Tag Archive for Drinks

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The Brandy Alexander

The Brandy Alexander is something of a forgotten cocktail, a mere impression of the shadow of the monumental nightcap it once was. Most likely this is due to the Icarian fall of brandy as a liquor – believe it or not, prior to Prohibition brandy was top dog. After the Volstead Act went into place, logistical difficulties with both smuggling… Read more →

Trolley Hopping 

            The heat is on. We’re waist-deep in the hottest first half year on record, and the stakes for a refreshing alcoholic beverage have never been higher. Do not let the brain-scrambling heat stifle your thirst for adventure and coerce you to cleaving to such hot weather mainstays as gin and tonics, margaritas or, god forbid, light beer. Keep your head held high, wipe your brow prodigiously, and stay the course for adventure. They are many new and delicious things to experience yet, hellish though our earthly surroundings may seem. The Cable Car is an excellent solution for these trying days.

            Cable Car. The name evokes its place of creation – San Francisco: a place of tightly packed urban development, gentrification’s logical conclusion of hyper-inflated real estate, and – most importantly in these times – a place that is largely summer-proof. So get thee to a liquor store, acquire the goods, and imagine you’re in a place with a cool morning fog as you sip. If you have a shitty imagination, consider getting a mister.

1 ½ oz spiced rum

¾ oz orange Curacao

1 oz lemon juice

½ oz simple syrup

For a cocktail, the Cable Car is fairly new; it dates back only to 1996. On a technical level, it’s a Margarita variant, but with a few key differences. The lack of tequila is the most obvious – the central spirit (and hence, central character) of this drink comes from the spiced rum. While the original calls for Captain Morgan, I can’t recommend the Cap’n to anyone. If you’re seriously strapped for cash, get Admiral Nelson and think about what you’re doing with your life. Otherwise I’ll always recommend making the upgrade to Sailor Jerry for just a few dollars more. I just got a handle of the stuff for $17 and some change – it was on sale, but it’s still pretty unreal, considering that’s only $2 more than the 750mL. I’ve also made this drink with The Kraken black spiced rum, and the difference in flavor was exactly as expected – less vanilla, more concentrated spice flavor. Either are palatable and viable in my opinion, though I’d start with the traditional spiced rum if you’ve never had black spiced rum. The flavor profile of the latter is much more intense, and makes for a somewhat different-flavored, uglier-colored cocktail.

As for the Curacao, use your discretion. The cheap stuff will do the trick, but the lower alcohol content with make for a more syrupy drink. I picked up some original Curacao of Curacao (once again, it was on sale) for mixing this drink, and it imparts the sweetness and flavor without significantly altering the mouthfeel of the cocktail – an alteration which can be significant with liqueur volumes of over half an ounce. If the opportunity strikes you, get some of the good stuff, though be warned: following both my recommendations of overproof rum and traditional, 60+ proof Curacao make for a beverage substantially stronger than the San Francisco original. It won’t taste like it, but be advised. The heat will be the far from your mind with a Cable Car in your hand and friends at your side.