Simple Cocktails Podcast Episode 12

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We ignore all the cocktail party rules and talk religion! And booze. We drink the elixir of life and Lisa has mixed feelings. It’s a liqueur that’s been around before color! We do some patriotic drinking as we make the Liberty. Apples are hard to garnish with. Greg has another.

We reference the Alaska Cocktail and a Monk’s Old Fashioned at some point, too.

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Spodee White

spodee white

Spodee was one of the first liquors I reviewed at Simple Cocktails, almost exactly 2 years ago. The team behind some of the most unique drinks of our generation (for instance, Hendrick’s, Sailor Jerry Rum, and Art in the Age) are now introducing us to Spodee White.

On the podcast this week, we described the original, red Spodee as a cheap, strong, chocalatey wine…and we didn’t mean it in a negative way. Spodee Red goes well with stuff like soda (Spodee and Sody, he he) or even for breakfast with orange juice.

Now it’s time for the new stuff: Spodee White. Still packed in a 500 ml milk jug, and still a fortified wine at around 18% alcohol, White is a $9 “country wine” too, but a very different taste experience from Red.

Where the original Spodee was only fruity from the wine base, White has added coconut and pineapple, and is in many ways a ready-to-pour tiki drink. As of yet, I’ve been drinking it just as you see it above, straight out of the fridge and poured over ice. Like we mentioned on the podcast, I think an awesome way to serve White would be shaken with a equal part of coconut water.

Like many inventions from the minds at Quaker City Mercantile (and particularly from Steven Grasse), Spodee White is a unique liquor that opens up a world of great new cocktails. Every bit of liquor from them is edgy and new, and every detail of their presentation is respected and analyzed, but their ultimate goal is making great liquor, and they always tend to succeed.

Simple Cocktails Podcast Episode 11

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Greg gushes for quite a while about Steven Grasse. We do the world’s first podcast review of Spodee White…at least we think so. Here’s the old Spodee review (light switch included). Greg gushes some more about Steven. Lisa diverts us to Disneyland. “The tip of my tongue says whee!'” Kids and cocktails? “All of your inspiration is me.” We finish with another 1:1:1 cocktail, the first one Greg ever made.

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Green Dragon Cocktail

green dragon cocktail

Lisa and I recently compared 3 different types of Chartreuse on the podcast and it reminded me how much I love the stuff. I looked through my recipe books for Chartreuse cocktails, and found the simplest one ever. This is a vodka-and-green version of the Alaska, a gin-and-yellow Chartreuse cocktail. Try it out, but sip it slowly – vodka’s 40% alcohol and green Chartreuse is 55%!

Green Dragon

  • 1 1/2 oz vodka
  • 3/4 oz green Chartreuse
  • stir with lots of ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass

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.

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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.

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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).