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.

 

 

To Charles Baxter (DrinkupNY)

Monday, August 11, 2014

To Charles Baxter

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer

When I contemplate a refreshing cocktail for the hot weather there should be a cooling element that is included.  Sweat is one of those cooling elements that come to mind, that veneer of moisture on your skin and a bit a air blowing over it gives the impression of coolness.  Or so it should be when it’s hot without air conditioning.

I suppose I don’t like to be overly hot.  That’s why the summer months are a drag for me- but don’t despair!  This drink has some spiciness to it, leading to that sweat on your skin and the final element is so refreshing that you’ll want another one, right after the first one.

I’ve always been fond of day drinking and this hand held cooling system works because it doesn’t contain that much alcohol.  That makes for a few drinks before lunch and a few more in the afternoon.  Of course you can bring up the rear by having them all in the evening, but then you wouldn’t understand why this drink is so pleasurable during the daytime hours.  It requires the sun over your toes to understand why.

Byejoe is a relatively new product from China made from Sorghum.  Sorghum accounts for most of the ingredients in the Dragon Fire version, along with tropical fruits and hot chili peppers for a sweat inducing finish.  That’s good for cooling your body from the inside out.  In typical fashion, I’ve concocted a sort of Shandy for the Byejoe and Doc’s Hard Pear Cider.  They just mix well together, especially with an ounce or two of Royal Rose Saffron Syrup.  I like the exotic element of Saffron along with sparkling cider and the potent finish of the Byejoe Dragon Fire- made of Dragon Fruit and hot chilies.

Combined together, shaken hard and served over crushed ice, this is your new go/to for day-drinking.   Of course you’ll need some freshly squeezed lemon and orange juice to bring this drink a fever pitch of amusement as it slides down your gullet.   And if it isn’t too many steps, may I suggest freezing some of the Pear Cider into your ice cube tray?

This adds a concentration that water ice alone can never do alone.  It needs awareness.   Another way to increase this sense of potency is to add Grapefruit Bitters from The Bitter Truth directly into the ice cube trays made with 50% hard pear cider and 50% water.  I’d use about 10 drops for a standard ice cube tray- more or less as desired.  As the ice melts the drink expands in cooling and strength.

The first time I tasted Byejoe with the Dragon Fruit and hot chilies the depth of flavor more than took me.  This is not your typical flavored vodka nor ill-tempered Moonshine.  What Byejoe is escapes reason because you have never tasted anything like it?  Lucky you!  DrinkupNY carries both varieties of Byejoe, the plain- yet highly flavor driven and the Dragon Fire, redolent of exotic spices and fruit.

Now there are no more excuses to not taste this extremely cooling beverage.  While it’s true that Byejoe is strongly flavored, there are reasons why you’ll fall in love with Byejoe.  First of all it’s different than vodka or gin.  There is nothing like it on the market.  Secondly, Byejoe is extremely well made.  Sorghum, as the main ingredient produces a smoothly textured liquor that rolls over your tongue and makes for a perfectly potent beginning or invigorating end to your day.

The Doc’s Pear Cider is the essential foil against the fire of Byejoe.  The pear element is crisp and thirst quenching.  It makes you thirsty for more!   Saffron lends a sweet and sultry element to the cocktail and the cane sugar syrup base melts across your tongue.  The fizz of the pear cider weaves its way into your dreams and the Byejoe makes it a memory you won’t soon forget.   Tangerine is the last element in this cocktail and perhaps the most essential.  There is something indescribable about Fruitations and the deft hand shown in the citrus world.  Tangerine and Saffron along with hot peppers and dragon fruit with a fizzy pear laced finish?

Say it isn’t so?

Are you ordering a bottle yet?  Yes?  The bitters and the cider too, absolutely.

To Charles Baxter
Ingredients:
2 oz. Byejoe Dragon Fire
3 oz. Doc’s Pear Cider
½ oz. Royal Rose Simple Syrup of Saffron
½ oz. Fruitations Tangerine Soda and Cocktail Syrup
Pear/Grapefruit Bitter Truth Bitters ice… freeze 50/50 with about 10 shakes of Bitter Truth Grapefruit Bitters over the top
Freshly picked spearmint
Lime pinwheel

Preparation:
Fill a large Old Fashioned glass with ice made from Pear Cider and filtered water frozen together 50/50 blend

To a Boston Shaker, fill ¾ with regular bar ice
Add the Dragon Fire and the Pear Cider (yes it’s sparkling, so shake softly)
Add the Saffron syrup and the Tangerine syrup
Cap and shake gently to combine and cool

Pour over the infused ice and garnish with fresh mint and a lime pinwheel.

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

 

My second book, Whiskey Cocktails is now in pre-sale!  click for more information!  Thank You!

 

What are Shrubs in Cocktails?

What is a Shrub you might ask?  Well, a Shrub is a combination of sweet and savory flavors.

Vinegar and fruits, bitter aromatics and tart essences are what Shrubs are to a cocktail.

I see a Shrub and I think savory and complicated flavors.

Shrubs seem to be recreated aroma driven concentrated tastes.  Sitting in front of me right now is a very special Apple Shrub from Shrub and Co.

I created a liquid Mulligatawny  out of my Apple Shrub.

The Mulligatawny Cocktail is a curious creature indeed.   It is comprised of Orleans Apple Aperitif woven in a melange with Busted Barrel Rum from New Jersey.

A few tablespoons of the Apple Shrub is augmented by the sharp and potent flavors of Curry- as exemplified by Bill York’s Curry Bitters from Bitter End in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

I see this cocktail as a potent reminder of the British Empire running a rail road train at high speed into an unchartered pass.  In the winter.  With no one coming in either direction for about a week.  This drink is perfect for the coming apple season and fall soon ahead.

The Shrub and Co. Apple Shrub can be taken by the teaspoon full over ice cream or spooned over shortbread and dashed with some bourbon oak aged dark rum or even an agricole!

I prefer it in a drink.

There are dozens of different Shrubs on the market.  Some are created from berries, others citrus and still others tree fruits.  Shrubs are to cocktails as a time-machine is to space travel.  A means to the end.  Channeling our forefathers through their liquid driven memories.

My thoughts on Shrubs are simple.  Use them when you require a bitter/sour element to your drinks.

They add a savory sweet/sour thickness to the finished product.

Please let me know your thoughts.

 

I’ll Be an Apple Perplexed Cocktail aka: The Mulligatawny Cocktail

Ingredients:

2 oz. Busted Barrel Rum

1 oz. Orleans Apple Aperitif

1 oz. Shrub & Co. Apple Shrub

Bitter End Curry Bitters

Large Ice Cubes

Preparation:

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled 1/4 with ice

Shake well until frosty

Strain over large ice cubes

Scrape some fresh nutmeg over the top (essential!)

Garnish with a sprig of fresh spearmint

cocktail recipe: At last a paltry decree…

Monday, July 28, 2014

Cocktail Recipe: At Last A Paltry Decree

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail WhispererIt’s remarkable how fine spirits respond to freshly squeezed juices.  But imagine for a second that you don’t have a great source for perfectly ripened fruits.  I know that in New York City, we always can get something fresh and lush, even in the corner Bodega.  But just outside the city things are much more dicey on the freshly squeezed juice front.Fortunately I’m well versed with the gorgeous product named Fruitations.  While I was down in New Orleans during the recent Tales of the Cocktail, I was pleasantly surprised to see many bottles of Fruitations.  But that’s not why I love Fruitations, although it was great to see the product get international recognition.  What I like about this product is the unmistakable taste of freshly crushed fruit.

That means something to me. Read on!

While I was down in New Orleans, feeling the sweat pour down my back because I walked nearly everywhere in the 100 per cent humidity days, I had the honor to sit down with Jason Kosmas of the 86 Company.  I’m sure I looked like something that just came up out of the swamp for the first time, because I asked for a bar rag instead of a napkin to dry my brow.  They say in the South, that you don’t sweat- you glow.  Well my friends, I was not only sweating, every drop of my fiber was pooling around me and soaking my clothes.  It wasn’t as hot as past years, but the humidity more than made up for the lack of burning summer’s heat.

Jason re-introduced me to his line of highly expressive spirits.  He made note of the new label design, how it comes off easily and the reason for all those hatch marks in the bottle.   I always knew that the bottle with a long neck fits into my hand easily and won’t slip out.  This is important to anyone who is limited on time in a high volume cocktail bar.  The shape of the bottle is important too, easy to fit into a speed rack, with a narrow, rounded surface.  Very impressive are the measurements on the side of the bottle as well.  This allows the bartender to batch with relative ease.  But the most important thing about these products isn’t the pretty label, or the markings on the bottle, what is most important what is inside the bottle.

Francisco “Don Pancho” Fernandez  carefully  makes Caña Brava rum in Panama.  This Cuban-styled  rum is a rarity in the United States where most of the high volume products barely taste like rum at all.  Not to point fingers at any one producer, I’m less than impressed by rum that tastes like vodka, if I wanted to drink vodka, I would…  This is gorgeous rum that tastes like the rum I bought in Duty-Free in Rome last September.  Francisco made Cuban rum for 35 years and now he is making it for the 86 Company as he did in the old country with an antique copper and brass column still during the days of America’s Prohibition.  His rum is filtered, crystal clear in color and rambunctious in the mouthfeel.  Woven into cocktails, Caña Brava will most certainly fool you with its authenticity towards the very rare rum from Cuba… And as anyone who has traveled abroad knows, bringing back a few sample bottles is not frowned upon, yet one cannot just buy a bottle at their local package goods store.

It’s illegal to trade with Cuba!   Thankfully we have Caña Brava to take our minds off of Cuban Rum…

Send for a bottle from DrinkupNY, do it now!

Tenneyson Absinthe, just a drop really- added to the Caña Brava and the Fruitations Tangerine Soda and Cocktail syrup makes a fine cocktail even more alluring.  When I saw Graham Wasilition, the enthusiastic owner of Tenneyson down at Tales, I wanted to tell him about this cocktail- but time didn’t allow it.  Tenneyson is unique to the Absinthe market.  It comes clear, without dyes or other artificial ingredients, but when you add it to a cocktail or just dribble some cool water over the top, magic happens in your glass.  It makes me thirsty just to think about it!

As most of my cocktails contain bitters, the Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters is a fine way of finishing this lush cocktail.

Cheers!

WB

At Last A Paltry Decree

Ingredients:
2 oz. Caña Brava Rum from the 86 Co.
.25 Tenneyson Absinthe
.50 Fruitations Tangerine Soda and Cocktail Syrup
2 oz. Polar Sparkling Water
2-4 dashes of Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters

Preparation:
To a Boston Shaker filled ¾ with bar ice:
Add the Caña Brava Rum
Add the Tenneyson Absinthe
Add the Fruitations Tangerine

Cap and shake hard for 10 seconds or so

Add ice to an Old Fashioned glass
Strain into the glass
Dot with the Lemon Bitters
Serve!

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!

The Urban Meditation Fizz. Thank you DrinkupNY!

THURSDAY, JULY 3, 2014

Urban Meditation Fizz Cocktail

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail WhispererWhen the weather starts getting really oppressive outside, getting bombed is the last thing on my mind.  Sure, it’s fun to get a little buzz on to keep the feeling of the humidity at bay.  I know this sense of relaxation is just the thing to keep the hounds of summer at bay.  Simplicity is the key to summer drinks.  There is nothing more revolting to me than an mélange of disparate, garbage pail quality ingredients, thrown together into a blender with stinky ice and much less than high quality spirits.  This kind of drink is just not going to be memorable and please let me assure you that the hangover that ensues will certainly be memorable!

(Calling Fernet Branca please! !)

High quality spirits such as Casa Noble are even more pleasurable when less it done to each sip.  Covering up (expensive) expressive spirits with candy flavored artificially flavored mixers IS NEVER OK!  So don’t do it.   LISTEN UP!

Casa Noble makes some of the most delightfully aromatic and potentTequila expressions that I’ve ever had the chance to enjoy.  Each sip is an countenance of passion for my thoughts.   And with the approach of the hottest weather of the year so far, I love to taste what I spend my money on.

That’s why after a week of shooting pictures in the studio for my third book up in Massachusetts, all that I want is simple, simple, simple!  Why?  It’s going to get really hot in a few days and sharing this refreshing thirst quencher is the way that it is done.

The Casa Noble Blanco is the perfect base for craft cocktails that don’t come off as being too crafty or  too complicated.  What do I mean about that?  Well, there are the ingredients.  As few of them as possible, that is for sure- but also the quality of the ingredients.  That is essential.  Casa Noble makes it easy for me to do great work because of the quality and simplicity of their ingredients.

Fruitations is a marvelous fresh fruit soda and cocktail syrup made with love up in New England.  Well, syrup is a misnomer, what Fruitations represents to me is condensed affection in a bottle.  There are three handcrafted flavors, Tangerine, Ruby Grapefruit and Cranberry.  The New England in me loves the Cranberry for rum cocktails, the Grapefruit is a burst of Florida, perfect for gin and the Tangerine is like a trip to Mexico, screaming out for Tequila…  Fruitations is exotic, bold and highly intriguing.  For this cocktail, I chose the perfectly adept, Tangerine flavor.

Each sip is like biting into a perfectly ripened citrus blast.

To give this drink a bit of lift I used Polar Seltzer.  The miniscule bubble that Polar encapsulates in each sip makes the Casa Noble Tequila and the Fruitations Syrup scream out for more, more…  And to the finish, may I suggest a few drops of the Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters?  Why?  They just work to heal your body.

With hot weather you want to heal what ails ye, your head, your heart, whatever is bothering you.  What ails ye is what I printed in my best-selling 1st book, Apothecary Cocktails.   This is the phrase that means- drink something, drink anything with bitters and this becomes an elixir for good health of your belly.

Drinking this little gem is nice.  And drinking anything with the splendid liquid named Fruitations simply as a mocktail will make the steamy summer seem much further away.    And the healing?  Have a few and call me in the morning..

Urban Meditation Fizz

Ingredients:
2 oz. Casa Noble Blanco
1 oz. Fruitations Tangerine Soda and Cocktail Syrup
4 oz. Polar Seltzer (Plain is fine- and preferred!)
2-4 shakes Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters

Prep:
(It’s so easy to mix a simple drink; you really should try it sometime…)

To a tall Collins-type glass:
Fill with 3-4 ice cubes
Add the Casa Noble Tequila
Pour over with the Fruitations Tangerine
Top with the Polar Seltzer
Mix with a funky straw and serve with a few shakes of the Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters

Easy!

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!

Hubbery Devrey Cardigan Cocktail

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Hubbery Devrey Cardigan Cocktail

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail WhispererAtxa Vermouth Tinto, Eden Orleans and Gabriel Boudier Saffron Infused Gin make for a Negroni of otherworldly flavors and textures.

But first of all, what is a Negroni?  Well, the historic reference for drinking them dates back to the mid-1970’s.  I was on yet another trip to Italy, along with my parents.  It was an upbringing that you cannot read in a book, nor watch on television.  Movies only offer snippets of recreated European travel, so the only way to really understand Europe is to go there and whatever you do, don’t take a tour-bus.  You might as well eat all your meals at Americanized fast food restaurants because to experience Europe you must eat and drink like a European.  Just my opinion.

My parents never begrudged me the occasional beer or glass of wine either with our meals.  I think they thought that I’d be less likely to abuse alcohol if it was around all the time.  Of all the things I disagree with, in regard to their style of child rearing, this was the only one that made perfect sense.

To this day I look at Day Drinking as the only time I really enjoy a cocktail.  I suppose it dates back to being in Europe as a boy and drinking every day!

The Negroni was not necessarily something that I would order in a restaurant, but I do remember vividly the first time I saw one.  We were in Rome, staying at the Hotel Hassler at the top of the Spanish Steps.  Lining the steps were cafés, really no more than a couple of stand up tables with stand up guys and their girls sipping vivid red short cocktails.  After a couple of these potent drinks everyone becomes like actors in a Black and White Fellini movie.  That is what Rome represents to me, even to this day.  If you close your eyes when visiting Rome and open them on the Spanish Steps – well, you’ll see what I mean.  The light hasn’t changed although seeing the world in color is much different than in Black and White in the Fellini films.

Back to the Negroni. Count Negroni as legend has it was rather fond of the cocktail known as the Americano (Campari and Vermouth with soda water). Being a nobleman with either a stomach ache or a drinking problem – or both…, he asked his bartender to change the cocktail and remove the fizzy water in favor of a large dose of gin.

As it turns out to fans of the classics, and with history being my guide, this drink of Campari, Sweet Vermouth and Gin- to present day is still named the Negroni.

I’m certainly not calling my drink a Negroni, but what I will call it is the Hubbery Devrey Cardigan, named after a character in Monty Python’s Flying Circus.  It’s a silly name for a very grown-up sense of humor, dispensed sip-by-sip.

In this case on ordering a Negroni, while walking up (or down) the Spanish Steps, your typical combination of Campari, Sweet Vermouth (often of a dubious origin) and gin (is that gin or rockgut?) is poured down the throats of thirsty tourists in bars that line the broad Spanish Steps in Rome.

May I propose something completely different in this case.  Being someone who is not a Nobleman, well this does create certain difficulties when working with venerable cocktails such as the Negroni.  Please hear me out on this; I think the finish is brilliant and very, very fresh.  And modern.  And fascicle.  Because life is meant to be all things, bitter, sweet and strange.

I’ve been drinking Spanish Vermouth as of late.  These are brilliant efforts are made with some of the most expressive base wines available from Spain- and only in miniscule quantities.  Spanish Vermouth is certainly a gourmet’s pleasure.

Atxa Vermouth Tinto is from the Basque Region of Spain.  It is a lovely sipping Vermouth, bursting with flavors of citrus and tobacco.  I love it in a Negroni, especially one of a different stripe like the Hubbery Devrey Cardigan Negroni.

Next in this philosophically incorrect version of the classic Negroni I’ve included Orleans Bitter Aperitif Cider infused with red currant and bitters, I know already that your ears have perked up and the word bitter may connote something else entirely.  Whatever your idea is about Campari, may I please suggest substituting the Orleans Bitter with red currant and bitter herbs instead? Thank you.

And now in a tip of the hat to the alchemists who discovered that saffron really is worth muchGabriel Boudier Saffron Infused Gin as the gin component to this cocktail.  Who can resist something as elegant as gin in a cocktail that is woven it seems from the finest grains and the best saffron that money can pluck from impossibly tiny flowers. Did you say add saffron to a Negroni?  I think so, rabbit.
more than gold I’m including

The gin element is unmistakable.  You cannot imagine what this drink was like without the deeply mysterious aromatics of exotic saffron coursing through each sip.  The combination of the Orleans Bitter and the Spanish Vermouth along with the saffron infused gin is otherworldly.

I finish this drink with a splash of Bitter Truth Grapefruit bitters.  My thoughts are simple.  Where there is gin, somewhere there should be juice.  Or bitters, or something.  I forget.  I’ll have another please.

Just make a few and let me know how you enjoy it.
Cheers!

Hubbery Devrey Cardigan
Ingredients:
2 oz. Gabriel Boudier Saffron Infused Gin
1.5 oz. Orleans Aperitif Cider infused with red currant and bitters
1.0 oz. Atxa Vermouth Tinto
2-3 dashes Bitter Truth Grapefruit bitters
Lemon twist

Preparation:
To a cocktail mixing glass, fill ¾ with bar ice
Add the gin, then the cider, followed by the vermouth
Stir 30 times with a long cocktail spoon
Strain with a Hawthorne Strainer into two coupe glasses
Garnish with lemon twists and dot the top with the grapefruit bitters to finish

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

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

Warren does “at home” mixology and is also able to work with food from his years as a chef.  He will work with your bartender or craft a perfect party drink- and make it too!
jockeyhollow@gmail.com

The Shock of Discovery Fizz (DrinkupNY)

The Shock of Discovery Fizz Cocktail

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer

I’m not known as a vodka drinker, but occasionally I’ve been known to sip small quantities of this often misunderstood, neutral grain spirit.  You’ll note that I said grain.  Most vodka is indeed distilled from grain.  That’s too bad, because the vodka that I drank growing up was made from potatoes, imported from either Sweden or Russia.

It wasn’t until the last decade or so that I finally discovered the difference between grain and potato vodka.    There is also vodka made from whey and another great favorite of mine, Barr Hill, made from fermented raw honey.  But I digress.  Truth is, there are very few vodkas on the market that I look for.  Or thirst for.  Until now.

Of course every one of my personal rules are meant to be broken, especially with a new brand to these shores from London, England.  UK 5, Organic Vodka has caught my eye.  Perhaps the ingredients, being USDA Certified Organic are important to me, this example is made from Organic German Rye.

Of course the price is very reasonable at DrinkupNY… It’s not priced like some of the boutique offerings from around the world.  This one is under thirty dollars per bottle and it’s well worth your hard earned money!

I’ve experimented with many different varieties of vodka and I find for cocktails, the ones made from rye are most forgiving for both the amateur mixologist and the behind the stick professionals.  Rye vodka has a spicy and zesty nose, a crisp finish and oodles of aromatics that fill your memories.

UK 5 is also Vegan, if you follow those trends…

UK 5 vodka tastes wonderful over a large cube of homemade ice or crafted into mixology level cocktails.  I prefer the latter because if you want to drink it straight up, you won’t need to do anything to it.  But if you want to learn how to mix it up a bit, keep reading- because I have a recipe that will stimulate your appetite and quench your thirst.

I’m a huge fan of Sorel, the next ingredient in my brilliant, summer refresher. Sorel is handmade by my friendJackie Summers in Brooklyn, NY.  It is chock-full of Caribbean islands flavors:  Cloves, Cassia, Ginger Hibiscus, Cane Sugar and organic New York grain alcohol for a bit of a buzz.The combination of Sorel and UK 5 vodka is the beginning of this pre-soda pop refresher, set firmly in the modern context.

Shrubs or what are known as drinking vinegars are quite delicious in the warm summer months because they provide refreshment without artificial ingredients.  Just like the UK 5 vodka is made with all organic ingredients, drinking vinegars are also made without preservatives or chemicals.  I suggest one that anyone can make, not just former cooks like myself.  This Shrub is as easy as opening a bottle of organic sour cherry preserves and adding a portion of robust, balsamic vinegar.  It only takes a couple of hours to set the flavors before using.  I’m thrilled to tell you that a “shrub in a hurry” is a great way of quenching your thirst when you are short on time or you’re really on Island Time.

The Cherry Shrub
Ingredients:
2 oz. Organic Sour Cherry Preserves
2 oz. Balsamic Vinegar

Prep:
Combine Organic Sour Cherry Preserves with the Balsamic Vinegar, stir together to combine in a non-reactive bowl
Let sit at room temp for a few hours, covered and then force through a sieve
The remaining liquid is your fast Shrub

The combination of UK 5 vodka, Sorel, the sour cherry preserves in a fast Shrub and a final application of Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters is a very refreshing drink that will keep you coming back for more.  With or without the alcohol, this drink says refreshment.

The Shock of Discovery Fizz
Ingredients:
2 oz. UK 5 Organic Vodka
1 oz. Sorel Liqueur
1 oz. Sour Cherry Shrub
2 oz. Seltzer Water (Unflavored)
2-3 shakes Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters
Twist of lemon zest

Prep:
Add a couple handmade cubes of ice to a large Burgundy wine glass
Rub the rim with your lemon zest and drop into the glass
Add the UK 5 vodka along with the Sorel and top with seltzer, stir
Dot across the top with the Bitter Truth Bitters for good digestion!

Serve!

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!

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Warren does private mixology lessons and presentations, please ask!

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!

Hubbery Devrey Cardigan Cocktail

 My first book, Apothecary Cocktails has been nominated for a Spirited Award for the 2014 Tales of the Cocktail!

 

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail WhispererAtxa Vermouth Tinto, Eden Orleans and Gabriel Boudier Saffron Infused Gin make for a Negroni of otherworldly flavors and textures.But first of all, what is a Negroni?  Well, the historic reference for drinking them dates back to the mid-1970’s.  I was on yet another trip to Italy, along with my parents.  It was an upbringing that you cannot read in a book, nor watch on television.  Movies only offer snippets of recreated European travel, so the only way to really understand Europe is to go there and whatever you do, don’t take a tour-bus.  You might as well eat all your meals at Americanized fast food restaurants because to experience Europe you must eat and drink like a European.  Just my opinion.My parents never begrudged me the occasional beer or glass of wine either with our meals.  I think they thought that I’d be less likely to abuse alcohol if it was around all the time.  Of all the things I disagree with, in regard to their style of child rearing, this was the only one that made perfect sense.To this day I look at Day Drinking as the only time I really enjoy a cocktail.  I suppose it dates back to being in Europe as a boy and drinking every day!The Negroni was not necessarily something that I would order in a restaurant, but I do remember vividly the first time I saw one.  We were in Rome, staying at the Hotel Hassler at the top of the Spanish Steps.  Lining the steps were cafés, really no more than a couple of stand up tables with stand up guys and their girls sipping vivid red short cocktails.  After a couple of these potent drinks everyone becomes like actors in a Black and White Fellini movie.  That is what Rome represents to me, even to this day.  If you close your eyes when visiting Rome and open them on the Spanish Steps – well, you’ll see what I mean.  The light hasn’t changed although seeing the world in color is much different than in Black and White in the Fellini films.

Back to the Negroni. Count Negroni as legend has it was rather fond of the cocktail known as the Americano (Campari and Vermouth with soda water). Being a nobleman with either a stomach ache or a drinking problem – or both…, he asked his bartender to change the cocktail and remove the fizzy water in favor of a large dose of gin.

As it turns out to fans of the classics, and with history being my guide, this drink of Campari, Sweet Vermouth and Gin- to present day is still named the Negroni.

I’m certainly not calling my drink a Negroni, but what I will call it is the Hubbery Devrey Cardigan, named after a character in Monty Python’s Flying Circus.  It’s a silly name for a very grown-up sense of humor, dispensed sip-by-sip.

In this case on ordering a Negroni, while walking up (or down) the Spanish Steps, your typical combination of Campari, Sweet Vermouth (often of a dubious origin) and gin (is that gin or rockgut?) is poured down the throats of thirsty tourists in bars that line the broad Spanish Steps in Rome.

May I propose something completely different in this case.  Being someone who is not a Nobleman, well this does create certain difficulties when working with venerable cocktails such as the Negroni.  Please hear me out on this; I think the finish is brilliant and very, very fresh.  And modern.  And fascicle.  Because life is meant to be all things, bitter, sweet and strange.

I’ve been drinking Spanish Vermouth as of late.  These are brilliant efforts are made with some of the most expressive base wines available from Spain- and only in miniscule quantities.  Spanish Vermouth is certainly a gourmet’s pleasure.

Atxa Vermouth Tinto is from the Basque Region of Spain.  It is a lovely sipping Vermouth, bursting with flavors of citrus and tobacco.  I love it in a Negroni, especially one of a different stripe like the Hubbery Devrey Cardigan Negroni.

Next in this philosophically incorrect version of the classic Negroni I’ve included Orleans Bitter Aperitif Cider infused with red currant and bitters, I know already that your ears have perked up and the word bitter may connote something else entirely.  Whatever your idea is about Campari, may I please suggest substituting the Orleans Bitter with red currant and bitter herbs instead? Thank you.

And now in a tip of the hat to the alchemists who discovered that saffron really is worth muchGabriel Boudier Saffron Infused Gin as the gin component to this cocktail.  Who can resist something as elegant as gin in a cocktail that is woven it seems from the finest grains and the best saffron that money can pluck from impossibly tiny flowers. Did you say add saffron to a Negroni?  I think so, rabbit.
more than gold I’m including

The gin element is unmistakable.  You cannot imagine what this drink was like without the deeply mysterious aromatics of exotic saffron coursing through each sip.  The combination of the Orleans Bitter and the Spanish Vermouth along with the saffron infused gin is otherworldly.

I finish this drink with a splash of Bitter Truth Grapefruit bitters.  My thoughts are simple.  Where there is gin, somewhere there should be juice.  Or bitters, or something.  I forget.  I’ll have another please.

Just make a few and let me know how you enjoy it.
Cheers!

Hubbery Devrey Cardigan
Ingredients:
2 oz. Gabriel Boudier Saffron Infused Gin
1.5 oz. Orleans Aperitif Cider infused with red currant and bitters
1.0 oz. Atxa Vermouth Tinto
2-3 dashes Bitter Truth Grapefruit bitters
Lemon twist

Preparation:
To a cocktail mixing glass, fill ¾ with bar ice
Add the gin, then the cider, followed by the vermouth
Stir 30 times with a long cocktail spoon
Strain with a Hawthorne Strainer into two coupe glasses
Garnish with lemon twists and dot the top with the grapefruit bitters to finish

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

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