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Mr. Muddle

For the spirited home

Better Know a Classic: Algonquin Cocktail


Algonquin Cocktail

1 1/2 Whiskey (rye is traditional, here I used bourbon) [Woodford Reserve]
3/4 oz Dry Vermouth [Dolin]
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice

Combine ingredients, shake with ice.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with charred pineapple wedge


Well here we are, the final installment of my Bar Starter Kit series.  In the previous posts, we covered a gin and orange liqueur via the Pegu Club, and a few other supporting players (Aperol, maraschino liqueur and sweet vermouth) in the Cherrycano.  Now we turn to bourbon and dry vermouth to bring it all home.  And just like we started this whole thing with the Pegu Club, I’m going to focus on a classic once again – the Algonquin Cocktail. Continue reading “Better Know a Classic: Algonquin Cocktail”

Mixology Monday: Irish Wake


O’Malley’s Alley

2 oz Irish Whiskey [Grand Ten]
1/2 oz Blanc Vermouth [Dolin]
1/4 oz Becherovka
1/4 oz Benedictine

Stir with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Squeeze lemon peel over drink, garnish with lemon twist.


I write this post with a bit of a heavy heart.  For you see, this is the last ever Mixology Monday.  After taking the reins over 4 years ago, our fearless leader Frederic Yarm has mxmologodeemed it time to end this lovely tradition.  The universe apparently has conspired against him, with waning participation in the last year foreshadowing the final nail in the coffin; the website has locked out Frederic from making any more changes.  Thus, he declared the final theme to be an Irish wake to give MxMo a proper send off.  Specifically, we are tasked with writing about a drink featuring Irish whiskey, to which I solemnly oblige.

Continue reading “Mixology Monday: Irish Wake”

Low ABV Staples


Cherrycano

1 1/2 oz Aperol
1 1/2 Sweet Vermouth [Noilly Prat]
1/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur [Luxardo]

Combine in a glass, stir with ice.  Strain into an ice filled rocks glass.  Top with club soda and an orange twist.


This week is the second installment of my Bar Starter Kit series.  Last week we tackled Gin and orange liqueur with the Pegu Club.  Today, we’re taking a lower alcohol approach as we reach for Aperol, Sweet Vermouth and Maraschino Liqueur.  The first two are bonafied workhorses in the bar, working well with a wide range of spirits.  Maraschino liqueur is a good one because it lends a very distinctive flavor to cocktails, something a little different than other fruit based liqueurs. Continue reading “Low ABV Staples”

Valentine’s Day, Straight from the Bunny’s Mouth


Unisphere

3/4 oz Ligth Rum [Boston Harbor Distilling Lawley’s Light]
3/4 oz Dark Rum [Plantation Original Dark]
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 Grenadine [Powell & Mahoney]
1/4 oz Benedictine
1/4 oz Pernod [I used Absinthe]

Combine all ingredients, shake with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lime heart.

Adapted from Playboy’s Host & Bar Book by Thomas Mario


I knew I wanted to do a drink for Valentine’s Day, but I wasn’t sure what angle to take.  Last year I did the whole chocolate (read: creme de cacao) thing, so that was out.  Then a friend lent me his copy of Playboy’s Host & Bar Book.  As I flipped through the pages, I realized this was the perfect thing for a holiday tangentially related to love, with a healthy dose of sex thrown in. Continue reading “Valentine’s Day, Straight from the Bunny’s Mouth”

Better Know a Classic: Pegu Club


Pegu Club

2 oz Gin [Bully Boy]
3/4 oz Grand Marnier (Cointreau works too)
4 lime wedges (~1/2-3/4 oz lime juice)
Few dashes Angostura Bitters

Put lime wedges, Grand Marnier and bitters in a mixing glass.  Muddle to combine.  Add gin and ice.  Shake, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with lime twist.

Recipe taken from The Craft of the Cocktail by Dale DeGroff


One of the main reasons I started this blog was to inspire people to make cocktails at home.  To some, it can be a daunting task.  All those recipes and bottles can be overwhelming, then you just end up reaching for a beer.  So I’m always trying to think of ways to help ease people in the door.  For the next few weeks, I’ll be talking about how you can make a surprising number of drinks with two base spirits and four other bottles (plus some bitters and juices).  You’d be surprised how many classics and originals you can make with just bourbon, gin, orange liqueur, maraschino liqueur, Aperol, and sweet and dry vermouth (since it’s my blog and I make the rules, I’m counting the vermouths as one bottle).  Those six bottles should run you a grand total of about $100, depending on which brands you buy.  Not bad for a starter kit. Continue reading “Better Know a Classic: Pegu Club”

Coffee Toffee Goodness


House Money

2 oz Dark or Aged Rum* [Plantation]
3/4 oz Benedictine
1/4 oz Orgeat [Fee Bros]
More than a few healthy dashes Coffee-Pecan Bitters (I imagine chocolate bitters would work here too)

Stir ingredients with ice, strain into an ice filled rocks glass

*  The original incarnation used Plantation Original Dark, and was tasty in its own right. Recently I picked up a bottle of their 5 year Aged Rum, and it made itself right at home in this glass. Feel free to use either kind


As I mentioned for the Thoroughly Polite Dustup, I took my first stab at homemade bitters this fall.  I used my apple bitters for that drink.  The other was batch I made was coffee-pecan (shoutout to Brad Thomas Parsons and his Bitters book for the recipes), and I couldn’t wait to get those in a cocktail.  Luckily just after they were glass-ready, my sister and her significant other came to visit.  Being mid-October, we got our fire pit ablaze and needed some drinks complete the fall setting.

Continue reading “Coffee Toffee Goodness”

Everything but the Kitchen Sink


Clown Car

3/4 oz Mezcal [Del Maguey Vida]
1/2 oz Chile Liqueur [Ancho Reyes]
1/2 oz Ginger Liqueur [King’s Ginger]
1/2 oz Carrot Gin [Maine Craft Distilling Chesuncook]
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Kummel

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon twist.


After swapping King’s Ginger and Ancho Reyes with Garnish Girl, I really wanted to use both of them in the same drink.  Mostly because they fall on the weirder end of the spectrum when it comes to my home bar inventory.  But why stop there?  As I looked at other bottles to add to these two, I realized that Kummel (cumin liqueur) and Chesuncook (carrot gin) are equally as odd.  Amazingly, I think these four bottles might actually work together.  A quick glance in my trusty Flavor Bible shows cumin and carrots each having afffinities to ginger and chili spices, so that’s all the confirmation I needed. Continue reading “Everything but the Kitchen Sink”

Mixology Monday CXV: Chocolate

Brandy Alejandro

1 1/2 Brandy [Copper and Kings]
3/4 oz Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur
1/2 oz Becherovka
1/4 oz Allspice Dram [St. Elizabeth]
Hot Chocolate

Prepare hot chocolate in a mug, add in the above and stir. Top with Allpsice Dram Whipped cream (whip heavy cream and add a splash of Allspice Dram). Sprinkle with chile powder and garnish with a cinnamon stick.


When I first did the bottle swap with Garnish Girl and got some Ancho Reyes, I couldn’t resist combining it with Kummel in The Pope of Chili Town.  Since then, I’ve thought about other traditional pairings with chiles, and the classic mole sauce caught my interest.   Chiles and chocolate combine to form a rich, spicy flavor.  Depending on the recipe, there are anise, cloves, allspice, and various other spices in there as well.  Could this translate to cocktail form?  This idea was already kicking around in my head, and then along comes Katie at Garnish Blog with the latest Mixology Monday theme – chocolate.  It’s clearly fate.  

Continue reading “Mixology Monday CXV: Chocolate”

When Life Gives You Limoncello…


120 Down the Deegan

1 1/2 oz Gin [Boodles]
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth [Dolin]
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth [Dolin]
1/2 oz Blood Orange Limoncello [Fabrizia]
Few dashes Orange Bitters [Regan’s]

Combine ingredients with ice, stir, strain into chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with lemon twist.


I have a few exciting things to announce.  First is a partnership with Muddle & Stir.  They sell everything you need for your bar except the booze.  Bitters, syrups, tools, etc, they’ve got you covered with an amazing selection.  Plus, all you guys get 10% if you use promo code MR10MUDDLE.  You can also clink the link on the side bar.  They carry a wide variety of accouterments you likely haven’t seen before, and will certainly get your creative juices flowing.

Second, about a month ago I received some limoncello from Fabrizia spirits.  It’s not something I normally keep stocked, so I was excited for the opportunity to experiment with limoncello in cocktails.  Even better, in addition to the traditional offering, I also got a blood orange liqueur and cream version.  The blood orange was especially intriguing, and immediately my wheels started turning. Continue reading “When Life Gives You Limoncello…”

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