Musical Mixology

Chillin...

Who would have guessed our combination of cocktails and classical music would land us a cover with Metallica? 😮🤘🍸 Check out our full interview and Musical Mixology recipe on the Chilled Magazine website. Cheers!

The Brandenburg

We’re commemorating the dedication Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos in true A&R fashion: with a cocktail (and score)! On March 24, 1721 Bach gave us six concertos that would become benchmarks of Baroque music. On March 24, 2019 we’re returning the favor with a delicious Black Forest twist on a classic Manhattan.

The Brandenburg is a hearty and festive triumvirate of cherry, chocolate, and bourbon inspired by German Black Forest cake and Doppelbock beers, as well as Bach’s penchant for all things “three.”

Velvety, bittersweet crème de cacao and Kirshwasser (a cherry brandy from Germany’s Black Forest region) were selected to add subtle chocolate and cherry undertones to the sweet, oaky bourbon base. These three spirits combine to create a cocktail delightfully reminiscent of a Black Forest cake, without entering into dessert cocktail territory. Like a rich and weighty German Doppelbock, the Brandenburg’s sweetness is perfectly balanced by a touch of bitterness, provided here by the chocolate and cherry liqueurs, resulting in a joyous and robust blend of flavors.

Chocolate bitters were added to entice the nose, hinting at vanilla and cinnamon, and a dash of Cherry Heering for an extra pop of sweet cherry flavor. A brandied cherry garnish was the perfect finishing touch to harken back to the classic Manhattan cocktail and complete another Bachian set of three.

The Brandenburg is a simple, everyday cocktail that (much like the music of Bach) is timeless, sophisticated, and spirit forward.

THE BRANDENBURG

Yield: 1 cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces bourbon

  • 1/2 ounce crème de cacao

  • 1/2 ounce Kirschwasser

  • 1/4 ounce Cherry Heering

  • 1 dash chocolate bitters

  • 1 brandied cherry garnish

Instructions:

Stir ingredients with ice until well chilled, strain into a small coupe glass, and enjoy while listening to one of the joyous and hearty Brandenburg concertos!

Note: much of the drink’s sweetness comes from the Cherry Heering. Tread cautiously if you happen to be sweet-adverse; you can always add more after testing.

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The Tango Amargo

Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us and Musical Mixology is back with a brand new recipe to meet all your (anti-)Valentine’s needs. The Tango Amargo is a rich, complex, and blissfully bitter drink concocted especially for all the sexy singles, cynics, and contrarians out there. It also pairs perfectly with the music of Astor Piazzolla and our seductive new music video featuring our arrangement of his Oblivion.

We spent many evenings searching for just the right cocktail to complement the dark, sexy undercurrents of Piazzolla’s endlessly passionate music. His tangos conjure up a complex mix of emotions and we wanted a recipe that captured all the contradictions of yearning. We also sought to incorporate Italian and Argentinian liquors in homage to Piazzolla’s roots. The chamomile, bitter orange, and myrrh-infused Fernet Branca (an Argentinian staple) came instantly to mind, but also presented a challenge given its bold flavors. Cue the voluptuous red hue and sapid bitterness of Campari! To that we added artichoke-based Cynar, an herbal gin, and the elegant Dolin Blanc Vermouth for balance. The Tango Amargo begins sweet, then turns dark and bitter; it’s the perfect cocktail for your anti-Valentine’s Day fete this Singles Awareness Day (Isn’t that… S.A.D. for short? 😜).

(For those who can stomach this happy holiday "straight up,” our sweet and bubbly Elixir of Love is the quintessential Valentine’s Day cocktail. Lovebirds and spurned lovers alike will also adore a batch of The Rachmaninoff Heartbreak.)

THE TANGO AMARGO

Based on “Eeyore’s Requiem” by Toby Maloney of Chicago’s Violet Hour

Yield: 1 cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Campari

  • 0.5 oz gin

  • 0.25 Cynar

  • 0.25 Fernet Branca

  • 1 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth

  • 15 drops or 0.2 oz orange bitters

Instructions:

Stir with ice until well chilled, then strain into a serving glass (coupe or cocktail glass). Drink yourself into Oblivion.

The Mambo!

Musical Mixology is back with a fun and festive Caribbean cocktail in honor of Leonard Bernstein's 100th birthday (this Saturday, August 25, 2018)! A zesty twist on a classic rum punch, we crafted The Mambo's big flavors to match the bold rhythms and sassy kick of the "Mambo" from Lenny's West Side Story.

The sweetness of fresh tropical juices reside at the forefront of this cheery tribute, and they're perfectly balanced by the subtle heat of homemade ginger syrup and Puerto Rican spice. Whether you're looking for a little liquid courage (to help make your way to the dance floor!) or extra pep in your step, a couple quick shots are the perfect accompaniment to your favorite rendition of Bernstein's "Mambo."

THE MAMBO!

Yield: 1 full cocktail (or 3-4 small “shooters”)
 

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Bacardi White Rum (or another Puerto Rican white rum)

  • 1.5 oz orange juice

  • 1.5 oz pineapple juice

  • 0.5 oz lime juice

  • 0.5 oz ginger syrup (see below)

  • dash grenadine

  • pinch adobo seasoning (Puerto Rican spice blend)

Instructions

Combine the liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into an ice-filled glass (or shot glasses, if making shooters!) and sprinkle with a pinch of adobo seasoning. A store-bought bottle of this Puerto Rican spice blend provides plenty of punch, but you can also easily whip up a homemade blend from equal parts of these common ingredients: black pepper, onion powder, oregano, cumin, coriander, and turmeric.
 

Ginger syrup recipe

Add 1/2 cup fresh ginger juice with 1 cup superfine sugar to a blender and blend until sugar is dissolved. Make fresh ginger juice with a juicer or by finely grating fresh ginger, wrapping it in a thin cotton towel or cheesecloth, and squeezing out the juice.

This is the perfect recipe for summer entertaining! It's a breeze to prepare in a big batch for parties and is also delicious as a family-friendly virgin cocktail. By simply replacing the rum with coconut water, you can craft a zippy juice cocktail that everyone can enjoy.

Bottoms up!

-Greg

The Rachmaninoff Heartbreak

Musical Mixology is back to celebrate the lush beauty of early summer with our latest cocktail, The Rachmaninoff Heartbreak. We crafted this deeply romantic drink, in part, to celebrate the release of our latest music video, "The Night... The Love..." as well as the appearance of Rachmaninoff's gorgeous Suite No. 1 for Two Pianos on our latest album, Mother.

Pinot noir (the heartbreak grape), chocolate, apricots, and cognac come together to create this earthy and sensual drink worthy of Rachmaninoff’s romanticism. The drink is less dessert-like than the ingredient list may suggest; it's lightly sweet, juicy, smoky, and totally luxurious — perfect to pair with Rachmaninoff's sumptuous harmonies and passionate lyricism. One sip of this delightful craft concoction will send you drifting on the evening breeze like night-blooming jasmine. Drink up and get lost in:

THE RACHMANINOFF HEARTBREAK

Adapted from "Chocolate Wine" from Ryan Chetiyanwardana's Good Things to Drink
Yield: 6-7 drinks

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle pinot noir (earthy, fruit forward, not too tannic)
  • 6 oz cognac
  • 0.5 oz peaty single-malt scotch (lower-end, like Laphroaig, is fine)
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar (just less than 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 5 dried apricots
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds
  • pinch of salt

Instructions:

  • Stir ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl
  • Cover and heat on high power in the microwave for 3 minutes (I’ve tried cooking this over a stovetop, but the flavors infused better in the microwave.) 
  • Allow to cool, then strain (Keep the apricots to serve as small hors d’oeuvres with the drink. So good!)
  • Refrigerate until cold
  • Serve in a wine glass with 2-3 cubes of ice

Helpful hint: I've made this cocktail several times and much prefer to use softer dried apricots over those that are chewy and completely dried. 

The Rachmaninoff Heartbreak is perfect for fueling a budding summer romance or soothing a broken heart. Whether sharing in passion or pathos, this cocktail is best paired with an assortment of hors d'oeuvres (think fresh and dried fruits, nuts, cheese, chocolates!) and our music video "The Night... The Love...", featuring Rachmaninoff's Suite No. 1 for Two Pianos. 😉

Enjoy!

-Greg