Misbegotten Youth Cocktail features La Clandestine Absinthe

Misbegotten Youth Cocktail

August 20, 2012

Photo: Warren Bobrow – Leica M8

Clandestine Absinthe is a huge surprise!

Towards the beginning of the month of August I received a funky colored blue bottle from Switzerland.

Emblazoned on the label was the Swiss flag and the words that read Methode Ancestrale.

But what does this mean?

And why did the packaged contain little bags of herbs?

Absinthe Herbs

La Clandestine Absinthe

1.   Ysop

2.   Lemon Balm

3.   Anis Seed

4.   Star Anis

5.   Veronica

6.   Fennel Seed

7.   Licorice

8.   Peppermint

9.   Petite Wormwood

10. Grand Wormwood

 

All 10 of these herbs are used in making La Clandestine Absinthe. Quantities are proprietary but all are grown at the distillery with the exception of the following

Star Anis – China

Fennel – Morroco

Anis Seed – Spain

 

The herbs were sent to illustrate the natural elements of the liquor and the bottle is painted blue in the traditional fashion to protect the delicate potion contained within.

And the Swiss Flag?   It really is made in Switzerland.  In the village where Absinthe was distilled for the first time in 1790.

This recipe is a truly historic recipe… 100% natural according to the clever website.

I’ve contracted a particularly virulent strain of poison oak.  I itch all over.  Suddenly even my palms itch.  Not pleasant at all.  I need booze. Either as a topical application or one taken internally.

The doctor would like for me to take a powerful steroid.  I thing something else will work.

Absinthe!

Perhaps I’m the one who is correct?  Well, he certainly couldn’t be more interested in my career as a cocktail writer.  His whole face lit up when I told him what I do!

 

The water is as important as the liquor.  I’m going on record to say this.  I’ve also written about how important the ice is to a cocktail.  That’s why I like to control the quality of my water.

My water filter is no less important than the quality of my spirits.

True, my home is located on a particularly pure water source and I get to this source through a well.

Unfortunately this water source is packed with minerals that burn right through the copper lines.

Without filtration, the water can take on a cloudy appearance.

Hence my Mavea, Inspired Water Pitcher.

Sitting just behind the little tasting bottle of La Clandestine Absinthe is the elegantly designed Mavea Water Pitcher.

Sure we sell them at Williams-Sonoma.  And yes, you can buy one on the web.  I’m not sure why you don’t own one yet?

They are the only filtration system that allows for a totally recycle program.  Use your filter until it’s time to change it and then send it back to the manufacturer for recycling!

That is pro-social.  The Swiss would be very happy to say they invented this system.  But they’d be incorrect in this theory.

The Mavea hails from their neighbors across the Alps.  The Germans!

From a design standpoint the Mavea Water System is the most elegant thing in your refrigerator- except for maybe a bottle of La Clandestine Absinthe.

I recommend doing very little to the clear slurp.

My idea of the perfect cocktail is the simplest in my stable of fabulous drinks.

Since La Clandestine is 106 Proof, you don’t have to do very much to it- to achieve a glorious buzz.

Perhaps a 2:1 ratio of Mavea Inspired Water to La Clandestine Absinthe will work?

I’m sipping a glass right now.  The time is roughly 4:20 in the afternoon.  The sound of the cicadas is melting into the background.  I’m transported to a bucolic farmers market in Columbus, Ohio.  I’m suddenly surrounded by sumptuous blueberries. Veritable bushels of them.

They speak to my sensuous nature.

Muddled Blueberries, La Clandestine Absinthe, Mavea Inspired Water. A big hit of Perrier Sparkling Water???  Crushed ice?  Simple Syrup?

Fresh.

Tasting notes:  World class aroma of fennel, liquorice, peppercorns-both pink and black… Belgian Ale nose- candy sugar finish with lingering notes of white tobacco flowers, flint and the taste of freshly cut spearmint.  This gives way to the gentle notes of orange blossom and wood grilled peaches.

The Cocktail is based on the classic Absinthe Frappe’ from New Orleans.  It’s said that this cocktail evolved from the passionate French speaking residents of New Orleans and the blistering hot summer weather, not unlike what I experienced during Tales.  Hazy, hot and humid.  The perfect cocktail for this type of weather is pastis, but that doesn’t hold enough mystique for me.

My version of the Absinthe Frappe’ is blisteringly strong.  The La Clandestine Absinthe is treated to a slurry of muddled farm fresh blueberries.  Then I hit the muddled blueberries with a 2 oz. shot of La Clandestine.  The color of the blueberries melt into the clear liquor.  There is an uneasy peace.  Splashing drop by precious drop of the Mavea Inspired Water over the top reveals the darker nature of this now muddled blue and white liquor mixture.  Then I add ice, also made from the water in my Mavea pitcher.

Nearly clear in appearance, the ice catches the light from the sun and refracts it into a billion rainbows- each spreading vision and pleasure around the room in a cacophony of light and color!

The blueberries ground this cocktail with the earth, the herbal quality of the liquor swirl around your tongue in a vortex of passion.  Warming you deeply, you cannot escape.

A couple of splashes of the Mavea Inspired Water and Mavea Ice and they in turn capture your heart.

You’re BUZZED!!!

(Isn’t that the idea???)

Cheers.  wb

Danger Level 5 out of 5

The Misbegotten Youth Cocktail

Each Recipe makes ONE cocktail.  I suggest making a pitcher of them, they tend to disappear very quickly!

2 oz. La Clandestine Absinthe (or your choice, I love Tenneyson, Lucid, Nouvelle Orleans, St. Georges, Amerique 1912….)

1/4 cup of the freshest blueberries

Simple Syrup

Crushed ice from the Mavea Inspired Water Pitcher

Water from the Mavea if you don’t have a Mavea you can also use Perrier Sparkling Water.  I think you’ll like this drink a bit fizzy and well chilled…

Fresh mint for garnish

Blueberries frozen into Mavea Inspired Water ice cubes

Preparation:

Muddle the blueberries in a Boston Shaker

Add 2 oz. of the Absinthe

Add 2 oz. of Simple Syrup

Add some fresh ice that you have crushed.  (Hence the frappe’)

Add 3 oz. cool water (very slowly) or Perrier Sparkling Water well chilled

(I’ll imagine that fizzy is more desirable)

Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint

Drink very carefully and with passion!

Hankshaw Hawkins Cocktail

Hankshaw Hawkins Cocktail

The Hankshaw Hawkins Cocktail is woven around a core of All-American Bourbon Whiskey.  With the heat bubbling up from somewhere down South it only makes sense to create a cocktail with a unique refreshing twist.  This twist is ice made from perfect spring water that bubbles up from the ground just up the road apiece.  That pure ice, run through the MAVEA pitcher sitting over there on the butcher block has been infused with spearmint from the garden.  As the ice melts, the flavors of the spicy spearmint melts into this drink.  I also added FEE Brothers Mint Bitters to the ice deepening the sparkling flavor.

I’m a real fan of Four Roses Bourbon Whiskey.  Directly in front of me is a thick, round shouldered bottle of Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey. I especially like the cork finish! Nice touch.

Sure, it’s only 10:00 AM and the heat is rising, the humidity rising and my thirst also rising.  If you’ve been following my writing for any length of time, you’ll know that I have a powerful passion for Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth.  The label clearly reads “BEST ON THE ROCKS WELL CHILLED.”  That my friends calls out to me with a huge smile.

I love my Vermouth mixed into cocktails that include Bourbon Whiskey, served on the rocks with a twist of orange.  There is a citrus laced element in this cocktail.  Similar to an Old Fashioned where fruit is muddled into the drink, I took the fruit flavors and added a bit of char to them.  Char you say?  Yes.  Oranges are a favored flavor in my Hankshaw Hawkins cocktail.  I also like using peaches, primarily because peaches are local and plentiful going forward into the summer months.  To char your fruits you must have some kind of fire, or in a pinch a cast iron pan.  I like to grill my oranges and peaches over hard wood charcoal.  If you don’t have a charcoal grill I suppose you can use that gas thing that you use to cook your dinners outside.

I prefer the flavor of wood smoke in my grilled fruit when using them in a cocktail.

Hankshaw Hawkins Cocktail

A perfectly delicious Fourth of July Cocktail that will tickle your fancy…

Ingredients:

Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey

Carpano Antica Formula

Grilled Oranges and Peaches – figure a couple rounds of orange and about 3 chunks of grilled peach per person

Ice from the MAVEA Water Pitcher, frozen in an ice cube tray from Williams-Sonoma.  I LOVE the KING Tray.  The cubes are two inch square and they melt oh so deliciously and slowly.

Fee Brothers Mint Bitters for the ice

Preparation:

Filter some spring water (locally gathered of course) through the MAVEA Water Pitcher System

Pour into the Williams-Sonoma King Ice Cube trays

Add about 5 drops of the Fee Brothers Mint Bitters directly into each water filled tray

Very finely chop some fresh mint (Spearmint, please) to each ice cube and then freeze as normal

Grill several rounds of oranges and chunks of peaches over hard wood charcoal

Let cool then muddle in a Boston Shaker

Add a couple cubes of regular ice to chill the Bourbon and Vermouth down

Add 2 Shots of Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey

Add 1 Shot of Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth

 

Shake Shake Shake Shake Shake

Strain into a short cocktail glass with the mint infused ice, then garnish with a chunk of grilled peach or grilled orange and a big sprig of fresh mint

Danger Level 3 out of 5.  Not too dangerous, yet please drink with caution, a couple of these cocktails in the hot sun can be quite beguiling and then quite dangerous!!

http://www.cocktailwhisperer.com

Agent Provocateur Cocktail… by Warren Bobrow from Modenus

 

Warren Bobrow’s Cocktail Hour: Agent Provocateur Cocktail

There is nothing that I enjoy more than simplicity. Simplicity is a sense of place and it belongs in my cocktail glass.

Sometimes I wonder why cocktails have a dozen ingredients or more. Are they trying to cover something up?

In the culinary arts, this myriad of flavors can be distracting from the natural flavors. Covering pure flavor up with disparate ingredients is confusing to the palate.

The same holds true for cocktails!
Keep it simple!

It’s been warmer than usual as of late. My palate calls out for drinks that celebrate the warming of the earth and the quickening of my thirst.
Aperol and Cynar are two liqueurs that deserve more than your passing gaze. The addition of Lucid Absinthe makes this party even more inviting and certainly more interesting.

Agent Provocateur Cocktail was developed with the lush images of the namesake store in mind.
I wanted to create something that slips off easily, but satisfies a certain craving at the same time.
Aperol is combined with a dollop of Cynar- then the mysteriously aromatic Lucid Absinthe makes an appearance.
Freshly squeezed lime and orange juice may fool you. And you might just see, oh!

You have had one too many, they’re so good! You won’t taste a thing!

The take is decidedly different than your usual aperitif cocktail.
This one may help you find your pillow sooner than later.
Be careful of the results or by all means please enjoy the results!

Your choice!
Ingredients for two luscious slurps or more:
4 Shots Aperol
1 Shot Cynar
2 Shots Lucid Absinthe
8 oz. Orange Juice (Essential to be freshly squeezed)
2 shakes Fee Brothers Rhubarb Bitters
Preparation:
To a cocktail shaker, fill ¼ with ice
Add Liqueurs
Add 2 shakes of the Rhubarb Bitters
Shake
Strain into two coupe’ glasses
Garnish with an orange zest

About Warren Bobrow

Warren has published over three hundred articles on everything from cocktail mixology to restaurant reviews. (Served Raw, Drinking in America, DrinkGal.com, Bluewater Vodka, Purity Vodka, Botran Rum, Orleans Apple Aperitif, Marie Brizard, Art in the Age: Root, Snap, Rhuby, Hendricks Gin, Sailor Jerry Rum, Tuthilltown Spirits, Bitter Cube, Bitter Truth, Bitter End-Bitters, Bitters, Old Men…etc. etc.)
He’s written food articles and news for Edible Jersey, Chutzpah Magazine, NJ Monthly, Serious Eats, Daily Candy (Philadelphia) Rambling Epicure (Geneva, Switzerland)
He is one of the cocktail bloggers for Williams-Sonoma and Foodista.
Warren is the On-Whiskey Columnist for Okra Magazine in New Orleans.
He is also a Ministry of Rum judge.
Warren is a self-taught photojournalist and shoots with the venerable Leica M8.
(Digital rangefinder)

The Peat Fire Cocktail

 

Warren Bobrow’s Cocktail Hour: The Peat Fire Cocktail

a fine selection of whiskey's and scotch in sample bottles

Whiskey- just so.

Last week I had the unique opportunity to boil water over a wood stove. Not because I wanted to- but because it was keeping us warm. Water boiled in a kettle over a Jotul woodstove just tastes better somehow in a hot drink.

This week the electric is back on and I am drawn, naturally to the fireplace- not only as a source of heat, but a source of good feelings and relaxation.

Whiskey is on the menu tonight. A tasting of several single malt Scotches. Will I know the difference? I wonder. Bourbon is usually my topic- Scotch is such an intellectual topic. Most of the authorities on Scotch are my friends- they know much more about this spirit than I do.

A cocktail that calls for Scotch, usually would not use a single malt Scotch, unless money is no object for you. Many of my bottles are samples- but it may not be financially feasible to mix a hundred dollar bottle of 18 year old Scotch with freshly squeezed lemon juice!

The Peat Fire is a simple cocktail of my invention. It involves the aroma and flavor of a peat fire burning in a cabin in Scotland. A lemon is juiced and some sweet vermouth added to the mix. Seltzer is employed and a dream is realized. This cocktail tastes fine with an inexpensive, but good smoky Scotch like Johnny Walker Red Label. It’s available almost everywhere in the world.

The Peat Fire cocktail- Serves two

Ingredients:

4 shots Johnny Walker Red Label or your choice of blended Scotch

2 Lemons- juiced

1 shot Sweet Vermouth – Punt e Mes is my go/to

A few splashes of Angostura Bitters

Preparation:

Fill a drink mixer ½ with ice.

Add Scotch

Add Lemon juice

Add Sweet Vermouth

Add Bitters

Shake and strain into a short rocks glass with a couple of ice cubes, finish with seltzer and garnish with a cherry (home cured..NEVER use those awful red things from a jar!)

Warren Bobrow’s Cocktail Hour: HEAT WAVE cooler…

I couldn’t wait for this heatwave to start.  Really.  All year long I’ve wanted to sweat.  That deep down burn that flows through my body.  Sweat flowing from my brow into my eyes, my back soaked on the leather seats of my car.  Yeah, you know what I’m “talking” about.  A real summer heat wave.  You cannot escape.  It’s everywhere.  An egg could be fried on the sidewalk- that kind of heat.

Fortunately I’m here to cool off your frazzled demeanor.  What is that look on your face?  You don’t believe me?

My good friends you are in luck.  I’ve created at this hour of 9:56 am on Thursday a most beguiling of cocktails.  One that will, as I like to put it, mystify and challenge even the most robust of imbibers.  This one my friends garners a 5 out of 5.  Danger Level 5.  I’m getting numb just smelling it.

The ice is as important as the rest of the cocktail.  I recommend spending about 12 bucks on a silicone ice cube tray from Williams-Sonoma.  True there are dozens of other items for sale in the store that I lust over, but for this cocktail, I need a large ice cube that melts- very, very slowly.  Ice is one of my favorite topics.

I’m a fan of liquors from the Near East.  I mean Greece and Turkey.  Raki in Turkey, Ouzo in Greece…

The Moors enjoyed liqueurs and preparations that used anise seeds.  In their attempted conquest of the world, the liquors that they enjoyed in turn influenced others cultures and peoples in the world.  Hence you find Raki in Turkey, Ouzo in Greece, Pastis in France and… Aquavit from the Scandinavian countries.  But what does Aquavit have to do with anise?  Is it because anise is a seed and caraway is a seed as well?  Sure, it’s a stretch, but in flavor transmittal, a stretch is fantastic.. Anise and Caraway just work together.

Another hidden ingredient, at least in the Near East is Rose Water.  The essence of roses can be quite sensual.  They stimulate the feelings of eroticism. I love rose in a cocktail, especially the rose simple syrup from Royal Rose.  I’ve fallen hard for their syrups, but for the summer- in my opinion, nothing goes better with Tenneyson Absinthe than rose syrup.

Blueberries from Driscoll’s.  Organically grown are the base for my cocktail.  I’ve taken these absolutely ravishing blueberries and muddled them with some of the Royal Rose simple syrup of roses until they stain the side of the mixing glass with their juices.  The aroma of blue along with rose is intoxicating to say the least.

Tenneyson Absinthe, made in France with care is clear as a glass window in the perfume grade, cut glass bottle.  But add some seltzer water and the formerly pristine color takes on a shade of cream and blue fruits.  The Aquavit from House Spirits in Portland, Oregon is a hidden Umami flavor.  You sense it.  It’s there.. but soon, very soon you will feel no pain at all.

It’s now 10:32 am.  The air is brisk but steadily heating up.  Soon the leaves outside will begin to wilt.  It’s a true heat wave. I cannot wait to sip this cocktail in the blaze of the summer heat.

You will crave one too.  Crave is not even the word I seek.  Yearn is better.  Hunger.  Thirst.

Bitters should finish this cocktail.  A punch of depth to center that little third eye in the middle of your forehead.  Why the third eye?  So you can see.  Because with your eyes closed (and they will be soon) you’ll need some way to guide you on your spiritual path to enlightenment. My friend Bill York at Bitter End Bitters makes a perfectly respectable Moroccan Bitters.  Woven with the flavors of the Middle East, this salubrious squirt of bitters it more than able to stand up to the task of binding the Absinthe to the Aquavit.

A splash of seltzer water will finish.  And keep you from walking into doors.

One cocktail at a time.  By my patient hand.  Cheers and stay cool if you are able.

BEHİYE Cocktail

Meaning beautiful in Turkish

(with a generous nod of my hat to Joy E. Stocke from the Wild River Review)

Ingredients:

Driscoll’s Blueberries- they’re really the best we can get outside of Maine…

Krogstad Aquavit

Tenneyson Absinthe

Bitter End Bitters

Royal Rose Simple Syrup of Roses

Preparation:

In a cocktail shaker, muddle about 1/4 cup of the Driscoll Blueberries with 2 Tablespoons of Royal Rose simple syrup of Rose until the aroma rises up in the cup, about 10 seconds

Add 1 Shot of Tenneyson Absinthe

Add 1/2 Shot of Krogstad Aquavit

Add four drops of the Bitter End Moroccan Bitters

 

Shake for exactly 15 seconds and pour into a lovely hand blown rocks glass where 2 LARGE ice cubes are resting, patiently…  Add a splash of cooling seltzer and dream.

 

Corrected Coffee? Absolutely!

Corrected Coffee
Posted by Warren Bobrow in Interior Design
19
May

It’s been a rather difficult week this week. First of all I have withdrawl. Last week I was in my element. I was correcting the coffee for the thirsty folks at the VIP/ The Daily Basics Mixology tent.

What is corrected coffee? Corrected coffee is coffee with a kick. And I was the man to provide it.

There wasn’t anyone during the entire event at Brimfield who wasn’t offered a corrected coffee. There is something to be said for this kind of mind eraser/mind opener. After all, at 7 or 8 in the morning, when the coffee is hot, there is ample time to correct the cup in your hand, to augment it, make it better, make it stronger, make it dangerous. Make each mug with PASSION!

I know how to do this. After all, I’m the Cocktail Whisperer!

Corrected Coffee

Each recipe will completely twist your mind, your friend’s and perhaps their friend’s as well. But for this exercise, each recipe serves two persons. Danger Level 5 out of 5! (so be careful)

2 mugs of freshly brewed coffee (try to make it yourself. Starbucks doesn’t count)

4 shots of Snap (USDA Certified Organic Ginger Snap Liqueur)

2 shots of Tenneyson Absinthe

1 shot of Fernet Branca

Bitter End Mexican Mole’ Bitters

Freshly whipped cream

Preparation:

Whip your cream, whip it good, I say whip it… (apologies to DEVO)

Add two shots of the Snap into each mug

Add the coffee to each mug

Add four drops of the Bitter End Mexican Mole’ Bitters to each mug

Top with fresh whipped cream. If you have those imitation cans, shame on you!

Sip and try not to drink too quickly, there’s plenty of time to sleep later in the day…

What does Blat Mean in Catalonian By: Warren Bobrow (cocktail whisperer)

 

Blat means wheat in Catalonian.  But to me, Blat means flavor.   It also means damned good wheat Vodka.

But what makes this Vodka better than the others on the market?

I’m not sure- but through a proprietary method of distillation, Blat Vodka reads, right on the label and certified by the US Government that it is pure. Chemically speaking there are zero impurities in this Vodka.  No impurities according to the owners of the company, equals no hangovers.

That seems to be a pretty broad ranging statement, but independent US Government Laboratories have certified on every bottle that.. well, here it is directly from the label:

We Guarantee, as a result of proprietary process, that this bottle was filled from has produced Vodka with Non-Detected Impurities.  The analysis has been carried out by the most accurate USA independent laboratory certified by the TTB.  The results have shown that typical traces of 1-Butanol, Active Amyl Alcohol, Isoamyl Alcohol, Isobutanol, Methanol, N-Propanol, or Acetaldehyde, EB Ethyl Acetate, were all non-detected.

So what are they saying?   “Achieving extraordinary purity without sacrificing the best traditional taste through a completely unique proprietary process.  Reaches where others cannot reach.”

But what does this Vodka taste like?

A dream.

A dream?  Yes.  A dream of aromatics.  I detect rosemary, citrus and white flowers.  This Vodka is pure and clean and it mixes with citrus in a most friendly manner.

This is a most friendly Vodka.

Just like the owners of the company.  They are as approachable as your own family.

There is something about this Vodka that allows it to marry well with citrus fruits. But not your typical Vodka and Orange juice type drinks.  I’m speaking of grilled citrus, like blood oranges, muddled with freshly snipped garden herbs like rosemary and fresh mint.

A whiff of the sea is in every sip.

They use a special type of water for the blending their Vodka.  Let’s just say that the recipe is a closely guarded secret.  I’d like to “spill the secret” but alas, even the wife of one of the owners does not know the formulary.

They say you won’t get a hangover by drinking Blat.  I’m not sure I’d like to test this theory, but it makes sense.

Take out the impurities and take away the chances of one of those behind the eyes is pure pain hangovers.

I’ve traveled to the region of Spain that this Vodka is named for.  Catalonia.  The region is rich with a very specific terroir.  Wheat is grown here and Blat Vodka is (in my opinion) the closest thing Vodka comes to Pappy Van Winkle.  If they create their cache’, it should be for the purity of the flavors in each sip.

This is Vodka that doesn’t stand in the way of getting your work done.  (my quote!)

So, I played around with my bottle of Blat this afternoon.  But as simplicity is my guide, I took the path less followed.  Bitters became my GPS in this experiment.

I call this little cocktail the Black Hat.  Named for a circa 1800’s top hat I own.  The last time I wore this top hat (many years ago) I became particularly wrecked on your basic Vodka on the Rocks.  Now, many years later, I still own this venerable top hat, but alas, it is too small for my head.

I think it makes a great prop though.  And the inspiration for this cocktail is the remembrance of the last time that I drank Vodka on ice. I’m quite sure that Vodka was not as pure as Blat.

The Black Hat Cocktail (Serves one or two, depending on how wrecked you want to be, but remember, no hangover!)

Ingredients for the Black Hat Cocktail:

Blat Vodka from Spain

Bitters, Old Men- Isaan Another Level Bitters (Comprised of Burdock, Lemongrass, Ginger, Kaffir Lime Leaf, Yuzu Peel, Birds eye chili, Fish Sauce and Sweet Soy)

Ice

Preparation:

Into a short cocktail glass add one or two large cubes of ice.  I used a large silicone cube form from Williams-Sonoma

Add 2 Shots of Blat Vodka (Wheated, just like Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon!)

Add exactly five drops of the Bitters, Old Men Bitters

Stir with a long piece of lemongrass, but crush the end first with the flat side of a chef’s knife to release the aromatics

I also created another cocktail based on strong Mexican Coffee with the unmistakable aromatics of Mexican Chocolate and smoke from one of the unmistakable Del Maguay Mezcals.

This salubrious drink- I named the Oaxaca Express.  It uses a couple of hits of the Mexican Mole’ Bitters from The Bitter End

This cocktail is also simplicity in motion.  Use the same proportions as the Black Hat, but substitute the Bitter End Mexican Mole Bitters for the Bitters, Old Men Bitters

Instead of five drops of bitters, use only three drops of the Mexican Mole’ Bitters.

Add 1/2 shot of strong coffee to the vodka and then the Bitter End Bitters and a good splash of Agave Syrup for a sweeter finish

Add a large cube of ice

Finally, add 1/2 shot of Petuga from Del Maguey

Add the Mezcal directly over the top

Serve immediately to your friend and then make another for yourself to show your good manners!

Thank you Fabiola for being so kind to me.

 

What is it about Rum and Bitters? By: Warren Bobrow (Cocktail Whisperer)

What is it about Rum and Bitters?

May 1, 2012

I’m quite fond of white rum.  It’s got the stuffing to stand up to mixers and to cocktail bitters.  A couple weeks ago I received a sample bottle from the R. St. Barth’ Rhum company.  I told them I’d like to try their product and if I liked it, I would write something about it.  The same holds true for all the spirits I receive as samples.  If I like it, we can see the results, if not, well, I’ll leave that to you.

Sitting in front of me is a medium glass.  I’ve added a couple of coconut water ice cubes and some drops of a couple of bitters- most divergent in styles.  The Bitters, Old Men, Macadamia Bitters and the Bitter End Thai Bitters to be exact.  And yes, I received them as samples as well.

But as simplicity is my guide, I wanted to taste this Rhum before I did any cocktail augmentation.  That means, taste the Rhum, right into my glass.  Then- experiment a bit.

The St. Barth Rhum is stylistically more akin to the Rhum Agricole of the island of Martinique.  Now there are some that will disagree with me- and that’s fine.

This is a gorgeous Rhum Agricole.  Smacking of fresh sugar cane and white flowers, the slight salty bitterness guides me to adding some augmentation.

Truly nothing is needed but time in the glass and fresh citrus fruit.  Maybe a splash of Cane Sugar Syrup?

No, it doesn’t taste like Martinique, what it tastes like is Guadeloupe Rum.. That is what it is!  Sure it says St. Barths’s on the label, and that’s where the company is from.

I think real estate is too valuable on St. Barth’s for growing cane.  Having spent a few weeks on St. Barth’s, it’s a magnificent place, brimming with French tourists in various stages of undress.

A harbor filled with mega-yachts, moored stern in, the European way.  It’s a veritable Rhum fueled holiday!

The town of Gustavia is filled with the wealthy and the super-wealthy.  You come here to soak up the sun and dream away the afternoons!

St. Barth’s has long been a clearing port for fine Rhum from the surrounding islands.  You can get anything there virtually tax-free as long as it says RUM on the label.

I learned about the truly high end Rhums of Martinique while enjoying a “Cheeseburger” in paradise and washing it down with a Rhum Punch.  Each restaurant on St. Barth’s makes their own version of the Rhum Punch.  Usually it is Rhum Agricole, with infused herbs, fruits, spices and syrups.

The St. Barth’s Rhum Agricole would make the perfect base as a Rhum Punch.  But I digress.

Today’s cocktail is ever so simple and delicious!

The Grilled Rhum Slingback

Ingredients:

Rhum St. Barth

Grilled orange rounds (about 3 per drink)

Fresh Lime cut into 8th’s

Coconut Water Ice

Bitter End Thai Bitters

Bitters, Old Men Macadamia Bitters

Freshly picked Kentucky Colonel Mint

Seltzer

Preparation:

Freeze Coconut water into ice cube trays

Chill short cocktail glasses with regular ice and water- let sit then pour out when glasses are very cold

Muddle the grilled orange rounds with the mint and the limes in a cocktail shaker

Add 2 Shots per person of the Rhum St. Barth to a cocktail shaker with the grilled orange/lime/mint muddle

Add the bitters, three drops of the Bitter End Thai, then 5 drops of the Bitters, Old Men-Macadamia Bitters

Stir to chill and combine well

Pour out water and ice from your short cocktail glasses

Add a couple of coconut water ice cubes

Strain the Rhum Agricole St. Barth’s mixture over the coconut water ice cubes

Garnish with an un-grilled orange slice and splash with seltzer to finish

So what is it about Rhum and Bitters.  Are they a marriage of like-minds?  I think so.  Depending on the variety and scope of your bitters of course.

I want you to experiment with flavor! That’s what brings you deeper into your cocktails.

 

Close your eyes and dream of Eden Rock.

Magic Monk’s Eventual Dream Punch by: Warren Bobrow-Cocktail Whisperer

Pardon my fuzzy photography from my ancient iPhone- I had to capture this picture with the camera I had on hand.  This drink came together after a particularly unpleasant day yesterday.  My day started with two deeply placed cavities being drilled out- at the dentist.

Please don’t get me wrong, he is most gentle and very kind- no barbarians here!

My mouth was not happy and after a few hours of discomfort I was able to get to work writing and dreaming.

My mind sometimes wanders to cocktails for reasons other than purely creative expressions of my inner self.  Yesterday, it drifted towards alcohol to kill that dull pain of the experience.

I waited until the early evening to let my mind wander.  Waiting for the magic to take place.

A fire graced the dining room fireplace- warming against my back. I was eagerly awaiting that flood of inspiration from using great ingredients to create new flavors.

They lend their secrets through creativity.

The cast iron pan heated to smoking in the kitchen.  I had some tiny Florida Blood Oranges in a bowl for snacking, then, inspiration struck.  What if I segmented the oranges into sections, then seared them in the cast iron pan, smoking nicely in the background?   Certainly would change their flavor.  Deepen it somehow.  Make it sensual- a seared blood orange juice for a cocktail or a punch?  Absolutely.

But what liquor to go with this.  I’m sure cognac would work, but I didn’t want to go down that road from a flavor perspective.  I needed something with deep mystery.  What liquor evokes mystery more than Absinthe?   Nothing except maybe Chartreuse VEP?  Having several bottles of Absinthe and one of the VEP  in the liquor cabinet didn’t hurt.

Carefully I drew open the ancient wooden box that contained the VEP.  The wax covered top and hand numbered bottle looking like something from an alchemist’s lair.  The bottle of Absinthe that I chose was Tenneyson.  The company hails from Texas, yet the magic captured in the bottle is distilled in France.  Is there a connection here?  I’m not sure.

With the blood oranges popping up and down on the sizzling hot cast iron pan, I realized that they were attaining that crunchy covering that only can happen with high heat.   Removing them from the pan I set them aside to cool.  Then I juiced them by hand through a cocktail sieve.

I chilled this really cool mid-century modern glass down with some ice and water, but I didn’t want this drink to be cold.  My teeth were pretty sensitive at this point.

Combining a bit of Chartreuse with Absinthe takes real fortitude.  The Chartreuse VEP is 108 proof.  Not for the meek.  Tenneyson Absinthe, rolling in at 106 proof is at first sniff, pure Gin.  I don’t know how they do it, other than the specific Terroir of the herbs in their unique recipe.  This Absinthe is contemplative, yes- but when combined with Chartreuse VEP and charred blood orange juice- something magical takes place.

It is a punch beyond dreams- a simple drink really.  Made with passion!  You need to include two other ingredients that may have to be ordered directly from their source.  Bitter End Moroccan Bitters and Royal Rose Simple Syrup of Tamarind to acheive my flavor profile.  Or you can skip them and use the bitters on hand and a sugar cane simple syrup.

 

Magic Monk’s Eventual Dream Punch (Makes two or more… Just lovely cocktails)

Ingredients:

3 Shots Tenneyson Absinthe or your choice of Absinthe

1 Shot Chartreuse VEP

6 shots of grilled blood orange juice

A few slices of (ungrilled) blood orange for garnish

Bitter End Moroccan Bitters

Royal Rose Tamarind Syrup

Seltzer Water

Preparation:

Sear blood orange segments in a cast iron or stainless steel pan until nicely browned on both sides, set aside to cool, then juice through cocktail sieve

Combine Absinthe and Chartreuse VEP in a cocktail mixing vessel of your choice.

Add seared blood orange Juice slowly while mixing with a stainless steel cocktail mixer.  Be gentle. Watch the louche’ take place in the glass. Contemplate the creamy, gin and citrus scented aromas that rise up from within.

Add a medicine dropper of the Bitter End Moroccan Bitters.

Add a splash or two of the Royal Rose Tamarind Syrup.

Give another gentle stir.

Pour into one of your most favored glasses… Have a connection to your glass that you will pour the drink into- make it memorable and share this elegant little punch with someone who appreciates FLAVOR!

Top with a bit of seltzer water, and garnish with a slice of blood orange.  Sip, then dream into your Absinthe colored mystery!

On Whisk(e)y: Tasting Tullibardine Aged Oak Edition + Balblair 1991 from OKRA Magazine

WARREN BOBROW grew up on a biodynamic farm in Morristown, New Jersey. He is a reluctant cocktail/wine writer and a former trained chef/saucier.

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There was a time in recent memory that I would walk into a liquor store and look wistfully at the selections of rum, vodka, gin and bourbon.  I would walk right past the Scotch whisky as if it were something from another lifetime.  My memories of Scotch whisky come at a high price for me.  Unfortunately, when I attended private school, Scotch was just about the only thing that we drank.  I remember a particularly blurry evening when an overly enthusiastic parent of a party-thrower was meting out veritable coffee mugs filled to over-flowing with the fruits of his investments.  This gentleman who is now gone, invested heavily in Scotch whisky casks.  At the end of the 30-year period there was the option to either sell the casks at a huge profit, or drink them.  He preferred the latter and shared them willingly.

In college I didn’t enjoy Scotch.  My college roommate often had in lean times a bottle of Johnny Walker Red, and in flush times, a bottle of the Black.  I suppose that I just didn’t get it about Scotch.  Single malt included.  The flavors were lost on me.  I made no effort to enjoy it again until less than a year ago.

Since my passion is rum and, of course, bourbon writing- I thought why not branch out a bit.  Find some way to learn about Scotch by asking for and receiving gorgeous samples from the distilleries.  And so I did.  And my bar grew and grew with exotic offerings from distilleries around the globe.

Sitting in front of me right now are two such bottles.  They were given as samples, thank you very much.

As I have said previously, if I do not like a spirit, I will not write about it.  These expressions caught my mind’s eye, my sense of taste and in turn opened my palate.

The Tullibardine Aged Oak Edition says right on the label, “Best Procurable”.  That statement of quality did not taint my first impression of this spirit.  I should have imagined a statement about the casks before reading the ad copy.  The small words fine, rare, smooth & mellow are more important to me.  They express exactly what my first taste said.  A sip is creamy and lush all at once.  The mouth-feel is creamed corn baked into a pudding on the finish.  The start is a touch of oak, a bit of cane sugar

(Do they use bourbon casks?)

Midway through swallowing this very small dram I discover the taste of peat, but not too much.   There is a burn, but again, it’s metered and it doesn’t overpower the nose.  The alcohol level is a fine 46% by volume, not too much, yet not 80 proof.  After drinking a few of the raw cask expressions from Blackadder a few months back I’ve looked at anything less than 120 proof as “not too much”.

Turning the back of the bottle, I see that, indeed, they used bourbon casks.  The company uses casks that date back to 2003 and the youngest casks are five years old.  They detect citrus in the mouth, yet I detect caramel corn, grilled peaches, German eiswine and charred hoe-cakes made with charred grain instead of corn.  This is an elegant slurp and I beg that you seek out a bottle.  Tullibardine is not like the Scotch I’ve tried recently- it is much more American in approach. This must be from the bourbon oak.  I think it will appeal to a drinker, like myself who is still learning how to enjoy Scotch whiskey.

Balblair 1991

The Balblair is like a history lesson.  There comes a time when every imbiber seeks out the very best expression of the spirits that they can afford.  The Balblair from 1991 will not disappoint.  I’m gazing, no, peering into a dram of this whisky as if it was a veritable swimming pool of honey.  The aroma fills the room.  Freshly cut citrus, honey, heather, tarragon and bubbling spring water is the first thing I sense.  This is a gorgeous dram of history.  I suspect that each year of this liquid gold is different- as different as the grains taste from fog to fog, year to year.  The earth gives off a fragrance that is immediately recognizable on the first sip.

There is smoke, yes, but it dissipates very quickly upon swallowing.  The alcohol level is a bit less than that of the Tullibardine, but it actually tastes a bit hotter on the finish.  The oak – used bourbon oak – the same.

I’ve gone on record to say that I love rum-aged in Scotch whisky cask so maybe I’m learning to love Scotch whisky aged in bourbon cask?  I think so!

There is freshly made whole grain pancake batter in the nose and a finish of the outdoors, saline, lively and crisp.  I’d say this was a single malt whisky for the spring and summer months.  It’s lightweight and it makes you thirsty for more.  Plus, the relatively low alcohol level will not wreck you completely if you choose to take a glass or two as an aperitif!

I don’t recommend ice in this dram, just sprinkle a bit of branch or spring water over the top.  Sure, you can keep a bottle down in the wine cellar.  I enjoy drinking my Scotch from 45 to 56 degrees.  As it gets warmer, it changes and I like that change.  This is an extremely easy to drink Scotch Whiskey.  The first flavors are of freshly cut citrus fruits, toasty vanilla sugar that’s been muddled with cinnamon sticks- there’s some brown butter in there along with some grade B maple syrup.

My friend Hunter Stagg gave me some simple syrup made from Lemon Thyme the other day.  The mid-notes of the Balblair is pure lemon thyme and simple syrup.  I’m impressed to the range of flavors in each sip.  I must recommend sprinkling some spring water over the top of your dram.  It will release the emotions in every sip.

If you have a sprig of mint, or lemon thyme, slap it against your hand, sniff it deeply and have a sip of your dram.

It’s a lovely way to spend the afternoon.  Sitting and sipping fine whisky.