Monday, January 11, 2010

The Lime In Winter



.75 oz. Brandy (I used Martell VSOP)
.75 oz. Cointreau
.75 oz. Jamaican rum (I used Appleton V/X)
Juice of one lime, strained*
1 dash Angostura bitters

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with cracked ice. Shake well, strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a twist of lime.

~ from "Cocktail Hour" by Susan Waggoner and Robert Markel

Bring on the citrus! That's often my rallying cry this time of year, when thick snow covers everything, the temps plunge, and colds are flourishing (at least here in the Liquor Lab). Don't be stingy with our friend vitamin C- apply it liberally and aggressively.

My weapon of choice right now is the lime, and it's used to good effect in the Embassy, named after the Embassy Club, a speakeasy noteworthy for its Old Hollywood clientele. Aside from a decent belt of lime juice, the drink serves up healthy portions of three quality boozes, which combine nicely into a robust and sophisticated whole. It's got an unmistakable vintage taste...tart and punchy while stopping short of something that would come out of a juice box. It's both potent and smooth, and one of the best excuses to exsanguinate a lime I can think of.

Speaking of which, since I try to buy limes in bulk whenever possible (as I've noted before, I can be a cheap SOB), it's the citrus I tend to have on hand most often...mainly because the drinks I tend to like use it more often than lemon, grapefruit, etc. Aside from slaughtering huge numbers of them to make falernum, I'm always chasing the little green bastards around for one reason or another (even it's just for a nice garnish).

Since I'm always looking for an excuse to brighten my day with a little lime, lemme know what your favorite use for it is. (Except for you Corona drinkers- Ruining a perfectly good lime slice by drowning it in bad beer is shameful. Now go to your room and think about what you've done.)

*I find that the limes I use yield approximately 3/4 oz. of juice, which makes this recipe one of those easy-to-remember ones with equal proportions of the main ingredients. You're welcome.


June said...

Ever since Chasa intrigued me with them a few years ago, my lime vote goes to the classic Mojito.

And a shout out to my old hand-held wooden citrus juicer that the Frugal Gourmet enticed me into buying years ago.

Nathan said...

Cognac shares so well with other aged spirits--half cognac, half rye is one of Dave Wondrich's favorite combos, and making this Sidecar-esque thing with half cognac and half gold rum is surprisingly good. Using a Jamaican pot-still rum like Smith and Cross or Appleton was a little heavy for me, but Mt Gay worked well.

My favorite citrus drink currently is the Derby Daiquiri. When I first made this out of Jeff Berry's book I was unimpressed, but after trying it at the Mai Kai I realized that top-quality orange juice is key. I picked up some Moro oranges the other day and I've been making DDs with 2 oz Cruzan Single Barrel, 3/4 oz lime juice, 3/4 oz Moro orange juice and 3/4 oz simple syrup. It's a beautifully simple drink with a luscious body from the orange. And since the Moro is a blood orange it's a pretty pink!

frederic said...

The Embassy is very similar to a Between the Sheets (lemon instead of lime, no bitters). Lime would probably give the drink more depth and improve the rum element more than the cognac (which seems to shine more with lemon).

TC said...

I just ordered a bottle of the Kraken, and when that gets here I plan to slaughter a bevy of limes in the name of Cuba Libre. Instead of Coca-Cola I like to use Fentiman's Curiosity Cola, which is slightly alcoholic and has a refreshing herbal kick.

Tiare said...

Limes are the one single most important citrus fruit to me, i`m almost never out of them and when the price is good i buy them in bulk.If i`m out, which rarely happens, well that`s in a way like being out of clothes, something essential is missing.Fresh limes is a must.

Nice and fun drawing!



Dr. Bamboo said...

Desi- Chasa also waas the one who turned me onto Mojitos back when. I really should thank her ;-)

Nathan- I need to make the cognac variation for sure. Great idea! And I'm ashamed to say I've never had a Derby Daiquiri. 10 point deduction!

Frederic- Good tip. I must now tinker with it ;-)

TC- Right on! Fentiman's is AMAZING, and I wish I had a good source for it locally.

T.- You don't need clothes to make drinks, but you *do* need limes for a lot of them ;-)