Capel Mango – Piscol Capel (Chile)


  • My Rating: [C]

Capel Mango – Pisco Capel, 15% ABV – 700ml., (Chile)

from their site

“This cocktail combines a delicate mango aroma with a tropical mango flavor. Its color is opaque yellow and orange with medium turbidity. The nose is intensely tropical with a clear mango character. On the palate, it has a pleasant balance of sweet tropical fruit and the citric acid taste of lemons, plus the elegance and softness of Pisco alcohol.”

  • Style: Ready-to-drink Cocktail
  • Taste: Fruity berry alcohol bitter sweet drinkable smooth
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores (?), no longer sold 8/2015
  • How much: ~$13 – 700ml, sometime in 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this at drinking parties: mostly artificial tasting, can’t love it.

Visual: Lasting whipped creamy foamy head when shaken with ice, pours opaque light orange.

Nose: sugary mango juice, light tang. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: dense cloying sugars, mint herbacious

Mid-palate: sugar-forward, (lvl-7)-sweetness, (MAIN) mango juice-syrup, alcohol bitterness

Finish: subtle spearmint extract exhale, light lime tartness, sweet fruity candy mango finish.

Summary: Nice head when shaken, simple straightforward mango taste with a minty backdrop and a mild tangy skeleton. Overall partially artificial-tasting, but drinkable. Wouldn’t want seconds.

Vodka-Cranberry Elderflower – Sage Mixology (Ontario, Canada)


  • My Rating: [C+]

Vodka-Cranberry Elderflower – Sage Mixology, 15% ABV, 345ml. Vodka + 405ml Juice, (Ontario, Canada)

Ingredients: filtered water, Vodka, sugar, cranberry concentrate, pressed blackcurrant juice, blueberry concentrate, elderflower juice (from concentrate), citric acid, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate. Contains sulphites. Gluten free (non-grain based vodka?)


  • Style: Ready-to-drink Cocktail
  • Taste: Fruity berry alcohol bitter sweet drinkable smooth
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $16 – 345ml. + 405ml, July 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this at drinking parties: not bad as a party starter

Visual: Attractive and unique 2-in-1 bottle-in-a-bottle; Vodka in the outer, cran-elderflower in the center. Pours pale ruby pink, clear as water.

Nose: fruity perfume-like scent, sugary elderflower syrup. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: fruity sweet, incoming syrupy-sweetened alcohol

Mid-palate: alcohol bitterness, (lvl-6)-concentrated sugar sweetness, (MAIN) plastic, cranberry tartness, blackcurrant-berry

Finish: tart-light cloying, fruity sweet finish.

Summary: Goes down okay and you know that there’s real fruit juice in there even though it’s from concentrate. Punchy bold fruit flavours but still only a sub-par substitute to mixing cranberry-blueberry juice and vodka yourself; this seems overly diluted. Convenience factor for sure.

Vieux Carré Cocktail


  • My Rating: B- (an enjoyable sipper)

A couple of days ago a friend asked me where she could find a bottle of Peychaud’s Bitters. Sure enough I found a place that sold it but minutes later another request for Bénédictine Liqueur popped up. In a rare flash of brilliance + with the help of those Google-targeted ads I discovered that a certain someone had a craving for the 1930s Vieux Carré cocktail (meaning “old square”, named for the French Quarter in New Orleans). Since I hadn’t made one before I thought I would give one a go; Thus, my attempt at a much beloved classic invented by the head bartender of The Monteleone Hotel in New Orleans, Walter Bergeron. Here is an great article written by Brian Quinn at, where he explains that this is a sipping cocktail, made with the build techinique. Rushing into it as usual, I made mine incorrectly using a Boston shaker. Below are my proportions:

  • 30ml Ri rye whiskey
  • 30ml Cizano Rosso sweet vermouth
  • 30ml Hennessy Black cognac
  • 5ml Bénédictine DOM liqueur
  • 2 dashes Pechaud’s bitters
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • garnish with lemon slice + cherry

Reaction: This is quite similar to a Manhattan, but I like this much, much more. Firstly it’s more palatable and there’s a nice balanced complexity that is present here, especially after 15 minutes where the ingredients have the time to meld together. Initially I get the rye grain + Bénédictine sweetness, and then comes the cognac vanilla + oak, and finally the vermouth spices and bitter herbals at the finish.

Final notes: I agree 100% with Mr. Quinn that this is a sipper, and a superbly enjoyable one at that. The first sip has the boldest caramel flavours, and as time goes on the sweetness and spices take the driver’s seat. One negative aspect of this drink is having to acquire 6 ingredients + a lemon and cherry. But IMO, this one is worth the effort to make.


Olympic (Brandy-based cocktail)

Olympic (Brandy-based cocktail)

-45ml Brandy (St-Remy)
-45ml Orange Curacao (Henkes)
-45ml Fresh OJ (Australian naval)

Notes: sweet brandy backdrop with orange on the forefront. Much better mixed together than drinking separately. C+.

Manhattan Cocktail



  • 2.5oz Bourbon or Rye (I used Rye)
  • 0.5oz Sweet Vermouth (Red, I used Rosso)
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 Maraschino cherry for garnish

Directions: Shake, double-strain and garnish

Rating: D (below average strong alcoholic classic cocktail, causes a gag reflex 1/4 through) (above recipe is NOT good, need at least 25% vermouth, see below)

What is happening to the ingredients: The spiciness, tip of tongue tingle, and warming effect of the rye is negated by the sweetness of the sweet vermouth, creating a more smoother drinking experience. The Angostura bitters adds a bitter finish to round out the drink. Can’t say I like this drink. I like the characteristics of the rye and the bitters by themselves. Individually tasting the sweet vermouth I can say that it is the culprit that is ruining the drink. Must retry with a different and NEWLY OPENED bottle of vermouth.

Re-tasted 7/14/2015 with IBA Official Recipe

  • 5cl rye whiskey
  • 2cl sweet vermouth
  • dash of angostura bitters
  • cherry garnish

Notes: This time I muddled 6 fresh Ranier cherries, shake & strain, garnish. Very smooth now with almost 50% vermouth; more spice, bitterness, and the alcohol comes last. Rating upgraded to C+. Here’s a fantastic article on how to make a good Manhattan.