Mixology Monday: The Search for a New Cocktail!

Mixology Monday: The Search for a New Cocktail!

OK, I expected to dash this one off after an hour’s browsing and an evening’s tasting, but it turned into a quest. I’m not sure it is a completed one, but it has served its purpose, and then some. This is my first shot at a blog carnival, Mixology Monday, or MxMo for short. Skip the next paragraph if you already know what MxMo is about.

Mixology Monday 17For those of you who don’t know, Mixology Monday is a blog carnival. Any cocktail blog who would like to participate simply writes a post along the lines of the current theme and one of the bigger blogs hosts a post that lends links to each blogger who participates. This week is Bring on the Blog Love, hosted at Cocktail Chronicles. You can read all about what we are trying at the link above, or by clicking on the spiffy logo, but here are the essentials. Pick out a cocktail you read about/discovered on another blog, try it and post about it. Also, include any navel gazing about why we blog at all.

As I said, I thought this would be an easy task. Margaret and I organize the Friday Night Mixed Doubles tennis events at our club, The Worthington Hills (Home of the Macdaddy of Pegu Blog Certified Bartender, Tony!) Last week, our theme was Wimbledon. I ordered a bunch of Strawberries and Champagne to help set the mood. I had recently read about the classic Strawberry Daiquiri at The Art of Drink, and was dying to try it. So I set aside a good sized bowl of the best berries from the event to take home and do my homework. Well, someone made off with my fruit! I had to go to the grocery store for more, which peeved me, and they weren’t as good, which peeved me more! It was fun to make, lots of muddling fruit, straining same, etc. But it just didn’t float our boat. I may try it again, the next time I have good strawberries and try doubling the lime juice. Good, but not possibly going to be a staple, and I want to find a new standby.

So, on with the show. Margaret then brought home a bottle of Limoncello, and challenged me to try to find some use for it, other than as a Sidecar additive. I searched the blogs for a recipe that appealed and struck out. The next morning, I loaded all my tabs with my favorite blogs, and A Dash of Bitters was off to my rescue with the Lemon Cooler. Let’s see: Gin… cool, Limoncello… that’s what I was looking for, lime juice… excellent, I love lime juice! I start mixing before I finish reading and then hit Tonic Water! Ooops! Margaret doesn’t like that! I’m no fan myself, but I go ahead and finish the drink. Not as bad for us as I feared, but still not going to be repeated until I have time to test other mixers as a substitute, or just make it up with no mixer at all. A cocktail project for the future, but I wanted a drink for this post that came out of the box saying drink me!.

Here’s the thing, I blog about Pegus because they are the cocktail that changed me from a wine drinker into a cocktalian. Sure, I had an occasional Martini, or the Kamikaze variant we learned from a bartender at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas the night I physically collided head-on with David Schwimmer of Friends while we were both on our way to the George Carlin Dennis Miller show. Yes, it was head-on because, evidently, neither Schwimmer nor his entourage knew where the theater was. The point is, I was a wine drinker who drank cocktails as a novelty. More to the point, they were almost a costume—I drank them when I thought I needed to look cool. I mixed my first Pegu, and all that changed. We still drink our fair share of wine (and your fair share, and his, and that guy in the corner’s), but I pay far more attention to cocktails than I do to the Two Buck Chuck, and its Australian and French cousins that I fill our wine fridges with these days. Now I am a cocktail drinker who drinks wine as a beverage: Food—Wine, but Conversation—Cocktail… usually a Pegu. I drink lots of other cocktails too, so I’m looking for a good one here.

I look at the other blogs I frequent, and laugh out loud as I hover my mouse over my link in the blogroll over at Cocktailnerd. It describes me as Focused… very. As I chuckle, I remember a post from about the time I broke down and started this blog, about the Corpse Reviver #2…. I go back, find it, and read the whole post. I want to be careful after finding myself presenting tonic to Margaret! Two versions, and a strong recommendation of which to try, with reasons that I think are sound. I go with Version 1:

Corpse Reviver #2 – ver. 1
3/4 oz gin
3/4 oz lemon juice
3/4 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz Lillet (blanc)
dash Pastis (Pernod, Herbsaint, or Absente to substitute)
Place all ingredients into a mixing glass, shake with ice, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a destemmed maraschino cherry (optional).

Corpse Reviver #2, ver.1This has several things going for it, before I take my first sip. It uses Lillet. I bought a bottle of this to make Vespers with after seeing Casino Royale. Vespers are nice, but I won’t be making that many, so I need something else to use up this Lillet. Cointreau is also there. Virtually every cocktail I make seems to end up with Cointreau in it. And it needs some kind of Pastis. This gives me something new to buy, so I roll out and pick up some Pernod. I even grab a jar of cherrys, as I don’t have time to whip up a batch of my own cocktail cherrys—Another day….

I mix this guy up and take a sip. I immediately put it down on the bar and snap this photo. It is quite nice. No Pegu, but then, what is? My saga is complete, and I now have my post to write. Try one yourself and let me (and Cocktailnerd) know what you think. My only quibble is that the lemon seems a bit strong. I think I’ll try two variants in the next week to see if they improve it. First, I’ll simply try less lemon.

Good Lord! That’s the kind of brilliant thinking only a Master Mixologist would employ!

Shut up. Anyway, the other thing will be going out and buying that bottle of Van Gogh gin I’ve been wanting to try, instead of the Bobmbay Sapphire I currently buy in bulk. I’m thinking this may be the better option. I’ll post an update when I do.

So there is my first MxMo post. Did I get everything? Let’s see: Navel gazing—Yup, I talked about how Pegus got me blogging; Shout out to other blogs—I hit four, Cocktailnerd, A Dash of Bitters, The Art of Drink, and Cocktail Chronicles… five, if you count my link to myself; and a good new drink I’ll make again—The Corpse Reviver #2. I finish up with a surefire traffic builder, a promise to make a further post that will give exiting details of less lemon, and a new gin!

That will get you to come back, won’t it?


  1. Gabriel

    15 July

    Thanks, and nice post as always! I think that backing off the Bombay Sapphire into something more mix-friendly likethe Van Gogh, or hell, anything, would perhaps improve your experience. Then, if your malaise at the lack of Pegu-nature continues, decrease the lemon juice.

    Plus, there’s always the size of lemons to consider. Nice MxMo maiden post amigo, cheers to you and yours, as always.

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  2. Jay Hepburn

    17 July

    “Virtually every cocktail I make seems to end up with Cointreau in it” – I hear that! Aside from perhaps gin it’s the bottle I get through fastest. I swear I should just buy a truck-load and have done with it, it’d save a lot of trips to the off-license…

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  3. Doug

    17 July

    Not only do I go through it faster than any other, but it is just about the most expensive booze by volume I buy, with the possible exception of the Glenrothes Single Malt I keep around for drinking with certain good friends.

    Unfortunately, like with Porsche, There Is No Substitiute….

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  4. Heather

    19 September

    I loove Gin too and I recently tried a new twist on the Strawberry Daiquiri. Instead of Rum and Triple Sec, use your favorite Gin, (have tried it with Bombay but I’m sure the Van Gogh would taste amazing!) and add Canton, which is a new Ginger liqueur with cognac. It really does add a kick to it, and tastes way better than the normal Daiquiri. Cheers!!

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  5. Doug

    19 September

    The Canton sounds pretty cool. I may have actually seen it here in Ohio as well. I’ll have to check again. Maybe I’ll try a splash in my Mule.

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  6. Julie

    27 September

    All this sounds delicious… I haven’t tried Canton yet but I keep hearing about it. I have to go get myself a bottle and start making some coktails!

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  7. georgedrinks

    17 October

    I saw the recipe for the Strawberry Ginger Martini, I tried it and I loved it!! so amazing I’m going to put up the heat and drink this cocktail all year long, highly recommend it!

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  8. Frank

    30 November

    I just read a review by Paul Pacult and he gave canton 5 stars – It’s a great liqueur for many cocktails and it’s fun to play around with the mixing!

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  9. Jim

    25 November

    We’ve been playing around with the Domaine de Canton as well. It showed up in our state run stores a couple of months ago. Current favorite – 1 oz rum, 1 oz ginger liqueur, 1 oz lime juice, 1/3 ounce Oregeat, garnish with a maraschino cherry – the Ginger Daiquiri Deluxe. I guess you could soak the cherries in Cointreau instead ;-). Come to think of it, that’s worth trying.

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  10. pegu

    18 March

  11. I am hoping there will be a movie adaption of entourage at some point, my favourite series by far.

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  12. Ken Moorhead

    17 October

    After a few years of quarreling, I’m steadily warming up to the idea of making nice with gin. This could be the cocktail to do it for me!

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  13. Doug

    28 October

    If indeed you are going to take the gin plunge, I recommend the Pegu first, of course.
    If both the Pegu and Corpse Reviver #2 still send you running, try making them with Square One Botanical. Then try them again with real gin.

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  14. I just had my first “Corpse Reviver” last night. Despite not being the biggest fan of Gin, I found it quite tasty nonetheless. Two Buck Chuck, on the other hand, is my cheap and easy staple. Is that a bad thing? 🙂

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  15. Doug

    28 March

    Cheap and Easy are two reasons I avoid Two Buck Chuck. (I’m not so snobby as to pretend it isn’t quite drinkable).

    I’ve just found over the years that I drink a lot less when I’m drinking cocktails I make, rather than pouring wine, especially cheap wine, I bought. It takes a lot of time to whip up a nice CR#2. and while I drink it just as fast, I think twice before taking time to go make another round.

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