Saturday, June 21, 2008

green ghost

2 oz gin
1/2 oz green Chartreuse
1/2 oz lime juice

Shake with ice and pour into a cocktail glass (or at Green Street, a champagne coupe). Recipe from CocktailDB.com and I assume Green Street does not vary greatly from this recipe.

For my second and last drink last night, I followed up the Avery's Arrack-ari with a lime drink of similar complexity, an old favorite called the Green Ghost. For some reason, Andrea does not care for the combination of gin with either Chartreuse (despite the fact that she loves both ingredients separately), so often I will choose these cocktails when I am out and not mixing for two at home. Andy was more than happy to make it for me, although his super-excitement shows through when Andrea asks for a suggestion on a glass of bourbon like she did last night.

While googling for a drink history of this cocktail, the first entry was by Lauren Clark of DrinkBoston.com, which is interesting in that she walked into Green Street after attending the craft beer fest and sat down next to us to chat as I ordered and drank my Green Ghost. The history of the cocktail is pretty slim save for CocktailDB citing "J. B. Hurrell" as the creator.

avery's arrack-ari

1 1/2 oz Batavia Arrack
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
Talisker 10 year rinse

Shaken with ice and strained into a cocktail coupe rinsed with scotch and garnished with a lime wedge.

Last night, Andrea and I went to Green Street after getting Tibetan Food at Rangzen. My first cocktail of the night was a return to the arrack cocktail I had last time (yet only blogged about the Lion's Tail). This new cocktail on Green Street's recently redone small cocktail menu was created by the Avery's of Bittermens Bitters. And surprisingly, they skipped the use of their bitters in this drink.

The smokiness and spiciness of the Batavia arrack were complimented rather well by the Talisker 10 year old rinse. Last time the rinse was a bit more prevalent in the taste, and this time was sorely missed. The lime juice and simple syrup do serve to smooth over the rough edges a bit and add some sweetness to an otherwise super dry cocktail.

Obviously I rather enjoyed this one if I had it the last two visits at Green Street. It is good to see arrack making a comeback in the cocktail world.

Friday, June 20, 2008

aviation (1916 variant)

3 oz gin
1 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz maraschino liqueur
1/4 oz creme de violette

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry or lemon twist.

Another Aviation variant appears in this blog here.

Last night, Andrea and I went to the Forest Hills Educational Trust's summer solstice event. Besides guided walking and trolley tours, there was also food and drink. Some of the drink was provided by the lovely ladies of LUPEC. Both Fancy Brandy and Pinky Gonzales were on hand to mix up Aviations for the guests.

The description of the cocktail they had was, "The first recipe for the Aviation to be found in print was in 1916, in Recipes for Mixed Drinks by Hugo Ensslin. This original Aviation calls for the addition of violet flower liqueur. The drink today is widely made without the violet and is sometimes referred to as Aviation No. 2. Both are nice, but we find the original to be superior and most heavenly."

It did feel rather decadent to step on to the trolley with a cocktail in hand as well as take the walking tour with yet another Aviation in tow. The freedom of walking around in the outdoors or in what seems like a public space with certain beverages is such a rarity, and having a cocktail named after freedom from restraint of the ground was an interesting parallel.

The LUPEC rationale for this cocktail was based on one of the people buried in the cemetery. We were re-introduced to his grave marker during the walking tour and our tour guide gave a bit of the history. The flier that the ladies provided gave their reasons for being fascinated in the person and the site, "We've selected the Aviation for our vintage cocktail tonight in memory of Edward (Teddy) Thaw, Jr., a dashing aviator who is memorialized at Forest Hills with a splendid Art Deco-style portrait by sculptor Jerome Brush. Thaw is depicted with a silk scarf around his neck, holding his helmet and gogles. The winged Archangel Michael stands at his side." Their description also includes the scandal revolving around Teddy's uncle who killed his wife's (ex- ?)lover; the lover a famous architect and she a famous showgirl of the day.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

[long drawn-out sex in a rocks glass]

2oz Thomas Handy Sazerac Rye
3/4oz Fernet-Branca
1/2oz vanilla simple syrup
2 dashes Fee's whiskey barrel-aged bitters

Bring down the lights slightly and serve in a rocks glass. Another John Gertsen original...

I wanted a last drink before we braved the growing mobs outside (go, local sports team!). I wanted rye, I wanted Fernet, and I wanted warm and fuzzy. And I got exactly all that in the above recipe (John: you have excellent bartender-ESP!). The vanilla simple syrup added this wonderful roundness and created an awesome, full mouthfeel and it resulted in a drink of the most gorgeous mahogany color. It was definately the sort of thing one could linger over. YUMMY.

[a facinating too-tasty flip]

long pepper-infused gin
averna
honey
egg

Shake the hell out of it, garnish with a tiny bit of ground nutmeg. A John Gertsen original.

F&A brought me out to no9 Park -- finally, we made this happen! -- for my birthday last night, and what a lovely night it was. For my second drink A suggested to John that he make me a flip of some kind. He brought out this amazing house infusion of gin and Indonesian long peppers (which of course I had to try straight. Just a tiny sip! Potent stuff, my lips were wonderfully pepper-burned for a few minutes), and tempered it with honey. The result? Wonderfully creamy concoction, with a pepper tingle that was neutered of its pain by the sweet sticky honey. The color was a rich coffee brown, suggesting that this drink's name should have something to do with coffee despite its absence: all the better to confuse people!

crocus

1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gyb
1 1/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry vermouth
1/4 oz Kübler Absinthe
1/4 oz Crème de Violette
1/4 oz Bénédictine

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Served without garnish in a cocktail glass. A no9 Park original, apparently inspired by the Chrysanthemum cocktail.

This drink was lovely in taste yet confusing in recipe: it's currently on the menu at no9 Park and is listed as having Aviation gin there, yet I'm pretty sure I saw Plymouth being used. And then, I read or heard somewhere that it should use Genevieve? And I swear I saw dry vermouth go in, too, although it was not listed in the menu. I suppose I could have just asked for clarification... Sigh. Regardless of my confusion on the actual recipe, it's a lovely and lightweight drink: floaty absinthe loveliness, and quick to make your head buzzy and electric.

Postnote 5/14/12: Ted Kilpatrick and Tyler Wang saved the day by providing the recipe.

last frontier

3 parts gin (Beefeater)
1 part green Chartreuse
lemon oil

Earlier in the evening, I asked Matt what sort of drinks he prefers to experiment with and he mentioned gin-and-Chartreuse drinks. So for my second (and last) drink of the night (see the gin sazerac below for the first), I asked him to make me something. The drink he chose was the Last Frontier, a variant of the Alaska.

The drink was created by John's wife Rain where she substituted the bolder green for the smoother yellow Chartreuse and tossed aside the orange bitters for a rather aggressive cocktail. Not sure if the lemon peel squeezed over the drink was Matt's take on the drink or whether it was not part of the original stark concept, but it was a good addition.

The cocktail worked for me. Then again, I'm a big fan of green Chartreuse (even straight up) and love gin. I don't know what to compare it to other than a Green Ghost after you've run out of limes...

[gin sazerac]

3 oz Genever Gin (Anchor Steam)
1 sugar cube
2 dash Echinacea-Gentian bitters
Absinthe rinse (Kübler)
Lemon oil

Last night, A and I took out Jess and her husband to celebrate Jess's "21st" birthday for dinner at Montien followed by drinks at No.9 Park where the honorable John Gertsen was presiding with his up-and-coming protégé Matt. After others ordered the Chrysanthemum-variant called the Crocus which uses Anchor Steam's genever gin, I asked John what else he was making with it lately. He suggested a few things including this Sazerac variant which I went with.

A standard Sazerac style was employed with the bitters-soaked sugar cube muddled in the mixing glass before ice and gin were added. After stirring, it was strained into a rocks glass that had been rinsed with Kübler Absinthe. A lemon peel was squeezed over the top and was also used to coat the rim.

The bitters were one of the more dominant flavor components of the drink. John gave me a small sample to taste on their own. A striking 160 proof concoction of gentian root and echinacea that could probably hold up to a strong rye rather well. With the gin, it was a little overpowering but still rather tasty.

This ups the Sazerac's boozes I've had to three: rye, cognac, and gin.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

lion's tail

2 oz bourbon
1/2 oz pimento dram
1/2 oz lime
1 tsp gomme (or simple) syrup
1 dash Angostura bitters
Shake well over ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Recipe from CocktailDB.

Last night, A and I went to Green Street to check out their new cocktail menu. Their 6-sided über-menu did not appear to change, but their short list was completely updated. The short list contained a lot of the new (or newly available) toys of the trade including pimento (allspice) dram, St. Germain, Batavia Arrack, and Bittermens Bitters.

One of the two I chose last night utilized the dram put out by Haus Alpenz called St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram. Previously, I had only tinkered with this at home. One cocktail I made was the Kingston Heights (1 1/2 oz rum, 1/2 oz kümmel, 1/2 oz orange juice, dash pimento dram) which was rather tasty but light on the allspice goodness; perhaps the potent kümmel also squashed the taste of the allspice liqueur a bit). The other was the Passenger Pigeon which I came up with for our recent bird-themed cocktail party with a rich Calvados balancing out the dram with a dash of Angostura (go to this Drinkboston entry about the drink and the dram). While I enjoyed the flavor, it could have gone a little overboard on the allspiceness and balance for those that aren't as big a fan. Either that or a 1/2 oz of sweet vermouth could have rounded the drink off nicely.

And from those experiences, I was eager to see what others have done with it. Misty's version did not disappoint. The 1849 bourbon and lime juice offered a rich backbone to balance the Allspice Dram quite splendidly. I'm not sure how much simple syrup she used but it seemed like she might have used more than the teaspoon in the CocktailDB recipe above. Combined with the citrus, it was close to but not over my sweetness limits for my relatively dry-seeking palate.

:: variety is the spice of life. ::

I could make some sort of multiple-participant sexual reference but that would be a. juvenile and b. too easy. You may notice that additional authors have popped up to the right: this blog has gone on for a while now as my collection of recipes, originally so I could keep track of what I've tried. But more and more, I find myself coming back to it as a reference tool and what could be better in a reference tool than more data to reference? So expect more frequent posting from various personalities, and perhaps something more akin to actual journalistic writing! Introductions below...

Andrea aka "A" of previous mention is a brilliant scientist and writer and a wonderful drinking companion, and if you're a local I'm certain you've seen her and Fred out and about and imbibing in our fair city. She's got fabulous taste but never give her Chartreuse and gin together.

Frederic aka "F": probably the most responsible party for my having become a cocktail nerd. For quite some time he has been cataloging drinks in his personal journal and finally, a post he made with a link to Gumbo Pages finally set me over the edge and onto the internet to place a $$ absinthe order from the UK. The rest, as you are aware, is history. Fred's also a developing mixologist and recently got some attention for his work in drinkboston.com! (I feel like such an ass for not liking that drink).

Rishi: referenced as "Surrogate Husband", "partner-in-cocktail-crime", and immortalized as "favorite drinking companion" in a Yelp review once: it's all true. It all started from a long conversation at Thanksgiving about cocktails, dovetailed into him meeting Husband and myself at Eastern Standard that very next night, and resulted in his current ruination and inability to stomach a mediocre drink. He will be spending most of the summer in Mecca (aka SF) and will hopefully be providing field reports to those of us who only have three amazing joints to choose from.

Cin-cin!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

pisco sour

1 1/2oz Pisco
1/2oz lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
1/2 egg white

Served in a rocks glass, dash Angostura bitters on the surface. Recipe: CocktailDB.

Somehow I managed to avoid trying a Pisco sour until this past Friday... A soon-to-be-no-longer-unemployed friend and I decided to be a pair of ladies who lunch on her last day of unemployment, so I brought her to Eastern Standard since she'd never been. She wanted a Pisco sour for her second drink and who am I to say no to a pretty girl? Oh: so very yummy and much too easy to drink.

Then we went to Barneys and tried perfumes and visited a friend and lusted at shoes. Despite my unwavering love for brown liquor, I can be really fucking feminine at times.

cocktail miranda

2oz rye whiskey (Old Overholt)
1/2oz apricot liqueur
1/2oz Averna amaro

Served without garnish, mixed by Misty @Green Street.

Husband and I found ourselves in Green Street's general vicinity (MIT building 36, it's right down the street! Okay, just shy of a mile away. Still! Super-walkable!), so obviously we had to stop by for a quick drink before heading home. I wanted to try something new, Misty had just re-worked the drink menu, so I went for one of these. It was a lovely rye drink, somewhat sweet and perfectly pleasant.

I believe this must be one of Misty's creations, as a web search only turned up Sex In The City references and although I am not too familiar with the show (I know, I know) I'd wager that Miranda would not be into this drink -- would she?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

fernet flip

2 parts Fernet-Branca
1 part simple syrup
egg
Fee's Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters

Ooooh: yummy! This could be a gentle introduction to Fernet to a virgin, provided they are not freaked out about the presence of a raw egg: it's all flip-confection goodness, with the Fernet nose-tickle hanging out just above the surface of the liquid. I tried to get my companion to try a sip, but he is a wine snob who was on his 12th-or-so glass of Champagne of the day and has a thing about mixing alcohol. He did pay my tab, so I forgave him.

Kit @ES made this for me on the recommendation of Ben @no. 9, who was also at the bar with Misty @Green Street. I love the cross-pollination and clear kinship amongst the awesome bartenders we're blessed with in this city!

[delightfully light fizz of unknown name]

gin
Lillet
Velvet Falernum
egg white

Topped with ground cardamom. Origin unsure, read on...

I was so very happy to have ended up at ES with F&A last week, especially in light of my disappointing experience in Chicago! Hugh made this for me at the end of the evening, and it was a very lovely thing indeed: very light and airy with a satiny mouthfeel. It really provided an excellent example of an attentive and highly-skilled bartender; I've been really into rye whiskey drinks for the past few months -- although I do also like gin-based drinks, as you know -- yet my bartender pulls out this drink (Hugh thought it was from the Food&Wine Cocktails 2008 book although browsing through it at the bookstore, I was unable to locate the recipe) which is unlike my usual fare, yet is clearly suited to my tastes. Perfect.

Certainly, there is an advantage of proximity and history that the Chicago 'tenders did not have, but I am still so very glad to live here and have access to these bartenders in particular. Also, getting up to Wicker Park from where I was staying was way more annoying than my typical drive from home into Boston (also, fewer hipsters here :D).

Post note: I think Jess had the Gin-esaisquoi which was from the Food & Wine: Cocktails 2009 edition, not the 2008. --Fred