Friday, July 30, 2010

royal million

3/4 oz Lemon Hart 151
3/4 oz Plantation Jamaican Rum
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
1/8 oz Angostura Bitters (~3 dash)

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

On Thursday afternoon, Andrea and I attended "At Full Sail: The History and Application of Spirits at Proof, Navy Strength, and Overproof" moderated by Eric Seed and presented by Wayne Curtis, Audrey Saunders, and Britt Chavanne. The talk focused on the history of these strong spirits and their applications in cocktails. The historical aspects included the naval tradition of proofing the spirits using gun powder (too weak a drink (under 57% alcohol), and the gunpowder would fizzle instead of ignite) to the 1930s-1950s where the spirits' higher proof was used in marketing as a competitive edge. Over time, proofs were successively lowered until they generally bottomed out at 80 proof to stretch the supply and/or please the accountants by paying less tax. The result was that when the alcohol was diluted down, unfortunately so was the flavor.

One drink that Wayne Curtis used as an example featured the overproof Lemon Hart 151 (which, by the way, passed Wayne's gunpowder test (watch here) in stunning form). The overproof rum gussied up the standard Million cocktail (normally made with a jigger of Jamaican rum as the only booze component) to create the Royal Million. This Planter's Punch-like drink had a strong, rich rum flavor that was smoothed out by the sugar syrup. Moreover, the swallow contained the Angostura Bitters spice as well as lingering rum notes. Even without a side by side comparison with the Million, the Royal Million did pack a lot of extra flavor compared to most rum drinks. Perhaps a similar experience could be generated with using the at proof Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum (Navy Strength, 114 proof) as the only rum component of the drink.

chartreuse swizzle

2 oz Green Chartreuse
1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Falernum (Velvet)
1 tsp (1/6 oz) J. Wray and Nephew Rum
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Add ingredients to a Collins glass full of crushed ice. Swizzle to mix, lavishly garnish with mint, and add straw.

Each night at Tales of the Cocktail, some of my fellow bloggers at the Mixo House ended our evening with a Chartreuse Swizzle. The recipe above was modified by Gabe and the original can be found in the recently released Left Coast Libations book. Besides some differences in the proportions and the addition of a splash of J.Wray, ours was made in a more communal fashion -- served in a flower vase for each 4 to 5 people. It was a great way to decompress from a busy night out (or busy night in at the Mixo House events).
I believe this self-portrait photo was taken late Thursday evening with Gabe at 9 o'clock, Rick at 12, Stevie at 3, and myself at 6. I was quoted on Friday night while barbacking for Blair during his Trader Tiki Syrups night as saying, "These people [the last stragglers at the bar] are between me and my swizzle." Indeed, Gabe's swizzle made for an amazingly satisfying shift drink.

[hendrick's lemongrass sour]

2 oz Hendrick's Gin
1 oz Lime Lemongrass Cordial (*)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Agave Syrup
1/2 Egg White
3 dash Thai Basil/Kaffir Tincture (**)

Shake once without ice and once with. Strain into a short highball (or cocktail) glass.

In the first "Best of" post, I mentioned a drink that Ben Sandrof made for Corey Bunnewith and I; however, I did not inquire about the recipe since it was a busy night for the bartenders once the party got in full swing. After the fact, I did get in contact with Mr. Sandrof, and I am thankful that he sent me the recipe. Lucky that I did not inquire about the recipe then, because it was too lengthy and detailed to have been easily provided at that moment at Tales.

(*) Ben writes "if you aren't the DIY home bartender type, Belvoir Farms makes a decent one, but it isn't as fresh as what you'd get on your own." If you are the DiY type, I was able to find this one here which I have paraphrased below:
Lime Lemongrass Cordial (makes 2 cups)
• 16 oz Sugar
• 8 oz Water
• 1 stalk Lemongrass (roughly chopped)
• Zest of 1 Lime
• 6 oz lime juice
Heat lemongrass and lime zest in saucepan with sugar and water, bring to a boil while stirring to dissolve the sugar, and then simmer for 2-3 minutes. Let cool, and then add lime juice. Strain into bottle for storage.
I have no clue how similar this recipe is to what Ben used in his drink, but it should be a good starting point. Adding an ounce of vodka per pint of product will also help stabilize this syrup for longer term storage in the refrigerator (otherwise, microbial growth will eventually win out).

(**) Basil/Kaffir Tincture
• 20 oz Overproof Grain Neutral Spirit (Spirytus)
• 15 gram (1/2 oz) Fresh Kaffir Lime Leaves
• 10 gram (1/3 oz) Fresh Thai Basil
Infuse for 5 days and strain into a dasher bottle.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

lapsang martinez

2 oz Beefeater 24 Gin
1 oz Lillet Rouge
1/2 oz Lapsang Souchong Tea Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. Recipe was provided by the bartender serving it, although I found a 1 1/2:1:1/4 recipe in one of the books they handed out.

Wednesday night at Tales of the Cocktail, we went to two back-to-back events. The first was the Beefeater event held at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans, and they decided on a Alice in Wonderland theme. The ladies pictured to the left were handing out small ampules filled with what I believe was Lillet-Gin cocktail and tagged with a "Drink Me" note. Sticking to the theme, they had a crazed Madhatter, an in-drag Queen, and a tea part of sorts. My favorite drink of the night was one created by Tim Stones, the Beefeater Brand Ambassador. His Lapsang Martinez recipe featured a smokey tea syrup that paired rather well with the tea flavor-laden Beefeater 24 Gin. Indeed, smoke and grape notes filled the sip, and gin botanical notes rounded off the swallow. Sounds too simple to be great, but I was pleased enough to repeat the experience a second time later that evening.

death by misadventure

2 oz Sobieski Vanilla Vodka
1 1/2 oz Meletti
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3 dash Fee's Whiskey Barrel Bitters
3 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a Collins glass filled with fresh ice cubes. Top with ~2 oz Rogue Dead Guy Ale, and add a straw.
After the Appalachian Flip, Andrea and I headed down to the Sobieski tasting room that was celebrating Polish Mardi Gras. Why were we heading down to a vodka tasting room? Because Aaron Butler of Russell House Tavern had mentioned that he was making a pair of drinks for the event, and he invited us to stop in. I was curious to see how someone with a palate I respect handled the spirit, so I chose his Death by Misadventure. The highball was yet another drink that utilized beer with successful results. This refreshing Fizz paired up citrus flavors with vanilla on the sip which was followed by hops and herbal complexity on the swallow. Moreover, the beer and lemon juice did a decent job balancing out the sweetness of the Meletti amaro. I am sure that I am missing some joke about Polish Mardi Gras and the distribution of beads, so feel free to craft your own -- er, wait... that was Bourbon Street last year, when a girl was throwing down beads so people would look at her flashing from the balcony above.

appalachian flip

2 oz Root Liqueur
1/2 oz Rich Demerara Syrup
1 Whole Egg

Shake once without ice and once with, strain into a fizz glass, and top with pale ale (Sierra Nevada).

Normally, I do not like to post recipes that require specialized ingredients that I have not seen on the market, but this drink was damn tasty. And it also used a beer float to a great effect which is always a bonus in my book. Root is a liqueur based on Colonial recipes for root tea that was brewed from sassafras, sarsaparilla, and wintergreen birch bark amongst other roots and herbs. With the temperance movement at the end of the 19th century, this spiritous brew morphed into root beer soda. While Art in the Age's version does not use sassafras (banned by the U.S. government in the 1960s), they have tried to replicate the flavor as best as possible. So far it seems that their current day product has not moved too far from Pennsylvania yet.

The flip I had with Root was created by Al Sotack, head bartender of the Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co., in Philadelphia (link has a video of him making one). The Appalachian Flip was rich with diverse root beer-like flavors without seeming simple and syrupy like today's soda versions. The pale ale served to lighten up the drink and the hops signature complemented the herbal ingredients in Root rather well. Al should be commended not only for the creation of this drink, but for his willingness to double-shake up these badboys nonstop for the entirety of the tasting room session.

The tasting booth also had the company's newest product, Snap, which is their ginger snap (cookie) liqueur. I did not have the opportunity to try it, but I have high hopes for it given the craftsmanship they put into their Root product.

spanish cobbler

2 oz Dry Sack Medium Sherry
3/4 oz Dos Maderas 5+3 Rum
1/2 oz Pineapple Syrup

Shake with ice, and strain into a rock glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with raspberries.

On Wednesday at Tales of the Cocktail was the one day where we had very little interest in the talks since their focus was more hardcore industry rather than enthusiast. Therefore, we hit a decent number of tasting rooms. One of the best ones that day was the Dos Maderas rum room. This spirit blends rums from Barbados and Guyana and ages them first in whiskey then in sherry casks which impart a rather intriguing finish. They had both their 5+3 and their 5+5 products for tasting with the latter being more elegant due to an additional aging step in Pedro Ximénez sherry barrels.

Besides straight spirits tasting, they had Freddy Diaz and Julio Cabrera of Alambiq Mixology Consulting making a few exquisite cocktails featuring the rum. Well, the first one I had, the Spanish Cobbler, focused more on sherry with the Dos Maderas playing a strong second fiddle and bolstering the strength of the drink. The nose was filled with sherry and berries which made for a congruous fruit aroma. On the sip, the Cobbler was pretty dry, and the rum and the pineapple delightfully complemented the sherry.

One other drink I had there was this one:
El Quijote
• 1 oz Dos Maderas 5+3 Rum
• 1 oz Gran Duque d'Alba Brandy
• 1/4 oz Dry Sack Sherry
• 1/4 oz Simple Syrup
• 2 dash Angostura Cuban Cigar Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.
The El Quijote had a grapefruit aroma that led into a Spanish brandy and rum-flavored sip. Moreover, the cigar bitters donated some interesting flavors on the swallow. Most notable was the presentation of the bitters which was a long dropper bottle inserted into the wrapper of a cigar. Well, also notable was Dos Maderas' generosity by providing me with a fine cigar that really added to the experience of an outdoor event later that evening.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

:: best of tales of the cocktail 2010 pt 2 of 2 ::

Continuing on with some of the superlative moments from my experiences at Tales of the Cocktail this year:

Best Antiques: Vintage hand blown absinthe glasses from the 19th century at Lucullus Antiques. Amazing specimens especially since some were in matched sets of 8 to 10.
Toughest Part of Tales: Workwise, it was barbacking for Blair for a Trader Tiki night and having to keep up with his crushed ice needs besides the rest of the barback duties like cleaning glassware and the like. Most of his drinks were served in 10 oz highballs that burned through a lot of ice, especially since I was breaking it up with a Lewis bag and the bottom of a Midnight Moon liquor bottle (an amazingly sturdy bottle!).
Best Transportation Experience: The St. Charles Streetcar we took out to the Garden District to go to Cure along with Devin, the Periodista Historian. We still walked home again this year (but not through the Magnolia Projects) all the way to the Marigny. The runner-up was the British-style double decker bus that brought us from the Monteleone Hotel to the Beefeater event.
Best Swag: Bottles of Torani Amer, the West Coast version of the French Amer Picon. Hard to find out this way since it is boozy and most distributors of Torani products only handle the alcohol-free ones.
Best Prize: Yarai Mixing Glass from the New Amsterdam mix-off contest. The judges seemed to like my drink, but the fact that I called my drink the Bowery Sour after the New York/New Amsterdam connection instead of after New Orleans probably hurt. Recipe and pics forthcoming.
Hottest New Trend: Ambush Marketing!
Cutest Rep: Lisa Hare, the Sailor Jerry's brand ambassador. She made me a Stormin' Norman at the Hendricks event inside the Elms Mansion.
Best Parlour Trick: During the "At Full Sail: The History and Application of Spirits at Proof, Navy Strength and Overproof" session, Wayne Curtis demonstrated the old naval tradition of proofing liquor using gun powder. Under 100 proof, the water in the spirit will prevent the gun powder from going off. Over 100 proof, it was pretty spectacular akin to a mini fireworks fountain.
Best Local Color Cocktail: While I have so far missed the delicacies of the Hand Grenade, Hurricane, and frozen "Daiquiri" for the second year running, the winner would have to be Gator Cum. As we were packing up bottles from the blogger house's bar, we decided to donate a small collection to the bar next door. When we checked in, the bed and breakfast owner described it solely as a "neighborhood bar." The owner of the John Paul's was so thankful for the gifts that he got Darrin the bartender to make a round of shooters for the bar. Well, this concoction of Passion Fruit Skye Vodka, Midori, a splash of pineapple juice, and a few drops of milk floated on top was actually rather tasty. And the bevy of drag queens who filled the establishment seemed to like it too, especially Zaza d'la Whore!
Best Example of Quackery: The crazy Australian and New Zealand presenters at the Amaro session who fooled the audience with their medicinal Koala Bitters; their mix was a combination of mouthwash, Nyquil, and other ingredients you can find at Walgreens.
Best Explanation of a Continuous Still Distillation: This never made much sense as the "plate" part always was confusing. The roving distiller from the Gascony region of France during the Armagnac talk did a great job even though he needed the help of a translator. Part of his one of his 3 stills made the trip over to New Orleans to solidify his explanation.
Best Blend of Philosophical vs. Technical: The Eggpire Strikes Back! From the significance of eggs through history, religion, and society to the biochemical reasons why the parts of eggs do what they do in food and drink. Plus, there were ways of introducing customers to egg drinks when they otherwise might show a little resistance.
Best Trend I Would Like to See Take Hold: Aperitif wines and aperitif cocktails. Often, this goes hand in hand when I am cooking, and Paul Clarke and Neyah White did an amazing job during their seminar with the historical aspects and the practical applications, respectively.
Best Taste to Come from a Hipflask: Rum from Eric Seed. It was from the last batch of British Navy Rum released in 1970 after a 18-23 year stay in a solera system. The rum was transferred from the large flagon into bottles which are valued at $800 each.
Most Winning Moment: Thinking that my suitcase was too heavy with swag and purchases, but weighing in at 48 pounds -- 2 pounds under the limit. I felt like a fighter must after a tough but successful weight cut...
Best Annotation in a Notebook: Andrea during Brian Rea's "Bartending in the 1940's, 1950's and 1960's (the dark ages)". Brian spoke about how women were not welcome as bartenders as the labor part was too great; aspects like removing unwanted guests and breaking up block ice were deemed too physical. Andrea's last point in her notes was that "[Brian] never met Josey [Packard of Drink]".

Tomorrow, I will start on the drinks and seminars.

:: best of tales of the cocktail 2010 pt 1 of 2 ::

We just got home from Tales of the Cocktail last night. Those 6 days were an epic marathon of socializing, learning, tasting, drinking, eating, and swag wrangling. This was all at the expense of sleep for I got up at 8am regardless of how late I was up (I think I was running on a total of 10 hours of sleep for the last three nights of Tales). Sleep could be had later and the story was out there, somewhere, and I needed to find it. And sometimes when I was not looking, it found me.

A handful of the seminars, cocktails I drank, and other aspects will be covered in individual posts later. Here is the first half of a list of a few dozen superlatives that I compiled while waiting in the airport on the way home. Enjoy this for now, and I will have some recipes and the like to share later!

Best Spirit Tasted: A pre-Castro Old Havana Brand rum. It had been aged in sherry casks which lent a cherry-like note on the sip. This was technically a post-Tales, invite-only rum tasting at Steve Remsberg's house. We got invited when Andrea's queries about what old New England Rum tasted like led her to speaking with Steve who invited us to the gathering. We got to taste a 17 year aged specimen made back in the day in Everett, MA! Somerville and Medford, MA, were major centers back in the day (see Wayne Curtis' And a Bottle of Rum).
Most Elegant Drink: The Sherry Cobbler made for me at the Cure bar during the Bittermens Bitters release party. The Cobbler contained their Xocolatl Mole Bitters and was garnished in the Jerry Thomas-esque "berries of season" style.
Most Surreal Drink: At the Hendrick's Gin event at the Elms Mansion, I was smoking cigars with Corey Bunnewith when we decided to get another drink at one of the outdoor bars on the mansion grounds. Lo and behold, it was Ben Sandrof who greeted us as if we were walking into his bar in Boston, and he made us a pair of amazing Hendrick's gin drinks!
Most Surprising Spirit: Advocaat is actually really tasty! A creamy spirit made with egg yolk that was the Dutch way of reproducing the texture of avocado. This treat was brought to us by the speakers at the Eggpire Strikes Back seminar.
Best Nonalcoholic Drink: Lebanese iced tea flavored with rose water and pine nuts at Mona's on Frenchman. We drank this both times we went there this year. And free refills in that hot New Orleans weather was definitely appreciated!
Best Drink: Gabe from CocktailNerd's Chartreuse Swizzle. We ended the evening at our blogger-rented bed and breakfast every night with one of these. They were served in flower vases with straws for 4 or 5 people. Gabe's recipe will be a post in itself, but it was closer to this rather than that.
Most Posh Drinking Spot: Windsor Court's Polo Club. We were off by a day for an absinthe event but the bartenders there were willing to make the drinks in advance for us.
Best Keep It Simple Drink: Lapsang Martinez at the Beefeater Gin party. The recipe will be forthcoming, but it was only 3 ingredients: Beefeater 24, Lapsang Souchong tea syrup, and Lillet Rouge.
Best Homemade Spirit: Matt Rowley of Rowley's Whiskey Forge's Creme de Noyau. It was at a homemade and random bottle tasting event the day before Tales officially began, and I felt lucky to taste something this well crafted!
Most Mocking: Noyau de Poissy, a Creme de Noyau made in France. They had a bottle at the Bariana session (the Bariana cocktail book frequently calls for it). I have not seen it in the states but after I compiled this list yesterday afternoon, I have found a contact at Preiss Imports who may be able to help me.
Best Bartender Shtick: John Lermayer at the Diego-sponsored happy hour serving drinks with a horse's mask. The event was held at the Cabildo Museum over three floors; each section was in the theme of a different decade.
Best Street Beer: Abita Abbey Ale. Strangely, the place I bought it at looked at me like I was crass for asking if they could open it for me after I purchased it. Without a church key, I did end up opening it up with some swag -- a Hendrick's Gin metal H key chain. It seems wrong to miss chances to drink beer while walking in public, because it is outlawed almost everywhere else in the country.
Best Sandwich: Veggie Ham at Carmo's which is billed as a "tropical cafe." A San Francisco aesthetic crossed with Brazilian flare.
Best Fine Dining Dish: Green Goddess' Indian Pancake. Imagine bhel crossed with a pancake finished with a delightful tamarind sauce.
Best Ethnic Dish: The vegetarian Bennachin at Bennachins. It was the African version of fried rice and was really satisfying (the meat version was apparently damn good too).
Best Local Flavor: White Bean Gumbo at the Gumbo Shop. True, they only have one vegetarian option, but anyone who can make and is willing to serve traditional local dishes in vegan form gets my praise!
Best Dessert: Meltdown Gourmet Popsicles. Andrea learned about it in Edible New Orleans magazine, and flavors like Saffron Rosewater and Strawberry Hibiscus were wins!
Biggest Logistical Nightmare: Ricard hosted a midnight Pétanque (a French form of Bocci) event on the 300 block of Royal Street. There were 8 courts filled with a few inches of sand that were magically gone by the time we went to breakfast the following morning.

Part 2 of 2 forthcoming...

Monday, July 19, 2010

kill divil

1 1/2 oz Ron Matusalem Gran Reserva 15 Year Old Rum
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Molasses Syrup (2:1 molasses:water)

Shake with ice and pour contents into a rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wedge and a straw.

For my second drink at Green Street last night, I asked bartender Derric Crothers to make me the Kill Divil. I had neglected this drink for quite a while since it simply seemed like a Daiquiri that just used molasses instead of simple syrup; however, it was much more complex than that, and I am glad that I finally gave it a try.
The Kill Divil began with an earthy molasses nose that was colored by fresh lime aromas. The drink was no where like a Daiquri as the darker rum and molasses took the drink in a different direction. Most significant was the contribution of the molasses on the swallow which donated a delightful funkiness to the drink. Indeed, it reminded me more of a Corn'n'Oil than a Daiquiri. The Kill Divil lacked the Corn'n'Oil's spice notes from the falernum and Angostura Bitters but contained a lot more funky richness from the molasses than from the Corn'n'Oil's Blackstrap Rum.

kolb's gem

3/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 chunk Watermelon (~1 oz)

Shake with ice and double strain into a wine glass. Top off with dry sparkling wine (~3 oz Brut Dargent Blanc de Blanc) and garnish with a small mint leaf.

On Sunday night, Andrea and I headed over to Green Street where Derric Crothers was tending bar. Since it was summer, I figured it was a good time to order the seasonal Kolb's Gem which contains fresh watermelon. The drink was named after a watermelon cultivar developed in the 1880's that became famous for growing giant, exhibition-quality melons; however, I do not believe that Green Street purchases such large, late season specimens to make their drink.
The Kolb's Gem had an interesting frothy head from the melon juice interacting with the sparkling wine, and the nose contained a good amount of watermelon and yellow Chartreuse notes. The sip was crisp from the lemon juice and brut sparkling wine, and the swallow contained a good degree of herbal complexity from the Chartreuse. Overall, the watermelon contributed a lot more to the color and smell than it did the taste of the Kolb's Gem.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

franken jack

1/2 oz Dry Gin (Junipero)
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/4 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot)
1/4 oz Cointreau

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass; garnish with a cherry.

On Friday for a nightcap, I was flipping through our 1948 printing of Trader Vic and spotted the Franken Jack. Both the Savoy Cocktail Book and Duffy have the same basic recipe but leave it as a ratio instead of specifying a volume. Interestingly, Craig of Dr. Bamboo has the Franken Jack on the back of his business card; however, his preferred recipe is from the 1959 Old Mr. Boston that focuses more on the apricot than the orange flavor (1 oz gin, 3/4 oz dry vermouth, 1/2 oz apricot, 1/6 oz triple sec).
The Franken Jack's nose was a pleasant orange-apricot aroma. The sip was a little on the sweet side with the gin and dry vermouth only making a moderate dent in the perception of the drink's sugar content. I think that one way to describe the Franken Jack is a very British version of the Periodista

Friday, July 16, 2010

mad jack

1 3/4 oz Beefeater 24 Gin
1 oz Strawberry Simple Syrup (*)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Plymouth Sloe Gin
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

The drink that Russell House Tavern's head bartender, Aaron Butler, created for the Beefeater 24 night was the Mad Jack. Aaron commented that the drink was named in part for Jack Bauer of the television show 24 and in part for his love of English history. The historical aspect was a British lieutenant colonel during World War II, John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming Churchill known as Mad Jack, who was best known for leading troops while being armed with a longbow and a claybeg sword. I could not find a report of how valuable his arrows were, but he was able to survive his tours of duty.
The Mad Jack had a rather berry nose with aromas being donated by the strawberry syrup and sloe gin. These berry notes also carried over into the sip which was a lot drier than expected. Indeed, the lemon, gin, and bitters did a good job to counter the sugar content in the syrup and sloe gin.

(*) Syrup made with 1 part strawberries : 1 part sugar : 1 part water.

malted 24 shrubb

1 1/3 oz Beefeater 24 Gin
2/3 oz Raspberry Shrub
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Honey

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Top with ~4 oz of Peak Organic Nut Brown Ale.

Andrea and I made our way down to Russell House Tavern on Tuesday night for their Beefeater 24 industry event. Two special B24 cocktails were on the menu -- the Malted 24 Shrubb created by Corey Bunnewith and the Mad Jack invented by Aaron Butler. For our first round, I started with the former and Andrea with the latter. Corey showed off his culinary training and expertise by combining raspberries, sugar, sweet verjus, and a variety of spice elements to make his raspberry shrub. A more basic shrub recipe can be found here.
The sip was a dry berry and lime flavor that was crisp from the citrus, verjus, and hops; strangely, the drink was sweeter on the swallow. Besides the hops, the beer contributed a rich malt flavor and some effervescence from the carbonation. Moreover, the verjus and beer flavors made for a delicious combination.

[beauty's release]

2 oz Housemade Amber Vermouth
1/2 oz Spiced Syrup
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with. Strain into a coupe glass.

For my second drink at Eastern Standard on Monday, I asked bartender Hugh Fiore if he had any ideas pairing vermouth and egg white. After Hugh inquired as to whether citrus would be ok, he set about improvising this drink. The spiced simple syrup he used was flavored with star anise, clove, and cinnamon.
The drink started with a cinnamon and star anise aroma that was able to penetrate the thick egg white head. The sweet sip was thick and filled with flavors from the amber vermouth and fruit elements, and the swallow had pleasantly lingering cinnamon and clove notes. When I let Andrea have a sip, she commented that it tasted vaguely Moroccan to her; indeed, it did have some spice elements in common with the Moroccan Old Fashioned I had a few months ago. She also commented that the drink tasted peachy or apricotty perhaps from the vermouth interacting with the Cointreau and grapefruit juice.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

averna jimjam

2 oz Averna
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Marie Brizard Apry

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
After my DJ set on Monday, Andrea and I went up the street to Eastern Standard. There we found seats in front of bartender Hugh Fiore, and I asked Hugh for something with the amaro Averna in it. After inquiring if citrus was okay, Hugh set to work on a drink created a while back by Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli. The Averna Jimjam was semi-sweet on the sip, and it dried out on the swallow perhaps due to Averna's bitter complexity. What was most intriguing about the drink was that it tasted almost cherryish, yet there was no cherry liqueur in the recipe. Instead, I surmise that it was the interaction of the Averna with the apricot liqueur that generated the cherry flavor. As the drink warmed up and the balance shifted slightly, the fruit flavor became slightly more identifiable as apricot though.

cuban anole

1/2 oz Neisson Rhum Agricole Blanc
1/2 oz Appleton Reserve Rum
1/2 oz Plantation 5 Year Barbados Rum
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Cinnamon Simple Syrup
1/2 oz Orgeat

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Grate cinnamon over the top and add two straws.

On Sunday night, Andrea and I headed over to Ben Sandrof's Sunday Salon. For my first drink, Ben mentioned that a drink he created for a previous Tales of the Cocktail, called the Cuban Anole, had just made the menu of Manhattan's Painkiller bar. The Cuban Anole is a variation on the Mai Tai that substitutes cinnamon syrup for the standard orange curaçao, and from that description it seemed like a good starting point for the night.
The grated cinnamon garnish on the Cuban Anole donated a glorious aroma which prepared the mouth for the spiced syrup. Indeed, the sip was like a cinnamon Mai Tai that lacked some of the citrus complexity; in addition, the variety of rums added another layer of intrigue on the classic. Most noteworthy was the Neisson which proffered hints of funkiness that worked well with the cinnamon. The Neisson also provided a salty or mineral element to the sip.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

white hook

2 oz Bols Genever
1/2 oz Vya Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1 dash Regan's Orange Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

On Thursday, we celebrated our wedding anniversary at Ten Tables in Jamaica Plain, and on the way home, we swung by Lineage for a nightcap. Bartender Ryan Lotz was working at the bar that night, and I asked him to make me the White Hook off of the cocktail menu. The White Hook was Ryan's take on the Red Hook whereby he swapped the whiskey out for Genever and the Punt e Mes out for dry vermouth. These two changes removed the reddish-brown color from the original and left a similarly bodied but essentially clear cocktail remaining. Ryan mentioned that the idea for his variation on the Red Hook was inspired by Max Toste's White Manhattan at Deep Ellum.
Like most Genever drinks, the malt sung out on the nose, and this aroma was supplemented by the lemon oils from the twist. The Vya dry vermouth was robust enough to add to the flavor complexity of the sip and worked rather well with the Genever botanicals; moreover, the swallow had a healthy dose of the Maraschino liqueur notes. Overall, the White Hook reminded me a bit of Jerry Thomas' Improved Gin Cocktail.

roman punch

1/2 oz Angostura Bitters
2 2/3 oz Sugar
Juice of 1 Lemon (1 1/2 oz)
Juice of 1/2 Orange (1 1/2 oz)
1 Egg White
5 oz Rum (4 1/2 oz Lemon Hart 80 + 1/2 oz Wray & Nephew)
5 oz Champagne

Stir sugar with juices until sugar is dissolved. Add everything but Champagne, and then shake. Add ice, shake again, and strain into a pair of Collins glasses. Top with 2 1/2 oz Champagne into each glass. I added an orange wheel garnish. The recipe makes two large servings.

On Wednesday after drinking the Ponce de Leon, we still had some of our wedding anniversary sparkling wine(*) left, and I set off to find a further use of the bottle. Soon I found the Roman Punch in the 1949 Angostura Professional Mixing Guide, and the recipe got Andrea's thumbs up. While there is a lot of variation in Roman Punches out there, Angostura's recipe falls within the range of the classics but adds a fun twist by spiking it with a healthy slug of bitters! Moreover, their "punch for 7" was rather large and called for 32 oz of rum; I scaled it back around six fold and called that "punch for 2".
The punch's nose was a combination of dark rum, sparkling wine, and Angostura bitters aromas. The thick, sweet, fruity rum sip was rather delightful and was followed by funky hints of the Wray & Nephew rum and by the Angostura Bitters. The drink reminded me of a dark rum-flavored version of Charles H. Baker's Trinidad Fizz, and likewise, it was just as refreshing.

(*) When we eloped in New Orleans last year, our hotel left us a bottle of sparkling wine in our room. When we discovered it later that evening, we were a few Tales of the Cocktail events in and did not need any more alcohol; therefore, we saved it as our symbolic top of the wedding cake.

Monday, July 12, 2010

ponce de leon

1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz Gold Rum (Appleton Reserve)
1/2 oz Cognac (Martell VS)

Shake with ice and strain into a champagne saucer. Top with Champagne. I used a flute and added an orange twist to the recipe.

On Wednesday while reading David Embury's The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, I spotted the Ponce de Leon. Ignoring all of Embury's negativity about it being a waste of a good Champagne, the drink seemed interesting for it was very similar to the Between the Sheets cocktail (*). While the Between the Sheets contains a tart lemon juice component, the Ponce de Leon uses a softer citrus, grapefruit, and supplements it with the crispness of dry sparkling wine.

The Ponce de Leon's nose was fill of citrus notes from the Cointreau, grapefruit juice, and orange twist. Fruit flavors from the juice and liqueur were in the sip along with some sparkling wine notes, and the swallow was rather crisp and contained rich aged rum flavors. Indeed, the sparkling wine did augment the acidity of the grapefruit juice to approximate the lemon juice of the Between the Sheets.

(*) Also, this Ponce de Leon has little to do with the Eastern Standard cocktail of the same name that I wrote about last year.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

carthusian sour

1 1/2 oz Old Overholt Rye
3/4 oz Green Chartreuse
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1 dash Housemade Aromatic Bitters
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with. Double strain into a rocks glass, and twist a lemon peel over the top.
Max Toste got behind the bar after speaking to us about the Door 74 to make us our next round of drinks. I ended up ordering the Carthusian Sour off of the menu as Andrea seemed to greatly enjoy hers the last time we were at Deep Ellum. The drink was very similar to a rye-containing version of the St. Germain cocktail we made a few weeks prior. The Carthusian Sour's nose was first lemon oil and later lemon juice; it was interesting that these aromas were able to push the Chartreuse out of the picture. The lemon juice made for a very interesting pairing with green Chartreuse which is more frequently matched up with lime juice such as in the Silent Order and Green Ghost. While lime seems to accentuate green Chartreuse, lemon seems to smooth out its flavor, and in this drink, the egg white also assisted in taming the Chartreuse. Although the whiskey was not the dominant flavor, it did provide a delightful richness on the swallow.

the door 74

1 1/2 oz Laird's Applejack
3/8 oz Grenadine
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Martini & Rossi Dry Vermouth
1 dash Orange Flower Water
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe. Twist an orange peel over the top and drop in.

On Monday night, we headed down to Allston to get dinner at Grasshopper, and afterward, we went down the block to Deep Ellum for a few drinks. At the bar that night was Ted Gallagher who now works at Deep Ellum on his nights off from Craigie on Main. The drink I selected was the Door 74 which was described to me as a cross between a Scofflaw and a Jack Rose. I did not learn the history of the drink's name until I later got a chance to speak with Max Toste, one of the co-owners of Deep Ellum. The drink was named after a speakeasy in Amsterdam that Max had a chance to visit a few months ago. Max was in Holland representing Deep Ellum as the bar was nominated along with Drink for an award; moreover, he was there giving a talk about his bar's beer and cocktail program. It turned out that the awards ceremony in May was the same week that the volcano in Iceland locked down all air traffic in that part of Europe, so Max was stuck in Amsterdam. Luckily, he met the bartenders at Door 74 who were able to play host to the stuck traveler. A similar drink appeared on the Door 74 menu under a different name, and Max renamed it as a homage to their hospitality.
The Door 74 started with a nose filled with orange aromas from the twist and flower water. The sip was semi-sweet and fruit filled from the apple, lemon, and pomegranate-containing ingredients; this sweetness was dried out on the swallow that contained the vermouth and orange flower water flavors. Indeed, it was rather interesting that the orange flower water came across more as a taste than as an aroma.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

one way

1/4 Gin (3/4 oz Knockabout Gin)
1/4 Swedish Punsch (3/4 oz homemade)
1/4 Peach Brandy (3/4 oz Briottet Maison Edmond Crème de Pêche de Vigne)
1/4 Lemon Juice (3/4 oz)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
On Friday, I was flipping through the Café Royal Cocktail Book and spotted the One Way that called for the peach brandy I mentioned in the previous post. In the past, I have substituted crème de pêche with decent success in recipes calling for peach brandy, and I decided to try the same here. The One Way started with a lemon and peach aroma. The lemon was rather strong on the sip and my perception flip flopped as to whether I thought the drink was sweet or tart. The peach notes were subtle, but they melded well with the lemon as they did in the Perfect Lady. Lastly, the swallow was rather complex as it contained the gin's botanicals and the Swedish Punsch's spice elements; moreover, the Punsch's aged rum contributed some dark, rich notes that vaguely reminded Andrea of coffee.

georgia julep

1/2 Peach
1/4 oz Simple Syrup (Gomme Syrup)
3 sprigs Mint
2 oz Bourbon (Booker's)

Muddle peach with simple syrup; add mint and lightly bruise it. Pour in whiskey and shake with ice. Double strain into a glass filled with crushed ice and garnish with a mint sprig.
On Thursday evening, I spotted a recipe in Salvatore Calabrese's Complete Home Bartender's Guide that would make good use of the ripe peaches we had bought, and I modified the recipe slightly. Older recipes for the Georgia Julep, such as Stanley Clisby Arthur's, call for peach brandy which is nearly impossible to find these days, and perhaps this is why Calabrese opted for the fresh fruit path. This Julep had mint and peach on the nose. We chose a rather robustly flavored Bourbon, Booker's; however, the peach, mint, and gomme syrup seemed to greatly subdue the spirit. The further we got into the drink, the more the mint flavor dominated the peach. While it was not as sweet as most Julep recipes, the pairing of the peach and Bourbon made for a rather refreshing beverage. Fans of sweeter drinks may wish to up the sugar content slightly.

elixir alpestre

2 oz Bols Genever
3/4 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
1/4 oz Becherovka
1 dash Angostura Orange Bitters
6 drop Pernod Absinthe

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass; garnish with a lemon twist.

Early last week, we stopped into Eastern Standard for a drink. Bartender Josh Taylor wanted to make me the Elixir Alpestre, the cocktail that Bobby McCoy won the St. Germain Can-Can Classic with last month. Unfortunately, Josh could not locate one of the ingredients, the Becherovka liqueur, at the bar or in the stockroom; it was probably rotated off until autumn when Easter Standard favorites like the Metamorphosis return. Therefore, we made the drink at home last Thursday.
The Elixir Alpestre started with an aroma of lemon oil and the malt of the Genever. The sip was dominated by the Genever and St. Germain, while the swallow contained the Becherovka spices and Bols botanicals such as the former's clove and the latter's wormwood-like note. The swallow also contained a small hint of absinthe which increased as the drink warmed up; indeed, as the absinthe increased in prominence, it became obvious how well the flavors in the Bols and the Pernod paired together. Andrea commented that it was a ballsy drink for Bobby to submit as it seemed to highlight the Bols Genever more than it did the St. Germain. Luckily, the judges were able to appreciate the beauty of this drink as a whole!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

[sang et sable]

1 1/2 oz La Favorite Rhum Agricole Blanc
1/4 oz Batavia Arrack
1/2 oz Ratafia des Noyaux (housemade)
1/4 oz Orange Juice

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

For my after dinner drink at Rendezvous, Scott Holliday wanted to make me a drink that highlighted his work-in-progress. Scott had been steeping crushed cherry pits in Wray and Nephew rum for a few weeks along with allspice and nutmeg in order to make a Ratafia des Noyeaux. Authentic crème de noyaux is nearly impossible to find in this country, and the first person I read who made their own was Matthew Rowley. While Matt made his ratafia out of peach pits, Scott made his out of cherry pits that he procured from Rendezvous' dessert chef. Scott had not sweetened his ratafia yet, but the infusion had a very cherry aroma with a funky rum taste and was delightful in its unfinished state.
The drink Scott made for me was loosely based off of the Blood and Sand with the smokey Batavia Arrack and ratafia representing the Scotch and Cherry Heering. Its nose was kind of sweet and floral from the cherry and orange elements and spicy from the rhum agricole and Batavia Arrack. At the beginning of the sip, the sharpness of the rhum and Batavia Arrack coupled with the citrus notes, and the swallow was full of cherry flavors. It was noteworthy how well the La Favorite and Batavia Arrack paired as they had a very similar character.

norman conquest

2 oz Pimm's No. 1
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Simple Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a champagne flute. Top with ~2 oz dry sparkling cider from Normandy and garnish with two slices of strawberry.

On Wednesday evening, Andrea and I returned to Central Square to finish up the trilogy with Rendezvous. For my before dinner drink, I spotted the Norman Conquest on the cocktail menu and asked bartender Scott Holliday about it. His reply was that "It's just a tarted up Pimm's Cup," which was fine by me since it was hot out and I needed a refreshing beverage. Moreover, the concept of dry sparkling cider in place of the more standard lemon-lime soda pushed me over the edge into ordering it. Historically, the Norman Conquest was when the Duke of Normandy, William the Conquerer, invaded England in 1066 A.D., and here symbolically, cider from Normandy was invading the space of the traditional English spirit Pimm's No. 1.

The Norman Conquest's nose was fruity from the Pimm's, lemon juice, and the cider, and those three ingredients on the sip made for a delightful flavor combination. In addition, the balance was dry enough to be perfect as an aperitif. Lastly, the strawberry slices were entertaining besides delicious -- they were thin enough to catch the cider's bubbles so they floated up and down the inside of the champagne flute.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

[campari martinique]

1 1/2 oz Neisson Rhum Agricole Blanc
3/4 oz Campari
1/2 oz Old Monk Rum
1/4 oz Averna
1/4 oz Demerara Simple Syrup
2 dash Angostura Orange Bitters
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Twist an orange peel over the top.

After a pair of drinks at Green Street, Andrea and I decided to catch a nightcap at Craigie on Main. When I asked bartender Ted Gallagher what he had been making lately that he has been excited about, he mentioned that Josh Taylor from Eastern Standard had been in earlier that evening and requested a Campari cocktail. Ted's description of the ingredients sounded intriguing so I gave him the go ahead to make me the same drink.
After an orange oil nose, the drink had a sweet rich rum flavor on the beginning of the sip followed by bitter notes from the liqueurs and funk from the rhum agricole on the swallow. The lingering Campari notes in the swallow worked rather well with the orange oil nose on the subsequent sip.

cuban cocktail no. 2

1 oz Pierre Ferrand Cognac
1 oz Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot Liqueur
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass rimmed with sugar (edge wetted by lemon wedge).
On Sunday a week and a half ago, Andrea and I went over to Green Street where Derric Crothers was tending bar. The drink I chose off of the large A-to-Z cocktail list was the Cuban Cocktail No. 2 which surprisingly uses brandy as its base spirit instead of rum. I believe that the Cuban Cocktail No. 1 is the rum drink one would expect from the name and is akin to a lemon instead of lime Daiquiri. In the Cuban Cocktail No. 2, Green Street handled the lemon or lime juice option in some of the recipes I have seen by splitting the difference and adding an equal part of both. On the nose, lemon and Cognac aromas jumped out first, and then the apricot began to dominate over time. While I am not a big fan of sugared rims in most drinks, this one helped to cut the crisp citrus sip as needed. Apricot pervaded the flavor from the sip to the swallow, but surprisingly, it did not overwhelm the drink. Lastly, the Cognac matched the other fruit-derived ingredients of the drink and was detectable on the swallow.

Monday, July 5, 2010

wu wei milk punch

A. 500 mL Dry Gin (16 2/3 oz Bombay Dry)
Zest of 1/2 Lemon
4 sprig Mint
B. 11 oz Wu Wei Tea Syrup (1 Wu Wei from MEM Tea Co.:1 sugar)
5 oz Lemon Juice
C. 11 oz Whole Milk


1. In a large bowl, add gin, zest, and mint from "A". Lightly muddle mint, and let infuse for 1 hour.
2. Make Wu Wei tea syrup by adding a large tbsp of Wu Wei tea to 8 oz of boiling hot water. Let infuse for 5-6 minutes and remove tea ball or strain. Add in 8 oz of sugar and stir until dissolved.
3. After the hour infusion, add lemon juice and 11 oz of tea syrup (recipe makes a little more than that) from "B". Remove mint sprigs.
4. Slowly heat milk from "C" in a sauce pan to 180°F (or until the first signs of a boil if you lack a thermometer) with occasional stirring. Pour hot milk into the bowl containing the gin, juice, and tea syrup.
5. Stir and leave for 15-20 minutes until the milk is fully curdled. Strain through a tea towel to remove curds and zest. An optional second filtering step through a coffee filter can be done (time consuming). I did it since the tea towel let through a lot of particulate matter. Store in capped bottles. Makes around 1 liter.
6. Cool punch in fridge. Keeps almost indefinitely when refrigerated. Serve in glasses or punch cups.

On Saturday night (I'm skipping ahead of my queue since this recipe was requested), we attended a small gathering. Since I knew that one of the hosts was a big fan of tea, I decided to make a tisane punch using Wu Wei. Wu Wei is a Chinese blend of 7 herbs; besides a rich bounty of flavors, Wu Wei also contains hibiscus flower which donates a wonderful red hue. To pair with it, I figured that the herbal complexity of gin would work. The combination of tea and lemon seemed rather natural, and before I knew it, I had three quarters of a Flapper Jane albeit with a more robust gin and no Peychaud's Bitters. Fresh mint from the garden added a small element of fresh clean greenness to the drink, and lemon zest added a hint of citrus bitterness to the mix.

I stopped there with the ingredients with the mantra of keep it simple. It was one of the simplest milk punches I have ever made, but one of the most full flavored. Having an herbal tea with seven components and a spirit with even more than that sure did help. I was quite surprised that even self-proclaimed gin haters at the party were finishing their cups and asking for the recipe.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

spring cocktail

1 1/2 oz Gin (Aviation)
1/2 oz Quinquina (Bonal)
1/2 oz Benedictine
1 dash Bitters (Angostura)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Thursday night after the TDN, Andrea was in the mood for a nightcap and specificially one that involved her new purchase of Bonal Gentiane Quina. Bonal is an aperitif wine I was introduced to by Eric Seed in a tasting room at Tales of the Cocktail last year, and it has recently hit the American market. Bonal functions very much like a sweet vermouth, but it has an added layer of bitter complexity from gentian root and cinchona bark which makes it rather delightful especially before dinner. Instead of using it as a sweet vermouth substitute, I searched for a cocktail that called out specifically for a quinquina and found one in both Trader Vic and Patrick Duffy. Taking a step back from the Beefeater Summer Edition, the drink I chose was called the Spring Cocktail. The Duffy version was scaled up and lacked the cocktail olive garnish that Trader Vic's recipe contained, and therefore, it seemed preferable.
The Spring Cocktail's nose was gentian from the Bonal and mint-like from the Benedictine. The sip was full of botanical notes; it was rich and spicy from the beginning of the sip to the end of the swallow. The mint-like note in the nose was also detectable as a tingle in the mouth that built up over successive sips. Furthermore, the Bonal really worked well with the Benedictine, and the gin functioned to hold together these two elements instead of being a dominant flavor.

thames river

1 1/2 oz Beefeater Summer Edition Gin
3/4 oz Pimm's No. 1
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Simple Syrup (1:1)
1/4 oz Crème de Cassis

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

Mixoloseum's Thursday Drink Night a little over a week ago was sponsored by Beefeater Gin to help promote their new summer edition bottling. Beefeater's master distiller, Desmond Payne, designed this recipe as he did Beefeater 24 and the rumored winter edition. The summer version has the same nine botanicals as regular Beefeater with the addition of elderflower, hibiscus, and black currant. Overall, the gin is softer than regular Beefeater with the alcohol weighing in at 80 instead of 94 proof and with a lower juniper berry and coriander seed signature.

Instead of the new floral elements in the botanical mix, I honed in on the black currant and created a cocktail that featured crème de cassis. Basing the drink off of the previous night's Bronx River, I exchanged the sweet vermouth for the more British-themed Pimm's No. 1, switched around some of the proportions, and added the cassis. I considered switching to lime; however, Pimm's and lemon are more linked in my head thanks to the Pimm's Cup. For a name, I modified the original and chose the Thames River.
The Thames River had an attractive dark red hue from the Pimm's and the cassis. The nose started with lemon notes, and the sip possessed a pleasant fruitiness that meshed well with the gin. Overall, it had a very refreshing and drinkable nature that matched the softer styled base spirit.

Friday, July 2, 2010

bronx river

1 oz Gin (Beefeater Summer)
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Carpano Antica)
Juice of 1 Lemon (1 oz, perhaps 3/4 oz would have been better)
1/2 tsp Sugar (Turbinado)

Stir juice with sugar to dissolve. Add rest of ingredients and ice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. I garnished with a lemon twist.

On Wednesday last week, our sample of Beefeater Summer Edition Gin showed up and I wanted to test it out before the Beefeater Summer-sponsored Thursday Drink Night the next evening. I will speak more about the gin itself in the next post, but for recipe inspiration, I went to the gin section in Patrick Duffy's The Official Mixer's Manual and found the Bronx River. The Bronx River stood out as quirky because it was a sweet Martini crossed with a Gin Sour. Since citrus and sweet vermouth have worked in the past such as in the Fig Leaf Cocktail, I was willing to give it a go. Well sharper citrus that is, since orange is smoother of a juice and meshes well in the Bronx and Bronx Golden.
The Bronx River had an intriguing orange color from a combination of the sweet vermouth, turbinado sugar, and lemon juice, and the nose was dominated by the lemon juice and lemon oil. The drink was pleasantly tart when we interpreted the "juice of 1 lemon" as 1 ounce (instead of the 1 1/2 to 2 ounce lemons on the market now) and perhaps even 3/4 oz of juice would have produced a more balanced drink. The Carpano Antica's grape notes appeared first on the palate followed by the lemon juice. Moreover, the swallow was filled with gin and sweet vermouth botanicals, and this herbal complexity coupled with the lighter alcohol content helped to make the Bronx River a nice aperitif.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

cantante para mi vida

3/4 oz Pernod Absinthe
3/4 oz Strawberry Simple Syrup
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida
1 barspoon Orgeat
~1/2 oz Egg White (1/3 Egg White)

Shake once without ice and once with. Strain into a glass and add a straw. Top with club soda.

The second Pernod Absinthe drink that bartender California Gold had prepared for us at Drink was her take on the recipe that Charles H. Baker, Jr. helped to make famous, Tequila Por Mi Amante. While Tequila Por Mi Amante is a strawberry-infused tequila, the Cantante Para Mi Vida paired a strawberry syrup with one of Del Maguey's mezcals. Here, the Pernod Absinthe paired rather well with the fresh strawberry flavor. The drink started with a sweet citrus element tempered with berry notes. This fruit sip was followed by a strong smokey mezcal signature and absinthe complexity at the end of the swallow.

After the Cantante Para Mi Vida, head bartender John Gertsen ended the event with a stunning absinthe punch. John had carved an ice boat that he floated in the center of the punch bowl, and he filled the boat with overproof spirits (perhaps the absinthe?) that he lit on fire. While I do remember enjoying this punch, I was too busy speaking with Adam Gold from Pernod-Ricard about the tequila that they were launching soon to take good tasting notes about Gertsen's recipe. And perhaps, my pen and notepad had been drinking.

Postnote: I wrote Cali and got some more information about the punch. "John's punch was one big Appetizer a l'Italienne. He probably upped the absinthe on it for the event."

creole fizz

1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse 100 Rye
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Orgeat
1/4 oz Pernod Absinthe
1/4 oz Peychaud's Bitters
~1/2 oz Egg White (1/3 of an Egg White)

Shake once without ice and once with. Strain into a glass, top with soda water, and add straw. Grate cinnamon over the top to garnish.

After the Vieux Italian at Russell House Tavern, we gathered our wits and headed out to the third destination on the Pernod Absinthe Boston Bar Crawl. Well, wits really were not needed since our 1930s limos were waiting out front to escort us to the last and still undisclosed location. Off we went on a winding tour through Boston that ended up heading towards the waterfront. At that point, we surmised that Drink in Fort Point would be our final destination.
Drink was surprisingly crowded for a Tuesday night, but the staff had reserved a section in the back for our group. Bartender California Gold was on top of the action with the first two cocktails prepared in advance along with the first sortie of food. The first beverage I tried, the Creole Fizz, was an original that was a chimera of a Sazerac and a Tiki drink.
The drink started with a grand cinnamon nose which I presume was from freshly grated cinnamon. The recipe I copied down did not specify a garnish, but the photo does show some brown flecks floating on the lavish egg white foam. Since the place was rather packed and Cali had to work the other side of her station as well, I did not get to ask as many questions as I would have liked (*). The large dose of Peychaud's Bitters in the drink blended just as well with the absinthe here as it did in the equal parts Sazerac cocktail, the Gerty. Moreover, the pineapple complemented both the Peychaud's-Pernod Absinthe pairing as well as the hints of orgeat on the swallow. The concept of a whiskey Tiki drink was not unheard of and the rye worked similarly to the Bourbon in the LUPEC original, the Ken-Tiki. Overall, the Creole Fizz accomplished being both richly flavored and refreshing.

(*) Postnote: I just confirmed the recipe with Cali over email and the recipe given above is correct.