Jul 11

Hemingway Daiquiri

Señor Amor has gone mobile for this post. We don’t know if he can even dial a phone, much less update a blog, from a mobile device.


In honor of Ernest Hemingway’s birthday, we are sipping a Dale’s Hemingway Daiquiri tonight. The recipe comes from Dale DeGroff’s Essential Cocktail.

Dale’s Hemingway Daiquiri
1 1/2 ounces white rum
1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur
3/4 ounce simple syrup
1/2 ounce grapefruit juice
1/2 ounce lime juice

Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Serve it up with a thin slice of lime.

May 11

Escarlata Maya

Summer is here, whether we like it or not.  And just to be clear, we don’t.

Fuck. This. Shit.

Really, the only sane thing to do is drink a lot of extremely tasty, refreshing cocktails.  This one certainly fits the bill… in fact it was hard not to drink myself into a coma with these while tweaking the recipe.

Escarlata Maya

  • 2 oz. Reposado Tequila (Siembra Azul)
  • 1 oz. Fresh Red Bell Pepper Juice
  • 1/2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz. Agave Nectar
  • Habenero Tincture
  • Club Soda
  • 1/4 oz. Del Maguey Crema de Mezcal

Combine tequila, red pepper juice, lime, and agave in a shaker with ice and shake until very cold.  Strain into a highball glass over ice.  Add habenero tincture to taste (2-8 drops was our range) and stir just a bit. Top with a splash of club soda and float Crema de Mezcal on top.  Garnish with a spear of red pepper and a wheel of lime.

Habenero tincture is easy to make… cover dried habeneros (cut up to prevent floaters) with pure grain alcohol for a week or two and strain.  Be very, VERY careful with this stuff… treat it like a chemical weapon.  It will have a lot of heat but also the wonderful citrus flavor for which habeneros are known.

Oh my god, between this and the Swamp Cooler (and the Badminton Cup) I may be able to survive another fucking summer in Texas.  Give it a try, tweak it if you must, and let us know what you think.

May 11

Bobby Heugel’s Tequila Call to Arms

Bobby Heugel, founder of Anvil Bar & Refuge in Houston, cares a lot about Tequila. He has posted an informative, pointed and frightening menu for Cinco de Mayo on his blog. Go check it out, as well as the discussion in the comments section there and the article by Allison Cook that he links to.


A lot to think about and worry about, and maybe even get angry about.

Oct 10

Martini Thoughts

The martini is pretty much my favorite cocktail, and is almost always the drink I make when I get home from work and need a little help with my lifestyle.  Because several friends have, at various times, asked for my thoughts on what makes a perfect martini I thought I would hold forth with my favorite recipe as well as a suggestion for a martini that might appeal to people who are used to vodka cocktails and/or super-dry (very little vermouth, if any at all) martinis.

Dramnut’s Favorite Martini

  • 2 1/4 oz. Beefeater Gin
  • 3/4 oz. Dolin Dry Vermouth
  • 2 dashes Bitter Truth Orange Bitters

Stir for a long time with lots of ice.  Strain into a well-chilled coupe/cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.  Double strain if you have lots of ice fragments.


Regan’s No. 6 or Angostura Orange Bitters can be substituted (and I often do) for a slightly different flavor and aroma.  Watch the quantity though, the dasher sizes on these bottles vary widely.  You may want to tweak the amount of bitters, in any case.

I also frequently switch out the orange bitters altogether for a couple of other kinds.  My favorites here are the Bitter Truth Celery and the Fee Brothers Whisky Barrel Aged.

Like I said, the Beefeater is my favorite for my everyday martini, but I do often try others.  Examples that I think work very well in these proportions are the Beefeater 24 (if you can get it) and Broker’s.

Training Wheels Martini

  • 2 1/2 oz. Bluecoat Gin
  • 1/2 oz. Dolin Dry Vermouth
  • 1 or 2 dashes Bitter Truth Orange Bitters

Stir for a long time with lots of ice.  Strain into a well-chilled coupe/cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.


You can leave the bitters out entirely if you (or your audience) don’t like them.  The western dry style gin, particularly the Bluecoat, tones down the juniper in favor of stronger citrus character which many people find an easier stepping stone to the more juniper-forward london dry and plymouth styles.  The lemon twist is also really key here.

Aug 10

Swamp Cooler

swamp cooler

While waiting for the charcoal grill to get ready to cook an entire antelope and half of a bull, we needed a drink. We made this up based on the Silent Order cocktail. The measurements are all about the same, only we didn’t add any water because we were going to add club soda and serve it over ice. It was a refreshing way to pretend that the Texas sun isn’t a million freaking degrees.

The Swamp Cooler
2 oz green chartreuse
1/2 oz lime juice
7-10 basil leaves

Shake everything together over ice. Double strain into a glass of ice and top with club soda.

Drink it outdoors.

Jul 10

*cough cough* Is this thing on?

We just heard about this new/old stuff called Root. We want to try some. Have you seen it in Texas? Do we need to drive up to Pennsylvania?

Jun 10


Silent But Delicious…

We at The Souse Report are all fond of cocktail virgin slut, and they recently added a post for a cocktail called the Silent Order. It caught my attention because it is heavy on the green chartreuse. I’m sure I can’t do better job of describing it than the folks over at cocktail virgin slut, so I won’t try. But I will say that this drink may be as good if not better than my current favorite Chartreuse cocktail, the last word. I wasn’t planning to post about this, and I drank it before I took a picture, so you can check out the glass that I used.

The Silent Order

2 oz Green Chartreuse
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Water
7-10 Basil Leaves

Shake over ice and double strain into a cocktail glass. (Double straining keeps the bits of basil leaves from polluting your drink.)

Apr 10

Creme Yvette Tasting

This has been a hard post to write.  And I blame it, I do, for keeping me from posting to this blog on a regular basis ever since The Souse Report received a bottle of Creme Yvette and embarked on a tasting odyssey which led us… well… not quite where we expected to go.

I have to admit an almost ridiculous level of excitement and anticipation of the resurrection of Creme Yvette.  It is not every day that a defunct ingredient is pulled from the dusty pages of cocktail history and returned to us.  Creme Yvette, for me, had attained almost mythical status, and every time I consumed a Blue Moon or Aviation made with Creme de Violette I found myself dreaming of the day when I would be able to enjoy them restored to their former glory.

Creme Yvette was originally produced in America, starting in the late 1800s, by the Sheffield Company.  The rights and recipe were purchased in the early 1900s by Charles Jacquin et Cie., a company which was purchased in turn by Maurice Cooper following Prohibition.  Creme Yvette became defunct in 1969 but has now been resurrected by Robert Cooper of Cooper Spirits International, grandson of Maurice Cooper and the man who brought us St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, bless him.

Creme Yvette was, and is, a liqueur made primarily from violets, orange peel, honey, and berries.  In the time that it has been unavailable, forty years or so, its most common stand-in has been Creme de Violette.  We decided to compare the two liqueurs side by side, straight and in several classic cocktails.  The result was not quite what we expected.

First off was the direct comparison.  You can see the two participants in the photo above, Creme de Violette on the left, Creme Yvette on the right.  The first thing we all noticed was the difference in color.  Creme de Violette is purple, while Yvette is red.  Very red.  I was not expecting this at all, as the one photo I found of a bottle of vintage Creme Yvette led me to expect a very similar purple color to that of the Creme de Violette (www.flickr.com/photos/donbert/877512124/).  Creme de Violette contains coloring, while Yvette does not, and it is possible that the original Yvette did.  This may explain the color difference but at this point I don’t have any definitive information on the topic.

The taste of the Creme Yvette is much more complex than the Creme de Violette.  The berries and orange are very present, along with a strong suggestion of vanilla.  The floral notes are more subdued, creating a contrast with the Creme de Violette where the floral notes dominate and there is little else to distract from them.  Creme Yvette may even have more in common, in my opinion, with Parfait Amour, which could be described as Creme Yvette on steroids but with the violet removed.

For our first comparison cocktail, we went with the Blue Moon.  This is a favorite of mine, both in its common lemon juice bearing version and the older, quite dry, vermouth version.

Blue Moon

  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. Crème de Violette

The first thing we noticed was the big color difference.  Since we had all become pretty used to the steely purple/grey color of the Creme de Violette Blue Moon, the hot pink Creme Yvette version was disconcerting to say the least.  It probably affected my evaluation of the taste of the drink as well.  The Creme Yvette variation seemed sweeter, almost cloying, and not as well suited to the Blue Moon.  Possibly it is only an attachment to the familiar that made this shift seem so jarring, and I plan to give it another shot in the future.

The next drink we tried was the Lavender Lady:

(recipe to follow)

This drink, if I am remembering it correctly now, was better suited to the Creme Yvette.  None of us had tried it before either, so that may have given us some objectivity in the evaluation that was lacking with the Blue Moon.

Overall, Creme Yvette was not the revelation any of us were expecting, but it was quite interesting.  I think our expectations may have been too high for any liqueur to live up to.  The good news is that it continues to grow on me and I plan to keep trying it in a variety of drinks and, hopefully, reporting on it here.  Stay tuned.

Mar 10

Cedar Fever

Bill Norris, head drinkman at Fino Austin, was generous enough to share the recipe for his creation the Cedar Fever in a comment on an earlier Souse Report post. Tonight I thought I would give it a whirl at home. I’m low on Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, with maybe three ounces left in the bottle, so I needed to make this count. And it was totally worth it.

This cocktail has a lovely peach color and tastes mildly sweet with definite peach and grapefruit flavors coming from the St. Germain. The Zirbenz contributes pine flavor, of course, but does more to the aroma than the taste… make sure to sniff when you drink this one. I don’t know if it is the lighting at Fino or my lack of observation skills, but I’ve never noticed the Peychaud’s floating on top like a swirl of red oil on water…very cool.

The Zirbenz is a pretty tough ingredient to work with (in my opinion) and I have been a bit nervous about using it at home. The Cedar Fever combines it with the slight sweetness of the old tom gin, the definitely sweet, citrus goodness of the St. Germain, and the complex bitters to make something that is way more than the sum of its parts. It makes me want to try to find other cocktail friends for the Zirbenz to play with.

Cedar Fever

  • 2 oz. Old Tom Gin (Hayman’s)
  • 1/2 oz. St. Germain
  • 1/2 oz. Zirbenz Stone Pine
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

Combine all ingredients except for the bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice. Stir until well chilled. Layer two dashes Peychaud’s on top of the cocktail and garnish with flamed lemon peel.

Mar 10

Psst… Creme Yvette

Years of planning.  Research.  Coordination.  Technical hurdles overcome.  Patience.  Impatience.  Close calls.  Near misses.  Adventure.  Pirates.  And finally, now, the culmination of one of the greatest covert operations ever carried out by Souse Report operatives.

Through many trials, the courier known only as “Codename Brownshorts” has at last delivered the secret formula to Souse Report HQ.  His journey was long and fraught with peril.  The unspeakable dangers he faced, the hideous acts of betrayal and perversion he was forced to commit: these are too terrible to recount here.  Let us say instead that he faced these challenges and overcame them, discharging his duty despite losing a leg and, somehow, gaining a testicle.

And now it is here, and the true work begins.  The Souse Report staff must now go into seclusion to perform a thorough evaluation of this fantastic substance.  Stay tuned, however, as additional reports will follow within the next 72 hours, issued from our Undisclosed Location.