I’m REALLY Passionate about ICE. (Foodista)

http://www.foodista.com/blog/2014/11/16/really-great-ice-arctic-chill

Really Great Ice (Arctic Chill)

November 16, 2014
I’m really passionate about ice in my cocktails.  Bring me a drink with 1/4 cube ice and you fail.  Just like that.

A drink should speak clearly of the quality of the ingredients.  Chipped ice that turns to water the moment the liquor or “bottled-possibly concentrated from a powder” mixers hit it.

Cheap ice is a cheap experience.  And at a time when consumers and that includes drinkers want better “Craft” spirits in their glass, why are bars still using crappy ice?  Even at home, do you you have an ice program?

Or are you still using the ice that your freezer pumps out, day in and day out with that satisfying thunk.  This ice from your freezer, is in polite terms, not even worth your water glass.

Have you even noticed that festering container of garlic pasta that your housemate stashed in the fridge.  You might as well be making ice out of it.  Why?  Because until your fridge gets a good vinegar and water cleaning, everything that enters the fridge is going to taste…. AND most importantly smell like that putrified garlic pasta.

So, here’s what I propose.  Clean out the fridge.  Wash it out with white vinegar and water.  Do the freezer too.  I’ll bet you’ll be shocked by what you find in there.  Let it dry off well.

During the day or so that it takes to do a great job on your fridge and freezer, may I suggest placing an order for a most carefully made ice ball maker that I’ve played with in recent memory.

The company name is Arctic Chill Products.  They make a really great ice ball maker that works really well for just about any bar application.

The mold is made of up two sides.  When they close, they make a really tight seal.  There is a little hole in the top.  You will it with liquid through this opening.  Experiment with all different liquids but do not put them in the dishwasher.  They’ll be ruined.  Just listen!

The company says that the mold is airtight on their label.  I couldn’t verify that but I’ll take their word for it.  This mold makes really nice ice in a 2.5 inch round.

I believe that ice is the most important thing in cocktails, at least the drinks that call for it.

Ice can make or break your experience.  And if the ice is clear and hard in the glass, this is a thing of rare beauty.  When you’re pouring expensive spirits doesn’t it just make sense to use the very best products that money can buy?

I think the Arctic Chill Ice Ball Maker is one of the finest products of its kind on the market. I’m very impressed!

If you want crystal clear ice, try using distilled water.  My water is on a well, no matter what I do, it always turns out milky colored.  But no matter, it’s still really nice looking!

 

Yesterday I was doing some further experimentation with a marvelous bourbon by the name of Barrell Bourbon.  In this case the 003 edition.  

If you haven’t heard of it yet, hurry to DrinkUpNY and order some, because they don’t make much- and what they do make disappears REALLY FAST.  So Xmas is coming up and you DON’T have a bottle yet?

Hurry.

 

Please buy my second book, Whiskey Cocktails.  Thank you very kindly!  wb

NEW DISCOVERY!! Calvados Coquerel. ARTISAN-Handmade-Delicious…

North Jersey (dot com)

“Whiskey Cocktails”: new from Morristown writer

October 26, 2014    Last updated: Sunday, October 26, 2014, 1:21 AM

Whiskey, writes Morristown cocktail expert Warren Bobrow, has long had a reputation as a spirit enjoyed straight out of the bottle “without the benefit of mixers, and often without tasting much of anything except the alcohol’s heat.” Bobrow’s new book seeks to show off how the best whiskeys can be made into phenomenal cocktails. In “Whiskey Cocktails,” (Fair Winds Press, $22.95) he presents 75 classic and modern recipes including a German Pavilion cocktail made with smoked American whiskey and a Late Summer Fizz with rye whiskey and sweet Italian vermouth.

* Whiskey gets a remix

 

* Whiskey gets a remix

 

– See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/whiskey-cocktails-new-from-morristown-writer-1.1118221#sthash.e5CVEqLs.dpuf

Finally, The BEST bottled cocktails you can buy!

 

I would be lying if I told you that I paid much attention to the genre of pre-mixed cocktail.  They just haven’t been on my radar and probably for good reason.  What you can buy here in New Jersey would not be to my taste, nor would I even waste my time looking for them.

HOWEVER…. at my door last week, a package arrived from my friend Charles Joly.

Charles is, if you don’t know- the American Bartender of the year and the James Beard Society Award Winner… That alone made me perk up and say, I’ll try what you are working on and I’ll let you know what I think.

My friends, Crafthouse Cocktails is the best effort that I’ve tasted to date out of a bottle.  In fact I will go out onto a limb to say that Crafthouse Cocktails in the bottle is still better than 99% of all the bars in Morristown, NJ!

They just do it right.

I cracked open the handsome flip top on the Paloma.  What greeted me was the scent of excellent grapefruit soda, but not your usual flavors.  This grapefruit soda appears to have been charred lightly before juicing.  It’s really gorgeous stuff.  The sugar level is just right and the tequila element is not cloying, nor is it rock-gut quality.  This is high end stuff that demands your Boston Shaker and salt rimmed glass.  The grapefruit is all natural so it separates a bit in the bottle, give it a light shake and all is well.  This is the best grapefruit soda by far that I’ve ever enjoyed.  Bravo!  And the tequila is lush and rambunctious.  I’m suddenly feeling better!  The Paloma is made from Blanco Tequila, Grapefruit, Lime, Pure Cane Sugar and “natural flavors”….  I’m stunned by its beauty!

The Moscow Mule is a delight.  From the sparkling peppery goodness of the hand crafted ginger beer to the spices inherent to the mix, this is not your grandpappy’s Moscow Mule.  This is a most modern interpretation of the classic drink that I’ve tasted.   Again.. Bravo!  I’m catapulted

to the British Virgin Islands, gripping one too many Moscow Mules while trying to keep a hand on the wheel of the sailing yacht.  Something has to give!   The label clearly reads, Premium Vodka, Ginger Beer, Lime, Pure Cane Sugar.. Nothing else!

I think my favorite of the group is all three, but if I HAD to choose, I’d say the Southside Cocktail would be my favorite for the morning.  (because it is morning!)  Brimming with the expressive notes of quaility gin, lime, pure cane sugar and natural mint flavoring, if I don’t stop tasting these I’m going to have to slow down a bit before the serious work of day drinking begins.

These are quite possibly like having Charles at your beck and call, down in your bar- waiting to prepare you these amazing cocktails.  The only thing holding you back is your

ice.  Don’t mess it up by using freezer ice from the dispenser.  Take the time to boil your water and use good quality 2×2 cubes in the final glass.

When you shake your drink it’s ok to use the freezer stuff, but not in your glass.  You’ll ruin this amazing product!

Get some just as soon as you can.

www.crafthousecocktails.com

www.facebook.com/crafthousecocktails

 

My second book, Whiskey Cocktails will be out in the coming weeks.  You may grab one here!

Drink Up NY: Cocktail: Sir Oliver Just Indicated

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cocktail: Sir Oliver Just Indicated

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail WhispererI’ve been thinking about the classics of cocktaildom lately and one drink stands out as a virtual mind eraser.  It’s named the pink gin and probably for good reason.  The history of this drink dates back to the mid 19th Century.  Angostura Bitters, one of the original ingredients was being sold as a curative against seasickness.  Gin that had been aged in used whiskey and rum barrels found its way into the drinking class and something quite unexpected resulted.  Not only did the sweetness from the charred interiors of the cask drench the gin in soft textures, but also it made for a different type of cocktail altogether when mixed with the tropically scented bitters.

Enter the Pink Gin. 
Was the first time that you heard of the pink gin in a James Bond movie?  If you said yes, then you’re late to the party.  The Pink Gin has been around for a long time.  Certainly before you were born!

The Pink Gin is certainly not a weak drink.  It is one part of barrel-aged gin to one part of aromatic bitters.  You can specify ‘in or out’ in means the bitters are inside the glass, out means the rim is moistened with the bitters.  Whichever way you choose, the Pink Gin is not for the meek.  It’s pretty strong and the tropical flavorings will make it “all too easy” to drink.

Barr Hill makes a barrel aged gin that I’m quite fond of.  They age their namesake gin, made from raw honey and grain in new American oak casks that have been charred on the inside to reveal the sweet flavors inherent to the wood.  I think that Todd Hardie makes some pretty righteous Tom Cat for this example of the Pink Gin.  What I’ve done to this version, the cocktail whisperer version is coat the inside of the glass with Shrub Drinks Prickly Pear Shrub.

I love the pink color of the Prickly Pear.  It adds a certain dimension to the Barr Hill Tom Cat.  A Shrub, for those of you who do not know is made from sugar, fruit and some kind of vinegar.  The ingredients are combined and then aged for a period of time.  What results dates back to the Colonial Era, when refrigeration was unheard of and preserving food was necessary against foodborne illnesses.

Shrubs like the Shrub Drinks Prickly Pear are just gorgeous, smacking of acidity and style.  They deserve your hard earned dollars.

I go crazy over the Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters.  The classic version of a Pink Gin includes some form of aromatic bitters and a lemon zest.  I love using the Bitter Truth Lemon because it injects lemony goodness deeply into my version of the Pink Gin.

You need some citric spark against the sweet and potent strength of the Barr Hill Tom Cat Gin.  It’s just perfect.  Trust me on this.

The lemon bitters are just what the doctor ordered.  I’m departing from the norm with a wide orange zest.  And don’t use a peeler.  Please be sure to use a pairing knife.  It’s important and using a knife teaches you patience that is essential to building a craft cocktail.

Patience is what we are lacking in life, so start right now with your Pink Gin.

Sir Oliver Just Indicated (for one drink)
Ingredients:
3 oz. Barr Hill Tom Cat Gin
½ oz. Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters
½ oz. Shrub Drinks Prickly Pear Syrup
Wide Orange Peel garnish- cut with a pairing knife, please!

Preparation:
To a mixing glass filled ¾ with large ice- to chill down/but not dilute!
Add the Barr Hill Tom Cat and the Shrub Drinks Prickly Pear Syrup and then stir to chill

To a pre-chilled Martini glass
(Is there really any other kind of martini- other than gin???)
Add the ½ oz. of the lemon bitters
Add the Barr Hill Tom Cat and the Shrub Drinks Prickly Pear Syrup to the pre-chilled glass

Give a quick finger stir…
Twist the orange zest over the top to release the volatile oils…
Serve.
(No, don’t finger stir if you are in a public place!)

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.

My 1st. book, Apothecary Cocktails was translated into French!

Rechercher
Artémis - Cocktails de l'apothicaire (Les)
Photo non contractuelle
C02750

Cocktails de l’apothicaire (Les)BOBROW Warren

Hors collection (Vin/Cocktail)
ISBN 978-2-81600-587-5, september 2014, 14.6 x 19.7, 160 pages. (14,90 €)

Des cocktails stimulants pour guérir tous les maux !

Bénéficiant d’une histoire riche et fascinante, les cocktails thérapeutiques furent d’abord créés par des apothicaires, précurseurs de nos pharmaciens actuels. Ils préparaient des remèdes aux plantes à base d’alcool pour soigner une grande quantité de maux, de l’indigestion au banal petit rhume. Ces boissons d’autrefois constituent une intarissable source d’inspiration pour les bars branchés ou les amateurs de cocktails vintage, aux ingrédients naturels. Cocktails de l’apothicaire vous propose 75 recettes traditionnelles ou modernes de boissons fortifiantes, digestives, apaisantes ou énergisantes.

• Vous vous sentez paresseux après un repas copieux ? Sirotez un Cocktail Iberville Street. À base de plantes amères et de brandy, un cocktail réputé calmer les maux de ventre.

• Vous avez bu un verre de trop hier soir ? Le Corpse Reviver, un cocktail littéralement conçu pour réveiller un mort vous remettra sur pied en un clin d’œil.

• Vous peinez à trouver le sommeil ? Essayez le Narcotique mexicain, un mélange relaxant qui combine un chocolat chaud pimenté au mezcal et à la vanille.

Musings on Whiskey by Warren Bobrow for the White Mule Press (thank you!)

Musings on Whiskey from Warren Bobrow

Bobrow_portraitWarren Bobrow announces his new book Whiskey Cocktails and tells how he came to write it. Known as The Cocktail Whisperer, Warren’s vast knowledge of cocktails has spawned a previous book, Apothecary Cocktails, and over 300 articles on food, wine, and cocktail mixology. As our guest blogger, we get a peek inside Warren’s musings about whiskey, spirits and food. Enjoy!

My influence for writing Whiskey Cocktails is one of a most circuitous nature.

Whiskey has rough and tumble roots for me. Initially I looked at whiskey as something that was rough and harsh across my palate.

I wasn’t a whiskey fan until a couple of years ago.

Rum was more my forte, I was a rum judge for the Ministry of Rum in 2010. I also wrote about food, and, of course wine. It’s very tough to make a living being just one more voice in the room of food writing or even wine writing.

Coincidently, many of those rums that I was starting to enjoy became even more intriguing for me. Through research, I found that many types of rum were aged in used bourbon barrels.
Perhaps that flavor of char and smoke was more a part of my taste buds than I initially allowed?

It’s funny for me, when I think of the wines that I grew up with at home — the ones that were on the our dinner table — Left Bank, Rhone, Loire, all use casks that speak clearly of the place. There was a flavor to each sip. Something unique and profound was taking place at the same time in my education. I traveled across Europe, Africa, and South America, always tasting, memorizing and trying to figure out flavors of intoxicants and food.

The same holds true for whiskey. The casks that go on to give other liquors unique qualities, characteristics and above all terroir may be from whiskey!

There is a certain cadence to whiskey and in the broader metric, craft sprits. They are not always great, but they certainly are passion in a bottle.

My thoughts on craft mean something that is handmade in small numbers. Craft means flavor and texture and risk, small business is not easy. Owning something that relies upon consumers is often fraught with failures. I know because I lost my own small business in Hurricane Hugo back in 1989. I owned a craft business, specializing in fresh pasta. (Maybe it was the grain??)

It might be a small produced wine, organic and Biodynamic that reminds me of whiskey, the flavors of stone fruits and caramelized nuts. Or vice versa. There are creative interrogatories in all forms of intoxicating beverages.

I’m very fond of food when I taste whiskey or any spirits for that matter. If I taste rye, I want a sandwich like a Rueben, piled high with briny and smoky corned beef or pastrami on seeded rye. Whiskey just calls out for food that speaks to me clearly.

Whiskey Cocktails, is my second book. My first book, Apothecary Cocktails takes the tack of what you took for healing in the years before electricity and refrigeration. How folk healing remedies may have been little more than snake oil, but what a wonderful way to heal what ailed ye!

Whiskey Cocktails explores the liquor from a stylistic approach — Scotch, Bourbon, Rye, Alternative Grains, Indian (India), Japanese, French, Tennessee Sipping Whiskey, White Whiskey, etc. even cooking recipes!

In a former part of my life, before I was in the corporate world, I was a trained chef. This formal training comes in handy for the mixology business. It’s all about flavor and combinations of flavor.

I invite you to peer into my mind, one sip and word at a time.

There are some marvelous things in Whiskey Cocktails. Others have said that this book is a new Classic. I’m not sure, I’d rather be humble than a know it all. As I said, I’m new to whiskey and I’m lucky to be here, surrounded by and growing to be respected among my peers as a member of the table.

If they only knew the path I took to get here! Whew!
Bobrow-Cover
I invite you to purchase Whiskey Cocktails and if you haven’t already, please consider Apothecary Cocktails as well.

You can read my musings at http://www.cocktailwhisperer.com or purchase my book at: http://www.qbookshop.com/authors/17884/Warren-Bobrow.html

Thank you.
Warren Bobrow

Martha Lou and how I know her… food writing by Warren Bobrow

Photo: Warren Bobrow - Leica DLux-4
Photo: Warren Bobrow – Leica DLux-4

I took this picture of my friend, Martha Lou when I was down in Charleston judging the Iron Mixology segment of the Charleston Wine and Food Festival several years ago.

The look on her face when she saw me for the first time since the early 1990’s was worth the price of driving down from NJ to Charleston.  It made my day too because I have never enjoyed a plate of fried pork chops so much as when she made them for me.

I like my fried pork chops as a sandwich.  Two pieces of white bread draws the remainder of the cooking oil off the 1/4 inch thick chop.  Curled from the heat and impossibly crunchy against my teeth, the bread is not an afterthought, but integral to the enjoyment of the sizzling hot, and salty pork chop.

Martha Lou is a treasure.  Not only because of her ebullient personality, but because she is genuine.  The real thing.  Her sweet tea is her smile.

My story of how I met Martha Lou may come as a surprise for some people who only know me from Facebook.  It was the mid eighties and I’d been accepted at Johnson/Wales when it was located in Charleston.  I was living in Portland, Maine- freezing- in a place I couldn’t afford and working for the Sonesta making baked stuffed lobster was not endearing in any manner.  So I moved down to Charleston.  And started over.

During my teen years I had a craving for Soul Food.   I’d trot down to East Orange, NJ and find myself at the Peppermint.  This is ham hocks and greens, fried pig ears and slaw on white bread and stews that you could smell by the sweetness of the long cooked onions and tomatoes.  After eating there for a couple of years and being introduced to the cook by a mutual friend, I started paying attention to what they were doing back in the kitchen.         I thought that if nothing else in life, I could become a cook, since my first career as a television engineer was a bust.  Because my parents took me to Europe as a boy, I paid further attention to how people become cooks.

They start at the bottom and they learned from the old-timers.

I learned how to cook real Soul food from former Southerners living in East Orange and Morristown, NJ.

I grew up on a gentleman’s farm.  It belonged to my grandfather and grandmother since the 1940’s.  They didn’t need to farm it, but they did with a full staff like in the old days.  To this day the farm is still both biodynamic and organic.  The farm was the laboratory of my childhood.  It came with all the parts intact, just as it was in the 1800’s.  It is still in perfect condition as if the dairy cattle just left for the afternoon.  After a rain you can still smell the cows from the wood floors.

Estelle Ellis was our cook.  She was from Northern Georgia.  I’m sure she grew up around Soul Food because when she taught me to cook, everything was put up for later in the season.  As I said, we didn’t have to rely upon the farm, but so much of my diet came from this place or very close by.  New Jersey was much different in the 1960’s.

Estelle never wrote anything down, nor did the cooks at the Peppermint- but I paid attention and their lessons stuck.

So I get to Martha Lou’s.  White guy in a place surrounded by the projects.  Trucks and truckers, not what I would call in the 1980’s as a safe neighborhood at night and I introduce myself to Martha Lou.

She remembered my name- eventually, and I started talking to her about East Orange.  She has family up there evidently and I mentioned the Peppermint.  Her eyes closed a bit and she said… “what do you know about the Peppermint?”

I told her that I was cooking at a local restaurant, the Primerose House on East Bay Street and could I come during the day and watch her cook?

Well, after much hemming and hawing she said yes- but only after I had to cook some innards for her blessing to be a life-long friendship.

I don’t pretend to be from Charleston, nor would I, but when I saw Martha Lou and took this picture, it was like I was family.  Over a plate of pork chops.

Dad’s Hat- Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey and Sage Herbal Elixir

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I think that I wrote this piece two or so years ago…  It’s fun to see where my writing has taken me.  So please enjoy and pick up a copy of my forthcoming book (Whiskey Cocktails) if you get the chance.  It’s got all the stuffing!

DAD’S HAT PENNSYLVANIA WHITE RYE AND SAGE HERBAL ELIXIR (FLOYD’S PACK MULE COCKTAIL)

I just created a new cocktail with historically correct flavors.  What are those interesting bottles?  Well my friends, my usual- or unusual form of cocktail whispering has led me to a secret spring.  There up the road apiece is a spring that spouts water as clear and refreshing as the soft hand of a maiden in the summer.

Pennsylvania Rye in the un-aged form runs as soft and sweet as this spring that bubbles up from the earth.  Branch water with a kick I say.  Sitting next to this venerable bottle of Pennsylvania History sits a bottle simply called Sage from the same creative mind behind the salubrious and ever mixable liqueurs named Root, Rhubarb and Snap.

But what is Sage?  Sage is Herbalicious according to the hand-crafted natural paper-press release.

According to the copy, Thomas Jefferson was not only a founding father, but he was also an avid horticulturist.  His friend and mentor Bernard McMahon was in the midst of chronicling the 130 plants discovered by Lewis and Clark.   As history has it, Bernard and Thomas also were fond of highly intoxicating beverages.  Sage in the purest form is not just sage as an herbal adjunct, it is also an ingredient in early “Gar-Tending” experimentation!

This type of experimentation weaves its way into my semi-drunken state- *who me?*

Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania White Rye is gorgeous stuff.  If I could lay down a few bottles and wait about ten years, I’ll bet the mouth-feel will soften to that of branch water.  Now, instead of letting any rest, I’ve created a cocktail with this spicy and emotional Rye powerhouse.

Sage is distilled with thyme, sage (of course), rosemary, lavender and fennel.  All I could think about was mixing Sage with Dad’s Hat.

But the drink would not be complete without a few drops of the fire driven chocolate and spice enamored heat of the Bitter End Memphis BBQ Bitters.  Take about four drops of this amazing liquid and scatter them over the top.  The 100 proof power of the White Rye and the aromatic wonderment that says Sage finished with Bitter End Bitters only needs one more item.

I’m a fanatic for great ice…..Crystal clear and without any unpleasant fragrances or minerals, great ice cubes will enlighten your cocktails.  I did a 95/5 mix of Royal Rose Lavender Lemon Syrup and some of my filtered well water.  The benefit of putting the Royal Rose Syrup into the ice cube is to subtly change the flavor of the cocktail as the ice cube melts.  Mostly water, with that bit of syrup and everyone is friendly together.

I believe it shows sophistication of flavor.  And fortitude in your cocktail glass.  Isn’t that what this is all about?

Flavor?

Danger Level 4 out of 5.  Possibly 5 out of 5 if you err on the side of heavier handed cocktail measurements…

Floyd’s Pack Mule Cocktail

Ingredients for two very strong drinks:

1/4 cup Freshly made Lemonade (unsweetened) made with Meyer Lemons if you can find them
2 oz. Dad’s Hat Genuine Small Batch Pennsylvania White Rye- 100 proof (local Rye from Pennsylvania)
1 oz.  Sage from Art in the Age- 80 proof (USDA Certified Organic)
1 oz. Royal Rose Simple Syrup of Lavender and Lemon
4 drops Bitter End Memphis BBQ Bitters
For Ice Cubes, fill an Ice Cube tray with filtered water and add an ounce or so of the simple syrup, freeze overnight for best results

Prep:
To a Boston Shaker fill 1/4 with regular ice
Add the liquors
Add  freshly made lemonade
Shake until frosty
Pour into a funky glass with Royal Rose Lavender Lemon Syrup ice
Drip three-four drops of Bitter End Memphis BBQ Bitters over the top
Sip carefully.

 

Yes, I do mixology sessions at your home or business.  Just email me!  jockeyhollow@mac DOT com