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Dale/David Project #112–Abbey Cocktail

This is the first cocktail in Dale’s book and I don’t know why we’re just now getting to it. Perhaps because it’s not all that exciting? Gin, Lillet, Orange Juice, and Angostura. It tasted really orange juicey to me and that is not my favorite flavor. (Dale actually recommends muddling a couple pieces of orange in the shaker before shaking the drink) The drink is then garnished with a flamed orange peel. I’m not sure where this cocktail comes from, but I will investigate that.

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If Jerry Thomas were alive today, he may call this the ‘Fancy Gin & Juice’

Dale/David Project #111–Absinthe No. 2

The Dale/David Project carries on tonight with the Absinthe No. 2. Dale adopted this drink from The Artistry of Mixing Drinks by Frank Meier, 1936. Usually with the old drinks that call for absinthe substitute I use actual absinthe. But this recipe was from a book that was written after the ban, so I figure it called for absinthe substitute in the original, and thus used Absente per DDG’s instructions.

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Consisting of gin, absinthe substitute and orange bitters, this is a nice little cocktail for a cool winter evening

Mixology Monday XXXVI: Cheap Drinks for Broke Times

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Each month, cocktail enthusiasts from around the world gather on the interweb to celebrate Mixology Monday, now in its 36th installment. The host of this month’s event is Matthew Rowley of Rowley’s Whiskey Forge and he has chosen a theme apropos of our difficult times: “Hard drinks for hard times.”

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The produce is dirt-cheap at City Market. I got all of this for $12.49.
MxMo participants have a great amount of leeway in determining how to conform their posts to the host’s theme. I have chosen to take a signature cocktail that is delicious in good times and adapt it for these leaner and meaner times. Last fall there was a competition in Austin hosted by Flor de Caña rum in which contestants had to submit cocktail recipes featuring their 18 year-old rum. Those of us who participated in the contest were quite surprised by this choice, given a) the price tag on this product, which ranges from the low-$40′s to the low $50′s at liquor stores in Austin and b) the complexity of the 18 yr, which is a flagship product for them and seems an unlikely candidate for mixing. Alas, it was a requirement, and I was fortunate enough at the time to find a liquor store that had the bottle generously mis-priced at $28. (I bought all of them). I was also fortunate enough to win the contest with a drink that I created at the last minute, just like this present post, and which was really not all that innovative.

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I wasn’t kidding about my $12.49 citrus orgy. Here’s proof. Thanks, Donna.
An important first step towards mixing cocktails in tough times is finding a cheap source for things to mix with. There are two grocery stores by my house that are worth going to. Central Market is the nice one, where the aisles meander hither and thither like the paths in a culinary park. Then there is City Market, where they have a notice on the door that there are plain clothes security guards on duty, and that sandals do not constitute safe footwear where liability is concerned. Needless to say that this latter locale is the place to find the bargains. Tonight for $12.49 I picked up 12 limes, 10 lemons, 10 oranges, 8 pears, 6 grapefruits and a pineapple.
Next up is the liquor. Whereas my signature cocktail requires 18 year old rum and Cointreau, the Stimulus Package version is made with Flor de Caña’s perfectly drinkable 4 year rum and a locally produced orancello called Paula’s Texas Orange. The price breakdown is quite alarming and makes me wonder why I’ve been serving so much 18yr rum at my house the last few months…

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The Matagalpa Cocktail, consisting of Flor de Caña 18yr, Cointreau, lime and simple syrup, is named for a region of Nicaragua. But serving rum this luxurious in such tough times is like the bartending equivalent of buying an $87,000 rug.
Matagalpa Cocktail
1 ½ oz Flor de Caña 18yr
¾ oz Cointreau
½ oz fresh lime juice
½ simple syrup
Combine ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake vigorously; strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Cost Breakdown:
Flor de Caña 18yr ($47.99/ 750ml): $2.83
Cointreau ($33.67/750ml): $.99
Lime juice (Central Market 4/$1; 1.5 oz/lime): $.08
TOTAL COST: $3.90
At almost four bucks a pop, that is a lot of shekels to spend on a drink at home, especially if you roll with a TAK (tired-ass krewe) like mine. So I got to innovating and decided on the Manchaca cocktail, made with discounted versions of the Matagalpa ingredients.

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Made with Flor de Caña 4yr and Paula’s Texas Orange, the Manchaca cocktail is named for the busted up street that runs by my neighborhood.
Manchaca Cocktail
1 ½ oz Flor de Caña 4yr
¾ oz Paula’s Texas Orange
½ oz fresh lime juice
½ simple syrup
Combine ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake vigorously; strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Cost Breakdown:
Flor de Caña 4yr ($16.58/ 1.75 l): $.42
Paula’s Texas Orange ($21.77/750ml): $.64
Lime juice (City Market 12/$1; 1.5 oz/lime): $.02
TOTAL COST: $1.08
Holy Schmackerels! That’s over three times as much for the authentic version as for the discount version. Hello, Manchaca Cocktail. Matagalpa, I’ll see you when the recession ends (Actually, I’ll see you this summer when we take our trip to Nicaragua that we won at the contest…if that’s still in the budget!)