June 2009 Edition

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Dear Dan,

Warm weather seems like it is here to stay. We've rounded up a bunch of great summer-time recipes for you to try.

I hope you enjoy this month's edition

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





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The Raven's Caw

Raven's Caw Logo Image

Well, my new life as a boozeblogger has forced me to expand my cocktalian knowledge in ways that I never could have expected. Over the last few weeks, I have been spending a lot of time with my contemporaries, and I've stumbled upon a weekly online cocktail event. Spending so much virtual time with people who are considerably more advanced than I when it comes to mixology. The first thing I noticed was that I was lacking in a few key bottles, which I've tried to remedy (see The Liquor Cabinet). The second problem I ran into was my lack of mixers, and not just any mixers: syrups! Read more about Raven's encounter with syrups...




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Visit Dan, Carine and The Raven in New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail 2009



Dr. Bamboo - Redcoat Rickey

Redcoat Rickey Cocktail Image One of the things I frequently notice when rummaging through drink recipes is how varied the instructions for a given drink can be. Sometimes the variations are slight- One recipe calls for a half ounce of something, the other calls for three-quarters. Sometimes ingredients are omitted entirely...or other things are substituted. And occasionally you'll see two recipes by the same name that bear no resemblance to each other whatsoever.

As I've said before, we have to remember that drinks are organic. Not just in their component parts (although I've seen some disturbing things on liquor store shelves that I'd swear were wholly synthetic), but also in how they develop over time. Anyone who has ever attempted to make a Mai Tai faithful to the original Trader Vic recipe only to find that J. Wray & Nephew 17-year-old rum hasn't existed for decades knows this first-hand.

This fluidity can extend beyond specific recipes and affect entire drink categories as well. I discovered this when I was trying to find the definition of the type of drink known as the "rickey." Here's what I found while browsing through my drink books:

  • "Rickey: A spirit, lime juice, sugar and soda"
    from "The Art of the Bar" by Hollinger & Schwartz, 2006
  • "A rickey is always made of squeezed citrus juice, liquor of your choice, and club soda."
    from "The Official Mixer's Manual" by Patrick Gavin Duffy, 1983 edition
  • "Rum Rickey: ...juice of 1/2 or whole lime, 1 jigger of rum. Fill up with carbonated water..."
    from "The Olde Mr. Boston DeLuxe Official Bartender's Guide" 1936 edition

So we've got one definition of the rickey as having sugar and lime juice specifically. And one where apparently any citrus juice will do...but no sweetener whatsoever. And lastly, a recipe that specifies lime juice (but leaving the amount to your discretion), and again, no sweetener.

That's just 3 examples. Had I spent more time leafing through additional volumes, I'm confident I'd find more variations. If the drink gurus who write these tomes can't even agree on broad categorical definitions, how can we ever expect them to agree on specific drink recipes?

What's my point? It's this: Think twice before adhering too closely to what any one source says is the single, absolute, completely correct way to do something. It's good advice for many things in life, but especially with regard to cocktails (Do you like your Martinis shaken or stirred? I rest my case).

Just for the record, I like my rickeys with lime, and a little touch of something sweet. But that's just me. If someone wants theirs made a little differently, I can live with it. Variety is the spice of life...and I think life should be spicy whenever possible.

Bottoms up!

~ Dr. Bamboo

Redcoat Rickey

  • 2 oz. London dry gin (Beefeater 24 works well here)
  • .5 oz. Maraschino liqueur (I like Luxardo)
  • .5 oz. falernum*
  • .5 oz. fresh lime juice

Shake everything with ice and strain into ice-filled rocks glass. Top with seltzer/soda water, and garnish with a cherry.

* there are commercially-made falernums available (Fee's, Velvet), but I strongly recommend making your own from scratch. It's easy and tastes fantastic.

~ A Dr. Bamboo original creation


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.

"Best Bartender in America"

Best Bartender in
 America Image The United States Bartenders' Guild (USBG) National Cocktail Competition and sponsor, Tres Generaciones Tequila, awarded Armando Rosario of Las Vegas the title of "Best Bartender in America." Rosario won for his cocktail creation, Real Dill, featuring Tres Generaciones Plata Tequila. Daniel Love of Chicago took second place for his cocktail, Aztec Gold, while Ricky Gomez of New Orleans took third place for his cocktail, The Real Pepper Daisy.

"On behalf of Tres Generaciones, we congratulate Armando Rosario on his 'Best Cocktail' and thank all the mixologists for designing creative, great-tasting cocktails," stated Bobby "G" Gleason, master mixologist for Beam Global Spirits & Wine and emcee of the 2009 USBG National Cocktail Competition. "Tres Generaciones is committed to recognizing and celebrating the next generation of mixologists and we wish Armando the best of luck as he takes on the world's best bartenders in the World Cocktail Competition held this August in Germany."

"The 2009 USBG National Cocktail Competition was a great success," said David Nepove, USBG national vice president. "We were able to watch the top bartenders in action as they mixed with Tres Generaciones. We congratulate Armando on his award and look forward to what he will create for the international competition."

Judging for "Best Cocktail" was based on aroma, taste, balance, originality and garnish. Judges also awarded a "Best Technical" prize to Ronaldo Colli for his expertise in managing his bar, bottles, glassware and bar tools. The 2009 USBG National Cocktail Competition took place in San Francisco on May 12.

The winning recipe:

Real Dill Cocktail Image Real Dill

  • 1 part Tres Generaciones Plata Tequila
  • 1 part Vox Vodka
  • 1 part fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 part agave nectar
  • 2 slices of English cucumber
  • Sprig of dill

Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a sprig of dill and cucumber slices

Gibson's finest hits it out of the park.

Now that baseball is back in town, celebrate the start of a new season with baseball-inspired recipes from Gibson's Finest Canadian Whisky.

7th Inning Stretch 7th Inning Stretch Image

  • 1 oz. Gibson's Finest Canadian Whisky
  • 1/2 oz. Amaretto
  • 4 oz. Lemonade

Build over ice in a tall glass. Garnish with an orange wheel.















 
 
 
 
 
 

The Grand Slam The Grand Slam Image

  • 1 oz. Gibson's Finest Canadian Whisky
  • 3 oz. Ginger Ale
  • Dash of Bitters

Build ingredients over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a lime slice.

Without Honey, Your Bar is Incomplete

Earlier this year, the National Honey Board hosted an evening of honey-infused cocktails created by the most prominent mixologist in the country: Pablo Moix (Los Angeles), Junior Merino (New York) and Gabriel Orta (Miami). Nine cocktails were created with a honey component to show how honey sweetens naturally without artificial ingredients, favorably highlights the taste and flavor of drinks and makes delicious simple syrup that blends into the drinks texture.

This is the second installment of three we're doing. This month we'll start with those created by Junior Merino.

It is no surprise Master Mixologist Junior Merino has built his career by fusing exotic, unexpected flavors.

Junior has won a Rising Star award from Star Chefs and a special recognition from Les Toques Blanches for his knowledge of Mexican and international ingredients. He was also named Imbiber.com's Bartender of the Month and was one of five winners in the International Sherry Cocktail Competition.

Junior founded the The Liquid Chef, Inc. in 2006 to educate, create new experiences and showcase the artistry and mixability of ingredients and liquors from around the world. Currently, Junior is the Master Mixologist for celebrated Rayuela and Macondo restaurants in New York.

HONEY-GINGER CAIPIRINHA Cocktail Image HONEY-GINGER CAIPIRINHA
Balance is synonymous with Junior Merino's cocktails. Fusing ingredients from diverse cultures, this cocktail has a sophisticated flavor that is the perfect complement to any dish

  • 1/2 oz Thyme honey (two bar spoons)
  • 1 1/2 oz Cachaça
  • 1/2 oz Ginger liqueur
  • 3/4 oz Fresh lime juice
  • Garnish: crystallized ginger wheel

Pour all the ingredients in a mixing tumbler then stir until the honey dissolves completely. Add ice and shake vigorously. Pour into a rocks glass and garnish with the crystallized ginger wheel.










 
 
 

BEFORE DAWN Cocktail Image BEFORE DAWN
Sweetness, tanginess, fruit and tequila along with a flavorful honey coexist in perfect harmony in this fabulous creation

  • 1/2 oz Buckwheat honey
  • 1 1/2 oz Anejo tequila
  • 1/2 oz Cherry liqueur
  • 3/4 oz Fresh lime Juice
  • 1 oz Fresh pink grapefruit juice
  • Garnish: orange twist and a spiced cherry

Pour all the ingredients in a mixing glass and stir until the honey dissolves completely. Add ice and shake. Serve in a Margarita glass and garnish with an orange twist and a spiced cherry.









 
 
 

2 KUMQUATS Cocktail Image 2 KUMQUATS
Times have changed and so have tastes. This original cocktail satisfies any palate and its combination of natural ingredients makes it irresistible in any season

  • 3/4 oz Honey Syrup**
  • 2 Kumquats
  • 2 Sage leaves
  • 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 2 oz Gin
  • 1 oz passion fruit tea
  • Garnish: one kumquat

Muddle the first four ingredients then add gin, tea and ice, shake and double strain with a hawthorn and then with a chinois strainer. Pour into a highball glass over ice. Garnish with a kumquat floret.

**Honey Syrup: In a pot, pour 1 part honey and ¼ part water then turn on the fire at medium heat and keep stirring until the honey blends completely into the water. Let it cool off

New Cocktail Takes After Everyone's Favorite Sandwich

The second most popular sandwich in the United States, the B.L.T, is now a cocktail! The B.L.T has been a nationwide favorite for decades and now a top mixologist has found inspiration from the killer combination of ingredients.

Renowned Washington D.C. mixologist Gina Chersevani, created the P.B.L.T, an innovative drink infused with crisp flavors of lettuce and tomato and complimented with the latest trend in cocktails- bacon. The refreshing taste of each ingredient combined with the smooth and balanced essence of Plymouth Gin, creates a seemingly quirky cocktail that is both surprisingly sophisticated and enjoyable.

Below you will find Gina's recipe for the P.B.L.T (Plymouth, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato) cocktail.

PBLT Cocktail Image P.B.L.T

  • 1 oz Plymouth Gin
  • 1 cube of lettuce water*
  • 1 cube of tomato water**

First spray vinegar on a glass and dip in dehydrated bacon dust, then place a lettuce water cube, tomato cube, then pour the Plymouth Gin over top.

*Lettuce Water Cube

  • 14 oz of lettuce water (2 large heads of iceberg lettuce, that has been juiced in a juicer)
  • 1 teaspoon of white pepper
  • 1 pinch of fleur de sel
  • 4 oz of lemon juice
Combine all ingredients together and fill ice trays. Makes about 20-24 cubes

**Tomato Water Cube

  • 16 oz of fresh tomato juice (either in a juicer or done in a blender and then strained)
  • 1 teaspoon of white pepper
  • 1 pinch of fleur de sel
  • 4 oz of fresh lemon juice
  • 4 oz of fresh lemon juice
Combine all ingredients together and fill ice trays. Makes about 24-30 cubes

Derby Drinks Across the US

New Variations on the Kentucky Classic from the Country's Best Bartenders

These variations on the most popular libation associated with the "fastest two minutes in sport," are from Alchemy Consulting, NYC. Principles Jason Cott and Toby Maloney, drinks consultants to bars, clubs, and restaurants across the United States, were inspired to come up with some modern interpretations for the Julep for those who don't own muddlers, or even know what they are. These versions will help even the uninitiated be winners in the Mint Julep department.

These two are from Mindy Kucan, an award-winning mixologist based in Austin, TX. An avid equestrian, she created these two cocktails to honor her love of "the sport of kings" and bourbon:

Bare Back Bare Back Cocktail Image

  • 1 1/4 oz Bulleit Bourbon
  • 1/4 oz St Germain Elderflower liqueur
  • 2 dashes orange flower water

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass and shake with a Boston shaker. Strain into a cocktail or martini glass and garnish with an edible flower or orange zest.

Mixologist's note:"Like all great drinks this one has a top, middle and bottom note. Deceptively simple, it satisfies with aroma and taste and is pleasant on the eye."

Back in the Saddle

  • 1 1/3 oz. Bulleit Bourbon
  • 1/4 oz Lapsang Souchong tea infused simple syrup*
  • 1/10 oz lemon juice

n a mixing glass add all ingredients with ice and shake hard for ten seconds. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist or candied lemon peel.

* Lapsang souchong tea is an Asian tea that is super smoky with notes of leather and tobacco, reminding me of the smell of a new saddle. This tea can be found at specialty food stores and Asian markets. In a sauce pan on the stove add 2 cups sugar to two cups water to a boil. Add 8 tea bags or one cup of loose leaf lapsang souchong tea, reduce heat and let simmer for twenty minutes. After sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and let steep until mixture is cool. Remove tea bags expressing liquid or strain tea leaves out, bottle and place in a cooler. Should keep for two weeks.

Mixologist's note: "This cocktail has global inspiration with local application. It has only three ingredients, but a complex range of scents and flavors emerge once they are combined."

G'Vine, Averna, Partida Trio

Mojito Italiano Mojito Italiano Image

  • 10 mint leaves, torn
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup
  • 2 oz. Averna
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • Ginger ale

Muddle mint and simple syrup in a highball glass. Add remaining ingredients and stir with a bar spoon. Garnish with mint spring and lemon.








 
 
 

Tea Party Tea Party Image

  • 1 1/2 oz. G'vine Floraison
  • 1 1/2 oz. Jasmine Green Tea
  • 1 oz. manzanilla Sherry
  • 1/2 oz. Crème de Peche
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 oz. Club Soda

Pour all the ingredients in a shaker, add ice, shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with violets.







 
 

Caliente Caliente Image

  • 3 chunks of pineapple
  • 2 ginger wheels
  • 1/2 oz cactus nectar
  • 1/6 of a lime
  • 1 1/2 oz Partida Reposado
  • 1/2 oz ginger ale

Muddle the first four ingredients, add the Partida, shake and serve on the rocks. Top off with the ginger ale. Garnish with a crystalized ginger.

CocktAlien - SAKE

SAKE (Saah-Kee)

Hello again friends, CocktAlien here; thanks for inviting me back. Last month I had a memorable event that revolved solely around sake. I learned, I drank, I forgot...I eventually remembered, and now you get the bounty of my memory. I'll set the scene: it was a dark and stormy night...no, scratch that. It was a night, though. I was out at a local restaurant called Yaki Kui Japanese and Korean BBQ. As the name suggests, this establishment specializes in Japanese and Korean style BBQ. Needless to say, this was not a standard night of dining. The fare that night was a 9 course meal, each paired with a round of sake, and all for about $25 a head. Throughout the meal, our server - who was also the owner - educated us about the finer points of sake, which I now share with you.

Sake is made from rice...(I know, sake 101, but some folks may not know...) It can be served hot or cold, filtered or unfiltered, and falls somewhere between wine and beer in the grand scheme of things. As the meal went on, our guide explained the main factors that influence the flavor of sake:

  1. The type of rice.
  2. The type of water.
  3. The region in Japan.
  4. The temperature at which it is made, much like beer.
  5. Whether it is intended to be served hot or cold.

Like wine, sake ranges from dry to sweet. This is charted on a scale, somewhat like the ph scale, with a rating of 0 indicating a neutral dryness. A positive rating indicates a dry sake (I tried up to a +15). The driest sakes were served hot; I don't know if that is traditional, but I recommend it. The negative side of the scale, then, are the sweeter sakes. The sweetest of the night were rated at -25, these are known as dessert sake. My fiance liked these best.

Dinner started with a few appetizers, like soup and fried veggies. This was paired with a neutral sake, served cold, and the sushi that followed was matched with increasingly drier varieties. Then came the hot food, and the hot sake. The driest of the sakes were paired with chicken and beef. Finally, with dessert, came the sweet sake.

I'll admit I was nervous about the night. I didn't think I could get through 12 shots of sake in one dinner; it helped that the dinner lasted well over 2 hours. By the end of the night, though, we had the entire restaurant toasting with us with the traditional Japanese toast, "Kampai." (Of course, as we got deeper and deeper into the bottles we started adding our own variations to the traditional toast, which were probably somewhat insulting to our host. For that, we apologize.

If this style of dining is available to you, I highly recommend it; we had a blast. I had more sake that night than ever before, combined, but lived to tell the tale. I learned the importance of properly pairing food with drink. So until next time friends, keep a drink in your hand, look to the stars, and kampai.

-CocktAlien

Herradura Jimango

Prepared with the Herradura's 100 percent blue agave Blanco expression, fresh mango juice and a spicy touch of Tabasco, we thought that this great tropical-themed option will cool you off on summer nights.

HERRADURA JIMANGO Herradura Jimango Image

  • 2 oz Tequila Herradura Blanco
  • 4 oz fresh mango juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • Tabasco sauce

In a glass frosted with salt, add crushed ice, Tequila Herradura Blanco, a pinch of salt and a dash of Tabasco sauce (to your liking). Pour in lemon and mango juice, and stir softly.

Tommy Bahama - Poma-Bahama

Poma-Bahama Martini Image Poma-Bahama

  • 2 parts Tommy Bahama White Sand Rum
  • 1 part Pomegranate Liqueur
  • Splash of cranberry juice
  • Splash of lime juice

Shake over ice and strain into a martini glass.

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Chad Gibson is a knowledgeable and dynamic speaker. He is an expert in this field and has shown many hospitality managers and owners how to make more money and gain peace of mind in running their business.




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