Wednesday, August 16, 2017

midnight marauder

1 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida (Montelobos)
1 oz Bonal Gentiane Quina
1 oz Cynar
1 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a Nick & Nora glass (cocktail coupe).

Two Wednesdays ago, I scanned through my new purchase of Emma Janzen's Mezcal book and decided upon the Midnight Marauder. The recipe was created by Joaquin Simo of Pouring Ribbons and described as "the dark & twisty sibling of the Negroni." Since the combination of Bonal, Cynar, and chocolate worked so well in the An Epic and a Limerick, I was definitely curious to see what mezcal would add to the combination.
In the glass, the Midnight Marauder proffered smoky agave with chocolate and grape notes to the nose. Next, a grape and caramel sip led into smoky mezcal pairing well with funky bitter flavors on the swallow and a quinine and chocolate finish.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

pimmsy whimsy

1 1/2 oz Pimm's No. 1
1/2 oz Redemption Rye Whiskey
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with 2 oz ginger beer, top with ice, garnish with a cucumber wheel and mint sprigs, and add straws.
Two Tuesdays ago, I wandered down to Backbar and found a seat in front of bartender Amanda Greenfield. For a first drink, I asked Amanda for the Pimmsy Whimsy off of the menu which she described as being Kat Lamper's creation. In the glass, the garnishes provided fresh vegetal cucumber and mint aromas. Next, a carbonated lemon, honey, and fruity sip gave way to ginger, rye, and herbal notes on the swallow.

Monday, August 14, 2017

yellow flower

2/3 Dry Gin (1 1/2 oz Citadelle)
1 dash Parfait Amour (1/4 oz Marie Brizard)
1 dash Orange Curaçao (1/4 oz Pierre Ferrand)
1 dash Dry Vermouth (1 oz Noilly Prat)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I added a lemon twist.
Two Mondays ago, I turned to Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 for a nightcap. There in the gin section was a floral Martini riff called the Yellow Flower that seemed worthy of a go; often I am skeptical of parfait amour drinks due to the liqueur's candy vanilla-violet note, but here it was utilized in a light touch. Once prepared, the Yellow Flower presented a lemon, pine, orange, vanilla, and floral bouquet to the nose. Next, a sweet orange sip led into gin, vanilla, and violette on the swallow. Perhaps cutting the two liqueurs down to a barspoon each would have made this drink more dry and Martini like.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

miracles take longer

1 1/2 oz JM Rhum Agricole Blanc
1/2 oz Mezcal Amaras
1/2 oz Maple Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
For my drink of the day at Loyal Nine two Saturdays ago, I was inspired by the Mr. Howell to create a smoky Sour. Originally, I wanted to go with pisco as the main ingredient with mezcal as the smoky accent which worked well in the Firecracker Cocktail and the 1491; however, we were running low on pisco upstairs at the bar and perhaps a funky agricole might pair better with the mezcal. I kept the Mr. Howell's maple syrup and lime juice components but added in some Angostura Bitters spice to dry out the maple a touch. For a name, I decided on a song title from the Television Personalities from 1987 that was perhaps named after a 1984 British television drama series.

Friday, August 11, 2017

la tour eiffel

2 1/2 oz XO Cognac (2 oz Courvoisier VS)
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz Suze (Salers)

Stir with ice and strain into a flute glass (Double Old Fashioned) rinsed with absinthe (Kübler). Garnish with a lemon twist.

Two Fridays ago, I decided to make another recipe from the Gary Regan article on Sazerac variations called La Tour Eiffel; I wanted to make this one before the Creole Sazerac, but I had run out of lemons for the garnish. Gary created this riff while on a tour of Cognac distilleries, and he was asked to create new drinks with a Cognac base as part of the event. He wondered what it would be like if the Sazerac had been created in Orleans, France, instead of New Orleans. Since Sazeracs began as a Cognac drink before Phyloxera shifted it to a rye whiskey drink, he took that direction as well as keeping the absinthe rinse. However, he figured that a French bartender might have swapped the simple syrup for Cointreau, and instead of Peychaud's Bitters, perhaps a gentian liqueur might work.
Once prepared, La Tour Eiffel gave forth lemon, anise, and gentian aromas to the nose. Next, an orange-tinged sip gave way to Cognac, more orange, and gentian flavors with a light anise-herbal finish.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

rougarou daiquiri

1 3/4 oz Barbancourt 8 Year Rum
3/4 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 bsp St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
During Tales of the Cocktail, I met a New Orleans local who told me about his childhood fears of the Rougarou, a werewolf that roams the Bayou and snatches up little kids. The term is believed to have stemmed from the French word loup-garou, and the spelling and pronunciation change was probably through the Cajuns in that region. So for the drink of the day two Thursdays ago at Loyal Nine, I tried to capture the funk of the swamp and the swamp monster itself in a glass, and I came up with a Daiquiri variation inspired in part by the Navy Dock Daiquiri and the Frequent Flier. I was originally going to go with the Smith & Cross Rum in the Navy Dock Daiquiri, but instead I opted for the slightly funky Barbancourt 8 Year Rhum especially given the Haitian connection to mysticism.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

route 287

2 oz Tequila
1/2 oz Lillet Blanc
1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a Highball glass, and top with ~4 oz IPA beer. Gently stir, garnish with a pineapple wedge-grapefruit slice flag, and add a straw.
After Yvonne's, I made my way over to Stoddard's where I found a seat in front of bartender Tony Iamunno. For a drink, I asked for the Route 287 which was Tony's tribute to perhaps the north-south highway that runs through Texas. Once prepared and served, the Route 287 gave forth pineapple and grapefruit notes to the nose from the garnish. Next, a malty and pineapple sip slid into tequila on the swallow with a cinnamon and grapefruit finish.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

rose thorn

1 1/2 oz Hendrick's Gin
3/4 oz Combier Liqueur de Rose
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Grenadine

Shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass, fill with crushed ice, garnish with mint sprigs, and add straws.
Two Wednesdays ago, I ventured to Downtown Crossing and began my evening at Yvonne's. At their library bar, I found a seat in front of bartender Tom Hardy and requested the Rose Thorn from the menu. Tom described how this recipe was created by bartender Bruno Prado. In the glass, the Rose Thorn offered up a mint bouquet to the nose that led into a fruity sip from the lemon and pomegranate notes. Next, the swallow gave forth gin and rose flavors with the latter coming across in the similar way as violet can in drinks.

Monday, August 7, 2017

:: the daiquiri time out ::

In my book, Boston Cocktails: Drunk & Told, I wanted to get at the heart of the Boston-born (or re-born) phenomenon of the Daiquiri Time Out (DTO). My curiosity stemmed from a bartender in town claiming to have been there when the DTO was first started, but the math did not add up into making sense. Therefore, I asked DTO founder Andrew Dietz if I could ask him a few questions to nail down the history. Here is an excerpt of the full interview that appears in Drunk & Told:

What year did the DTO start for you? What were the circumstances?
The DTO started in the summer of 2010. A group of like-minded friends and myself were out on Martha's Vineyard (specifically Chappaquiddick) discussing some historical situations and how they may have played out differently had the people involved stopped, taken a moment, and had a well-made Daiquiri to pontificate upon. We didn't make a decision for the following week without a Daiquiri in hand.

Are DTOs full sized drinks? Are they split?

A DTO is a celebration of the act of taking a moment through one of the most simple and versatile cocktails of all time. Everyone's DTO is different. It can be a shot or large format. It can be classic, blended, or an obscure rift just as long as time slows down.

Describe how the momentum behind the DTO built up to the room at Boston's The Thing 2013 and Tales of the Cocktail 2015?
The Daiquiri has a tremendous amount of history here in Massachusetts. Starting with the storied history of rum production, to the favoring of the cocktail by the Kennedys, to the modern resurgence of classic cocktails, this was bound to be a cocktail we aligned with here. I got back from Martha's Vineyard that summer and grabbed all of Boston's best bartending talent including Jackson Cannon, John Gertsen, Pat Sullivan, and many others, and lobbied that this is the way we should greet one another and celebrate our industry, and it took hold. The Thing was an event to celebrate Boston's best bartending talent, so it was only fitting that we stopped in the middle to take a collective time out. As for Tales, the DTO has spread across the country and even the globe, so given that Tales of the Cocktail is our national/global cocktail festival, Ann figured this was a good way for everyone to take a moment and celebrate what it is we all do.
Where does the Daiquiri fit into the cocktail craze?
The Daiquiri fits in beautifully for a couple of reasons. It is one of the simplest cocktails to make well while providing an incredible canvas for improvisation. I think the Daiquiri will be an important cocktail for many years to come.

What have you learned about bars from their Daiquiri theory and quality?
Watching the different variants of the DTO has taught me a lot because the DTO is as much about hospitality as it is about quality. I have seen bars create DTO-only cocktail lists, mail DTOs via FedEx, make frozen DTO popsicles, dehydrate DTO into powder, [use] DTO-filled squirt guns, and many more. It has taught me all of the different ways that we can celebrate and collaborate in this industry and have a great deal of enjoyment doing it. As for the Daiquiris themselves I have seen an endless amount of variations at this point so honestly it has only challenged my understanding of just how incredibly versatile a drink like this can be.

Who else would you credit for building up the DTO as we now know it?
The list goes on and on and there are too many shout outs to mention. I will say it truly calls home here in Boston, so I would have to give particular love to Patrick Sullivan, Ted Kilpatrick, John Gertsen, Jackson Cannon, Kevin Martin, and Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli. That is barely even scratching the surface just for Boston, but it's a start. Outside of Boston, the satellite offices of DTO seem to be in Denver as a result of Sean Kenyon, Seattle because of Jim Romdall, and Nantucket because of Clinton Terry. I've heard of DTOs being taken in Montréal, Vancouver, Taipei, Munich, London, and Paris, but I'm not totally sure whom to credit.

The full interview along with about 20 essays and bartender spotlights and 850+ drinks from 100+ bars and restaurants in and around Boston can be found in Boston Cocktails: Drunk & Told available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and often the Boston Shaker store.