Monday, March 30, 2009

Society #2: Sidecar Soirée

Society Meeting #2
Date: Friday, April 3rd
Time: 8:00 pm
Place: Sherman Residence, Herndon
Subject: Sidecar Soirée

As the creator of Society #1's winning mojito, Michael had the honor of selecting the venue and topic of Society #2.  The gauntlet has been thrown down, it is time to get to work.  On Friday we will be celebrating the Sidecar.

The Sidecar is a classic cocktail from the time of The Great War; recipes showing up in about 1922. It's a traditional combination of Cognac, orange liqueur, and lemon juice. There are several variations including the Chelsea Sidecar, the Boston Sidecar, and the Brandy Daisy. You can see why it is so versatile, and I hope we do the original justice while adding our own special "I don't know what".

Just our luck, Jeffrey Morgenthaler just did a video tutorial for Imbibe Magazine online that features the Sidecar.  Thanks for the tips and inspiration Jeff!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cranberry Mojito

My contribution to the Mojito throwdown was a winter-themed Cranberry Mojito.   I've made this mojito a couple of times since the throwdown and revised the recipe slightly.  During Society #1, I muddled a few too many cranberries which can make the drink a little to tart or harsh.

The Cranberry Mojito got high marks for presentation and good marks for taste.  Tasting notes included "maple flavor", "good mouth feel", "simple syrup creation was a nice touch", "molasses taste", and "different but still a mojito".

1 tsp of fresh Cranberries (go light here)
1 tsp of turbinado sugar
2 tsp of Cranberry simple syrup (see below)
2 lime wedges
8 sprigs of mint
2 1/2 oz of Gosling's Black Rum
Club Soda to finish

Cranberry Simple Syrup:
1 1/2 Cups of Simple Syrup (50/50 sugar to water)
2 Cinnamon Sticks
Zest from 1 Orange
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 1/2 Cups white rum

Making the Cranberry Simple Syrup (adapted from Mix Shake Stir):
1.  In a saucepan, combine simple syrup, cinnamon sticks, and orange zest and bring to a boil.
2.  Add cranberries and cook until their skins begin to split.  Cook one more minute.
3.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Strain the liquid into a glass jar. 
4.  Add the cranberries to the jar, discarding the cinnamon and orange zest.
5.  Add the rum and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Making the Cranberry Mojito:
1.   Muddle cranberries, sugar, cranberry simple syrup, lime wedges and mint.

2.  Add ice and Gosling Black Rum.  Shake.
3.  Pour into glass, top with club soda.

4.  Garnish with cranberries from simple syrup and sprig of mint.

The Cranberry Mojito is a great looking winter drink with a nice tart cranberry taste.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


In many ways, Laura's drink was the most inventive.  While using conventional mojito ingredients (rum, lime, mint), her MoTeaTo added tea, by way of Firefly, and the presentation was like no other mojito you've ever seen!  These were enough to garner alot of Shizzle points, along with strong scores for Taste and Presentation.

A bit of spur of the moment experimentation yielded two versions of the MoTeaTo:  Laura's original chilled MoTeaTo and a warmed version.  Both were outstanding with tasting notes of "mighty good", "good warm and chilled", "wonderful presentation" and "nice tea flavor". 

7 Mint leaves
2 tsp sugar
1 Lime
1 oz Cruzan white rum
1.5 oz Firefly (tea infused vodka)
Club Soda to finish

1.  Muddle mint leaves with sugar and the juice of one lime and a splash of club soda.

2.  Add ice, rum, and Firefly.  Shake.

3.  Place slice of lime at bottom of tea cup.  Strain MoTeaTo mixture over. 

4.  Top with Club Soda and serve!

The MoTeaTo is a distinctive drink with a great flavor balance among the mint, citrus, and tea.  Serve it chilled as shown above or warmed depending on your tastes and the occasion.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Muddled Thunder Mojito

Ellis and Zoe drew the low number and were first up to make their drink.  Each contestant was immediately aware of the stakes when Ellis presented his "mojito kit," making an immediate play for shizzle points!  Note the condoms just above the double jigger (where else), which Ellis believed might be in order after a few Muddled Thunders!

Muddled Thunder took the full Shizzle point from each of the judges, not only for the kit but also the name.  Tasting notes included "great drink", "good flavor balance", "bright taste", and "very refreshing".  Muddled Thunder does not include mint, which raised a couple eyebrows, but it is definitely one of those drinks that you could have five of.  In an hour.  Ouch.

1 Packet of Sugar in the Raw
1 Large Strawberry
1/2 Lime
1/2 Lemon
1.5 oz Strawberry Infused Simple Syrup
3 oz. Bacardi Superior white rum
Finish with Club Soda
Garnish with Lemon and Strawberry

1.  Squeeze juice from 1/2 lemon and 1/2 lime.
2.  Muddle one large strawberry, packet of Sugar in the Raw with lemon and lime juice.
3.  Add Strawberry Simple Syrup and Rum.

4.  Shake well and pour into tall glass.

5.  Finish with club soda.  Garnish with strawberry and lemon.

This is a great tasting and great looking mojito!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sour Patch Mojito

The Sour Patch Mojito was Society #1's unmistakeable winner with the lowest score among four judges being an 8 (out of 10) and winning the night's only 9.5.   The Sour Patch scored well for Taste, and Mike managed to pull out strong Presentation and Shizzle scores.  Judges tasting notes included praise like "most original", "my favorite", "very sour with a nice back taste of sweet and mint", "it actually tastes like a Sour Patch candy", and "raspberry icecubes!!"

2 oz. Cruzan White Rum
2 tsp of Superfine Sugar
1 oz. fresh lime juice
3 raspberries
4 mint leaves
Finish with Club Soda
Raspberry Ice Cubes
Sour Patch Candies (for garnish)

1.  Muddle mint, raspberries, and sugar with a splash of Club Soda.

2.  Add lime juice and rum and shake with ice.

3.  Fill glass with Raspberry Ice Cubes, pour.  Top with Club Soda.

4. Add a couple of Sour Patch Candies to swizzle stick and serve!

This is a unique mojito that's alot of fun and a real crowd pleaser.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Society Throwdown #1: The Mojito

On Friday, February 27th, the charter members of The Society met for the first Throwdown at Bar Ware in Herndon, VA. The subject of the Throwdown: the Mojito.

The classic mojito is comprised of five ingredients: lime, mint, sugar, soda, and of course, white rum. The origins of this drink, like most classic cocktails, is disputed. Many believe it originated in 19th century Cuba, while others place it's origin well back in the 16th century. We decided it was time to take a fresh look at this classic.

The mojito fit nicely with the charter of the society because you cannot take shortcuts and make an acceptable mojito. Making a mojito requires muddling, or mashing the limes and mint to release their juices and oils. And, many variations are possible as you shall see.

Four mixologists participated in Society #1: Mojito. Scoring was conducted, in accordance with the Rules, and the scores are presented by each drink. Over the next few posts, each drink will be detailed.

First, a bit about the Rules. We made an in process change to the Rules, allowing 0.5 point scores for Shizzle. As you will see in the coming posts, Shizzle was a hotly contested point, and it felt like a partial point was needed. Judges rated Taste, Presentation, and Shizzle, and offered additional Tasting Notes for each drink.

First Place: Sour Patch Mojito
Mixologist: Michael

Second Place: Muddled Thunder
Mixologist:  Ellis and Zoe

Third Place: Mo-tea-to
Mixologist:  Laura

Fourth Place: Cranberry Mojito
Mixologist: Bryan

Trust me, the competition was tough and as promised, there were no losers.  We all drank and therefore we all won!  Stay tuned for preparation instructions and tasting notes on each drink over the coming posts.