Archives for posts with tag: maraschino

The Grog Dog, being something of a lone, er, wolf, is not a parent and has never regretted it. But I respect and admire dog dad kneeparents in general and especially those who teach their children well – as in, teach them good things and teach those things in the right way. In the context of parent “holidays” like Father’s Day and Mother’s Day, this means giving up an entire day of doing things they want to do and modeling gracious acceptance of items and activities they may not have chosen for themselves… pretty much like any other parenting day, but with cards and handmade gifts and questionably edible breakfast in bed.

If you and your dad (or mom, or the person who is like a parent to you) would like to quietly celebrate their importance and influence in your life, I recommend the Nocturnal. This deep, mellow, slightly bitter nightcap can accommodate a variety of brown bases, so just about any bourbon or rye you prefer will work. You can also adjust the bitterness by using Amaro instead of Fernet Branca, but with either variation this is going to go down better after dinner, as the sweet maraschino liqueur and Cointreau (triple sec) make it slightly syrupy.

The Nocturnal is 1.5 oz bourbon (or rye), 0.75 oz Fernet Branca (or Amaro), 0.5 oz maraschino liqueur, 0.5 oz triple sec (Cointreau), 1 dash Angostura bitters. Stir well in a mixing glass with lots of ice and strain into a chilled rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with an orange twist. This drink opens up nicely as the ice melts, and the cold will cut the sweetness.dog dad 2

While most of the parents I know could use a day off, for the best of them, that’s just not an option. And they wouldn’t want it to be. So raise a glass to Dad, and give him the next best thing: a quiet night with a good drink.

Thanks to my drinking buddies at Kindred Cocktails for offering cocktail enthusiasts an excellent forum and cataloging tool!
Image credits Hanna-Barbera, LovePet

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Not long ago, the GrogDog wrote a post about gin that included a recipe for one of my favorite cocktails, the Last Word. I wrote that I hadn’t realized, when I began making this drink, it was not “Maraschino liquor”,

Luxardo_Maraschinowhich could be taken as the syrupy red stuff you pour on your banana split, but “liqueur”, which is a deliberate concoction of a colorless, flavorful cocktail ingredient.

So I drank a lot of pinkish Last Words without realizing they should be a lovely seafoam green, and not contain corn syrup.

Finally, today, I acquired a bottle of actual Maraschino liqueur. Let me tell you, the drink made with the right stuff is soooo good!

Oh. So. Good.

Oh. So. Good.

The kind of Maraschino liqueur used in a Last Word (and other delicious cocktails) is distilled from Marasca cherries in Croatia, and there are several brands on the US market. I found three in one store, which allowed me to compare prices literally side-by-side. They ranged from about $19 to $32 (in the Baltimore/DC metro area). I settled on the third bottle, which cost about $25, and made myself a Last Word when I got home.

It was like the difference between grape juice and a fine Bordeaux… Or grape juice and an indifferent pinot noir. Almost any wine is better than grape juice and neither should be substituted for the other. (Sorry kids; them’s the perks of being a grown-up.)

I’m not keen on spending a lot on drinks you’re shaking up in your kitchen just for yourself (there’s a point of diminishing returns on the cost/sensory benefit), but sometimes that’s reason enough to take the trouble for the fresh lemon juice or shell out for the better liqueur – you’re drinking as much (one hopes, more) for the pleasure of the experience as for the effects.

So if you’re wondering whether it really matters whether you spend an extra few bucks on an ingredient – and your budget will accommodate it – go ahead and upgrade. You won’t regret it.

This iconic statement from W.C. Fields sums up the GrogDog’s wishful drinking… Would that the world rewarded such restraint with a modest stipend to maintain gin-induced bonhomie all day! (The full quote is, “I exercise extreme self-control. I never drink anything stronger than gin before breakfast.”)

I’ve been thinking and drinking gin since last year’s revelatory gift of Barr Hill craft gin started me on my cocktail journey. Today I learned a few gin facts from Food Republic: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Gin.

The article also provides a recipe to one of my favorite gin cocktails, which is worth posting on every cocktail blog. The Last Word is 1 part London dry gin, 1 part green Chartreuse, 1 part Maraschino liqueur*, and 1 part fresh lime juice. Shake all ingredients with ice and serve in a chilled cocktail glass.

the-last-word-cocktail

*A note about Maraschino: Having no idea that proper Maraschino is a Croatian liqueur, I originally used the sweet red syrup from the supermarket ice cream aisle in this drink. Aside from the fact that the ice-cream version is primarily corn syrup, it at least gives a semblance of the cherry flavor that characterizes Maraschino liqueur, offsetting the astringency of the gin and sour lime. No doubt the traditional recipe using actual Maraschino is even more delicious, but if all you can find is the bright red syrup, give it a try!

Image credit: GinFoundry