Thanks for all of the contributor’s to this months Mixology Monday Challenge, The Unknown. Let’s also remember to raise our collective cocktail flags to the person that is keeping this motley crew of misfits going every month, Frederic Yarm over at Cocktail V̶i̶r̶g̶i̶n̶ Slut.
With such a vague topic as the Unknown, more than one person had a difficult time figuring out what to use, myself included. We are delighted to be hosting MXMO this month and have been blessed by the contributions of some of the brightest, albeit slightly intoxicated, minds in the mixology community.
Gary over at Doc Elliot’s Apothecary contributes with his cocktail named Tequila Midnight. He uses Kahlua Midnight as his unknown ingredient, infuses tequila with pecans and adds the beautiful complexity of one of my new favorite aperitif style wines, Cocchi Rossa. He grabbed my attention when I ran across 2 words that always makes my geeky mind spin – Nitrogen Cavitation.
Elana over at Stir and Strain challenged herself by using a reduced Balsamic Vinegar paired with mezcal, and the refreshing combination of Aperol and grapefruit. I’m always impressed by her creative flavor combinations, and great photographic style. Elana does it again with her cocktail named The Night Call.
Mezcal makes it’s second appearance this month with a cocktail from the infamous Frederic, “The Mighty Cat Wrangler” Yarm. I’m guessing, but I think this might capture how Frederic feels whenever MXMO approaches 🙂 This month Frederic combines the Unknown product, Byrrh Quinquina with Mezcal, Absinthe and a few other ingredients to delight us with the Ask The Dust. Bonus points for tapping into a rare cocktail family, the Scaffa.
Ian over at Tempered Spirits weaves a beautiful story about the inspiration for his cocktail, The Maturin. Ian combines an Unknown ingredient in the form of Poitín with Cocchi Vermouth di Torrino, Licor 43 and a few dashes of bitters. So how does Irish “White Dog”, a Spanish Liqueur and an Italian Vermouth all get weaved into a story you ask? Make sure to read the P.S. at the bottom of the page.
The blogging duo with a name that we can all relate to, Booze Nerds, brings an equally impressive duo of cocktails for this MXMO. Their Unknown ingredient takes the form of Suze and shows up in The Around the Block, and also the seasonally inspiring name The First Frost. I always love reading their tasting notes on cocktails, and how well they describe how the cocktail changes on the palate.
Brenda over at Delicious Cocktail Time often embraces the concept of the Unknown. One of her luckiest discoveries was in the form of a Calamansi and Peanut Punch. This month, she comes up with The Pennywort Cocktail using a canned Pennywort Drink, Cointreau. Gin, Lime Juice and a splash of simple.
Salsa in a cocktail? That would definitely be a challenge to work into a drink. Chad from Stay at Home Cocktails tackles this ingredient by adding Mezcal, Tequila, Cilantro, Jalapeno, Corn Chips and a Sombrero. Of course We’re kidding on the last 2 items, but the cocktail sounds hot enough to deserve its name, The Mamacita Cocktail.
One of my favorite contributions this month comes from Andrea over at Ginhound. She tackles the age old debate of whether a proper gimlet is served with fresh lime juice or lime cordial. Her Unknown ingredient came in the form of a neon green colored bottle of Roses Lime Juice. Being the Ginhound, she uses an amazing gin in this drink as well, Sipsmith’s V.J.O.P. or Very Junipery Over Proof.
If we offered awards for the most creative cocktail name, it would have to go to Amanda from the Mandible Blog. She creates a pear and absinthe cocktail for a family gathering and names it The Still Life after the famed artist who is forever entangled with the absinthe myth, Van Gogh. Her original cocktail name made me chuckle when I read it. Thanks for the laugh Amanda.
Stewart from Putney Farms revisits a classic, The Stinger. He creates this Fall sipper using Fernet Branca Menta as his Unknown ingredient, Brandy and some Rich Simple syrup. This sound like a perfect drink to enjoy wrapped up in warm blanket by the fireside after a dinner of braised meat and roasted squash. I think I’m officially ready for the Fall now.
One of the most challenging cocktails this month comes from Laura over at Sass and Gin. She combines the elements of one of her favorite Fall dishes, Phö with Cilantro Vodka. Her Unknown ingredient is something you rarely see in cocktails, Beef Broth. The combination of Hoisin sauce, Sriracha, lime juice, lemon grass and a few other classic Phö ingredients sounds like the perfect cocktail to drink next time you get Vietnamese take out.
Erin over at A1seachange uses 2 new ingredients for this months challenge. Erin incorporates Underburg bitters and egg whites to create the Prunkwinde Fizz. This riff on the Morning Glory Fizz incorporates Rye, Underburg bitters with citrus juice, Rye, simple syrup and egg whites. After having egg whites for the first time in this drink, I’m sure we’ll be seeing more egg white creations from Erin in the future.
Candy and booze? That’s exactly what Whitney from Tipicular Fixin’s tackles for her Unknown technique incorporating Jack Daniels Honey and Licor 43 into a Honey Sponge Toffee. She could have stopped there, but she also made a Old fashioned Butterscotch Pop using Glenrothes Select Reserve. We can only imagine how good it tastes, and hopefully she made enough for everyone.
After a few entries started to pour in for this month’s MXMO, some trends started to become obvious. First everyone loves Mezcal for some reason :), and the other trend is that we are collectively getting prepared for the Fall. Jen from Girl With Flask creates a cold weather staple, the Hot Toddy. In her version of this drink, she combines Earl Grey Tea with Bourbon, Honey, lemon and her Unknown ingredient, Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur. She recommends cranking up some ABBA and listen to some Honey, Honey while enjoying this cocktail.
One of my favorite reads every month comes from the fearless Muse of Doom. I’m surprised that she could find anything that she hasn’t worked with as she regularly pushes the boundaries of the Unknown. This month she delivers with the second salsa entry with a Pineapple and Pomegranate Salsa. Everyone welcome Maria Dances to Tito Puente into the cocktail world. The conversation that ensued trying to figure out this month’s ingredient is more entertaining than anything on television.
The FrogPrincesse over at Tartines to Tikis embraces the challenge and goes on an Acid Trip that would have made Jimi Hendrix proud. She uses, malic acid, citric acid, tartaric acid and acid ahosphate in a trio of cocktails. First the Daquiri, followed by a Manhattan and finally a Sidecar. While reading the post, I fell like it would only be fitting to be listening to a little Purple Haze while enjoying the ride.
Easily my favorite intro to this MXMO comes from Andy at Horrible Poisons. Thanks Andy, and I will let my wife, the designer, know that you like our site. Andy creates 2 cocktails featuring 2 Italian Spirits, Letherbee Absinthe and Mistra Anisetta. He uses them to create the Absinthe Bloody and Moretta respectively. Evidently the Bloody Mary had a Medusa like effect on his cat. Let us know how that plum distillate turns out.
Marius, a fellow bartender from Romania prepared 2 drinks for us on his website Arcane Potions. The first incorporates Lotus Essential Oil to increase the floral notes of his Kyoto Sweet Qi, and the second Marius creates a Mango drop and begins to experiment with flavored ice to deliver a “Morphing Cocktail.” Both drinks were created to compete in the Monin Cup Romania. Let’s wish him the best of luck in the competition and cheer on one of our own MXMO contributors. He even has a video, you guys know how much I like video.
My Brazilian brother from another mother, Thiago from Bartending Notes finishes off his series on the Old Fashioned Cocktail Template with this months MXMO contribution and he uses tamarind as his Unknown ingredient. He combines Angostura bitters with tamarind juice, aged cachaça, absinthe and some maple syrup to create the Cerrado.
When the always dapper Joel from the Southern Ash creates a cocktail, he doesn’t hold back. Not only does Joel create an interesting take on a Margarita incorporating celeriac juice and white wine, but then he continues to create a celeriac salad with red bell peppers, blueberries, jalapeño, pickled carrots and grilled chicken. I’m totally not jealous of your culinary skills, smart fashion sense and overall awesomeness 🙂 Check out his Last Kiss of Summer cocktail.
When I read the first word in Swizzlesticks entry, Conditum, I knew we were in for a treat. He explains that Conditum is an ancient style of spiced wine that dates back to the 3rd and 4th century, and he uses it as a vermouth alternative in this Martinez adaptation. Named the Martinez Paradoxum, its a combination of Old Tom Gin, maraschino liqueur, Conditum Paradoxum and a dash of aromatic bitters.
To finish this MXMO Round up we add our cocktail, the Yuzu Gin Sour. This was a creation that I made when attending a seminar at Golden State of Cocktails and features Yuzu Marmalade as my Unknown. We are also happy to add a readers/viewers contribution for this MXMO. So thank you Matt for your contribution and we hope that you make the plunge into cocktail blogging.
Thanks everyone again for all of the great contributions. We look forward to the next MXMO.