Archives for posts with tag: club soda

Spring has finally sprung and the GrogDog is enjoying the sunshine, daffodils, and traditional spring and Easter treats that have been used to celebrate the Earth’s renewal since humans discovered the miraculous egg.

Image credit: PetsLady.com

Image credit: PetsLady.com

While St. Patrick’s Day is all about the green, Easter and its companion non-Christian holidays clothe themselves in pastels – pink, yellow, blue, and green reflecting blooming botanicals. This year, enjoy a semi-sweet brunch cocktail that incorporates all the ingredients of a bright spring day full of promise: The Grand Royal Fizz.

Image credit: Cocktail101.org

Image credit: Cocktail101.org

The Grand Royal Fizz is ½ oz. orange juice, 1 oz. lemon juice, 1 tsp. sugar, 2 oz. gin, ¼ oz. maraschino liqueur, ½ oz. cream, and 1 fresh egg. Pour all the ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake long and hard – you want to incorporate as much of the egg into the drink as possible, and enough air to give it a silky mouthfeel. Pour into a tall glass, top with club soda, and give it a light stir.

Note: I understand that people are wary of consuming raw eggs. There was a massive raw-egg scare a couple of decades ago and now every chain restaurant menu in the country warns against them. If you’re squeamish about drinking whole raw eggs, feel free to substitute 1 oz. of pasteurized egg white from a carton – but if you skip the egg altogether you’re changing the character of the cocktail substantially, and I can’t vouch for the result. In the interest of education, this article completely debunks the myth that consuming raw egg is a health hazard. (The egg-producing process is highly regulated and salmonella contamination rates, already pretty low except for the long-ago outbreaks that caused the seemingly unending hysteria, are hardly worth mentioning now.)

Making the SNAP Sour, image credit ArtintheAge.com

Making the SNAP Sour,
image credit ArtintheAge.com

For those who prefer a less spot-on Easter cocktail but want to enjoy a zingy taste of spring, I offer the Pineapple-Mint SNAP Sour, a fresh, sweet/sour cocktail that features SNAP liqueur, “…a sophisticated organic spirit based on authentic folk history designed for people who know how to drink”.

This delicious ginger spirit was developed based on a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch gingersnap recipe by my drinking buddies at Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction cooperative (conceived by Hendrick’s Gin and Sailor Jerry Rum creator Steven Grasse). You can find SNAP, along with its equally delightful playmates ROOT, SAGE, and RHUBARB, at many well stocked liquor stores, and cocktail recipes in addition to this one on their web site.

Image credit: AWREdinburgh

Image credit: AWREdinburgh

The Pineapple-Mint SNAP Sour is 1 oz. SNAP, 2 oz. fresh lemon juice, 3 oz. pineapple juice, and 5 mint leaves. Muddle the mint with the lemon juice, add SNAP and pineapple juice, stir, and top with club soda.

Happy Easter, happy gardening, happy spring from the Grog Dog!

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Happy Monday, football fans, party fans, Seattle and New England residents – you made it through the mega-gigantopolistic-wham-o-dyne extravaganza known as Super Bowl!

The Grog Dog couldn’t possibly have offered better game-time cocktail recommendations than my drinking buddies at Liquor and Drinking In America, so I didn’t try. But I enjoyed my own Super Bowl cocktail so much, I just had to blog about it!

My brother and sister-in-law – to whom I credit my cocktail journey – gave me a bottle of Vermont White vodka for Christmas, and it’s a delicious follow-up to last year’s gift of award-winning Barr Hill Gin.

Had I been rooting for a Super Bowl team I might have chosen some themed cocktails for the evening (Cape Codder? Washington Appletini?), but I was simply thirsty – and Vermont White, it turns out, is an excellent quencher.

whitevodka

Vermont White is made by the Vermont Spirits Distilling Company, a craft distiller located in Quechee, Vermont. (Unrelated note: My autocorrect wants me to spell it “Quiche”, Vermont. There’s a small joke in there somewhere.)

Vermont White is distilled from whey – yes, the liquid that remains after milk has been curdled and strained to make cheese. Vermont being a huge dairy state, it’s terrific that Vermont Spirits is finding an excellent use for that unglamorous by-product. (Never fear; this vodka does not taste anything like cheese or milk!)

Before chilling the bottle in the freezer (the only way to keep your vodka), I tasted it neat at room temperature. It felt “big”, with a blooming heat from the alcohol rather than a sharp bite. It had an unusual but pleasant creamy flavor and slightly viscous mouthfeel that reminded me of a liqueur.

During the game, I poured a basic vodka-and-soda: 2 oz. Vermont White over ice in a tall glass, topped with club soda – with no garnish, as I wanted to taste-test the vodka itself. It was very smooth and slightly sweet, with no discernible alcohol bite when mixed with soda. As the ice melted and diluted the vodka further, it became lighter but didn’t lose the distinctive mellow taste. Score!

So take a moment to search your local liquor store or online for some unusual craft spirits like Vermont White and Barr Hill Gin. Craft distillers are doing what they do because they love it, and if they’ve been successful enough to market their products in stores, they’re probably pretty good at it. You just might find a new favorite to include in next year’s Super Bowl party lineup!