Rakia 101: Making Cocktails With Dor?ol's Kinsman

To better understand the Serbian moonshine that is rakia (read Ron Bechtol's story on the new Dor?ol Distilling Company in this week's issue) I stopped by the boutique craft distillery on South Flores to learn more. Bartender Nick Kenna, who's in charge of the bar at Dor?ol, mixed a number of drinks ranging from easy to mildly difficult to demonstrate what home bartenders can whip up using a $60 bottle of the apricot rakia or Kinsman. If all else fails, visit Kenna at the bar's distillery at 1902 S. Flores. Bar/tasting hours:5pm-midnight Thu-Fri; 5pm-1am Sat. The first cocktail is a take on the French 75 (made with gin or brandy). Sub in rakia for gin or brandy. Serbian 77 1/2 ounce lemon juice 1/2 ounce simple syrup or elderflower liqueur 1 ounce Kinsman rakia 3 ounces bubbles of your choice (Kenna used Prosecco) Combine lemon juice, syrup or elderflower and rakia in a shaker; fill with ice. Shake and strain into flute or large coupe and top with Prosecco. Garnish with lemon twist. Rakia subs in for bourbon whiskey. The second cocktail, the favorite so far at the bar, is a riff on an bourbon-based classic. Old Fashioned 1/4 ounce anise-infused brown sugar 3 dashes bitters of choice Splash of water 1 1/2 ounces rakia In Old Fashioned glass, muddle sugar, bitters and water. Add rakia, ice and stir. The third, my personal favorite, was Kenna's take on a hot toddy. He adds whole leaf cardamom/cinnamon tea from Whole Foods in place of water.

Hot Toddy 3 ounces tea of choice (I say stick with a cinnamon, cardamom or chai blend) 1 1/2 ounces rakia 1/2 ounce lemon juice 1/2 ounce honey simple syrup Orange slice Cinnamon stick Combine all ingredients in a mug. Stir. Grate a dash of cinnamon over the drink and enjoy.
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