Category Archives: brandy

Japanese Cocktail

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Despite its name, the Japanese Cocktail is not, in fact, Japanese. Nor does it contain any Japanese ingredients. I don’t know if it is even available in Japan (although if anyone wants to fund a research trip, I’m up for it; with its hint of marzipan balanced by oaky brandy, this well-balanced, aromatic drink is rather moreish). Apparently it was the first cocktail on record to have a name that does not reflect its ingredients – David Wondrich explains its origins here – and now it can boast that it’s the first brandy-based drink to grace these pages, too.

INGREDIENTS

1 piece lemon peel

60ml brandy

15ml orgeat

2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Lemon twist, for garnish

GLASS

Cocktail or coupe

METHOD

Muddle the lemon peel in a mixing glass. Add ice and the remaining ingredients. Stir until chilled and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with the lemon twist.

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY

This elegant concoction is much easier to make than it is to say ‘elegant concoction’ three times fast after you’ve had a few.

RECIPE BY

This version appears in Asian Cocktails – Creative Drinks Inspired by the East by Holly Jennings and Christine LeBlond (Tuttle, 2009).

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Millionaire’s Moscato

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Simple, elegant and sophisticated, the classic Champagne cocktail is a cinch to make: add a few drops of Angostura bitters to a sugar cube, pop it into a Champagne flute, add 30ml brandy and top with Champagne. Easy, right? But, this being 52 Cocktails, we just had to adulterate the recipe, partly out of curiosity and partly because we’re tight-arsed and there is no way we’re going to use actual Champagne in a cocktail unless someone else is paying. And so, here you can see what look like a pair of classic Champagne cocktails (though you’d be forgiven for thinking the one on the right is a Berocca in a glass of apple juice), but they’re actually a couple of Millionaire’s Moscatos. Here’s how to make em.

MILLIONAIRE’S MOSCATO 1

This is the one on the right hand side of the picture. It’s got a slightly medicinal taste and would be most at home in a 1950’s style cigar-smoke-filled men’s club.

MILLIONAIRE’S MOSCATO 2

Obviously this is the one on the left side of the picture. It’s sweet and fruity and easy to drink. It’s a great way to kick off a party. Speaking of which, it’s New Year’s Eve – happy 2016, and thanks for reading these posts throughout the year. May your new year bring you happiness, cocktails aplenty and a new liver. Now, where was I? Oh yes. The method for making these two cocktails is the same, it’s only the ingredients that differ. Try them both and have a very happy New Year indeed.

INGREDIENTS – MILLIONAIRE’S MOSCATO 1

Sugar cube

Angostura Bitters – original

30ml brandy

Chilled Moscato (go ahead and use Champagne if you’d rather…and send a case our way, too!)

INGREDIENTS – MILLIONAIRE’S MOSCATO 2

Sugar cube

Angostura Orange Bitters

30ml apricot brandy

Chilled Moscato

GLASS

Champagne flute

METHOD

Add about 10 drops of bitters to the sugar cube. Drop it into the glass. Add the brandy and top up with Moscato.

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY

As easy as toasting your fellow cocktail drinkers on NYE – cheers!

RECIPES BY

We can’t really take credit for the bastardised recipe that is the Millionaire’s Moscato 1 – but we’ll happily claim we invented the Millionaire’s Moscato 2.

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Between the Sheets

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As a long-time fan of Aussie cooking icon Margaret Fulton, I can understand why people would want to get her between the sheets. She’s vivacious yet well-balanced and so retro that she’s cool again – just like the Between the Sheets cocktail we made from her 1984 cocktail book, pictured above. Most recipes for this elegant drink call for light (white) rum, but this one specifies dark rum. The 52 Cocktails team used a spiced dark rum, tried it out on a guest drink taster and elicited the following review:

52 Cocktails: So what do you think?

Guest Taster: Ooh. That’s delicious.

52 Cocktails: What are the nuances of this cocktail that you’re enjoying?

Guest Taster: Nuances? You’re asking me for nuances when I’ve been drinking all day? Ack. (Pause) OK, let’s see. Nothing really stands out, because it’s so well-balanced. It’s smooth. It’s sophisticated. If you were trying to get me between the sheets it would work. And if you were to offer me another I would definitely drink it, no questions asked.

Enough said.

BETWEEN THE SHEETS

INGREDIENTS

1 dash lemon juice (How much, exactly, is a dash? It’s defined as 1/8 teaspoon but we didn’t know that at the time and used 1/2 a teaspoon. It worked just fine.)

1 measure brandy (we used St Agnes VSOP brandy)

1 measure Cointreau

1 measure dark rum (we used Captain Morgan Original Spiced Gold rum)

Note: the book defines a measure as 45ml, but also points out it doesn’t matter what you use to measure spirits so long as you’re consistent. You could therefore use, say, a coffee-mug full of each spirit, but you’d want to have a spare liver and a surgeon on standby if you did. We don’t have these things handy so we wimped out and used 30mls of each spirit instead.

GLASS

Cocktail

METHOD 

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY

If you can open a bottle while some sexy sax plays on the cassette deck, you can make this drink.

WORD OF WARNING

Despite its name, if you/the person you’re trying to seduce with this suggestively named cocktail drink too many of these, the only action you’re likely to get between the sheets will be when you roll over with a groan to face the alarm clock the next day.

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT’S DUE

This recipe appears in Margaret Fulton’s Book of Cocktails & Party Drinks (Octopus Books, 1984). Sure, the recipes are actually by Joe Turner and it’s possible that Fulton’s name only got whacked on the cover because, in an eerie parallel to 1984, propaganda – sorry, branding – was more important than the truth, but hell, it’s a good book nonetheless. Joe Turner may not be a household name but his book doubtless sold lots of copies and for that – and this recipe, among others – he deserves kudos. Kudos, Joe Turner. Kudos.

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