Alcoholic bottles look pretty funky.
These bottles range from simple to scary (I'm looking at you, human skull vodka with flecks of rose gold mixed with blood), and are truly a deep dive masterclass in presentation. Maker to maker, the micro decisions involved in the glass used, the formation of the bottle, the height, cork, top, design, and art can be game changers. And this is especially true for new samplers of products. You've all seen my post on the Sexton Irish Whiskey - awesome bottle, great presentation, but not my favorite whiskey; disappointing, but they got the sale.
Now, I embrace sampler bottles ("little nips" they're often called). Tiny 50 mL bottles, some for just a buck or two, and I can experiment. But even those decisions are still framed in the overall presentation. The honeycomb ridged bottle of my honey liqueur drew me to its sampler, and now it's a staple on my shelf (Barenjager, for those of you interested). This is how I discovered my love of Jack Daniel's - Original, Honey, Fire - that 750 mL bottle is cool; easy to move like a handle and a beautiful lower 2/3 block that rests well and sturdy.
A large spread of certain "cheaper" brands tend toward the same bottle design. Hiram Walker uses the same design for every single liqueur in their suite; 750 mL high, with all vibrant, easily read labels. Vodka - Smirnoff, Ketel One, Grey Goose - follows a similar trend. Bacardi has its structure on lock. But then Wild Turkey shows up, and every pursuit is a different design; Longbranch is different from their standard which is different from their American Honey - all gorgeous bottles.
And each, though sometimes visually unique or at the very least a variation of an old design, is still industrially standardized for measurement. 750 mL for standard retail size, 375 mL for a smaller version, and 1.75 Liters (1750 mL) for those big Tito's jugs (Captain Morgan and Dewers, and many others do the same thing). You may see some even variable 500 mL rebels, or the strange skulls of 900 mL, but those tend to be your ballparks.
What this means is that when I find something I enjoy, whether by merit of its presentation or by discovery of its imbibing worth through taste and flexibility, chances are that the bottle it is delivered in...is still in my house. As I learn much about making bitters, wine, mead, syrups, and liqueurs all my own, I would be remiss to simply discard the numerous array of interesting bottles and containers I have collected through my personal explorations and mixology.
So when I opened my cabinet this morning and saw a certain 750 mL liqueur nearly depleted, and a certain drink nearing the end of its secondary staging (soon to be in dire need of bottling for its final aging), a keen thought emerged. Make a trio of cocktails, and FINALLY use up that old bottle of Blue Curacao.
2 oz Tequila
1 oz Blue Curacao
1 oz Lime Juice
Ice, salt on the rim, and a lime wedge
+ This is the classic margarita. Duh.
+ Refreshing, but I actually recommend the snooty tequila - get some gold Patron to avoid some of that burn.
+ Tastes like vacation.
1 oz Vodka
1 oz Gin
3/4 oz Blue Curacao
1 oz Orgeat
Splash of Lime Juice
2 oz soda water (recommending Soda Water with Lime)
+ This is super tasty
+ As a guy who can sometimes get ill with Blue Curacao, this feels like an excellent way to mitigate that triggered flavor.
+ Soda Water with some melted ice thins this into a bright lime soda; refreshing
+ Great little spice from the Gin
+ I would easily make this for myself.
Blue Island Iced Tea
Get ready for the beast.
1/2 oz each of the following: vodka, tequila, white rum, gin, blue curaçao
1 oz Lemon Juice
Fill with Ginger Ale (3 to 5 ounces)
+ The Ginger Ale is the defining feature here. It elevates the entire drink.
+ Strong, sweet, easy to drink...
+ ...do be careful, sweethearts.
And with that, my Blue Curacao bottle is empty and I can get back to more important things. ;)
Be responsible, my Smurfs.
Professional Game Master musician, music teacher, game designer, amateur bartender, and aspiring fiction author.
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