(I am the one who rides the Pale Horse, and yadda yadda...)
I was added to this illustrious page back in the printemps before I headed out on my epic drive from Boston to Santa Cruz, CA. Dubbed "The West Coast Correspondent," I might have perished in all the firing of wilds that has been going on in these parts for all you readers know...
Alas... I mean, "Hurrah!" such was not my fate, and today I finally add a wee bit of NorCal cocktailiana to this (were it papered and bound) tome.
That all being said, I'm going to start my entries with a drink made for me on my brief trip to Boston one month back.
You see, for all that San Francisco holds, what with their Rye's, and Alembic's, and Bourbon & Branch's, and Absinthe's... (I can, and will, go on), Santa Cruz has...
well, not much.
There are two places one could conceivably get a good cocktail, but in reality only one:
515 Kitchen and Cocktails has a decent selection of spirits behind the bar, and the bartendrixes have a pretty good idea of what to do with them.
However, though they've been wonderfully lovely in putting up with my whims and requests (most know now to give me an Old Fashioned consisting of ice, simple, bitters, rye and none else) it's not quite up to the level of what we would consider "craft cocktails."
The second "conceivable" place is The Red. What I mean is that one could look at their stocked bar and conceive of the varied and wondrous libations to issue forth from such a supplied wall of shelves. Unfortunately, the staff has barely a clue in making drinks, let alone anything one might consider a "classic cocktail."
Oh, and then there's The Crepe Place, which I mention, not because they can shake a sour any better than the previous two, but, simply, because they have Michters 6.
Drinking like this for almost six months, you can't even begin to imagine my glee when Tim, Jess and I piled into the Vdub to head on down to the Standard.
I had many lovely and lustrous libations, but I wanted to end the night in a special way.
Having just learned that ES was in possession of Frederic's bitters, I asked my favorite Kevin for "something with one of 'em in it." In fact, I may not have been as articulate as all that.
The result was pretty dam... darn nice, I must say light, semi-sweet (but not cloying!!) with an interesting amount of fruit.
I asked Kevin what this was.
He shrugged and said "you name it."
Well, gentle readers, this was truly a first for me. And, as is only right, I executed the great honor with great-er diligence. (As Jess and Tim can attest).
When I produced my chef d'oeuvre to Kevin, he shook his head, laughed, and proceed to write it down.
Thus, I give you:
The Brother Cadfael*
1.5 oz Old Monk Rum
.75 oz Stock Maraschino
.75 oz Pimms
4-5 drops Fred's grapefruits bitters
stir well over ice and serve straight up with a lemon twist.
*"Brother Cadfael" is the fictitious creation of Ellis Peters, played by Derek Jacobi on the PBS series "Mystery."
Cadfael is a mystery-solving monk during the reign of King Stephen in England (covering Old Monk Rum, and Pimms). Among several duties he is an herbalist and tends the orchards of the monastery (covers the bitters and the Maraschino... although that is a stretch, as I highly doubt a 12th cen. English monastery had a cherry orchard, or grapefruit... well sue me, I made it fit as best I could!!!)