage Consultant & Photography Services

Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon – str8upcocktails @ gmail.com – ©2013 Cheri Loughlin-The Intoxicologist, All Rights Reserved.

Jacob's Ghost Bottle Photo 027

Jacob’s Ghost White Whiskey Spring Drink Recipes

Jacob's Ghost White Whiskey Bottle Photo 028
Jacob’s Ghost White Whiskey – photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

You’ll notice Jacob’s Ghost White Whiskey doesn’t say “moonshine” on the label. It’s White Whiskey, not moonshine. It isn’t backwoods, bootleg liquor of the illicit sort. It isn’t unaged whiskey, otherwise known as white dog. This is one-of-a-kind, aged whiskey, made from the same mash bill Jacob Beam started with so long ago in 1795.

Jacob’s Ghost White Whiskey doesn’t say “moonshine” on the label. It’s White Whiskey, not moonshine. - photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist
Jacob’s Ghost White Whiskey doesn’t say “moonshine” on the label. It’s White Whiskey, not moonshine. – photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

It’s white whiskey that could be consumed straight or on the rocks, but why do that when there are plenty of drink recipes with whiskey available to tweak with this spirit variation?

Jacob’s Ghost is aged for at least one year in charred, white oak barrels yielding a light-bodied 80-proof whiskey. It is clean and crisp on the nose with hints of light vanilla and sweet corn undertones. The aging process renders a smooth, sweet flavor with hints of smoke, rounded out by soft barrel notes on the finish. – Brand fact sheet information

Some like Jacob’s Ghost White Whiskey just the way it is, but it’s also fun to shake things up a bit with a few whiskey spring cocktail drink recipes. - photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist
Some like Jacob’s Ghost White Whiskey just the way it is, but it’s also fun to shake things up a bit with a few whiskey spring cocktail drink recipes. – photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Some like Jacob’s Ghost just the way it is, but it’s also fun to shake things up a bit with a few whiskey cocktail drink recipes. The whole speakeasy movement and throwback to Prohibition Era cocktails has brought new thought to reinventing the way classic cocktails are fashioned. The following are a few brand recommended drink recipes for spring sipping.

Southern Storm – created by Tony Devencenzi, San Francisco

1-1/2 ounce Jacob’s Ghost White WhiskeyJacob's Ghost Southern Storm Whiskey Drink Recipe

1-1-2 ounce Pineapple Juice

1-1/2 ounce Ginger Beer

4 to 5 dashes Angostura Bitters

Pineapple Wedge Garnish

Combine whiskey and juice in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to blend and chill. Strain into highball glass over fresh ice. Top with ginger beer. Add dashes of bitters. Garnish with pineapple wedge.

You thought you knew the easy 2 ingredient beer cocktails; Shandy and Shandy Gaff. Now get to know them a little better by adding some ghostly spirit to the cocktail.

Jacob’s Shandy – created by Lynn House, Chicago

1 ounce Jacob’s Ghost White WhiskeyJacob's Ghost Shandy Whiskey Drink Recipe

2 ounces Lemonade

1 ounce Light Beer – chilled

Lemon Wheel Garnish

Combine whiskey and lemonade in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to blend. Strain into chilled rocks glass – no ice. Top with chilled beer. Garnish with lemon wheel.

The Moscow Mule is a classic vodka drink recipe with simple two ingredients. Jacob’s Ghost sweetens the deal by making this a white whiskey drink recipe with dazzling ginger liqueur topped with the traditional ginger beer.

Clermont Mule – created by Larry Rice, Kentucky

1 ounce Jacob’s Ghost White WhiskeyJacob's Ghost Clermont Mule Whiskey Drink Recipe

1/2 ounce Lime Juice

1/2 ounce Simple Syrup

1/4 ounce DeKuyper Ginger Liqueur

Ginger Beer

Build liquids in rocks glass over fresh ice in order given, saving ginger beer until last. Stir gently. Top with ginger beer.

Jacob’s Ghost White Whiskey began selling nationwide February 2013 for suggested retail price of $21.99 for 750ml bottle.

Tasting notes & cocktail recipes sponsored by representatives of Beam Global – Jim Beam on Facebook – JimBeamOfficial on Twitter

Cheri Loughlin Beverage Consultant & Photography Services

Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon – str8upcocktails @ gmail.com – ©2013 Cheri Loughlin-The Intoxicologist, All Rights Reserved.

Crown Royal Maple Finished 011 photo copyright Cheri Loughlin

Review: Crown Royal Maple Finished

Crown Royal Maple Finished 005 photo copyright Cheri Loughlin

Crown Royal Maple Finished combines Crown Royal Whisky with a touch of maple flavor. The liquid is then sent through a unique maple toasted oak finishing process for added smoothness. The iconic purple bag has been altered Crown Royal Maple Finished 011 photo copyright Cheri Loughlinto fit the look and feel of this first variant to the Crown Royal brand. The Crown Royal Maple Finished bag is brown with gold embroidery to complement the copper and auburn highlights found in the whisky. – Brand fact information

80 Proof / 40% alcohol

Suggested Retail Price: $25 range

Availability: Nationwide

Crown Royal Maple Finished Tasting Notes

Color: Beautiful copper in the bottle. Appears lighter in the glass, but still contains deep reddish, auburn highlights.Crown Royal Maple Finished 021 photo copyright Cheri Loughlin

Aroma: Just opening the bottle released immediate maple aroma. Smelled just like maple syrup. Made my mouth water for pancakes and bacon smothered in maple syrup. Also detected caramelized brown sugar. No burn.

Tasted Neat: Some burn. Some sweetness. Can really taste the caramelized brown sugar. Warming. Lovely maple flavor. Bit of vanilla, buttery. Lightly, sweetened maple. To be honest, I wish maple syrup were as gently sweetened while remaining as lush on flavor as this has come across in the first sampling. I love the balance of sweetness to maple flavor.

Mouth Feel: Medium with nice lingering maple finish and warmth.

Possible Uses, Pairings and / or Cocktails: Leaning towards classic Praline Pecan Pie Manhattan 143 photo copyright Cheri Loughlincocktails, the Manhattan makes perfect sense with this flavor profile. I might try using a mix of Praline Pecan Liqueur and Sweet Vermouth to enhance the maple flavor. There’s an example of this Manhattan variation using Woodford Reserve in the Praline Pecan Pie cocktail I created in 2010.

Another that makes a lot of sense; a really good apple cocktail variation. I played with three variations trying to come up with something that allowed the maple flavor to shine while giving the sensation of a deliciously crisp, yet lush apple.

Sample 1: 1-1/2 ounce Crown Royal Maple Finished, 3/4 ounce Caramel Apple Liqueur, 1-1/2 ounce Cranberry Juice, 1/4 ounce Fresh Lime Juice, Lime Twist Garnish. Shake liquids with ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with Maple Apple Royale Sample 1 121 photo copyright Cheri Loughlinlime twist. Notes: Tastes like a lush caramel apple. Maple flavor gets a little lost with the caramel. Red cocktail like a juicy red delicious apple.

Sample 2: 1-1/2 ounce Crown Royal Maple Finished, 1/2 ounce Berentzen ApfelKorn, 1/4 ounce Buttershots, 1 ounce Cranberry Juice, 1/4 ounce Fresh Lime Juice, Lime Twist Garnish. Shake liquids with ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lime twist. Notes: Detect bit of burnt sugar in immediate taste. Not enough maple shine through. Red in color like a Honey Crisp apple.

As the saying goes, three times a charm. The third sample was my favorite of all.

Maple Apple Royale 144 photo copyright Cheri Loughlin

Maple Apple Royale – created by Cheri Loughlin

1-1/2 ounce Crown Royal Maple Finished

1/4 ounce Butterscotch Schnapps

1-1/2 ounce Apple Juice

1 ounce Cranberry Juice

1/4 ounce Fresh Lime Juice

Lime Twist Garnish

Combine liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to blend and chill. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lime twist.

The color stays truer to the spirit with its warmer color. Apple flavor is much clearer. Maple shines through in deeper clarity. Buttery notes of the butterscotch schnapps complements the maple flavor rather nicely. Sipping this is like biting into a lovely buttery caramel covered apple. The buttery caramel is lightly sweetened and the apple remains fresh and crisp tasting.

What others are saying – I placed a photo on Facebook the day I sampled Crown Royal Maple, opening the discussion up for any thoughts and opinions for those who had sampled it, too. This is what others had to say:

Lisa N: I’ve tried only the Crown Royal Maple. Typical Crown Royal flavor with a long maple finish. Reminds me of pancakes. Very good

Warren B: The Crown Royal Maple is all wrong.

Vanessa S: Tried the Crown Royal Maple. Wasn’t impressed.

Rubén C: I’m sure Crown Maple is a good drink cause I’ve tried it. But it should be in cocktail.

Kevin H: Crown Maple has a nice nose of maple. I can’t say I really like it straight. I’m sure that maybe if it was mixed correctly then I may like it more.

Joe G: Both times tasting CR Maple I longed for a side of bacon, which isn’t a terrible thing, but it is just a bit too sweet. Has anyone found a decent mixer?

I recently stopped in at Nosh in Omaha. Brandon was working the bar that evening and told me about a new drink they’re offering. It’s warmed coffee that includes Crown Royal Maple Finish and RumChata with whipped cream and a few grated spices served in a large snifter. I haven’t sampled it yet, but the photo looked good and he made it sound delicious.

Review sample courtesy representatives of The Crown Royal CompanyCrown Royal on Facebook – @CrownRoyal on Twitter

Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon – str8upcocktails @ gmail.com – ©2013 Cheri Loughlin-The Intoxicologist, All Rights Reserved.