Kingston Cocktail

kingston cocktail

The Kingston is a bit of a clash between styles – it’s both tropical and royal in one sip. Mostly a rum-based drink, the Kingston is jazzed up with a bit of gin, which adds some flavor, which works pretty well. It certainly drys out a drink that would be pretty sweet based on ingredients alone. Try out the Kingston and let me know what you think:


  • combine the following in a shaker:
  • 1 1/2 oz Jamaican rum (author Stuart Walton says, “it would be inappropriate to use rum for any other location.”)
  • 3/4 oz gin
  • juice of half a lime (which is about 1/2-3/4 oz)
  • 1/4 oz grenadine (I used Jack Rudy)
  • fill with ice and shake well
  • strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lime wedge


Simple Cocktails Podcast Episode 10

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Talkin’ prohibition. “We are against beating your wife.” Mason jars suck. “This moonshine is somewhere in my blood.” How do you use moonshine in cocktails? We make a grown-up chocolate Coke, the Piranha, and Greg is surprised that people like it. Lisa’s a crooked woman? Greg doesn’t know the rules about women.

Download Episode 10.

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If you enjoyed the show, please write a brief review on iTunes. That would help us get the word out and raise the visibility of the show. Thank you!

Campari Soda

campari soda

I mentioned in a recent podcast episode that a great cocktail would be an Amaro shot and club soda. Amaros are sweet and bitter and if you’ve developed the palate for it, they can be really refreshing.

For this drink, you’re not limited to Campari – substitute any other amaro of your choosing (I bet Aperol or Averna would be really good choices). Obviously, the recipe is very simple: a two-ingredient refresher!

Campari Soda

  • in a tall glass filled with ice, add:
  • 1 1/2 oz Campari
  • top with club soda
  • serve with a straw (Kegworks sent me the one I use here)

Beefeater Gin

Beefeater and Beefeater 24

I can’t believe I haven’t tried Beefeater yet. I had a gin Old Fashioned with it at a bar in Seattle like 2 years ago, but that was the only time I had it until recently. What a shame!

Beefeater is a standard for London Dry gins, with it’s recipe dating back to 1820 (that date is stamped on the bottle). Beefeater 24 is a new premium-braded version of the classic recipe.

Since they’re relatively close in creation and location, I assumed Beefeater would taste like Tanqueray. While it’s certainly a classic London Dry gin, its flavor is pretty distinct. Beefeater has 9 botanicals, standards that you see in most London Drys, but one ingredient in the list really takes the lead: lemon peel. Beefeater is lemony and tart, which works well in lots of popular gin drinks like a Tom Collins or a Gin and Tonic, I can see why it’s often chosen as the well gin at bars.

For the premium Beefeater 24, the distillery adds more citrus and some rare asian teas to the distillate. Because Beefeater already has that lemon tang to it, 24 tends to lean more toward a faint tea and tart orange in it’s taste.

50-50 Martini

There’s a Martini variant that I occasionally drink, and Beefeater is a great fit for the 50/50:

50/50 Martini

  • 2 oz gin
  • 2 oz of a quality dry vermouth
  • 1 dash of orange bitters
  • stir vigorously with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass*
  • garnish with a lemon twist

*I used an RSVP Stainless Steel Cocktail Glass in this photo.


Simple Cocktails Podcast Episode 9

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Glow-in-the-dark cocktails served by the yard? Why do people drink more during the holidays? We consider whiskey with breakfast and drink two Maple Whiskies. Dry and tasteless cornbread. Has Lisa been tasting alcohol wrong all this time? Everybody loves a wet mouth. We make a Daiquiri thanks to Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s recipe. Not up to snuff as far as pirates are concerned. Greg says “crazy” or “insane” way too many times.

Download Episode 9.

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If you enjoyed the show, please write a brief review on iTunes. That would help us get the word out and raise the visibility of the show. Thank you!

Bar Tool: The Soda Siphon

isi soda siphon

The soda siphon is a tool that I recall seeing in old movies and TV shows: usually being sprayed into someone’s face, but I admit I had no idea what that device was. You rarely see soda siphons anymore, maybe because of the availability of canned/bottled soda water, maybe because it’s a tool people don’t understand as well.

I know I didn’t.

I got my hands on what’s probably the most common siphon that I see these days: an iSi (pronounced EEE-see) 1L Soda Siphon, which will run you about $50 at Amazon. My usual source of soda water in my home bar is Hansen’s 8oz Club Soda cans, which cost $3 for a six pack.

Since I’d never used a soda siphon, I watched some YouTube videos on how I could use my new iSi. In the case of this particular model, it’s only designed for water, meaning you shouldn’t be making whipped cream or trying to carbonate cocktails with it. The process goes like this: fill the siphon with water, put the lid on, then screw in a soda charger and shake (chargers run about $1-1.50 apiece). You can either use the soda right away or stick it in the fridge for future use. I found the water in the iSi stays bubbly for about 3 days. When I noticed it losing it’s fizz, I simply re-charged the water, as long as the siphon was still more than half full.

isi soda siphon

Time for the big question: should everyone have a $50 soda siphon in their home bar? No. A siphon is most useful if you use higher volumes of soda water, probably a liter or more a week. Compared to my Hansen’s cans, iSi soda water is a little bit cheaper: Hansen’s runs you about 6¢ per ounce, and iSi will runs you about 4½¢ per ounce….if you use it all. And that’s the big kicker: if you charge one liter of soda water for $1-1.50 per charge, but don’t use the soda water, then you might be wasting money on re-fizzing your water over and over.

So if you find yourself using soda water a lot in the cocktails you love, or if you make Mojitos, mocktails and Shirley Temples regularly, then the iSi is a good buy. If you have parties regularly with fizz-water drinks, you should get one. Particularly if you keep the charging cartridges on hand, you’ll really never have to go the the store for soda water again (which I’m grateful for).

Simple Cocktails Podcast Episode 8

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State drinks discussed, everything loses to bourbon. Never a Bud Lite cocktail. Genever pronunciations at we taste Bols Genever. “Is that an allergic reaction?” We make the #1 cocktail that is an Eagles song: the Tequila Sunrise. Grenadine talk (check out the comparison post here). We know our sunrises. Pour them slowly.

Download Episode 8.

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If you enjoyed the show, please write a brief review on iTunes. That would help us get the word out and raise the visibility of the show. Thank you!

Tanqueray Old Tom Gin

tanqueray old tme gin

Tanqueray’s gotten really good at building on founder Charles Tanqueray’s legendary recipe book, which can only be seen by current distiller Tom Nichol. Last year the company released (well, re-released) Tanqueray Malacca for a 100,000 bottle limited run, and this year, it’s a brand new (but still limited edition) product: Tanqueray Old Tom Gin.

Old Tom is a pretty ancient form of gin, the precursor to the familiar London Dry style. Old Tom is sweeter than London Dry, and I’ve found in the ones I’ve tasted that they are as bitey, but usually less piney than London Drys.

In the case of Tanqueray’s Old Tom, the bite is from the botanicals that usually sit in the background behind juniper, like clove or cinnamon spice, a sweet licorice taste on the tongue. This is a sweeter gin than you’ve probably tried, but I wouldn’t describe it as “sweet” (I realize that’s a bit contradictory). It’s sippable for sure, and a perfect fit in what might be a cocktail that’s named after it, the Tom Collins:

tanqueray old tom collins

 Tom Collins

  • in a Collins glass filled with ice, add:
  • 1 1/2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • stir, then top with club soda
  • stir again and serve with a straw
  • garnish with a lemon wedge and cherry

Simple Cocktails Podcast Episode 7

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Episode 7 has a theme: all about Amaros. Acquiring a taste, or changing taste buds? “Bitter is a word that you say when things are bad.” We taste Fernet Branca (Lisa says it tastes “like a fairytale”), Campari, Cynar, Aperol, and Averna. Greg quotes himself. References are made to chocolate potato chips. Lisa makes a Negroni. Is it sophisticated to go without the orange?

Download Episode 7.

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If you enjoyed the show, please write a brief review on iTunes. That would help us get the word out and raise the visibility of the show. Thank you!

Vote Simple Cocktails ‘Best of the City’!

abq the magazine bestofsurvey 2014

In 2013, Simple Cocktails was voted a top-5 blogger for in the Albuquerque the Magazine ‘Best of the City’ poll. This year, we would love to win it, but there are only 4 days left to vote.

Would you cast a vote for Simple Cocktails as Best Blogger (under the ‘people’ category)? Anyone can vote, but you can only vote once. Thank you!

Cast your vote here.

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