Hot Kum Toddy

A few days ago, my old co-worker Ken-ichi (who’s now devoting more time to iNaturalist) remarked that I rarely write about cocktails anymore. I told him it’s because since I moved, I haven’t been filling the ice-cube trays, so whenever I do feel like a drink, there’s no ice in the house to make one.

Well, here’s one that doesn’t require an ice-cube: a hot kumquat toddy featuring kumquat jam. It’s all natural because I made the kumquat jam myself. It’s nothing but kumquats, sugar, and water. Even the pectin was extracted by me, instead of bought in a store.

hot toddy w/ homemade jam
Cheers to you, Ken-ichi!

Brandied Cherries

DSC_5025I like cherries and I like alcohol. I love cherries in alcohol. Ever since I had the house-made cherries at a bar a few months ago, I’ve been entertaining the thought of making my own. How hard could it be, right?

In the BF’s copy of The Art of the Bar, there’s a simple recipe for brandied cherries. Brandy, cherries, some spices, and a bit of lemon. Easy peasy.

Unfortunately, the recipe was for six pounds of cherries and we only had a bit less than one pound. We cut the proportions of the recipe to fit our needs, but something must have gone wrong during the math because there was a lot less liquid than cherries. The liquid barely came up to the halfway mark on the jar filled with cherries.

Nevertheless, I put the jars in a water-bath to activate the suction-sealing mason jar tops. It was my first time water-bathing anything, so it was a little exciting. I still don’t trust these cherries to keep for a long time out of refrigeration but it was still interesting to see that the water-bath did indeed form a vacuum inside the bottle.

A day later, I broke the seal on one of our two jars to taste the cherries. Sweet, boozy, and fantastic! It was a great little treat at the bottom of my Martinez.


Next time I do this, I’ll definitely put more boozy liquid into the jar because it’d be good once it soaks up some cherry flavor.

Cocktail Week: The Manhattan

Is there a drink that tastes as good as a well made Manhattan? I’ve always thought of the Manhattan as an old man’s drink, but apparently it originated from The Manhattan Club in the 1870s and was made specifically for Winston Churchill’s mother.

Cocktail Week: The Manhattan

I’m no Lady Randolph Churchill, but the BF made me a delicious one that’s a variation from the classic formula. Instead of using just sweet vermouth, he mixed dry with sweet. He also used a dash of the Boker’s Bitters he picked up over the weekend, which I’ll most likely devote a whole post about soon.  The bitters gave the drink a nice chocolatey after-taste. Using the mixture of dry and sweet vermouth (suggested here) also helped to make this drink taste more balanced (for me anyway) because it wasn’t too sweet.

Recipe (via art of drink):
Take 2 dashes Maraschino.
1 pony of rye whiskey.
1 wine-glass of vermouth.
3 dashes of Boker’s bitters.
2 small lumps of ice.

The BF then made himself another variation of the Manhattan. It was a little too sweet for my tastes, but he enjoyed it.

Cocktail Week: The BF Manhattan

His recipe:

2 parts rye
1 part sweet vermouth
dash maraschino
dash agnostura bitters

garnish with lemon twist (zested over the chilled glass) or brandied
cherry (wish I had one!) in a cocktail glass or coupe.