I was asked to review the cocktail book ‘Handcrafted Cocktails – The Mixologist’s Guide to Classic Drinks for Morning, Noon and Night‘ by Molly Wellmann. I’m always eager to be inspired and learn more about the art of crafting cocktails so I took the bait and I’m glad I did. It’s a small book that is just packed with information and great recipes, well…I’m assuming great recipes if the first drink I spied that took my fancy is any measure. The book opened to this recipe for a Kitty Burke, it looked so refreshing on what was a hot day in Denver and I spied in the middle of the page a reference to the St. Louis Cardinals and I was done. I’m from St. Louis and no matter how long I’ve been gone or how far away I may be I will forever be a Cardinals fan. This drink was getting made; it did not hurt that it included Gin, Triple Sec, Cucumber and Mint; sounded fantastic.
Molly resides in Cincinnati and brings a world of experience to this endeavor. She is the co-owner of multiple bars in Cincinnati and was voted best mixologist/bartender in the city for three consecutive years; this girl has chops! The book includes chapters that provide basics for Bartending Tools and Techniques and another that discusses Spirits and Handcrafted Mixers but the best part is how she separates the remaining chapters of the book into sections for illuminating cocktails basically on the consideration of what time of the day they are best suited for. How convenient! In Drinks for the Morning there are hangover cures, pretty pink concoctions and more meant for a breakfast or brunch occasion. Additional chapters follow with Drinks for the Afternoon, Happy Hour Drinks, Drinks with Dinner and After Dinner Drinks.
The Kitty Burke is in Chapter 4: Drinks for the Afternoon. Don’t you love that…no longer resigned to having to wait until 5pm! The ingredients all contribute to such a light and totally refreshing beverage…some gin, orange flower water, mint and cucumber…makes you thirsty just thinking about it, huh?
I also noticed some familiar names in this chapter like the Mint Julep and Pisco Punch but I’m more excited about those I have yet to discover; the Koala cocktail might have to be tried soon; I’m absolutely enthralled about a cocktail that uses eucalyptus simple syrup!
Some of the cocktails have a story behind them and the Kitty Burke is one of those. Kitty was a Cincinnati burlesque dancer in the 1930’s who loved the Red Stockings that played at Crosley Field where she loved to heckle the batters. One night she became agitated enough with her team that she walked over to the on deck batter and took the bat from him to show him how to hit. GO KITTY!! The Cardinals pitcher threw her a pitch and and the rest is history. She hit the ball (even though it didn’t count, of course) but it did put her in the history books. The Reds gave her a uniform she even used in her act. I love the authors tone, I can not deny, indicating she made this cocktail with a little orange blossom water to give it a feminine touch but that it’s the perfect drink for bad-ass women to drink while watching and playing baseball better than men. Wish I had been there with Kitty…I can hear myself now, ‘You GO Girl!!’
I’ve got so many cocktails I want to make and guess what? One of my readers will be given this same book to make them too! If you’re ready to get your ‘cocktail on’ all you have to do is leave a comment; let’s see…how about you tell me what your favorite cocktail is; just because I’m curious! Really it’s that simple; jump to after the recipe for the Rules.
- 2 ounces gin
- 2 bar spoons triple sec
- 1 bar spoon orange blossom water
- 2 cucumber wheels
- 6 mint leaves
- Soda to top
- In a cocktail shaker, muddle the cucumber and mint leaves. Add the gin, triple sec and orange blossom water. Add ice, shake and strain into an ice filled old fashioned glass.
- Top with soda and gently stir.
- Garnish with a sprig of mint and a cucumber wheel.