Red wine on Valentine’s Day (Etrigan)

Red wine. I love it. Actually… I’ve never encountered a bottle of red wine I couldn’t empty fluently (but I rarely ask for another glass of white wine). I guess folks are buying red for the upcoming Valentine’s … so cocktail using Red Nectar of Gods?

If you check out cocktails using red, it seems that the wine is often heated up: some nice hot cup for those cold and dark winter evenings… that’s okay, but I’d want to try something cool, or at least room temperature.

Sure, you can do Sangria… but I consider it watering down good wine. Go ahead, hate me, but I resent Sangria.

My approach to red wine cocktail… “keep it room temperature, spice it up with something else than plain sweet (tired of those red wine-chocolate-lots of sugar-combos)… utilize that ruby red colour… well, it basically looks like blood… Blood? Jason Blood?”

I guess very few people name Jason Blood/Etrigan their favourite superhero but I like him/them, well worth a cocktail.


ETRIGAN (Rhyming Demon)

“Gone! Gone! O’ form of man
And rise the Demon Etrigan!!”

Rim margarita glass with red wine and powdered sugar. Set the glass aside, sugar will harden while you prepare the rest of the drink.

(measurements consider margarita glass of approx. 3 dl (10 oz), adjust accordingly)

-4 cl (1 1/2 oz) Campari

-2 cl (3/4 oz) simple syrup

-1 to 2 cl (1/3 to 3/4 oz) Crème de Cassis

(-2 cl gin)

Shake/stir ingredients together (no ice necessary), pour into margarita glass. Fill it up with red wine, stir gently.

“Why margarita glass? There’s no tequila in the drink?” Well, margarita glass has larger rim… meaning more sugar-wine-mixture which might be necessary, especially if you use gin… and it simply looks better!

The original version was more simple, but My Test Subjects (aka. friends) told me that the drink needs “something more”… they approved the version above, but personally I still prefer original.  I renamed it… not supervillain, although some sort of villain, I guess.


Exactly as Rhyming Demon, but use only Campari, simple syrup and red wine. Decorate with laurel leaf.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! We’ll meet again in a week or so.

Sweet and dry (Catwoman, Penguin)

When I went to see Burton’s “Batman” back in -89 I had high expectations… and I was gravely disappointed. Batman kills criminals by blowing them up and kicking them down from Gotham Cathedral… so I’m watching Punisher with cape, where’s Batman? I also felt that Nicholson’s Joker was boo-ring, stiff and unimaginative interpretation. Well, he ended up dead with the rest so that’s about it.

Second movie in the series was THE BEST (it’s better to forget third and fourth completely). Burton’s version of Penguin wasn’t orthodox, but I liked it. And of course Catwoman had to be sexy: that could’ve been executed tediously (like Poison Ivy in “Batman&Robin”) but representing her as mentally unstable S/M-freak got my vote.

Great movie, I do my best to pay homage to the characters with these cocktail recipes.




Let’s take look back in my second post, “Getting ready for New Year’s Eve”, where we soaked licorice in vodka. Now we’ll do the same thing, but we’ll use coffee grounds and white rum. Brimful tablespoon of coffee to 1dl (3 1/2 oz) of rum, let it soak for 15 min and filter the mush to get coffee-rum.

-1 part coffee-rum

-1 part coconut milk

-1 part evaporated milk

Put ingredients into blender and mix then without ice. Pour into cocktail glass and grate some lime-flavoured chocolate on top.

If you don’t have a blender whisk coconut milk and evaporated milk together first: then add coffee-rum and whisk again.

If you can’t find limechocolate you can create the mix beforehand. Grate ordinary chocolate and skin of limes, you probably need to add some powdered sugar. Mix gently and sprinkle on top of the cocktail.

That’s right… cocktail is made without ice. Coffee aroma is really delicate, it disappears if drink gets cold. “Why not use coffee liqueur?” They have strong coffee flavour, and I wanted a drink to have just a hint of coffee aroma: with liqueur the taste is too intense, even in small amounts.

And of course… have you ever seen a cat drink cold milk?




In “Batman Returns” Penguin refers to drinking “very dry Martini”. In the comics he always seems to enjoy something that looks like Martini… so Martini it is, with Penguin-twist.

Make a Martini or Vodka Martini: for example 7 parts gin (or vodka) and 1 part extra dry vermouth, or 3-1 ratio or whatever. I personally prefer Dirty Martini: 6 vodka, 1 vermouth and 1 olive juice. If you like to add olive into glass, use black olive (naturally).

Whatever version you like, also add some green Chartreuse before shaking (with plenty of ice). Start testing with around 10% Chartreuse, work your way up or down according to your taste.

I know… this recipe already exits, actually it’s an old trick. Guilty as charged, but I wanted to bring excellent “Green Chartreuse meets Martini”-combo to your attention.

If you want to turn this drink into even more dry/harsh experience, rim the glass with lemon juice and sea salt! Half rim is enough, I think: cocktail is pretty dry already, it’s nice to taste little salt now and then while enjoying it… if you’re forced to swallow salted Martini on every sip the experience is ruined.


Penguin is definitely pre-dinner drink, and sweet Catwoman sure is something to be enjoyed after dinner… how about some all-day cocktail revolving around villains from “Batman Returns”?



Make basic Tom Collins, decorate it with parasol you’ve painted black beforehand and call it “Oswald”. Black straw seems like obvious choice: I use one made out of glass to give more “freezingly antarctian” feel.


Next week we’ll try bitter-sweetish drink out of red wine. I hope you have some Crème de Cassis left: if you’ve used all of your Cassis to Harley Quinns and Tony Bennetts it’s time to buy some more.


No joking: probably THE BEST cocktail ever! (Joker)

Hello again. This time I’ll introduce two completely different drinks, and if you’ve tried my previous recipes you’ll have necessary liqueurs in your cabinet: Midori (from Killer Croc) and Crème de Cassis (from Harley Quinn). Maybe you’ll find use for green Chartreuse (also from Killer Croc).

You’ll also need Triple Sec (or something similar citrus liqueur)… but of course you have it in your reserve. Everyone does. Citrus liqueur is one of the most essential elements in bartending.

But let’s put Crème de Cassis aside for a moment and grab that Midori…



“Why so serious?”

This cocktail consists of two parts: green and purple. It will, however, have three different flavours, one after another. First it’s sour; then, as a dessert, sweet… and finally something else: what exactly, that depends on you… but that third flavour will be the last laugh, final punchline…

Prepare the purple part first.

“Dilute” red grenadine with simple syrup and/or Triple Sec: aim is to make red colour less intense. Then, add blue grenadine or Blue Curacao very carefully, one drop at the time. Stir after every drop and examine the result, it’s really easy to make the mix too blue. If you didn’t “lighten up” red grenadine enough in the beginning you’ll notice that the colour is too dark, kind of brownish. That’s okay, you can dilute with syrup and/or T-Sec now.

When you’re satisfied with the colour it’s time to add The Punchline. Tabasco or green Chartereuse or something else… something fiery, something peppery. Not too much: trust me, even a few drops of Tabasco will deliver the message.

Set purple part aside, it’s time to make the green part.

-1 part blanco tequila (preferably 100% de agave)

-1 part Midori

-1 part lemon juice

Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail or margarita glass. Then pour the purple part in gently, along the side of the glass: it contains so much sugar it should set to the bottom. How much purple sweetness, it’s up to you… but I wouldn’t suggest much.

After a sour green your palate will welcome sweet taste… tongue is quicker to taste sweet, so fiery Tabasco (or whatever) will kick in last, delightfully blending with disappearing sweet sensation.

This cocktail is a bit arduous, but it’s worth it. This, however, isn’t “probably the best cocktail in the world” I’ve been hollering about. It’s called Tony Bennett.



Okay, there are many recipes named after Mr.Bennett to be found online… but not this one, for some reason. Friend of mine pointed this out after a cocktail party, when she was trying to google the recipe for that delicious drink everyone loved.

I discovered the recipe from dusty cocktail book, and of course I shared my knowledge with her… and now I’m sharing it with you.

Enough talk, let’s try the drink!

-fill, I mean FILL highball glass with ice cubes. Twist a long lemon peel somewhere there, between the cubes. Then grab your shaker…

-2 parts gin

-2 parts Triple Sec

-2 parts Crème de Cassis

-1 part lemon juice

Shake with ice and strain into glass, but do not fill it up. There should be little room for some sparkling water: not much, but some. Whatever you do, don’t stir after adding the water.

Bubbly water actually serves a purpose. Drink is too sweet to be enjoyed as it is: first few sips will be diluted by water… and then the melting ice will dilute the rest as you work your way through the drink. Usually this is unwanted occurence, cocktail being watered down by melting ice, but in this case we’ll welcome it.

According to story the singer drank one of these before the performance, especially if the weather was chilly. Well, as verifiable as any story in the cocktail books… I find this cocktail very “summery”, to be enjoyed when sun is shining and it’s hot. Well, on the other hand… drinking this in the middle of the winter gives you hope: “only few months and it’ll be warm again…”.

Anyway, you should try this. It’s really good, I’ve never met anyone who didn’t love it!

Until next week… you’ll have time to refresh your memory and watch “Batman Returns” again, because it’s time for Catwoman and Penguin. Something sweet and something dry…VERY dry. Don’t drink all that Chartreuse.

Cold January (Man-Bat)

It’s freezing, it’s depressing… during winter months everyone craves for something uplifting, something stimulating; something to transform them from downcast to cheerful.

Easy answer would be some sort of a warm eggnog, but let’s try something else… titillating sloe gin.



Man-Bat serum tranforms Dr. Kirk Langstrom to giant humanoid bat. Drinking this “serum” will not have such a dramatic consequences (I hope), but it’ll turn you more resilient, gives you more vigor to face the long winter.

-4 parts bourbon

-4 parts sloe gin

-8 parts cranberry juice

(-1 part simple syrup)

Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. The need for simple syrup depends on what kind of cranberry juice you use, anyway you’ll probably need to add some. I use high quality concentrate made without additives, diluted with water 1-1 instead of recommended 1-3 to get very intense cranberry flavour… and I still need to add that one part of syrup.

You probably noticed that “The Serum” is a variant of “Black Bush”, which is simply bourbon and sloe gin… and too harsh, I think. Cranberry serves as perfect method to “round up” the clash of two elements, still adding its own for the mixture.

Okay, what else can you do with your sloe gin bottle? Here’s a delightful recipe you’re most likely familiar with if you’ve tried sloe gin before… but just in case you haven’t…



-6 cl (2 oz) sloe gin

-2 cl (3/4 oz) Crème Yvette (or Parfait Amour)

-2 cl lemon juice

-1 egg white

Add some crushed ice into chilled wine goblet. Shake with ice and strain.


I’ll be back next week. Something sour… oh, wait, it’s sweet… no, it’s fiery?!?… Hee, hee,hee… it’s Joker. And I’ll also introduce probably THE BEST cocktail in the whole wide world… I didn’t create it, unfortunately, but I would like to share the recipe. And no egg whites, I promise; there’s been a bit too much of them so far.


Reptiles (Killer Croc)

We’ve survived New Year’s celebration, now it’s time to check out some sour cocktails for a change.



First of all… I resent modern Killer Croc: frenzied mutant rampaging around, how imaginative. On the contrary, I loved the character when he first came around in the 80’s. I dedicate this drink to Old School Waylon Jones, freak of nature to be both feared and pitied, solemn outcast suffering from occasional violent outbursts… but I’ll hope folks drinking this won’t go to violent drunken rampage!

-3 cl (1 oz) gin

-3 cl Midori

-2 cl (3/4 oz) lime juice

-1 cl (1/3 oz) green Chartreuse

-1 egg white

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Remember: as usual, when adding egg white to alcohol it’s best to put it in last, just before you’re starting to shake. There’s a remote chance of egg white “boiling” if it’s left floating in alcohol for a prolonged period (i.e. while you’re measuring ingredients).

Try different ratios between gin and Midori, for example 2-4 or 4-2…  While results are surprisingly different, I can’t say which one is my personal favourite.


No more superhero cocktails this time (but hang on to that Chartreuse bottle, we’ll inspect it more later on) but I would like to bring to your attention an excellent cocktail recipe I happened to stumble upon.

I guess you already know Japanese Slipper? It’s kinda delightful, but let’s face it: charm soon wears out. I think it’s too sweet, lacks “The Kick” and gets boring before you’ve finished the glass. So… enter Crocodile.



-2 parts vodka

-1 part Triple Sec

-1 part Midori

-2 parts lemon juice

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.

I think Crocodile is the best Japanese Slipper variant around, although I understand if someone winces while trying to cope with s-o-u-r aroma.

And there’s variant of a variant… I like dry vermouth, but in my opinion it doesn’t fill its purpose in Alligator. Anyway, maybe you would like to try it out.



-4 parts vodka

-2 parts Midori

-1 part dry vermouth

-dash of lemon juice

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.


Okay, that’s it. See you in a week or so.


Getting ready for New Year’s Eve… Dark Aromas… (Harley Quinn, S. Grundy, Bizarro)

This time we’ll extract some flavour to vodka, and use the resulting liquid as the base for the cocktails. I’ll soak a lot of different things in the future posts, but now we’ll concentrate on licorice.


Pour some licorice in glass jar – go on, pour in the whole bag!  Use basic licorice, not those weird things with some filling etc. Then add vodka until all of the licorice is covered. Put the lid on. Give the jar a little shake for every hour or so.

How long will it take until you have some decent licorice-flavoured vodka to use? Depends on which licorice brand you use, but in my experience it takes 4-8 hours of soaking to get satisfactory result. When liquid looks like a “Coca-Cola that has been watered down a bit” it’s time to strain.

WARNING: don’t soak too long! It’s better to soak too little than too much: oversoaking produces too strong licorice flavour which suffocates every other aroma in the cocktail.

Also… most licorice brands turn into disgusting-looking grey lumps which you’ll be happy to get rid of, but some brands still look edible after their prolonged vodka-bath… DON’T! No matter what, they’ll taste horrible… even if you’ll mix them with ice cream etc. Trust me, I’ve tried.

Now it’s time to use our licorice vodka for cocktails with dark undertones!




This is one of my most praised concoctions.

Let’s see… Harley Quinn… She’s homicidial maniac, so it’s appropriate that her drink looks a bit like blood. Her outfit is mostly black and red… and if you succeed in extraction process, the cocktail actually tastes “black and red”. And let’s not forget the mallet she’s carrying behind her back… after couple of these you’ll feel like mauled. Make no mistake, this drink is much stronger than taste suggests!

-4 parts licorice vodka

-1 part Crème de Cassis de Dijon

-1 part lime juice

Shake with ice and strain into chilled Old Fashioned glass filled with ice. Everything as cold as possible.




Solomon Grundy… that sad character in the sewer. I must admit I prefer that poor ol’ Sol of the 80’s over modern-day raging monster, but hey: that’s only my opinion. This cocktail is inspired by that ragtag shambler: I was scared/excited of him (it) when I was a child.

Story about how this drink came into being… Friend of mine brought me a bottle of Vana Tallinn. “This is some vile s**t! I dare you, make some decent cocktail out of it!”

Okay, I wasn’t a big fan of Vana Tallinn either… it’s horribly sweet, and those herbs and spices don’t seem to blend with any other taste… but the gauntlet had been thrown down, I had to accept the challenge! I tried and tried, but every experiment ended in disaster. Finally I buried half-empty bottle in my cabinet, hoping that my friend would forget the whole thing…

…and then, Eureka! I was testing licorice vodka, and recollected that god-forsaken V.T.bottle… made a mix and instantly, upon tasting, I thought of S. Grundy.

-1 part licorice vodka

-1 part Vana Tallinn

Shake with ice and strain into chilled Old Fashioned glass filled with ice. As with H.Q., everything must be as cold as possible. Garnish with orange wedge… bright colour isn’t very “grundyish”, I know, but try tasting orange while drinking: aromas really blend.


One final word about this cocktail… I developed it last September. Last week, just before I started this blog, I found out that Liviko released special edition of Vana Tallinn to celebrate Finland’s 100th birthday (2017)… V.T. with licorice flavour!

Haven’t tried it yet, but looks like it’s basically bottled “Born on Monday”…although probably much sweeter. Anyway, I publish this recipe in spite of Special Edition V.T.




Talking about sad characters, perverted version of Superman… everything Bizarro does is backwards or somehow rwogn. So If Clark Kent, country boy from Kansas, drinks milk… then Bizarro drinks milk which is somehow “tainted”.

-2 parts licorice vodka

-1 part milk

Shake with ice and strain into chilled Old Fashioned glass filled with ice. If you find the taste too “stingy” try cream instead of milk… but stingy / weird / wicked taste is kinda whole idea.


So, you’ve probably realized that licorice vodka can be mixed with a lot of substances. Experience, explore… and please tell me about your inventions.

Happy New Year, everyone! See you in 2017: all the recipes so far have been more or less on the sweet side, I’ll be back with sour and/or dry cocktails.


And so it begins… (Superman, Batman)

It’s Christmas time, boring as usual… so why not get drunk?



So… “Truth, Justice and The American Way” are guidelines for the drink… I think it has to be simple, straightforward, blue (of course) and since there’s a word “American”… it has to be sweet and contain bourbon.

-4cl (1 1/2 oz) bourbon

-4cl simple syrup

-4cl Blue Curacao

-1 egg white

Shake with ice and strain into highball glass. Add some mineral water and ice, stir gently. Red straw, of course!




I’ll bet Batman is spending a LOT of time waiting for Bat Signal to appear into the sky… sitting there on the rooftop, in the rain… Jeez, he must be bored. Maybe he sips something like this…

-2 parts whisky

-2 parts unsweetened apple juice

-1 part DOM Benedictine

-1 part Kahlúa

-1 part lemon juice

Shake with ice and strain into highball glass filled with ice. I find that lemon peel in the drink improves the taste, especially if you’re using big glasses: aroma from the peel has time to sink in, but you can just garnish with lemon wedge if you like, or pass all the riffraff altoughter… but yellow lemon really is the great base to stick your Bat Logo to!



This picture has really nothing to do with cocktails, it’s just some blog example picture I don’t seem to be able to delete.

I’ll be posting another takes on Big Blue and Bats later on… but next time we’re going to examine Harley Quinn, Solomon Grundy and Bizarro.


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