Monday, February 28, 2011

president roosevelt

2 oz Rum (Don Q Añejo)
1 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1 tsp Sugar

Stir sugar in juices until dissolved. Add rest of ingredients and ice, shake, and strain into a sugar-rimmed cocktail glass. I added an orange twist.

Last Monday was Presidents Day, and Andrea and I wanted to celebrate in style. In Esquire Drinks: An Opinionated & Irreverent Guide to Drinking, David Wondrich provides the recipe for the Presidente Vincent which is a reasonably well known recipe. The drink named after Sténio Vincent, the Haitian president during the 1930s, has some similarities to the classic El Presidente as well as to the Daiquiri. It calls for Haitian rum (although Wondrich recommends substituting Martinician or gold Puerto Rican rum), a full ounce of lime juice, and no orange juice but otherwise the same as the recipe above. The lesser known President Roosevelt variation pays tribute to Franklin's love of Orange Blossoms by splitting the juice portion into half lime and half orange. Trader Vic simplified the drink in the 1948 edition of his book to contain Bacardi, orange juice, and grenadine; while it is closer to a rum-based Orange Blossom, it is a lot less interesting of a flavor profile than the Presidente Vincent variation.
The President Roosevelt started with an orange and aged rum aroma, and these two notes carried over on the sip. On the swallow, the lime stood out more than the orange and was accompanied by the dry vermouth's botanicals. The sugared rim here did not hurt, but it is probably more necessary to adjust the balance of the tarter Presidente Vincent. When compared directly to a Daiquiri, the President Roosevelt's orange juice smoothed out the drink while the dry vermouth added an extra layer of herbalness that the Daiquiri is lacking. Not a bad way to celebrate one of our nation's presidents (please note that Teddy Roosevelt though was a teetotaler and preferred coffee to the hard stuff).

manhattan exposition

2 oz Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac
1/2 oz Plymouth Sloe Gin
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth
2 dash Housemade Mole Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Twist a lemon peel over the top and discard.

Two Sundays ago, Andrea and I traveled down to Deep Ellum for dinner and drinks. For a cocktail, I asked bartender Evan Harrison for the Manhattan Exposition off of their "Manhattans 8 Ways" section of the menu. For an otherwise straight-laced section, the drink was a bit of an abstraction. Here, the barrel-aged Cognac could mimic certain whiskey flavors and the dry vermouth supplemented by the sweetness and ruby color of sloe gin could perhaps trick the mind into thinking sweet vermouth. Indeed, it was an abstraction I was willing to try. While I could find no historical evidence for a Manhattan Exposition, various expositions did bring about some delicious drinks such as the Columbian Punch from the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893.
The Manhattan Exposition presented a Cognac and lemon oil aroma. Fruit notes from the sloe gin and Cognac predominated in the sip; these notes were chased by Cognac's heat and dry vermouth's botanicals on the swallow. Moreover, a pleasant wave of chocolate notes from the mole bitters lingered as the swallow's flavors subsided. Unlike most sloe gin-containing drinks, the Manhattan Exposition was surprisingly dry.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

locomotive

This month's Mixology Monday theme, "Some Like It Hot" (MxMo LV), was picked by Nancy of the Backyard Bartender blog. Nancy's challenge was simple -- "make anything you want to, as long as it's served hot."

The theme was rather easy to pick a drink for as I had been eyeing the Locomotive in various old drink books for quite a while. The drink was named after one of the major advances in transportation of the early 19th century. Steam locomotives allowed for great numbers of passengers and large amounts of freight to be transported quickly, efficiently, and reliably between cities. Since these early railway vehicles used heat to generate steam to propel them, having a hot drink named after them was not very surprising.

The recipe I chose was from Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks from 1869 for it had a better recipe than the one that first tempted me in Modern American Drinks from 1895. It caught my eye and made me curious as it used red wine as a base, was sweetened with honey and orange liqueur, and was thickened with egg yolks. While that seems unusual by today's drink standards, this fell within the norm for the time period of the mid 19th century. And after trying it, the Locomotive still holds ground. The recipe from the book with my modifications was as follows:
Locomotive
• 1 pint red Roussilon or Burgundy Wine (16 oz Porta dos Cavaleiros Dão 2007)
• 2 Egg Yolks
• 1 oz Honey
• 1 drop Essence of Cinnamon (1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon)
• 3 drop Essence of Clove (1/8 tsp Ground Clove)
• 1/2 gill Curaçao (2 oz Senior Curaçao)
Heat wine with cinnamon and clove to nearly boiling. Meanwhile, beat up egg yolks, honey, and Curaçao until frothed. Add hot wine to egg yolk mixture, mix, and serve. I added a freshly grated nutmeg garnish.
Since I did not have the essences, I used ground spice instead; the original recipe called for the essences to be added to the egg yolk mixture, but I figured that a little extra mulling would help to bring the flavor out. Moreover, the drink seemed like it could use a nutmeg garnish so I took the liberty of adding it. The recipe makes 4 punch cups worth.
The Cooling Cups book included the pun that "it will drive away care," and after a few of these, the author would be right. The drink's nose was full of red wine aroma that was spiced by nutmeg and clove. On the sip, the honey and orange flavors were rather pleasing, and this was followed by the red wine, cinnamon, and clove notes on the swallow. The honey and egg yolk donated a luxurious thickness and mouthfeel that made the Locomotive rather delightful to drink. In addition, the wine's tannins and the sweetness of the honey and liqueur neutralized the other rather well. The warmth did make the drink seem more potent than it was as the heat increased the mouth's sensitivity to alcohol. Overall, the Locomotive was well worth trying on a cold winter's night and perhaps a great use of a leftover, unfinished bottle of wine.

Cheers to Nancy for picking the theme and hosting and to Paul for being the benevolent railroad yardmaster to us hobos.

Friday, February 25, 2011

saratoga cocktail

3/4 glass Old Brandy (1 1/2 oz Larressingle Armagnac VSOP)
2-3 dash Pineapple Syrup (1/4 oz)
2-3 dash Maraschino (1/4 oz Luxardo)
2-3 dash Boker's Bitters (Homemade, or sub Angostura)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Later on Saturday, I was flipping through Harry Johnson's New and Improved Bartender's Manual. When I spotted the Saratoga Cocktail, I figured that I ought to give this version a try. The other Saratoga Cocktail espoused by Jerry Thomas won out historically for name recognition most likely because it is has a more standard formula. Perhaps Thomas' version could be considered a Manhattan with half the rye whiskey swapped for Cognac, or perhaps a precursor of the Vieux Carré, a Saratoga that gets gussied up with the addition of Peychaud's Bitters and spoon of Benedictine. Harry Johnson's recipe was more in the style of a Fancy Brandy (brandy, bitters, and Maraschino or curacao), and this style over time lost out to the more classic Old Fashioned and other types of drink.
The Saratoga Cocktail started with a pineapple and brandy aroma. The sip was slightly sweet and fruity, and this were chased by the brandy's heat, the Maraschino's funkiness, and the bitter's spice on the swallow. The drink definitely reminded me of a more fruit, less almond Japanese. Overall, it was pretty aggressive of a drink similar to a less sweetened but more complex Brandy Old Fashioned. Looking at the ingredients list alone without the proportions, one might even think the Saratoga Cocktail could be a chick drink (well, more so if you swapped the brandy for vodka and dropped the bitters), but alas, it is nothing of the sort.

ganesh gin fizz

1 1/2 oz Gin (preferably Old Raj)
1 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Ginger Syrup
1/2 oz Pineapple Syrup
1/2 tsp Tamarind Concentrate
1 oz Cream
1 Egg White
7 drop Keora Water

Dry shake citrus, cream, and egg white. Add rest of ingredients and ice, and shake for several minute. To Collins glass, add 1 1/2 oz soda water. Strain shaker contents over soda water in glass. Add 1 1/2 oz of soda water to shaker's ice, swirl, and strain into glass. Add straw. Garnish with 7 additional drops of Keora water on egg white froth.

On Saturday, I decided to create a recipe for Tales of the Cocktail's Ramos Gin Fizz contest. The rules were to create a variation that included gin, egg white, cream, citrus, and a hydrosol but restricted several things including bitters. My inspiration for the contest came while shopping at the big Indian supermarket on Moody Street in Waltham. After grabbing a container of tamarind concentrate, Andrea found a bottle of keora water that would be perfect for the hydrosol and the plan came together. Keora water is from the Pandanus flower and is used in Indian cooking to impart an unique floral, grassy, and slightly spicy aroma to desserts like Ghulab Jamun and rice dishes like Biryani. The rest of the drink fell into place as I filled in the gaps with other flavors and spices found in Indian cooking such as the saffron found in Old Raj Gin.

For a description of my entry, I wrote, "I love Indian cooking and many of the early drink and punch recipes were influenced by the trade with India. By incorporating traditional Indian fruits and spices in the various juices, concentrates, hydrosol, gin, and syrups, I hoped to capture the flavors of the food while still maintaining a rich smoothness that Ramos Gin Fizzes are known for. Since Ramos Gin Fizzes are traditionally morning after drinks, I named the Fizz after Ganesh, the remover of obstacles. In this case, the obstacle is the hangover preventing you from enjoying your morning."
The Ganesh Gin Fizz greeted the nose with a jasmine-, lavender-, and rose-like aroma from the keora water. The sip was tangy from the lime and tamarind and these flavors complemented the pineapple syrup. Meanwhile, the swallow contained the botanicals from the gin and the spice of the ginger syrup along with the smooth richness of the cream. All this drink really needed was a brunch buffet replete with pakoras and navratan korma, and all could be righted after a night of drinking.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

argento's dream

1 Egg White
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
1 oz Amaro (Averna)
3/4 oz Absinthe Verte (La Muse Verte)
3 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake egg white, lemon, and simple syrup without ice. Add amaro and absinthe to the mix, and shake well -- still with no ice. Pour into a Collins glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with the Peychaud's Bitters.

For our second drink on Friday night, I found the Argento's Dream in A Taste for Absinthe. The drink was created by Hari Nathan Kalyan of the Randolph on Broome in Manhattan. While the book did not elaborate on the name, I supposed it could be named after the Italian horror film direct Dario Argento whose work is often referred to as being "dark dreams." With Randolph on Broome located in Little Italy, perhaps this supports the connection. Alternatively, it could be about Dario's daughter, Asia, who was deeply affected when her dad would read her his scripts before she went to bed. Asia later became a successful actress including performing in some of her father's horror movies. If either of these are the case, the blood red Peychaud's on the egg white froth would be rather fitting.
The recipe in the book was vague as to the amaro type, so I ended up choosing the rather richly flavored liqueur Averna. I later located a recipe online that stated that they use Ramazzotti at the Randolph, and this liqueur was actually my second choice. The drink started with anise notes from the Peychaud's garnish and the absinthe in the drink. The sip was rather caramel flavored from the Averna and this paired well with the lemon notes; moreover, the swallow was absinthe's botanicals coupled with the Averna's darker notes. It really was the amaro's richness that made this drink and provided a good backbone for the rest of the ingredients. The amaro and simple syrup both donated enough sweetness to make the drink enjoyable, and the egg white served to smooth out any rough edges.

farmer's armagnac

1 1/2 oz Armagnac (Larressingle VSOP)
3/4 oz Benedictine
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Cointreau

Shake with ice and strain into a sugared-rimmed cocktail glass.

On Friday, our first cocktail of the evening was found in the Cocktail Collective book, namely the Farmer's Armagnac. The drink was created by Frank Cisneros of Brooklyn's Prime Meats, and after having the Junior a few nights before, I was in the mood for yet another Benedictine drink. Moreover, finding cocktails that specifically call for Armagnac is rare; generally we only get to use it when the recipe calls for brandy as it can often make the flavor profile more interesting. With Armagnacs frequently having a rustic taste to them, the drink's name was an appropriate pun.
The Farmer's Armagnac greeted the nose with a lemon and orange aroma from the juice and liqueur. These two notes were also present in the sip as a semi-sweet fruity flavor as they combined with the brandy's grape. Next, the swallow had the dark complexity of the Benedictine coupled with the Armagnac's heat. The drink proved to be much drier than I expected especially on the swallow, so the sugared rim was actually a good addition to allow the drinker to modulate each sip's sweetness. With the lemon and the Benedictine, the drink reminded me of the whiskey-based Frisco Sour and the gin-based Cornell Special. Moreover, with the brandy, lemon juice, and orange liqueur, it also somewhat reminded me of a Sidecar, albeit a more sophisticated and earthy one.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

the healer

1 oz Old Overholt Rye
1 oz Mead
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 dash Fee's Aromatic Bitters

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

Last Wednesday, Andrea and I went down to The Gallows in the South End for cocktails. One of the drinks that bartender April Wachtel made me that night was the Healer that struck my curiosity for it paired honey with mead. What, I wondered, would mead bring to the table that honey did not? Balancing those ingredients were rye whiskey, lemon juice, and bitters in a Sour-like format.
The nose of the Healer helped to answer the question for the orange oils were paired with a honey funkiness from the mead. The sip contained lemon and the honey's sweetness, and the swallow possessed more honey flavors along with the rye's barrel notes and heat. The mead was also present in the swallow where it contributed a sour note akin to a Flemish Ale which helped to dry out the balance at the end. Lastly, as the drink warmed up, cinnamon from the bitters appeared on the swallow and worked rather well with the honey notes.

bitter end

1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Egg White (1/2 Egg White)
1 oz Kübler Absinthe
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz Rich Simple Syrup (2:1)

Shake citrus and egg white without ice. Add rest of ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Carefully pour 1/4 oz Campari down the sides of the glass (I used an eyedropper to gently layer the Campari on the bottom), and garnish with a star anise pod.

Two Tuesdays ago, I reached for my new copy of A Taste of Absinthe and searched for a drink to make. While the book came out about the same time that Absinthe Cocktails did, I was a bit surprised at the degree of overlap between the two books. Classics I would expect (*), but each asked a similar group of bartenders for recipes and they proffered the same drinks to both. Still, there were enough novel recipes to make the second book (regardless of the purchase order) worthwhile. The drink I selected was the Bitter End from Josh Harris of Bon Vivants in San Francisco. Unlike the drink with the same name that I made last month, the bitter element here was sank to the bottom of an egg white Sour as opposed to floated on top of a Swizzle (given that it was drank with a straw it all ended similarly though).
The Campari on the bottom of the Bitter End looked like a jewel underneath the opaque yellow beverage and helped to make this a very attractive drink. On the top of the drink, the smell of the absinthe's fennel perhaps supplemented by the aroma of the star anise garnish greeted my nose. The sip was a smooth one that came across as more orange than lemon, while the swallow had more notes of the lemon, including its tartness, than the orange. The swallow also packed the absinthe's anise flavors that were smoothed out by the egg white. Toward the last half ounce or so, the drink started to change as the Campari began entering the sip. Indeed, the bitter liqueur dried out the balance with its sharp notes; however, the Campari flavor was not as intense as I anticipated since the sip was a mingling of the Sour and the liqueur.

(*) Interestingly, many of the classic recipes in A Taste of Absinthe are directly attributed to the submitter which can be confusing. But we all know that people like John Gertsen can time travel to create the great drinks of lore.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

pistache fizz

Juice of 1/2 Lemon (1 oz)
1/2 tsp Sugar (1/2 oz Simple Syrup)
1 jigger Old Tom Gin (1 1/2 oz Ransom)
1 jigger Pistache Cream (1 oz Homemade, see below)

Shake with ice. Add 1 1/2 oz of soda water to a highball glass and strain contents of shaker over it. Top off with more soda water (1 1/2 oz).

One of the reasons I wanted a quick to assemble punch two Mondays ago was that I had already spent a bit of time preparing our second drink of the night. That drink was one of the recipes in George J. Kappeler's 1895 Modern American Drinks that had taunted me with its delicious sounding name, the Pistache Fizz. It seemed like a century older precursor to Angus Winchester's Peanut Malt Flip which is an addictive concoction. The Pistache Fizz, unlike the Peanut Malt Flip, had a problem -- where to acquire pistachio cream (or butter)? While I did spot it on the web with exorbitant shipping costs, I could not find it at any of the supermarkets or specialty stores around here. Therefore, I decided to make my own via a recipe I found on the Veggie Wedgie blog (see below) using unsalted and undyed pistachios. Making the nut butter was not too difficult, but I did end up underestimating the amount of nuts that would be required to make a pair of drinks. I figured that two thirds the amount of pistachio flavor would still be delightful and proceeded on with the show.
The Fizz lived up to its name by providing a glorious pistachio aroma that was punctuated by faint Ransom Old Tom Gin notes. The sip was crisp and lemony, and the pistachio flavor showed in the swallow along with the juniper and other spice elements of the gin. Overall, the Fizz made a great dessert drink and it was well worth the effort given the rich pistachio flavor. I wonder if the Fizz would have prospered from an egg white that might have kept the bigger bits of the nut butter in suspension better.
Pistachio Cream
• 500 gram Shelled Pistachios (4 oz volume unblended, 62.9 gram)
• 3 tbsp Almond Oil (5.6 mL or 1.1 tsp Coconut Oil)
• 1 pinch Salt (1/10 pinch)
Shell the pistachios and add to a food processor or blender. Process or blend until the nuts are fine crumbs. Add oil and salt; mix until it becomes a smooth but thick butter. My reduced weights and volumes yielded 2 oz volume of pistachio cream (was shooting for 3 oz though).
Adapted from the Veggie Wedgie blog

g.m. gurton's punch

1/2 pint Rum (2 oz Lemon Hart 80)
1/2 pint Sherry (2 oz Lustau Los Arcos Dry Amontillado)
1/2 pint Brown Brandy (2 oz Pedro Domecq Fundador Solera Reserva)
1 gill Curaçao (1 oz Senior Curaçao)
1 pint Lime Juice (4 oz)
1 gill Ginger Syrup (1 oz Ginger People)
3 pint Weak Green Tea (12 oz Jasmin Green Tea)
Sweeten to Taste (1 1/2 oz Sugar)

Assemble in a punch bowl with block ice; ladle into cups when the punch has chilled. Alternatively shake and pour into an ice filled Collins or rocks glass. I added a long lime twist as a garnish. The four fold scaled down recipe makes two 12 oz servings before ice is added (more servings if punch cups are used).

Two Mondays ago, my reprint of William Terrington's 1869 Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks arrived and I was keen on giving one of the recipes a try. As I flipped through the pages, one of the punches stood out as not only quick to make but one that had win written all over it. G.M. Gurton's Punch appealed to me for it paired ginger syrup and green tea along with an old school trio of spirits: rum, sherry, and brown brandy. Filling in the gaps were orange liqueur, lime, and enough sweetener to balance the punch to my liking. Neither the book nor the web provided any history as to whom Gurton was, but the recipe remains a hundred and fifty years later so we can raise a glass to him or her!
G.M. Gurton's Punch proved to be a low proof and refreshing recipe! The punch's aroma sang out with lime and green tea notes. On the sip, a sweet lime flavor paired well with the Curaçao; meanwhile, on the swallow, the green tea predominated with hints of ginger, brandy, and the nuttiness of the sherry. Given the alcohol content of the drink, it definitely was both a cooling cup and a dainty drink, but one that kept my interest until there was nothing left but half melted ice cubes and the collapsed lime peel spiral.

Monday, February 21, 2011

stork club

1 1/2 oz Beefeater Gin
1/2 oz Combier Triple Sec
1 oz Orange Juice
1/4 oz Lime Juice
2 dash Angostura Bitters

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

For my second cocktail at Green Street, I asked bartender Derric Crothers for a Stork Club from their cocktail book (the next level up from the A to Z menu). The drink was created at the Manhattan nightclub of the same name sometime during its lifespan which ranged from 1929 to 1965. Yes, the club was started during Prohibition, but once you realize that the owner, Sherman Billingsley, was previously a bootlegger from Oklahoma, the whole scofflaw concept makes sense. Actually, the recipe probably dates to before 1946 when The Stork Club Bar Book was first published; I cannot confirm that the drink is actually in there for my copy has not yet arrived. Given that Prohibition was the era of gin and orange juice drinks (think: Orange Blossom and Bronx), perhaps the drink was created in the very early and underground years of the club.

After I tweeted that I was drinking a Stork Club, Lauren Clark of DrinkBoston tweeted back that the drink is a great brunch drink. I then recalled a post she wrote about it after having one at the B Side. Beside that post, my first encounter with the Stork Club was part of my harvesting bird-related drink recipes for our International Migratory Bird Day party three years ago. I do remember making one (we had 20 bird-themed drinks that made the cut) but I did not recall drinking one myself. And two Sundays ago, I figured that I should change that posthaste.
The Stork Club greeted my senses with a fresh orange aroma from the twist, juice, and liqueur. Next, the orange notes continued on in the sip and were followed by the lime, bitters, and gin botanicals on the swallow; while the sip was pleasantly sweet, the flavors in the swallow did function to dry out the balance a bit. With the gin, lime juice, orange liqueur, and Angostura Bitters, the drink did remind me of a Pegu Club; however, it was "sort of like someone tried to smooth over a Prohibition-era Pegu Club with orange juice" (quoted from my Twitter post). While I cannot confirm how this good of a brunch drink this would be, I do not see how there is a wrong time of day to drink to quaff one of these.

junior

2 oz Rittenhouse Rye
1/2 oz Bénédictine
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Two Sundays ago, Andrea and I went down to Green Street to pay bartender Derric Crothers a visit. For my first drink, I asked Derric for a Junior off of the A to Z menu. When I first had this drink in the pre-blog days, it resided on the small cocktail menu and I remember Tony, the rather serious and tattooed bartender who pre-dated Andy McNees at Green Street, making it for me. I recall being drawn to it for the ingredients reminded me of the Frisco Sour which I had at Eastern Standard several months before with the similar rye whiskey, Bénédictine, and citrus structure (read Frank Bruni's piece on the Frisco). However, I was taken aback at how different it was from the Frisco Sour and the reason was the lime juice pairing with the whiskey in the Junior versus the lemon juice in the Frisco Sour. Some spirits in my mind generally work better with lemon and others with lime. For example, Cognac and whiskey pair better with lemon while pisco, tequila, and rum pair better with lime; gin though works splendidly with both. This is not to say that there are not exceptions to this generalization. For example, a good rye and lime juice recipe is the Oriental. I felt that I needed to revisit the Junior especially to see if my tastes had changed over the four years since I had it last.
The Junior started with the dark herbal aroma of Bénédictine with hints of lime juice and rye whiskey. On the tongue, the sip was tart and complex with the swallow being crisp and containing the heat of the rye and the botanicals of the Bénédictine and Angostura on the swallow. The lime juice seemed to predominate the balance in this drink, and it along with the overproof whiskey functioned to dry out the sugar in the liqueur; moreover, it was notable how well the lime and Bénédictine flavors complemented each other. Perhaps a lower proof and gentler rye like Old Overholt or Sazerac might change the drink's balance toward the sweeter side. David Wondrich wrote about the Junior back in his Esquire days. Wondrich rather enjoyed this drink for the lime juice "frees the herbal notes of the Bénédictine from its heavy, sweet body, and together they buffer the tangy woodiness of the rye." Overall, the Junior did stand the test of time; it still seemed more challenging of a drink than a Frisco Sour, but I think I have come to terms with the lime juice's terpenes mingling with the whiskey better.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

iced punch

4 oz Sugar
Peels of 1/2 Lemon
4 oz Water
Juice of 1 Lemon (2 oz)
6 oz Dry Light White Wine (or Champagne)
3 oz Batavia Arrack (or Santa Cruz Rum)
1 barspoon Maraschino Liqueur (1/8 oz)

Using a vegetable peeler, peel half of a lemon. Create an oleo saccharum by muddling lemon peels in sugar. Let sit for an hour with intermittent muddling and stirring to extract the citrus oils. Add water and juice and stir to dissolve the sugar. Strain into a bowl to remove pulp and peels. Add wine, Batavia Arrack, and Maraschino, mix, and stick in freezer for a few hours. Whisk to break up ice and pour into punch cups, champagne flutes, or other vessels. Recipe makes 2-4 servings depending on cup size.

Last Saturday, I wanted to try a wine-based mixed drink so I turned to my reprint of The Flowing Bowl. The one that seemed like a good starting point was the Iced Punch that called for a Rhine wine which is often interpreted as any dry, light white. I adapted the recipe in the book a few ways to make it more amenable. First, I cut the recipe back four fold since there would only be two of us partaking. Second, it called for the lemon rinds to be rubbed off on lump sugar; since our sugar is in granule form, I opted to extract the lemon oils through muddling the peels in the sugar. Lastly, the recipe called for an ""ice-cream freezer" to freeze the nonboozy ingredients and to mix in the rest of the ingredients as it turned. Instead, I took a chance that there was enough sugar and alcohol to prevent the punch from freezing solid if I just stuck the mix in the freezer, and I was correct -- while ice crystals did form, it was a manageable amount.
The concept of white wine and Batavia Arrack was not new to us for we had tried the White Wine Punch last year. For a wine this time, I went with Bear Flag's Soft White which I have had on its own a few times before. When the punch was served at freezer temperature, it had a delightful aroma of lemons and a light hogo-like note from the Batavia Arrack. The sip had an interesting textural component from the ice slurry and contained a semi-sweet lemon flavor. On the swallow, the flavors of the Batavia Arrack dominated and helped to dry out the drink on the finish; moreover, the white wine and a faint Maraschino note were also present on the swallow as well as the aftertaste. While substituting Champagne for white wine would produce a similar effect, using a Santa Cruz rum (a Virgin Island rum like Cruzan) would have produced a lot less distinctive of a result. Andrea commented that the punch reminded her of a hogo-laden Margarita or other Daisy. I replied that I could see why one would want to serve this punch as cold as possible for the Batavia Arrack went from really smooth to rather plasticky smelling as it warmed up.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

smoking jacket

1 1/2 oz Grant's Blended Scotch
3/4 oz Cynar
3/4 oz Punt e Mes
1-2 dash Orange Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass containing a large ice cube. Flame an orange twist over the top and discard.

For my after dinner drink, bartender Paul Manzelli mentioned that he had a new drink called the Smoking Jacket. Originally, Paul wanted to create a drink named after nearby Longfellow Park, and when Paul imagined what Longfellow might be wearing as he had a postprandial cocktail, Paul thought of a smoking jacket. When Paul described this Scotch-based drink, it immediately reminded me of Audrey Saunders' Little Italy given the whiskey, vermouth and Cynar ingredients.
The Smoking Jacket began with a dark orange aroma that later included malt notes and a lightly peated aroma from the Scotch. The sip was a combination of orange from the bitters and grape from the Punt e Mes, and the swallow was a complex bitter wave coupled with lightly smoked Scotch notes. The Punt e Mes seemed to soften the Cynar so it was not as identifiable as an ingredient except on the aftertaste where the Cynar was less masked. With the peat, orange bitters, and extra notes in the Punt e Mes, the Smoking Jacket offered up a new twist to the Little Italy cocktail.

rossi negroni

3/4 oz Beefeater Gin
3/4 oz Blood Orange Cordial
3/4 oz Campari
1/2 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass containing 3 ice cubes. Garnish with an orange twist.

On Thursday, Andrea was away on a business trip, so I decided to get dinner at Bergamot. For my first drink, bartender Paul Manzelli mentioned that he had a blood orange cordial that he had recently been tinkering with. The cordial was created by bartender Greg Rossi from Dalí across the street, and Greg brought over an extra bottle for Bergamot a few nights before. The night that he brought it over, he and Paul had developed a few drinks including a Negroni variation using it to complement the drink's traditional ingredients.
The drink Paul dubbed the Rossi Negroni started with an orange aroma from the twist and cordial. The sip was a tangy Aperol-like orange flavor that was chased by an intriguing orangy bitter combination. Moreover, the Campari note that blended with the cordial on the swallow remained unmasked as a lingering aftertaste. The blood orange flavor definitely softened this drink with the fruit and sugar notes as well as the decreased volumes of the other ingredients as compared to the original.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

todd collins

1 1/2 oz Old Raj 110 Gin
1 1/2 oz Hayman's Old Tom Gin
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Simple Syrup (2:1)

Shake with ice and strain into a Collins glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a Benedictine-soaked cucumber slice, a violet ice cube (*), a candied violet, and a straw.
(*) Soak violet petals in water. Add crushed candied violet to the mix. Strain and freeze in an ice cube tray.
Last Wednesday, I met up with Andrea at Clio. One of the drinks that bartender Todd Maul made for me was a riff on the classic Tom Collins that he called the Todd Collins. As part of his upcoming Spring menu, the Todd Collins featured the flavor and aroma of one of the harbingers of that season, the violet, with stunning effect. The violet was present both in a flavored ice cube and in a candied violet garnish, and these ingredients contributed to the nose along with the fresh cucumber aroma. Initially, the sip was a tart lemon flavor with plenty of gin notes on the swallow. As the violet ice cube melted, it formed a beautiful cascade of blue that sunk to the bottom of the glass. There, the violet entered the sip where it paired well with the lemon and gin flavors. Once this occurred, the drink reminded me a lot of an Aviation Cocktail even without the requisite Maraschino liqueur being present.

shadyside fizz

1 oz Blanco Tequila (Espolón)
1 oz Angostura Bitters
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
1 Egg White
Top with Sprite (Rieme Pink Grapefruit Sparkling Limonade)

Dry shake egg white and lime juice. Add rest of ingredients (save for soda) and ice; shake. Add 2 oz of soda to highball glass and strain shaker contents on top of this. Top with additional soda if needed, and garnish with 3 drops of Angostura Bitters and a straw.

On Tuesday night, I reached for the Rogue Beta Cocktails book to see which drinks we still have not made. One of the remaining that caught my eye was Mike Ryan's Shadyside Fizz that he created at the Violet Hour in Chicago. The reason we had not mixed this one before was that we never buy Sprite soda; however, we had a bottle of Rieme Pink Grapefruit Sparkling Limonade that we bought at Capone Foods, and it seemed like it would make a fair substitution.
The Angostura Bitters in the garnish as well as in the drink itself provided a pleasant allspice and clove aroma to the Fizz. While the sip was a spicy lime flavor, the swallow was a combination of agave spirit, Angostura Bitter's spice, and grapefruit from the soda. I was pretty impressed at how well the grapefruit soda and Angostura Bitters went together and I wonder if this would be the case in a lemon-lime soda as well. Moreover, I was a bit surprised at how submissive the tequila was in this drink; true, the flavor was present but it was hiding behind the Angostura and citrus notes.

Monday, February 14, 2011

charlie's vacation

1 1/2 oz Gin (Death's Door)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Rich Simple Syrup (2:1)
1 Egg White
2 drop Orange Flower Water
2 dash Fee's Peach Bitters

Shake once without ice and once with ice. Strain into a champagne flute (champagne coupe glass).

After the Round the World, we ended the evening with Charlie's Vacation from Left Coast Libations. This drink was created by Zane Harris who co-owns Rob Roy in Seattle. While I do not know who Charlie is, the drink seems to be a variation Zane's Vacation that he created while at Vessel; Robert Hess listed the Vacation as a more summery drink containing cachaça and Aperol instead of this one's gin and Campari. Checking through our drink archives, the Charlie's Vacation might be the first Campari drink containing egg or egg white that I have had; however, others have described delicious sounding ones like the Campari Sour so I had little doubt the combination would work well.
In Charlie's Vacation, the Campari played a big role in the aroma along with the gin. On the tongue, the sip was a sweet lemon flavor with gin and Campari on the swallow. The peach bitters did a nice job of appearing on the finish and masking the lingering Campari aftertaste that I have heard many people complain about. Perhaps, the egg white aided in toning down the Campari as well. In addition, I was quite pleased with the Death's Door Gin for it gave a very robust gin signature -- much more than was expected over the egg white's smoothing character. Lastly, I wonder if the orange flower water should have been added as a garnish to the egg white froth to contribute more to the aroma instead of blending in with the various citrus notes in the drink.

round the world

1/5 Gin (1/2 oz Cascade Mountain)
1/5 Orange Juice (1/2 oz)
1/5 Dry Vermouth (1/2 oz Noilly Prat)
1/5 Sweet Vermotuh (1/2 oz Vya)
1/5 Brandy (1/2 oz Pedro Domecq Fundador Solera Reserva)
1 dash Absinthe (1/2 barspoon Pernod Fils)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry (Luxardo).

For our first drink on Monday night, I spotted the Round the World from the Café Royal Cocktail Book. The drink caught my eye for it appeared like a cross between a Satan's Whiskers and a Monkey Gland. The former has a more similar structure with its equal part of orange liqueur and dash of orange bitters swapped for the Round the World's brandy and dash of absinthe. With the latter, the Monkey Gland is the one of most famous recipes that also contains gin, orange juice, and absinthe.
The Round the World started its adventure with a light anise scent. The sip was a slightly sweet orange flavor that was chased by grape notes and the absinthe's and gin's botanicals on the swallow. Overall, it was a lot drier the Satan's Whiskers with a bit more challenging of a flavor profile given the absinthe notes. In addition, it was less richly orange flavored than the Satan's Whiskers, and the Spanish brandy I used donated a decent amount of heft and body to the Round the World.

Friday, February 11, 2011

[navy dock daiquiri]

1 1/2 oz Smith & Cross Rum
3/4 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

For my last drink on Sunday night, bartender Will Thompson wanted to return to Cynar liqueur in a Daiquiri-like drink he developed using Smith & Cross Rum. While most of the time Cynar is used in straight spirits drinks, Cynar does pair up well with citrus such as in the Mortal Sunset (orange), Peralta (grapefruit, lemon), and Wayne Curtis' Tango #2 variation (orange). As for lime juice, the only one I have had before was the Violet Hour's Kyle Davidson's Art of Choke that Maksym Pazuniak made me at the Cure Bar, and the lime did work well with the Cynar.
Will's drink greeted me with a dark note from the aged molasses rum and the Cynar and with a nutty one from the Maraschino liqueur. The sip presented a sweet lime flavor with the funkiness of the Maraschino. Other aspects of the Maraschino continued on in the swallow along with the bitter herbalness of the Cynar which coupled well with the potent Jamaican rum. When I let Andrea have a taste, she commented "this is really old school," and she noted that the funky rum aroma had a bit of a salinity or brininess to it. With the history of London Dock Rum and the Smith & Cross' navy strength proofage, I dubbed this drink the Navy Dock Daiquiri.

armada

1 1/2 oz Bols Genever
1/2 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin
1/2 oz Lustau Don Nuño Dry Oloroso Sherry
1/4 oz Lustau Pedro Ximénez Sherry
1/4 oz Drambuie

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with oil from a lemon twist.

For my second cocktail at Drink last Sunday, bartender Will Thompson suggested that I have a drink created by Misty Kalkofen with the unofficial title of "2 sherry, 2 gin." The actual name, the Armada, was most likely a reference to the Spanish Armada where the Spanish fleet sailed against England during the Anglo-Spanish War. This would explain the sherry, Old Tom (despite this one being made in the U.S.), and Drambuie, but what about the Genever? Well, part of the Armada's goal was to stop Queen Elizabeth I from supporting the Dutch revolt against the Spanish in the Netherlands. Indeed, sometimes the best history lessons are served in a cocktail glass.
The Armada's aroma was fresh lemon oil at first with raisiny Pedro Ximénez notes entering into the bouquet later. The sip was sweet and grape flavored with Ransom Old Tom's spice and the sherrys' nutty notes on the swallow. I was pretty impressed at how potent the Ransom was and how much flavor backbone it provided with only half an ounce. Overall, I have to agree with Will's assessment that this was definitely a Misty recipe especially with its balance and its use of sherry and Drambuie.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

[kuromatsu]

1 1/2 oz Cognac
3/4 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur
1/4 oz Monin Orgeat

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

On Super Bowl Sunday, we decided to make good use of most people being in front of a television set by going to Drink where such technology luckily does not reside. Well, the quarter scores were put up on the letter board for those who were interested, but our attentions were on Will Thompson who would be our personal bartender for the night (although other people were sitting in our section in the early and later parts of the evening). The first drink Will made for me was his take on a Japanese. The concept started with Will liking the combination of Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur and Cynar; he found that the Cynar took away the flatness of the Zirbenz and the two worked together to make a more rounded flavor. With his love of the Japanese Cocktail, he swapped out the original's Boker's Bitters for a healthy slug of these two liqueurs. While Will did not have a name for this drink, I informally dubbed it here as the Kuromatsu -- the Japanese Black Pine.
The drink started with an orgeat and grape aroma that smelled both sweet and dark. Its sip was piny with a light sweetness, and as the drink warmed up, the orgeat flavors became more apparent. On the swallow, the Cynar and Cognac flavors pleasantly melded and the Zirbenz contributed an interesting minty note on the finish. I was quite surprised at how the orgeat was overwhelmed in this drink for it usually is a rather pervasive flavor. For all that the Commodore Perry was a lighter and fruitier Japanese riff, Will's take on the classic was darker and more complex.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

new orleans golden fizz

1 1/2 oz Gin (Bombay Dry)
1 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 Egg Yolk
1/2 oz Cream
1 tsp Sugar (*)
3 drop Orange Blossom Water

Shake once without ice and once with ice. Add 1 1/2 oz of soda water to the bottom of a highball glass, and strain the drink over that. Top off with more soda water (1 1/2 oz) and add a straw.
(*) Perhaps increasing this to 1 1/2 or 2 tsp might provide a better balance, especially for fans of sweeter drinks.

After making the egg white-laden Pansy Flower on Friday night, I retained the yolks and went on a quest for a use of them. On CocktailDB, I spotted a recipe from Stan Jones' Complete Barguide, the New Orleans Golden Fizz, that was essentially a Ramos Gin Fizz with yolk instead of egg white. I began to wonder what a Ramos would be like without its characteristic fluffy light character that the egg white donates. The thought of an egg yolk Fizz reminded me of drinks that Josey Packard has made for me in the past at Drink, such as the Golden Fizz and the Saratoga Brace Up. Since these were great drinks, I was willing to conjure up my inner-Josey and give the New Orleans Golden Fizz a shot.
I am glad that I tried this recipe for it was a rather refreshing drink. The dual citrus and soda water donated a delightful crispness to the sip. Without the egg white to mute the flavors, the gin botanicals really stood out on the swallow. Indeed, the yolk and cream added a richness without dampening the other ingredients all that much. Overall, the drink was a little too much on the tart side for me so perhaps increasing the sugar a little might be required to balance the full jigger of lemon and lime juice. Moreover, it made me wonder if there was a need for a New Orleans Royal (full egg) Fizz to round out the genre?

pansy blossom

3 dash Gum Syrup (omitted)
1/2 oz Kümmel (Helbing)
1/2 oz Absinthe (Kübler)
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Vya)
1/2 oz Maraschino Liqueur (Luxardo)
1 Egg White

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I garnished with 3 drops of Angostura Bitters on the egg white froth.

Last Friday night, I was flipping through The Flowing Bowl and a strange egg white drink, the Pansy Blossom, caught my eye. I had not spotted this drink in any books I have read; however, there is a more modern recipe in CocktailDB of the same name that contains pastis (or anisette), grenadine, and Angostura Bitters, but there is only one ingredient in common with the above 1892 recipe. While the CocktailDB drink would at least have the coloration of a pansy, it surely lacks the intrigue to draw me to try it. Indeed, it was the strangeness of two potent herbal spirits being mitigated by the other ingredients that sparked my curiosity. Since three of the ingredients contained sugar, I decided that drink would probably be sweet enough and omitted the gum syrup from the recipe.
The Pansy Blossom started with a fennel aroma from the absinthe. Flavorwise, the sip was a sweet grape coupled with Maraschino's nuttiness. Meanwhile, the egg white and sweetness did a good job of mellowing out the absinthe's herbal intensity and kümmel's caraway notes on the swallow. Overall, the drink offered up a nice degree of complexity and was not as bizarre as I first expected it to be. With the egg white, it was a softer version of Beta Cocktails' Spice Trade with Maraschino notes instead of Curaçao.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

danube

2 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Rittenhouse 100 Rye
1/2 oz Zwack Liqueur
1/2 pinch Salt

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

On Wednesday last week, Andrea and I had to get out of the house after being shuttered in for too long thanks to the winter storms. Therefore, we shuffled through the salty slush, took the subway down to Kenmore Square, and went to Eastern Standard for dinner. For my aperitif, I asked bartender Naomi Levy to make me the Danube which just appeared on their menu. The drink was created by bartender Kevin Martin who, along with the Franklin's Peter Cipriani, got to tour Hungary with the Zwack family. Named after the Danube River that runs through Budapest, the drink was designed as a reverse Manhattan of sorts.
The Danube greeted my nose with an orange oil and grape aroma. The sip was a sweet caramel flavor from the Zwack that paired well with the Punt e Mes' grape; moreover, the swallow was a combination of the Punt e Mes' bitterness, barrel notes from the rye, and some herbal complexity from the Zwack liqueur. This complexity came across with a cinnamon-like menthol note. While the Danube started sweet, it ended cleanly and a bit more dry, and it did indeed make for a good aperitif.

robert e. lee cooler

1 dash Absinthe (1 barspoon Pernod Fils)
Juice 1/2 Lime (3/4 oz)
1 jigger Scotch (1 1/2 oz Famous Grouse + 1/4 oz Caol Ila 10 Year)
1 pint Ginger Ale (4 oz Hansen's)

Shake all but the ginger ale with ice and strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Top with ginger ale (note my volume correction). I added a straw and a wide lime peel garnish.

On Tuesday night, I was in the mood for a highball so I looked in Jacques Straub's 1914 book Drinks. There, I spotted the Robert E. Lee Cooler that would make good use of the cane sugar ginger ale that Andrea had just bought. While other Robert E. Lee Coolers I have seen are gin based, this one called for Scotch, and whiskey seemed more appropriate for the South than gin. With spirit, lime, and soda, could this have been the Confederates' version of the Cuba Libre? Probably not, for Scotch did not become abundant in America until 30 years after Lee's death. Moreover, I am unsure if Lee would approve of Straub's version anyways depending on how you parse one of his famous quotes on alcohol. Lee claimed, "I like whiskey. I always did, and that is why I never drink it." However, around 1914 when this version of the recipe was published, Scotch had become quite popular and the Mamie Taylor was in fashion.
Straub's recipe called for a full pint of ginger ale which seemed like it would be refreshing on a hot day in the South, but it would not make for a decent highball today. Therefore, I decreased the call for soda to four ounces although the drink would probably work with even a little less. Initially, I used just Famous Grouse blended Scotch; however, the smoke profile was rather weak so I added in a dash of Caol Ila single malt to boost up the signature. With that addition, the nose was not only lime oil from the twist but a decent amount of peaty smoke notes as well. Flavorwise, the ginger ale dominated the sip, and lime and the absinthe's fennel were on the swallow that was punctuated by the smoke. Overall, this version of the Robert E. Lee Cooler pleasantly reminded me of an egg white-less Morning Glory Fizz. Furthermore, the way absinthe raised this drink above a Mamie Taylor was similar to how it gussied up a Cuba Libre into the Mandeville. Given to how some of Straub's recipes can be a little off, I may have to revisit this drink sometime and experience it as the much more common gin-based version.

Monday, February 7, 2011

dutch flip

1 1/2 oz Bols Genever
1/2 oz Ruby Port (Ramos Pinto)
1/2 oz Heavy Cream (Half & Half)
1/4 oz Grand Marnier
1/4 Demerara Syrup (2:1)
1 Egg

Shake once without ice and once with. Strain into a wineglass or snifter (rocks glass), add one coffee or espresso ice cube, and garnish with a freshly grated blanched almond and a flamed orange twist.

On Tuesday night, I finally got to make the Dutch Flip. I originally planned on making the drink on Monday, but the coffee had not frozen for the flavored ice cube in time. What was an extra day considering that I had originally spotted this drink in a Tasting Table article about cocktails in Manhattan a few months ago? The Dutch Flip was created by bartender Katie Stipe of Vandaag in the East Village and seemed like it would well serve as a dessert drink.
The Dutch Flip's nose was mainly from the orange twist. Early in the drink, the sip contained the cream and almond notes which were followed by orange and Bols Genever flavors on the swallow. The grated almond worked rather well in the drink as it heightened the flavors of the Genever. As the coffee ice cube melted, the drink began to change with the additional flavors and bitter complexity. Indeed, the coffee complemented the cream and Genever in this drink. Overall, the Dutch Flip was worth the extra preparation of the coffee ice cubes, and it made for an intriguing drink as the flavor profile change over time.

arawac

1 1/2 oz Jamaica Rum (Coruba)
1 1/2 oz Sweet Sherry (Lustau Pedro Ximénez San Emilio)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

A few weeks ago, I was reminded of the Arawak Cocktail in a tweet by RumDood. So for the second drink last Monday night, I reached for our 1947 edition of Trader Vic's Bartender's Guide and opened it up to the rum section. The drink is a riff on the Pirate's Cocktail calling for Jamaican rum and swapping the vermouth for a sweet sherry. It seemed like the perfect after dinner drink to follow the Jamaica Jerk Seitan dish that Andrea had prepared.

The ingredients and name make an interesting and cohesive historical reference. The Arawak people were one of the indigenous peoples of the West Indies, and they were the natives that Christopher Columbus discovered in his 1492 voyage. With a bit of Caribbean rum and bitters mingling with a Spanish fortified wine, the parts are all there. Especially since Columbus' ship was well stocked with sherry on that voyage as Camper English's recent article in the L.A. Times describes.
For a rum, Andrea wanted to experiment with our recent acquisition of Coruba. My gut instinct was to grab the Smith & Cross and use its overproof roughness to cut into the sweet sherry; however, I was game for experimenting with the Coruba for we had not used it for much other than as an accent in certain drinks. Of our two sweet sherries, the Pedro Ximénez won out over Lustau's East India Solera.

The Arawak's nose was the dark aged rum aroma softened by the sherry. While the sip was sweet, smooth, and grapey, the swallow was full of dark and funky rum flavors, the raisininess of the sherry, and the spice of the Angostura. Moreover, I was impressed at how well the Coruba's caramel note matched the sherry's richness. Indeed, Andrea commented that the drink "taste[d] like a really delicious Coke or Dr. Pepper syrup."

Sunday, February 6, 2011

endeavor

1/3 Bourbon (1 oz Eagle Rare 10 Year)
1/3 Green Chartreuse (1 oz)
1/3 Lillet (1 oz Cocchi Americano)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

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

Last Monday, the Endeavor from the UKBG Approved Cocktails book caught my eye. With green Chartreuse, an aromatized wine, and a base spirit, the recipe reminded me of the gin-based Bijou (or Scott Holliday's rye-base Family Jewels variation) and the Irish whiskey-based Tipperary. Here, the spirit and wine ingredients were Bourbon and Lillet, respectively. What is curious is that these British bartenders published the recipe only 4 years after Prohibition had ended; the recipe calls for Seagram's, a Canadian company that purchased several American distilleries after Prohibition ended and began a few decades of making Bourbon in the States.
The Endeavor's aroma was a pairing of orange oil and green Chartreuse. On the tongue, the sip contained citrus notes from the Cocci Americano punctuated by an herbal tingle from the Chartreuse, while the swallow was a combination of the Bourbon, the spice of the Angostura Bitters, and the main brunt of the Chartreuse complexity. As a food pairing, Andrea discovered that the drink went rather well with a square of Newman's Own Organic Orange Dark Chocolate. Compared to a Bijou, the Green Chartreuse was more pronounced here; perhaps the Lillet did not mute the Chartreuse as well as sweet vermouth or perhaps the whiskey intensified its character.

Friday, February 4, 2011

1836

1 oz Siete Leguas Añejo Tequila
1 oz Campari
1 oz Carpano Antico Vermouth
2 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Add ice cubes (4), a straw, and an orange twist.

On Sunday night, Andrea and I headed over to Craigie on Main for a nightcap. While Andrea was drawn to the mezcal-laden Degüello on the menu, I was more curious to find out what bartender John Mayer had been playing around with off the menu. John picked a companion piece to the Degüello called the 1836; both drinks were named after bits of history from John's home state of Texas. During the Texas Revolution, Santa Anna's troops were preparing to attack the Alamo and they opted for some psychological warfare. They repeated a bugle call, El Degüello meaning "slit throat," signifying that they were planning to leave no man alive. Even the ones hiding in the Alamo's basement.
Degüello
• 3/4 oz Scorpion Mezcal
• 3/4 oz Oloroso Sherry
• 3/4 oz Punt e Mes
• 1/2 oz Old Monk Rum
• 1/4 Demerara Syrup
• 1 dash Angostura Bitters
• 5 drop Angostura Orange Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with a flamed orange twist.
My 1836 was named after the year that Texas declared independence from Mexico. Essentially, it was a tequila take on the rye-based 1794 created by Dominic Venegas while at Range in San Francisco. When John made me the 1836, I was amused that it looked practically like the variation, the 1795, that bartender Ted Gallager made almost a year ago. With the change from the 1794's rye, John felt that the drink still needed some barrel-aged notes, so he picked an añejo tequila to round out the drink.
The 1836 began with an aroma of Campari, Carpano Antica, and orange oil. The taste was a semi-sweet grape sip that was chased by a drying wave of Campari and agave notes. Lastly, the chocolate notes from the mole bitters lingered as a pleasing aftertaste.

cafe royal special

1/4 Dry Gin (3/4 oz Darnley's View)
1/4 Lemon Juice (3/4 oz)
1/4 Dry Vermouth (3/4 oz Noilly Prat)
1/4 Sloe Gin (3/4 oz Plymouth)

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

On Saturday night, I was in the mood for a lighter style of cocktail when I spotted the Café Royal Special. The drink was created by the compiler of the Café Royal Cocktail Book, William Tarling, and with the split base of gin and sloe gin, it reminded me of a drier Improved Ping Pong. For a gin, I opted to try out the sample of Darnley's View Gin that we were sent. A quick taste of this Scottish gin gave a good balance of citrus, juniper, and coriander notes without anything being too sharp or overpowering. With this citrus notes, I felt that the gin would be a good match for this recipe. What I could glean off of their website is that they keep it simple with only 6 botanicals: juniper, coriander seed, lemon peel, elderflower, orris root, and angelica root.
The Café Royal Special started with a lemony aroma from the twist and the juice. The sloe gin came out as a berry flavor on the dry and tart sip, and this was followed by the dry vermouth and lemon notes on the swallow. Overall, the drink was surprisingly dry for a sloe gin recipe, although it did gain a bit of sweetness as it warmed up.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

dover

3/4 oz Berkshire Mountain Distillers' Ethereal Gin (orange label)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Combier Orange Liqueur
3/4 oz Cocchi Americano

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Fill with ice and add straws and a lime wedge.

On Friday night, Andrea and I traveled over to Brookline to eat dinner at Lineage. One of the drinks bartender Ryan Lotz made me was the Dover from their cocktail menu. The Dover was created when a regular customer requested an alternative to her regular gin and tonic; since her nickname was Dover, Ryan decided to dub the drink this. Based off of a Corpse Reviver #2 sans absinthe (or perhaps a Hoop La!), the drink had a classic feel to it from the get-go.
The freshly cut lime wedge provided a pleasant aroma to the drink. On the sip, a semi-sweet citrus flavor was chased by a juniper-laden swallow that contained a bit of drying tartness to it. Moreover, as the ice melted, the drink got even more crisp and less sweet tasting. Overall, I could see it making a good transition for a gin and tonic drinker and as well as a good variation for the classic cocktail lover.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

dead man's mule

1 oz Orgeat
1 oz Kübler Absinthe
1/2 oz St. Elizabeth's Allspice Dram
1/2 of a Lime (in wedges)

Muddle lime wedges in the bottom of a copper mug. Add rest of ingredients, fill with crushed ice, and top with ginger beer. Add straws.

For my final drink, bartender Joe Staropoli who was working at the ice bar mentioned to Tyler that I had considered the Dead Man's Mule last time I was at Drink. That time I passed it up in favor of The Old Man, the Monk, and the Sea, but this time I was game and it seemed like a good transition from the Johan Goes to Mexico. After Tyler made me the drink, Joe came by and relayed the drink's history. About two months ago, a dozen guys from Copenhagen showed up to the bar, and a pair of them requested this drink from him. Joe was a little taken aback by the request and with bar manager John Gertsen's assistance, they adapted the recipe given Drink's ingredients. Since the original calls for Goldschläger cinnamon schnapps, which Drink lacks, they replaced it with allspice dram and were rather pleased with the results.
The Dead Man's Mule greeted the nose with anise from the absinthe and ginger from the soda. The sip was the classic lime and orgeat pairing found in many Tiki drinks, while the swallow was absinthe, allspice, and ginger notes all residing in harmony with each other. While the drink was spicy, it was a lot less intense that I first expected given the ingredients and proportions.

johann goes to mexico

1 1/2 oz Mezcal Vida
1/2 oz Angostura Bitters
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Demerara Syrup (1:1)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Soon Andrea arrived at Drink from her class and it was time for another round. The cocktail bartender Josey Packard wanted to make me was a bitters-heavy mezcal drink called Johann Goes to Mexico. The Johann in question was the 19th century surgeon, Dr. Johann Siegert, who developed Angostura Bitters. Soon after Josey created this drink last year, a bartender from Upstairs on the Square requested if he could put it on their menu where it resided for the summer.
The Johann Goes to Mexico presented itself with an aroma of Angostura's cherry notes and mezcal's smoky sharpness. On the tongue, the bitters' cherry combined with the lemon in a slightly sweet sip. The swallow though was mainly about the smoke and agave flavors from the mezcal; moreover, the Angostura, mezcal, and lemon juice's crispness dried out the drink at the end. Indeed, it was a bit surprising that the Angostura was more up front than on the swallow where it usually resides.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

saratoga brace up

1 tbsp Sugar (1/2 oz Demerara Syrup 1:1)
2 dash Angostura Bitters (1 dash)
4 dash Lemon or Lime Juice (1/2 oz Lemon)
2 dash Absinthe (2 dash Herbsaint)
1 Egg (1 Egg)
1 wineglass Brandy (2 oz Cognac)

Shake without ice and then with ice. Double strain into a highball glass, top with seltzer water, and add a straw.
Note: Ingredients on the left are from Jerry Thomas and the ingredients in parentheses on the right are the way Josey made this drink.

For my second beverage at Drink, I asked bartender Josey Packard what drinks she had been excited about making lately, and she replied that she has been enjoying the old school classics. When I stated that I was up for anything as long as I had not had it before, she first suggested a Golden Fizz (which she made me a while back) before settling upon the Saratoga Brace Up. Indeed, I was familiar with the recipe, but alas, I had never pulled the trigger on making one. Surprisingly, David Wondrich in Imbibe! said very little about this drink that first appeared in the 1887 edition of Jerry Thomas' book. He did compare it to another drink, the Scotch-based Morning Glory Fizz. Both of these Fizzes were probably palliatives prescribed after a night of drinking, and both contain egg (or egg white) and absinthe to settle the stomach issues that might be occurring then.
The Saratoga Brace Up had a rather subtle aroma that came across as a chocolaty or earthy note. The sip was lemony and was neither sweet nor tart but had a bit of crispness on the tongue from the soda's carbonation. Next, a light collection of Herbsaint and Angostura notes punctuated the Cognac on the swallow. Overall, the Saratoga Brace Up was easy to drink without being characterless; moreover, I could definitely see nursing one or two of these after a ribald night on the town and much more so than the smoky Morning Glory Fizz.

ti' punch fizz

2 oz La Favorite Rhum Agricole Blanc
1 oz Lime Juice
1 oz Demerara Simple Syrup (1:1)
1 1/2 oz Cream
2 dash Tiki Bitters
1 Egg White

Shake without ice and then extensively with ice (2 minutes). Add 1 oz of soda water to a highball glass and double strain the drink on top of that. Pour 1 oz of soda water into the shaker, swirl, and strain on top of drink. Add a spoon straw and a lime twist.

Last Wednesday, I went down to Drink in Fort Point when Andrea was in French class. For my first drink, bartender Tyler Wang wanted to make me a drink called the Ti' Punch Fizz that they had recently come up with. The Fizz was created by Drink's own Ezra Star (who apparently also invented the Bijou according to Wikipedia) by taking the classic Ti' Punch and giving it a Ramos Gin Fizz-style treatment.
The Fizz's aroma was initially dominated by the lime oils from the twist. Flavor-wise, the sip was a sweet creamy lime flavor, while the swallow was a smoothed out rhum agricole taste that finished clean and dry. The lime and rhum agricole were muted by the cream and egg white, and it was noteworthy how well these flavors complemented each other.