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Mr. Muddle

For the spirited home

Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks


Lundehund Sour

1 1/2 oz Aquavit [Krogstad]
1 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Limoncello [Fabrizia]
Few dashes Bittermens Hopped Grapefruit Bitters

Shake ingredients with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with grapefruit twist


This winter, Mrs. Muddle and I were lucky enough to sit at the bar at the Walker Inn for their cocktail omakase style service.  Now, I’m plenty familiar with ordering off menu or surrendering my drink choice to the whims of the bartender, it’s a great way to get a more personalized experience.  But imagine doing that for a whole set of cocktails, all connected by a common theme, where each one is carefully crafted to highlight particular flavors.  That’s what the omakase service at the Walker is all about.  On our visit, the theme for the night was winter citrus. Continue reading “Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks”

Location Location Location


The Great Room

3/4 oz White Rum [Smoky Quartz Distillery]
3/4 oz Bourbon [Woodford Reserve]
3/4 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz Lime Juice
Few Dashes Angostura bitters

Shake with ice, strain into an ice filled rocks glass.  Garnish with lime twist.


Two weekends ago I was at my friend’s house in New Hampshire.  These are always enjoyable trips, with lots of friends and friends of friends hanging out in an idyllic setting. On the way up we stopped at a NH state liquor store.  For those that don’t know, NH has these state run liquor stores that are the size of grocery stores.  since this is the “Live Free or Die” state, there are no taxes on anything which means some pretty good prices.  I walked out with a bottle of white rum from Smoky Quartz Distillery. Continue reading “Location Location Location”

Things Got Weird


Over Under Sideways Down

2 oz Blanco Tequils [Lunazul]
1 oz Green Chartreuse
Few Dashes Black Cloud Garden Party Bitters (celery bitters would work too)

Combine ingredients in glass, stir with ice.  Strain into an ice filled cocktail glass.  Garnish with lime twist (or lemon in this case, since I didn’t have any lime).


The nice thing about making drinks at home is you can do whatever the hell you want.  It’s not like you have an unhappy customer on your hands if it doesn’t work out.  You only have yourself to blame.  And really, that just means you get to tweak things in the next drink.  It’s a liberating feeling, and it’s one of my favorite parts of home cocktailing.  Throw stuff at the wall (or in the glass, as it were) and see what sticks.

Continue reading “Things Got Weird”

Inspiration in a Glass (or Store, or Bottle)


Robber Baron

1 oz Rye Whiskey [Rittenhouse]
1 oz American Single Malt Whiskey [Ryan and Wood]
1/4-1/2 oz Earl Gray Tea Syrup*
Few dashes DRAM Palo Santo bitters
Scant barspoon each of Ardbeg 10 (or other smoky scotch) and Absinthe

Rinse rocks glass with absinthe and scotch, set aside.  Combine everything else in a glass and stir with ice.  Strain into rinsed rocks glass, express oils from a lemon twist and discard.

* Earl Grey Tea Syrup – steep three Earl Grey Tea bags in 3/4 cup near boiling water for 5-10 mins. Remove tea bags, add 3/4 cup sugar and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Let cool and store in the fridge. A splash of vodka will extend the shelf life.


This past Tuesday was Mardi Gras, and I saw lots of people posting about Sazeracs (rightfully so).  It’s a wonderfully simple drink with a ton of flavor.  Booze, sugar, bitters. Doesn’t get much more spartan than that.  However, even in this constrained formula, there is room for variation.  Take a look at the original, for example.  Even then one could use cognac or rye whiskey.  Some have taken things a step further and done a split base approach with both spirits.  This week I’m going in the same direction, but with my own spin.

Continue reading “Inspiration in a Glass (or Store, or Bottle)”

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”

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