August 2009 Edition

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Dear Summer-Time Reader,

It's so hot here this week we're shoveling the heat off the driveway! Ok, a little exaggeration there but we are finding new ways to keep cool during this great summer and some of those ways are listed below.

I hope you enjoy this month's edition. If you have an extra moment in your day, check out my Tales of the Cocktail photos, here...

Please be smart, don't drink and drive! Enjoy the following recipes in moderation and take a cab if you need one.

Cheers!

Dan Hutchinson





Red Stag - Red Hot-Hattan

Red Hot-Hattan Cocktail Image

Beam Global Spirits & Wine hosted more than 60 New York bartenders on June 12 at Yankee Stadium to celebrate the launch of Red Stag by Jim Beam. The bartenders enjoyed Red Stag cocktails in the new Jim Beam Suite Lounge at Yankee Stadium, toured Monument Park, and watched the Yankees defeat the Mets in the bottom of the ninth.

In attendance was seventh-generation Jim Beam family distiller Fred Noe, master mixologist Bobby "G" Gleason, and Whiskey Professor Bernie Lubbers. Also, Yankees legend Richard "Goose" Gossage stopped by the suite party and was given a signed bottle from Fred Noe and enjoyed Red Stag on the rocks.

Bartenders enjoyed Red Stag cocktails and competed in a cocktail challenge using Red Stag, a Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey infused with natural black cherry flavor. They were challenged to create a signature Red Stag cocktail, with the chance to have their drink placed on the menu at the Jim Beam Lounge in Yankee Stadium. Fred Noe, Bobby G, and Bernie Lubbers made up the judge's panel, critiquing the cocktails on creativity, innovation and taste.

The winning cocktail, Red Hot-Hattan, was crafted by The Cocktail Guru, Jonathan Pogash, bartender and cocktail consultant.

Red Hot-Hattan

  • 11/2 parts Red Stag
  • 3/4 parts sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 parts Hot Damn Burst
  • 2 dashes angostura bitters

Stir well with ice and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon peel.

The Raven's Caw

Raven's Caw Logo Image

Folks, it's been two weeks since Tales of the Cocktail 2009, and I'm just now getting around to doing my wrap-up. To be fair, I have officiated a wedding, started to move my apartment, decided not to move my apartment, and had to catch up with work. Nonetheless, I have a great deal of things to relay to you, and I hope that my stories make you salivate and immediately book your trip for next year. Every year, TotC hosts the Spirited Awards, in which such esoteric categories as "Best U.S. Bartender" and "Best Bar in the World" are awarded based on voting by visitors to the TotC site. (I am, of course, being facetious when I downplay the value of these awards, and if I ever make it to NYC I'll be sure to visit P.D.T.) In the spirit of the awards ceremony, I now present my TotC awards, in no particular order, and in the categories I determine to be awardable. The envelope please...




Cheryl Charming Jewelry

Cheryl Charming makes some great jewelry, with a bartender's flair. Dress yourself up today!



Dr. Bamboo - Torii

Torii Cocktail Image

When talking with my fellow cocktail enthusiasts, the phrase "gateway drink" often comes up. Of course, this is a variation on the term "gateway drug", which is used to describe a fairly mild substance that provides entry to the world of illicit substances and ushers the user into a continuum of more intense offerings.

Leaving the rhetoric aside, a "gateway drink" is a means to introduce someone in a positive way to a spirit that they may have negative preconceptions about, or have only encountered briefly. For example, Tequila and whiskey often require a gateway drink, as they are considered by many to be an acquired taste and can be unforgiving to newcomers. Gin also suffers from this problem, despite having a rich history as a widely-used drink ingredient.

But really, almost any worthwhile cocktail component should have a gateway drink to support it. No one can fault a curious drinker who is skittish at the mention of an ingredient who's reputation precedes it. Likewise, if an ingredient is intensely- or distinctively-flavored, it will also likely need a gentle way to expose someone to it. As evangelists of good drinking, we should strive to introduce new things in the best way possible. The reward is opening up a spectrum of adult beverage enjoyment to someone who may never have had the opportunity to explore beyond the limits of rum & Cokes or Cosmopolitans.

Ideally, what you should be able to do is locate or create a recipe that showcases just enough of the given ingredient to give a sense of the flavor without overwhelming both the drink and the drinker. This may involve some trial and error, but eventually you should amass at least a handful of recipes that that will help put your ingredient's best foot forward.

Case in point: I personally know people who have issues with rum. Sometimes you can remedy this by selecting the right type of rum, as the enormous diversity in styles and flavors in the rum category can often allow for success by simply by sampling enough of them until you hit upon the right one. Failing that, there's always tiki-style drinks. I firmly believe that anyone who says they don't like rum is someone who just hasn't been served the right tiki drink.

By now you're probably saying, "But Doc, don't YOU ever have anything you have a hard time warming up to?" Absolutely. I run up against ingredients that hold me at bay all the time. And I try whenever possible to make a drink that will give me exactly that moment of positive awareness where I get a glimpse into why other people make such a fuss about something. Chartreuse is just such an ingredient.

Chartreuse (particularly the green version) is something my cocktail geek friends rave about. They use it often when creating original cocktails, and it's a staple in their liquor cabinets. I was never able to really embrace it, as it seemed to clobber or corrupt every other ingredient I tried to mix it with. Plus, it struck me as bitter and faintly medicinal-tasting, which was initially a big hurdle for me.

Then I remembered the rinse. Rinsing a glass with an ingredient is a great way to impart just a hint of something without risking it taking over the entire drink. I fiddled around a bit and decided that sake (another ingredient I've been experimenting with lately) and Cointreau played pretty nicely when laid over an undertone of Chartreuse. Since then, I've been using it a lot more, and in a variety of applications. I actually kinda like it now.

Turns out all I needed was a gateway.

Torii

  • 2 oz. sake*
  • 1 oz. Cointreau
  • Green Chartreuse

Rinse a rocks glass with Chartreuse.** Fill with ice cubes and add sake and Cointreau. Squeeze in the juice from a large lime wedge, drop it in, and stir.

~ A Dr. Bamboo original creation

Bottoms up!

~ Dr. Bamboo

* I like Hakutsuru Draft for this drink- it's very light, crisp, and excellent for mixing, It's also inexpensive and comes in conveniently small 300 ml bottles.

** To rinse, pour a small amount of your ingredient into a glass and swirl until the sides of the glass have been completely coated. Pour out any excess before assembling the rest of the drink.


Who is Dr. Bamboo? Some say he is a renegade scientist who renounced his original field of study to dedicate himself to the advancement of cocktail culture. Others claim he is a powerful shaman who practices the forbidden arts of a long-forgotten civilization. Still others maintain he is actually a traveler from a faraway world, sent to our planet as an ambassador of intergalactic fine living. Whatever the truth may be, one thing is certain: He makes a mean Martini. When he's not foraging for obscure drink ingredients and vintage barware, Dr. Bamboo works as a freelance illustrator and is the drinks columnist for Bachelor Pad Magazine.

Beam - Cruzan and Courvoisier Martinis

Cruzan Caribbean Breeze Martini Image Cruzan Caribbean Breeze Martini

  • 1 part Cruzan Pineapple Rum
  • 1 part Cranberry Juice
  • 1 part Orange Juice

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake well with ice. Pour into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a seasonal fruit.








Courvoisier Rivoli Twist Image Courvoisier Rivoli Twist

  • 1 oz. Courvoisier EXCLUSIF Cognac
  • 1/2 oz. apricot brandy
  • Splash of dark cacao
  • 2 tsp. shredded marmalade

Pour the Courvoisier EXCLUSIF Cognac, apricot brandy and dark cacao into a cocktail shaker before adding the marmalade. Stir briskly. Fill the shaker with ice cubes. Shake vigorously and strain into a Martini glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

Crema de Mint

The Morning Bar Image Morning coffee and cocktails? It was a natural pairing and the daily hot spot at this year's seventh annual Tales of the Cocktail July 8-12 at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans. Gran Duque de Alba along with the Williams & Humbert portfolio hosted "The Duque Coffee Bar" for three straight mornings serving both coffee and coffee cocktails featuring Grand Duque de Alba Solera Gran Reserva Brandy de Jerez, Crema de Alba cream liqueur, Dry Sack sherry, Dry Sack 15 rare aged sherry and Dos Maderas dual aged rum.

"The 'Duque Bar" was the perfect way to feature Gran Duque de Alba to the Tales of the Cocktail community in a relevant and innovative setting, as well as demonstrate the versatility of their brands. Conference goers perked up their mornings with both a carajillo - a tradition in southern Spain that pairs a shot of Spanish brandy with coffee and enjoyed different hot and cold coffee cocktails from their leading mixologist. Below is the Crema de Mint that we here at Bar None enjoyed one morning.

Crema de Mint

Crema de Mint Cocktail Image
  • 1 shot of espresso
  • 1 1/2 oz Crema de Alba
  • 2 sprigs of mint
  • 1 coffee bean

Add ingredients, including one sprig of mint, into cocktail shaker with ice. One quick shake, and strain into small martini glass or copita. Garnish with 2nd sprig of mint and float coffee bean on top

Canton Pimm's Cup

Canton Pimm's Cup Image

Canton Pimm's Cup

  • 3 parts Ginger Ale
  • 1 part Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur
  • 1 part Pimms No. 1
  • Soda
  • Slices of Cucumber
  • Slices of Lemon
  • Sprigs of Mint
  • Slices of Strawberry
  • Slices of Orange

Pour Domaine de Canton, Pimms and Ginger Ale into a tall glass filled with ice. Add slices of orange, lemon, strawberry, cucumber and garnish with sprigs of mint. Top with soda.

Lucid Brazilian Sangria

Lucid Brazilian Sangria Image Lucid Brazilian Sangria

  • 1/4 oz. Lucid Absinthe Superieure
  • 1 1/4 oz. Cachaca
  • 1 oz. Red Wine
  • 1/2 oz. Orange Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. Spanish Brandy

In a cocktail shaker, thoroughly muddle fresh seasoned fruit (recommended: strawberry, lime, orange, kiwi, and passionfruit) with Lucid, cachaca, brandy, and orange liquor. Pour into wine glass. Float red wine on top of cocktail. Stir and enjoy.

Developed by Ben Scorah
Beekman Bar and Books New York, NY

Tea Forte - Cocktail Infusions

Tea Forte Cocktail Infusions Image

Tea Forte has introduced a revolutionary way to infuse your spirits. Exotic blends of fresh teas, herbs and spices naturally infuse exotic cocktails. With Cocktail Infusions and Tea Forte's simple recipes, you become a master mixologist.

It's fresh, it's fun, it's creative and it's entertaining! Tea Forte's Cocktail Mixology Set will give you the tools you need to infuse the perfect cocktail in your home.

Place an infuser into an Infusion Chamber, pour alcohol over the infuser and watch the color swirl as the delicious flavors are released. Add the rest of the cocktail ingredients and enjoy. No hot water is needed!

Combier Partida Margarita

Combier Margarita Combier Partida Margarita Image

  • 1 1/2 oz. Partida Blanco Tequila
  • 1 oz. Combier Liqueur d'Orange
  • 3/4 oz. Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain over rocks. Garnish with a lime wheel.

CocktAlien - Summer-Time Classics with a Twist

Hello good friends. It's the CocktAlien here, back for another round. This month I bring you two recipes, both from the south, but from opposite sides of the U.S. These drinks offer a sweet, cool respite from the heat wave being experienced all over this summer. So sit out in the shade or lay in a hammock (if you've got one) and have a sip to refresh yourself.

The first indulgent treat came to me at a family bar-b-que. While enjoying a nice dinner of carne asada, grilled peppers, tortillas, and salad my darling fiance whipped this one up for me:

The Dragonfruit Mojito

  • 2 oz. Bacardi Dragonfruit
  • 8 mint leaves (more or less depending on preference)
  • Splash of Triple Sec
  • Club Soda
  • 7-Up
  • 1 Lime (cut into 3 slices)

In a standard glass, with a muddle, crush the mint leaves and the 3 slices of lime. Add ice, triple sec and rum. Fill the rest of the glass with 2:1 7-Up and club soda. Mix with a spoon, and enjoy.

For the mojito uninitiated, you are not supposed to eat the lime and mint leaves when you're done with the drink; they are just for flavor. That being said, it's not like the mojito police will be knocking on your door.

I love the summer! More than that, I love margaritas. Recently I was introduced to an ingredient I've never come across before: the prickly pear. Now, the prickly pear, for those not from the southwest, is the fruit of the cactus common in the deserts of the wild west. The fruit can be served raw, in which it has the texture of a soft kiwi. The most popular application of the prickly pear is in juice form. During the course of the evening, on a lark, I ordered a Prickly Pear Margarita. It is served in a tall pilsner style glass and had a nice pink hue, the drink that is. Here is the recipe:

Prickly Pear Margarita

  • 2 oz. Cazadores Reposado Tequila
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 oz. Triple Sec
  • 1 oz. Prickly Pear Cactus Juice
  • 4-5 oz. Lemonade

Mix ingredients in a glass with crushed ice, stir and enjoy. Serve with a salt or sugar rimmed glass.

This was the first time I had ever experienced prickly pear cactus juice, and I have to say, it was an enjoyable drink. Like all cocktails, there is always room for modification. I am not so arrogant as to say that these ratios are perfect to everyone's taste. Some prefer cointreau to triple sec, etc. Whatever your preference, these are sure to compliment your summer-time events. Until next time friends, keep a drink in your hand, and look to the stars.

Malibu offers Ultimate Internship

Limited Edition Malibu Bottle Image This summer, Malibu is offering 10 budding environmentalists the chance to become beach interns and trade in their computer screen for sunscreen, as they scuba dive, snorkel, and work on their tan lines - all for a good cause.

A survey conducted by the Travel Industry Association of America indicated that more than 55 million Americans have participated in a volunteer vacation, and about 100 million more are considering taking one. Malibu is partnering with Reef Check, a non-profit dedicated to monitoring, protecting and rehabilitating coral reefs, to offer 10 budding environmentalists a chance to get a PhD in SPF by monitoring coral reef health in Thailand, the Maldives or the Philippines.

Passionate individuals of legal drinking age may apply by visiting Malibu-Rum.com/ReefCheck. Beach interns will be sent on an all-expenses paid, 10-day internship, where they will learn about the local coral reef eco-system, monitor the reefs, snorkel, scuba dive and gain their certification all while getting their island on in a beautiful location. It's the internship that guarantees bragging rights, beach time and that feel-good satisfaction of knowing that you're helping to conserve reefs around the world.

To kick off the internship, Malibu is releasing a limited-edition bottle, available nationwide July 1, to celebrate the palm tree hugging movement.

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Titos Cosmo Cocktail Image

Tito's Handmade Vodka is produced in Austin at Texas' first and oldest legal distillery. It's made in small batches in an old fashioned pot still by Tito Beveridge, and it is distilled six times from corn.

Tito's Handmade Vodka is designed to be savored by spirit connoisseurs. It is micro-distilled in an old-fashioned pot still, just like fine single malt scotches and high-end French cognacs. This time-honored method of distillation requires more skill and effort than modern column stills, but it's well worth it.

Their handcrafted technique offers more control over the distillation process, resulting in a spectacularly clean product of incomparable excellence. Only the heart of the run, "the nectar" is taken, leaving behind residual higher and lower alcohols. The vodka is cleansed of phenols, esters, congeners and organic acids by filtering it through the finest activated carbon available.

Critics call Tito's "a homegrown symphonic spirit to applaud!" and say "it can go head to head with any of the worlds' greats and not break a sweat."

Tito's Handmade Vodka won the prestigious Double Gold Medal having prevailed over 70 of the world's best premium vodkas, as the judges' unanimous Gold Medal choice, at The World Spirits Competition in San Francisco California.

Titos Cosmo

  • 1 Part Titos Handmade Vodka
  • 1 part Orange Liqueur
  • 2 parts Cranberry Juice
  • 1 squeeze Lime Juice

Shake with ice and serve with an orange or lime garnish.

Miami Ice

Miami Ice Miami Ice Image

  • 1 oz. Jose Cuervo Tradicional
  • 1/2 oz. Smirnoff Vodka
  • 1/2 light rum
  • 2 oz. Pineapple Juice
  • 1 oz. Orange Juice
  • 1/2 oz. Cream of Coconut

Mix all ingredients together in shaker. Pour over crushed ice.




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Averna - Vertigo

Vertigo Vertigo Cocktail Image

  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • Ginger ale
  • 2 oz. Averna

Stir lemon juice and ginger ale over ice in a highball glass. Float Averna and garnish with a lime wedge.

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