Frederic (frederic) wrote,

International Migratory Bird Day Cocktails

So for our cocktail party last weekend, we had 20 bird-themed cocktails in celebration of International Migratory Bird Day (May 10th). Seventeen of them were old school, one was created recently by Robert Hess (a/k/a Drinkboy), and two were Frederic originals.

The Robert Hess drink, The Black Feather was by far the most popular of the night. I believe that we made 9 of these alone. To read Hess' description, click here; and to see him make one and discuss it, follow this Youtube link.
• 2 oz Brandy
• 1 oz Dry Vermouth
• 1/2 oz Cointreau
• 1 dash Angostura Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

The two originals were:

Frigate Bird Cocktail
• 1 1/2 oz Batavia Arrack
• 1/2 oz Cherry Heering
• 1/4 oz Falernum
• 1/4 oz Grenadine
• 1 dash Orange Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. While looking for bird cocktails, there were a few that seemed missing. Two were the albatross and the boobie (which I renamed nonalcoholic cocktails that), and two others were these. The Batavia Arrack is a rather spicy rum and the Falernum added to that spiciness. The Cherry Heering was originally the only red to represent the frigate bird's mating display, except the drink was too dry. The grenadine added sweetness and more redness to the drink. Fans of sweeter drinks might want to double the grenadine, but it was plenty sweet for my tastes.

Passenger Pigeon
• 2 oz Calvados
• 1/2 oz Allspice Dram (Pimento Dram)
• 1 dash Angostura Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. The concept of the drink started as a rye drink with the pimento dram, but rye did not work well with the flavors as it was; perhaps some sweet vermouth could have rectified that. Instead I substituted the rich-flavoredness of Calvados to balance things out. Reactions ranged from it being the wrong season (rather autumnal of a drink although apple brandies are all year round for me), to being too much Allspice (either you like it or you don't, I guess) to praise. It was a rather hit-or-miss drink whereas the Frigate Bird was more universal (although definitely not as smooth as the Black Feather).

Stork Club Cocktail
• 1 1/2 oz Gin
• 1/2 oz Triple Sec
• 1/4 oz fresh Lime Juice
• 1 oz fresh Orange Juice
• 1 dash Angostura Bitters
Shake with ice and strain. Read about the history in this LUPEC article.

White Pelican
• 1 3/4 oz Gin
• 1/2 oz Dry Vermouth
• 1/4 oz Sweet Vermouth
Stir with ice and strain. I only made one of these but it was a fine way to highlight the Vya vermouths in a slightly perfect Martini variant.

Yellow Bird
• 1 oz Light Rum
• 1/2 oz Cointreau
• 1/2 oz Galliano
• 1/2 oz Lime Juice
Shake with ice and strain. One of the many recipes that I found. Seemed to have the best balance overall.

Cardinal
• 1 oz Gin
• 3/4 oz Campari
• 3/4 oz Dry Vermouth
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Add lemon twist. Basically a dry Negroni variant; not as rich, but just as tasty.

Apple Hawk Cocktail
• 1 1/4 oz Applejack
• 1 1/4 oz Grapefruit Juice
• 1/4 tsp Sugar
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. We were able to make the apple hawk, but sadly not the black hawk since good Sloe Gin isn't currently being shipped to Massachusetts. Hopefully that will change.

Blue Heron
• 2 oz Bourbon
• 1 oz Crème de Cassis
• 1/2 oz Cognac
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Originally, this drink was meant to be made with Canadian whisky and blue berry brandy, but I substituted bourbon and creme de cassis. The bourbon I used for the pair I made was Bookers.

Penguin Cocktail
3/4 oz Benedictine
3/4 oz Cherry Heering
3/4 oz Gin
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. This recipe is the same one I use for my Raffle's Hotel Sling (Singapore Sling) save for the 4 oz or so of soda water.

Swan Cocktail
• 1 oz Lime Juice
• 1/2 oz Gin
• 3/4 oz Dry Vermouth
• 1/4 oz Pastis
• 2 dashes Bitters
Shake with ice and strain. The bitters for this drink were originally Abbott's except the FDA did away with that since it contained tonka bean which can cause intestinal bleeding in large amounts (probably not in the amounts used in cocktails) in rats. Cocktailians surmise that tonka bean was used as a cheaper substitute for vanilla bean since they both taste alike. Small batches (and hopefully larger, commercial batches) have been made using vanilla beans to try to recreate old recipes. Instead, I used a combination of Angostura and Peychauds (2 and 1 dash, respectively).

Crow Cocktail
• 1 1/2 oz Rye
• 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
• 1/4 oz Grenadine
• 1/2 tsp Sugar
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Very different from my last cocktail menu, this was the only rye drink on here (and no one ordered it so the rye was untouched!). The recipe can also be made with bourbon.

Swan Song
• 3/4 oz Brandy
• 3/4 oz Applejack
• 3/4 oz Orange Juice
• 1/4 oz Grenadine
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Having the Swan and the Swan Song both on the menu made for some mix ups, but there were other people glad to take the mistake into their glass-filled hands.

Blue Bird
• 1 1/2 oz Gin
• 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
• 1/4 oz Curacao
• 1 dash Angostura Bitters
• 1 dash Blue Food Coloring
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Several variations of this one, most of which call for blue curacao which I lack, but not all. This is a hybrid. And I compromised by offering food coloring. Alas, no one ordered one of these.

Yellow Parrot
• 3/4 oz Pastis
• 3/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
• 3/4 oz Apricot Flavored Brandy
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Some people honed in on this drink and spoke of it as their favorite. We've made this one before when we acquired the last ingredient (which was either the Chartreuse or the apricot brandy).

Flamingo
• 1 oz Gin
• 1/2 oz Lime Juice
• 1/2 oz Apricot Brandy
• 1/4 oz Grenadine
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Red Robin
• 1 oz Plymouth Gin
• 1 oz Red Dubonnet
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. The drink was originally a vodka drink, but Plymouth gin is pretty much vodka anyways...

Mexican Eagle
• 1 1/2 oz Tequila
• 3/4 oz Rum
• 3/4 French Vermouth
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. The perfect drink for a friend who is a big tequila and rum fan; it did not disappoint.

Dodo Cocktail
• 1 1/2 oz Gin
• 1/2 oz Creme de Menthe
• 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Eider Duck
• 3/4 oz Brandy
• 3/4 oz Kirsch
• 3/4 oz Cointreau
• 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. One of the drinks that I made that I wish I had tried. Still time after the fact to do so.

There were many drinks that didn't make the cut including the Prairie Hen, Fluffy Duck, Woodpecker (2 oz of vodka with an obscene 15 dashes of Peychauds over ice??), Spotted Parrot, Eagle, Eagle's Dream, Blackhawk, and the Bird.
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