Thursday, July 27, 2017

la salle

2/3 Rye Whiskey (1 3/4 oz Old Overholt)
1/8 Sweet Vermouth (3/4 oz Cocchi)
1 dash Crème Yvette (1/4 oz)
1 dash Picon Bitters (1/4 oz Torani Amer)
1 dash Absinthe (2/3 bsp Kübler)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Thursdays ago, I was in need of a nightcap after my bar shift at work. When I began flipping through the list of tagged recipes in Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933, the La Salle as a Manhattan variation called out to me. The name reminded me of the Cocktail à la Louisiane riff, the Cocktail à la Salle, that I created substituting tequila and Oloroso sherry for the rye whiskey and sweet vermouth, respectively. The La Salle that I paid tribute to their was Robert de La Salle (a/k/a René-Robert Cavelier) who was a 17th century French explorer who ventured into the Gulf of Mexico and then up the Mississippi river through what is now New Orleans. The Pioneers book did not provide any information as to whom or what this particular recipe is named after, but considering that this appears like a Manhattan riff, it could be named after the La Salle Academy in Manhattan that opened in the 1840s.
The La Salle greeted the senses with rye, dark orange, and anise aromas. Next, grape and a hint of caramel on the sip was followed by rye, berry, floral, and orange flavors on the swallow with an anise finish.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

humuhumunukunukuapua'a

3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Orgeat
2 oz Gin (Beefeater)
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with crushed ice and pour into a Double Old Fashioned glass (shake with ice, strain into a DOF glass, and fill with crushed ice). Garnish with an edible orchid and cherries (mint and honeysuckles).
On a Reddit thread, I was reminded that I had not made the Humuhumunukunukuapua'a from the Smuggler's Cove book, and two Wednesdays ago, I decided to rectify that. The complex name is a tribute to the traditional name of the reef or wedge-tail trigger fish that became the state fish of Hawaii, and that name might be the longest word in the Hawaiian language. Bartender Marcovaldo Dionysos' recipe joined the Saturn and the few other gin-based Tiki drinks in the literature. Once in the glass, the aroma was mint and floral from the garnish. Next, the creamy sip shared lemon and pineapple notes, and the swallow gave forth gin, nutty, and anise flavors.

strangers with candy

1 1/2 oz Cynar 70
1/2 oz Giffard Banane du Bresil
1/2 oz Orgeat
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 Egg

Shake once without ice and once with ice, strain into a rocks glass, and garnish with 3 drops Peychaud's Bitters.

For a post-dinner drink at Estragon, I was lured in by an egg drink called Strangers with Candy. Sahil Mehta described how this combination came across like a banana milkshake, and he named it after the television show on Comedy Central. I was unsure whether the citrus in this combination negated it being a Flip or whether designations like Royal Sour existed like they do for Fizzes. Regardless, I was definitely game to try this weird Cynar drink especially since crème de banana worked so well with that amaro in the Banana Cup #1.
The Strangers with Candy began with a banana and anise aroma that later gained more almond notes on the nose. Next, a creamy and tropical sip gave way to funky and banana flavors merging into a nutty almond on the swallow.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

poet & the peony

1 oz Fernet Branca
1 oz King's Ginger Liqueur
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.

Two Tuesdays ago, Andrea and I made our way over to Estragon for dinner. For a first drink, Sahil mentioned that he had all of the ingredients this time to make a cocktail that I had previously desired called the Poet & the Peony. The drink name stems from Estragon's owner who is a published poet; despite her not being a fan of Fernet Branca, she rather enjoyed this combination. When I inquired about the peony aspect, Sahil alluded to the drink being rather aromatic and he relied on alliteration as his naming salvation.
The Poet & the Peony offered Fernet's menthol note to the nose. Next, tropical fruit and lime on the sip led into Fernet's sharp herbalness tempered by passion fruit flavors on the swallow with a ginger-menthol finish.

Monday, July 24, 2017

danube

2 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Rittenhouse Rye
1/2 oz S. Maria al Monte Amaro
1 pinch Salt

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass, and garnish with orange oil from a twist.

Two Mondays ago, I ventured down to Eastern Standard for dinner. For a drink, I asked for the Danube that was subtitled "you spin me right round" that I interpreted as symbolic of its Inverse Manhattan variation structure. If it were served on the rocks with the pinch of salt on top of the ice, it would also fall into the Little Giuseppe family for me. What I did not realize until later is that I had drank the Danube back in 2011 with a different liqueur; instead of the Fernet-like S. Maria al Monte, Kevin Martin's original utilized Zwack after he returned from Hungary to visit the Zwack family and their distillery. The name also makes more sense with Zwack for the Danube runs through Budapest near the Zwack distillery and not near Italy.
The Danube made this way shared an orange and caramel aroma that led into a grape-driven sip. Next, grape and herbal flavors on the swallow gained rye spice as it warmed up. Given the sizable bitter dampening effect from the pinch of salt, the S. Maria al Monte was quite tame and unrecognizable in this mix, but it did contribute herbal notes to complement the Punt e Mes; the original with Zwack retained its spice notes despite the salt though.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

cable car

1 1/2 oz Captain Morgan Spiced Rum (Kraken)
3/4 oz Marie Brizard Orange Curaçao (Cointreau)
1 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass rimmed with cinnamon sugar (about 20:1 cane crystals to Vietnamese cinnamon). Garnish with an orange twist (clementine).

In thinking about Tales of the Cocktails past, I recalled many of the great bartenders that I had the privilege of making me drinks at the Diageo Happy Hour. The Happy Hour was held the first three years I went to Tales (2009-2011) in a different museum each year with 60 bartenders and writers making drinks of theirs. This included bartenders like Joaquin Simo and writers like Wayne Curtis who I had never had the chance of meeting in person before. Somewhere between then and my next Tales in 2015, that event went away and Diageo was throwing large themed parties with games and mechanical bulls instead. One drink that I recalled was one that I never wrote about called the Cable Car by Tony Abou-Ganin that he created for the Starlight Room in San Francisco back in 1993; I was able to fetch this recipe from Robert Hess' The Essential Bartender's Guide to recreate the drink that Tony served to me back in 2011. Hess' book provided the history of, "This drink's name comes from the geography of the its house of origin.... One of the city's landmark properties, the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, is located along the famous Nob Hill cable car tracks."
Essentially the drink is a Rum Side Car which was bolstered that year by attending Robert Hess' talk on Embury and the Side Car. I updated some of the ingredients for quality, but I kept the sweeter-than-preferred balance intact (especially with the sugared rim which I do not mind when the drink is on the tarter side). Once prepared, the Cable Car shared an orange and cinnamon bouquet to the nose. Next, a sweet lemon and orange sip transitioned into dark rum and spices on the swallow. Put into perspective of when this drink was created 24 years ago, it is a solid tribute to classic mixology even if it might seem less flashy than many of the drinks of today. Probably that lack of flash is why I never wrote up this drink back in 2011 given all of the other drinks I had to chose from at that Happy Hour, but it is one of the few that I can still recall to this day from that event.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

new idea

1/2 jigger Sherry (1 1/2 oz Lustau Amontillado)
1/2 Gancia Vermouth (1 oz Cocchi Sweet)
2 dash Pineapple Juice (3/4 oz)
1 dash Picon Bitters (1/2 oz Torani Amer)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
When I got home late from working a private event at the restaurant, I desperately needed to treat myself to a nightcap; however, I also had to get up a few hours later to open the bar for brunch. Therefore, I looked to the fortified wine section of Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 for a low-proof solution. In those pages, I was lured in by the New Idea which split the base between sherry and vermouth and accented the combination with pineapple and Amer Picon. I interpreted the sherry and vermouth calls as Amontillado and sweet vermouth and balanced the drink accordingly. Once in the glass, the New Idea proffered a nutty sherry and dark orange bouquet. Next, grape with some pineapple notes on the sip led into nutty sherry, earthy herbal, and orange flavors on the swallow.

Friday, July 21, 2017

the last laph

3/4 oz Laphroaig Select (10 Year)
3/4 oz Ginger Liqueur (The King's Ginger)
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3 dash Absinthe Verte (1 bsp Kübler)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a mint sprig.

After my work shift two Fridays ago, I was more than ready to make a drink for myself for a change. From the recipes that I had bookmarked, the Last Laph that I had spotted in Imbibe Magazine seemed to match my mood. The recipe was crafted by Justin Lavenue of the Roosevelt Room in Austin, and his recipe reminded me of the Laphroaig Project riff called the Pineapple Project; moreover, the Scotch and absinthe also reminded me of the Morning Glory Fizz to complement the Last Laph's shared structure of another famous hangover cure, the Corpse Reviver #2.
The Last Laph proffered a mint and peaty smoke nose. Next, lemon and pineapple notes on the sip preceded smoky Scotch and ginger on the swallow that melded into an anise-herbal finish.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

south side royale

2 oz Gin (Beefeater)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
8-10 leaf Mint (8 leaf)

Shake with ice and strain into an ice-filled Collins glass with 1-2 oz Champagne (a flute glass containing 2 oz Willm Blanc de Blancs garnished with a mint sprig and a long lemon twist).

On Wednesday two weeks ago, I began searching for a recipe to utilize the fresh bottle of sparkling wine I had just bought. In Paul Clarke's The Cocktail Chronicles book, I referenced all of the recipes calling for Champagne, and I was drawn to the South Side's page which had a bunch of variations include the South Side Royale. Given that my mint patch is looking beautiful this year (opposed to last year due to the drought and my over-harvesting to supply the work bar), I was definitely game to give this one a go. Moreover, I was also surprised that I had never written up the South Side itself here despite enjoying many in my lifetime -- perhaps I'll remedy that in a bit.
The South Side Royal provided a mint and lemon aroma that was supplemented by the garnish choice. Next, a carbonated lemon and white wine sip gave way to gin and mint on the swallow with a mint and white wine finish.