Saturday, January 22, 2011

two worlds sour

1 oz Neisson Rhum Agricole Blanc
1 oz Balvenie Doublewood Scotch
1/2 oz Lapsang Souchong Tea Syrup (1:1)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 dash Smoking Ban Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Twist a lemon peel over the top. Substitute Angostura for the bitters if need be.

A few days ago was quite the subversive Sunday. First, Andrea and I attended a pop up dinner held at a coffee shop in Union Square. For a few nights, Bloc 11 had been taken over by Garden in the Cellar chef Will Gilson where they were serving five course dinners, and we caught the final night that featured an all vegetarian selection. I was envious of the concept of a whiskey-cured, cigar-smoked salmon (well, not the salmon part) that was served the other two nights, but I had my share of whiskey and cigars at our next stop that night -- a pop up bar night held in an establishment's back room. Indeed, that night was another of Ben Sandrof's Sunday Salons.
I started the evening with a Blackfly Fashion where the rough, rye-forward Bourbon was smoothed out by the roasted malt notes of a stout. Moreover, chocolate, hops, and spice accompanied the Bourbon's heat on the swallow.
Blackfly Fashion
• 2 1/2 oz Bulleit Bourbon
• 1/2 oz Black Fly Stout Syrup (1:1)
• 1 dash Mole Bitters
• 1 dash Angostura Bitters
Build in a rocks glass. Add a big piece of ice, 2 straws, and an orange twist.
For my second drink, I was drawn to the Two Worlds which was a Scotch Old Fashioned sweetened with a smoky tea syrup and seasoned with Smoking Ban Bitters. Since I had already had one Old Fashioned, I asked Ben what he could riff off of those ingredients. Ben split the spirit to include a rhum agricole and added lemon juice to balance the syrup's sweetness.
The drink's nose was full of lemon, smoke, and funky and grassy rhum agricole notes. On the sip, lemon and malt flavors were presented in a sweet and soft fashion, while smoke and rhum agricole's hogo notes blessed the crisp swallow. At first I was not sure how Scotch and rhum agricole would pair up; however, their respective quirks seemed to complement each other in this drink.

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