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

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

What’s Your Call To Action?

THURSDAY, AUGUST 21, 2014  From DrinkUpNY 

What’s Your Call to Action?

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer

As we move headlong into the late summer months the reflection of dark liquors across our palates make a stunning resurgence.  But we call out for new flavors with the waning days of the month and these flavors signify change.  Cooler nights signify the shortening of daylight, a traditional trigger point for my palate to move over to darker liquors.  One such liquor that I really have been enjoying as of late is Templeton Rye.  Said to have been the favorite of a renowned gangster during Prohibition, this recreation of “the good stuff” is perfectly delicious when mixed.  Templeton is a high rye whiskey.  It’s well over the required 51% rye grain so the flavor is quite peppery from the rye.  It is said that you can plant a field of rye with what fits in your pocket.  (Unless your pocket has a hole in it!)That is why rye was so popular in the early days of our nation.  It is easy to transport and even easier to distill with very basic resources available.  The heartier flavor of rye, especially Templeton Rye makes for a robust drink with the zippy and spicy cinnamon notes along with pain grille and wet stones.This may not appeal to everyone, just like not everyone enjoys rye bread.  The same holds true for rye whiskey.

Templeton Rye works so well with assertive ingredients like freshly squeezed orange and lemon juice.  There really is no excuse not to use the best ingredients possible at all times.  For anyone who has ever suffered and barely tolerated themselves through a screwdriver made with orange juice from concentrate would attest, fresh makes much more interest.  Using fresh juices will keep your friends coming back for more.

Not a bad thing to have happen!

I recently used the Templeton Rye in a twist on the Whiskey Punch with both freshly squeezed orange and lemon juices.

Through research for another article, I was able to source out some handmade shrub syrups from different producers around the country.  One of these, a vividly flavored strawberry, black pepper and balsamic shrub handmade by “Shrub Drinks” in Texas, added some unexpected nerve to my traditional punch recipe.  Something marvelous happens when you mix sumptuously textured fruits and sugar with balsamic vinegar and a healthy dose of freshly cracked black pepper.   Shrub Drinks also makes other concoctions like the tomatillo and lime and serrano shrub that just screams out for Mezcal.  I haven’t tasted my way through their line, but the strawberry, balsamic and black pepper is just otherworldly in the presence of fresh juices and the Templeton Rye whiskey.

I suppose that a sizzling hot sandwich is in order as well.  Make mine a Rueben.  Make it on rye with plenty of freshly sliced pastrami and spicy mustard along with the Russian dressing and crunchy sauerkraut.  This is the kind of food that screams out for Templeton Rye whiskey!

Punch is a most misunderstood beast.  You have to make drinks that go into a punch bowl with balance.  No single ingredient can overtake another.  They need to work together in harmony.  That’s why shrubs are so important in the punch bowl.  The discovery of the product, Shrub Drinks makes my life really easy!

You really don’t have to try to hard to make professional quality drinks at home with the best ingredients possible.

First of all squeeze your citrus juices just before you use them.  Then keep them cool, but not cold- don’t
add ice to them, but you can sit them on ice.  I find it a best practice to add the spirits in last, and then only ½ as much as you think you are going to use, tasting the punch and adding more as needed.  You cannot subtract from the beginning forward or add more fruit juices if you have none left.  That is why it’s essential to add the spirits slowly and taste often for balance.  I always start with the juices and the syrups first, get their flavors right- and then add the spirits.  It’s just how I do it.  Ice is also a going concern for a well-crafted punch.  You may find it helpful to go to a restaurant supply house and buy a stainless steel insert.  Ask, they’ll know what you’re talking about.  An insert fits in a cold-line table.  They are roughly 6 inches by 9 inches and at least 10 inches deep.  This is the best way that I know to make blocks of ice in your freezer.  The stainless steel will not taste like everything in the freezer, nor will it give off any bad flavors like plastic does.  So use stainless steel!

A twist on the term plain ice would be to add some Bitter Truth Creole Bitters to the ice, for flavor and for color as the ice melts.  Adding flavor and color is a fun idea to add a bit of spark to the final equation.

Since this is a rye whiskey based punch-style drink, just multiply the final number of ingredients by the number of people you are serving.  This recipe is for two persons.  You don’t have to make so much ice, but it’s nice to know how to if needed so you won’t have to go out and buy supermarket ice.

What’s Your Call to Action?
Ingredients: 
4 oz. Templeton Rye Whiskey
3 oz. Shrub Drinks: Strawberry, Balsamic and Black Pepper Shrub
2 oz. Freshly squeezed Orange Juice
1 oz. Freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
2 oz. (in each glass) Seltzer Water
2 Shakes (in each glass) Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters
Long Orange Twist
Mint Sprig for spark!

Preparation:
To a Boston Shaker filled ¾ with ice
Add the Templeton Rye
Add the citrus juices

Add the Shrub Drinks: Strawberry, Balsamic and Black Pepper Shrub
Cap and Shake hard for 10 secondsStrain into a Collins Glass with a few cubes of nice clean ice
Add some Seltzer over the top
Dot with the Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters
Garnish with a long orange twist and mint sprig

 

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

 

Article by Warren Bobrow, a nationally published food and spirits columnist who writes for Williams-Sonoma, Foodista and the Beekman Boys. His first book, Apothecary Cocktails has been nominated for a Spirited Award at the 2014 Tales of the Cocktail!  Warren’s forthcoming second book, Whiskey Cocktails is now in pre-sell from Fair Winds Press. His third book, named Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails will be released in Spring 2015.

 

 

Drink Up NY…

An Ardent Dreamer Cocktail

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail WhispererI’m thrilled when a bartender knows what I’m talking about when I ask for Aperol.  Usually I receive a blank stare or worse- a nod towards Campari or some other red colored aperitif.

Not that Campari is bad, far from- it’s just much different than Aperol.

First of all, Aperol has less alcohol than Campari, making it the perfect summer quaff at about 12% by volume for Aperol, instead of the 25% of Campari.

Campari is more assertively flavored- making Aperol a lighter approach to the term bitter aperitif.  You see, bitter is a good thing.  Aperol is made up of licorice, fennel, aniseed, popular buds, bitter clover, wormwood, valerian, gentian, bitter orange, cinchona bark and rhubarb.

The ingredients in Campari are similar- but secret and this article is not about Campari, but it is about Aperol!   Made by the same company as Campari, Aperol is altogether different.  First of all there is more sugar in Aperol, although the drinker may not recognize the sweetness in the drink, because the bitter herbs balance the sweetness.  I am a huge fan of Aperol and I use it often in my refreshing summer cocktails.

Greenhook Ginsmiths is located in Greenpoint, NY. I love what they have achieved in the gin world by the quality of their ingredients.  Brothers, Stephen and Philip DeAngelo have revolutionized the old fashioned technique of making gin.  They use a low temperature vacuum to remove all the excess air from the distillation process allowing for a more gentle approach to the finished product.

I’m not a scientist, but I will say that the vacuum distillation makes a softer gin- less harsh and definitely not cloying.  I remember meeting the brothers a couple years ago at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic and I immediately became an ardent supporter of their craft.

Freshly squeezed juices are a necessity in my cocktails and in my day-to-day drinking pleasure.  There really is no excuse to use concentrated fruit juices or powdered juices in cocktails.  My drinks NEVER call for bottled orange, lemon, grapefruit or lime.  It’s just not done!  You should always make every attempt at using the very best ingredients that you can find for your drinks- after all it’s your money!  Why cover up great liquor with artificial ingredients?  Even the 900-pound gorilla, Tropicana juice is pasteurized, giving your cocktail a flat, listless experience.  You may not notice- and that’s ok… BUT, when you are making something that speaks of quality, why use juices that may have been extracted months in advance of your enjoyment, then?

Beats me.  That’s why the fresh juice movement in craft cocktails is so essential to the overall approach to making fresh drinks with the best ingredients you can get.

I always ask if a cocktail lounge is using fresh juices and if they don’t- I usually don’t stay- or I order something plain.  It’s just that simple, there are no excuses to use less than stellar ingredients.  I’d gladly pay more; just give me the chance to do so!

An Ardent Dreamer
Ingredients:
2 oz. Greenhook Ginsmiths Gin
1 oz. Aperol
½ oz. freshly squeezed orange
½ oz. freshly squeezed grapefruit
¼ oz. freshly squeezed lemon
¼ oz. freshly squeezed lime
Splash of seltzer
Old Fashioned glass
Bitter Truth Grapefruit Bitters

Preparation:
Add the juices and the Greenhook Gin with the Aperol to a Boston Shaker filled ¾ with ice
Shake hard for 15 seconds or so
Strain into an Old Fashioned glass with a couple cubes of hand cut or hand made ice (silicone tray with double boiled spring water, overnight)
Top with the seltzer and a couple drops of the Bitter Truth Grapefruit bitters for a flourish!

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

Article by Warren Bobrow, a nationally published food and spirits columnist who writes for Williams-Sonoma, Foodista and the Beekman Boys. His first book, Apothecary Cocktails has been nominated for a Spirited Award at the 2014 Tales of the Cocktail!

From Foodista.. Last Minute Xmas Gifts from the Cocktail Whisperer…wb.. yes.. me.

Last Minute Xmas Gifts from the Cocktail Whisperer

December 20, 2013

My bar is overflowing with lovely tastes and slurps for the holidays.  I know it’s a bit late, but you never can do everything all at once, AND I’ve been a bit busy this year!  First of all to bring  you all up to speed, I’ve just released my first book (October) named Apothecary Cocktails, Restoratives from Yesterday and Today.

This book, my first was published by Fair Winds Press.

Another book is coming for October 2014 that I’m very excited about.  Stay tuned.

So where do I start?  What do you want for Xmas?

Starting with rum, may I suggest Busted Barrel Rum from Fairfield, NJ?  This is gorgeous stuff, bursting with the flavors of Louisiana cane sugar molasses. 

It doesn’t need much as a mixer so don’t even think of drowning the delicate flavor in corn syrup cola.  This rum is perfect for a hot toddy, or perhaps for a few ounces of freshly squeezed orange juice.  Don’t forget the nutmeg!

From Tailwinds Distilling in Illinois, may I suggest a rum from a most unlikely place?  The Taildragger Amber Rum and the Taildragger White Rum offer bursts of cane sugar woven with tropical fruits and spices.

As with the Busted Barrel Rum, these are craft spirits, made from the best ingredients available.  I am passionate about craft spirits and these rums exemplify the care taken to ensure that each sip is memorable.  With the Busted Barrel Rum flavor profile firmly in my mind, I find the Taildragger is sumptuous and lush.

Perfect for a Great Lakes inspired Tiki Bar influence punch or with a splash or two of freshly squeezed tropical fruits or even in a hot toddy with butter and simple syrup.  Sophisticated and worldly these rums are.  They make a lesser known coffee rum, brimming with the seriously intoxicating flavors of medium roasted coffee.  I’m completely taken by this coffee flavored rum over coffee ice cream.

They also produce a Blue Agave spirit that is sold either aged or un-aged.  Not Tequila and not marked on the label as such, the Midnight Caye Silver and the Midnight Caye Rested is produced in small batches.  Seek it out, you’ll be happy that you did!

An authentic NOM 1467 CRT Tequila Blanca from Rudo Tecnico is a 100% Agave spirit that is pure, lush and colorful in every sip.  With a playful label showing the Luce Libre fighter/wrestler- Tecnico, you would almost expect this Tequila to be brash and overpowering.  But it’s anything but.  The Tecnico is soft, pure and citrus tinged.  Again, as with the rums, this tequila doesn’t need much to shine.  A squeeze of lemon, a hit of agave syrup and a splash of Arrogante Damiana in place of the usual triple sec.  I never use triple sec.  Awful stuff.  Right up there with maraschino cherries.  Ick.  Don’t do it and throw those red things out.  feh!

Get yourself a bottle of Casa Noble Tequila.  It’s just so gorgeous.   I recommend drinking it with a pinch of sea salt, a splash of Fruitations Tangerine and a finishing spritz of Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water in Pink GrapefruitThree drops of Bitter End Bitters “Curry” over the top. 

For bourbon, I think you should try to find the Old Forester Birthday Bourbon.  If you cannot, find the Buffalo Trace Wheated.  (It’s like Pappy, really…)  Willett’s is fun too.  Breaking and Entering Bourbon from St. George in California is Kentucky royalty, blended and bottled on the left coast.   Get some!

Four Roses Bourbon Whiskey is my go/to when I’m traveling.  I know what goes into the bottle and it’s always the very best!  I saw it in Italy!

Liqueurs?  I’m a fantatic for pürspirits Their elderflower liqueur is a thing of rare beauty and form.  The spice and blood orange a delight.  GET SOME!!!

Creams?  300 Joules may well be the best “silk” liqueur that I’ve passed through my lips this year.  They do a sumptuously decedent lemon that drips with acidity and structure, cinnamon that offers bursts of freshly scraped spices and the ginger that screams out for Scotch whisky and a bit of seltzer.

300 Joules is the truest form of craft, made with passion and care in New Jersey!  I’m a HUGE FAN.   I’m mixing 300 Joules Lemon with Campari and a bit of Barr Hill gin along with sweet Vermouth in a tip of the hat to the Negroni.  It’s a creamy Negroni that you MUST taste!

I’ve located a Maple Cream that just rocks from Vermont.  The Vermont Ice Maple Cream Liqueur is hauntingly good.  Enrobed in sweet Vermont cream and grade B Maple Syrup, this cream is perfectly geared for sipping or even woven into  adult “martinis” or a milkshake.

Vermouth is on my list for flavor this year with Uncouth Vermouth, Atsby, Channing Daughter’s VerVino and Imbue on my tasting list.

For Gin, I am drinking the experimental Barr Hill Barrel Aged Gin…  Ok, so you can’t get it, but you can buy their raw honey distilled Vodka as well as their grain based (raw honey finished) gin. 

Normally I don’t drink a whole lot of vodka.  Bluewater from the left coast always charms me, as does Karlsson’s Gold Vodka which is ACTUALLY MADE FROM POTATOES!!!

Just so you know that I read the comments on Facebook, spiced rum????  well that’s a no-brainer.  Sailor Jerry.  I love the higher proof and the true Caribbean flavor.  My absolute favorite spiced rum is not available in the United States.  It comes from the island of Saba.  They make spiced rum in a style that is sadly, nearly extinct.  A fine adaptation of the style of “spiced-rum” is available on St. Barth.  Usually it is Rhum Agricole with Caribbean-type spices.  Most restaurants make their own rhum punches… but that’s something else entirely and will require a trip to taste them.  Good idea.

 

Carpano Antica is my always go/to for a fun way to bring history into your glass!

 

If you’ve had a bit too much, FERNET BRANCA should be your GO/TO!!!  

UNDERBERG if you can get it is the miracle cure!

Syrups… Fruitations in New England with their BRILLIANT, all natural fruit syrups has become one of my favorites along with Royal Rose (the rose is a favorite) and of course Sumptuous Syrups of Vermont with their Chocolate Mole.  WOW!

Bitters:  Of course Bitter End from Santa Fe.  Bill York has got the lock-down on Curry with his India by the drop bitters.   Tuthilltown’s Bitter Frost “Basement Bitters” is part of my kit along with Joe Fee’s historically delicious bitters.  The Black Walnut is a favorite this year.

Dutch’s in New York State has a bitters kit that includes a Colonial Style, a Boomtown Style and a Prohibition Style Bitters in a handsome package.  “Drink With Conviction!” 

Whisky:  Nikka from the barrel got my attention…  Japanese Whisky that beats the Scots at their own game.  Don’t agree?  Try it.

 

Ah.. so many flavors… So little time!

 

If you want to find my book, Apothecary Cocktails, please click here… 

Beekman 1802- Klaus the Soused Gnome

 

Warren

Gartending: Cranberry Soused

By: IMG_4243

Klaus is a sporting lad.  What I mean by this is that Klaus likes tromping through the cranberry bogs searching for these tart berries to pop into his mouth.  He’s gotten rather adept at skimming along the surface of the cranberry bog, his little flask filled with rye whiskey.  Rye Whiskey you say?  Why rye?  Klaus will explain that of all the whiskies produced in our country, rye dates back to George Washington.  George Washington distilled rye whiskey for his consumption with 60% rye, 35% corn, and 5% malted barley.  This must have been a heady concoction given the predilection for strong intoxicants in the early days of our nation.  Rye is historic, like Thanksgiving!

Rye whiskey reminds Klaus of the Old Country, where he rose out of the soil and joined the legions of drinking gnomes around the world.   His father watered the soil where Klaus popped up with rye whiskey!

Thanksgiving is coming all too soon.  Then the rush to the Christmas holidays begins.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have what Klaus has in his little ceramic flask?  Would you like to know what he concocted using ingredients you have in your kitchen right now????

Do you have cranberry sauce?  What’s that little can doing lurking in your pantry?  Open it up and add 2 tablespoons of it to a cocktail shaker.  How about that bottle of honey over there?  Yes that’s the one.  It’s all crystallized?  Perfect.  Just boil some water and add it to the honey, let it cool and pour it into the shaker.  Did I see some apple cider in the fridge?  Sure I did.  It’s gone a bit fizzy.  That’s exactly what this drink needs.  Don’t have any fizzy cider?  Try a hard cider from the supermarket beer isle.  There are dozens of them available all over the globe. Pour a bit of that into the shaker too.

Of course the most important part, the part that Klaus values over all the other parts is the giggly part.  The part that is intoxicating.  And that is the rye whiskey!  Isn’t it funny that Klaus, a little guy made of terra cotta would know the difference between “just a drink” and a well-balanced cocktail?   I think you will immediately know the very moment this comes together.  As I said, anyone can make it with ingredients that you have right now.   Ok, you may have to buy a bottle of rye whiskey and you certainly have some apple cider in your fridge at this time of the year.  These ingredients alone make a fine drink.  But add some honey syrup and some cranberry sauce and you have a lovely refreshing slurp.

 

Yes, I’ll Come to Cambridge Cocktail serves two handily.  Right Klaus?  Klaus?

 

Ingredients:  (Klaus proven!)

3 oz. Rye Whiskey *sure, you can use bourbon, or even Scotch!

2 oz. Cranberry Sauce (that little can will do)

2 oz. Apple Cider or Hard Apple Cider in a bottle with fizz

1 oz. Honey Simple Syrup- 2:1 ratio honey to boiling hot water, then cool.

Good Ice, meaning double boiled water in a tray, hand cut.. easy to do!

Lime pinwheels

 

Preparation:

Klaus has said over a dozen times, put the ingredients in the shaker, BEFORE adding the ice.  I haven’t paid attention.. Now I should..

Pre-chill with bar ice and water- two Collins Glasses for this drink, then pour out

Add all the ingredients to a Boston Shaker (except the lime garnish)

Add ice to ¾ in the shaker and then cover

Shake hard for 15 seconds

Add a couple cubes of hand cut ice to your pre-chilled Collins glass

Strain the Cambridge Cocktail over the ice

Garnish with the lime pinwheel and a long straw

From DrinkUpNY where I serve as a cocktail storyteller

Friday, May 10, 2013

Caipirinha Classica

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer

I love Brazil. The people make up the social thread, the food fills their bellies and the music fills their hearts. Their heads are filled with the particularly potent liquor named cachaça. Now with an AOC for purity, cachaça has become a world player in the rush for flavor and nostalgia alike.

It completes the equation of the soul meeting the heart through the influence of the earth.

Avuá Prata Cachaça is made in Brazil. It cannot be made anywhere else on the planet by the force of law. Cachaça is a complex beverage that takes great passion to make. This passion runs through the veins of the Brazilian people. When Caipirinha cocktails are made, people come together. They dance, they sing – it seems to help solve problems in life and make people come together for a common good. You cannot drive anywhere in Rio and not see offerings to the spirits, both physical and metaphysical. They are everywhere in Brazil.

When I was a boy my parents took me to Brazil to experience the Caipirinha cocktail up close. And yes, I had several while there. One too many perhaps, but as the theory goes – once you’ve enjoyed a Caipirinha cocktail, you will always remember it. The flavor of freshly cut lime, the burst of cane sugar sweetness from the cachaça intermixed with the haunting flavor of the wooden cask, all mingle to create a truly unique product.

Cachaça is the soul of the people of Brazil and Avuá Prata Cachaça is one of the best I’ve ever tasted. It speaks clearly of the cane, that hauntingly sensual liquid that coats the back of your throat and swirls around your mind. Two or three cocktails and you are out on Copacabana Beach, soaking up the Equatorial sun, slathered with coconut oil and iodine for a deeper tan than you ever thought possible. I spent two months in Brazil and came back to winter in NJ as a different person. The food and the music would never leave me. When I wrote restaurant reviews for NJ Monthly Magazine, I made sure that I reviewed a Brazilian restaurant in Newark, NJ named Seabra’s. They make an extremely fine Caipirinha right in front of you. I’m a big fan of in-your-face bartending.

Yesterday I was fortunate to spend some time in the company of Daniel Bull, the mixologist for his families’ restaurant named Brasilina located near Hell’s Kitchen on the West Side of NYC. He is passionate about his ingredients, insisting on fresh and freshly sliced whenever possible. He hasn’t been a bartender for too long, but his hand is steady behind the stick and the passionate Brazilian spirit flows readily through his fingers into his handcrafted cocktails.

Daniel made me the classic Caipirinha cocktail with Avuá Prata Cachaça and what transpired was less a lesson in making the cocktail, but more a view into the sense of taste. Avuá is sold at DrinkUpNY and you can take the easy to follow directions (below) and make your own cocktail. I do have one suggestion. When you make this cocktail, make sure your hands and your heart is warm first. Warming your hands is easy, by holding them under warm water until they are warm. Your heart may be more difficult to warm, but you can start by thinking of a place like Brazil and the affectionate sunshine that bathes this country in her perpetual glow.

Do you think that it is the Avuá Prata Cachaça talking?

Daniel says it is essential to slice your limes fresh, as in right before using. He also stressed not muddling the lime too much. Muddling releases the oils, yes – but it can release the bitter from the skin just as easily. Be gentle and smile while you make this cocktail!

Make your drink like a Brazilian, with passion!

Classica Caipirinha

Ingredients:
• 4 fresh cut lime wedges
• 20ml simple syrup (2 parts of refined sugar to 1 part boiling water – blend it in the blender)
• 2.5 ounces of Avuá Prata Cachaça

Directions:
1. Add lime and simple syrup to your glass.

2. Muddle 5 to 6 times – make sure you don’t extract too much of the oil from the lime skin.

3. Fill your glass with ice & add the cachaça.

4. Stir with a swizzle stick.
5. Complete the glass with more fresh ice.
6. Garnish with lime wedge, freshly cut is essential!

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

Article by Warren Bobrow, a nationally published food and spirits columnist who writes for Williams-Sonoma, Foodista and the Beekman Boys.

Gartending for the Beekman 1802 Boys! Klaus the Soused Gnome @klausgnome on Twitter

Gartending: Freshly Minted

By:

 

 

 

 

 

Gin is in for early spring!  Oh, please don’t get me wrong; it’s early spring- even though it doesn’t feel like it outside.  Klaus is most concerned about the tasty mint out in the garden.  Will the cold damage the mint?  Let’s ask the mint!

Klaus:  “Will you get frost burned?”

Mint:  “Yes”

Klaus: “What would you like to do about this?”

Mint: “Pick me and add me to a cocktail with this marvelous ginger ale I just found.”

So there it is.  Klaus is determined to have a drink with the mint BEFORE it gets frost bitten.  And how will he do that?  By picking the mint just as it comes up out of the ground……

Klaus is getting ready for a lovely season of “gar-tending.”  You know, making drinks from the garden.  Mint is one of the first things to come up out of the ground and one of the last things that remain after the other herbs and vegetables have gone for the season.  Freshly picked mint is aromatic and enticing.  The oils from the mint stick to Klaus’s little ceramic fingers and some of the bits of mint get stuck in his ceramic beard.  There is not nearly enough mint for a batch of mint jelly, but more than enough for a few cocktails.

Klaus is extra thirsty this morning for something more than his usual cup of coffee.  He received a few bottles of the Bruce Cost Ginger Ale in the mail yesterday.  This is not your usual ginger ale made with corn syrup (Ew!)or other artificial ingredients.  Bruce Cost makes his aromatic, ginger ale with real flavor!  What makes the Bruce Cost Ginger Ale so amazing is the unfiltered nature of this product.  There is stuff floating all around the inside of the bottle! With handcrafted flavors such as their aromatic Original Ginger, Jasmine Tea, Pomegranate with Hibiscus (my favorite) and Passion Fruit with Yellow Ginger (Turmeric).

Klaus has found the Bruce Cost Ginger Ale as a worthy recipient to his cocktailian exploits!  And with a small producer, Vermont sourced, handmade gin made with raw honey?  It’s practically otherworldly!

Sitting in front of Klaus (and me) is a bottle of the extremely small producer and exotic, Barr Hill Gin from Vermont. It is distilled with raw honey.

Why is this important?  Because of the healing nature and energy of honey!  The flavor profile is sweet, toasty grains in the background, juniper in the foreground and honey swirling all around, binding the front to the middle to the back of your mouth.  For anyone who says they enjoy honey- they probably have never had real honey.  Raw honey is never boiled and it is never cut with water to dilute the powerful healing elements of this truly artisan product.  Raw honey is rich in antioxidants too!

Barr Hill Gin (or their salubrious Vodka), might as well be made with care by gnomes!   Klaus?  Did you make the Barr Hill?  Klaus?

Oh, he’s wondered off again.  Probably looking for a party or a cocktail.  Or a little bit of both.

 

 

 

 

Klaus’s 60’s Dream Parade Cocktail

 

 

Ingredients:

2 oz. Barr Hill Gin (Distilled from Raw Honey in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont)

.25 Darjeeling Dark Tea (as a wash) in each glass

6 oz. Bruce Cost Unfiltered Fresh Ginger- Ginger Ale – Pomegranate with Hibiscus Soda

4 drops Bitter End Moroccan bitters

Orange Zest

Fresh mint (Klaus uses Kentucky Colonel variety)

 

 

Preparation:

Wash the tea around the inside of your glass

Rub the inside of an Old Fashioned glass with the orange zest

Rub with the fresh mint

Add one large cube of ice- preferably filtered through a Mavea “Inspired Water” filter. (The final resulting ice turns out nearly crystal clear! It makes a great presentation in your glass)

Add the Barr Hill Gin right over the top of the large cube

I use a silicone 2 x 2 tray for my ice cubes

Top with a measure of the Bruce Cost Ginger/Pomegranate-Hibiscus (ginger ale) soda

Garnish with about four drops of the Bitter End Moroccan bitters and a twirl of orange.

Klaus would want you to have a couple and should you want to be really bad, he’ll join you for another before it’s time to break out the Fernet Branca.

  Cheers!

Tequila!!!!

TEQUILA!!!!!

February 20, 2013

Do you want to know what I’m excited about?  Well it’s pretty simple.  Tequila.  It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed the flavor of the earth as exemplified by the Terroir captured by Tequila.  Oh I suppose this is my own fault.  The good stuff is mostly unavailable in the part of New Jersey where I live.  Sure there are all the national brands available.  Plus some pseudo-artisan varieties in fancy hand-blown bottles.  No, what I’m looking for it the real thing.

I want to taste the earth and the agave root.  And I want some now!!!!

Recently I was introduced to a unique and carefully crafted brand of Tequila named Rudo after the dastardly cunning, Lucha Libre wrestler from Mexico.

 

Tasting Notes:

There is almost a balletic quality to the flavor of the Reposado sitting in front of me right now.  I just took a swish into my mouth of the Rudo Reposado.   Pin point drops of Mexican honey swirl around my mouth leaving sweet little explosions of vanilla cream pastilles dipped in fire.  The finish goes on and on, finally ending in a blazing sunset across your throat and down to your stomach.  Rudo is deeply warming and there is magic in every sip.  The specific Terroir of the region is very apparent in each sip.  There is a dreamy, creamy quality of this spirit.  The world becomes soft and the sounds of the day become far away.  Be careful with Rudo.  He may be a bad guy if you drink too much of his name-sake Tequila.  But until you get there- the point of no return so to speak, I recommend this little cocktail that was influenced heavily by my friend Chris Milligan out in Santa Fe, barkeep at Secreto.

He created the Smoked Sage Margarita.  I pay homage to his brilliant drink by adding USDA Certified Organic Sage from Art in the Age.

The Liquor named Sage on the herb by the same name- Sage?  Of course?

But what about the ice?   I’ve long held that Mavea, the German water filtration pitcher is the very best for making the frozen matter that we call ice.  I take this highly filtered and purified water and add it to silicone ice cube trays, THEN I zest with a microplane zester two lemons and limes over the top.  Freeze as normal.

Finally I added the Bitter End Mexican Mole Bitters, rife with spices, chocolate and dreams of the coyotes running amok in the desert.

Thank you Bill and Laurel for making sure I was safe behind the walls and not out in the desert when the coyotes came running and screaming throughout the night.  It was an experience I’ll never forget.

I call this drink the Ghost Ranch Shot in honor of the famous Ghost Ranch where Georgia O’Keefe spent much time.  She was a wild woman who would have appreciated this power and fragrance of the desert in every sip.

  Makes two very mysteriously thirst quenching cocktails. 

Ingredients:

3 oz. Rudo Reposado Tequila

6 Drops of the brilliantly potent- Bitter End Mexican Mole Bitters

1 oz. Royal Rose Simple Syrup of Lavender and Lemon

2 oz. SAGE (USDA Certified Organic Sage Liquor- 80 Proof!)

1 Sage Leaf (and a match)

.50 Fresh Lemon Juice

.50 Grilled Lime Juice (Char some lime wedges in a cast iron pan until blackened, then juice)

Preparation:

Turn your Boston Shaker upside down resting on two other shakers (Thanks Chris for enlightening me!)

Take the piece of Sage in your fingers and light it on fire under the Boston Shaker

Fill the Shaker with the smoke of the burning Sage leaf

Crumble the charred Sage leaf directly into the Boston Shaker, still filled with smoke

Add the Tequila

Add the Sage Liquor

Add the Lemon juice

Add the Grilled Lime juice

Add the Royal Rose Syrup

Add 6 drops of the Bitter End Mexican Mole Bitters

Fill the Boston Shaker 3/4 with ice, cover and shake for 10-15 seconds

Serve in a rocks glass with a salt rim and one HUGE hand cut- infused Mavea Lemon/Lime zest ice cubes

Garnish with a chunk of lime

What’s Klaus doing in the picture?  Trying to capture his moment of fame?  Nah, he’s just thirsty.  

 

Click here for enlightenment.  only in the movies!

 

From the Rudo and Tecnico Website:

Rudo is one of the main heroes of Lucha Libre – combative art form with elements of melodrama, high-flying athletics, comedy, suspense, and intrigue. Appearing in red mask, Rudo is a wrestler who does not respect the rules of Lucha libre or his fellow wrestler. He is considered the “bad” guy or a “heel” and is willing to win by any means necessary even if it means cheating or brown-nosing the referee. Rudo’s wrestling is not as refined as Tecnico’s. Unlike the spectacular aerial maneuvers and complicated techniques, which técnicos are known for, Rudo makes greater use of brute force – hitting, lifting and dropping an opponent. While Rudo’s moves are rougher and less elaborate, he is not to be taken lightly. It is always fun to watch Rudo using his shear strength and trickery to get the better of his opponent.

 

The Inspiration

Rudo can surprise you with his tactics, so never turn you back on Rudo. Rudo will use all means necessary to be victorious, and he will sneak up on you while you are not watching. Rudo is more down to earth than Tecnico and will always give a good show. Boisterous and funny, they engage the crowds of spectators and set up the mood for the game. Rudo will not follow the rules in wrestling, and his adversaries had better not slip up, as they might be surprised.

Although rudos often resort to using underhanded tactics, they are still expected to live up to a Luchador code of honor. For instance, a Luchador who has lost a wager match would prefer to endure the humiliation of being unmasked or having his head shaved rather than live with the shame that would come from not honoring his bet. Rudos have also been known to make the transition into técnicos after a career defining moment, as was the case with Blue Demon, who decided to become a técnico after his wrestling partner, Black Shadow, was unmasked by the legendary Santo.

Tequila Rudo

Rudo is 100% blue agave tequila produced by artisanal methods in Jaliscos Highlands. Carefully elaborated at the family-run distillery, Rudo offers a perfect combination of spectacular presentation and superior taste. To pay homage to Rudo’s character, our tequila boasts bold and unexpected flavors, a real tribute to blue agave spirit. Reposado and Anejo are aged to perfection in bourbon white oak barrels to achieve smooth and luxurious texture and long finish. Selected “Most Likely to Succeed in 2012” by the Tasting Panel Magazine.

 

Warren Bobrow is the Food and Drink Editor of the 501c3 non profit Wild Table on Wild River Review located in Princeton, New Jersey.

He is under contract and has just completed his first book named Apothecary Cocktails for Quayside/Rockport Books in Massachusetts.

He was one of 12 journalists world-wide, and the only one from the USA to participate in the Fête de la Gastronomie– the weekend of September 22nd. 2012 in Burgundy.

He attended Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans in 2011/2012. Plus the Manhattan Cocktail Classic and the Boston Cocktail Summit.

Warren presented and demo’d freestyle mixology at the International Food Bloggers Conference in Portland, Oregon. (2012)

Warren judged the Iron Mixology competition at the Charleston Wine and Food Festival (2012)

Warren has published over three hundred articles on everything from cocktail mixology to restaurant reviews to travel articles.

You may also find him on the web at: http://www.cocktailwhisperer.com

Warren is a published food writer and former cook.

He’s written food and cocktail articles and news for Edible Jersey, Chutzpah Magazine, Voda Magazine, Tasting Table, Serious Eats and Total Food Service Magazine.

Warren attended the Kentucky Derby and the Oaks Day Races this year while on assignment for Voda Magazine.

He writes for the “Fabulous Beekman 1802 Boys” as their cocktail writer.  (The Soused Gnome)

He also writes for The Daily Basics, Leaf Magazine and Modenus.

He writes for Williams-Sonoma on their Blender Blog.

He is a Ministry of Rum judge.

Warren began his climb to becoming a cook as a pot scrubber at the York Harbor Inn in York Harbor, Maine in 1985.

He cooked at Alberta’s in Portland, Maine during mid-80’s.

Warren is the former owner and co- founder of Olde Charleston Pasta in Charleston, SC while cooking at the Primerose House and Tavern. (Also in Charleston)

He spent Hurricane Hugo (1989) in his former home in Charleston… Ouch!

Warren was # 30 in Saveur Magazine’s 100 for his writing about the humble Tuna Melt.

 

Headshot photograph taken at the Ministry of Rum in San Francisco- August 2010

Cabotella Ale

Cabotella: A Fabulous Craft-Style Beer from Cabo

March 31, 2013

I’ve fallen for a new craft beer.  Lock, stock and barrel is the term most commonly used.

 

I cannot explain my passion for this beer other than to say it’s a huge surprise.

The first surprise was receiving a case of hand-crafted beer from Mexico.  Handsomely packaged in a brown bottle with a screw-off cap, this beer is simply named Cabotella.

The gold colored label features a donkey with a pole carrying a tassel in front of him.  He appears to be harnessed as if to turn a wheel to grind grain.  The name Cabotella is printed in bold letters vertically.  It’s a well designed package that says very little other then Mexico Ale and the name.

I did notice that the label does tell the abv., which is 5.5% So this beer has real guts.

Intriguing.

I have long held that beer is my favorite culinary ingredient.  After years of traveling in Europe as a boy while tasting the myriad of flavors at my disposal (beer, wine or spirits were never denied to me as a lad) I always like beer the best with food.  Yes, perhaps even more than wine.  It’s probably because of the plethora of flavors and the relaxed nature of the beverage.  Wine is so very serious!  Beer is flirtatious and fun!

Pizza goes well with beer.  Everyone knows this.  While in Naples as a boy I discovered the charms of Italian lager beers with pizza.  As my tastes and my physical being grew older I discovered different styles of beer went with different foods- just like wine!  This might seem like simple stuff, but to a young guy without the benefit of the internet (it was the 70’s) discovery is done one sip at a time.  Not reading about it from your smartphone.

But I digress- Beer is my favorite beverage with pizza.  The rounded pizza in this case was built by my friend Steve Hoeffner in Morristown, NJ.  Steve and his brother Marty own Hoeffner’s Meats.

Steve makes a pizza on a pita bread that is so simple yet texturally quite complex.  He takes pita and covers it with a layer of his sausage and tomato sauce gravy.  Then he slivers hot chili peppers and scatters a tangle of cheeses over the top of the sausage/tomato base.  You would put this “round slice” into a toaster oven until the cheese is toasty and melted about 8-10 minutes.  The pork sausage and tomato mixture becomes crunchy and savory- the cheese toasty and the pita crunchy during each bite.  This is a unique form of pizza.

Cabotella is a unique kind of beer.  Soft against the palate, German styled malts dominate the mouth-feel and a nice lingering sour/sweet finish make each bite of pizza and swig of beer a delight.

I also enjoyed Cabotella with a tuna fish sandwich on rye bread with bacon, tomato and mayo.  Here this beer really became quite assertive in the flavor profile.  I bet it would be fabulous with a fish taco. Whatever the case I think one of the best examples of this beer is in a beer cocktail.

 

Commodore Perry Fizz will charm the palates of you and one friend.

Ingredients:

2 Bottles Cabotella Mexican Ale

6 oz. Avua Cachaça  (Soon to be released, stay tuned!!)

.50 oz. Tenneyson Absinthe

6 oz. freshly squeezed Blood Orange Juice (or regular orange juice- ESSENTIAL, the juice MUST be freshly squeezed)

Mavea “Inspired Water” Ice handcut in large chunks (essential)

Bitter End Mexican Mole Bitters

Preparation:

Pour the Cabotella Ale into a large glass bowl

Add a few chunks of hand cut ice

Add the liquors

Add the Blood Orange – or regular orange juice

Add 5 drops of the Bitter End Mexican Mole Bitters

Serve in Old Fashioned Glasses with further chunks of Mavea filtered water ice