Friday, 12 March 2010

Cocktailing for beginners Pt 5 :- Triple Sec

Another odd ingredient, that turns out not to be as weird as you think. Triple sec is a liqueur made of bitter oranges, Cointreau is pretty much a premium brand triple sec (though it is stronger than most )  and 90+% of the time can be switched in without issue. The sec (french for dry) refers to the fact that it is less sweet (typically a 1/3rd the sweetness) than  Curaçao. Grand Marnier is an imperfect substitute as it is made from cognac rather than neutral spirit, often leading to the wrong balance of flavours in a drink.

Triple sec finds its way into a whole raft of different cocktails including several of the "classics" since the big 3 Cointreau cocktails require spirits we've no got round too yet I've gone off the beaten track and into the stacks to bring you something using the ingredients we have covered.

The New York Experience
Equal parts

Dry vermouth
Triple Sec

Stir with ice, strain pour & garnish with lemon peel

An easy one to make with a really complex taste, the herbals from the vermouth get tangled in the citrus of the triple-sec and the wood/smoke notes of the bourbon. But its an easy drinking cocktail and an almost perfect aperitif, the dryness stimulating the taste buds nicely.

If you are enjoying making cocktails and are thinking of buying some equipment you could do worse than investing in a bar spoon. This is a long handled teaspoon, often with a muddling plate at the opposite end of the handle. Whilst any old spoon will do for stirring drinks the barspoon makes it easy to get to the bottom of a mixing glass and ensure that everything gets thoroughly stirred up before pouring. Most cocktail writers don't like to give a teaspoon as a measure, using a barspoon instead. Its a handy tool though and a good start on building a cocktail tool kit.

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