Travel, Cooking, Doing, Eating and Drinking (that about covers it)

A Little Dash Will Do Ya!

Last month, I was celebrating #cheersCanada150 by writing posts on Canadian things, places, events and foods. Last week, I wrote about a small, proudly Canadian company in Calgary called Black Cloud Bitters. Missed it? You can check it out here.

As promised, this week, just in time for the August long weekend (thank you John Graves Simcoe), here are some easy cocktail recipes that have been elevated by the addition of bitters! The beauty of bitters is that you don’t need a lot to take your cocktails to the next level. A little dash will do ya!

Let’s start off with an easy one. This drink is so Canadian that it is difficult to find in other countries. Some US border towns will make it, but most places will look at you like you have two heads when you order a Bloody Caesar. The Bloody Caesar was invented in 1969 in Calgary, Alberta by Mr. Walter Chell at the Calgary Inn (today the Westin Hotel).

The Calgary Caesar

The Calgary Caesar
The Calgary Caesar

What you need:

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 2 big dashes Worsterchestershire sauce
  • 1 big dash hot sauce (your choice) or more if you like it spicy
  • 2 dashes Black Cloud Garden Party Bitters
  • 1/2 tsp horseradish
  • 4 – 6 oz Clamato juice (I used Motts)
  • Lime wedge (squeeze in at the end and/or use as garnish)
  • Pickled beans (for garnish)
  • Salty Paloma Maria Rimmer (a Canadian company)

What you do:

  • Wet the rim of your Collins (tall) glass with water or lime juice and roll it in the Salty Paloma Maria rimmer
  • Fill rimmed glass with ice
  • Add all ingredients (except garnish) to a cocktail shaker filled with ice
  • Shake shake shake
  • Strain into the Collins glass filled with ice
  • Squeeze in the lime wedge
  • Add the pickled beans
  • Ponder for a few seconds how is it that land-locked Calgary invented a cocktail with clam juice in it, then ignore
  • Enjoy your Calgary Caesar!

When I wrote about Black Cloud Bitters a week ago, I mentioned that adding a few dashes of bitters would send your cocktails soaring through the clouds. Speaking of clouds, a little while ago I was asked to make a cocktail that was a riff on the classic Aviation. Here is my version, Violette Skies.

Violette Skies

Violette Skies
Violette Skies

What you need:

  • 1 oz Giffard Creme de Violette
  • 1 oz vanilla vodka (I used Stoli Vanilla)
  • 1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino
  • 1/4 oz Giffard Vanille de Madagascar (now general list LCBO Ontario – yippee!!!)
  • 4 drops Black Cloud Black & Blue Bitters
  • 1 egg white
  • Petales de Roses Rouge (candied rose petals from Paris)

What you do:

  • In a dry cocktail shaker, add the Giffard Creme de Violette, vanilla vodka, Luxardo Maraschino, Giffard Vanille de Madagascar, Black Cloud Black & Blue Bitters and the egg white
  • Dry shake for 30 seconds
  • Add ice and shake for another 30 seconds
  • Strain into a coupe glass
  • Garnish with candied rose petals

Recently, Instagrammers Steve and Mike ran an Instagram campaign in which they asked people to take unloved, unfashionable or forgotten cocktails and make them over. I had been out looking for vintage (read thrift store) glassware for my cocktail when I came across an old cocktail book from a few decades back. I flipped it open and the first cocktail I saw was one I that had never heard of: The Foxhound. It contained brandy, cranberry juice, Kummel caraway liqueur and lemon juice. As I’ve been obsessed with The Sweet song (more so since it was used in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, as well as in their advertising), I knew what I wanted to call my cocktail. Here is my #cocktailredux.

Foxhound on the Run

Foxhound on the Run cocktail
Foxhound on the Run

What you need:

  • 2 oz brandy
  • 1 oz Luxardo Cherry Sangue Morlacco
  • 1 oz Jubilœums Akvavit
  • Dash lemon juice
  • 2 dashes Fee Brothers rhubarb bitters
  • lemon peel (garnish)

What you do:

  • Add all ingredients (except garnish) to a cocktail shaker filled with ice
  • Shake shake shake
  • Strain into an old-fashion (rocks) glass with a large ice ball (or ice cubes)
  • Garnish with the lemon peel
  • Listen to “Fox on the Run” repeatedly until Pete tells you to stop
  • Continue to listen to it with the volume a little lower
  • Enjoy!

Last month’s Stampede Cocktails featured Bourbon-based drinks. Continuing on this theme, here is a very simple cocktail using a honey bourbon and pear.

The Wild Pear

The Wild Pear cocktail
The Wild Pear

What you need:

  • 2 oz Wild Turkey American Honey
  • 1 oz Giffard Poire William Eau de Vie
  • 6 drops Black Cloud Bitters Charred Cedar
  • Salty Paloma Heartbreaker
  • Pear wheel (garnish)

What you do:

  • Rim your glass by wetting the edge (with water or lemon) and roll it in the Salty Paloma Heartbreaker
  • Add 1/4 tsp Salty Paloma Heartbreaker to glass
  • Add 6 drops of Black Cloud Bitters Charred Cedar bitter
  • Add Wild Turkey American Honey and Giffard Poire William
  • Stir until the Salty Paloma Heartbreaker dissolves
  • Add ice and stir until chilled
  • Garnish with a pear wheel

Finally, if you want to combine your love for both Amaro and bitters, a simple riff on a well loved cocktail classic.

Cynar & Cola (recipe courtesy of Black Cloud Bitters)

Cyar & Cola cocktail
Cynar & Cola (Photo: Black Cloud Bitters)

What you need:

  • 2 oz rye whisky
  • 1/2 Cynar (an artichoke Amaro)
  • 1 oz Fentiman’s Curiosity Cola
  • Splash of fresh lime juice
  • 3 dashes Black Cloud Bitters Charred Cedar
  • Rosemary sprig (garnish)
  • Cinamon Stick (garnish)
  • Lime wedge (garnish)

What you do:

  • Fill a rocks glass with ice
  • Add rye, Cynar, Fentiman’s Curiosity Cola, fresh lime juice, Black Cloud Bitters Charred Cedar
  • Stir
  • Add rosemary sprig, cinnamon stick and lime wedge for garnish
  • Enjoy!

Looking for more Amaro cocktails? Check out them out here!

Take a little dash and rev up your cocktails!

Have a happy and safe Simcoe Day/long weekend everyone!

A big shout out to our Toronto friend, Amanda, at Salty Paloma for letting me play with her Salty Paloma rimmers! Amanda, your rimmers are amazing! They not only make the cocktail look gorgeous, they add another layer of flavour! Thank you!

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