Elixir for the Soul

This is a blog about sophisticated drinking, because alcohol doesn't have to be a poison, it can be a medicine for the soul.

Shawn, 21. Currently studying foreign language at university in China. Researching about cocktails is one of my passions, and I hope this blog can introduce others to the true way of imbibing. Every drink on this page is mixed, tasted and photographed by me.

Feel free to ask.

Rearranged my stuff a little bit, this is where I keep my books and tools from now on; looks much neater now.
I’m completely broke at the moment, so may not be able to start making drinks until early October, which is fine since that’s when all my new books, booze, and tools start to arrive.
Just got back to my own place, I had a terrible holiday to be honest.
All my furniture had been replaced with new ones, and so I’ve spent all day cleaning and rearranging the room. You might not be able to see it, but this wardrobe is actually quite deep, there are like 6 rows of booze on the top layer. Of course there will be even more soon.
It may take a few days to a week to get things back in motion; considering I will need to clean my tools; start making ice again; buying ingredients… as well as dealing with other stuff.
Saying goodbye to this term with another Old Fashioned…

Summer Break

It’s two weeks until summer holiday officially begins. I was planning on spending the whole summer here in my flat, unfortunately I just received the news that this entire building will go through some heavy renovation in the next month, so I won’t be able to stay, neither can I leave any possessions behind during the construction. By the end of next week, I must have all my alcohol, glassware, and tools moved to a friend’s place; that’s a hell of a task considering how many hundreds of bottles I own.

I’m sorry to say there will be no new drinks from now on until September, that’s when the next term starts. Hopefully I will be able to get my hands on a few more rare liquors by then. In the mean time there are still a ton of good drinks on this blog to check out. I hope you all have a lovely holiday.

Ink Street
Canadian Whisky - 2/3 oz
Orange Juice - 2/3 oz
Lemon Juice - 2/3 oz
Shake everything with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
From “The Savoy Cocktail Book”.
You thought the Ward Eight cocktail was tart with only a teaspoon of grenadine, this is just a more extreme version: now you don’t even get that tiny bit of syrup to “counteract” the lemon; orange juice became the only thing keeping it from the unpleasant zone. It’s a good drink for when you needed a shot of vitamin C.
Dry Gin - 2/3 oz
Cherry Brandy - 2/3 oz
Dry Vermouth - 1/3 oz
Lemon Juice - 1/3 oz
Orange Bitters - 1 dash
Shake everything with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
From “The Savoy Cocktail Book”.
A very, very delicious cocktail. Containing everything I like: sweet cherry brandy, sour lemon paired with dry and bitter vermouth.
Brandy - 1 oz
Sweet Vermouth - 1 oz
Bénédictine - 1 tsp
Stir everything with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
From “The Savoy Cocktail Book”.
Same as a Bobby Burns cocktail, with brandy instead of scotch. When the “Savoy” took this recipe from Robert Vermeire’s “Cocktails: How to Mix Them”, they misspelled “Fioupe” as “Froupe”.
Inclement Weather
Irish Whiskey - 1 oz
Mandarine Napoléon - 1 oz
Honey - 1 tsp
Lemon - 6 quarters
Orange - 2 quarters
Muddle the fruit in an old-fashioned glass. Dissolve the honey in whiskey and pour everything over the fruit. Fill with crushed ice and churn. Garnish with orange and lemon wheels.
Invented by Philip Duff of the Door 74, Amsterdam, as an “Irish Caipirinha”.
The recipe from “Beachbum Berry Remixed” wasn’t exactly very detailed, it uses vague words like “Place lemon triangles in an old-fashioned glass until the glass is one-quarter full, then fill the glass to the halfway point with orange triangles…” So this is my interpretation of it, and it seemed to have worked quite well.
Use a large old-fashioned glass for this, at least 12-ounce or more. You can always be a bit more generous with the lemon quarters (or “triangles” as the book would prefer to call it), considering the amount of sweeteners in this one: an ounce of mandarin liqueur and 2 barspoons of honey (changed it into a teaspoon, I don’t think you need any more than that). Mandarine Napoléon can be replaced by Grand Marnier if the former is unavailable, but the result will be far less interesting.
Overall the drink is tasty, a blend of orange, lemon, mandarin and honey flavours mixed with smooth Irish whiskey. A little too sweet to begin with, but the crushed ice should resolve that in no time.
Tia Juano
Tequila - 1 oz
Dry Vermouth - 3/4 oz
Campari - 1/4 oz
Stir everything with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
From “Café Royal Cocktail Book”.
One of the best tequila-based cocktails I’ve tasted. Similar to a Negroni, but like the Negroni, this drink uses 4:3:1 ratio which allows the base spirit to play a more dominant role, so a quality reposado is a must; whilst the dry vermouth lessens the sweetness and letting the other flavours to rise up.
Smooth, dry, only subtly bitter; and a nice citrus overtone.
Margaret Rose
Gin - 2/3 oz
Calvados - 2/3 oz
Cointreau - 1/3 oz
Lemon Juice - 1/3 oz
Grenadine - 1 dash
Shake everything with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
From “Café Royal Cocktail Book”, invented J. W. Fish.
Normally a Sour of this sort would use a 2:1:1 ratio, whereas here it is 4:1:1. The problem with 4:1:1 is that sometimes the spirit can become overpowering, but that’s still largely down to personal taste. This cocktail however, balances perfectly. You get that evident apple flavour mixed with gin’s botanical and floral notes in the beginning; then the sweet yet slightly tart citrus from Cointreau and lemon kicks in; grenadine not only added that slightly colour to make it a “Rose”, also helps to boost up the dry Cointreau’s sweetness. All in all a delicious and complex Sidecar-esque cocktail.