As far as I can tell, the Journalist cocktail was invented sometime around 1930, and appeared in the Savoy Cocktail book at that time. It’s a dry, crisp, refreshing drink with some pretty decent complexity to it. Try this one out:
- 1 1/2 oz gin
- 1/4 oz dry vermouth
- 1/4 oz sweet vermouth
- 1/4 oz lemon juice
- 1/4 oz triple sec
- dash bitters
- shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Genius Gin is from Austin, Texas, a first product from a fairly new distillery. I got the opportunity to grab a bottle, and I’ve spent several weeks trying to get my head around it. Here’s what I think.
The botanicals in Genius include juniper (of course), cardamom, coriander, lime peel, lime leaf, and lavender. The last three ingredients take the taste of Genius is the direction of New American Gins like Aviation, Dry Fly, or Prairie, not a bitey, traditional London Dry like Tanqueray, Beefeater, or even Crater Lake. Genius Gin is a touch sweet, mild, and fruity, and because of this, the more common gin cocktails don’t work so great with it. I tried a martini and gin and tonic, and Genius’ mildness made it vanish with the stronger, more bitter vermouth or tonic.
Because I have spent a while with my bottle of Genius, and I have found some cocktails that work really well with it. Try these out:
- 2 oz gin
- 2-3 dashes of bitters
- (Angostura will make the Pink Gin more pink, or Peychauds will make a more red Pink Gin)
- stir vigorously with lots of ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Austin Spritzer (by Greg Mays)
- in a rocks glass filled with ice, serve:
- 2 oz Genius Gin
- 2 oz club soda
- garnish with several fresh blackberries and raspberries
There are several cocktails I’ve run across that use the Negroni formula, which is 1:1:1 of vermouth, liquor, and amaro. There’s the Boulevardier, which uses bourbon, or the Old Pal, which gets rye in the mix. Well, here’s another take on that 1:1:1 mix that uses a different amaro (and one I’m pretty fond of): Cynar. Give it a name based on the Italian toast “cin cin,” (pronounced chin chin) and guzzle it down!
- 1 oz Cynar
- 1 oz gin
- 1 oz sweet vermouth
- dash of bitters
- shake and serve in a chilled cocktail glass
- thin orange slice garnish
Trinity Absinthe Superieure is distilled in Loveland, Colorado by Overland Distillery. As a southwesterner, I’ve been pretty proud of the liquors we’re producing in New Mexico and Colorado, and have found many of them to be excellent.
Trinity arrives in a 375 ml bottle for about $40, which is a pretty typical price range for Absinthe as it runs 60% ABV and above. This absinthe surprised me in that it pours a more pale yellow color as opposed to the traditional green. I drank this the usual way: 1 oz of absinthe in a glass topped with very cold water poured slowly over a sugar cube. As you can see in the photo above, Trinity clouded up nicely (called the “louche“).
I think I may have discovered the source of that yellow color. Trinity has a cool lemony citrus flavor that causes it to drink exceptionally easy, which is a good thing as some brands of absinthe can be overwhelming on the tongue. I like the anise-licorice bite of absinthe, but the touch of citrus in Trinity adds a nice flavor balance that I like.
Trinity is an absinthe that’s worthwhile and a really enjoyable addition to a connoisseur’s collection. While it’s a craft absinthe, it’s a bit easier to find than some others, and their distribution is currently in 6 states in a pretty wide spread across the country. If you’re a fan of absinthe, track some down and give it a try.
Licor 43 is a liqueur (sweetened liquor) from Spain that’s celebrating it’s 90th anniversary this year. It has a very good vanilla-and-spice flavor that makes this a very good choice for a liqueur in your home bar, since it goes well with lots of mixers, from vodka to rum, coffee, caramel, or even a rich, dark beer (like a stout).
Here are some cocktails I tried with Licor 43, including their “Mini Beer” shot:
43 & V (by Greg Mays)
- 1 1/2 oz Licor 43
- 1 1/2 oz of vodka
- build in a glass with a stir stick and serve on the rocks
- Fill a mini beer mug (or shot glass) with Licor 43 and top with well-shaken heavy cream. Pour the cream slowly so it floats on top. I found that the longer you let the cream sit, the more it will separate to the top.