October 8 – Mudslide

Ready-Made

Personally, I’m not a fan of ready-made booze products. But it’s a topic I feel should be discussed and what better time to do it than while we enjoy a fresh serving of one of the more popular bottled options, the Mudslide. Here are some other pre-mixed selections available on the market:

Mudslide – Packaged by the folks at Kahlua (among other companies), this is one concoction that I’ve actually tried and I remember (stop laughing… I do have some brain cells left) enjoying. Of course, this was years before I got into mixology and I don’t think I’d try this type of product nowadays.

Kahlua Mudslide

Caesar – There’s been quite the market the last few years for ready-made Caesars and while it’s nice to have such a complicated recipe simplified in bottle form, I think the Caesar truly shines when you put all those intricate ingredients together yourself.

Cola Mixes – This can be done with rum, whiskey, bourbon, etc. with companies such as Bacardi, Malibu, Bulleit, Jim Beam, and Jack Daniel’s flooding the market. Broski Sip and I did find ourselves enjoying Jack Daniel’s Hard Cola on one vacation, but that was many moons before I became the Sip Advisor you worship today… I’m a bit of a booze snob now. Most of these liquor companies also offer their spirit mixed with ginger ale for the anti-cola drinker.

Gin & Tonic – G&T’s are so easy to make, it amazes me that anyone would need it to be pre-mixed and bottled for them, but the world has become incredibly lazy. Gordon’s is one prominent company that has jumped aboard the ‘ready-to-drink’ train. Smirnoff also offers a vodka tonic mix.Gordon's G&T

Cosmopolitan – I guess you could still pour your Cosmo bottle into a martini glass, but I think all of the class and sophistication the drink is supposed to come with would be lost. The girls on Sex and the City would be so horrified!

Mojito – I strive to make a wicked Mojito and have received rave reviews. I just can’t fathom enjoying a pre-mixed version of the cocktail, so I’ll just move on.

Long Island Iced Tea – I am a fan of the pre-mixed Long Island Iced Tea spirit, combining vodka, gin, rum, and triple sec in one fell swoop, but I don’t think I’d like a pre-bottled version of the drink, eliminating the chance for me to play with different mixers.

Long Island Iced Tea Box

Long Island Iced Tea in a box!?!? Oh, shizzle, where do I sign up!

Dark N’ Stormy – Made by the Bundaberg Rum company, I only wonder if they got clearance from the Gosling’s folks to bottle this drink, since Gosling’s claims a copyright on the Dark N’ Stormy recipe and will fight bartenders who use it sans Gosling’s Rum.

Daiquiri/Margarita – I’ve seen these offerings in a wide array of flavours, from lime to strawberry to mango and everything in between. I’m a huge fan of the legitimate versions of these drinks and am curious to try the pre-mixed style, but also a little cautious, as well.

Pina Colada – We finish with the Pina Colada, which troubles me a little because I think the drink is best received in frozen form. I guess you could add it to shaved ice, much like a snow cone, but given we are mired in the onset of winter, I can’t even think about summer drinks at the moment.

Drink #281: Mudslide

Mudslide Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Tequila (I used Hornitos)
  • 0.5 oz Kahlua
  • 0.5 oz Chocolate Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Irish Crème
  • Top with Chocolate Milk
  • Garnish with Peanut Butter Cup

It seems that all of your popular cocktails have been released in pre-mix form. That’s capitalism for you, I suppose. If this is how you prefer to get your swerve on, I don’t hate you… I just don’t like you very much!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
There are a variety of Mudslide recipes in existence. The ingredients I used are an amalgamation of those offerings. The Tequila stood out a little stronger than I would have liked, but otherwise, the cocktail was passable.

January 3 – Manhattan

The Rat Pack enjoy a drink and a laugh together.

The Rat Pack enjoy a drink and a laugh together. Not a rare sight.

The Manhattan is one of my favourite cocktails. It makes me think about the glory days of The Rat Pack – it was among their preferred drink of choice, after all – and the sort of Golden Age they lived through. Back when you had to have some level of talent to be a star, instead of a boob job, hit YouTube video or trashy reality show. A time of fedora hats, pin-striped suits and crazy, yet mysteriously classy parties. I love the stories of Frank, Dean, Sammy and the gang working long hours filming their movies and partying through the night before heading back to work the next day. These guys oozed swagger and machismo and made it look easy. If these originators of cool loved the Manhattan, that’s good enough for me.

Near the top on my growing bucket list, liquor edition, is have a Manhattan, while in Manhattan. If I happen to be donning a fedora and be decked out in a pin-striped suit, that would be the icing on the cake. Not that I’m saying that I own a fedora and pin-striped suit (but I do). I like to think that I’d be making the boys proud.

The Manhattan recipe is fairly simple, but one of the beauties of it is the interchangeable parts. I like trying different whiskies and bourbons to achieve a different taste. Some of my preferred alcohols to use include Jim Beam Black Cherry Bourbon (suggested to me by an instructor at Fine Art Bartending), Jack Daniel’s Honey Whiskey (suggested by me to that very same instructor) and for the Canadian in all of us, Crown Royal. The Sweet Vermouth can also be subbed out for a variety of different results. Dry Vermouth can be used instead, as can other liqueurs like Maraschino Cherry flavoured, Grand Marnier and many other options. Be playful with your own recipe and see what you come up with.

There are two ways that I like to present the Manhattan. The first is in a martini glass (the traditional way) and the second is on ice in a rocks glass. Both drinks use the same proportions, with the only difference being that for the Manhattan martini, you stir (don’t shake) all the ingredients with ice and strain from a mixer. Both drinks I’ve garnished with a Maraschino cherry, although the cherry in the martini glass just sunk to the bottom to make nice bourbon-soaked treat waiting for you at the finish line!

Drink #3: The Manhattan

Manhattan Cocktail

  • 3 oz Whiskey or Bourbon of your choice (I used Jim Beam Black Cherry Bourbon)
  • 2 oz Sweet Vemouth
  • Dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

Let me know if you have any whiskey suggestions or any other tweaks to the Manhattan recipe. Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I love Manhattans so much that I made two different versions! I’ve always been more of an ‘on the rocks’ type guy, but the Martini version of the cocktail was good, too. I have to give a super thumbs up to my decision to use Black Cherry Bourbon in these recipes and suggest you do, as well.