Archive for the ‘liqueurs’ Category

Orange Liqueurs, the Burnt Fuselage, and Elwyn Richardson

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

“But I like to think how nice it’s gonna be, maybe, in California. Never cold. An’ fruite ever’place, an’ people just bein’  in the nicest places, little white houses in among the orange trees. I wonder – that is, if we all get jobs an’ all work – maybe we can get one of them little white houses. An’ the little fellas go out an’ pick oranges right off the tree.” (John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath)

I’m rather late saying this but another issue of DRiNK is out, which means more articles. This time time it’s all about the orange, a fruit so ubiquitous in cocktails we easily forget how lost we would be without it. My first article takes a look at orange liqueurs, and the second turns to the Burnt Fuselage and the Kamikaze. Both articles, but particularly the first, got a little edited

The Burnt Fuselage had an odd run of popularity in Shanghai some years back. I found the recipe on Paul Clarke’s Cocktail Chronicles, introduced it to a bar or two, and before long, not only were friends and strangers drinking it, but I was getting late night phone calls from bartenders I had never met asking me how to make the thing. This odd phenomenon didn’t last, and Shanghai soon went back to drinking whatever it normally drinks. Truth be told, it was probably easier to start a cocktail trend back when Shanghai only had 2.5 cocktail bars.

Something else.

I just learned that Elwyn Richardson died late last year. It must be a couple of decades since I last saw Elwyn, but without him I doubt people would be paying me to drink cocktails and write about it. Although Elwyn was a teacher, the word does not fit. Certainly in his writing classes he didn’t exactly teach. He just drew people’s attention to common sense.

It is a pity I never told Elwyn I was writing for a drink industry magazine. He would have liked the idea.

RIP Elwyn. The orange-themed Steinbeck is for you.

Rusty Nail Article

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

A new issue of DRiNK just came out. This issue looks at  single malts, and so I wrote an article on the Rusty Nail. It’s an excellent drink for the northern winter so mix one up.

Much as I like peated whiskys, I think this drink works better with something lighter. Incidentally, if going that route, the recently released Drambuie 15 might be fun to experiment with. It is dryer than the regular Drambuie, and contains a higher ratio of single malt and older whiskys. I have not yet played with it, but am sure it would make a good Rusty Nail.

While writing this article I decided I rather liked Rusty Nails with a grapefruit twist instead of the standard lemon. A very simple way to take this cocktail in new directions.

No experiments for me right now though. I am headed to tropical Burma where I will no doubt imbibe a Pegu Club or two.

Rummy Ruminations – and the El Presidente Revisited

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

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…)

The Pegu Club

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

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.

Grand Marnier Oranges and the Haitian Connection

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

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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.

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Mixology Monday XXXII: Guilty Pleasures

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

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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: Bourbon

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

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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…)

Two Unusual Quinquinas: RinQuinQuin and Orange Colombo

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

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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.

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Old-School Genever Cocktails

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

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.

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La Cosa Nostra

Monday, May 19th, 2008

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.

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Cynar has has one of the coolest label designs out there (more…)