Friday, April 29, 2011

sherry cobbler

2 1/2 oz Lustau Los Arcos Dry Amontillado Sherry
3/4 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
4 dash Smoking Ban Bitters (sub Angostura or other aromatic)

Build on crushed ice in a rocks glass, add a straw, and garnish with mint sprigs, strawberry slices, and an orange slice.

On Friday night, I headed over to Lineage to get dinner. For my first drink, bartender Ryan Lotz had an idea for a Cobbler which sounded great despite having had a Cobbler a few nights before. Wait, one cannot have too many Cobblers, and hopefully, this increased Cobbler presence in Boston is the new hot trend. The drink was a Sherry Cobbler that was a different take on the classic than the one that the Cure bar made me last summer. In fact, with the dry sherry, liqueur, and mint sprigs, it reminded me a little of the Platonic Julep we had last year.
The Cobbler's strawberry and mint garnishes paid dividends in the aroma department. While the sip was mainly the sherry's grape notes, the swallow was a combination of the apricot liqueur and the Amontillado's delightful nuttiness. I was quite impressed by how both the sherry and apricot liqueur flavors were complemented by the strawberry's aroma. Overall, this light drink made for a great aperitif!

sbagliato grosso

1 Strawberry (hulled)
1 1/2 oz Cognac (Martell VS)
1 oz Campari
1 oz Sweet Vermouth (Vya)
1/2 oz Pastis (Henri Bardouin)
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Place strawberry in a rocks glass and gently press to crush and extract juice (do not muddle). Add rest of ingredients and ice, stir, and garnish with a lemon and an orange twist.

On Wednesday, to utilize the strawberries I purchased to garnish the Manischewitz Cobbler, I made the Sbagliato Grosso from Left Coast Libations. I had been holding off on that recipe until I had strawberries in house, and the Cobbler certainly gave a good excuse to buy some. The cocktail was created by Damian Windsor of the Roger Room in Los Angeles, and the best I could translate the drink's name was "fat blunder." A similarly bungled Negroni was written up in the New York Times yesterday under the name Negroni Sbagliato; that one uses sparkling wine and orange slices instead of the Cognac, strawberry, and bitters here.
Once assembled, the dual citrus twists contributed greatly to the drink's aroma. The sip contained fruit notes from the sweet vermouth and the crushed strawberry, while the swallow possessed the herbal complexity of the Campari and pastis. Indeed, those two liqueurs did a good job of balancing each other so that neither one took over the drink's flavor.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

cynar fizz

2 oz Cynar
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 Egg White

Shake with a Hawthorne strainer spring without ice to froth up the egg white. Add ice and shake again. Strain into a Champagne flute and top with 1 - 1 1/2 oz soda water.

For my second drink at Rendezvous last week, I asked bartender Scott Holliday if he had any ideas with egg or egg white. He replied that he had been tinkering with a rather simple Cynar Fizz -- solely the liqueur, lemon juice, egg white, and soda water. I was intrigued so I nodded with approval.

In the Fizz, the Cynar contributed greatly to the aroma. The sip was smooth from the egg white as well as citrussy and crisp from the lemon juice. Next, the swallow presented the Cynar herbal flavor that had been mellowed out considerably by the egg white. While I did not mind the drink's tartness, maybe a quarter to half ounce of simple syrup might shift the drink to something more accessible to those who like moderate to sweeter drinks, respectively.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

[french derby]

3 oz Citadelle Gin
1/4 oz Matilde Pear Liqueur
2 dash Fee's Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters
2 sprig Mint

Muddle mint in other ingredients and let mascerate for a few minutes. Remove mint, add ice, stir, and strain into a rocks glass.

Two Tuesdays ago, I met Andrea at Rendezvous for dinner. For my first drink, bartender Scott Holliday said that he had been playing around with the mint and gin-based Derby cocktail (for a historical overview of the classic, see Doug Ford's post) and asked if I would like to try it. His modifications took the drink in a French direction for he used Citadelle gin from the Pierre Ferrand distillery in Cognac and he switched the peach bitters to pear liqueur from Anjou. The French actually do have a derby called the Prix du Jockey Club that is run every year in early June, although I am not sure what their official drink is.
This Derby variation provided a glorious mint bouquet. The sip was sweet with a hint of pear and was followed by mint, gin, and spice on the swallow. The liqueur, beside adding a bit of sugar to the drink, donated some body as well. Overall, the drink made for a refreshing but potent crushed ice-free Julep.

dunbar

1 3/4 oz Douglas XO Blended Scotch
1 oz Lustau Dry Amontillado Sherry
1/4 oz Benedictine
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Angostura Orange Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a glass pre-rinsed with Laphroaig Scotch. Twist an orange peel over the top.

For my next cocktail at Drink, bartender California Gold mentioned that she had a riff on the Bobby Burns. She explained that she woke up with an idea for a Scotch-sherry drink a few nights before, and it morphed into a variation of said classic. For a name, she asked for assistance from poet Jill McDonough who dubbed it the Dunbar. Luckily, she meant the town in Scotland and not the crappy college bar in Ithaca, NY, named after it. Moreover, the Dunbar seemed like a good segue from the mezcal and sherry-containing Tobacconist with a less smokey and more sherry offering.
The drink greeted me with a fresh orange oil aroma coupled with the smoke most likely from the Laphroaig rinse. On the tongue, grape and malt notes were on the sip, and these flavors were followed by nuttiness, smoke, spice, and a hint of orange from the bitters on the swallow. Indeed, the sherry took the drink in a different direction than sweet vermouth does in the Bobby Burns for it donated more grape and nutty elements to the flavor profile.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

tobacconist

1 1/2 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida
1/2 oz Galliano Ristretto Coffee Liqueur
1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Lustau Pedro Ximénez Sherry
1 barspoon Allspice Dram
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Fee's Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a goblet filled with crushed ice. Float a 1/4 oz Del Maguey Chichicapa Mezcal and add straws.

Two Mondays ago, taxes were due and for the first time in years, we cut it pretty close to the deadline. Luckily, we have a 24 hour post office here in Boston, and after getting our envelop successfully postmarked, we hopped to the other side of the channel to celebrate at Drink. There, we found seats at the center bar where bartender California Gold was stationed. For my first beverage, Cali suggested the Tobacconist that she created and Ryan, one of the Sunday regulars, named. The agave, coffee liqueur, and sherry line up reminded me of Eric Alperin's Bebida de Puebla. While Eric's drink was straight spirits, Cali's incorporated citrus and utilized much more smoke-driven spirits.
The Tobacconist presented itself with a dark roast and smokey aroma from the coffee liqueur and mezcal, respectively, that was perhaps evocative of a Padron 1964 series. The sip was rather rich and full of raisin and coffee notes, and the swallow contained a good amount of smoke and spice. As the ice melt diluted the drink over time, the sip became more grapefruit flavored with a lemon crispness that was somewhat masked by the other ingredients earlier in the drink.

cloister

1 1/2 oz Hendrick's Gin
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Simple Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist (grapefruit twist is an option, but not the way Green Street makes it).

For my last cocktail at Green Street two Sundays ago, I asked manager Mark Young to make me the Cloister. Robert Hess' site has been tracing back the history of the drink with the earliest reference they could find was in a 1970's Playboy bar book. While Robert was introduced to the Cloister at the Zig Zag Café in Seattle, I, like many Bostoners, was introduced to the recipe on Green Street's A-to-Z cocktail menu.
The Cloister greeted me with a fresh lemon oil and gin aroma. Next, a sweet citrus flavor on the sip was followed by the gin and yellow Chartreuse on the swallow. Overall, the drink was surprisingly well composed, especially how the grapefruit notes balanced the botanical bitterness in the Chartreuse.

Monday, April 25, 2011

bohemian

1 oz Beefeater Gin
1 oz St. Germain
1 oz Pink Grapefruit Juice
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Sundays ago, Andrea and I stopped in at Green Street for dessert and cocktails. For my first drink, I asked bartender Derric Crothers for the Bohemian. The drink was created there back around 2008 by then bar manager Misty Kalkofen; while I believe that Andrea had ordered one there shortly after it appeared on the menu, I realized that I had never had one myself. I figured that the drink could do no wrong for St. Germain and grapefruit juice make excellent partners such as in the Sam Treadway's Agony and Ecstasy and Emma Hollander's One-Armed French Hooker.
The pink grapefruit dominated the aroma of this drink and contributed to the sip along with some of the St. Germain's floral notes. The bulk of the St. Germain liqueur, however, arrived on the swallow and was chased by the gin and Peychaud's Bitters' crispness at the end. The pink grapefruit made for a softer, sweeter drink than yellow grapefruit probably would have, but I could see it working equally as well in the recipe.

winter

2/3 glass Jamaica Rum (1 1/2 oz Smith & Cross)
Juice of 1 Lemon or Lime (1 oz Lime Juice)
Sugar to taste (1/2 oz Simple Syrup)
1 tsp Ginger Brandy (Domaine de Canton)
1 tsp Pimento Dram (St. Elizabeth's Allspice Dram)
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Saturdays ago, I was flipping through the Jamaican Jollifiers section of The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book and I spotted the Winter. The drink was an interesting variation on a Daiquiri that seemed like it would make a great segue from the previous evening's Nuclear one. For a Jamaican rum, I opted for Smith & Cross for it worked rather well in a similar drink that Hugh Fiore made for me at Eastern Standard.
The Winter's aroma was dominated by the Smith & Cross rum. While the sip contained the lime's flavor and rum's richness, the swallow contained the spice from the allspice dram and Angostura along with the funkiness of the rum. As the drink warmed up, the ginger flavors became more potent on the swallow. Indeed, the Angostura Bitters here helped to take the drink away from a classic Daiquiri similar to their effect in the Hugh's Smith & Cross Punch; moreover, the ginger liqueur and pimento dram probably aided in that as well.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

nuclear daiquiri

3/4 oz Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum
3/4 oz Green Chartreuse
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/3 oz Falernum (Velvet)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I garnished with a lime wheel.

For my last drink on Friday night, I selected the Nuclear Daiquiri from the Big Bartender's Book. I had read mention of this drink around the web for a while but the name seemed a little too hokey to try. However, when I finally saw the ingredients, I was definitely game. I am not sure what it is about Chartreuse that makes people think of radiation, but I am reminded of the H Bomb that Josey Packard discovered in Stan Jones' Complete Bar Guide; the H Bomb has both green and yellow Chartreuse along with Bourbon and brandy. The Nuclear Daiquiri was created in 2005 by Gregor de Gruyther at the LAB bar in London a few years before he left this mortal coil, and it packs a wallop of potent Jamaican and Carthusian ingredients.
The Nuclear Daiquiri's nose was filled with the aroma of Wray & Nephew Rum and lime and came across as almost sweet. On the taste, the sip contained the lime juice and funky rum notes, and the swallow was much more intense with the heat and flavors of the two overproof spirits -- the white rum and the herbal Chartreuse. Meanwhile, the falernum donated enough sweetness to soften the drink as well as adding a lingering clove note. While the drink did not disappoint for intensity, it was not as over the top as I first feared for the ingredients seemed to balance each other well. Thinking back to other robust Daiquiri variations, I would have to put the Nuclear Daiquiri in the same family as Ryan Lotz's Haitian Monk (a/k/a the Popa Docquiri) and Scott Holliday's Rude Boy.

manischewitz cobbler & flip

With Passover upon us, I often hear questions about what can people drink since beer, whiskey, grain-based vodka and gin, and other ingredients are not allowed by lax standards and most things are not allowed by stricter ones. Some of my first alcohol memories came from drinking Manischewitz at Passover Seders. All I recall was not enjoying it despite it being sweetened and made from similar grapes as Welch's grape juice. Since then, Kosher for Passover wines have come a long way; however, none of them are as iconic as Manischewitz Concord Grape Wine. So how can this be improved? Or better yet, what would Jerry Thomas make for a Seder?

One of the Jerry Thomas recipes in the 1862 How to Mix Drinks; A Bon Vivant's Companion that I have not been able to make is the Catawba Cobbler. Catawba is a native grape hybrid that produces foxy and odorous wines that played a major role in the country's early wine production. By Jerry Thomas' early days, it was the most widely planted grape variety in the country; now, there are only a small number of wineries that sell this and few liquor stores actually will carry it. Instead of acquiring some in my next trip out to the Finger Lakes region of New York, I decided to use Manischewitz which is made from native grapes (51% Concord with no declaration of what the rest is). While it is not as odorous and unique as Catawba, any recipe that works for Catawba should do quite well with Manischewitz.
Catawba Manischewitz Cobbler
• 1 tsp Sugar
• 1 tbsp Water
• 2 wineglass Wine (4 oz Manishewitz Concord)
Dissolve sugar in water. To add flavor, I muddled the sugar with orange peel before adding the water. While a shaking with ice step was not specified, I added wine and ice, shaked, and strained. Strain into a tumbler filled with shaved ice (crushed ice). Add a straw and ornament with an orange slice and berries in season.
The ornamentation contributed greatly to the drink's aroma which was filled with strawberry and orange notes. The sip was a slightly orange-tinged fruit flavor that was followed by a funky native American grape swallow. While the starting ingredient here was not as tasty as the Pedro Ximénez in the Sherry Cobbler at the Cure bar, the drink here was almost as enjoyable. Between the extra sugar and the melting ice, the Manischewitz was tamed considerably. Later versions of Catawba Cobblers that include orange juice or muddled/shaken orange slices would probably bring the drink some extra glory. While I wanted to stick with the recipe as Jerry gave it, I could not help but think that a dash or two of Angostura would work wonders here.
Since I still had a mostly full bottle of wine in front of me, I figured that I should attempt another recipe that could possibly work even better than the Cobbler -- a Flip! Along with orange juice, dairy, and honey, egg works wonders in taming rougher ingredients. While I could not find a Catawba Flip, I did have a recipe for a Claret one in Tom Bullock's The Ideal Bartender (although my hardcopy is entitled 173 Pre-Prohibition Cocktails: Potations So Good They Scandalized A President).
Claret Manischewitz Flip
• 2 heaping tsp Sugar (1 tsp)
• 1 1/2 jigger Wine (2 1/4 oz Manishewitz Concord)
• 1 Egg
Dissolve sugar in water (2 tsp). Add rest of ingredients and ice, shake, and strain into a punch glass. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.
Since Manischewitz is a sweetened wine opposed to a dry claret, I decreased the additional sugar in the recipe. Unlike in the Cobbler, the grape notes did enter into the aroma along with the nutmeg garnish. The egg provided a creamy sip and mellowed out the funky grape notes on the swallow. Strangely, the drink finished sweeter than it started on the sip. Over time, the nutmeg entered the flavor profile and provided some nice spice notes that complemented the wine's funkiness.
So there are two drinks that can easily be made completely Kosher for Passover even by the strictest laws. The pre-Prohibition bartenders often had to deal with poor quality wines and spirits, so their wisdom pays dividends in making Manischewitz into tasty libations. Their wisdom does not extend into what to do with Matzoh to make it more palatable though.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

magnolia tree

1 oz Tanqueray Gin
3/4 oz Curaçao
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
>1/2 Campari

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice seasoned with green Chartreuse.
On Friday night, I opened up the Rogue Beta Cocktails book and found the Magnolia Tree. The drink was created by Ira Koplowitz, perhaps during his years at Chicago's Violet Hour bar, and combines a classic Gin Daisy with two bitter elements. One of those elements is a healthy dose of Campari and the other is a light touch of green Chartreuse by way of a rinse. Perhaps it was the suggestion of the drink's name, but the aroma was rather floral; moreover, the drink's color did remind me of magnolia blooms I have seen. The nose also contained notes of orange liqueur, Campari, and a hint of Chartreuse. Like many Daisies, the sip was a combination of the citrus elements. Moreover, the swallow contained the gin and Campari with a slight accent of the Chartreuse akin to the effect of nonpotable bitters.

jamaican bobsled flip

3/4 oz Smith & Cross Rum
3/4 oz Wray & Nephew Rum
1/2 oz Creme de Cacao (brown)
1/2 oz St. Elizabeth's Pimento Dram
1/2 oz Ginger Syrup
2 dash Mole Bitters
1 Egg (*)

Shake once without ice and once with ice. Double strain into a Tiki mug filled with crushed ice. Top with extra crushed ice, add a straw, and garnish with Fee's Whiskey Barrel Bitters.
(*) Note: the original drink, the Jamaican Bobsled, lacks an egg. To make this, omit the egg, dry shake, and fine straining step.

For my second drink two Tuesdays ago at Drink, I asked bartender Joe Staropoli for an egg or egg white drink. One of his drink ideas caught my attention -- it was the Flip form of a drink I had heard mention of on Facebook or Twitter called the Jamaican Bobsled. With a pair of Jamaican rums joined by chocolate and spice notes, it sounded delicious, but I queried if I should have it the original way instead. Joe convinced me that I ought to try it as a Flip to fulfill with my initial urge.
The Jamaican Bobsled Flip greeted my nose with a cinnamon aroma from the bitters. The flavor contained a tasty combination of chocolate, allspice, and ginger that was chased by ardent rums on the swallow. Even with the egg to tame the spirit and spice flavors, the drink was still very intense. However, as the crushed ice melted over time, the drink mellowed out considerably.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

[rhube goldberg]

1 1/2 oz Douglas XO Blended Scotch Whisky
3/4 oz La Gitana Manzanilla Sherry
1/2 oz Cocchi Americano
1/2 oz Rhubarb Syrup (see here for a recipe)
2 dash Celery Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass pre-rinsed with Laphroaig Scotch.

Last Tuesday, one of my college friends was in town and wanted to get cocktails, so I took her to Drink. There, we found seats at the ice bar where Joe Staropoli was busy chipping away and crafting drinks. For my first libation, Joe mentioned that he had made a drink with rhubarb syrup earlier in the week. I was intrigued for I enjoyed Ciaran Wiese's Old New York Sour that we made at home and the Last Word variation, the Final Rhuse, that I created with this syrup. Thus, I gave the drink idea the thumbs up.
The Laphroaig rinse paid dividends to the aroma where it added a funky and smokey note. The sip was a bit drier than I expected and the rhubarb paired well with the Cocchi Americano's citrus notes. Following this were the Scotch and sherry flavors on the swallow along with a hint of celery at the end. Of all the combinations, I felt that the Manzanilla, a lighter sherry style, complemented the rhubarb syrup the best.

far east suite

1 1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac
1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Royal Combier Orange Liqueur
1 barspoon Batavia Arrack
1 dash Fee's Old Fashioned Aromatic Bitters
2 Cloves

Muddle cloves in bitters. Add rest of ingredients and ice, shake, and double strain into a cocktail glass. Grate nutmeg over the top as a garnish.

Two Mondays ago, Andrea and I stopped by Bergamot for a late night dinner. For a drink, I asked bartender Paul Manzelli about the Far East Suite on the menu. He explained that someone requested a French Martini a few nights before, and he therefore opened up a container of pineapple juice to make the drink. To use up the leftover juice, he crafted a variation of the classic East India Cocktail. I was familiar with the original for it was part of the Anvil's 100 Drink List that I completed as part of my 2009 New Year's resolution (well, I took the challenge up in June or July, so perhaps it was a Mid Year's resolution instead).
The freshly grated nutmeg contributed greatly to the drink's aroma and was joined over time by clove notes. Flavorwise, the sip contained the pineapple and orange notes, and the pineapple continued on in the swallow along with Cognac. Moreover, on successive swallows, the clove notes increased and paired elegantly with the pineapple. Overall, the drink was much more fruit driven than the original which had a much more booze-forward feel akin to the Japanese.

Monday, April 18, 2011

[battle royal fizz]

1 1/4 oz Cynar
1 1/4 oz Fernet Branca
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 Egg

Shake once without ice and once with. Strain into a glass filled with 1 oz Gritty's Blackfly Stout brown sugar syrup (1:1, still lightly carbonated). Perhaps adding 1/2 oz of brown sugar syrup (2:1) on the shake and using 1 oz of stout in the glass would work just as well with perhaps more carbonation than the beer-brown sugar syrup.

For my nightcap at Ben Sandrof's Sunday Salon, I requested an egg or egg white drink with an ounce or two of beer float. I was still thinking about the drinks like the Mad Monk Fizz and the Morning Glory Fizz variation that Ted Kilpatrick made me at No. 9 Park, and I was curious to see what Ben could conjure up. Ben's creation was a cross between the Cynar Flip developed at Drink and the Fernet Flip made at Eastern Standard. The pairing of Cynar with beer was one I was familiar with such as in California Gold's Dark Horse which paired it with a stout syrup and a kind of "groovy drink" that Hugh Fiore made me with IPA. However, beer and Fernet? Only as a beer and a shot combination in separate vessels.
For a drink name, I dubbed it the "Battle Royal Fizz" after all of the rich flavors fighting it out and as a play on my first thought of the "Bitter Royal Fizz." The drink's nose contained aromas of the Fernet Branca and the roast and hops of the stout. A rich malty sip from the beer and egg was chased by Fernet's menthol notes on the swallow and a Cynar-flavored finish. If I were to compare it any of the drinks I mentioned above, Cali's Scotch-based Dark Horse was probably this drink's closest cousin.

bittered fling

1 1/2 oz Greylock Gin
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 dash Day of the Dead Bitters (sub floral or aromatic bitters)

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

Two Sundays ago, Andrea and I stopped by Ben Sandrof's Sunday Salon. One of the drinks Ben made me was the Bittered Fling, well because it was not quite a Sling. The drink started with a grapefruit oil and Aperol aroma to my nose and grapefruit and yellow Chartreuse to Andrea's. Despite the juice component being lemon, the sip gave the impression of grapefruit perhaps due to the interaction of the juice with the liqueurs; moreover, the sip contained floral notes like lavender which we attributed to the gin. The rest of the gin flavors appeared on the swallow and were accompanied by a pithy bitter note. Interestingly, as the drink warmed up, the citrus component revealed itself as more lemony.

Friday, April 15, 2011

galathea

1 oz Brandy (Pedro Domecq Fundador Solera Reserva)
1 oz Amber Rum (Appleton VX)
1 oz Cherry Heering
1 - 1 1/2 oz Coconut Cream
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a Zombie (or Collins) glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a cherry and add a straw.

I accidentally skipped over a post so here is the drink I made for last week's Thursday Drink Night on Mixoloseum. I was attempting to make something that I could present for Mixology Monday a few days later, and while this drink fit the bill, it dawned on me that I should present the dusty Frigate Bird recipe instead for that event and post this one separately. For an idea here, I wanted to riff off of the Coctel Noz de Coco Tropical that Charles Baker presented in his South American Companion: Up & Down the Andes with Jigger, Beaker, & Flask. While I do not mind the large amount of Maraschino liqueur in that drink, I felt that it could reach a wider audience if the spirit was changed to Cherry Heering. I also though about another coconut cream drink, the Painkiller, and borrowed elements from that. Since the former is a brandy drink and the latter is a rum drink, I made my creation a split of the two liquors. For a name, I considered the Danish origin of the Cherry Heering and the seafaring ideals of Tiki drinks. The Galathea stood out as a name -- it was a Danish 3-mast ship that explored the world including Polynesia during the mid-19th century.
The Luxardo Maraschino cherry I used as a garnish contributed greatly to the Galathea's aroma. The sip was a pleasing combination of coconut, pineapple, lime, and cherry flavors, and these fruit notes were chased by the rum and brandy on the swallow. While there were no great surprises with its flavors given the ingredients, I must say that the drink got drained pretty quickly. The Galathea, while not my Mixology Monday pick, definitely did not disappoint and was probably the most Tiki-like drink that I have come up with to date.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

daily mail

25% Benedictine (3/4 oz)
50% Gin (1 1/2 oz Cascade Mountain)
25% Lemon Juice (3/4 oz)
1 dash Orange Curaçao (1 barspoon Senior Curaçao)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

The other drink I had last Friday night was the Daily Mail from the 1937 UKBG Approved Cocktails. With the tartness of lemon juice balancing the sweetness of Benedictine, the recipe reminded me of a gin-based Frisco Sour with the inclusion of Angostura Bitters and a dash of orange liqueur. Thinking back, the Daily Mail was closer to the gin-based Monk that we made back in 2007; I found that recipe on CocktailDB but never spotted elsewhere (it probably is in my Stan Jones' Complete Bar Guide though). My tasting notes on the Monk were "rather tasty and intriguingly complex."
The Daily Mail's sip was lemony with a hint of orange and was not tart due to the sugar content in the Benedictine liqueur. The Benedictine also donated to the swallow where its flavors mingled with the gin. Overall, the Benedictine added a nice level of complexity that was balanced by the gin's brightness. Without the Frisco Sour's rye whiskey's roughness and spice, the Daily Mail went in a very different direction with the gin.

alabazam

1 tsp Angostura Bitters (1/6 oz)
2 tsp Orange Curaçao (1/3 oz Senior Curaçao)
1 tsp White Sugar
1 tsp Lemon Juice (1/6 oz)
1/2 wineglass Brandy (1 oz Martell VS)

Stir juice and sugar until all dissolved. Add rest of ingredients and ice, shake, and strain into a claret glass.

On Friday night, I spotted the Alabazam in Leo Engel's American and Other Drinks from 1878, and the addition of a teaspoon of Angostura Bitters to what otherwise could be a Sidecar (despite the Sidecar recipe being published a few decades later in 1922) seemed like something I ought to try. In the notes added in the reprint of Louis Fouquet's Bariana, Charles Vextant provided the tidbit that the Alabazam was "one of his [Leo Engel's] specialties made at the Criterion in London." Most later recipes for the Alabazam, such as the one in The Flowing Bowl were less interesting to me for they decreased the Angostura to a dash or two which would never have gained my notice except for having a similar name to another Angostura-heavy drink, the Alamagoozlum.
The Alabazam's aroma was mainly the citrus notes from the lemon juice and orange liqueur with hints of Angostura's spice poking through. While the first taste was a dry citrus sip, later sips were increasingly muddled due to the Angostura Bitters affecting the palate most notably with a cherry-like flavor. The swallow though contained the brandy and Angostura spice with a lingering clove, allspice, and cinnamony finish. Given the decreased ratio of juice and liqueur to brandy, the drink reminded me more of the Brandy Crusta than the Sidecar (unless David Embury was my bartender). With the Crusta's creation in 1852 and inclusion of bitters, the Alabazam being an extreme (sugared-rim- and lemon peel-less but bitters heavy) Crusta might be more accurate.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

white star imperial daisy

2 oz Cognac or Armagnac (Martell VS)
1/2 oz Kümmel (Helbing)
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 tsp Rich Simple Syrup (2:1)

Shake with ice and strain into a champagne flute. Top with 2 oz of Champagne (Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut).

On Wednesday, I decided to use the bottle of sparkling wine that we opened (and stoppered) for the Pineapple Julep to make the White Star Imperial Daisy in David Wondrich's Killer Cocktails book. Wondrich created this French 75 variation in 2004 for Manhattan's 5 Ninth Restaurant. The drink was created in honor of the White Star Line which used to dock a few hundred yards from where the restaurant stands today. Lastly, Todd Maul of Clio would support the use of brandy in a French 75 or a variation thereof, for he is in the David Embury camp which believes that gin would not have been very abundant in France when the drink was created and brandy of some sort was more likely the original base spirit.
The Daisy's nose was a combination of the lemon juice and sparkling wine aromas. The sip was crisp and full of wine and lemon flavors; meanwhile, the swallow contained the richness of the brandy followed by a hint of caraway seed from the kümmel. As the drink warmed up, the botanical notes of the kümmel became more pronounced. Overall, I was impressed at how well the kümmel complemented the sparkling wine, and was pleased at how it returned some of the botanical notes that I have grown accustomed to in the gin-based French 75.

:: effects of glass thickness on drink temperature ::

On my last post on chilling glassware before use, Ed of the Wordsmithing Pantagruel blog focused in on one of my statements about glass thickness. I only used one type of cocktail glass for the first two sets of experiments and made caveats that glass thickness may effect the warming rates of the drink and the cooling rates of the glass. Ed commented, "You mention that [the] thinner glass will chill more quickly, which is very true but the thinner the glass, the less the initial temp of the glass matters because it will have a relatively lower mass so it takes less time and energy for it to warm up. A thick bottomed DOF [Double Old Fashioned] will take forever to come down to temp in the freezer, but it will keep its contents much colder much longer. There is no free lunch."
To get up to speed on the other experiments, please read:
• Part 1: Effects of Glass Temperature
• Part 2: Kinetics of Glass Cooling
I realized that the thermal effects of the glass on the drink (experiment 1) were worth revisiting using different types of glasses. Therefore, I selected one cocktail glass type that was thinner and and fragile than the Libbey Martini glasses and one type that was thicker and more clunk clunky. Despite weighing the glasses, I have to assume that there is only a percentage of that mass (albeit a large fraction) that is effective in the temperature transfer in the short term and that the thermal contribution in the stem and base were less important. But what about a rocks or Old Fashioned glass? With no stem and often a rather thick base, how would this compare to cocktail glasses? Instead of looking at the rates of chilling of the various glassware, I chose to investigate how each of the glass types behaved on a shaker-chilled drink when the glasses were either room temperature or cooled in the freezer.

Materials:
• 21 oz Vesica Vodka (80 proof)
• 2 Thin Cocktail Glasses
• 2 Thick Cocktail Glasses
• 2 Double Old Fashioned Glasses
• Freezer
• Cobbler Shaker
• Fine Strainer
• OXO Measuring Cup
• Ice from Tovolo Trays from Freezer
• Digital Thermometer with Thermocouple (-58°F to 2372°F, ±0.1°F)
• Timer Application on Droid Phone
• Digital Scale

(l-r: thin cocktail, thick cocktail, double Old Fashioned)

Protocol:
• Measure room temperature and freezer temperature.
• Weigh each of the glasses.
• Chill one glass of each type in freezer until fully chilled (2.5 hours).
• Keep one glass of each type at room temperature.
• Add 3 oz vodka and 4 ice cubes to cobbler shaker. Shake 30 seconds.
• Double strain to remove ice shards.
• Measure temperature every 30 seconds for 5 minutes while gently stirring with temperature probe.
• Glasses removed from freezer 10 seconds before straining.
• Do a round of shaking to measure initial temperature before straining.

Caveats:
• See previous experiments for rationales on shaking a Vodka "Martini." Also read the rationale for only measuring the initial temperature in the shaker (t=0) once on a separate experiment.
• Room, ice, and freezer temperatures will affect results.
• Different drink compositions will change the amount of alcohol, sugar, and other solutes in the drink and may effect temperatures.
• Experiment was only performed once per condition instead of triplicate like the first experiment. The time courses of the replicates did not show significant variation then to warrant the extra spirit and time expenditure.

Data:
• Room Temperature: 67.4°F
• Freezer Temperature: 3.9°F
• Vodka (shaken for 30 seconds) Temperature: 23.7°F
• Glass Weights (for room temperature and freezer conditions):
Thin Glass: RT 112.5 grams, Fr 112.5 grams
Thick Glass: RT 159.1 grams, Fr 166.7 grams
Double OF: RT 375.5 grams, Fr 382.7 grams


Conclusions:
When glasses were not chilled, the thickness or mass of the glasses' material in contact with the drink correlated with the degree of warmth it imparted to the cooled drink. It makes sense that the warmer and thicker the glass, the more it will affect the drink, but by how much and over what time frame? This effect was both instantaneous such as the ~2 degree range (for the 3 glasses) in the drink at 60 seconds to ~5 degree range at 5 minutes. Indeed, the linear parts of the curve have different slopes suggesting that thicker glasses will take much longer to come into equilibrium with the drink.

When the glasses were chilled in the freezer, an interesting situation occurred. For the two thicker glasses, the drink was actually chilled further after shaking. While the drink in the thinnest glass immediately started warming up by the first time point of 30 seconds, the drink in the middle thickness glass dropped to a lower temperature at 30 and 60 seconds, returned to close to the shaken temperature at 90 seconds, and started increasing at the 120 seconds time point. The double Old Fashioned was even more extreme; the temperature of the drink kept dropping until about 150 seconds. Even after the 5 minute time point, the drink from the freezer-chilled double Old Fashioned glass was even colder than it was when first shaken.

This superchilling effect would most likely not be observed in the ice water-chilled glasses for the theoretical temperature of 32°F (experimentally 33.6-33.9°F in the first two experiments) for ice water is warmer than the temperature of the shaken drink (here, 23.7°F). On the other hand, the ice water chilling would still decrease the rates that the drink warmed up from the initial temperature upon shaking. Here, I did not attempt the ice water-chilled condition with the different glass types to keep the experiment as simple as possible; however, in retrospect, they would have been interesting data points.

In summary, the choice of glassware does matter greatly. The obvious take home message is that thinner glasses are better when the only option is unchilled glassware, but when freezer chilled, thinner glasses impart less potent cooling effects. The thicker the glass, the need to chill the glassware before use becomes more grave. What was less obvious was that freezer-chilled glassware can actually help to drop the drink's temperature even further than the temperature in the shaker. The first experiment missed that effect for the Libbey Martini glasses, while not fragile, were not thick enough to observe this negative temperature effect. Lastly, this experiment does not address the extra time it would take to chill a thicker glass with either ice water or freezer storage.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

mad monk fizz

1 oz Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur
1 oz Fighting Cock Bourbon
1 oz Old Monk Rum
1/2 oz Tahitian Vanilla Bean Syrup
1 Egg

Shake once without ice and once with. Strain into a Highball glass topped with ~2 oz Old Rasputin Imperial Stout. Garnish with freshly ground pink peppercorns and add a straw.

For the show closer on Tuesday night at No. 9 Park, bartender Ted Kilpatrick made me the Mad Monk Fizz. While I first thought that the drink was named after the Old Monk Rum component, Ted explained that it actually referred more to the beer and the rum choice followed. Indeed, the Old Rasputin Imperial Stout was named after the Russian mystic who had often been called the Mad Monk. The concept for the drink started with Zirbenz liqueur and its pine notes led to the inclusion of hops in the drink which in turn made Ted think of the pepper garnish. This was not the first egg (or egg white) and beer combination I have had at No. 9 Park; the last one was Ted's spin on the Morning Glory Fizz. With Grigori Rasputin historically known as a healer, perhaps the Mad Monk Fizz would make a great recuperative like the Morning Glory Fizz was created to be.
The Mad Monk Fizz's nose was rather dark and rich from the rum and stout. The aroma set up the sip rather well for it contained robust caramel and malt flavors. Following this smooth sip was a swallow spiced by the stone pine liqueur and the beer's hops. While I was impressed at how the Zirbenz and hops paired up, I was also pleased at how the egg, vanilla syrup, and other ingredients toned down the intensity of the Zirbenz which can frequently dominate a drink's flavor profile.

mentirita

3/4 oz Smith & Cross Rum
3/4 oz Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Top with 2 oz Coca Cola.

Last Tuesday night, I met Andrea at No. 9 Park to have cocktails crafted by bar manager's Ted Kilpatrick. For a first drink, Ted wanted to make me his take on the Rum & Coke and the Cuba Libre. While the Cuba Libre I wrote about in my post on the Mandeville included lime, I was surprised at how many recipes out there lack citrus and noted that other recipes include bitters as well. Here, Ted split the spirit portion of the drink to be half funky navy strength rum and half Angostura Bitters. For a name, he called the drink the Mentirita which means "little lie" in Spanish; Cuban exiles will often use that name for the classic drink for they declared that there is no free Cuba under Castro's control.
The Mentirita provided clove notes from the bitters that coupled with the rum aroma. A slightly rough sip contained cherry wood and spice notes and was followed by the Smith & Cross flavors, clove, and some allspice notes on the swallow. Indeed, I was surprised at the flavor synergies from the healthy amount of Angostura Bitters pairing with the Coke. Moreover, I could not help but think that the drink might be improved by a dash of absinthe for we found that its anise seed flavor complemented the Coca Cola in the Mandeville incredibly well.

Postnote: In June, I had Ted's updated version of the drink that he entitled the White Lie. In this variation, he changed the rums around, altered a few of the proportions, and added a Herbsaint rinse:
White Lie
• 1 oz J.Wray & Nephew Rum
• 3/4 oz Old Monk Rum
• 1/2 oz Angostura Bitters
• 1 3/4 oz Mexican Coke (Sugar Coke)
Stir all but the Coke with ice. Strain into a rocks glass pre-rinsed with Herbsaint; add the Coke.

Monday, April 11, 2011

sherry lady

1/3 Dry Pale Sherry (1 oz Lustau Dry Oloroso)
1/3 Booth's Gin (1 oz Aviation)
1/6 Cointreau (1/2 oz)
1/6 Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)

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

For our second drink two Sundays ago, I offered up the Sherry Lady from the 1937 UKBG Approved Cocktails, and Andrea could not say no to a sherry drink. While the recipe called for a dry pale sherry which I figured meant a Manzanilla or Fino, I went with a dry Oloroso for it was the closet in style of the four sherries we have on hand.
The Sherry Lady greeted us with the aroma of the sherry's nuttiness and the twist's lemon oil. Next, the sip was full of citrus notes from the orange liqueur and lemon juice, while the sherry filled out the swallow with the added heat and flavor of the gin. While the drink was drier than I expected, it was still a lot sweeter than a Barbara West. Moreover, the drink also reminded us of a sherry-ful White Lady (or the similar Fine and Dandy) which I am guessing is how it got its name.

pineapple julep

1 ripe Pineapple cut up (approx 1/8, frozen)
2 Oranges juiced (1/4 orange)
4 oz Raspberry Syrup (1/2 oz homemade)
4 oz Maraschino Liqueur (1/2 oz Luxardo)
4 oz Old Gin (1/2 oz Ransom Old Tom)
1 bottle Sparkling Moselle (3 oz Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut)

Muddle pineapple in orange juice, syrup, liqueur, and gin. Strain into a Julep cup filled with crushed ice. Add a straw, top with more fresh ice if needed, and decorate with berries in season.

Two weekends ago, Andrea and I went up to Kittery, Maine, to shop at the outlets. Last time we were there, Andrea spotted silver-plated Julep cups at Reed & Barton, and when we went this time, she was still thinking about them. Since the cups were even further on sale, we bought a pair. And to no big surprise, on Sunday night, Andrea wanted Juleps! Since our mint patch has not sprung back to life yet, I proposed that we try the Pineapple Julep in Jerry Thomas' book. Why is there a Julep without mint? Last autumn, bartender and blogger Columbine Quillen wrote about the Juleps as she worked her way through Jerry Thomas' book. When she wondered why, I left a comment that read, "Perhaps from the derivation of julep from the Persian word gulab meaning 'rosewater' especially in a syrup form. A pineapple gulab dessert exists which is flavored with rosewater, and [modern] Pineapple Julep recipes include mint perhaps because people expect mint in their Juleps. Then again, Jerry's doesn't have rosewater either but the term had morphed into botanical-flavored syrup (before people locked it in here as mint only) so perhaps it is the raspberry?" I kept to Jerry's recipe as close as possible. For "old gin," I was originally going to use Genever but opted for the aged Ransom Old Tom Gin; I felt that the extra flavor in the Ransom would pay off.
The Pineapple Julep provided a fruity aroma instead of the mint-driven one of a traditional modern Julep; indeed, the nose was a combination of orange, pineapple, and Maraschino. On the sip, the pineapple and orange flavors were accentuated by the wine's carbonation, and the swallow contained the Maraschino, wine notes, and hints of gin. Luckily, the sparkling wine I used was dry for it helped to beat back the sugar content in the syrup and liqueur. Overall, the Pineapple Julep was a tasty and refreshing diversion for when mint is not readily available. Actually, I could see trying it again even when mint is around but next time with The Flowing Bowl's recipe (well, sans ice cream garnish):
Pineapple Julep
• A little Pineapple Juice
• Juice 1/4 Orange
• 2 dash Raspberry Syrup
• 2 dash Maraschino Liqueur
• 1/2 oz Old Gin
• 1 glass Champagne
Fill glass with ice. Ornament with fruits and ice cream. Serve with a straw.
The above recipe's use of pineapple juice instead of muddled fresh fruit might make it easier to do on a small scale as well as alleviate the need for muddling and straining. Moreover, the decreased amounts of syrup and liqueur would provide a drier drink that allowed the other flavors to sing out. Although I am not sure why a pineapple julep would call only for "a little" pineapple juice instead of at least an ounce, so adjust to taste.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

frigate bird

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday (MxMo LVI) was picked by DJ Hawaiianshirt of the Spirited Remix blog. The DJ chose the theme of "Your Best" as in your favorite creation. His description was as follows, "Give me the best drink recipe you've ever created... I'm talking about that one drink that you've worked on for quite a while. The one that you've carefully tweaked over time until you found that perfect recipe. The one you've made tons of times: sometimes alone in contemplation, sometimes for a guest so that you could get their opinion. If you don't have a drink that fits the above mold, then perhaps this is your excuse to revisit your old original remixes."

For this theme, I was a little befuddled on what to do. Practically all of my good creations in the last few years have found their way on to this blog. I, therefore, used this week's Mixoloseum's Thursday Drink Night to make up a new drink, the Galathea, that I will write about in a few days. However, the next day I remembered a forgotten drink I created for a party back in 2008 a month or so before I was invited to write for this blog. Perhaps not my best drink, but one of my first decent creations. The party was one we hosted for IMBD -- that is International Migratory Bird Day (not the internet movie database). For that event, I found dozens of bird drinks and culled the list down to 17 classics including the Stork Club, Penguin, Mexican Eagle, and Yellow Bird, one modern drink -- Robert Hess' Black Feather, and two of my originals to round out the menu to 20 boozy drinks. One of the originals, the Passenger Pigeon, got written up in DrinkBoston for it used Haus Alpenz's then just released Allspice Dram; true, I would probably gussy up that drink now with some sweet vermouth and decrease the Dram to appear like this:
Passenger Pigeon (remixed)
• 2 oz Calvados
• 3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth
• 1/4 oz Pimento Dram
• 1 dash Angostura bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
The other drink was based off of Haus Alpenz's other new offering at the time, Batavia Arrack. While looking for bird-named cocktails, there were a few that seemed missing. I solved one by honoring the extinct American Passenger Pigeon above.Two others were the Albatross and Booby which became names of some of the mocktails that night (and the latter was the most popular mocktail of the evening and the name got partially recycled in the Masked Booby Punch two years later). The final was the Frigate Bird which was perfect for the Batavia Arrack since the range of some of the species included Indonesia where the spirit is distilled. With the nautical history of Batavia Arrack being used in sailor's punches, a seabird that they would frequently spy seemed appropriate. Beside being known for stealing other birds' food and eggs (hence, their name), they are best known for the male of the species' inflatable red-colored throat pouches that they use to attract a female during mating season. To symbolize this mating display, I used Cherry Heering and grenadine to provide a glorious red color. Moreover, these two ingredients along with some falernum provided some sweetness to tame the harsh and funky Batavia Arrack base spirit.
The recipe as it was created then was as follows:
Frigate Bird
• 1 1/2 oz Batavia Arrack
• 1/2 oz Cherry Heering
• 1/4 oz Falernum (Velvet)
• 1/4 oz Grenadine (homemade)
• 1 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
If I were to craft a drink called the Frigate Bird today, it would probably be in a different recipe as my cocktail crafting style has changed over the years (I think my drink size of 2 1/2 oz was heavily influenced by our older copies of Trader Vic and Duffy). Here, the cocktail provided a light fruit aroma with the orange notes from the bitters being more forward than the cherry and pomegranate ones; and as the drink warmed up, the Batavia Arrack gained a strong foot hold on the nose. The cherry notes did come out in the sip where they were tinged with orange from the bitters. Next, the swallow was the Batavia Arrack supplemented with spice from the falernum and bitters, and the aftertaste contained some lingering cherry and orange notes. I was quite surprised at how balanced this drink was and how well it held up to my palate over the years. Moreover, I was impressed at how drinkable I made a recipe that was mainly Batavia Arrack and how that spirit kept the other ingredients' sweetness in check.

So cheers to DJ Hawaiianshirt for hosting and picking this month's theme and Paul Clarke for managing the MxMo aviary!

Friday, April 8, 2011

comet

2 oz VSOP Cognac or Armagnac (Larressingle Armagnac VSOP)
1 oz Yellow Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Van der Hum Liqueur
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Last Saturday night, I was flipping through David Wondrich's Killer Cocktails book and spotted the Comet. I was drawn to the Sidecar variation for it called for Van der Hum, and our bottle that we found at Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA, had sat on our shelf for a few months tasted but unused in any drink. CocktailDB describes the spirit as, "a proprietary South African liqueur flavored with naartjes, the variety of tangerine native to South Africa"; moreover, the brandy-based liqueur has a bit of herbal complexity and has been compared to a cross between Grand Marnier and Drambuie. Wondrich provided the history that the drink was created in 1952 by Eddie Clarke who tended at the Albany Club in London. The drink was crafted in honor of a new direct London to Johannesburg flight that was added via a plane called the De Havilland Comet, the world's first jetliner.
The Comet's nose was all about the Armagnac I used. Taste-wise, the sip was citrussy and a combination of the grapefruit juice and the tangerine notes in the Van der Hum. The Van der Hum flavors continued on into the swallow where it worked well with the Armagnac and Angostura's spices. Overall, the combination was more complex than a Sidecar. As I described in the post about the Emily Shaw's Special, the Sidecar is an orange liqueur-driven drink to me, and the less prominent these notes are, the less it reminds me of a Sidecar. Add in grapefruit and bitters instead of lemon juice, and the Comet became a new beast, although granted, one with the same basic structure.

bebida de puebla

2 oz Espolón Tequila Reposado
1/2 oz Lustau Dry Amontillado Sherry
1/4 oz Benedictine
1/4 oz Coffee Liqueur (Ristretto)

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

I recently received an email containing a few cocktail recipes from an Espolón Tequila rep for Cinco de Mayo. Unlike many similar promotional emails, Espolón's often contain some rather good recipes created by respected bartenders. Last time I was sent recipes from them, it was for Day of the Dead back in October. After making the Ashes to Ashes with the tequila I had on hand, the rep sent me a bottle of their reposado and blanco which I used to make the Fresca Catrina. This time, the recipe that stood out was created by Eric Alperin of Varnish in Los Angeles. The theme for these bartenders was to craft drinks to complement cuisine from taco food trucks, and Eric picked the Korean-style BBQ taco trend in L.A. Part of the appeal was the combination of coffee liqueur and fortified wine in Eric's drink which reminded me a little of the Coffee Brown that I had last month.
The Bebida de Puebla's nose provided both a high and a low note from the lemon oil and coffee aromas, respectively. Moreover, the dark roasted coffee notes from the Ristretto continued on throughout the sip and the swallow. In addition, the swallow also contained the tequila flavor followed by the spice of the Benedictine and the nuttiness of the sherry. While the Bebida de Puebla was a rather richly flavored drink, no single element was too overwhelming in the balance.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

:: kinetics of glass cooling ::

In a post a week and a half ago, I researched the effects of a cocktail glass' initial temperature on the drink that was poured into it. In that study, I shook a "Vodka Martini," strained it into room temperature, ice water-chilled, and freezer-chilled glassware, and measured how this altered the drink temperature. While unchilled glassware provided the warmest (and thus least desirable) drink, the ice water's and freezer's effect lowered the drink temperature by 1.9°F and 4.4°F, respectively, relative to the unchilled glass. While these numbers will vary by drink composition, glass size and thickness, and other variables, the end result was that the coldest drink would come from the coldest glassware. What did 2 or 4 degrees difference mean? It was like waiting 3 or 5 minutes after the drink was poured to first sip it (less time for warmer rooms). If the point of it as described by the Savoy Hotel's Harry Craddock was, "...to drink a cocktail... quickly, while it's still laughing at you," every moment or degree of chilling wasted was one too many.

In the comments section of that study, Anna of the TwoSheetsInTheWind blog asked about the kinetics of the chilling since I took mine to extremes (glasses were put in the freezer more than 90 minutes in advance and on ice water over 20 minutes in advance). Anna inquired, "When you shorten the time the glass spends in the freezer, how does it compare? At one bar I frequent, they go through a remarkable number of glasses; on a busy night, it is not uncommon to see the dishwasher run, emptied into the freezer, and a glass from that run used within 10 or 15 minutes. What sort of effect does the freezer have versus ice water when you are looking at starting with a hot glass and can only freeze it for 15 minutes?"

When I asked a local bartender about his dish washing machine's cycle, he could not tell me when the sterilization stage fell or how hot glasses were when they came out of the washer. Instead of dealing with glasses at that moment, I started with room temperature glasses as a good starting point.

For me the question was how selecting the right glassware (stored at room temperature) for the recipe I just decided upon would effect either the spontaneity of the process or the end result. Clearly, we cannot fit all or even a significant fraction of our new and vintage glassware in our freezer (unless, of course, we got a much bigger freezer), but how much preparation would it require for ice water and freezer chilling to take its full effect on glassware? Should we be dedicating a portion of the freezer to storing a selection of glassware at all times?
To get up to speed on the other experiments, please read:
• Part 1: Effects of Glass Temperature
• Part 3: Effects of Glass Thickness on Drink Temperature
Materials:
• 2 Libbey Martini Glasses
• Freezer
• Ice from Tovolo Trays from Freezer
• Cold Water from Sink
• Digital Thermometer with Thermocouple (-58°F to 2372°F, ±0.1°F)
• Timer Application on Droid Phone
• Digital Scale

Protocol:
• Measure room temperature.
• Stick thermocouple in freezer, close door, and record the kinetics of chilling when not attached to a glass by taking temperature values every 30 seconds. Stop when temperature stabilizes to acquire freezer temperature.
• Weigh cocktail glass #1.
• Tape thermocouple inside the glass to lowest part of the cocktail glass' bowl. Wait until temperature equilibrates.
• Place glass in freezer, close door, and record temperature every 30 seconds.
• Weigh cocktail glass #2.
• Tape thermocouple to the outside of the glass to less than an inch up from the bottom of the bowl.
• Add 5 ice cubes and weigh the ice. Quickly add 3 oz cold water and weigh water.
• Record temperature every 30 seconds until temperature stabilizes.

Caveats:
• Different glass sizes and shapes will affect the end result. Here, the 2 glasses are comparable to each other, but not to other glasses.
• Variations in room temperature will affect results.
• Amount of times the freezer door is opened and closed will change the results (will happen in reality, not in this experiment though).
• Amount of air circulation in different freezers may vary and affect chilling rates; also the number of other warm glasses placed in freezer may alter the results.
• My thermometer was never calibrated.
• Experiment was only performed once per condition instead of triplicate like the last experiment.
• The thermocouple could be affected by outside air, instead of reading just the temperature of the glass. No insulation on the airside of the thermocouple was added besides tape. Hence, the glass could seem colder in the freezer and warmer at room temperature.
• Tap water was not pre-chilled with ice.

Data:
• Room temperature: 63.6°F
• Freezer temperature: >5.9°F
• Ice water temperature: 33.9°F

• Weight of glass #1 (freezer): 235.8 grams
• Weight of glass #2 (ice water): 239.2 grams
• Weight of ice: 157.3 grams (5 uncracked Tovolo cubes)
• Weight of water: 86.5 grams

• Data are single runs, not averages:


• Time for ice water glass-chilled to reach coldest point: 330-360 seconds
• Temperature of ice water-chilled glass: 38.8°F
• Difference between glass' coldest point and ice water: 4.9°F (effect of air temperature)

• Time for freezer-chilled glass to reach coldest point: over 25 minutes (>1500 seconds)
• Temperature of freezer chilled glass at end of 25 minutes: 12.5°F
• Difference between glass' coldest point and freezer: 6.6°F (effect of air temperature and incomplete cooling)

Conclusions:
In terms of spontaneity, ice water chilling was fast. At our room temperature and glass type, the full extent of the chilling occurred in 5-6 minutes. In contrast, the freezer's chilling was slow to reach its fullest effect; in fact, I tired of the experiment after 25 minutes of taking measurements ever 30 seconds. The rate of cooling was decreasing, but it was still several degrees away from its potential (at least 6.6°F, if not more due to air temperature effects on the thermocouple). Perhaps another 10 minutes or so was needed putting the range for completion at 35-45 minutes. As a positive note for spontaneity, after around 7 minutes (disregarding air temperature effects on the thermocouple), the freezer chilled glass was as cold as the ice water chilled one once it reached equilibrium. Therefore, at that time point, both techniques were equivalent in merit.

Again, the choice of glassware will effect the chilling kinetics. Moreover, while a freezer will work on the whole glass, the ice water will only work effectively on the glass' bowl and a temperature gradient will be set up in the stem. Of course, in chilling Old Fashioned glasses, the ice water would work on the whole glass including its thick base. While our Libbey glasses are not the thinnest of our collection (not the thickest either), most glasses we own are thinner which would, therefore, help to accelerate both time courses.

As the previous experiment showed, freezer-chilled glassware was the optimal choice; however, as this experiment shows, that peak of perfection is hard to do on the fly or in a high volume establishment in the weeds. The previous experiment showed that ice water chilled glassware was an intermediate choice; here, the peak of this middle ground technique was reasonably fast (under 6 minutes). At home, this would require a small amount of patience. At a high volume bar, it would require a steady line of glasses chilling in advance. Of course, the solution is to go to bars when they are less busy to have the best chance of getting cold glassware and thus cold drinks.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

monk's thistle

2 oz Green Chartreuse
1/2 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Water
2 dash Regan's Orange Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

For my last drink of the night at Lineage, I ended with a drink bartender Ryan Lotz mentioned before he told me about the Swizzles, namely the Monk's Thistle. The Monk's Thistle's high amaro content intrigued me but it seemed more like a closer than a show opener. Using Ben Sandrof's Silent Order as inspiration, Ryan changed the herbal and citrus part from muddled basil and lime juice to Cynar and orange bitters, respectively. Moreover, Ryan's use of Cynar as a flavor balance made me think of Scott Holliday's Rum Scaffa and perhaps Aaron Butler's Scottish Play.
The Monk's Thistle's orange bitters provided a large proportion of the drink's aroma with some Chartreuse notes entering in as the drink warmed up. Next, the Cynar contributed a rich bitter sip, while Green Chartreuse's flavor shone through on the swallow along with a hint of orange bitters at the end. Surprisingly, with such bitter and sharp ingredients in the mix, the drink was plenty sweet enough; furthermore, the Cynar as well as the water did a great job smoothing out the large green Chartreuse component of the drink.

[campari swizzle]

2 oz Barbancourt Rum
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Demerara Syrup
1 dash Bittermens Tiki Bitters

Add ingredients to a tall glass, fill with ice, and swizzle until cold. Garnish with a mint sprig, a lime wedge, a cherry, and a straw.

On Friday night, Andrea and I went to Lineage in Brookline for dinner. For my first drink, bartender Ryan Lotz mentioned that he had been tinkering with two different Swizzle ideas; while the first was more of a traditional rum one, the second caught my attention for its Campari content. Although I have heard of Campari-laden Swizzles such as Giuseppe Gonzalez's Negroni Swizzle and Tiare's Bird Swizzle, I have not experienced one myself, so I gave Ryan the go ahead. Here, the mint sprig garnish's aroma overwhelmed that of the Campari, rum, and other ingredients. Flavorwise, the sip contained the lime with hints of the Campari poking through; next, the Campari showed its full potential on the swallow along with the rum. For what starts somewhat sharply on the sip ended rather smoothly on the swallow perhaps due to the Barbancourt Rum.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

pokey crocus

2 oz Gin (Knockabout)
1/2 oz Green Tea Syrup (1:1)
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1 barspoon Crème de Violette (Rothman & Winter)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
For Mixoloseum's Thursday Drink Night last week, the theme was "Spring." I found it rather amusing for it had already started snowing for our April Fool's Day surprise. When I mentioned the theme to Andrea, she came up with a possible drink name, the Pokey Crocus, after the inhabitants of our tardy flower patch next to our drive way. From there, I came up with a drink to match it. Using an Aviation as a starting point, I did two ingredient swaps to create my take on the season with perhaps Todd Maul's Spring in the Afternoon in mind. Beside switching the lemon juice for dry vermouth to counter the other ingredients' sweetness, I exchanged the Aviation's Maraschino liqueur for a green tea syrup. The syrup was rather flavorful as an equal part of Houji-Cha Roasted Green Tea combined with an equal part of sugar. Here, the tea syrup would represent the large amount of green in the crocus plant and the mere barspoon of crème de violette would add the hint of flowers attempting to peek through. Once mixed, the Pokey Crocus provided a hint of floral scent on top of a sweet aroma. With the tea syrup, the sip was sweet and grassy and preceded the floral and herbal swallow.

Update April 4, 2012:
The Pokey Crocus won Drinking in America's spring-themed Cabin Fever Cocktail Challenge! Judge Michael Cerretani, a bartender at Boulder, Colorado's Bitter Bar, described the drink as, "Nicely balanced between sweet and dry, hints of mint and chamomile, with a nice light floral finish. A great springtime cocktail in the sense that it's refreshing and at the same time has multiple layers of flavor. Additionally it's a nice transition from winter in the sense that it’s still spirit forward and intense. I think this cocktail would hold up well at the Bitter Bar because it is unique, well balanced, and nicely reminiscent of the classics."

j.r.t.

2 oz Ron Diplomático Rum Reserve
1 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Housemade Allspice Dram
1/2 oz Burnt Cinnamon Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass containing one large ice cube. Freshly grate nutmeg over the top and add a pinch or two of ground mace to the top of the ice cube. Add a straw.

For my second drink at Clio last Wednesday night, bartender Todd Maul wanted to make me the J.R.T. off of the new Spring cocktail menu. Luckily, I asked Todd what the initials stood for instead of trying to guess later if he had a fascination with Jack Russell Terriers or other. The name is a series of initials standing for John, the regular for whom the drink was made, Randy Wong, the creator of Clio's allspice dram and other recipes, and Todd Maul himself.
The nutmeg and mace aromas greeted me before I took a taste of this Tiki number. While nutmeg and mace come from the same fruit, mace is the outer covering of the nutmeg seed and packs a more potent punch and reddish hue. Once I did take a sip, it was full of a semi-sweet lime flavor that paired well with the caramel richness from the aged rum. Moreover, these notes were chased by the spice from the cinnamon syrup and allspice dram on the swallow. The spice quotient was augmented over time as the nutmeg and mace notes dissolved into the drink.

Monday, April 4, 2011

spring in the afternoon

2 oz Fava Bean Leaf-infused Brugal White Rum
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Brut Sparkling Wine
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
2 dash Grapefruit Bitters

Light a piece of dried loomi (black lime) on fire so it smolders; overturn a rocks glass to capture the smoke. Shake the drink contents with ice. Upright the rocks glass, add a large ice cube, and strain the drink into the glass. Garnish with a fava bean leaf over the ice cube and add a straw.

On Wednesday, I paid a visit to bartender Todd Maul at Clio in Boston. I had gotten wind that his new Spring menu had launched, and I was eager to try a drink or two from the list. The cocktail that Todd wanted to show me first was his abstraction of Ernest Hemingway's Death in the Afternoon called Spring in the Afteroon. Instead of an absinthe-filled Champagne cocktail, the absinthe was removed for a Rum Sour base and the sparkling wine aspect was minimized and shaken with the drink to impart the flavor but remove the carbonation. One of the secrets to the drink was a white rum infused with fava bean leaves using an iSi Cream Whipper as written about by the Cooking Issues blog; when I tasted a fava bean leaf, it reminded me a lot of the bean shell (minus the salt) when eating edamame at a sushi restaurant. The other trick Todd utilized was similar to the one in his Smoking Cinnamon; however, instead of a cinnamon stick, he used a Middle Eastern black lime (or loomi) as a smoke source to flavor the inside of the glass. Todd explained that his drink was like a picture of a spring day -- the high notes of the fava bean leaf were like the grass and the low notes of the smoke were like the wet earth underneath.
Todd's two tricks contributed greatly to the Spring in the Afternoon's nose; the aroma started with a smoky nose with a green note poking through at the end of the inhale. The smoke entered the flavor as well as a slight acrid note that dissipated over time. The base of the drink contained a slightly sharp citrus sip that ended sweeter with lingering rum notes. The Champagne, while not contributing carbonation, did provide a white wine flavor on the sip that complemented the grapefruit bitters.

revision cocktail

1 1/2 oz Lustau Amontillado Sherry
1 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz Combier Triple Sec
2 dash Bittermens Grapefruit Bitters

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

Last Monday, Andrea and I stopped into the Citizen Public House outside of Kenmore Square after my DJ gig. There, I was drawn to the Revision Cocktail for its sherry content and lighter style intrigued me. The drink reminded me of an orange liqueur-laden Bamboo or Amour Cocktail, and given the name, I figured that it could be a similar variation on the Reform Cocktail. When I asked bartender Corey Bunnewith about the name, he described how bar manager Joy Richard was trying to come up with a sherry aperitif drink for the Citizen's menu. Revision after revision, she eventually found one that worked for her.
The Revision Cocktail started with a lemon oil and Amontillado sherry aroma. The triple sec's flavor dominated the sip and was followed by the dry vermouth notes and the sherry's nuttiness on the swallow. As the drink warmed up, the sip became reminiscent of a dry orange Lifesaver candy, a sort of caramel orange flavor. Overall, the Revision Cocktail was really light and made a good aperitif like the Bamboo albeit a touch on the sweeter side.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

vanilla brandy flip

2 oz Pliska Preslav 5 Year Bulgarian Brandy
1 oz Vanilla Syrup
2 dash Aromatic Bitters
1 Egg

Shake once without ice and once with. Strain into a rocks glass and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.
For my second drink at Deep Ellum on Sunday, I decided to end the evening with the Vanilla Brandy Flip. Given the name, the drink seemed pretty straight forward, but the use of an aged Bulgarian brandy did surprise me. The pairing of brandy and vanilla is a classical one and harkens back to the 19th century (if not earlier) such as with Jerry Thomas' Vanilla Punch from 1862 and the Lalla Rookh. Like most traditional flips, the Vanilla Brandy Flip presented itself with a nutmeg aroma from the garnish. On the sip, caramel notes from the brandy's barrel aging paired splendidly with the egg's creamy richness. Moreover, the richness continued on the swallow with the brandy and vanilla notes. Overall, the drink was sweet and desserty but complex, especially with the bitters on the swallow that were later joined by nutmeg notes as the garnish integrated into the drink's flavor over time.

sao paulo summer

2 oz Germana Aged Cachaça
3/4 oz Honey Ginger Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice
2 sprig Mint (leaf only)
1 wedge Lime

Shake with ice and pour into a rocks glass without straining. Add straws.

Last Sunday, Andrea and I crossed the river to visit Deep Ellum in Allston. For a first drink, I asked bartender Evan Harrison to make me the São Paulo Summer since Andrea had enjoyed it a lot the last time we were there. Despite it being still a bit chilly here, São Paulo in Brazil experiences their summer along with the rest of the Southern Hemisphere from November to March. The Brazilian aspect of the drink was the spirit, Germana Cachaça, which is distilled in copper pot stills and aged for two years in balsam and Sherry oak casks. Beside the mint, lime juice, and lime wedge (for peel oils), the last component of the São Paulo Summer was a honey ginger syrup that Deep Ellum has at the bar for the Little Branch Cocktail.
The Germana Cachaça donated to São Paulo Summer's aroma along with the lime and mint. Moreover, the cachaça contributed greatly to the flavor where its aged aspect coupled with the lime and honey in the sip and its funk paired with the ginger and the mint on the swallow. The São Paulo Summer was flavorful yet easy to drink and was more dimensional than a standard Caipirinha or Cachaça Mojito alone.

Friday, April 1, 2011

[exchange place fizz]

2 oz Redemption Bourbon
1 oz Pineapple Shrub
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
2 barspoon Allspice Dram

Shake with ice and strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Top with soda water, add a straw, and garnish with a mint sprig.

While drinking the Millionaire of Havana, bartender Dave Delaney gave me a small glass of the Menta Flip (Fernet Branca Menta, demerara syrup, cacao tincture, whole egg) that was a more mint and chocolate version of the Fernet Flip. When it came time for the next round, I was not sure what to order next since Dave had already read my mind with the flip. Therefore, I asked him to showcase something new especially since he had mentioned that the Spring menu was due out shortly. Instead of pulling a drink from that collection (or giving me a sneak peak at his winning drink to appear on the cover of Imbibe magazine), he improvised with the pineapple shrub that they had just crafted. At Tales of the Cocktail last year, I did have the Averna Pineapple Shrub that was delicious, but that was not as much of a properly made shrub as just a combination of pineapple puree, simple syrup, and vinegar added to the other ingredients in the shaker. For a direction, Dave went with a highball idea using the new Redemption Bourbon.
In the Fizz, the mint sprig donated a great aroma that paired well with the Bourbon. Next, the fruit notes appeared on the sip as a pineapple and lemon flavor that was sharpened by the soda's carbonation. The swallow though was spicy from the allspice dram which paired well with the Bourbon's barrel notes. Overall, it was a Kentucky taken in a more refreshing and flavorful direction.

millionaire of havana

1 oz Old Monk Rum
1 oz Apricot Liqueur
1 oz Swedish Punsch
1 dash Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
For my second drink at the Citizen Wine & Cheese Bar in Worcester, I picked the Millionaire of Havana, one of the two Swedish Punsch-containing recipes on the menu. Bartender Dave Delaney merged two apricot liquer-laden classics, the Millionaire and the Havana, and I was curious to taste the resulting hybrid. Here, the lemon twist provided much of the drink's aroma. While the sip was mainly the richness of the dark rum, the swallow contained a lot more complexity with apricot, tea, citrus, and vanilla notes. As the drink warmed up, the Millionaire of Havana became more apricot driven and sweeter in balance.