Welcome to my bar.
Although this website was created to chronicle my journey of investing, early retirement goals & financial planning – I thought it would also be fun to include one of my other passions/pleasures – booze.
I’ve always enjoyed having drinks with friends & family, but over the last couple of years I’ve been a lot more interested in the craft of making drinks, experimenting with new flavors, and trying different types of alcohol. We recently moved into a new house this past year – and I finally got my own little bar in the family room.
I plan on using this section of the website to chronicle my journey into learning more about spirits, liqueurs & cocktails. I’d like to also use this spot to track some new concoctions I’ve made.
Below are a few of my recent concoctions.
I like this drink because it is easy to make, uses my favorite spirit (Bourbon) and packs a punch. This drink is very similar to another favorite of mine (Negroni), except it uses Bourbon instead of Gin.
1 & 1/2 oz Elijah Craig Bourbon
1 oz Campari
1 oz Cinzano
Directions: Stir on ice for 10 seconds & strain into old fashioned/rocks glass over a large ice cube. Garnish with a lemon twist.
This is my go to summer drink at the cottage. There are many reasons to like a Pimm’s cup, namely:
- Extremely refreshing
- Can make a pitcher or a single glass
- There is no right/wrong way to make a Pimm’s- -experiment with different fruits, veggies. liqueurs, and measurements.
When I am making a pitcher – I usually include the following:
When I am making a single glass, I usually just use cucumber & mint, but add some Cointreau.
Directions: Add whatever fruits, veggies and herbs to a pitcher filled with ice. Pour as much Pimm’s as you want in (depending on personal preference), top with Ginger ale. Enjoy.
I decided to use Knob Creek 100% rye for this variation, as I haven’t had it in a while and wanted to see how it would blend in a Manhattan. I also used Cinzano instead of the normal go to Martini branded Vermouth as I already had an open bottle. Truth be told I recently bought a bottle of Dillons Sweet Vermouth which I have been really wanting to try – but decided against opening it until my current bottle of Cinzano was empty.
2 oz Rye Whiskey (I used Knob Creek 100% rye small batch pictured above)
.75 oz Sweet Vermouth (I used Cinzano)
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
Garnish with 2 Cherries
Add all ingredients to mixing glass filled with Ice, stir for 10-15 seconds. Strain into martini/cocktail glass & garnish with a cherry or two.
Overall it was pretty tasty – and very boozy. You will feel a buzz after a sip or two. I’m not a huge fan of Cinzano- so I’d like to try this again once I replace my vermouth with Dillons or Martini again.
I finally took the leap and decided to start experimenting with egg whites in some of my cocktails. I also had a bag of lemons I needed to use – so naturally my first thought was – what kind of cocktails can I make.
The obvious choice was a Whiskey Sour. I’ve noticed in my city – it’s tough to find places that make a solid Whiskey Sour. Some places are great – others not so much – but when done right- they are a delicious treat – with my favorite spirit – BOURBON.
Since this was my first attempt at using egg whites in a drink, I wanted to make sure I got it right – so I followed the recipe from the Death & Co Cocktail book. ( An Amazing book for anyone who enjoys cocktails & spirits).
The recipe calls for:
2 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon
.75 oz Lemon Juice
.75 oz Simple Syrup
1 Egg White
The ingredients are all added to a cocktail shaker & dry shaken. Then ice is added, and shaken again.
The Pink Lady
My sister was recently in town, and said she wanted me to make her a drink.
“Something sweet” she said.
I knew she liked Gin, and I had recently been experimenting with egg whites in my drinks, so I thought the “Pink Lady” would be the perfect drink to try.
2 oz Gin (I used Tanqueray)
1 Egg White
- Add all ingredients into cocktail shaker and dry shake.
- Add Ice, shake again
- Fine Strain into coupe
It was VERY sweet – tasted like candy(and gin). It was definitely tasty – but a little too sweet for my liking. My wife, sister, and one of my sister’s friends all really liked it – so perhaps it’s the perfect drink for the ladies.
Rum Old Fashioned:
Lately I’ve been sipping on Diplomatico Exclusiva Rum. It is great on its own – however I was curious to try it in a cocktail. I checked out the Diplomatico website to see what they recommended -and noticed they had a recipe for a Rum old fashioned. This made me very happy – as this is my favorite cocktail – with my current favorite sipper…Needless to say I had to try it.
This rum is very sweet on its own – so I reduced the amount of simple syrup I’d normally use.
- 2.5 Oz Diplomatico Exlusiva Rum
- .25 oz Simple Syrup
- 4 Dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters
- Orange Zest/Orange peel GarnishDirections: Add Rum, Simple, Bitters in mixing glass with ice, and stir for 30 seconds. Strain into cocktail glass/coupe. Twist orange over drink and drop in.
This is a drink I had been planning on making for quite some time – but for whatever reason it didn’t happen. Last night I finally decided to try it – and boy am I glad I did. It was delicious.
2 oz Brandy
.5 oz Cointreau
.75 oz lemon juice
.5 oz simple syrup
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Shake for 30 seconds. Strain into a sugar rimmed coupe. Enjoy!
Much like the classic Negroni, this drink involves: Gin, Campari & Vermouth, however I decided to try a new take on the classic, and added fresh grapefruit juice, fresh lemon juice and an egg white.
1.5 oz Gin
.75 oz Campari
.75 oz Sweet Vermouth
.5 oz Lemon Juice
.5 oz Grapefruit Juice
1 egg white
Add all ingredients to mixing glass and dry shake for 30 seconds.
Add ice and shake again for 30 seconds.
Fine strain into coupe and enjoy. Feel free to play around with the proportions, or swap out the Campari for Aperol as well.
I can’t believe I haven’t posted a Negroni yet. I’ve definitely made plenty of these since I’ve been posting some drinks…I guess I Just kept assuming I had already posted one. Oh well.
Today I noticed I had a bottle of Vermouth in my fridge that has been open for a while, and figured I should probably try and get through it ASAP. This usually means Boulvardier’s or Negroni’s. Today I had one of each, but since I’ve already shared my recipe for the former, I decided to post about the latter.
The appeal of the Negroni (besides the taste) is the simplicity. A standard Negroni would be equal parts Gin, Campari & Sweet Vermouth. Today I went with the following:
- 1.5 oz Gin (Beefeater)
- 1 oz Campari*
- 1 oz Punt E Mes
*Sometimes I substitute Aperol or do a mix of Aperol/Campari.
You can mix this drink in the glass, or stir in a mixing glass with ice, and strain into a glass (which I did- over a giant ice ball). I topped with a Grapefruit twist, although I’ve also done Orange & lemon twists as well.
This would typically be considered an apertif – however I really enjoy a Negroni right before bed as well. Campari has a very distinct bitter taste & smell, (which I love, but I will warn, it seems to be an acquired taste).
Any other Negroni fans?
Made a couple of these tasty little treats over the weekend. I have to admit, I prefer a straight whisky sour, as this one was a bit too sweet for my liking but the two ladies who tried them (my wife and my cousin) seemed to enjoy the sweetness of the Amaretto.
I made a few variations, one with a bit more bourbon, and one with equal parts Bourbon & Amaretto. Obviously I preferred the one with more bourbon. This is made just like a whisky sour – dry shake first – then add ice and shake again- double strained into a rocks glass on ice.
1 oz Amaretto
1 oz Bourbon (or more if you prefer)
Lemon Juice (half a lemon)
0.5 oz Egg White
.25 Simple Syrup
Topped with Angostura Aromatic Bitters(pic below)
The “Chan Man”
For “Old Fashioned Week” I decided I wanted to try and create my own version of the classic drink. I needed some inspiration….
I’ve always looked up to my older cousin. He is now a Canadian Diplomat and an all around amazing guy (even though he once traded me a worthless Pat Falloon hockey card for my Paul Kariya rookie card).
I have since forgiven him, and decided to make a drink in his honor.
I wanted to make a drink that resembled him as close as possible so here it goes:
2 Oz DIPLOMATico Rhum
.25 oz Pure Canadian Maple Sugar
A few drops of Manitoba Made Law Abiding Aromatic Bitters
Topped with an orange twist
Stirred on ice, and strained into an old fashioned glass over a large ice ball. Finished with an orange twist.