|BarNone Drink Recipes Newsletter|
Dear Summertime Bum,
Welcome to the July Bar None Drinks Newsletter.
I hope you enjoy this month's articles. Please be smart, don't drink and drive! Enjoy the following recipes in moderation and take a cab.
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Jose Cuervo International, the global marketing division for Jose Cuervo, announces the introduction of Cuervo Flavored Tequilas, a new selection of premium tequilas with hints of orange, lime and tropical fruit flavors.
Cuervo Flavored Tequilas allow consumers to expand their tequila experiences and enjoy Cuervo in more versatile ways, said Carlos Arana, Managing Director, Jose Cuervo International. Tequila is no longer limited to shots and margaritas. Cuervo Flavored Tequilas are the perfect solution for those looking to add a new twist to their favorite drink.
Available in three unique flavors Citrico, Oranjo and Tropina - Cuervo Flavored Tequilas are distilled and bottled in Mexico. Each flavor is a proprietary blend of premium silver-styled tequilas combined with natural fruit flavors. Cuervo Citrico is made with natural flavors of lime and other citrus fruits; Cuervo Oranjo contains natural flavors of orange and other citrus fruits; and Cuervo Tropina is a blend of pineapple and other tropical fruit flavors.
Consumers can experience the boldness and energy of Jose Cuervo in a whole new way with Cuervo Flavored Tequilas, whether enjoyed in shots, sipped on the rocks or mixed in a cocktail, added Neil Gallo, Senior Director, North America. With these new products the possibilities are endless.
I wish I could say that I was bringing to you an entirely new product today, but it appears I may have been scooped by almost two decades. That notwithstanding, I bring you a treasure that comes from deep within the African continent. This jewel of the cradle of life is made from a fruit that grows atop a tree that cannot be cultivated. The beasts that roam the sub-Saharan plains covet this fruit so much that the elephants actually ram the trees to get the fruit to drop. They let it sit on the ground for a few days, so it can begin to ferment, and then eat the slightly alcoholic fruit. The fruit is that of the marula tree, and it is used in making one of the finest cream liqueurs Ive ever tasted, Amarula Cream.
Opening its doors in 1989, Amarula Cream has produced a sleeper hit for nearly two decades. The fruit is harvested in a narrow window of time in the late summer (thats January/February in the southern hemisphere) right after the fruit is ripe, but before the pachyderms have a chance to do their own harvesting. Not to worry though, the fruit is plentiful, so Dumbo doesnt go hungry. The fruit is brought back to the plant where it is fermented in a method that is familiar to nearly everyone; its made into wine. This wine is distilled into a sort of marula brandy and is aged for two years before being blended with cream and shipped to the various boozemogers of the world.
A note on the Amarula distillers. As you can tell by looking at their distinctive bottle, the elephant is a great part of their branding, and for good reason. It is a symbol of Africa, and their product is strongly connected with the magnificent animals. In that respect, Amarula donates money to one of the top elephant research programs in South Africa. Details can be found on their website www.amarula.co.za.
Onward we go to the drink itself. The first thing you notice about Amarula Cream is the bottle, which has a style that hearkens back to the early days of African exploration. The initial aroma that wafts up from the bottle is unlike anything youve smelled before...you can tell its a fruit from the slightly sweet delicacies, but the rest of the flavor is unknown, though not for long. As you pour it, you begin to smell the smooth cream and the sharp alcohol in a beautiful balance. The first sip reminds you of other decadent pleasures of the creams, Kaluha and Baileys flashing in your head. Then it hits you; the hidden flavor of the marula fruit comes out of the cream and those other creams come crashing to the floor. You can at once see yourself as a big game hunter on a reserve in South Africa and as his elephantine target, both sitting side by side enjoying the same wonderful flavors. The cream and the alcohol slowly fade away, at first intensifying the marula flavor and then it too teases you as it slides away. The visions of the African plain follow, but with promise of returning at the next sip.
This is definitely a bottle worth trying, and more specifically a bottle worth trying to find. There are a multitude of recipes on their website, as well as a few in our own drink database. If youre anything like me, youll find yourself trying to lick the last few drops out of your glass. Which I am doing now...enjoy your summer, and Ill see you in August for another installation of The Ravens Caw.
If you can't find Amarula locally, you can buy it online here...
Alright, so it would make sense if I were to be reviewing a drink with Amarula in it, but to be perfectly honest, when I finished the article, I also finished the bottle. So, lacking in the immediate booze department, I decided to fall back on a book I picked up a short time ago, which has become an indispensable collection of great party facts.
Alcoholica Esoterica, by Ian Lendler, should be required reading for everyone upon reaching the drinking age. The author goes so far as to warn his readers not to read his book cover to cover in one sitting, for fear that they may become the Cliff Claven of the cocktail party, and ruthlessly dole out factoid after factoid. Im now living proof that this will in fact happen to the unwary. Theres a particularly interesting section towards the back on the pantheon of the gods of booze.
Anyone with a few dollars extra in their pocket should certainly go get this book. Its worth the money, and to be honest, the amusement lasts slightly longer than your standard shot!
About The Raven
J.T. "Raven" Centonze has been a long time student of the art of alcohol. Initially interested in keeping conversation at parties, his love for alcohol grew to an obsession in college. In between his real job of running a college bookstore, he is the part owner/operator of his own winery. He bartends at private parties which allows him the innovation of many new, unique drinks.
Once a bartending necessity that reigned supreme in soda guns the world over, tonic water - and her friends club soda, Coke and 7Up - is fizzling in todays hipster scene. Whats bubbled to the forefront? Energy drinks, which in a few short years have gone from mini-mart obscurity to VIP status behind the bars of even the hottest, Paris-Hilton-worthy nightclubs and restaurants.
As anyone whos chugged Gatorade or Lucozade knows, energy drinks are nothing new. Theyve been around since the 1930s, are sold throughout the world and have traditionally enjoyed especially strong popularity in the Far East. (Think Pocari Sweat. Yum.) In their early incarnations, energy drinks were meant to quickly rehydrate the body and to provide energy through carbohydrates in the form of sugar. They were the savior of many exhausted athletes, lethargic kids with the flu and pathetically hungover frat boys.
In the mid-80s, an Austrian businessman looking to cash in on the energy drink craze in Asia took the concept and gave it a decidedly modern twist. The result was Red Bull, a unique-tasting drink spiked with caffeine and the amino acid taurine, which pumps up the heart rate.
Red Bulls slick silver mini cans, clever ad campaign and energy-boosting properties made it an instant hit among club-goers and those looking for a quick boost from something other than espresso (or a powdery South American import that might invite a sentence of five to 10). By the late 90s, Red Bull was available worldwide, had taken up sponsorship of popular new extreme sporting events and was well on its way to becoming a pop culture icon.
Since then, the energy drink market has exploded. New entrants include Rockstar (which contains liver-rejuvenating milk thistle), Monster, Socko, Full Throttle, Hype, Bomba (which comes in four flavors), Roaring Lion, Go Fast, Atomic X and Boo Koo. (The entertainment value alone - Ill have an Effen Boo Koo - keeps us enthralled.)
Everyone from traditional soft drink marketers to celebs are getting in on the energy drink craze, scrambling to create new concoctions with fresh hype. Rap star Nelly is hoping to grab a piece of the market with his bright green, sweet sour-apple brew PimpJuice, which contains taurine, guarana and multi-vitamins. (No word on whether the nutrient properties of the drink will finally heal the boo-boo that lurks beneath his omnipresent Band-Aid. Or what test group approved of the name PimpJuice.)
Though all energy drinks are unique, they share in common some form of caffeine and sugar as key ingredients. Guarana, a natural source of caffeine, replaces the straight chemical in some brands. What gives energy drinks their rocket boost is the amount of caffeine and sugar they include: studies show energy drinks pack four times the amount of caffeine as soda and as many as 13 teaspoons of sugar in a single bottle.
Energy drinks also get an extra kick from ingredients such as ginseng and vitamins B12, B6, riboflavin and niacin. The most popular addition (and the one that put Red Bull on the energy drink map) is taurine, one of the most abundant amino acids in the body. It functions as a metabolic transmitter, has detoxifying properties and has been shown in studies to be beneficial to cardiovascular functioning. Mix these peace-and-love herbs and vitamins with some cutting-edge nutritional research, and the old standbys caffeine and sugar, and youve got yourself a recipe for a go-the-distance, 21st century good time.
Not long after these space age potions hit the shelves, smart consumers realized if energy drinks could keep them going as they burned the midnight oil or blasted through a road trip, they could put a whole new spin on a night of partying. Thus was born Red Bull-vodka. In the late 90s, European drinkers started a new trend in cocktails by marrying the recently released Red Bull with vodka, creating a mix packing a potent alcohol punch and a lift of herbs and caffeine, and enabling drinkers to get maximum pleasure out of a hard-earned weekend night of raving or pub crawling.
As more energy drinks were born, more cocktails were created. Bars around the world now stock energy drinks as mixing basics and look for innovative blends to create their own signature cocktails. While most drinkers still prefer flavored vodkas such as Stoli Citros or Skyy Melon to add intrigue to their energy drinks, more innovative experiments are being undertaken every day: how about an energy drink/Jagermeister mix? Perhaps a little Johnny Walker Black? (Any carpet fluff you might ingest later will simply add to the...mouthfeel.)
If mixing isnt your thing, consider an energy/alcoholic drink that comes straight from the bottle. Zygo is a peach-flavored vodka blended with so-called functional ingredients taurine, D-ribose, guarana and yerba mate. Known as the morning vodka with a 35 percent alcohol content, it hits the spot with partiers still pounding the dance floor at dawn. Sparks, a sickly sweet, citrusy concoction with taurine, caffeine, guarana, Siberian ginseng and a 6 percent kick of alcohol, is becoming a popular party alternative, as are MoonShot, a (believe it or not) lightly carbonated, caffeinated beer, and XXL Orange, which packs 8.9 percent vodka, orange juice and caffeine into a curvy plastic bottle. (Frankly, that sounds to us like what a pimp would really be juicing.)
In a culture thats dancing as fast as it can, it seems energy drink cocktails are the perfect libation for the new millennium. And who knows, tonic and club soda might even make a comeback - thanks to the recently released Hi-Ball Modern Mixers line, which offers classic mixers enhanced by B-vitamins, caffeine, taurine, guarana and ginseng. So grab a can of liquid energy, throw in the spirit of your choice and start channeling Don The Magic Juan. And remember, it takes seven to make a stable.
Energy Drink Cocktail Recipes
Deep Sea Battery
Shake vodka and Curacao with ice and strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Top with Battery Energy Drink.
Extreme Cherry Bomb
Serve on the rocks in a highball glass. Garnish with a cherry.
Bob Dylan Recipe
Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth.
Combine all ingredients and serve chilled.
Shake vodka, triple sec and lime juice together. Pour into chilled martini glass. Top with Black Magic Bomba Energy Drink.
Warning: Consume energy drink cocktails in moderation. Caffeine is a primary ingredient in energy drinks and can, when combined with the dehydrating effects of alcohol, lead to feelings of dizziness and faintness. In some cases, sensitivity to caffeine can also raise blood pressure and trigger potentially deadly heart reactions. Drink responsibly.
This article has been submitted by the great people over at Wine X Magazine. Wine-X has agreed to bring you a new article every month from their amazing writers. It was written by Lora Lewis. If you like living out on the edge and feel the Gen X isn't well represented in the world, have a really good look at Wine X magazine. They've also given us an offer you can't refuse if you're looking to subscribe: $15 for 6 issues. To experience the full magazine, Subscribe Here.
So you're wondering why I don't have a nice fancy picture to go with this one. Well, that great girl Nicole that provides me all these recipes was out, doing research for this month's feature and guess what. She got drunk... Now, she was able to come back with the recipe scrawled on a dirty cocktail napkin, but the digital camera just held photos of some blury images. We think maybe of the bartender, but we're not quite sure. She has promised to make up for it next month.
Enjoy the recipe though, she assures me its great!
Add all ingredients to a shaker. Fill with ice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a Swedish Fish.
Nicole found this at the Blue Fin in New York. If you end up in the city, drop by 1567 Broadway in the W Hotel.
Our latest Rober Plotkin article. Single Cognacs, elegance reaches a new plateau. Robert is the founder of BarMedia.com
For the past 17 years, Robert Plotkin, has been working to provide beverage operators with the right career tools they need to attain success. He has created the best management systems, tools, software and books available in the hospitality industry. His nationally acclaimed products are in the offices and behind the bars of the most successful hotels, nightclubs, restaurants and hot spots worldwide.
Elegant and sophisticated, cognac is arguably the noblest of brandies. With our society firmly entrenched in a return to pleasure and small indulgences, consumer interest in cognac has never been higher.
There are roughly 175 producers of cognac, each with widely differing styles. These cognac houses produce a variety of different grades of brandy, many of which eschew the accepted designations e.g. VS, VSOP, XO for more colorful and elaborate names. There are hundreds of labels of cognacs, no two sharing exactly the same characteristics.
The vast majority of cognacs are blends of aged brandies distilled from grapes grown in two or more of the six, contiguous growing districts of the cognac region, called crus. The most highly prized of these crus, valued for its gray-brown, chalky-lime soil, is the Grande Champagne. Nearly 18% of all cognac is produced in this region. Brandies from Grande Champagne are typically the most expensive because of their rich, full bouquets and multi-faceted character.
The next cru in stature is Petite Champagne, from which approximately 20% of all cognac is produced. The soil in this region is lighter in color and contains a lower concentration of chalk. Petite Champagne brandies lack the intensity of those from the Grande Champagne region. When a cognac blend contains brandies from both regions, with more than half originating in Grande Champagne, the cognac is labeled as a Fine Champagne cognac.
The smallest of the crus is the Borderies. Its brandies are soft, round and highly valued for use in blending. The Fin Bois region surrounds the aforementioned regions. Nearly 40% of all brandies produced in the cognac district come from Fin Bois, and they too are prized for their ability to add fullness and dimension to the finished blend. The Bons Bois and Bois Communs produce brandies principally used in blending.
Cognac labels bear no age statements. Typically, however, brandies carrying a VS designation have been aged between 4 and 7 years. VSOP cognacs are usually aged for 5 to 13 years, while XO, Extra, Napoleon, Vielle Reserve or Hors d'Age cognacs range in age from 7 to 40 years. These enormous age spreads account for much of the tremendous individuality and distinctions between cognac houses.
Cognac Enters the Singles Market Cognac producers are releasing sets of unblended brandies from single districts, or single distilleries, each being a stellar example of the finest brandy the individual cognac-appellation or distillery has to offer.
The renowned cognac house of A. Hardy was the first to market their brandies from individual districts. The cognacs are distilled from unfiltered, low-proof wines, distilled slowly in small alembic stills. The result are brandies, bottled at their optimum ages, possessing a nearly flawless balance, alluring intensity and a richness that will please even the most discriminating palate.
The firm of Gabriel & Andreu has released a remarkable set of four, handcrafted single district cognacs ranging in age from the quickly maturing Fins Bois at 8 years to the 35-year-old Grande Champagne cognac. Cognac Louis Royer also recently introduced a collection of five magnificent brandies, each from one of the individual appellations within the Cognac Delimited Area of Production.
Hennessy has debuted three outstanding single distillery cognacs. Each reflecting the individual style and elegance of its namesake distillery. Hennessy Izambard is a vivacious brandy with a lively, fruity palate and a light, unhurried finish. Hennessy Le Peu is an attractive, personable cognac with a lavish bouquet and round, mouthwatering flavors. The third entry is Hennessy Camp Romain. This is a solid muscular brandy, a straight shooter with a lusty bouquet, a fruity, oaky palate and a long, enthusiastic finish.
New to the United States is CHTEAU DE LIGNRES cognac, a rare, single estate brandy made by the famed cognac House of Bisquit. The brandy is distilled from grapes grown at the estate and aged a minimum of 10 years in Limousin oak barrels made by the Bisquit's coopers. Founded in 1875, the Chteau de Lignres is located in the heart of the Fin Bois region of Cognac.
Similar in many respects to a single malt Scotch, the single estate brandy is made in a vertical process, this ensures an added degree of craftsmanship and devotion to quality. Both attributes are evident in this fascinating brandy, which has a floral and fruity bouquet and a dry, broad palate.
Original Guide to American Cocktails and Drinks
The professional bartender's first choice in drink guides!
This new edition spans the breadth of mixology, including all the classic cocktails, infusions, the hottest Cosmopolitans, colorful and refreshing tropical drinks and ice cream drinks, Martinis and Manhattans, coffee drinks, plus much more. It also includes a great index, plus reviews of the hottest liquors and liqueurs on the market today. Improving since 1998, now in its 5th edition.
Fill a martini glass with ice and leave to chill. Gently crush the chosen fresh ingredient in a mixing glass. Pour Level into the mixing glass and stir for a few seconds without ice. Fill the mixing glass with lots of ice and stir again. Empty the ice from the cold martini glass. Double strain the liquid into the martini glass. Garnish with a small piece of the fresh ingredient. Serve immediately.
All Level Martinis are made in the same way. The secret is to use chilled Level with the best fresh ingredients of the season, and strain the liquid twice (double strain).
Plymouth The Worlds Smoothest Gin - has swept the boards at one of the worlds most influential spirits competitions further entrenching its position as one of the leading premium gins in the world.
Plymouth Gin has taken the premium awards at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, winning a Double Gold medal in the gin category, Best of Show in the gin category and the coveted Best of Show for overall white spirit with its unique smooth taste.
This accolade anchors the brands position as the smoothest gin in the world, said Sophie Rietz-Elvefors, Brand Director Plymouth Gin at V&S Absolut Spirits. Plymouths balanced blend of seven hand selected botanicals, peat over granite filtered soft Dartmoor water and the highest quality grain spirit endow Plymouth with a smooth, balanced taste unlike any other.
Its no wonder that the original Dry Martini recipe called not just for gin ... but for Plymouth Gin. It was in 1925 that Plymouth first secured its status as the gin of choice when Harry Carddock, Head Bartender at The Savoys American Bar, used Plymouth as the featured gin in The Savoy Cocktail Book. Plymouth continues to be the pouring gin at this world-famous bar to this day.
Plymouths smooth, superior taste will also be reflected in the highly anticipated new bottle design. Plymouths art deco inspired bottle reflects the era of the 1920s and 1930s when the cocktail lifestyle and love of Plymouth Gin was irrefutable.
Commenting on the new bottle design, Sophie Rietz-Elvefors, Brand Director Plymouth Gin, said:
As well as paying its respects to the art deco era, we feel that the new bottle is also a truly modern classic and reflects on the consumer resurgence in classic cocktails. This design evolution is the start of an exciting new chapter in the Plymouth Gin story and its journey to become the next global premium gin.
Hand crafted in small batches, Plymouth Gin is made using the original recipe since 1793. For over 200 years, this recipe has been passed down from one generation of head stillman to the next, in what is now one of Englands oldest working distilleries. Once the favourite of F.D. Roosevelt, Plymouth Gin is the only gin with a geographic designation meaning it can only be produced in Plymouth, England.
Can't find Plymouth Gin locally? You can order it from Internet Wines and Spirits.
Just in time for summer. Why not make your nice chilled drinks out at the barbeque?
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