Thursday, August 27, 2015

test pilot

1 1/2 oz Dark Jamaican Rum (Coruba)
3/4 oz Light Puerto Rican Rum (Caliche)
1/2 oz Falernum (BG Reynolds)
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters
6 drop Pernod

Blend with 1 cup crushed ice for 5 seconds and pour into a Double Old Fashioned glass (shake with ice and strain into a Tiki mug filled with crushed ice). Garnish with a cherry speared to a wooden oyster fork (mint and flowers).

Two Thursdays ago after my shift, I reached for my copy of Beachbum Berry's Remixed. There, I spotted the Test Pilot which appeared like a gussied up Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. The Test Pilot was created by Don the Beachcomber circa 1941; while Don could have known about the Trader Vic's Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, it was not published until 1947 (or at least my earliest findings). Don's drink split the rum element and added spice from Angostura Bitters and pastis. The Test Pilot was later used as a template to create the Luau Room's Jet Pilot a decade later in the late 1950s.
Once prepared, the Test Pilot gave forth a mint aroma with hints of floral elements. Caramel and lime on the sip preceded funky rum, orange peel, clove, and brightness from the absinthe on the swallow with hints of spice on the finish.

dolores haze

1 1/2 oz Reposado Tequila
3/4 oz Dolin Sweet Vermouth
3/4 oz Aperol
2 dash Fee's Aztec Chocolate Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a glass rinsed with Laphroaig 10 Year Scotch and Bittermens Mole Bitters. Garnish with a lemon twist.

The drink that Andrea requested at the Barrel House in Beverly was the Dolores Haze. Guest bartender Patrick Andrew from Bar Tek-Nique in New Hampshire described how he wanted to call this one the Rosita Lolita, but he felt that it could be taken as a little offensive. Instead, he dubbed it after the character in Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita. The Rosita Lolita does reside in his OnTheBar drink database using an añejo tequila instead of reposado and no chocolate or mole bitters either.
The Dolores Haze began with a smoke scent with a vague fruit aroma from the Aperol and perhaps the vermouth. Next, grape and rhubarb notes on the sip led the way for agave, chocolate, and a hint of smoke.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

:: mxmo cocktail chronicles wrap up ::

As I described in my announcement post, it seemed appropriate at Mixology Monday #100 to pay tribute to the man (and his blog) that started it all, Paul Clarke (of the CocktailChronicles). It was also good timing that Paul's reason for not posting much to his blog and for participating much in Mixology Monday, namely his book The Cocktail Chronicles, was just published a few weeks ago! A lot of the book's focus was how the concepts of simplicity, elegance, and timelessness helped to predict or describe which drinks had lasting ability. Therefore, why not pay tribute to recipes that do just that! Without further ado, here are the participants for the historic 100th edition of Mixology Monday:
• Leading off the charge is Doc Elliot with a Whiskey Sour using Belle Meade Bourbon and egg white; simplicity with 4 ingredients and timeless due to the 19th century recipe not changing much indeed!
• I, Frederic from CocktailVirgin, threw in next with a drink recipe straight from Paul's book, the Gin Fizz Tropical, that was a West Coast bartender's modification of a Charles H. Baker drink in the style of a Ramos.
• Pete from Meticulous Mixing delves into the elegance of the Martini; Pete notes that Paul's recommendation for 2:1 is a solid recipe but tries a range from 1:2 to 7:1 to find out how the drink's flavor profile morphs by proportion.
• Katie of the Garnish Blog (and fellow Bostonian!) tackles the Old Cuban which surprised her how young this drink actually is as opposed to how old of a style it carries; she even searches to find that Paul Clarke wrote about this drink back in MxMo III!
• DJ Hawaiian Shirt surprises me by not doing a remix of a drink, and instead discusses the history of the Gimlet on the SpiritedRemix blog. From scurvy-prone sailors to lush detectives, this drink holds ground today, and DJ even argues for why Roses isn't something to fear.
• Event 100 brought out a first timer, namely Leigh from the Salt and Bitters blog! She tackled the Seelbach that's 2 years shy of its century mark, and she opts to switch the Cointreau for St. Germain.
• Kafka from KitchenShamanism delves into Trader Vic's 1947 Bartender's Guide for a simple but elegant tropical libation, the Congo Cocktail. Sort of a blended Piña Colada minus the pineapple part that would certainly be welcome in these waning nights of summer.
• RatedRCocktail's JFL needed some convincing by me to participate. I told him that simple, elegant, and timeless Tiki drinks were definitely fair game. And JFL answered the call with Fog Cutter and even ties the classic's motley assortment of spirits in with the Long Island Iced Tea that he has been paying tribute to lately. The L.I.T. will unfortunately probably end up timeless as well despite not being all that elegant (even if you ask for a top shelf version... and I charge you $17 for it). Unless perhaps you approach it as a 4-spirited Daisy with kola syrup and orange liqueur as the sweeteners?
• Stuart of PutneyFarms considers timelessness and elegance with the Martini variation, the Hoffman House. However, variation is not the right word for 2:1 with orange bitters and a lemon twist is just about right for my Martini save for my equal parts moments.
• With a little convincing and an audio recorder to capture the answer, I finally got Paul Clarke to participate in the first Mixology Monday since he handed over the reins three years ago with his well named drink the Disappearing Act for MxMo LXV in September 2012. Here, 35 events later, he gives extra dignity to the Gin & Tonic by changing the format into the GT Swizzle via craft tonic syrup and lime.
• Andrea of GinHound selected one of my favorite gin-egg white drinks, the Clover Club and also offers her variation using red currant syrup and grapefruit juice as well!
• Joe of Southern Ash should have been earlier in this lineup but I missed it at first since he had tweeted it to me. Here, Joel returns to one of his early drink epiphanies, the Gin Rickey and riffs on it, too! Just imagine this entry between Kafka and JFL's.
• BartendingNotes snuck this one in as I was making my first pass of the entries on Tuesday afternoon. He was inspired by Paul picking the Negroni as one of the five great drinks to riff off of, and here, he takes a Gaz Regan turn with a Jägermeister for sweet vermouth one! Will finger stirring become timeless (even if it's not elegant)?
• TartinesToTikis snuck in before my Wednesday at noon second last call with a tribute to Sasha Pretraske. Simple tweaks on the Bee's Knees and Gimlets show how close to the classics things stuck in 2002.
• Coming in after the last last call (so no image above) is Dagreb of NihilUtopia who ponders his changing tastebuds through the years and how the Gibson is one of his straight spirits gin drink of choice lately.

Perhaps that'll wrap things up or perhaps there will be a few more cats to herd (but they won't get me to fire up photoshop and make more images though). Looking back on my time with Mixology Monday, I started with the dirty sounding MxMo XXX after having followed the event for a few before I had a blog to write in (and was still writing on LiveJournal). Since that start in August 2008, I have participated in 71 events and hosted 7 including this one. Thinking back, I do recall the glee I had when Paul accepted my theme of "Tea" that I ran with in January 2010! So it felt like a great tribute to throw the theme in honor of MxMo's founder. In reflecting on this event, two personal drinking experiences with Paul stood out. One was the first time I met him at Tales 2009 at the Diageo Happy Hour where he served me one of his own creations, the Dunniette which I still think holds true today (since I have seen others serve this combination under different names). The second was more poetic -- I cannot even remember what I was drinking. It was Sunday night at the end of Tales 2010; Andrea and I had an early flight out the next morning (a mistake never to be repeated), but instead of getting some sleep, we decided to spend the late night hours with Paul at the Monteleone's Carousel Bar -- chatting and slowly spinning around and around. Until the spinning stopped. Wait, we closed a bar in New Orleans? The world did continue and we have met again, but like that poetic moment, it is always good to pause at the wonder of the world. And for now, that wonder is hundred of these wonderful online cocktail parties! Cheers to Mr. Clarke and his glorious book, and cheers to all Mixology Mondayers past, present, and future! The bar will probably start spinning again tomorrow, but for tonight, let's finish this last drink with a toast!

lonely, dreaming of the west coast

1/2 oz Flor de Caña 7 Year Rum
1/2 oz Bols Genever
1/2 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
3/4 oz Campari
1/2 oz Coco Lopez Coconut Cream
1/2+ oz Cinnamon Syrup
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2+ oz Lemon Juice
1/2+ oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Top with crushed ice and add straws.

Two Wednesdays ago, Andrea and I made the adventure up to Beverly to eat dinner at the Barrel House. One of the attractions was that Patrick Andrew of Bar Tek-Nique in Bedford, New Hampshire, was guest bartending. For a first drink, I asked bartender Sarah Walman for the Lonely, Dreaming of the West Coast from the night's cocktail menu. She commented that the list of ingredients confused her, but it turned out to be her favorite from that list; she soon passed that request on to Patrick who was mixing at the other end of the bar. A few minutes later, Patrick showed up with the libation and explained how it was a Piña Colada crossed with a Jungle Bird; perhaps there was a Negroni that he did not mention lurking in the shadows as well akin to the Amaro di Cocco. As for the name, he explained that it was a line from an Everclear song called Santa Monica.
The Lonely and Dreaming began with a vaguely fruity and herbal aroma from the Campari and Bols Genever. On the palate, a creamy citrus sip transitioned into a rounded out Campari flavor with a cinnamon finish.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

honey suckle

1 jigger Bacardi (1 1/4 oz Denizen 8 Year Rum)
1 dash Sherry (3/4 oz Lustau East India Solera Sherry)
1/2 tsp Honey (1/2 oz Honey Syrup)
Juice 1 Lime (1/2 oz Lime Juice)

Stir with ice and fill with Vichy carbonated water; serve in a goblet (shake with ice and strain into a Fizz glass containing 2 oz soda water; garnish with a lime wheel).

After returning home from Backbar, we were in the mood for a nightcap. Therefore, I turned to Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 and spotted the Honey Suckle. With rum, honey, lime, and carbonation in the mix, it reminded me of the Air Mail; however, instead of the better known drink's champagne, this one had a wine element of sherry and a carbonated element of soda water.
The Honey Suckle offered a funky dark rum bouquet to the nose. A carbonated sip showed off lime, honey, and caramel richness, while the swallow offered rum funk blending into nutty sherry flavors.

banana stand

1 1/4 oz Blackwell Jamaican Rum
1 1/4 oz Banana Purée (*)
1/2 oz Cynar
2 dash Fee's Black Strap Bitters
1 dash Salt Tincture

Shake with cracked ice, pour into a rocks glass, and garnish with a lime wheel.
(*) Banana chopped and mixed with caramelized sugar; sealed in a bag and steamed. Blended with demerara syrup and Xanthan gum.

The other drink we had at Backbar was the Banana Stand from the Trademan section of the menu. After bartender James Lamont made the drink for us, he got bartender Look Theres to come over to discuss how he made the banana purée. To make this, Look received a lot of pointers from the Journeyman kitchen with the key tip being that fresh banana purée does not taste as good as cooked banana purée. Moreover, Xanthan gum works similar to gum arabic as a thickener and a stabilizer, and I believe they used it here partly as an emulsifier to prevent the purée from separating over time. For more on Xanthan gum and its uses, read here.
Whether there was money in the banana stand, there sure was a whole lot of win in the glass. The nose began with bright lime aromas that led into a thick, caramel, and banana sip. The swallow finished things off with dark Jamaican rum and funky herbal notes.

Monday, August 24, 2015

easy e

1 1/2 oz Four Roses Bourbon
1/2 oz Pimm's #1
1/2 oz Orgeat
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with an 'E' shaped lemon twist.
Two Tuesdays ago, Andrea and I ventured into Backbar after getting dinner in Union Square. For a cocktail, I asked bartender James Lamont for their Drink of the Week, the Easy E, for it appeared like an Army & Navy riff. James explained that it was bartender Look There's recipe, and he was inspired by Toby Cecchini's Improved Japanese Cocktail as well as his recent trip to New Orleans. Once in a glass, the Easy E proffered a lemon and nutty aroma. The lemon continued on into the sip where it mingled with the Bourbon's malt notes and hints of berry from the Pimm's. The rest of the Bourbon came through on the swallow along with the orgeat's nuttiness and a dry finish from the bitters.

outrigger tiara

1 oz Light Puerto Rican Rum (Caliche)
1 oz Dark Jamaican Rum (3/4 oz Coruba, 1/4 oz Smith & Cross)
1 dash Grenadine (1/2 oz)
1 dash Curaçao (1/2 oz Van der Hum)
1 oz Orange Juice
1 oz Lemon Juice

Blend with 1 scoop of shaved ice and pour into a Scorpion bowl. Add ice cubes and decorate with a gardenia. Here I shook with crushed ice, poured into a Tiki mug, and garnished with mint and naturtiums.
Two Mondays ago for a nightcap, I reached for Trader Vic's 1974 Rum Cookery & Drinkery. There, I spotted the simple but refreshing looking Outrigger Tiara. Once in the Tiki mug, it offered peppery, floral, and minty aromas. Next, the sip was tart and citrussy with lemon and orange flavors and perhaps a berry note from the pomegranate, and the swallow was all about the funky rum medley.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

spiced park swizzle

1 oz Rhum Agricole (Vale d' Paul Aguardente Nova de Santo Antão)
1 oz Amontillado Sherry (Lustau)
1/2 oz Falernum (BG Reynolds)
1/2 oz Ginger Liqueur (King's)
1 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Simple Syrup

Build in a tall glass, fill with ice, and swizzle to mix and chill. Garnish with 5 dashes Angostura Bitters.
After returning from working the bar at Loyal Nine's Yacht Rock Sunday two weeks ago, I was still in the tropical mood. Therefore, I reached for Tiki Drinks: Tropical Cocktails for the Modern Bar and found the Spiced Park Swizzle. Once built, the drink offered mint, clove, and cinnamon aromas. Next, lime and grape flavors on the sip transitioned into grassy rum and nutty notes on the swallow. Finally, the Spice Park Swizzle ended with ginger and clove on the finish, and once the bitters garnish entered into the equation at the end, clove and cinnamon became dominant.