Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day 12: From Russia With Lush

At the Bottle Wonderland Estate we have an abundance of guest bedrooms.  Occasionally a guest occupies one of them and yesterday was one of those times.  In honor of our esteemed visitor we made twice our normal number of drinks (1) and invited her to be a guest taster.  It was sort of like when Anthony Bourdain guest judges on Top Chef, only our guest judge is not a douche.

Russian Cocktail
Cold and Frosty Like a Russian Winter
We ended up choosing the Russian Cocktail and the Stockholm 75. The Russian Cocktail is equal parts vodka, gin, and crème de cacao.  We were expecting an abomination, but it was actually pretty good.  Our guest judge raved, “smells interesting” and “yeah, I don’t know”.  Mrs. Bottle took a sip and gushed, “it’s not as bad as I expected”.   It had a nice chocolate finish, but with an alcohol content of almost 40% it is no girlie drink.  Ivan Drago told Rocky, “I must break you”.  About 3 Russian Cocktails would do the trick.

Next up was the Stockholm 75. That is kind of an odd name for a drink so we did some research. The best we could determine was that the drink was named after the Red Army Faction's1975 siege of the German Embassy in Stockholm.  I’m really looking forward to trying other drinks named after sieges. I bet the Stalingrad 1942 is delicious. 

The Stockholm 75 recipe calls for citrus flavored vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, and Champagne.  We would never sully high- end Champagne in a mixed drink, so we broke out the Rondel Cava.  “Cava” roughly translates from Spanish as “cheap sparkling wine”. This cava is only $8 a bottle but it easily tastes as good as a $9.50 bottle.   Like most siege-based drinks, it is served in a sugar-rimmed glass.  We all found this drink delicious and our best one to date.  It might have something to do with the carbonation.  It might have something to do with having just consumed a Russian Cocktail. 
Stockholm 75 Drink
Fizzier Than It Looks

There were a number of firsts for this entry:

1.     First guest judge
B.     First time making multiple drinks
3.     First time we liked a drink enough to make more than one.

That’s right, both our guest judge and Mrs. Bottle liked the Stockholm 75 enough to have a second one.  They both eschewed the sugar rim on the second since Mrs. Bottle felt the sugar rim made the drink sugary.

It is hard to argue with that logic. 

Ratings on a 10-point scale:

Russian Cocktail
Taste: 7
Ease of Preparation: 8
Presentation: 9 – Simple and classic
Drinks until blackout: 3

Stockholm 75
Taste: 10
Ease of Preparation: 6
Presentation: 8 – Our lack of rimming skill held it back
Drinks until blackout: 6 – Only 12% alcohol but the bubbles might go to your head

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