Welcome! I’m very excited to be the host of this month’s MxMo, which features one of my favorite wintertime spirits. When Paul asked me to host I was excited but I hadn’t settled on a theme. Should I choose a spirit? If so, something obscure like pimento dram or arrack? Something brand new and sexy, like absinthe? Should I make everyone mix drinks using only four ingredients? Come up with a (hopefully) clever theme? Make everyone use beer in their drinks? Make everyone use Jack Daniels?
In the end, I decided that using JD would just be ornery, and that simplicity is the better part of creativity. And, really, the grape helped me make up my mind—it is a pretty amazing fruit. Aside from the varieties that we grow to eat, there are three katrillion more that are used in viticulture, a discipline which has been in practice since roughly 300BCE, just about the time that writing was invented and humanity was organizing into city-states. Just last year researchers finished mapping the genome of the pinot noir grape, which has an astonishing 30,000 genes in its DNA (for comparison, your DNA contains between 20,000 and 25,000).
It will take years to sort out what all this new information means for viticulture, but in the meantime we have thousands of years of history growing, fermenting, distilling and aging our friend the grape. And that doesn’t even take into account the apples, cherries, plums, pears or any other fruits that yield the liquor(s) we know as brandy.
- Anita and Cameron at Married…with Dinner took inspiration from someone else’s cocktail-update-gone-wrong, giving us a pear brandy twist on a personal favorite in their Side-car aux Poires.
- Vidiot, part of the brand spanking new group blog Cocktailians (which also includes Chuck of Gumbo Pages and Mr Bali Hai) takes a Sidecar and swaps out citrus for stone fruit to create his first MxMo entry, the Pêche de Resistance.
- Pavel at Science of Drink brings us the Sidecar for Soviet Veterans—a bit of history on Georgian, Armenian and Ukrainian brandies, and then mixes a few into the classic Sidecar.
- Christian from Cocktailwelten brings us the Asbach Night Cup along with the history of Deutscher Weinbrand (original German brandy) and its relation to other types of brandy.
- Lance at My Life on the Rocks got busy behind the bar and crafted the Plagiarism Cocktail using Clear Creek pear eau de vie.
- Sean of The Scofflaw’s Den brings us a triple-header featuring brandy, cognac and calvados: the CEO Cocktail, Gotham Cocktail and Haymaker Special.
- Marshall, also of The Scofflaw’s Den, treats us to the East India Cocktail and Bengal Cocktail made with his shiny new bottle of armagnac.
- Dominik, the Opinionated Alchemist, gives us the details on cognac production, plus tips on glassware, mixing and cigars.
- Seamus at Bunny Hugs started at the drawing board with a bottle of pisco to bring us his very own Feather Boa.
- Blair, aka Trader Tiki, found inspiration in the Savoy Cocktail Book and made a lesser-known pick-me-up, the Corpse Reviver #1.
- Matt, Rum Dood of A Dood in the Life, narrowly avoided a case of bad-drink poisoning and made it home in time to bring us three rum-brandy drinks, culminating in Dood’s Cuban Cocktail. (And keeping drink recipes in your cell phone? Genius!)
- Jeffrey Morgenthaler managed to squeeze out a little bit of time from his new gig to come up with the beautiful Cascade Crush using Clear Creek Apple Brandy and Marionberry jam.
- Jamie from Spirits and Cocktails rings in with the Mikado Cocktail, the first of three (3) brandy posts he’ll be featuring this week. Way to show me up, Jamie.
- Gwen of Intoxicated Zodiac mixes up a classic brandy flavor combo—armagnac and apple—in the Honey-Do Cider.
- Jay at Oh Gosh! got out the paring knife and tackled two versions of the classic with the gorgeous garnish, the Brandy Crusta.
- Dr. Bamboo, the cocktail blogosphere’s favorite artist, confronts his lukewarm feelings for brandy and comes out ahead with calvados in the So So Cocktail.
- Jimmy from Jimmy’s Cocktail Hour (the host of next month’s MxMo), brings us his original brandy and Campari creation, the Compass Rose.
- Rick of Kaiser Penguin chimes in with two entries this month, one classic and one (of course) tiki: the Pendennis and Pearl Brandy.
- Darcy at The Art of Drink gives us the truth about Wisconsin alongside the Brandy Old Fashioned.
- Ian from Iceland Spar takes a note from David Wondrich and mixes the Prescription Julep, the predecessor to the all-American Mint Julep.
- Michael at A Dash of Bitters rolled around in the cognac and recipes until he found the Brandy Daisy a lá David Wondrich.
- Sonja from Thinking of Drinking gives a rundown of brandies from Northern California and her favorite version of the Brandy Crusta.
- Lis of Riba Rambles gives David Wondrich a run for the extinct peach brandy by posting an 1897 recipe for making your own.
- Cindy at My Brilliant Mistakes got busy making her own grenadine as a prelude to whipping up a Brandy Daisy.
- Phil from Lamb Martini gave us The Dementor, which includes Clear Creek Apple Brandy, tarragon vodka, Lillet Blanc and Saint Germain, and maybe a little Islay scotch.
- Mr. Mixology Monday himself, Paul from Cocktail Chronicles checks in with three brandy-and-port cousins: the Enchantress, Sensation and St. Charles Punch.
- Jacob grabbed some calvados and an apple-based tisane to concoct Chaucer’s Toddy (and to tell us about calvados ale—yes, please!).
- Ian from Xiphias gives us something no one else covered—a little history and tasting notes on slivovitz, plum brandy from the former Yugoslavia.
- And our cocktailian friends over at eGullet are back to play again:
- Erik (of Underhill Lounge) is bringing sexy back with a little champagne in the Fancy Cocktail.
- Andy (thirtyoneknots) gives us an unnamed citrus-and-brandy cocktail that he developed thanks to a challenge from a regular patron.
- Janet (JAZ) enthuses about Dr. Cocktail’s East India Cocktail, which features raspberry syrup, curaçao, maraschino and bitters.
And lastly, I took advantage of citrus season and posted the Canario Pisco Orange, which sums up Mixology Monday XXIII. Thank you so much to everyone who participated, to Paul for letting me host this month and to Erik for being my eGullet connection. Skol!