Thursday, March 12, 2009

trinidad sour

1 1/2 oz Angostura Bitters
1 1/2 oz Ferrara Orgeat
1 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Rittenhouse Rye

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass. And yes, those are the correct volumes.

For my second cocktail at Drink last night, the honorable Ben Sandrof came by to chat. We began speaking about how much bitters you could drink straight without getting sick and then how much you could put in a cocktail and still have it work. Excluding some of the sweeter bitters out there like Fee's or Stirrings, the most I have ever seen was in the Woodpecker, a drink I left off of our menu at the International Migratory Bird Day cocktail party where we served bird-inspired cocktails, due what seemed like an absurd recipe:
• 2 oz Vodka
• 15 dashes Angostura (or Peychaud's) Bitters
Serve with 4 ice cubes or with crushed ice in a rocks glass.
Ben countered that he had two cocktails that he thought I might like to change or at least challenge my mind. The one I went with was a sour created by Giuseppe Gonzales of the Clover Club in Brooklyn and brought to Ben by way of Daniel Eun. Well not just a sour, but an inversion of a standard sour recipe such that the rye, which you would assume is the base spirit, becomes the flavor enhancer, and the bitters instead of being the accent become the drink's base. One of the pleasures of Ben's bartending is that while he can conjure up and serve perfectly regular drinks, he will gladly throw in a level of perversity if you are game, and accepting the perversity gauntlet often pays off grandly. For example, one of the most memorable drinks I had at No. 9 Park was a 1794 cocktail that Ben made for me with some xanthum gum-thickened Campari (almost a jelly) that yielded a cocktail with a rather fun and full mouthfeel to it. I figured that this would be a drink bold enough to match the Scotch Sazerac I had just finished.
I was in utter awe when the drink appeared in front of me. It was rather red with a thick froth on top. On the nose of the drink, there was a great deal of cinnamon, spice, and almond/orgeat aromatics. Upon the first sip, it was surprisingly very citrusy with more of a lime taste to it due to something in the bitters modifying the lemon's flavor. The ounce and a half of Angostura bitters a priori sounds like a disaster and my mind had a preconceived opinion of the flavor profile. However, it worked in a very delicious way, and not only that but the cherry wood in the Angostura's botanical mix brought out a great cherry-fruit flavor. Lauren Clark of DrinkBoston was at the ice bar behind me and Ben made her one as well. Lauren said she initially attributed the cherry flavor to her mind tricking her into thinking the drink was cherryish due to its incredible red color a la cherry juice. Over all, I was quite pleased with this drink both as an experience and as a drink itself. It was indeed an intense cocktail but very different type of intense from my Ardbeg Sazerac.


andrea said...

"accepting the perversity gauntlet"

I think this should be your new personal tagline.

"Fred Yarm
Accepting the Perversity Gauntlet Since 2007"

frederic said...

Perhaps we should have CocktailVirgin business cards with the site URL made up. Each with our name and our own unique slogan...

andrea said...

I really like the business card idea. But I have no idea what my own slogan would be. I'm so bad at Andrea-branding.

leadlike said...

love that drink! Misty recently made me a whole flight of "inverted" bitters cocktails one Sunday after I described a bizarre date experience from the night before. I remember the Trinidad sour, but I can't remember the others, suffice to say they were all surprisingly delicious.

P.S. I am one of the "garnish challenge" patrons, and we are all fans of your blog (I am alaways surprised how our respective drink lists tend to overlap week to week). We are typically at Drink around opening on Sunday if you ever want to exchange notes!

frederic said...

We often go on Sunday nights as well. Apparently you often leave right before we show up (we often get there around 8 or 9). We have only opened Drink once and that was on a Sunday after we went to the ICA a few blocks away. Hopefully one day our shifts will overlap. And hopefully the photo in my profile is helpful to I.D. me.

Anonymous said...

As Leadlike said, we're very often drinking the same concoctions on Sundays -- but I tend to just take pictures and kick myself, later on, for not writing down how many ounces this and dashes of that. So we're awfully appreciative of your meticulous notes. (I don't suppose you had one of these?)

We'll have to visit Drink *after* dinner one of these Sundays.

frederic said...

We did not have one of those. We probably have similar or at least overlapping drink taste. And while sometimes we're specific about what we want, sometimes we ask what they've been making lately that they're excited about(*). And sometimes when we're specific, it triggers an idea of what they've been making that week. And sometimes it's improv'd and perhaps made for future drinkers.

(*) the cool thing about doing this is how much it can broaden your drink sensibilities and overcome perceived dislikes.

DoubleMan said...

I had the Trinidad Sour yesterday. Damn, was that good.

Ben also made a DLB (Don's Little Bitter) from Don Lee at pdt (Ben said that Don is leaving to work on a Morimoto project in NY).

1/4 oz peychaud's
1/4 oz ango orange
1/2 oz angostura
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz fernet
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 oz barbancourt 8 year.

I am pretty sure those were the measurements. It's an outstanding drink - so complex and surprisingly well-balanced.

Unknown said...

I went to Drink last night and ordered one of these. Amazing. The group I was with -- definitely not cocktail geeks -- were so taken by the drink that three more were ordered. Not only that, but a few of the group started asking some questions about what bitters really are. This is not only a great drink but also a perfect way to get people interested in bitters who would otherwise not have any clue. Best new drink I've encountered in the past two years, without a doubt. Thank you so much for bringing it to my attention.