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Friday 5 o’Clock Cocktail – Combustible Edison

Combustible Edison

Combustible Edison

If you like bitter drinks, then you’ll really like today’s drink. The drink was developed by a lounge band of the same name back in the early 90’s. I can’t vouch for group’s music, but the drink is pretty good.The Combustible Edison combines extreme bitterness with – you guessed it – fire. And while bitterness and fire might seem like an unbeatable combination, there is one downside.

This drink calls for an ingredient that isn’t exactly common: Campari Bitters.

In fact, at the liquor stores around my house, Campari is about as easy to find as a hot girl playing Dungeons and Dragons.

Given the fact that Campari is so uncommon, you may have to substitute Angustura bitters. The drink isn’t bad that way. The difference is that Angustura is much more powerful, and has more of a “clove” taste, whereas the Campari is more of a fruit taste (which is why Campari goes better with the Brandy).

Here are the ingredients:

  • 2 oz Brandy
  • 1/2 to 1 oz Campari Bitters (use 1/4 oz if you are substituting Angustura)
  • 1 oz Lemon Juice

Ok, now let’s make the drink.

Room temperature Brandy doesn’t usually catch on fire. So, take the 2 oz of Brandy and pop it in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Depending on your microwave, this will bring it to just below the boiling point – which is perfect.

While that’s warming up in the microwave, shake the lemon juice and the bitters in a shaker with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Now, take the shot of brandy out of the microwave and light it on fire just as you pour it into your cocktail glass. Depending on how you pour it, the fire will probably go out almost immediately when you pour it in the glass. But if you are careful about it, you can “float” the brandy on top and it will burn with a really nice blue flame (you may have to turn the lights out if you can’t see it).

The safest way to do this is to float the brandy on top of the drink first, wait a few seconds for the warm brandy to float up to the top of the drink; THEN light it on fire.

However, I have to be honest here and tell you that I prefer not to light mine on fire. There are essentially three problems with the fire thing:

  • Fire can burn you and your house
  • The fire warms up the drink (I usually prefer my cocktails cold)
  • The fire burns off some of the alcohol

If you don’t feel comfortable lighting your drinks on fire, or you are religiously opposed to burning the alcohol out of your drink, then you can just skip the fire part. In that case it’s a Flame-retarded Edison.

Either way, pucker up buttercup.

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August 22, 2008 Posted by | Cocktails, Liquor, mixed drinks | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Friday 5 o’Clock Cocktail – Planter’s Punch

Planter's PunchExactly 100 years ago today the New York Times published the following poetic recipe that is based on rhymes that are repeated by rote in the Caribbean:

PLANTER’S PUNCH
This recipe I give to thee,
Dear brother in the heat.
Take two of sour (lime let it be)
To one and a half of sweet,
Of Old Jamaica pour three strong,
And add four parts of weak.
Then mix and drink. I do no wrong —
I know whereof I speak.

Depending on where you are in the Caribbean, similar poetic recipes can be found for Planter’s Punch, Bajan Rum Punch, or Caribbean Rum Punch. The differences between them are minor variations in the ratios of lime juice to the other ingredients.

Decoding the rhyme, the “sour” is lime or lemon juice, the “sweet” is some form of citrus juice – usually pineapple or orange juice. The “strong” is, of course, rum. And the “weak” is water.

Today, we don’t usually water down our liquor because it is no longer sold at barrel strength the way it was 100 years ago. Plus, the crushed ice dilutes the drink naturally.

So, to modernize the recipe a bit, here’s how I make mine:

  • 1 ½ oz Light Rum
  • 1 ½ oz Dark Rum
  • 3 oz Orange Juice (or substitute Pineapple Juice)
  • 1/2 to 1 oz Lime Juice (depending on your taste)
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • Directions:
    Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake well. Then pour into a Collins glass and garnish with citrus fruit slices.

    Of course, you can always scale this recipe up to a “punch” and make a whole pitcher of it.

    August 8, 2008 Posted by | Cocktails, Liquor, mixed drinks | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Friday 5 o’Clock Cocktail – The Matador

    If you are going to be serving friends Margaritas outside this hot weekend, then you might consider offering the Matador as an option. It is similar to a Margarita, but is a little more fruity and sweet tasting – which actually makes it a bit better for those Late July deck and pool parties!

    Now, there are a number of ways of making a Matador. Some recipes call for the use of RedBull in place of the Pineapple Juice that is used in the classic version. If you are looking for an extra jolt of caffeine then you might try that. You can also make them frozen (blended) or on the rocks.

    One thing all the versions share is that they are tangy, sweet, and perfect for a hot day.

    So for your viewing pleasure, we are including three versions of the Matador today. Try one, try ‘em all!

    Classic Matador

    • 1 1/2 oz Tequila (mid-grade “Gold” is fine)
    • 1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
    • 1/2 oz Lime Juice
    • 1 tsp Simple Syrup

    Directions:
    Shake it in a Cocktail Shaker with ice, Strain into a salt-rimmed cocktail glass.

    Modern Matador

    • 1 oz Tequila (mid-grade, again)
    • 1/2 oz Triple Sec
    • 1 oz RedBull
    • 1/2 oz Lime Juice

    Directions:
    Shake it in a Cocktail Shaker with ice, Strain into a salt-rimmed cocktail glass.

    Frozen Matador

    • 2 oz Tequila
    • 1/4 oz Triple Sec
    • 1/4 cup Pineapple Chunks
    • 1/2 oz Lime Juice
    • 1/2 cup ice

    Directions
    Combine these ingredients in a blender until smooth. Serve this one in a highball or Collins glass

    July 25, 2008 Posted by | Cocktails, Liquor, mixed drinks, Recipes | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments