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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.
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..
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
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….
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.
Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today
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.
Rediscovered Classics and Contemporary Craft Drinks Using the World’s Most Popular Spirit
Grab your bow tie and a rocks glass, because we’re talking all about one of the most classic – and classy – spirits. Whether you like bourbon, scotch or rye, whiskey’s diverse and complex taste will be your new go-to drink for parties, gatherings, or evenings in your study with a roaring fire. Whiskey can be an intimidating drink to the uninitiated. Most folks may not be able to drink it straight. We’ve got you covered. The Cocktail Whisperer, Warren Bobrow, author of Apothecary Cocktails (Fair Winds Press) incorporates some of the best whiskeys into hand-crafted cocktails that bring out the subtle notes and flavors of any good bourbon or scotch. Whiskey Cocktails features 75 traditional, newly-created, and original recipes for whiskey-based cocktails. This wonderfully crafted book also features drink recipes from noted whiskey experts and bartenders.
The Negroni.. As Illustrated…
From Cocktail Whisperer on Dec 31, 2013
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Friday, May 17, 2013
By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer
I love the drink named the Negroni. It’s bright, refreshing and quenches the thirst, unlike many cocktails. It never leaves me feeling drab, nor does it take away my appetite like some other cocktails do when sipped before a meal.
In my upcoming book, Apothecary Cocktails, Restoratives from Yesterday and Today, I discuss the correlation of the digestive tract and healing, by using liquors mixed with fresh herbs. If only the pharmacists from years back had known about the Negroni as a healing curative! Well, in a way they did.
The Negroni was invented back in 1919 in Florence, Italy – purposively built to heal what ails you. Orson Wells famously said in 1947 that, “The bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other.” I don’t know about you, but I think gin is good for you. Perhaps Mr. Wells had it altogether incorrect. The entire drink is good for you. Gin, after all, was used during the Middle Ages as a curative for the Black Plague. And Vermouth has long been held as a curative for many internal battles surrounding the digestive glands.
The history of the Negroni involves a base spirit, like gin, plus bitters and vermouth. I enjoy my Negroni Cocktail with the powerfully intoxicating Caorunn Gin from Scotland. Distilled with a healthy smack of the juniper berry and woven into a backdrop of citrus with a hefty punch of alcohol, the Caorunn Gin just tempts me to have another. Combined with the syrupy and complex Carpano Antica Vermouth and the historically correct Campari Bitters from Italy, the Negroni speaks very clearly of getting buzzed with the minimum of effort. I just sipped my Negroni down and absolutely feel no pain. And why would I, with the application of my finger to stir this magnificent cocktail?
My friend Gary Regan stirs his with his finger so why shouldn’t I?
Well the reasons are numerous why you should not stir your cocktail with your finger. Cleanliness has something to do with this. But I suppose if you dipped your finger in your tri-sink filled with disinfectants and cleansers, you’d really have nothing to worry about as long as you were in your own home. I always use a cocktail spoon when working behind the bar so not to upset my customers! The drink shown was mixed with my own finger… far away from any paying customers!
The best Negroni is also the simplest one to make. I do only a couple of things differently:
1. Wash glass out inside and out with cool water.
2. Dry carefully with a soft towel.
3. Pack with ice and water.
4. Carefully measure out your ingredients, pour out the bar ice and water.
I also use a couple large hand-cut cubes of ice from the Williams Sonoma silicone ice cube tray. But most importantly, I filter my water first with ice made from from my Mavea “Inspired Water” filter. With this magical device, my ice nearly freezes crystal clear. A far cry from the ice that comes out of the ice machine in the fridge.
• 1 oz. Campari
• 1 oz. Carpano Antica
• 1 oz. Caorunn Gin
• 2 dashes of The Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters
1. Add Campari.
2. Add Sweet Vermouth – I ALWAYS USE Carpano Antica for the second step.
3. Add your choice of Gin. In this case I used Caorunn Gin from Scotland. Caorunn is liberally flecked with citrus fruit woven around the haunting elegance of the moors at night.
4. Add The Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters.
5. Add ice.
6. Stir all ingredients together… (And no, you don’t have to use your finger!!!)
Cheers from DrinkUpNY!
- See more at: http://drinkwire.liquor.com/post/the-negroni-as-illustrated#sthash.na0iK3hA.HuSc6QGl.dpuf
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 at the 2014 Tales of the Cocktail His forthcoming book, Whiskey Cocktails will be released October 1, 2014. Another book also for Fair Winds Press is due for Spring 2015. This one is named Bitters and Shrub Cocktails. Warren writes about food, wine, mixology and spirits. He is a master mixologist for several craft liquor companies. Warren is a former, mostly self- trained cook from dishwasher on up- with J&W and the ACF thrown in for good luck- fresh pasta manufacturing company owner/co-founder: *lost business in Hurricane Hugo 1989* – to private banking (for nearly 20 years; “a grand mistake”) to reinvention in 2009 as the Warren he’s become.