Teeling Whiskey and Barrell Bourbon, Two Delights, recently discovered. from Foodista.com (yes, I’m on the masthead!)

Teeling Whiskey and Barrell Bourbon, Two Delights, recently discovered.

Whiskey Cocktails is coming out in a few short weeks, so it seems to reason that my mailbox is suddenly full of whiskey!In this case I’ve received several fine bottles that I’d like to share with you.  The first one is Ireland in every sip.  The Spirit of Dublin, Teeling Whiskey is one such example of high quality.  They represent Ireland in each sip, in fact when I uncorked the bottle, the very aroma placed me on the Temple Bar, enjoying the mist against my face and Irish Whiskey woven into coffee, filling my belly with happy warmth.

I’m trying not to lose sleep over claims about what Craft Distilling means outside of marketing, nor am I getting bent out of shape about “Small Batch” and what actually constitutes that statement in the broad context of the word.

But what I will say is Teeling Whiskey makes statements on their label about the lack of chill filtration and the fact that they use former rum casks for a deeper and sweeter finish.  What I do know is that they use cork on their bottle finish and I do like that extra effort for quality.

I also like the bottle shape and the color- a deep brown/green/black that should ostensibly protect the fine spirits held within from damaging rays of the sun.  Who knows, but it certainly is a handsome bottle design.

The label evokes the feeling of another time- perhaps less hurried.  And when enjoyed out of my Bormioli tasting glass, I truly get what this whiskey has to offer.

It’s really luscious in the mouth and it finishes astonishingly sweet without a hint of smoke- because in Ireland their whiskies are sweet in their flavor profile.

 

For that reason I like to craft cocktails with Irish Whiskey

Teeling is as good as I’ve had in what appears to be a well crafted spirit. It’s something new and I know you will want to taste it.  So seek it out and don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit.  To that end I offer you a fine cocktail.

Black Irish Smash

 We know that adventurous Spanish sailors followed the Gulf Stream up to Ireland looking for conquests and fishing grounds.  Some stayed and gave the island an entirely new population.  Black Irish people, are the amalgamation of Irish people and those Spanish sailors.  Hence the cocktail.

2 oz. Teeling “Small Batch” Irish Whiskey

4 oz. home-made lemonade – Sweetened to taste with your own mint simple syrup (Mint Simple Syrup 1:1 mint to sugar to 1 cup almost boiling water- steep overnight or longer in the fridge and then filter out mint)

1 oz. Mountain Valley Sparkling Water

4 drops El Guapo Chicory-Pecan Bitters

very tiny pinch of sea salt

Prep:

To a mixing glass, fill 3/4 with ice

add the lemonade and pour the whiskey over the top and stir until mixed

Strain into two rocks glasses with one cracked 2×2 cube in each

Top with a splash of the sparkling water, add a very small pinch of sea salt

Finish with the bitters and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint for clarity

 

Barrell Bourbon is clearly getting my attention because it tastes like success.  Good luck finding it though- you can make this your quest, like that of Pappy Van Winkle, another very hard to get commodity.  I think that Barrell is a bit easier to get because of the nature of distribution.  They are not a huge company yet, so sale of this whiskey is pretty normal.  If you find it, buy it because a case is just six bottles and there aren’t too many of them around.

But why give you only bad news?

That’s certainly not my intention.

They say that Barrell Bourbon served at cask strength is just too strong for most palates.  So it needs a bit of water to reveal the inner flavors.  But I think it needs some mixing up.  Perhaps that’s just the twisted part of why I love what I do.  May I suggest doing a wash with Lucid Absinthe in your glass?  Then some pineapple that has been both grilled and then juiced?  Perhaps a sage leaf, lit on fire and the smoke captured by the inside of a Boston shaker?  The honor for teaching me this technique is firmly on the shoulders of the head bartender from Secreto in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Chris Milligan.  He taught me this art.

Ah.. it’s darned good stuff.  Pay attention though.  This cocktail does work with any high proof bourbon or rye.

The Antidote

3 oz. Barrell Bourbon (bottling 002, because 001 just isn’t around any longer)

1/4 oz. Lucid Absinthe- wash rocks glasses with Lucid Absinthe and a bit of ice to cool, let sit

2 oz. Grilled Pineapple juice

1 oz. Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice

1/2 oz. Freshly Squeezed Grapefruit juice

2-3 Sage Leaves

Crushed Ice

1 oz. Simple Syrup

3-6 Drops of El Guapo Gumbo Bitters

Sprig of mint

 

Prep:

Light your sage in a fireproof ashtray

Capture the sage smoke in your Boston Shaker

Fill the Boston Shaker 3/4 with ice (and the sage smoke)

Add the juices and the simple Syrup

Add the Barrell Bourbon

Cap and shake for 20 seconds

Pour out the water and the Lucid absinthe into your mouth (why waste good liquor?)

Add 1 cube of 2×2 ice to each glass

Pour your mixture over the ice

Dot with the El Guapo Gumbo Bitters

Garnish with the mint

Serve to a happy camper

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Whole Foods/Dark Rye Magazine

Whole Foods/Dark Rye Magazine

Whole Foods/Dark Rye Magazine

A How-To Guide for Making Sweet & Sour Concoctions

By Warren Bobrow

Contrary to what you might think, shrubs are not the large green hedge plants that grow in your backyard.

As the “Knights Who Say Ni” well know, those are shrubberies. The real shrubs—strange and delicious concoctions of vinegar and sugar-preserved fruit syrup—are making a comeback.

Shrubs had their peak in the United States during the colonial era and were frequently used into the mid-1800s, mostly among the working class. Fruit syrup was an inexpensive, sweet refreshment. People found that drinking certain acidulated liquids like shrubs cured their aching bellies and gave them quick energy, too. The acidic vinegar also helped purify their poisonous drinking water.

When fizzy, cheaply produced soda pop hit the scene, shrubs all but disappeared from drinking vernacular. But modern hipster mixologists have rediscovered the magic of shrubs. Now people are starting to use them at home, too.

Shrubs can be simply made with only three easy-to-purchase ingredients: sugar, vinegar and fruit, plus water. They have a salty, sealike undertone but are also sweet and tart. The fruit gives a deeply welcome hit of sweet perfume, the raw cane sugar sweetens naturally, and the unmistakable tang of vinegar makes your lips pucker, and few things are more salutary for the gut than naturally fermented beverages. Shrubs really were the original energy and health drink. And now it looks like they’ve gotten their second wind!

Here are two of my favorite shrubs, along with three cocktail recipes.

Note: These shrubs will remain fresh for 1 to 2 months in the refrigerator.

Shrub Recipes

Raspberry Shrub

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

This very basic shrub makes all kinds of refreshing combinations. Although the raspberry shrub starts out vividly red, in the end result, the shrub will have a pale red hue.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup very ripe organic raspberries
  • 1 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1 cup raw cider vinegar

METHOD

In a nonreactive bowl, add raspberries and pour sugar over the top.

Cover and let sit refrigerated for a few days, stirring and muddling often with a wooden spoon to combine. This mixture should expel lots of liquid.

After a few days of gentle fermentation, add vinegar. Let the vinegar combine with the sugar and raspberries for another week refrigerated.

Arrange a fine-mesh strainer over a nonreactive bowl (one with a spout is handy). Pour the shrub mixture into the strainer and mash with a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.

Funnel the shrub into sterilized jars. Cover and refrigerate for at least a week more, shaking well before using.

The assertive vinegar flavor will fade over time, leaving you a simple syrup that is tangy, sweet and memorable!

Tip: A simple way to enjoy this raspberry shrub is with a glass of seltzer water and the addition of a few slivers of lemon zest.

AFTER A PAUSE PUNCH

Serves 2

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Ingredients:

  • Ice cubes
  • 4 ounces sugar cane rum
  • 3 ounces raspberry shrub
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed orange juice

Method:

Fill a cocktail shaker three-quarters full with ice. Pour rum, shrub and juices over the ice. Cover, cap and shake hard for 15 seconds or until frosty.

Add a large ice cube to each of 2 cocktail glasses. Strain cocktail into glasses and serve.

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Roasted Peach Shrub

Makes about 1 1/2 Cups

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Ingredients

  • 2-3 pounds peaches, preferably extra ripe, roughly chopped
  • 2¼ cups raw cane sugar, divided
  • 2 cups white wine vinegar or Champagne vinegar

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Arrange peaches on a large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with ¼ cup of the sugar and roast for 45 minutes or until deeply caramelized. Let cool and transfer to a nonreactive bowl.

Cover roasted peaches with remaining 2 cups sugar. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for several days, stirring often to mash and muddle the peaches and release peach-flavored sugar syrup.

After a few days, add the vinegar. It may bubble a bit, which is ideal. Cover and let sit refrigerated for a week, stirring twice daily to release the flavors.

Arrange a fine mesh strainer over a nonreactive bowl (one with a spout is handy). Pour the shrub mixture into the strainer and mash with a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.

Funnel into sterilized jars. Cover and refrigerate for at least a week before using.

Note: If your shrubs ever become fuzzy, foamy or speak in strange tongues, throw them out immediately! Mold is not your friend!

Only Fair Play Mocktail

Serves 2

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Ingredients

  • Ice cubes
  • 2½ ounces Roasted Peach Shrub
  • 2½ ounces rye whiskey
  • 3 ounces plain seltzer water, divided
  • 4 dashes aromatic bitters
  • Fresh mint, for garnish

METHOD

Fill 2 old fashioned glasses with ice and water, and then set aside to chill.

Fill a cocktail shaker three-quarters full with ice. Pour shrub and whiskey over the ice. Cover, cap and shake hard for 15 seconds or until frosty.

Pour ice water out of the cocktail glasses. Add a couple ice cubes to each glass. Strain the cocktail over the ice and top with seltzer water. Dot each cocktail with bitters and garnish with sprigs of fresh mint.

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THE OLD PACIFIC COCKTAIL

Serves 1

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Ingredients

  • ¼ teaspoon fresh thyme plus a sprig for garnish
  • Ice cubes
  • 2 ounces Roasted Peach Shrub
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 ounce plain seltzer water
  • Aromatic bitters

METHOD

Add thyme and a handful of ice to a mixing glass.

Add shrub and lemon zest. Stir 40 times and then strain into a cocktail glass over a large ice cube.

Add a splash of seltzer water, a couple drops of bitters and garnish with a sprig of thyme.

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Warren Bobrow is the author of Apothecary Cocktails, and his second book, Whiskey Cocktails will be released in October. In addition to his popular blog, The Cocktail Whisperer, Warren has written for Foodista.com, Voda Magazine, Saveur, Serious Eats, and Edible. You can follow him on Twitter at @WarrenBobrow1.

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DrinkupNY!!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Journey to the Center of the Earth (a trip for two)

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer

Icelandic craft distilled spirits like Reyka are famous for more than just their provenance.  They are famous because of the quality of the water.

Is the water from Iceland alcoholic?

Nope, I’m sorry to tell you that it isn’t.  But it certainly is pure.  And unpolluted water is everything when blending the highest quality spirits.

The water from Iceland is perhaps the softest in the world because of the utter clarity of the ecosystem.   The water for Reyka vodka is drawn from a 4000-year-old volcanic rock “field” that is, according to researchers, uncontaminated by the environmental ills of mankind.

Reyka (Ray-kuh) is an ancient Icelandic word for steam or smoke.   This would make perfect sense because Iceland is a country filled with volcanoes and smoke.  I’ve never been to Iceland, but in college I had a down comforter from Iceland.  The down was gathered from puffins.  You know, that impossibly cute bird that lives in subzero temperatures without any complaints?  The same.  But what does a down comforter in college have to do with vodka from Iceland?

It means absolutely nothing at all.

But I suppose the correlation is more of the quality of the products that I’ve seen coming out of this country. They tend to be of the highest eminence.  They are the very best items that money can buy.

The same holds true to fact about their spirits.  Reyka is one of the best vodkas I’ve ever passed through my lips.  It is produced on a pot still in very small batches.  There is a gorgeous sweetness that follows each drop, one of caramel and then another of sweet corn still glistening in the morning sunlight.

It’s bursting with flavors and I want to drink more.

Reyka is bottled in a handsome light blue tinted bottle with a long neck (easy to grab in your hand) with a real cork, instead of synthetic cork.  It’s bottled at 80 Proof, 40% ALC/VOL but you’d never think that this vodka could be so smooth at this proof level.

The label reads something in Icelandic and we are also told that the vodka is a “Small Batch Vodka, Hand Crafted in Iceland.  In smaller writing it goes on to read Traditionally Distilled & Filtered through Ancient Artic Lava Rocks.  Lava rocks?  Ah, that would make sense.  Most of Iceland was formed from the eruption of volcanoes.  Pure water is filtered through layer upon layer of the finest filter known to distillers.  This makes the water from distillation sing with Terroir.  I’ve tasted Icelandic water at the Fancy Food Show and can attest to its softness across the palate.

Reyka is distilled from grain and they carefully prepare each batch to emulate the exuberance that the head distiller feels.  This is translated into each batch.

I don’t usually find myself drinking vodka.  It just doesn’t do it for me on a flavor profile, but I am impressed by Reyka Vodka.  It’s the anti-Vodka.  There is flavor in there as deep as the depths of the volcanoes in Iceland.  This vodka is the voyage to the center of the earth of Vodka.

Didn’t that take place in Iceland?

This week’s cocktail is derived from Voyage to the Center of the Earth.

In fact it is named just that.

I’ve included that masterfully prepared Fruitations Tangerine Soda and Cocktail Syrup to be combined with Reyka Vodka and a nice dose of Arkansas’s own Mountain Valley Spring (pure sparkling) water- because I think this combination of sweet to crisp is the perfect foil against this gorgeous Icelandic vodka.

Bitter Truth makes Creole Bitters that bring this very international cocktail back down to the Caribbean Sea through the luscious Creole Bitters.  Tinted the color red- of a late summer sunset.  These bitters complement the Reyka Vodka, the Mountain Valley sparkling water, the Fruitations Tangerine Syrup and your own favorite glass.

Journey to the Center of the Earth (a trip for two)
Ingredients:
2 oz. Reyka Vodka
1 oz. Fruitations Tangerine Soda and Cocktail Syrup
4 oz. Mountain Valley Sparkling Water
Lemon zest
Bitter Truth Creole Bitters

Preparation:
To a Boston Shaker, fill ¾ with ice
Chill two coupe glasses with ice and water
Pour out just before service…
Add the Reyka Vodka to the Fruitations Tangerine Syrup
Cover and Shake hard for 10-20 seconds
Strain into coupe glasses and top with the Mountain Valley Sparkling Water
Drip 4-5 drops of the Bitter Truth Creole Bitters over
Garnish with a lemon zest

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

About Warren Bobrow
Author of: Apothecary Cocktails-Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today- Fair Winds Press- Beverly, Massachusetts. Apothecary Cocktails was nominated for a Spirited Award, 2014 Tales of the Cocktail.  His forthcoming book, Whiskey Cocktails will be released October 14.  Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails follow with publication in spring ’15.  Warren is a master mixologist for several craft liquor companies.

Warren consults about mixology and spirits, travel, organic wine and food.  He’s written for web-blogs and magazines like: Williams-Sonoma, Whole Foods: Dark Rye, Distiller, Total Food Service Magazine, Beverage Media Group, DrinkupNY, Edible Publications, Foodista, Serious Eats, Mechanics of Style and Beekman1802.  He was in the Saveur-100 in 2010.

Warren is a former, mostly self, trained cook from the pot sink on up.  J&W and ACF were thrown in for good luck.  Warren was the former owner/co-founder of Olde Charleston Pasta in South Carolina: *Dissolved his business after Hurricane Hugo in 1989* – to a career in private banking, (nearly 20 years; “a very grand mistake”) to this reinvention in 2009 as the Warren he’s finally become.

Warren is available to do highly personalized, interactive mixology events, local, national and international.
Contact: jockeyhollow@gmail.com

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Apothecary Cocktails in French!!!

apothecary cocktails in French!

apothecary cocktails in French!

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drinkupny for monday, august 25, 2014

I’ve been a fan of Four Roses Bourbon for several decades now. It goes to show you when something hits your taste buds just right; you want to seek it out.
Go no further than DrinkupNY where they have the object of my desire. The Small Batch Bourbon from Four Roses is what I crave. It wasn’t always that way, though.
I thought the Yellow Label was the go/to for my mint juleps and that would be correct because for many years that was the only Four Roses Bourbon that was available!

Last September I saw it in Italy. This says something about the quality of the ingredients to me. It also said American Bourbon.
This is something that you cannot make anyplace but our country. There are times that you’re in a foreign land and you just crave something from home.
Four Roses Bourbon says that to me and it’s indispensable for this reason.
I’ve enjoyed mere sips of it and found myself transported to the place that says to me, sweet water that bubbles up from the ground.

The Small Batch is such a product.

Imagine for a moment that you have a craving for a Manhattan Cocktail. This is traditionally one of my favorites.
The tannic bourbon, enrobed in a splash or two of sweet vermouth, a cherry- often times made at home and a few hits of bitters to finish.
This is the drink that made me love Four Roses. It’s just so simple and easy to do. But please think outside the traditions for this take on the Manhattan.
You’ve gone to the fridge and there are no cherries steeping! But there are dried apricots in the panty and they call out to you, “soak me in Four Roses Bourbon!”

So you do. Opening the package, the sensual aromatics from the apricots fill the room.
You take about a cup of the dried marvels and add them to two cups of Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon. (Yes, you treat yourself nicely!)

Let them steep for a day or more. If you start them in the morning, they’ll certainly be ready by the evening.

The Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon will form the base for this take on the Manhattan.

It is perfectly geared to quality drinks like the Manhattan.
Your friends might not understand the sophistication and quality of Four Roses, but you can tell them by letting them taste your concoctions.

Suddenly, if by magic- you discovered that your bottle of Carpano Antica is empty! DrinkupNY can also help you in this regard.
May I suggest trying the new Bianco version of the classic? The Carpano Bianco Sweet Vermouth is every bit as sumptuous as the traditional red Carpano,
yet the color is perfectly clear, making your drinks just look slightly lighter.
And because Carpano goes gorgeously with Four Roses, you won’t have to skimp on a less expensive vermouth to get the very best flavors injected deeply into this drink.

Ok, so you have the Four Roses Small Batch- steeped apricots, the Small Batch Bourbon for the Manhattan, and the Carpano Antica Bianco.

What should go in next?

I’m just crazy for the Bitter Truth Spiced Chocolate Bitters and this time seems to be the perfect moment for this rich and densely dark,
bitter flavor that needs to be in your cocktail glass, even with just seltzer, it’s got all the stuffing that you demand.

Right now!

I mean, what is a Manhattan (even a twisted take on a Manhattan) without the bitters?

Well, I’ll leave that conversation to a more polite time, this drink needs to be made and more importantly, drunk. One after another would be perfect for me.

To make this drink you do need patience. The apricots cannot be hurried up. They need to soak up the precious liquor and make it part of themselves.

The glassware is important too. I suggest using a well-washed glass that belonged to your grandfather. He used it for years and you should too.
It’s one of those things that connect you to the venerable history of this cocktail.

Fill the glass with ice and water- let it sit to become frosty and cold. Pour out the ice and water just before using it.

In a cocktail mixing glass, fill 1/3 with ice

Add the Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey

Stir to chill 3-4 times (this is not a race!)

Add the Carpano Bianco

Stir another 3-4 times

Pour into your pre-chilled glass

Add the plump, Four Roses Small Batch infused apricot to the glass

Dot with the Spiced Chocolate Bitters from the Bitter Truth

Start another one, just like the other one..

Cheers! Wb

An Askew Manhattan

3 oz. Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon
1 oz. Carpano Antica Bianco Sweet Vermouth
2-3 dashes Bitter Truth Spiced Chocolate Bitters
1-2 Four Roses Small Batch Steeped Apricots

Prep:
Add the ingredients, except for the Bitters and the Apricots to a mixing glass filled 1/3 with ice

Stir until chilled (gently!)

Pour through a Hawthorne Strainer into a pre-chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a few marinated apricots and dot with the bitters….

Serve!

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Whiskey Cocktails out soon!

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October is the month when you can peruse my second book, Whiskey Cocktails.  This is really exciting for me to write a second book- much less a book at all!  I’m lucky to be able to follow my dreams, because dreams really do come true.

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Apothecary Cocktails!!!!, My first book!

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At the turn of the century, pharmacies in Europe and America prepared homemade tinctures, bitters, and herbal remedies mixed with alcohol for curative benefit for everything from poor digestion to the common cold. Today, trendy urban bars such as Apothke in New York, Apo Bar & Lounge in Philadelphia, and 1022 South in Tacoma, as well as “vintage” and “homegrown” cocktail aficionados, find inspiration in apothecary cocktails of old. Now you can too! Apothecary Cocktails features 75 traditional and newly created recipes for medicinally-themed cocktails. Learn the history of the top ten apothecary liqueurs, bitters, and tonics that are enjoying resurgence at trendy bars and restaurants, including Peychaud’s Bitters, Chartreuse, and Vermouth. Find out how healing herbs, flowers, and spices are being given center stage in cocktail recipes and traditional apothecary recipes and ingredients are being resurrected for taste and the faint promise of a cure. Once you’ve mastered the history, you can try your hand at reviving your favorites: restoratives, sedatives and toddys, digestifs, and more. Whether you’re interested in the history, the recipes, or both, you’ll love flipping through this beautifully presented book that delves into the world of apothecary cocktails.

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