Opera Cocktail

With our today cocktail – Opera Cocktail – I decide to taste two my maraschino liqueurs – LUXARDO Maraschino Originale and generic BOLS Maraschino. My first maraschino liqueur was DK Marasquin. Then I acquire the BOLS liqueur I tested both and conclude that BOLS is more interesting, natural and complex. It is so sweet and flavorfull liqueur with specific cherry taste and bright floral notes. It has a little bitternes like almonds or cherry pit in the finish. Then I obtain LUXARDO I surprised. The taste if LUXARDO liqueur is so different. This liqueur has complex specific flavor of marasca cherry with floral and almond notes. The taste is sharp, intensive and interesting. The liqueur has unique taste of marasca distillate with sharp entry, roundish palate and long finish with hint of wood.

The Opera Cocktail is so old cocktail. It was so popular in the legendary Harry’s American Bar in Paris in 1920-s. I use recipe from United Kingdom Bartenders Guild Approved cocktails (1936).

The Opera Cocktail (Коктейль Опера с золотистыми капельками эфирного масла апельсина на поверхности)

Opera Cocktail

60 ml gin
15 ml Dubonnet Rouge
15 ml maraschino liqueur
Stir well. Strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze orange peel on top.

In my opinion both cocktails are great. They have so sweet, strong and complex taste. The flavor has bright citrus, orange dominant. Actually cocktail with LUXARDO liqueur has more rich and complex taste. It is no so sweet as cocktail with BOLS. Main taste oh both cocktails is fruity-floral taste of maraschino with grape hint of Dubonnet. It is admirable cocktail.

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Alexander’s family

As you know there ara many kinds of cocktail – aperetive, digestive, all time drinks and over. Now I want to explore some interesting after dinner drinks – classic dessert coctails which groups to “Alexander’s family”. The main cocktail of this family is famous Alexander Cocktail. As Barry Popik suggest the Alexander Cocktail in its original version consist of gin, creme de cacao liqueur and fresh cream and id was created in early XX century by Troy Alexander barman of famous New York eatery Rector’s for fictional commercial character – Phoebe Snow. This cocktail was first mentioned in Recipes for Mixed Drinks by Hugo Enslin (1915).

I use recipe with equal proportions of ingredients.

The Alexander Cocktail (Белоснежный Коктейль Александер)

Alexander (Александер)

25 ml gin
25 ml creme de cacao white
25 ml cream
1 bsp. simple syrup (optional)
Shake. Cocktail glass. Garnish with grated nutmeg (optional).

For my first Alexander Cocktail I use Befeater, BOLS Cacao white and cream with 20% fat. Really the BOLS liqueur is not a creme. It is insufficiently sweet. Thus in my second Alexander I add one bar-spoon of simple syrup for best results. The garnish I propose to omit in any case as it is contrary to story of Phoebe Snow.

The Alexander Cocktail is sweet and creamy concotion with smooth chicolate and botanicals palate. The gin is very good company to chocolate.

Next cocktail from this company is Brandy Alexander (or Alexander #2). It is Alexander Cocktail with brandy instead gin. This cocktail is more popular than origanal and these two libations are confuse often. The early mention of Brandy Alexander we can find in the Burke’s Complete Cocktail and Tastybite Recipes by Harman Burny Burke (1936). Some people say that creation of Brandy Alexander connected to wedding of Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood and Viscount Lascelles, in London, in 1922.

The Brandy Alexander Cocktail dusting with nutmeg (Коктейль Брени Александер, украшенный тертым мускатным орехом)

Brandy Alexander (Бренди Александер)

25 ml brandy
25 ml creme de cacao dark
25 ml cream
Shake. Cocktail glass. Garnish with grated nutmeg.

I use cognac instead brandy – Hennessy VSOP, BOLS Cacao brown liqueur and cream with 20% fat.

In this superb version it is admirable cocktail. It has mild creamy-fruity-chicolate taste. Excellent cocktail!

Also I try the Alexander’s sister Cocktail – it is Alexander with creme de menthe green instead creme de cacao white.

The Alexander's Sister Cocktail garnished with chocolate shavings (Коктейль украшенный тертым шоколадом)

Alexander’s sister

25 ml gin
25 ml creme de menthe green
25 ml cream
Shake. Cocktail glass.

The Alexander’s sister is sweet and mint concotion. It is so palatable after dinner stuff. It is good substitution for after meal chewing-gum.

And finally I tasted the Alexandra (Special) Cocktail from The Artistry of Mixing Drinks by Frank Meier. Actually the Alexandra (Special) Cocktail is Alexander with brandy instead gin and Anisette (French sweet anise liqueur) instead creme de cacao. I use own equal proportion.

The Alexandra Special Cocktail garnished with star anise (Коктейль Александра Особый, украшенный звездочкой бадьяна)

Alexandra (Special)

25 ml brandy
25 ml Anisette
25 ml cream
Shake. Cocktail glass.

Wow! It is amazing cocktail. It is very delicious. It has sweet, very smooth cocktail with anise palate and great hints of cognac. Excellent dessert cocktail.

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Dubonnet Cocktail

It is no secret that I prefer bitter-sweet cocktail. And now, after the great S.I.P. #2, which was devoted to one of the world-famous sour – the Sidecar, I am enthusiastic with bitter cocktail too. But I have not enough realy bitter ingredient in my bar – two bottle of fernet, one amaro and Campari. Two cocktails bitters are no object. Thus I remember that I have Dubonnet – one of the famous quinquina in the world. This bottle was unopened over one year. I open this bottle. It emerged that Dubonnet has no bitter taste. The Dubonnet Rouge has so sweet and spicy taste of muscat fortified wine with microscopic bitter feeling in the finish. But it no stopped me try this stuff in a cocktails.

First probe of mixing with Dubonnet is signature Dubonnet Cocktail. The recipe I found in the Cocktails and Mixed Drinks by Anthony Hogg.

The Dubonnet Cocktail (Коктейль Дюбонне)

Dubonnet Cocktail

35 ml Dubonnet
35 ml gin
Stir well with a lot of ice. Strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

The Dubonnet Cocktail is too similar to Old Great Martini Cocktail with Dubonnet instead sweet vermouth. Not dry but very pleasant and palatable gin drink. It has main palate of gin botanicals with great little bitter finish with sweet muscat notes. I tested few my gins in this cocktail – Befeater, Bombay Sapphire and Broker’s. IMHO the best result give us Befeater – it has so clear and crisp taste. Also you may zest your Dubonnet Cocktail with lemon for best results or add dash of bitters as Robert Schnakenberg advice in his great book Old Man Drinks (Quirk Books, 2010).

Actually my soul and taste bud wait some different pleasure. And I prepare the Dubonnet Royal Cocktail that was found in Cocktails and Mixed Drinks by Anthony Hogg in next line.

The Dubonnet Royal Cocktail (Коктейль Дюбонне Рояль)

Dubonnet Royal

40 ml Dubonnet
20 gin
2 dash Angostura bitters
2 dash curacao
1 dash pastis
Mix well with ice all ingredients except pastis. Strain into cocktail glass and add one dash pastis on the top. Garnish with maraschino cherry.

Wow! It is great cocktail. It has magnificent taste – rich and complex. This cocktail seems as tastes firework. It is superb cocktail.

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