Tuesday, July 31, 2012

copper canyon

1 1/2 oz El Tesoro Reposado Tequila
1/2 oz Marie Brizard Crème de Cacao
1/2 oz Salers Gentiane Liqueur
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 barspoon Long Pepper Tincture (*)

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass containing a big ice cube. Garnish the ice cube with a pinch of salt.
(*) Will said that any hot tincture or perhaps a dash of hot sauce would work well here.

The other cocktail bartender Will Thompson made for me at Drink was a 20th Century variation he had come up with using Salers Gentiane Liqueur. Since the recipe lacked a name, I recommended calling it the Copper Canyon after another famous train line, one that runs from Los Mochis to Chihuahua City in Mexico. Will agreed that paying respect to the train aspect worked better for him than tinkering around with which century to name it after.
The Copper Canyon offered a tequila and gentian aroma along with a chocolate note. The lemon sip led into a tequila and cacao-gentian swallow with a lingering spice-heat element. Overall, I was impressed the most with how well the Salers' gentian played off of the crème de cacao here.

the onset

1 oz Bols Genever
1 oz Gran Classico
1 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth

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

Two Thursdays ago, I stopped into Drink and acquired a seat at bartender Will Thomson's section. For a start, Will suggested a Negroni variation he crafted called the Onset. When I inquired about the name, he mentioned how Genever was the predecessor of gin although with the other ingredients that explanation sort of fell apart. He then described how he had to work on the night of a concert that he wanted to go to; the band's name translated to the Onset. When he created this drink that night, he paid tribute to his bitter moment.
The grapefruit oils paired with the Genever's malt on the drink's nose. The sweet grape and malt notes on the sip also contained a hint of citrus. Next, the Genever punctuated by the Gran Classico's bitter herbal component filled the swallow. As the Onset warmed up, there was more malt on the nose but less relative Genever flavor, and the Gran Classico played a bigger role.

Monday, July 30, 2012

corpse reviver no. 33

3/4 oz Gin
3/4 oz Cocchi Americano
3/4 oz Triple Sec
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3 dash Absinthe
2 chunk Watermelon (~1 1/2 oz)

Muddle the watermelon chunks. Add rest of the ingredients and shake with ice. Double strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a small wedge of watermelon.

For a second drink at Trina's Starlite Lounge, we decided to try Beau Sturm's Wednesday drink of the night which was a watermelon take on the classic Corpse Reviver No. 2. I had just been thinking about Green Street's watermelon-laden Kolb's Gem, so I was curious to see how this drink would play out.
The absinthe's anise notes played a large role in the drink's aroma. On the sip, the watermelon paired with the citrus flavors. The watermelon notes continued on into the swallow where it mingled with the gin and absinthe. Over all, I was quite impressed by how well the anise and watermelon complemented each other; while I previously was unaware of how well this would work, I was later able to find a good number of culinary pairings that support this observation.

unicorn blood

1 1/2 oz Patrón Añejo Tequila
3/4 oz Cocchi Americano
1/4 oz Bénédictine
3 dash Peychaud’s Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Wednesdays ago, Andrea and I went to Trina's Starlite Lounge for dinner. For a first drink, I requested the humorously named Unicorn Blood from the menu. With aged tequila, aromatized wine, Bénédictine, and bitters, it reminded me of their rum-based Tony Montana that I tried two years ago there. Bartender Beau Sturm described how many bartenders have a hard time making añejo tequila shine, but this combination created by Patrick Gaggiano really pleased him.
The Unicorn Blood presented a tequila aroma and offered up a light citrus sip. On the swallow, the tequila-herbal Bénédictine pairing worked rather well and was complemented by the anise notes of the Peychaud's Bitters. Moreover, I got a chocolate note from the Bénédictine that fit in splendidly with these flavors.

Friday, July 27, 2012

lauren and orange

2 oz Chinaco Añejo Tequila
1 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
1 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Clément Créole Shrubb Orange Liqueur

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

After the rum drink, Todd suggested switching gears to a tequila one, the Lauren and Orange, that was a riff on the Margarita. Todd explained that Lauren is a regular along with Simon and one night she showed up wearing an orange shirt; this is the drink that he made for her.
The Lauren and Orange offered up a lime and orange aroma; these two citrus notes continued on into the sip along with the vermouth's grape flavor. The swallow then presented the aged tequila plus citrus peel notes. Indeed, the citrus balanced by orange liqueur and sweet vermouth worked rather well here as it has in drinks like the brandy-based Emily Shaw's Special.

[red line book club]

2 oz El Dorado 3 Year Rum
1 oz El Maestro Sierra Dry Amontillado Sherry
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz Burnt Cinnamon Syrup

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

After Island Creek Oyster Bar, I decided to go visit Todd Maul at Clio. For a first drink, Todd wanted to showcase something that he had come up with that still lacked a name. The other bartender, Mary, had dubbed the drink Todd's Mustache in revenge for Todd's naming drinks after her sock drawer and her liquor cabinet; however, he was not too big on that name. Since the drink bears a resemblance to the Dwight Street Book Club he made me, I decided to dub this after a book club a little closer to home.
The drink's lime twist paired rather well with the rum's aroma. Next, a dry grape and lime sip led into a rum swallow with nutty sherry flavors. Finally, the swallow ended with cinnamon notes and the lime's tartness. Overall, the drink reminded me a bit of the classic Fog Cutter.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

paper schooner

3/4 oz Rittenhouse 100 Rye
3/4 oz Becherovka
3/4 oz Aperol
3/8 oz Lemon Juice
3/8 oz Simple Syrup

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

As a follow up to the Green Harbor at Island Creek Oyster Bar, I ask bartender Vikram Hedge for the Paper Schooner that was subtitled "the next quad." Vik explained that they wanted to retired Sam Ross' Paper Plane from the menu and replace it with a drink inspired by it. Therefore, he and Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli set to work. While the recipe listed above has five parts, the two half parts, namely the lemon juice and simple syrup, were pre-mixed as a cordial.
The Paper Schooner offered up a fruity aroma that was a combination of the lemon and Aperol elements. The drink's nose prepared the mouth for the lemon juice and Aperol's orange flavors on the sip. Next, the rye's barrel notes began the swallow that ended with Becherovka's cinnamon and clove spice. As the drink warmed up a little, it got a bit sweeter and more clove driven; therefore, those that prefer drier drinks might opt for 2:1 lemon to simple in the cordial.

green harbor

1 oz Green Chartreuse
1 oz Cocchi Americano
4 wedge Lime (2/3 whole Lime)
2 sprig Mint
2 dash Bittermens Grapefruit Bitters

Muddle the lime wedges and mint sprigs. Add rest of ingredients and fine strain into a Highball glass filled with ice. Top with ~3 oz soda water and stir. Garnish with 2 mint sprigs and add a straw.

Two Tuesdays ago, I paid a visit to Island Creek Oyster Bar, and for a start, I asked bartender Vikram Hedge for the Green Harbor. When I asked about the drink's history, Vikram described how he created it with Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli's help. Vik wanted to name the drink after a beach in his fiancé's hometown of Marshfield, MA, called Green Harbor. While the mental connection to Green Chartreuse stemmed from the beach's name, his fiancé actually does not care for it, but she does enjoy the Cocchi Americano that plays a balancing role in the recipe.
The Green Harbor's mint garnish contributed greatly to the herbal aroma. The carbonated lime sip had botanical hints to it, and the swallow presented the Green Chartreuse's flavor along with tart lime notes. Overall, the Green Harbor was rather light and refreshing and I could easily imagine drinking a few of these while watching the summer sun set over the harbor.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

bobby burns (variation)

2 oz Compass Box King Street Blended Scotch
1 oz Vergano Americano
1 barspoon Chestnut Flower Honey

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass.

The other drink that Stephen Shellenberger wanted to make me was his Bobby Burns variation that he got some press for back in 2008 when he was at Dante. The Boston Globe wrote, "It turns out that Shellenberger's version is no proper Bobby Burns, but its impropriety is an apt tribute to the roguish poet who immortalized his own scandalous romances and spoke out against the status quo." While he no longer uses housemade vermouth and opts for a chinato instead, he still prefers single varietal honeys that he finds at Formaggio's Kitchen.  The honey made a great substitute in place of some Bobby Burn's Drambuie (other versions use Bénédictine instead).
The honey certainly came through in the aroma where it paired with the Scotch's smoke and in the sip where it mingled with the chinato's grape and Scotch's malt notes. While the smoky Scotch began the swallow, it ended with a return of the honey in a lingering honey, floral, and grape finish.
While drinking Stephen's Bobby Burn's rendering, I thought of another Scotch variation I had a few weeks ago at Trina's Starlite Lounge. During a Monday industry brunch, one of the sponsors was Cutty Sark, and bartender Beau Sturm made up a round of his Rob Roy variation for the bar.
Rob Roy (variation)
• 2 oz Cutty Sark Blended Scotch
• 1 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
• 1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
• 1 dash House Orange Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with a brandied cherry.
Rather good although Cutty Sark is a more gentle and less smokey blended Scotch than Compass Box's King Street. Perhaps its mildness is what allowed the dry vermouth and other ingredients to shine out so well. As I enjoyed the drink, I could not help but think that Andrea's dad was smiling down on me for drinking Cutty Sark; however, he would have preferred just the Scotch on the rocks instead.

[busy bee]

1 1/2 oz Linie Aquavit
3/4 oz Cristinalda Brandymel Honey Liqueur
3/4 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail or small wine glass.

Two Mondays ago, we headed over to Brookline for dinner at Pomodoro when Stephen Shellenberger was tending bar. For a first libation, Stephen made me another drink using Brandymel, a funky Portuguese honey-herbal liqueur made with moonshine brandy. To that, he added Norwegian aquavit and lemon juice such that it came across as a Bee's Knees variation. For a name, I dubbed it the Busy Bee after a famous airline in Norway.
The drink's aroma was honey spiced with caraway, and the honey continued on into the sip where it was balanced by the lemon juice. Next, the swallow offered up the funkier aspects of the Brandymel along with the herbal elements of the aquavit.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

resting point

1 1/2 oz Reposado Tequila (Espolón)
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Agave Syrup
1 Strawberry

Muddle the strawberry. Add the rest of the ingredients and ice, shake, and double strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a strawberry fan.

Two Sundays ago, I selected the Resting Point from the PDT Cocktail Book as our evening's libation. Lindsay Nader who created this drink in 2010 named the drink after two of the ingredients: reposado tequila and Punt e Mes, which translates to rested tequila and point and a half, respectively.
The Resting Point conjured a strawberry bouquet along with mineral notes from the tequila. The strawberry on the sip was joined by the lemon and grape flavors, and the swallow was a medley of tequila, Punt e Mes' bitter flavors, and Yellow Chartreuse herbal ones. Overall, the drink was a more complex Fresa Catrina that shared some resemblance to Alice in Wonderland No. 2.

devil's soul

1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse Rye
1/2 oz Sombra Mezcal
1/2 oz Averna
1/4 oz St. Germain
1/4 oz Aperol

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

After the Sangre du Nord, I decided upon finding a nightcap in Gary Regan's 101 Best New Cocktails 2012. When I spotted the Devil's Soul by Ted Kilgore, I was intrigued for we have enjoyed all of his recipe since I made his Revival three years ago. Moreover, the split rye and mezcal spirit is a combination that worked well in Stephen Cole's Racketeer and Thomas Waugh's Red Ant.
The Devil's Soul began with an orange-Aperol and rye aroma with a hint of mezcal's smokiness. The sweet, slightly fruity sip was chased by a rye swallow that ended with herbal bitterness, floral notes, and smoke.

Monday, July 23, 2012

sangre du nord

2 oz Gin (Farmer's)
1 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/4 oz Pernod (Henri Bardouin Pastis)

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

Two Fridays ago, we started the evening with an older drink from No. 9 Park that was captured in Food & Wine: Cocktails 2007. The Sangre du Nord was a variation on the classic Monkey Gland that the No. 9 Park bartenders made for the "Americans in Paris" exhibition opening at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts.
The Sangre du Nord presented a complex orange aroma from the juice, twist, and liqueur that was spiced with the pastis' anise. While the drink was very orangy, the sip was more juice- and the swallow more peel-flavored. Moreover, the swallow had a bit of herbal complexity from the gin and pastis.

triton

1 oz London Dry Gin (Tanqueray)
3/4 oz Cocchi Americano
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/4 oz Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass (Champagne flute). Top with 2 oz Blanc de Blancs (Gruet) and garnish with a lemon twist.
After the Georgia, I wanted to try a recipe that I had spotted in Food & Wine: Cocktails 2012 called the Triton. The drink was created by Miles Macquarrie of Leon's Full Service in Decatur, Georgia, as a hybrid of a Vesper and a Seelbach. While not a fan of the Vesper itself, giving it a flavor boost and dropping the flavorless spirit from the roster certainly attracted my attention. Once mixed, the Triton offered up a lemon oil and sparkling wine bouquet. The crisp, carbonated orange sip was chased by white wine, gin, and lingering bitter orange notes.

georgia

1/3 Booth's Gin (1 oz Hayman's Navy Strength)
1/3 Lemon Juice (1 oz)
1/6 Gomme Syrup (1/2 oz Simple)
1/6 Strega (1/2 oz)
Spot of Egg White (1/2 Egg White)

Shake once without ice and once with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.
Two Thursdays ago, we began the cocktail hour with an interesting Strega drink from the Café Royal Cocktail Book called the Georgia. The drink began with a lemon and herbal aroma that contained an oregano-like note. The sweet, smooth sip yielded a pleasing lemon flavor that led into a botanical-rich swallow with gin and Strega notes. Overall, the Georgia was a lot smoother of a Strega drink than the Berkley Hotel Cocktail perhaps due to the egg white and addition sugar added.

Friday, July 20, 2012

flower sour

1 oz W.L. Weller Bourbon
1 oz Cardamaro
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Honey Syrup (1:1)
1 Egg White

Shake without ice and then with ice. Strain into a rocks glass with ice cubes. Garnish with a lemon slice and a spritz of lavender tincture. Add straws.

Two Wednesdays ago, Andrea and I stopped into Craigie on Main. For a drink, I asked Jared Sadoian for the Flower Sour. Jared explained that bartender Ted Gallagher found a forgotten housemade lavender tincture on the shelves and decided to come up with a drink using it. To add to the floweriness, Ted chose to sweeten this egg white Sour with honey.
The lavender tincture added floral notes to the citrus aroma of the freshly cut lemon slice garnish. Next, the creamy lemon and honey sip later gained malt notes from the Bourbon, and the swallow was an elegant pairing of the Bourbon and the herbal wine elements from the Cardamaro.

persephone

1 oz Laird's Applejack
3/4 oz Dolin Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/2 oz Plymouth Sloe Gin
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass.

After Colin Shearn's Vlad the Impaler, I reached for the PDT Cocktail Book and found David Slape's Persephone. David named the drink after the daughter of Zeus and the harvest-goddess Demeter who serves as the queen of the underworld in Greek mythology. The combination of sloe gin and applejack worked rather well in No. 9 Park's Slojack, so I was game to give it a try.
The Persephone greeted the senses with an apple aroma along with a fruit note from either the sweet vermouth or sloe gin. A smooth apple and lemon sip was followed by the vermouth's grape and sloe gin's tart berry note. With the apple, grape, and tart fruit notes, the Persephone reminded me of the Omar with its raspberry and sherry flavors.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

vlad the impaler

3/4 oz J.M. Rhum Agricole Blanc
3/4 oz Galliano L'Autentico Liqueur
3/4 oz Velvet Falernum
3/4 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass.

While looking online at the other Galliano entries, I spotted a curious one from Colin Shearn of the Franklin Mortgage and Investment Co. Like Sahil's Emerald Toucan, Colin's drink called Vlad the Impaler seemed similar to the classic Yellow Bird. In place of the Yellow Bird's triple sec was falernum, and Colin opted for a strong, funky, and grassy rhum agricole for the spirit.
Vlad the Impaler offered up an herbal aroma with anise notes standing out the most. The lime sip led into the rum's grassy flavor, the Galliano's vanilla and star anise, and the falernum's clove on the swallow. Compared to the Emerald Toucan, it was a bit more identifiable as a Galliano drink and was just as well balanced as Sahil's.

emerald toucan

3/4 oz Tequila
3/4 oz Galliano L'Autentico Liqueur
3/4 oz St. Germain
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe. Garnish with a lime twist.
Two Mondays ago, Andrea and I ventured over to Estragon for dinner. For a drink, we asked bartender Sahil Mehta to show off his entry into the Galliano cocktail contest. His recipe, the Emerald Toucan, appeared to be a riff on the classic Yellow Bird with tequila and St. Germain subbing for the Yellow Bird's light rum and triple sec, respectively. The Emerald Toucan began with a lime and agave nose that led into a citrus sip. The swallow was a combination of the tequila and a floral herbal finish that surprisingly tasted unlike either St. Germain or Galliano.

la passeggiata

1 oz Campari
1/4 oz Luxardo Amaretto
1/4 oz Anchor Distilling Junipero Gin
1/4 oz Combier Triple Sec
1 pinch Salt

Stir with ice and strain into a Champagne flute. Top with ~2 1/2 oz Bisol Prosecco.

Two Sundays ago, we paid a visit to bartender Ted Kilpatrick at No. 9 Park since it seemed like the perfect way to cap off Andrea and my anniversary evening. For a drink, I opted for La Passeggiata that was mentioned in the final posting on WBUR's PublicRadioKitchen; indeed, the article was on No. 9's Tyler Wang and he served as a great way to cheer up the sad conclusion to that excellent blog. Tyler named his drink after the Italian evening ritual of taking rather slow strolls through the old, main streets of town. The ritual includes dressing up, gossiping, and of course drinking glasses of beer and wine at various bars and cafés along the way.

The PRK article discusses how Tyler's bitter sweet sparkler was influenced by Carrie Cole who went from Craigie on Main to Eastern Standard. Tyler learned from Carrie how to use a pinch of salt to make her cocktails sing; some good examples of that are her Nouvelle Fleur, Aku Aku, and Fin du Saison.

The Passeggiata's aroma came across as almost floral from the Campari and amaretto. The carbonated almond and orange sip led into a Campari-flavored swallow. The salt definitely mellowed the Campari into something reminiscent of Hawaiian Punch of all things instead of the intensely bitter liqueur it can often be.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

fears and failures

1 oz Becherovka
1/2 oz Nux Alpina Walnut Liqueur
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Honey Syrup (1:1)

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass containing fresh ice. Top with ~2 1/2 oz Notch Saison beer and give a quick stir.

After the Cold Blooded Fashion at Brick and Mortar, I asked bartender Evan Harrison for the other drink on the regular menu from that Monday's Spin the Bottle event featuring Chris Lohring of Notch Brewing. This Misty Kalkofen creation was Evan's favorite of Monday's six special offerings and I soon discovered why.
The Fears and Failures proffered spice notes from the Becherovka that included clove and cinnamon aromas. Next, the carbonated sip was a pleasing medley of honey, lemon, and malt notes. The swallow, though, was quite stunning as the Nux Alpina's nut flavors paired incredibly with the Saison's sour notes. Finally, the Becherovka's clove and other spice elements rounded out the swallow.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

cold blood fashion

1 1/2 oz Bols Genever
3/4 oz Orange Juice
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
1 dash Fee Brothers' Whiskey Barrel Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass containing ice cubes. Top with ~2 oz Notch Saison beer and give a quick stir.

Two Fridays ago, I stopped into Brick and Mortar to catch some of the beer cocktails that were served earlier in the week at the Spin the Bottle event featuring Chris Lohring of Notch Brewing. For a start, I asked bartender Evan Harrison for the Cold Blooded Fashion. Evan explained that the recipe was created by Misty Kalkofen and that he found the drink to be delightfully malty.
The Cold Blooded Fashion began with a bready malt nose along with a hint of orange, and the malt and orange continued on into the carbonated sip. On the swallow, the funk of the saison beer mixed well with the Genever botanical notes, and over time, the cinnamon from the bitters began to build up here as well. As the ice melted, the drink surprisingly got sweeter. Overall, the Genever was a good match to the saison, and I soon recalled a similar pairing in Trina's Starlite Lounge's Word to Your Mom where the Genever was coupled with Pretty Things Jack D'Or Saison.

west indian summer

1 1/2 oz Gilka Kümmel (Helbing)
1 oz Old Raj Gin (Hayman's Navy Strength)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 barspoon Maraschino Liqueur
1 barspoon Simple Syrup
1 dash Regan's Orange Bitters

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

Two Thursdays ago for the cocktail hour, Andrea suggested that I look in Beta Cocktails for we had not had a recipe from there in a while. The one that called out to me was Rhiannon Enlil's West Indian Summer. Since we lacked Old Raj Gin, I figured that Hayman's Navy Strength would work as a substitute for the Old Raj's proof although perhaps not its herbal signature. For kümmel, I used our Helbing which worked rather well in another Beta Cocktails recipe, the Spice Trade.
The orange twist contributed to the drink's aroma along with the caraway from the kümmel. A sweet lemon and orange sip led into the botanical notes of the gin and kümmel on the swallow and a tart lemon note on the finish. Indeed, there was enough sugar in the kümmel to make the drink smooth, although the drink did get a little bit rougher as it warmed up.

Monday, July 16, 2012

pontarlier julep

1/2 oz Absinthe (La Muse Verte)
1/2 oz Gin (Hayman's Navy Strength Gin)
3/4 oz Aperol
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
3 drop Orange Blossom Water
3 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Stir with crushed ice in a Julep cup until a frost forms. Top with ice, garnish with mint sprigs, and add a straw.

In the July/August 2012 issue of Imbibe Magazine, I was drawn to the Pontarlier Julep created by William Elliott of Maison Premiere in Brooklyn. Like the Cynar Julep from Rogue Cocktails, this Julep did not have muddled mint but only a mint garnish. Similar to the Cynar serving as the herbal component, the absinthe in the Pontarlier Julep substituted for the mint.
The mint garnish worked well to fill the Pontarlier Julep's bouquet. The sip was a combination of bitter orange and grape flavors that led into an absinthe and gin swallow.  Overall, it was a bit more complex than most Juleps, but it was equally as refreshing on a hot summer evening.

flowers for murphy

1 1/2 oz London Dry Gin (Beefeater)
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
3/8 oz Lime Juice
3/8 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/4 oz Green Chartreuse

Shake with ice and strain into a Champagne flute. Top with ~1 oz sparkling wine (Gruet Brut) and garnish with a mint leaf.

Two Tuesdays ago, I decided to make a drink that was served along with the Red Rot Cocktail for a Roaring Twenties event at the Boston Athenaeum back in 2007. The recipe, Flowers for Murphy, was created by Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli who was working at Eastern Standard at the time.
The Flowers for Murphy offered a watermelon-like note along with the mint aroma. The carbonated sip had citrus and white wine flavors, and the swallow was rather herbal with gin notes and a Green Chartreuse finish.

Friday, July 13, 2012

melba

1/2 Daiquiri Rum (1 oz El Dorado 3 Year)
1/2 Swedish Punsch (1 oz Kronan)
Juice of 1/4 Lemon or 1/2 Lime (1/2 oz Lime)
2 dash Absinthe (1/4 oz Kübler)
2 dash Grenadine (1/4 oz)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
For the cocktail hour two Mondays ago, I chose the Melba from the Café Royal Cocktail Book. The drink began with a sweet aroma that was a combination of perhaps the rum, lime, and absinthe. Next, the lime and pomegranate flavors filled the sip; the swallow began with rum and transitioned to absinthe with the Swedish Punsch notes in between. Overall, the Melba had a decent amount of complexity without being all that challenging.

wing nang

1 oz Old Monk Rum
1 oz Palo Viejo White Rum
3/4 oz Maurin Quina
1 1/4 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup
4 dash Bittermens Tiki Bitters

Shake with ice and pour unstrained into a rocks glass. Add straws.
Two Sundays ago, we stopped into the Independent during one of the their John Funke music nights. For a drink, I asked the bartender for the Wing Nang which seemed intriguing for it was a Tiki-like drink containing Maurin Quina. The Wing Nang's aroma offered grapefruit and cinnamon notes. The grapefruit continued on into the sip along with the Maurin's cherry, and the swallow began with rum and cinnamon notes. The swallow ended with a lingering almond flavor from the Maurin that worked incredibly well with the Tiki feel.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

equator

3/4 Swedish Punsch (1 1/2 oz Kronan)
2 dash Sweet Vermouth (1/2 oz Cocchi)
1/4 Grapefruit Juice (1/2 oz)
1 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
After the Subterranean Swizzle, I began searching for a light drink to end the evening. Inside Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 I spotted the Equator which was a curious Swedish Punsch recipe. Its pairing of sweet vermouth and grapefruit juice was one that I remember working rather well in the rye-based Standish Arms. The Equator began with a funky rum and grapefruit aroma that flowed into a sweet fruity sip from the grapefruit juice and the vermouth's grape. Finally, the swallow offered up rum, a tea-like spice note, and orange from the bitters.

subterranean swizzle

1 oz Appleton Reserve Rum
1 oz Osocalis Brandy (Pedro Domecq Fundador Solera Reserva)
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz BG Reynolds Cinnamon Syrup
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Build in a Collins glass filled with crushed ice. Swizzle to mix and chill. Top with more ice, garnish with "Improved Bitters" (2 parts Angostura, 2 parts Luxardo Maraschino, 1 part absinthe) and mint sprigs, and add a straw. I garnished with 1 tsp of this bitters mix, although the contest recipe uses Fee Brothers' Aromatic Bitters.

Two Saturdays ago, I was in the mood for a Swizzle to sooth the evening's heat. The one I chose was the Subterranean Swizzle in Gary Regan's 101 Best New Cocktails 2012. Brian MacGregor of Jasper's Corner Tap in San Francisco created this recipe for the Appleton Remixology contest. The song that inspired his drink was the Red Hot Chili Peppers cover of Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues, and you can watch a video of him making the drink here.
The mint garnish contributed greatly to the drink's aroma. The lemon sip was followed by the rum, pineapple, and cinnamon flavors. Towards the end, the bitters mix entered into the equation with light Maraschino, anise, and spice notes.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

3185

1 1/2 oz Banks Rum
1/2 oz Barbancourt Rum
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
1/4 oz Gran Classico
1/4 oz Peychaud's Bitters
2 inch piece English Cucumber (no peel)

Cube the cucumber and muddle. Add rest of ingredients and ice, shake, and double strain into a Highball glass containing ice. Top with ~2 oz Reading Lager beer and add a straw.

For my next drink, I asked bartender Jeff Grdinich if he had any sparkling wine or beer cocktail ideas. Jeff replied that they had created an intriguing watermelon-flavored beer Highball that used the Gun Shop Fizz from Beta Cocktails as a starting point. As a tribute to the New Orleans origins of their inspiration, they named the Fizz after the police codes for drunk and disorderly, forgery, and shots fired in New Orleans.
The 3185 offered up a pleasing beer and vegetal aroma from perhaps the muddled cucumber. Indeed, the sip was a sweet watermelon flavor despite there not being any watermelon in the drink; I surmise that the Aperol played a large part in this. Finally, the drink concluded with rum and bitter notes. Overall, the 3185 was a bit on the sweet side for me but it was definitely an unique and enjoyable Highball.

[headkick]

1 oz Willet Rye
1 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
3/4 oz Kümmel
1/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1 dash Angostura Orange Bitters
1 dash Celery Bitters

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

Two Fridays ago, I stopped into Drink right after it opened and beat the post-work rush. For a first cocktail, I told bartender Jeff Grdinich that I was in the mood for whiskey. What he improvised was an herbal medley that shared some similarity with a classic drink called the High Kick which is equal parts rye, dry vermouth, and kümmel. Since Jeff did not have a name for his drink, I dubbed it the Headkick with perhaps Brick and Mortar's Flying Headlock in mind.
The cocktail offered a fresh lemon oil aroma that led into a sweet honey sip. Next, the complex swallow began with rye followed by kümmel's spice notes that finished with vegetal notes from perhaps the celery bitters.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

margaret rose

1/3 Gin (1 oz GrandTen Wireworks)
1/3 Calvados (1 oz Morin Selection)
1/6 Cointreau (1/2 oz)
1/6 Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)
1 dash Grenadine (1 barspoon)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
While drinking L'Aurore, I grabbed the Café Royal Cocktail Book and began flipping through the pages until I found the Margaret Rose created by the UK Bartender's Guild member J.W. Fish. With a split spirit of gin and apple brandy, the recipe reminded me a bit of the Blue Skies I had at Green Street. The Margaret Rose's aroma was fruity from the apple and orange notes. Similarly, the sip was citrussy with some apple flavors. The apple notes though were strongest in the swallow where it was dried out by the gin. Overall, the Margaret Rose made for a rather pleasing Daisy.

l'aurore

2/3 Old Tom Gin (1 1/2 oz Ransom)
1/3 Sweet Vermouth (3/4 oz Cocchi Vermouth di Torino)
1 dash Gum Syrup (1/4 oz Simple)
1 dash Maraschino Liqueur (1/4 oz Luxardo)
1 dash Absinthe (1/4 oz Kübler)
2 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with fruit (cherry).

Two Thursdays ago, I was flipping through William Schmidt's The Flowing Bowl from 1892 and spotted the L'Aurore. The drink seemed like an interesting Martinez-like drink that also shared similarity with his Angelus. With L'Aurore meaning "the dawn," I am unsure if this was meant as a foglifter in the morning or whether it was just part of his astronomical drink naming tendency like The Sun.
The L'Aurore began with a Maraschino and anise aroma that led into a grape and spice sip. The savory gin flavors appeared on the swallow along with the Maraschino and absinthe, and the drink offered a delightful lingering chocolate note at the end.

Monday, July 9, 2012

last caress

2 oz Old Overholt Rye
3/4 oz Bénédictine
1/4 oz Del Maguey Minero Mezcal (Mezcal Vida)
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
2 dash Angostura Bitters

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

Two Wednesdays ago, I was flipping through Gary Regan's 101 Best New Cocktails 2012 and spotted the Last Caress from Dan Carlson of Saul in Brooklyn. The combination of rye and mezcal has worked well before in drinks like the Red Ant and the Racketter, so I was willing to give this one a try.
The Last Caress greeted the nose with a lemon oil, smoke, and rye aroma. The rye's malt on the sip was followed by whiskey, herbal, and light smoky notes on the swallow and a Maraschino finish. Overall, the Last Caress was like a gussied up Frisco with the Maraschino notes being the biggest difference from the classic.

figawi

2 oz Banks Rum
3/4 oz Five Spice Syrup (recipe)
3/4 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass.
Two Mondays ago, we waited for a break in the rain and then headed into the Citizen Public House where Sabrina Kershaw and Sean Frederick were bartending. For a drink, I asked Sabrina for the Figawi named after an annual charity boat race from Hyannis to Nantucket each Memorial Day weekend. The regatta apparently got its name when one of the boats got a little lost and the question "Where the fuck are we?" sounded a little different with a strong Massachusetts accent. The drink itself offered a star anise aroma from the syrup that played well with the lime notes. Lime juice on the sip was followed by the funky rum and spice that dried off the swallow. At first, cinnamon and anise notes were most discernible, and later a peppercorn flavor came out.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

start of a new road

1/2 oz Lagavulin Scotch
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
3/4 oz Neisson Rhum Agricole Blanc
3/4 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass.

While I was finishing my Roots of Rum at Backbar, Steven Shellenberger sat down and asked bartender Sam Treadway for "something ruthless." To that request, Sam offered up a riff on Chris McMillian's End of the Road that appears in Beta Cocktails. Chris' drink is equal parts Laphroaig 10 Year Scotch, Campari, and Green Chartreuse. Sam substituted another smoky Scotch, namely Lagavulin but otherwise kept the drink the same in the first half of the volume. To the other half of the volume, he balanced the drink with rhum agricole and lime juice. Since the pairing of rhum agricole and Scotch worked so well in Ben Sandrof's Two Worlds Sour, I asked Sam for this Start of a New Road as my next drink.
The Start of a New Road's aroma was mostly smoky with some rhum and Green Chartreuse herbal notes poking through. A dry malt and lime sip preceded a smoky Scotch and grassy rhum swallow. At the end was a bitter note that was unlike either Green Chartreuse or Campari. When I mentioned this to Sam, he commented that the Campari only comes through in the color for him.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

::veggie dining in new orleans::

With Tales of the Cocktail coming up in a little over two weeks, I figured that it was time for my annual guide to vegetarian and vegan dining recommendations in New Orleans. Unfortunately, I will not be in attendance for we will be spending our resources at other cocktail events this year; however, I wanted to share my notes from the past three years.

My impetus for starting this series back in 2010 was that at our first Tales in 2009, all of the restaurant recommendations were rather meat-centric and I was told that I would probably go hungry. When I heard that, I took it as a challenge to research and explore to make sure that statement was anything but the case. What I learned was that there were plenty of very satisfying options, although many were outside of the French Quarter. With a little travel by foot, streetcar, or taxi, there were numerous options in the Marigny, Central Business District, and Garden District. The vegetarians who have complained in the past were the ones that tagged along with meat-centric groups, and I highly recommend taking control of your dining options. Whether it is dragging them along to where you want to go or planning on meeting up later, life is too short to eat bad or unsatisfying food.

The 2010 and 2011 veggie dining guides might be worth a look if only for the photos of the dishes tried during each trip; there are a few restaurants in 2011's post that I did not include in here for brevity's sake but would serve as good data points for more options. Here is the updated list of the restaurants over the last three years. I did my best efforts in web research to confirm that the restaurant's website were still up, but this is no guarantee that they will be there.

Green Goddess, 307 Exchange Place, French Quarter, (504) 301-3347
The Green Goddess is touted by meat eaters and vegetarians alike! This is one of the threepeats of my New Orleans dining experiences. I have tried everything from small plates to a six course tasting menu paired with cocktails. I highly recommend the chef's whim especially if you have dietary concerns that the chef can work with or around. Last year I went twice, once with Camper English of Alcademics and the other with the Glassers of the Bittermens Bitters. One of the highlights included an Adobo Mess o' Greens "Cuban" Sandwich that was a Filipino-inspired dish dressed the same as a regular Cuban sandwich; it paired rather well with a cherry wood-smoked wheat beer from Bayou Teche. Meals there have ranged from $25-72 a person and see the previous posts for food pics.
The Wandering Buddha, 2239 St. Claude Ave, Marigny, (504) 945-9428
The Wandering Buddha was a new one last year for they had just opened two weeks before Tales! This Korean vegan restaurant with the punk rock aesthetic was worth the walk all the way out to the Marigny, but if the distance is too great, don't despair! Joy Richard took advantage of their delivery service a few times during the week. Food highlights included Ssambab which were lettuce wraps filled with rice, marinated tofu, vegetables, and a spicy sauce ($3.50), and Bibim Naengmyeon which was the cold buckwheat noodle and veggie dish pictured above ($10). It's at the back side of a rock club and they only take cash, but it was definitely a trip highlight!

Bennachin, 1212 Royal Street, French Quarter, (504) 522-1230
We discovered this African restaurant the first year and it has served as another 3-time winner for both lunch and dinner. The menu contains a good number of vegetarian and vegan options, including Kone ni Makondo which are black-eyed peas in an onion and tomato stew served with coconut rice and fried plantains. Lunch was options were around $8 and dinner options are probably around the $12 price point they were back in 2010.
Carmo, 527 Julia St, Central Business District, (504) 875-4132
Carmo opened right before Tales 2010 and this "tropical café" was so good that time that I dragged Dr. Bamboo for lunch last year. Since then, they have apparently expanded to dinner as well. Our lunches were $9 including my Sultan's Delight, the smoked eggplant, tofu, and veggie dish pictured above, and Dr. B's spiced tofu, vegetables, and apricot rice dish.

Mona's Cafe, 504 Frenchmen Street, Marigny, (504) 949-4115
Vegan and vegetarian options are plentiful at this Middle Eastern eatery chain that has been another 3-timer; there are three Mona's throughout town, but the one on Frenchmen is by far the most accessible. Do not fear, Zagat's and Best of New Orleans support my claim that this is good food although the ambiance is a bit humble. I returned to the falafel plate ($9) this year along with the ever amazing Lebanese iced tea with rosewater and pine nuts ($2.25).
Sylvain, 625 Chartres Street, French Quarter, (504) 265-8123
Sylvain opened late in 2010 but it already had a buzz from Chuck Taggart and others as a place to go. While not the most veggie friendly restaurant around, there were a good number of salad and appetizer options and I was quite pleased with the quality. Pictured above was the roasted beet bruschetta with goat's milk cheese and the heirloom tomato-based ricotta and sprout salad that I ordered. The beer list was also good such as the Brasserie Dieu du Ciel "Aphrodite" Stout that was brewed with cacao and vanilla beans. Appetizers and salads were in the $9-10 range.

Meltdown Gourmet Popsicles, 508 Dumaine St, French Quarter, (504) 301-0905
We hit this in Tales 2010 and I returned again this year to get a pineapple basil popsicle. Well worth the $3 heat-beating price and all of the fruit options are vegan and the cream ones are vegetarian. Open 12pm-6pm daily.
Surrey's, 1418 Magazine Street, Lower Garden District, (504) 524-3828
A breakfast and lunch stop that has a few establishments across New Orleans that was so good we went twice the first year and I went twice last year. Due to staying in the Marigny in 2010, we unfortunately did not make it there that year. Surrey's has both vegetarian and vegan options including a tofu breakfast platter ($7.75) which was a delightful vegan stirfry and Bananas Foster French Toast ($9) pictured above. Open 8am-3pm every day of the week.

13 Monoghan, 517 Frenchman, Marigny, (504) 942-1345
13 Monoghan is a place we went in 2010 but I did not have a chance to go there again this year. This movie poster-decorated restaurant within a bar serves a good number of vegetarian and vegan dishes such as Veggie Po-Boys, BBQ Tofu Sandwiches, and Black Bean Veggie Burgers. The menu is diverse and seems satisfying for both meat eaters and vegans (they even have vegan mayo!). Most options were between $7-10, and they are open late from 11am to 4am.
Gumbo Shop, 630 Saint Peter Street, French Quarter, (504) 525-1486
While not a very veggie friendly sounding place, they do have a rotating vegetarian gumbo option which three years in a row was vegan and incredibly good; last year it was the black beans and rice ($10) pictured above that went well with an Ambita Amber Ale. I believe there two other veggie-friendly options as well including a veggie Po-Boy. A good compromise if your dining companions want traditional New Orleans food and you need to be sure that there will be something for you to eat.

Subway Sandwiches, 112 Royal Street, French Quarter, (504) 522-0992
No, I have never dined there in New Orleans despite Subway being started in my hometown of Milford, CT, but it was the favorite restaurant of vegetarian Camper English of Alcademics. This place is conveniently located right next to the Hotel Monteleone so you can get something to eat if you are in a hurry between sessions. If you want to live the life of Camper and eat as he does, order the veggie footlong with Swiss cheese, no onions, and no green peppers. Eat enough of them, and liquor companies might start sending you around the world too.
Café du Monde, 800 Decatur Street, French Quarter, 1(800) 772-2927
Breakfast at Café du Monde is a must, and three beignets and coffee for under $5 is a great start to the day. Just don't wear black or that powder sugar will be the bane of your existence!

There were a few more suggestions in the 2011 post that might be worth reading. Again, please confirm on your own that any of these establishments are still open (they are still listed on the web but I did not call to check), and feel free to add your own suggestions to this list in the comments section. The vegetarian food was glorious in New Orleans, so do not listen to others' negativity. It was not hard to find places to go, but if you are stuck in a group with no control over the destination, that negativity might have some truth to it. Good luck and good eating!

Friday, July 6, 2012

roots of rum

2 oz El Dorado 12 Year Rum
1/2 oz Root Liqueur
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Fee Brothers' Orgeat
1/2 oz Ginger Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a floated lime wheel, dash Angostura Bitters to the top of the lime wheel, and add straws.

Two Sundays ago, we paid a visit to Backbar in Somerville where bartenders Sam Treadway and Bryn Tattan were behind the stick. For a start, Sam recommended a Tiki number they created called the Roots of Rum that featured Art in the Age's Root Liqueur. Root beer flavors have occasionally appeared in classic Tiki recipes such as Don the Beachcomber's 1937 Caribbean Punch, and Root Liqueur has appeared in a handful of modern ones such as Prince Farrington Punch and the Root of All Evil.
The spice aromas from the Angostura Bitters added to the freshly cut lime notes. The lime juice was joined by the aged rum's caramel notes on the sip, and the rum flavors continued on into the swallow where they blended well with the root beer elements from the liqueur. Finally, the finish offered almond and lingering ginger notes. Overall, the Root Liqueur was well balanced in this drink and did not overwhelm the flavor profile like it can in some drinks.

mexican fix

1 1/2 oz Reposado Tequila (Espolón)
2/3 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1/3 oz Pineapple Syrup
1 barspoon Maraschino Liqueur (Luxardo)

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a lime twist and add a straw.

After the Opaka Raka, I decided to stick with the lime theme but switch gears to an agave drink. The recipe that had caught my attention was the Mexican Fix from the July/August 2012 issue of Imbibe Magazine. The drink was created by Robyn Gray of the Reflections bar at the Hotel Georgia in Vancouver, British Columbia. I was lured in for two reasons. The first was that the idea of a tequila variation of Harry Johnson's Brandy Fix was intriguing. The other was the curiousity of tasting a recent recipe from that Vancouver hotel after trying older ones like the Hotel Georgia from Ted Saucier's Bottoms Up.
The lime twist contributed to the Fix's aroma along with the tequila notes. The fruity lime juice and pineapple syrup flavors filled the sip, and the swallow showcased the pairing of tequila and Green Chartreuse followed by a hint of Maraschino on the finish. Overall, the drink's balance was refreshingly dry and delightful.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

opaka raka

1 1/2 Junipero Gin (sub Tanqueray)
1 1/2 oz Don's Spices #2 Mix (*)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
1 dash Tiki Bitters (sub Fee's Aromatic)

Shake with ice and strain into a tall glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.
(*) Note: the recipe in Remixed is allegedly wrong and it should be Don's Mix instead. My tasting notes are using Don's Spices #2 which is equal parts vanilla syrup and allspice dram, and not Don's Mix.

Two Saturdays ago, we began the cocktail hour with the Opaka Raka from Beach Bum Berry's Remixed. The drink was created by Death & Company's Brian Miller who was influenced by Don the Beachcomber's Donga Punch. Instead of Don's Mix and rhum in the classic, Brian used Don's Spices #2 and gin (see the above note that the recipe in Remixed might be wrong, and both recipes use Don's Mix).
The Opaka Raka offered up a lime and allspice aroma at first; as the drink's level dropped, the vanilla on the edge of the glass from the Don's Spices #2 began to play a prominent role in the bouquet. On the tongue, a lime sip led into a vanilla, allspice, and gin swallow. With the potent allspice liqueur, perhaps 2 parts of vanilla syrup to 1 part of dram might have worked better than equal parts in this recipe.

ginger baker fizz

2 oz Gin (Beefeater)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Crème de Cacao (Marie Brizard)
1/2 oz Ginger Liqueur (King's Ginger)
1 1/2 oz Heavy Cream
1 Egg White

Shake the egg white and lemon juice without ice. Add the rest of the ingredients and ice, and shake again. Strain into a Collins glass with 1 1/2 oz ginger beer (AJ Stephans), garnish with an orange twist, and add a straw.
Two Fridays ago, I was flipping through Food & Wine: Cocktails 2012 when I was tempted by Rhiannon Enlil's Ramos Gin Fizz variation called the Ginger Baker Fizz. The drink is a tribute to the legendary Cream drummer who later went on to help popularize African-influenced world music. The Fizz began with orange oils from the twist along with ginger notes from the liqueur and beer. The creamy lemon sip gave way to a gin, chocolate, and ginger swallow. Overall, I was quite surprised at how the chocolate notes sang out more than the ginger in the mix.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

midnight elixir

2 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Ginger Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a Collins glass filled with crushed ice. Top with ~1 oz soda water and float 1/2 oz Fernet Branca. Garnish with a lime wheel and add a straw.
The other house original that caught my eye at Stoddard's was the Midnight Elixir. To the top of a gin, ginger, and lime Fizz was an ominous layer of Fernet Branca like in the Benton Park Swizzle. This Fernet float donated a menthol note to the lime garnish's aroma. The sip showcased the lime juice, and the spice from the ginger and Ransom Old Tom Gin filled the swallow. Towards the end, the intense bitter herbalness of the Fernet Branca entered into the picture. Overall, between the ginger and the Fernet Branca, I could see the Midnight Elixir being just as good of a Corpse Reviver as it would be to settle the stomach after a big late-night dinner.

frolic fizz

2 oz Privateer White Rum
3/4 oz Grapefruit Juice
1 dash Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Lavender-Infused Honey Syrup (*)
1 dash Crème de Violette
1 Egg White

Shake with ice and strain into a Highball glass. Top with ~2 oz of soda water, garnish with dried lavender flowers, and add a straw.
(*) A 4:1 infused syrup. As a quick substitution, shake the drink with honey syrup and 1 tsp of dried lavender flowers. Add a fine straining step.
Two Thursdays ago, I stopped into Stoddard's for drinks. The house original that called out to me was Eric Cross's Frolic Fizz that was a delightful sounding flowery rum-based Silver Fizz. Bar manager Jamie Walsh later explained that the drink is an incredible seller which is a blessing except on Friday and Saturday nights. Once mixed, the lavender flower garnish contributed greatly to the drink's aroma. Next, a honey and grapefruit sip led into a rum swallow and a floral finish.

Monday, July 2, 2012

high desert swizzle

1 1/2 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida
3/4 oz Strawberry Shrub (*)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Rich Demerara Syrup (2:1)

Build in a Collins glass filled with crushed ice. Swizzle to mix and chill. Garnish with a lime slice and add a straw.
(*) See an easy recipe here and just switch strawberry for blueberry.

After the Brown Bomber two Wednesdays ago, I decided to make the High Desert Swizzle that Tommy Klus published on ShakeStir. I had the chance to meet Tommy at Tales of the Cocktail last year when he was one of the two bartenders making drinks on the New Orleans cemeteries tour. Back then, he was working at Portland's Teardrop and he helped me get the recipe for the delicious Thai Chi Chi his bar served at the Barroom Brawl two nights before. Now, he works across town at Kask.

The recipe seemed quite alluring for strawberry historically pairs quite well with agave spirits such as in the Cantante Para Mi Vida and Alice in Wonderland No. 2. In addition, Tommy's description of how "the vinegar in the shrub brightens and pronounces all the flavors of the mezcal" seemed quite intriguing. Luckily, I had an batch of strawberry shrub from a previous season ready to go!
The lime wheel garnish contributed greatly to the Swizzle's aroma and it prepared the mouth for the strawberry and lime sip. The swallow showcased the interesting interaction of the mezcal and the vinegar; indeed, the vinegar did an excellent job highlighting the sharper vegetal aspects of the agave.