Another article just appeared in DRiNK. Since this issue looks at brandy, I wrote about the Corpse Reviver. The Corpse Reviver is more like a semi-forgotten category than a single cocktail. The famous Corpse Reviver #2 is based on gin, but most of the other Corpse Reviver recipes use brandy. Oddly, despite being a diverse bunch, Corpse Revivers never seem to call for American spirits like bourbon, rye, etc. I figure they were a specifically English thing. (more…)
Archive for the ‘gin’ Category
Another issue of DRiNK is out, and I wrote a story on the Pink Lady. This one gets unjustly neglected, and I am as guilty as anyone. Much as I really like the Pink Lady, I only rarely get around to mixing it. A White Lady just seems ‘easier’ when that way inclined. And out in a bar? I’m not sure I have ever ordered a Pink Lady for myself, though I’ve ordered it for friends a few times. This is clearly color prejudice at work. But color prejudice aside it is also easy to forget how mixable calvados is. The gin and calvados combo in the Pink Lady (original version) is just excellent, and well worth trying if you never have. This cocktail is probably the single best reason (Chicken Normandy aside) for keeping a bottle of calvados handy.
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.
This month’s Mixology Monday sees me without ready access to a bar to mix a drink. On well, I’m going to go ahead and post something anyway. The theme this month is New Orleans cocktails, so I thought I could post a couple of tips related to making drinks containing egg white, with particular reference to that venerable old New Orleans drink – the Ramos Gin Fizz. (more…)
My Tales of the Cocktail swag bag contained a miniature bottle of G’vine gin from France. Time for a mini tasting. . .
I am sitting in a hotel room in the Caribbean with nothing besides the rest of my Tales of the Cocktail swag bag mini-bar, a maxi-bottle of Beefeater that came with the Tales of the Cocktail goodies, and some little bottles of Dominican Republic rum. OK, and I also have my computer, clothes, toothbrush, etc. What I was really getting at, in my typically convoluted manner, is that this post is not going to contain the words “double strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with three drops of orange bitters and a lemon twist”. I don’t even have ice handy. I’ll drink the gin straight, then with tonic water. No lemons or limes will be hurt in this tasting. (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.
The aim of this post is to compare different gins, and thus to learn about their character and uses in cocktails. Understanding the nuances of different gins is crucial to making good gin-based drinks, so the exercise of comparing gins is highly educational. The gins examined here represent a reasonably comprehensive snapshot of the ‘upper end’ of gins currently available in New Zealand, as well as a fair swathe of what is available internationally. (more…)
The Rough Riders take a break on top of San Juan Hill
Mixology Monday has rolled around and get and brought with it the theme of rum. The host of Mixology Monday XXVII is Trader Tiki. To be honest, this was never intended to be a Mixology Monday post. However, since the drink includes rum I guess I get a handy Mixology Monday entry for minimal effort.
I was rearranging my booze cupboard when I remembered I had a bottle of Kola Tonic that had never been used other than to make the Filmograph – from Ted Haigh’s Vintage Cocktails and Forgotten Spirits. (more…)
It looked better full. . .
Pineau des Charentes is an interesting aperitif from France that I have only recently tried. It seems to be relatively unknown outside of France. Pineau des Charentes is generally drunk straight rather than being used used in cocktails. However, since I am interested in aperitif wines as cocktail ingredients I picked a bottle up to try it out. (more…)
I finally tracked down a bottle of crème de violette in Auckland today*. This ingredient has been eluding me for a long time now. Some years ago I sampled the Benoit Serres version in Shanghai. It was never actually sold there, but Mr. Benoit Serres attended a Shanghai food and wine show seeking an importer and I was able to sample the stuff and have a chat with him. Besides his crème de violette he also makes a couple of interesting herbal and nut infused liqueurs – I seem to remember an unusual almond infused cognac.
Today I came across a crème de violette from Briottet. The Briottet version seems fuller flavored then how I remember the Benoit Serres. The Benoit Serres had a subtle (i.e. diluted) cognac base with a violet overlay, and may have been relatively high proof (25%?). The Briottet seems more like intense violet on a base of lowish proof (18%) neutral alcohol. It has a strong aroma, happily more reminiscent of a flower shop (or maybe potpourri) than a soap factory. On tasting you get a rich, smooth, fairly deep violet taste that lingers on the tongue. The finish is really quite long, and somehow never turns to soap. While I cannot taste anything besides violet, I still would not call the taste one dimensional.
I am hardly a crème de violette expert. I have only ever tasted two brands, and those several years apart. I may completely wrong about this comparison. Both Briottet and Benoit Serres seem to be good products. However, I think Briottet may pack a little more power and be more suited to mixed drinks. Most drinks using creme de violette require only small quantities, so you want to use a reasonably intense product.
After tasting some of the liqueur straight the obvious thing to do was to make an original recipe Aviation. (more…)