The new issue of Drink is out. The theme for this issue is rum, well known as one of my favorite topics. Fittingly, I got to write not one, but two articles. . . (more…)
Archive for the ‘liqueurs’ Category
My latest article for DRiNK is on the Pegu Club. It’s a great drink so go check it out. Special thanks to the translator for an excellent job on the Chinese. I did not make her life easy, what with poetry and other assorted weird stuff. The art work is also nice.
DRiNK is a good magazine, and it’s mere existence shows how much the cocktail scene in China has changed since I started this blog.
Years ago I remember sitting on an airplane here and leafing through a hospitality magazine that had somehow ended up in the seat pocket in front of me. It was not bar specific – more like a general restaurant magazine that included wines and spirits info. I forget the title. Anyway, the quality of information was shocking. An article on French wines was illustrated with colorful Belgian beer bottles. Well-bred ladies were cautioned to always add the ice before pouring their wine. Doing things the other way round would be most uncouth! Another article summarized the main categories of spirits and liqueurs. Having no idea what Angostura Bitters were, the writer came up with a tale about elderly Dutch men doing shots of the stuff by the fireside during winter.
I will link to a few other articles I have written for DRiNK soon.
My occasional writing for DRiNK is one reason things have been quiet. Writing articles that get published somewhere else takes the edge off the urge to write here. Despite that though, I do have a few interesting things in store. Besides cocktail stuff, there may even be a cautionary tale or two about the bar industry.
Who knew that Grand Marnier oranges came from Haiti? I sometimes worry about my level of obscure booze related knowledge, but until I visited Cap-Haitien I had no idea Haiti was the leading source of fine orange flavors in French liqueurs. Grand Marnier, Cointreau and Marie Brizard all rely on Haiti for their bitter orange needs.
I have been traveling around too much to be in Mixology Monday mode recently. Unfortunately I missed the last one on 19th Century cocktails. How did I manage to miss that? It sounded great. Ahh. . .the travails of travel.
Anyway, this time round the theme is Guilty Pleasures, hosted by Two at the Most. The main idea behind the theme seems to be ‘comfort cocktails’, similar to ‘comfort food’. There is also a suggestion that it could include drinks that appeal a poorly educated palate. Hmm. . .
Forgive me if I randomly muse rather than picking a single drink.
OK, what I’m really going to do is smack you in the face with a Bunnyhug. However, I’ll soften the blow by first musing on cream, creme de menthe, and other inoffensive things. (more…)
Mixology Monday (hosted at Scofflaw’s Den) has suddenly sprung on me, bringing the theme of bourbon. I feel a bit inadequate about my effort this time round. Recently I have hardly been drinking bourbon. Mostly it has all been gin, with occasional detours to explore French aperitifs. This state of affairs is a bit odd now I come to think about it. When I first got into cocktails I drank plenty of bourbon drinks (mostly Manhattans and Old Fashioneds), with rum thrown in for variety. Things seem to have changed, and consequently I am low on creative ideas for bourbon. Mind you, when it comes to bourbon I sometimes wonder how creative you need to be. Isn’t an Old Fashioned about as good as it gets? Posting about the Old Fashioned seems redundant though, so I am going to throw together a new (to me) bourbon cocktail from Ted Haigh’s Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. (more…)
To assist my anticipatory salivation ahead of Anistatia Miller and Jared Brown’s Tales of the Cocktail presentation on “The Cafes of Paris”, I have been taking a look at a few lesser known French aperitifs. Several weeks ago I took a look at Pineau des Charentes. Today I focus on a pair of fruit quinquinas.
I said I would follow up my recent Genever post with a post on Genever cocktails. Here are five recipes for traditional Genever cocktails. These are all drinks you could have ordered in an upscale bar in the Nineteenth Century United States. In other words, these are the drinks that got gin cocktails started. The recipes come from Jerry Thomas’ Bartender’s Guide. Darcy O’Neil from the Art of Drink kindly put the entire book online, accessible here.
I was trying to think of more uses for Cynar, the Italian artichoke-based aperitif that somewhat resembles Campari. I decided its bitter vegetal notes would be complemented by Kola Tonic and threw this one together. I think it works, though perhaps the Tia Maria could be toned back to 1 tsp.
Cynar has has one of the coolest label designs out there (more…)
This one comes from eGullet, and before that from bartender Jacques Bezuidenhout at Pesce restaurant in San Francisco.
In some ways this would be good drink for introducing people to Campari. OK, the dose of Campari is kind of heavy for that purpose. Still, the classic Campari drinks (i.e. the Negroni and the Americano) are complicated by the inclusion of vermouth – another problem ingredient for many people. This drink is free of vermouth, Grand Marnier increases the sweetness, and fruit juice lightens things a little. In fact the drink is purely about rich and bitter sweet citrus. The taste is intense but free of surprises. While quite bitter, this drink reflects the current fashion for drinks that are light on spirits and heavy on juices and liqueurs.
Pineau Experiment No. 6 was perhaps the best of the bunch. . .
The next step was to try mixing some drinks of my own using Pineau des Charentes.
Pineau turned out to slightly awkward stuff to mix with, probably on account of it having such a mild taste. My natural inclination was try substituting pineau in recipes that traditionally call for other aperitif wines (i.e. following well worn patterns like Manhattans and Martinis). This approach did not work well.
While I did not come up with anything truly exceptional, several experiments yielded one or two promising results. (more…)