January 6, 2006

Belly Up To TheBar.com

Jack from TheBar.comMeet Jack. Jack is the bartender over at TheBar.com, serving up virtual drinks and telling witty cyber-stories. And he's pretty good too...we were solidly entertained for a good 10 minutes watching him mix drinks and tell stories about everything from running a marathon for a case of Johnnie Walker scotch to "borrowing" his employer's private jet to take a beautiful girl to Paris.

Jack has flair, panache and a predilection for only serving Diageo products, but we can forgive him for that since the Diageo line includes Guinness, Smirnoff, and Tanqueray, plus some other brands you might recognize. He's not quite as easy to boss around as the subservient chicken, and he doesn't have the...assets of the Beer.com virtual bartender, but he'll keep you from being bored on a Friday afternoon, plus the site offers some interesting cocktail recipes if you click on "Drinks."

Pull up a stool at TheBar.com.

Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

December 7, 2005

Holiday Egg Nog Recipe From Maker's Mark

Egg NogWe just got an email from Kevin over at The Scotch Blog, and apparently Scotch isn't the only whisk(e)y he drinks. He was perusing the Maker's Mark website and found an interesting egg nog recipe just in time to get ready for your holiday party.

Sure, our hearts will probably stop due to the two-dozen eggs, but a nog recipe that calls for a liter of bourbon? We're so there.

Maker's Mark Bourbon Eggnog
1 liter Maker's Mark
1 quart milk
1 quart heavy cream
2 dozen eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
Nutmeg for garnish

Separate eggs and beat yolks until creamy. Whip sugar into yolks. Beat whites until they stand in peaks, adding 1/2 cup additional sugar, if desired. Beat yolks and Maker's Mark together, add whites. Beat cream. Add cream and milk to mixture. Add nutmeg to taste and garnish each cup with nutmeg. Makes 2 1/2 gallons.

This recipe, along with a bunch of other interesting ones that aren't so holiday-centric, can be found on the Maker's Mark Recipes page. You can also sign up to be a Maker's Mark Ambassador and get all sorts of cool offers, print out score cards for your next Bourbon tasting, and name a barrel of Maker's after yourself or someone else!

Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

December 5, 2005

Homemade Kahlua Recipe: Dual Buzz

Pre-Liqueur Coffee BeansWe're buzzing over here, but it's not from our typical mid-morning constitutional shot...it's the anticipation of caffeine jitters. That's right, move over, Kahlua...we've just found a recipe for home-made coffee liqueur that looks like it's as easy as it is tasty. Our good friend Rob sent it along, and he says it tastes great...plus we love any recipe that calls for grain alcohol in gallon increments (even if it's partial gallons).

Whether you're preparing to watch The Big Lebowski and you need to prepare some stellar Caucasians, you want to whip up a batch of the World's Blackest Russians, or you just want to impress your in-laws at your next holiday gathering, this stuff looks like a must-try. Plus, if you're caffeine-sensitive (here's looking at you, Ashley), you can use decaffeinated instant coffee to get that Kahlua buzz without all the caffeine side-effects. Wuss.

We've got the interns out rounding up the ingredients as we speak, and we're looking forward to the coffee coffee buzz buzz.

Homemade Kahlua Recipe
1/5 gallon Grain Alcohol
8C Water
2C Dark Brown Sugar
1C Honey
½C Instant Coffee (Don’t buy generic)
6 Tbsp Vanilla (Use real bourbon vanilla, not the imitation crap)

Heat water, sugar, and honey until melted.
Add coffee crystals and simmer 30 minutes.
Cool to 110 degrees and add vanilla.
Let set for at least 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add alcohol and stir well.
***Do Not Bring To A Boil***

Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (4) | social bookmarking

December 3, 2005

Make Your Own Simple Syrup For Cocktails

SugarOne things we've been noticing lately as we troll the Web and other resources for cocktail recipes, a lot of the drink recipes we find call for simple syrup. Plus, even if the recipe you're using doesn't call for simple syrup (AKA simple sugar), you can use it as a replacement in any recipe that calls for granulated sugar. Quite often, the sugar won't fully dissolve unless you give it a good muddling, so if you get sick of grainy clumps of sugar in your nice drinks, the liquid form is the way to go.

Quite often, you can buy simple syrup wherever you shop for your other liquor supplies, but it's often overpriced for what you get - sugar dissolved in water. We've found a cheap and easy way for you to have simple syrup on hand at all times by making it yourself.

Simple Syrup Recipe

  1. Put one cup of water in a small saucepan.
  2. Add two cups of sugar.
  3. Heat to a boil while stirring.
  4. Reduce heat and continue to stir until the sugar dissolves.
  5. Cool to room temperature.
  6. Find a clean container that will hold at least a cup and a half.
  7. Using a funnel, pour liquid into container.
  8. Seal and store in refrigerator indefinitely.
  9. Use whenever a recipe calls for simple sugar or simple syrup.
via: cocktails.about.com.

It's also possible to tweak the recipe to fit the drinks you're making. For example, we found a recipe for Minted Simple Syrup at cooksrecipes.com, which would go great in your next batch of Mint Juleps.

Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

November 25, 2005

Breaking News: Pudding Shot Recipe Found

Pudding Shots!A couple weeks ago, we did a piece about Jello shots, and we joked that we'd rather get our hands on a pudding shot recipe. After writing that story we learned two things. One, you can actually make pudding shots. And two, our readers are actually looking for pudding shot recipes. No one actually delivered on our recipe, but we got tons of requests to let people know if we found one.

All we can say is keep dreaming big, you wonderful bastards.

And so, without further ado:

Pudding Shots

1 small pkg. INSTANT choc. pudding
3/4 C. milk
1/4 C. Vodka
1/2 C. Irish Cream
8 oz. Extra Creamy Cool Whip

Mix pudding and milk for a couple of minutes with an electric mixer, then add alcohol, mix well. Mix in Cool Whip.

Put into individual serving cups with lids and I furnish plastic spoons. Keep in the freezer.

Find this and other recipe ideas at Razzle Dazzle Recipes.

They posted this as a Valentine's Day thing (nothing more romantic than pudding shots, eh?), but we can see it being good during the holidays too. We haven't made a batch yet but we plan to, mostly because we haven't been able to reconcile in our minds how you actually shoot pudding.

Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (48) | social bookmarking

November 15, 2005

World's Blackest Black Russian

Black RussianWe're not usually the cocktail recipe creation types here at Liquor Snob. We're usually too busy drinking straight out of the bottle, or at best doing what we like to call "mouth mixing," where you mix your drink directly in your mouth without the added baggage of a glass. True, we did come up with the Orange-plosion, but while it's a great-tasting drink we fully admit we're not big on the name. But sometimes we're hit with a lightning bolt of an idea that strikes us as true genius. Our most recent is the World's Blackest Russian.

We were hit with the idea when we fell asleep cradling our bottle of Blavod vodka, and we realized you could make a mean black russian with it. We're sure we're not the first people to think of mixing Blavod with Kahlua, but here's where our stroke of genius came in. Kahlua is a coffee liqueur, right? Our idea for the World's Blackest Russian involved not only the deepest black color, but also the most intense coffee taste. So we cleaned out our ice trays, poured our leftover coffee from this morning's pot in there, and waited.

By now you can probably see the method to our madness, but we're going to spell it out anyway because we feel like geniuses. And so, we bring the world, the recipe for the World's Blackest Russian:

2 parts Blavod Black Vodka
1 part Coffee Liqueur
Coffee Ice Cubes
Mix the vodka and Kaluha together over coffee ice cubes. Drink. Repeat.

We're not kidding...it's black as night and tastes so much like coffee you might think about slipping it into your mug in the morning. Highly recommended. But maybe that's just because we invented it. Not that it's going to our heads...we totally have our wits about us even after extensive recipe testing. In fact, for a heady moment our next thought was to reinvent the white russian with a scoop of coffee ice cream, but we're going to leave that one alone because it already belongs to the Dude.

Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 13, 2005

Reason #312 to Drink Liquor Straight

Long Island Iced TeaWe've been trying to tell you for months. Everybody wants cocktail recipes to make their liquor taste less like liquor, but we've been telling you from the beginning - your drink should contain three ingredients or less, including ice. A new article from Forbes corroborates our anti-cocktail bias, but from a new standpoint, and we're sorry ladies...they make you fat.

After a night of drinking cocktails, most people will not only wake up the next morning with a screaming hangover, they'll wake up fatter too.

That's because the average serving of one ounce of 80-proof alcohol contains about 90 calories. And that's before mixers are added. While many people who spend hours on treadmills or yoga mats may smugly eschew dessert or ban butter from their diets, often they will happily consume a cocktail--or three--without giving it a second thought. But they do so at considerable peril to their waistlines. A Pina Colada, for example, has more calories than a Big Mac.

According to the slide show of fattening cocktails, the Long Island Iced Tea is the biggest villain, but there are plenty of other drinks you'd think would be low-calorie and Atkins-friendly that will help you pile on the pounds. Why won't you listen to the Liquor Snob? Drink your liquor straight - the grimace is the price you pay for the buzz.

Read the full article at Forbes.com; thanks Craig.

Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

November 12, 2005

Jello Shots Today...Pudding Shots Tomorrow

Jello ShotsWe've never been big fans of Jell-o shots. The goopy consistency and nagging feeling that the vodka has been diluted has always led us to keep our Jell-o and our shots separate. A new experiment by some real drinking go-getters out there might make us change our tune, and it looks like they've figured out how to maximize the booze-per-shot, but we still have a problem with any shot you have to chew...

Ultimately we determined that the breaking point of a Jell-O shot – the point at which the gelatin began to lose its structural integrity (i.e., ability to gel and hold its shape) is somewhere between 19 and 20 oz. of vodka per 3 oz. package of Jell-O powder. That’s at least 14 oz. (1 2/3 cups) more than the 5 oz. of vodka in the original Jell-O shot recipe. The Jell-O shots we made with 19 oz. of vodka (lime) held their shape nicely when unmolded, whereas the shots made with 20 oz. (grape) began to slide apart, and the shots made with 21 oz. (orange) quickly disintegrated. The batch containing 19 oz. of liquor was 76% vodka by volume, and 30% pure alcohol by volume, very close to taking a straight shot of vodka.
All we really want is for someone to figure out how to create pudding shots, preferably chocolate. In fact, we're putting out a bounty on the idea. Make us pudding shots and we'll make you rich beyond your wildest dreams.*

We discovered these Jello shot idiot savants via two sources; The Sporting Life and our good friend Craig. Or, you can go right to the horse's mouth at My Science Project.

* As long as your wildest dreams don't involve you actually getting any money.

Update: We actually found our own pudding shot recipe. We thank you for your support.

Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (9) | social bookmarking

November 9, 2005

Paula's Texas Orange Liqueur Review

Paula's Texas Orange Liqueur
80 proof liqueur reminiscent of an orange lemoncello
Typical Price: Under $25 for 750ml; currently only available in Texas

Paula's Texas Orange MargaritaInitial Thoughts: The first thing that hit us when we opened the bottle was the strong, citrusy smell that wafted up from it. On our first taste, we discovered that Paula's Texas Orange has a distinct and natural orange flavor, but it's not overpowering or too sweet, even when you sip it straight. We thought the natural-looking color of the drink was a nice touch as well - if this stuff was made by a big corporation they probably would have dyed it the color of Sunny D or Tang.

Cocktail Recipes: During our tasting, we whipped up a few cocktails with Paula's Texas Orange, two from Paula's site and one we came up with on our own.

The first drink we tried was Austin's Own Martini, a combination of Paula's and another Texas favorite of ours, Tito's vodka. We have to say that while we usually like our martinis on the dirty side, this one was crisp, clean and very tasty. One thing that's dangerous about this one is between the two liquors there's not a strong alcohol taste, which is great but you could get yourself into some trouble if you're not paying attention.

1 part Paula's Texas Orange
3 parts Tito's Vodka
Shake over ice and serve in a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a fresh jalapeno or olive.

Drink number two was the signature recipe, Paula's Awesome Margarita. They call this a "turbocharged" margarita, and we can certainly understand why...

This one will make you buddies for life. One good lime generally makes enough for 2-3 margaritas.
1 part fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 part water
2 parts Paula’s Texas Orange Liqueur
2 parts premium tequila
Mix ingredients. To serve martini-style, shake with ice and strain into chilled margarita glass. For a more refreshing version, serve over lots of ice.

Drink number three is one we've had dancing in our heads since we first heard about Paula's, a combination of the liqueur with Orange V vodka, which we call an Orange-plosion. Yeah, we know it's a stupid name, but you'll understand it when you try one. The two spirits come together to form one of the strongest orange flavors we've had this side of biting into one.

2 parts Paula's Texas Orange Liqueur
1 part Orange V vodka (you can probably substitute another high-end orange vodka in a pinch)
Shake together and serve on the rocks. Garnish with a (surprise!) orange if you'd like.

Finishing Thoughts: Overall, we were very impressed with Paula's Texas Orange. It definitely lives up to its name, smacking your tongue with a tasty orange roundhouse. In fact, it's there's so much orange going on in your glass it's almost hard to believe this stuff packs the wallop it does, and you'll forget it's 80 proof. It's only available in Texas right now, but if you can get your hands on one we recommend keeping a bottle in your freezer so you can impress your friends with some souped-up margaritas. Oh, and try out the Orange-plosion, and please let us know if you can come up with a better name.

Learn more and find out where to get your bottle at Paula's site.

Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

November 8, 2005

Tonight We're Gonna Party Like It's 1887

Jerry Thomas BartendingYou might never have heard of him, but Jerry Thomas was a legend in his own time. A giant among men. A...well, you can add your own cliche here. So who was Jerry Thomas, you might ask? He was a bartender, one who paved the way to the modern cocktail by collecting and publishing a book of cocktail recipes, way back in the 1800s.

Jerry wrote the book on mixology, back before there was any such word. His book, The Art of Drink, was a bible for bartenders, and was one of the first places to mention some names you might be familiar with, including Manhattan, Juleps and Collins. His book went out of print a very long time ago, and it is finally part of the public domain, which means it can be reprinted and distributed for free.

All 130 pages of the 1887 version of this book are now available online, and contained in its electronic pages are some fascinating glimpses into the history of bartending, as well as a variety of recipes that still hold their luster for today's modern drinker. We perused the book today, and we found some great punch recipes we'd love to try - we like any drink recipe that calls for liquor by the gallon. On the flip side of the coin, the book also wastes some pages on "temperance drinks," which don't contain any booze at all. We forgive him, and who knows? Maybe we'll whip up a nice, refreshing batch of milk and seltzer for our next party.

Regardless, this book is a fascinating peek into the drunken culture of another century, and we encourage you to try some of the recipes next time you're ready for a stroll through history. Find the complete book at The Art of Drink.

Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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