Marijuana Mixology: 3 Classy Cannabis Cocktails from Warren Bobrow

Noted mixologist and marijuana enthusiast Warren Bobrow has combined his two passions into one fantastic book that’s sure to be a fixture on the shelves of hedonistic cannaphiles everywhere.Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics contains 75 recipes for all types of fantastic drinks subtly infused with THC. Beyond his classy options for inebriation, Bobrow shares considerable knowledge on the origins of healing tonics and how alcohol-based cannabis tinctures were once a vital ingredient in the apothecarist’s pantry.

Chapters include basic instruction on infusing alcohol, preparing tonics, shrubs and tinctures, and then using these base ingredients to infuse afternoon liveners, after dinner drinks, warming beverages to chase away the chill and cooling beverages to soothe the brow. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to infuse cannabis into absinthe, make marijuana simple syrup or add THC to a cocktail cherry, look no further than this indispensable volume.

Creating a diverse supply of cannabis-infused milks, tinctures, oils, syrups and shrubs allows a mixologist to add a new dimension to craft cocktails, which Bobrow describes as “an alternative means for dispensing the medicine that’s incredibly intriguing.” In-depth instructions on infusing cannabis into various types of liquors emphasize safety in preparation and while imbibing. Plenty of mocktail recipes for different types of THC-infused drinks offer opportunities for those seeking an alternative method of inebriation to completely substitute cannabis for alcohol.

“Less is more,” Bobrow cautions, relating tales of his own overwhelming experiences that led him to cut back the levels of alcohol in this collection of drink recipes, aimed at finding a harmonious balance between bud and booze. Bobrow’s foolproof tip for a come-down cocktail involves a “glass of freshly squeezed lemon juice and chewing three peppercorns,” which helped him feel much better after an enhanced evening at Disneyland went way too far up “Space Mountain.”


Some cannabis cocktails use a tincture to deliver the right THC dose.

An authority on cocktail history, legend and lore, Bobrow explained, “as I started experimenting with bitters, I realized you can add balance and depth to a craft cocktail and have it be healing at the same time.” Aromatic bitters were traditionally used to treat an upset stomach, and their curative qualities pair well with cannabis.

A “shrub” is a fruit-infused syrup made by combining fresh berries or preserves with some type of vinegar and sugar to preserve seasonal flavors and incorporate them into cocktails. Bobrow’s Quick Strawberry-Balsamic Cannabis Shrub steeps ground, activated cannabis with strawberry preserves and white balsamic vinegar to create a sweet sensi syrup for use in drinks like Dr. Bamford’s Mystery Mocktail, a concoction of shrub, seltzer, bitters and mint described as a “sophisticated and refreshing warm weather apertif.”

Cannabis-infused milks find their way into a variety of coffee drinks, while a THC-infused maple syrup adds psychedelic sweetness to a Maple Syrup Sazerac, and cannacoconut oil adds a sweet sensi note to Bobrow’s version of a mimosa, dubbed “If It Keeps on Rainin’, Levee’s Goin’ To Break.”

Each drink is elegant, idiosyncratic and full of subtle nuances, with every consideration taken into account, such as the size, shape and flavor of the ice cubes, as well as the shape of the glass holding your tasty beverage. Marijuana mixology is indeed an elevated art form, one that comes with ice made of coconut water, smoked ice cubes, spritzes of THC-infused absinthe and cannabis-infused cask-aged blended Scotch whiskey topped with a greenish cocktail cherry, garnished with a pot leaf.

Welcome to connoisseurship on a whole new level.

The marijuana mixologist favors not only handmade craft liquors from small producers using organic ingredients, but also the finest cannabis flowers.

“You don’t want to use schwag weed to make your infusions,” Bobrow explained. “You want to use the very best things you have at your disposal.”

Preferring skunky, citrusy OG Kush, Blue Dream and Pineapple Kush, Bobrow says that beer hops and cannabis are so closely related that “there’s no reason why you can’t use them interchangeably.”

A dedicated cannabis enthusiast and hardcore Deadhead, Bobrow isn’t worried about damaging his reputation in the mainstream mixology world. To the contrary, he’s excited to be able to embrace his passion and finally do what he truly loves.

“I’d much rather sit and smoke a little grass than drink any day,” Bobrow said. “When you do what you love, you won’t work a day in your life.”

When you get home from a day of hard work (or not), reward yourself with the exquisite experience of a perfectly crafted cocktail enhanced with just the right amount of cannabis. Bobrow recommends pacing yourself and drinking no more than one cocktail per hour, since the point is to balance the cannabis and alcohol, not to go overboard.

Dramatis Personae

The Dramatis Personae is my cocktail whisperer’s riff on the Vieux Carré, the classic New Orleans cocktail. My version calls for belly-friendly Creole bitters and uses calvados, or apple brandy, in place of cognac. Sound like an unusual cast of characters? It gets better. Enter a spritz of infused absinthe, stage right. Finish the Dramatis Personae by pouring a little infused absinthe into an atomizer or spray bottle and topping the drink with just a whiff of the medicated spirit. When you’re infusing your absinthe, try an Indica strain like Mr. Nice. It’s earthy and sweet, with pungent aromatics that enhance the aniseed and herbal notes in the absinthe.—Warren Bobrow

Ingredients:
Marijuana smoke, to flavor the mixing glass
1/2 ounce (15 ml) rye whiskey
1/2 ounce (15 ml) sweet vermouth
1/4 ounce calvados
3-4 shakes Creole-style bitters
2-3 shakes aromatic bitters
Spritz of infused absinthe
Ice

Before you fill your mixing glass with ice, turn it upside down and burn some cannabis under it in order to fill it with smoke. Turn it right side up, and immediately fill it three-quarters full with ice. (Now you’ve made smoked ice!) Add all the other ingredients except the absinthe and stir 50 times. Strain into a pre-chilled glass, and finish with a spritz of infused absinthe.

The Mezzrole Cocktail

I’m a huge fan of Manhattan-style cocktails; they make great aperitifs. This one is named after Milton “Mezz” Mezzrow, a jazz musician who lived in Harlem in the 1920s. And, as Mezz himself would have known, the term for a well-rolled cannabis cigarette was a “mezzrole”—so I just had to commemorate both man and medicine in this elegant cocktail. It combines cannabis-infused sweet vermouth, handmade cocktail cherries and quality bourbon into a small, but well-formed, libation that’s deeply healing. When you’re infusing your vermouth, consider choosing a Sativa-Indica hybrid strain called Cherry Pie. It’s redolent of sweet and sour cherries, and it complements the toasty, oaky flavors inherent in the liquors. As for making crushed ice, it’s best to place the ice in a Lewis bag—a heavy canvas bag that’s made for the job—before whacking it with a wooden mallet or rolling pin.—Warren Bobrow

Ingredients:
4-6 Greenish Cocktail Cherries (see book for recipe)
1/2 ounce (15 ml) cannabis-infused vermouth, such as Uncouth Vermouth’s Seasonal Wildflower Blend
Handful of crushed ice
1 ounce (30 ml) bourbon whiskey
Aromatic bitters

Muddle the Greenish Cocktail Cherries with a wooden muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon, then top with the vermouth. Continue to muddle for 30 seconds to combine the flavors. Cover with the crushed ice. Top with the bourbon, then dot with aromatic bitters. Don’t have two: one should be more than enough.

A Bloody Good Remedy

Have you ever had a Bloody Caesar? It’s the Canadian take on the classic American brunch time eye-opener, the Bloody Mary, and it contains one unusual ingredient: clam broth. (If you’ve ever had Manhattan clam chowder, you get the idea.) And it’s startlingly delicious. The best part of A Bloody Good Remedy, though, is that it’s alcohol-free, so you won’t have to deal with a banging head on Monday morning. It’s lightly medicated, too: you simply prepare your tomato-clam mixer, toss it over ice, and then add a few drops of your favorite cannabis tincture. Try one that you’ve infused with Blue OG. Its blue-fruit notes and crushed-woodchip scent are a lovely, if unexpected, partnership with the saline flavors of the clam broth and the spicy tomato base. Oh, and go nuts when it comes to garnishes, the weirder and wackier, the better.—Warren Bobrow

Ingredients:
6 ounces (180 ml) store-bought tomato-clam mixer, chilled (or, your favorite Bloody Mary mix combined with 1 ounce clam broth)
No more than 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of your favorite cannabis tincture
Assorted garnishes, such as olives, cherry tomatoes, celery sticks, lemon wedges, fresh chiles, an entire smoked herring or even fried chicken pieces

Fill a glass with ice. Add the mixer, followed by the tincture, and stir gently to combine. Strain mixture into glasses. Garnish as much and as creatively as you like!

(Photos Courtesy of Fair Winds Press, an imprint of Quarto Publishing)

One Strong Drink With ‘Cannabis Cocktails’ Author Warren Bobrow!

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One Strong Drink With ‘Cannabis Cocktails’ Author Warren Bobrow

TheMezzroleCocktail

The Mezzrole, a Manhattan-style cocktail made with cannabis-infused vermouth, is one of 75 recipes contained in Warren Bobrow’s new book Cannabis Cocktails. (Photo: Glenn Scott Photography)

“What’s in the bottle is not what’s on the label,” says Warren Bobrow, handing me a small apothecary jar of amber-colored fluid. Inside is a top-shelf rum, he says, infused with high-grade marijuana — specifically, a strong indica-dominant hybrid known as Granddaddy Purple. Yet, despite containing such a notoriously aromatic additive, the liquor does not reek of dank weed. There is, however, a noticeable difference in taste: a pleasantly herbal, almost minty, flavor on the tongue.“Isn’t that delicious?” he says.

Bobrow, 55, is the author of several cocktail books, including the highly regarded Apothecary Cocktails. His latest is titled Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails and Tonics: The Art of Spirited Drinks and Buzz-Worthy Libations. It’s the first of its kind — a collection of 75 recipes devoted exclusively to marijuanaspiked drinks. And to hear him tell it, the effort brings together two disparate cultural groups.

9781592337347_Cover_PrintSmall-p1aln6408a1gpomdcenjqg11g4s“You have the drinking people who look down on pot, and you have the pot people that look down on drinking,” says Bobrow. “What I wanted to do was get them both to play nicely in the sandbox, and they actually do. And the real fun of it is, not any one thing becomes overpowering. I’m all about balance in my cocktails. They have depth of flavor, they have character.”

We’re sitting outside in the courtyard at Roberta’s, the wildly popular restaurant in the artsy Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick. Bobrow has just finished up an on-air appearance for Heritage Radio inside the restaurant’s tiny in-house studio. But the setting is more than merely convenient, it’s apropos. Roberta’s famously hosted a “three-course, two-cocktail weed-heavy tasting menu” chronicled by GQ in 2012. “I really should fire one up just out of basic pretense,” says Bobrow. But we refrain, at least until leaving the premises.

Though America is becoming more tolerant toward marijuana use, with laws in many places changing to reflect that, the issue is much trickier with regards to licensed establishments like bars and restaurants. Bobrow notes that the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau considers it illegal to infuse alcohol with cannabis, which makes the subject a nonstarter in a commercial setting like this.

WarrenBobrow

Author Warren Bobrow

“You should not do this in any bar,” says Bobrow. “If you do it in a bar, you’re taking a great risk to the liquor license that belongs to someone else. Do it at home. Hang out with people who have cancer, who need medicine. Make them a cannabis cocktail and see the healing that it offers and the pleasure that it offers to someone who’s really sick. That’s why I wrote the book — not for the college student who wants to get his fraternity as blasted as they possibly can on spiced rum punch mixed with cannabis tincture. I know they’re going to do it. This book tells everything. But that’s not the intent.”

Any halfwit can dump a bag of dope into a bottle of hooch and create a very potent potable if he waits long enough. Bobrow’s handsome how-to manual instructs you on ways to treat cannabis like a true cocktail craftsman regards any other valuable ingredient. “I love getting stoned, like anyone else, but I don’t want to drink something that looks and tastes like mold,” he says.

The book suggests ways to infuse cannabis into everything from absinthe and condensed milk to maple syrup and cocktail cherries. It even offers tasting profiles of several popular marijuana strains and recommendations on which strains pair best with which spirits.

Like many culinary-cannabis enthusiasts, Bobrow is a stickler for decarboxylation, a technique to essentially pre-cook the cannabis in order to properly activate its psychoactive and otherwise therapeutic chemicals. The book details two methods to this end: the very fragrant approach of using a basic oven and a less odorous sous-vide option of boiling the stuff in a bag. One trick not mentioned in the book: Bobrow says you can even use a microwave. All you need is a microwave-safe container and an oven bag.

The book also explains how to use lecithin powder, a common supplement found at most health-food stores, for an additional boost in any cannabis-enhanced concoction. “Lecithin is an emulsifier,” Bobrow explains. “It’s also brain food. It’s what your brain is built on.” One tablespoon of lecithin per cup in an infusion “supercharges” the cannabis, according to Bobrow. “It goes from 0 to 60 to 0 to 1,000,” he says.

That said, responsible use is a big emphasis of the book, which repeatedly warns against over consumption and driving under the influence, as well as avoiding the infamously disabling stoner condition known as “couch-lock.”

“I want to see this as a source of healing for everyone,” says Bobrow. “I don’t want to see it just for people who are really, really sick. I want to see everyone find relaxation and comfort in it, and to know that they don’t have to drink 10 drinks to have a good time. They can have one cannabis cocktail and be totally satisfied.”

BLACKOUT! A NIGHT OF MEMOIRS!

  • Wednesday, June 22, 2016     to

  • 136 Magnolia Avenue (behind Journal Square PATH station), Jersey City,NJ (map)

  • Please join Jersey City Writers and Art House Productions for our next literary reading — BLACKOUT! A NIGHT OF MEMOIRS.

    A few weeks ago, JCW sought nonfiction with an intoxicating twist, including tales of terrible tequila, regrettable rum and wicked wine.

    The judges reviewed the pieces anonymously and following pieces will be read at Blackout:

    – The Way the Story Ends by Allison Goldstein
    – The Nightly News by Mark Sullivan
    – Things I Don’t Remember by S. Nick Stone
    – Last Ride by S. Nick Stone
    – I Hear It Told by Ryan Michael
    – Everything I Need To Know About Life I Learned in Bars by David Krell
    – A Pretty Good Axe To Me by Paul M Bauer
    – Anisette by Mercedes Perez Kobrin

    Jersey City Writers is also feature guest author Warren Bobrow. Warren is the creator of the popular blog cocktailwhisperer.com and the author of Apothecary Cocktails, Whiskey Cocktails and Bitters & Shrub Syrup Cocktails.

    Lillian Bustle will also hosts Blackout.  Lillian is a burlesque performer, singer, MC, and public speaker/gleeful loudmouth about body love!

    As always, JCW will have t-shirts and member books for sale.

    $10/per person cash at the door.

    http://www.meetup.com/The-Jersey-City-Writers-Meetup-Group/events/231540616/

‘Cannabis Cocktails’ the focus of Morristown mixologist’s book

Thai-Spiced Ginger beer
Recipe for Thai-Spiced Ginger beer from Mixologist, chef, and writer known as the Cocktail Whisperer, Warren Bobrow, author of Cannabis Cocktails in his Morristown home. June 6, 2016, Morristown, NJ (Photo: Bob Karp/Staff Photographer)

, @MIzzoDR

MORRISTOWN – A Morris County author just released his fourth cocktail book, but this time he’s substituted the bitters for something a little different.

Morristown “Cocktail Whisperer” Warren Bobrow’s “Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonics: The Art of Spirited Drinks and Buzz-Worthy Libations” debuted earlier this month, and is a guide to adding marijuana to mixed drinks.

Bobrow, 55, said he was partially inspired to create the book by a family background in the pharmaceutical industry.

“My grandfather made a well-known brand of ‘snake oil’ that was in every medicine chest in America,” Bobrow said. “It did nothing, but it made him a wealthy man.”

Bobrow said that history also inspired his first book “Apothecary Cocktails: Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today.”

Bobrow, who grew up in Morris Township and went to Morristown-Beard, said he was raised with an emphasis on natural healing. Which is why he enjoys creating cocktails he says have natural healing methods, something he said marijuana can add to a drink.

636008283708586057-060616Bobrow-051
9 ‘Cannabis Cocktails’ the focus of Morristown mixologist’s book Michael Izzo, @MIzzoDR 12:10 a.m. EDT June 12, 2016 636008283682065717-060616Bobrow-078.jpgBuy Photo (Photo: Bob Karp/Staff Photographer) MORRISTOWN – A Morris County author just released his fourth cocktail book, but this time he’s substituted the bitters for something a little different. Morristown “Cocktail Whisperer” Warren Bobrow’s “Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonics: The Art of Spirited Drinks and Buzz-Worthy Libations” debuted earlier this month, and is a guide to adding marijuana to mixed drinks. Bobrow, 55, said he was partially inspired to create the book by a family background in the pharmaceutical industry. “My grandfather made a well-known brand of ‘snake oil’ that was in every medicine chest in America,” Bobrow said. “It did nothing, but it made him a wealthy man.” Bobrow said that history also inspired his first book “Apothecary Cocktails: Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today.” Bobrow, who grew up in Morris Township and went to Morristown-Beard, said he was raised with an emphasis on natural healing. Which is why he enjoys creating cocktails he says have natural healing methods, something he said marijuana can add to a drink. “Cannabis is vilified but can be used as healing,” Bobrow said. “Cannabis may well be the only ingredient that actually did anything (years ago).” Bobrow said he always planned to write a marijuana-themed cocktail book, as it mixes two things he knows well. A chef with a background in wine and history with marijuana, Bobrow said he has a palate for flavor that makes him the right person to pen this book. “I’ve used pot since I was 13 years old. And I don’t like to drink traditionally, though I work with liquor,” Bobrow said. “Cannabis for me is easier to control. It treats me nicely, plays very nicely. And it also plays well with alcohol.” Bobrow wrote “Cannabis Cocktails” in about three weeks, taking another month to develop the 75 different cocktail recipes. While the book may create some controversy for its subject matter, Bobrow said edibles like “pot brownies and candies” are much more dangerous than adult cocktails, as they appeal to a younger audience. “Adult cocktails are serious. It sends a different message,” Bobrow said. “This is not a book for someone looking to get high quick.” Bobrow stressed that all of his research and experimenting for the book was done in U.S. locations where marijuana use was permitted. “I didn’t do any of this in New Jersey. I do not have a cannabis card, so I don’t touch anything in New Jersey. I wouldn’t dare,” Bobrow said. “New Jersey is slow to the party, things haven’t changed a lot since the 1700s. As far as cannabis is concerned this is a very conservative area and that’s not changing.” For anyone planning to utilize the book in New Jersey, Bobrow stressed to get a medicinal marijuana card and go through the proper channels. “This is a very specific book. In New Jersey to use it legally you have to be part of the medical cannabis community,” he said. “I know it’s illegal (in New Jersey) and (readers) know it’s illegal. But of course I can’t control what people do with it.” Still, he hopes readers take his work seriously. “I didn’t make the book to be a stoner book,” Bobrow said. “These are legitimate cocktails that happen to have cannabis as an ingredient. I stress in the book not to take more than one (drink) per hour.” Two recipes he singled out from his collection were the Thai-Spiced Ginger Beer, made with an ounce of medicated simple honey syrup, and the Mezzrole Cocktail, a bourbon drink that uses half an ounce of cannabis-infused vermouth. The recipes are all his own, and while the cocktails work with all variations of marijuana, specific strains are recommended for each. For the Thai-Spiced Ginger beer, he selected the strain “Tangle,” while he believes the Mezzrole works best with a “Sativa-Indica” hybrid. Bobrow said the book was thoroughly vetted by the legal team of his publisher, Fair Winds Press, before launching June 1. “A book like this hasn’t been published before,” Bobrow said, adding it’s already been translated to French and Dutch. “I know it’s going to do well, it’s just a matter of how and where.” Bobrow said he is working on a fifth cocktail book, which he said will be a compendium of his previous works. Go to http://cocktailwhisperer.com/ to learn more about Bobrow, “Cannabis Cocktails,” and his other books, which are available for purchase online through major booksellers including Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Staff Writer Michael Izzo: 973-428-6636; mizzo@GannettNJ.com Recipe for Thai-Spiced Ginger beer from Mixologist,Buy Photo Recipe for Thai-Spiced Ginger beer from Mixologist, chef, and writer known as the Cocktail Whisperer, Warren Bobrow, author of Cannabis Cocktails in his Morristown home. June 6, 2016, Morristown, NJ (Photo: Bob Karp/Staff Photographer) Mixologist, chef, and writer known as the CocktailBuy Photo Mixologist, chef, and writer known as the Cocktail Whisperer, Warren Bobrow, author of Cannabis Cocktails in his Morristown home. June 6, 2016, Morristown, NJ (Photo: Bob Karp/Staff Photographer) Mixologist, chef, and writer known as the CocktailBuy Photo Mixologist, chef, and writer known as the Cocktail Whisperer, Warren Bobrow, author of Cannabis Cocktails in his Morristown home. June 6, 2016, Morristown, NJ (Photo: Bob Karp/Staff Photographer)

“Cannabis is vilified but can be used as healing,” Bobrow said. “Cannabis may well be the only ingredient that actually did anything (years ago).”

Bobrow said he always planned to write a marijuana-themed cocktail book, as it mixes two things he knows well. A chef with a background in wine and history with marijuana, Bobrow said he has a palate for flavor that makes him the right person to pen this book.

“I’ve used pot since I was 13 years old. And I don’t like to drink traditionally, though I work with liquor,” Bobrow said. “Cannabis for me is easier to control. It treats me nicely, plays very nicely. And it also plays well with alcohol.”

Bobrow wrote “Cannabis Cocktails” in about three weeks, taking another month to develop the 75 different cocktail recipes.

While the book may create some controversy for its subject matter, Bobrow said edibles like “pot brownies and candies” are much more dangerous than adult cocktails, as they appeal to a younger audience.

“Adult cocktails are serious. It sends a different message,” Bobrow said. “This is not a book for someone looking to get high quick.”

Bobrow stressed that all of his research and experimenting for the book was done in U.S. locations where marijuana use was permitted.

“I didn’t do any of this in New Jersey. I do not have a cannabis card, so I don’t touch anything in New Jersey. I wouldn’t dare,” Bobrow said. “New Jersey is slow to the party, things haven’t changed a lot since the 1700s. As far as cannabis is concerned this is a very conservative area and that’s not changing.”

For anyone planning to utilize the book in New Jersey, Bobrow stressed to get a medicinal marijuana card and go through the proper channels.

“This is a very specific book. In New Jersey to use it legally you have to be part of the medical cannabis community,” he said. “I know it’s illegal (in New Jersey) and (readers) know it’s illegal. But of course I can’t control what people do with it.”

Still, he hopes readers take his work seriously.

“I didn’t make the book to be a stoner book,” Bobrow said. “These are legitimate cocktails that happen to have cannabis as an ingredient. I stress in the book not to take more than one (drink) per hour.”

Two recipes he singled out from his collection were the Thai-Spiced Ginger Beer, made with an ounce of medicated simple honey syrup, and the Mezzrole Cocktail, a bourbon drink that uses half an ounce of cannabis-infused vermouth.

The recipes are all his own, and while the cocktails work with all variations of marijuana, specific strains are recommended for each. For the Thai-Spiced Ginger beer, he selected the strain “Tangle,” while he believes the Mezzrole works best with a “Sativa-Indica” hybrid.

Bobrow said the book was thoroughly vetted by the legal team of his publisher, Fair Winds Press, before launching June 1.

“A book like this hasn’t been published before,” Bobrow said, adding it’s already been translated to French and Dutch. “I know it’s going to do well, it’s just a matter of how and where.”

Bobrow said he is working on a fifth cocktail book, which he said will be a compendium of his previous works.

Go to http://cocktailwhisperer.com/ to learn more about Bobrow, “Cannabis Cocktails,” and his other books, which are available for purchase online through major booksellers including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Daily Record Article

 

Mamont Vodka Debuts At Two Of The Hippest Spots In The Hamptons!!

Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer in the U.S. and for New Yorkers that means heading East to escape the city heat and enjoy the historic seaside towns and swanky social scene.  I was ecstatic to go to the Hamptons for the first time this season to partake in the festivities.  One of the weekend’s most coveted events was the AVENUE on the Beach magazine kickoff party where Mamont Vodka made its debut at the hottest new restaurant KOZU, a restaurant by day and nightclub beach house by night.

Guests nibbled on flavorful ceviche and sushi rolls from KOZU’s Japanese/Peruvian menu while mingling to the eclectic tunes on the outdoor patio.  To beat the heat, mixologist Warren Bobrow was busy concocting Siberian Surf specialty cocktails that included Mamont Vodka, Fruitations Grapefruit Syrup, and Pechaud’s Bitters.  I loved the drink’s refreshing aroma and others couldn’t get enough of the Siberian vodka either as they lined up to experience the smooth flavor and admired the massive ice sculpture on display.

FullSizeRender-6

Ceviche at Kozu
Ceviche at Kuzu

Also on hand at the event was Blushington, the professional makeup application service, which was offering attendees fresh makeup touchups to ensure they looked picture perfect for the occasion.

After the bash at Kozu, I headed to the northern tip of Long Island in Montauk where trendsetters gathered to celebrate the holiday weekend at another hotspot, The Surf Lodge where New York City nightclub Goldbar had its pop up bar located. The venue was jam packed with gorgeous models in boho chic fringy dresses and sky-high wedges, while the men had button down shirts and shorts reminiscent of Polo ads.

To create even more of a summer atmosphere, beach scenes were projected on a large indoor screen of one of my favorite childhood comedy films, Back to the Beach with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. Outdoors, patrons took in the views of the coastline and enjoyed the evening while sipping on Mamont Vodka’s Siberian Surf cocktails, one of the sole sponsors of the event.

The collaboration between the vodka and the venue will continue throughout the summer during key holiday weekends, including 4th of July and Labor Day.

SurfLodge
Siberian Surf Signature Cocktail

 

 

Tips for Substituting Ingredients Behind the Bar

https://talesofthecocktail.com/techniques/tips-substituting-ingredients-behind-bar

Bottles on a shelf.
Photo via iStock/Lisa-Blue.
When you reach for a bottle to find that it’s empty, it’s important to be ready to improvise.

Whether it’s fruit that’s out of season, that bottle of super rare aperitif that you’re dying to mix up, or you’ve simply run out of one of your bar staples in the middle of a rush, it’s important to have effective substitutions ready to take center stage.

Below you’ll find some handy suggestions on substitutions that could easily bail you out the next time you’re in a pinch.

1. Substitute fresh juices

Warren Bobrow, author of “Apothecary Cocktails, Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails, Whiskey Cocktails,” and “Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonics” relies on Fruitations Craft Soda and Cocktail Mixers when you need a quick — but still flavorful — stand in for fresh fruit juices.

Fruitations is currently available in three varieties — cranberry, grapefruit, and tangerine.

“It’s brilliant stuff,” Bobrow said.

2. Make your own liqueurs

Sometimes it’s harder than it should be to get your hands on a specific liqueur. Sometimes, it’s just cheaper to make them yourself.

Mike McSorley, Head Distiller and Brand Ambassador at Island Distillers, has a handful of quick fixes when behind the bar.

Cointreau substitute

  • 750 ml 100 proof vodka
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • Steep for 24 hours
  • 187 ml rich simple syrup

St. Germain substitute

  • D’arbo elderflower syrup
  • 100 proof vodka
  • Small pinch citric acid

3. When you need to MacGyver it

Sometimes it’s simply a matter of being put in a tough spot in the middle of a rushed service.

Izzy Ramos Foster, owner of Mixotica Cocktail Design, has had to make a handful of fast decisions in her time.

“For a Sidecar, using Tuaca and/or Licor 43 as a substitute when your orange liqueur unexpectedly runs out has worked every time,” Foster said. “Sometimes it works in a Margarita, depending the tequila. I’ve never had a complaint!”

Other off-the-cuff substitutions have been a bit more unique.

“I’ve also had to resort to using crushed Altoid breath mint powder (diluted in a bit water and strained) a couple of times when a sudden Mojito craze hit, fresh mint ran very low, but the cocktails needed to go out stat,” she said. “It’s not my proudest ‘professional bartending’ moments but it worked and the party went on!

4. All in the family

When it comes to replacing ingredients, remember that like replaces like.

For example, if you’re short on Cynar, you could easily swap out with a similar potable bitters like Campari (although it’s much fruitier than Cynar), Fernet Branca or Punt è Mes — a dark, bitter Italian vermouth produced by Carpano.

Consider the balance of your drink and its key features, and you can even create some unique cocktails by switching out key ingredients. For example, if you’re short on vodka when dying for a Moscow Mule but happen to have a silver rum in the house, replacing the vodka with rum leads to the heavier, richer Jamaican Mule.

5. Knowledge is your best substitute

Finally, have a working knowledge of how flavors relate to each other — and an even better understanding of what you actually have access to behind your own individual bar.

“Knowledge is key here,” said Matthew Biancaniello, owner of Eat Your Drink, LLC.

Specifically, while behind the bar one night Biancaniello noticed he had suddenly run out of fresh lime juice. What he did have, however, was fresh passion fruit juice.

“Instead of 2 ounces of lime juice, I did 3/4 ounce of passion fruit juice,” he said. “The passion fruit became the citrus in place of the lime juice. By reducing the amount I was able to keep the citrus there without making it painfully obvious that I wasn’t using the usual ingredient.”

The key to quick substitutions behind the bar is a deep knowledge and appreciation of similar flavors, a willingness to play around with different ingredients, and the ability to think on your feet.

Substitution quick tips:

Substitute liquors and liqueurs from the same family. In a pinch, rye can stand in for bourbon.

Take the time to play around with different flavors before you really need to punt. Having a knowledge of parallel flavors will keep your flavors relatively consistent.

Don’t be afraid to play around with different flavor combinations to create something new (so long as your patron knows that you’re being creative).

Musing on Mamont

I never fully got it about Mamont until I drank it in Moscow. It was there, in the Ministry of Science that I felt the deep inner meaning of Vodka. And I knew at that moment this was one of the worlds best. And I had to share it. 1/2 oz at a time.

Mamont Vodka
Mamont Vodka; Photo by Warren Bobrow.

Product Review: Source Vapes

Product Review:  Source Vapes…

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As Twitter is the arbiter of “leveling the playing field” I bring attention to the plethora of smoking mechanicals that litter the marketplace.  With all due reverence to the companies that make high end products, there are many others that are not up to snuff.  I will not be reviewing those.  Just like when I offer liquor reviews, if your product sucks, I’m not going to write about it. Benign Neglect is what this is called.

So you make what I consider the top in your class?  Well then- not to worry.  I want to say nice things about your craft.  If your product is easy to use- all the better- and if it makes my life easier- well, this is a small victory in life.  Because not everything is easy.  Far from!

I received a lovely little metal box in the mail from Source Vapes.  Not knowing what to expect, and with full disclosure- I use cannabis daily by smoking it (the old fashioned way…) – so my experience level is quite advanced from nearly 40 years of smoking pleasure… Yet I had never used a Source Vape product before.  I had no idea what all the parts did, and with that said, I headed over to their website and I was still quite confused.  What goes into the Source Vape?  Dry herbs?  (NO!!!) Something else? (YES!!!!!!)  but what is that something else.  Evidently you cannot say what goes into it.  Is there a law prohibiting this disclosure?  I doubt it.  But here in my state where I know no one who uses such a contraption, well I had no clue what to do, nor how to do it!

Not that this is bad.  I just didn’t have a good teacher to walk me through the process.

Suggestion to Source Vapes- I’m visually oriented and a good YouTube instructional goes a long way for me.  Show me what goes in it.  How much to use.  What those temperatures mean for each product.  What goes in it?  How do you get that icky water out of that bong looking thing?  And what is that glass globe?  What does that do?

Argh… I guess at 55 I’m just old-school and I have no use for electronics or dare I say, concentrates.  My skill is rolling a joint with one hand like my stepbrother Drew taught me about forty years plus ago.  Electronics?  Nice for the millennials who have no patience.

Ok… With that said, the Source Vape, when I finally figured out myself, what went where and when is a well-built contraption.  I imagine that those in the healing cannabis world will find it very ingenious… no burning flame is even necessary! But I am a bit concerned about the high heat settings.  There really is no explanation for this.  Practice is not good enough when you have limited supplies and less patience.

The globe?  Fragile.  Strange design (for me) I’m not comfortable with it- the globe gives an amazing hit- but it may be too strong for me.  Maybe the temp is too high?  No idea and no one to ask.  Sure they have customer service, but I could not determine anything from the conversation and I got frustrated immediately.

The bubbler?  Very fragile.  Glass is not metal, it’s pretty enough, but without good instructions- well- you know that story already.  Fill the tube with some water.  Add your concentrate (which one? I have no clue…) and hit the button five times… (why five times?  Never explained fully…. Why not just once or twice?  But FIVE TIMES?)

Ok.. so I did that.  The hit was pretty flavorless.  Lots of vapor, but no real taste.

Am I doing something wrong?

Am I using the wrong type of concentrate?

Why can’t I figure this out?

(no one to ask is a good start)

Not a bad product.  Seems to be in the mid-range on price (about $150)

Would I recommend it?  Probably yes- I’d say the operation is quite advanced.

For me, it’s way beyond my comprehension…

I’ll pass until I figure out how to use it better.

Because I cannot easily find what goes in it… What goes in it?   (again. no idea because this is not explained at all and I know there are so many different types of concentrates on the market)

From a visual standpoint, the machine is lovely.  Looks like the key to a very expensive automobile.  But I’d never leave the house with it.  Way too difficult to fill in any wind.

The Source Vape is not easy to clean.  Bits of my (limited supplies) …of…concentrate fell out of the ‘bowl’ and were impossible to get out because the space between the ‘bowl’ and the glass is very tight- and that ‘bowl’ gets extremely hot… (read: burnt fingers)

Better instructions for those of us who are old and infirmed. (far from, but you get the gist)

My advice?

Buy one.  You already know what to do with it.  Carry on.  It’s probably the best one of its type on the market, I couldn’t figure it out easily- but that’s just me.

Author/Barman/Spirits instructor: Warren Bobrow: jockeyhollow@gmail.com