What a nice surprise!!!
What a nice surprise!!!
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!
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
By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer
Rum, rum everywhere and there are many, many drops to drink. This describes my liquor cabinet to a T. After the recent heat wave and now a pending flood from above, it made sense to me to create a cocktail that speaks to the season between spring and summer.
The basic premise of rum punches – a drink that harkens back to the very basis of cocktailian history in a glass (or a punch bowl) – creates real thirst in my mind. Of course if you are reading this piece in the morning, you may want to know how I’m so full of spark and pepper at 10:00AM. The reason is simple. A well-made punch offers enlightenment and boggles the mind with simplicity. Each small sip, be it at breakfast or lunch or even in the heat of the afternoon grounds your punch with all others that came to the table prior.
So I’ve been working with punch, not as a mere metaphor for drunkenness, (because anyone who knows me realizes that I don’t like to get drunk) but I enjoy the visceral pleasure of making my drinks for others rather strong. It’s up to you my friends to drink fewer of them. I’ve long held the belief that you should drink stronger and better, but drink in moderation. I think that responsible drinking is that razors edge between losing one’s mind and having a good time.
As with all of my cocktails – they are specifically designed with flavor in mind. This drink is frothy and juicy. It has haunting elements that remind me of being down in the British Virgin Islands on my family yacht. Creating impossibly delicious concoctions using the best rum that money could buy. If you doubt this, take a trip down to Foxy’s on Jost Van Dyke. You can easily get lost in the rows upon rows of rum. Or if you are part of the social set, find yourself in St. Barth and discover Rhum Agricole again for the first time. My favorite memory was on the island of Saba, long known to make very special spiced rums. Or was it the bottle of J. Bally offered to me poured into a frozen coconut and the additional scraping of nutmeg? Ah the memories flow from my brain along with the dreams of being in the islands.
The Vincent Price Affair Cocktail is a recreation of a sailing trip from Anegada to Virgin Gorda. You can spend hours of your day in paradise sailing across the water just like the pirates did centuries prior. All you need is the right cocktail clasped in your hand to cool your sweaty brow. This one starts off on your lips in a very perplexing manner. After a moment you realize that the cocktail is most delicious and beguiling. Immediately to follow, you come to the realization that this drink is just gorgeous as it slips down your throat, the Mavea “Inspired Water” ice that has been infused with The Bitter Truth Xocolatl Mole Bitters adding depth, with a healthy portion of Plantation Grand Reserve Barbados Rum. Then you add to this mixture a mere splash of Luxardo Marachino Liqueur enlivening the mix. Into your mixing glass you would now add a small dose of freshly squeezed (essential) lime, lemon and orange juices, along with sweet coconut milk. The drink is shaken briskly with regular bar ice (save the infused ice for the cocktail) and then finished with a couple splashes of the marvelously elegant (and very French) Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water in Pink Grapefruit essence for a smack-across-your-lips punch of citrusy goodness. A scraping of fresh nutmeg makes this drink historic in nature. Will this heal the pain of being in paradise, sailing an impossibly fast yacht across the broad, rolling sea?
I must warn you. This is a veritable mind eraser. Be very careful if you are drinking this in the hot sun or your backyard pool.
Pre-exercise… Freeze about 10-15 shakes of the The Bitter Truth Xocolatl Mole Bitters into a plastic tray filled with “Mavea- Inspired Water” (freezes nearly crystal clear). Freeze this overnight to ensure a firm cube. You can hand cut the cubes to your desired shapes.
Ingredients for 2 cocktails:
• 3 oz. Plantation Barbados Rum
• ½ oz. Luxardo Marachino Liqueur
• ¼ each, freshly squeezed orange, lime and lemon juices
• ½ Coconut Cream (sweetened)
• 1 oz. (in each drink) Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water (Pink Grapefruit)
• Mavea “Inspired Water” The Bitter Truth Xocolatl Mole Bitters-infused ice
• Freshly scraped nutmeg
1. Add all liquid ingredients EXCEPT for the Mavea ice and the Perrier to a Boston Shaker with regular bar ice to chill.
2. Shake for 15 seconds.
3. Add one hand cut Xocolatl Mole-infused ice cube to each Collins glass.
4. Pour the punch over the bitters-infused ice.
5. Add about an ounce of the Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water over the top.
6. Scrape some fresh nutmeg 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.
Four Cocktails for the Summer….
We just had a most disgustingly humid heat wave. The warm weather has come and gone and come again, yet if there is one thing for certain- I’m getting thirsty. I’ve been working with flavors that although grounded in the warmer weather, they still offer the cooling abilities of late summer sippers. I’ve been drinking a bit of bourbon whiskey these days. Four Roses Bourbon has taken my cocktailian musings to new boundaries and beyond. It’s so easy to make a fine drink with Four Roses. The assertive mouth-feel and soft finish allow the mixologist to create simple drinks with robust flavor. One drink that I’m working on right now uses Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey. This is augmented by a frozen cube of Mavea “Inspired Water” ice that has sweet vermouth frozen into the cube. I use a scant amount of Punt e Mes Sweet Vermouth along with the filtered water, and then finish the cocktail with a few ounces of Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water.
The fizzy nature of Perrier lifts the bourbon to a higher place in the food chain of mixed drinks. To make the sweet vermouth ice cubes, purchase a two quart Tupperware container. Filter your water using the Mavea “Inspired Water” Pitcher (the ice comes out nearly crystal clear) and then add a few shots of sweet vermouth to the water. Let this freeze overnight, then cut with an ice pick and hammer to the desired size. The sweet vermouth cubes as they melt into the bourbon will change the dimension of the cocktail over time. And the Perrier? It will keep your attention because of the fizzy nature of the natural sparkling water!
I call this cocktail the Middle Creek Cocktail.. It’s super easy to make.
Ingredients for one nice intoxicating beverage
Several Hand Cut Sweet Vermouth Ice Cubes
2-3 shakes Angostura Bitters
Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water
To a glass cocktail mixer- fill ¾ with plain ice
Add the Four Roses Bourbon
Stir to cool
Strain into an Old Fashioned glass with a couple Sweet Vermouth Ice Cubes
Finish with a few splashes Angostura Bitters and 1 oz. Perrier Sparkling Water
Finally, pinch an orange zest over the top and rub the rim of the glass with the zest
The second cocktail is equally as refreshing, but it works best on a weekday morning when you have a cocktail party to attend to. If you said weekday morning (?) you’d be correct. This cocktail was the signature cocktail for the Architectural Digest Home Design Show held in NYC. I created it to sate the thirsts of about two hundred design bloggers before the show opened. The cocktail is quite simple indeed. The only true prerequisites are the bloody mary mix (I used Hoosier Momma) and of course the tequila. I used the magical Casa Noble Blanco Tequila. There were bitters in there- you can purchase Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Bitters on the web or you may use the easily found- Angostura. Citrus is important with lemon chunks making their way into the mix. This drink is usually served in a Collins glass that is tall and narrow. The choice of the glass is important because the shape forces you to drink it slowly.
I like the use of hand cut ice in my Bloody Mary. I think the size of the cube chills the cocktail, not diluting it. This is important in my opinion.
The Jalisco Bloody Mary is savory and perky in a way that helps the imbiber slowly experience the sensuality of tequila for more than lime and salt. Tomatoes, spices and that “thick as paste” texture of the Hoosier Momma Bloody Mary Mix enrobe the Casa Noble Tequila into something truly memorable. I like to use lemons of the Meyer variety because it is important to balance the spicy and alcoholic with something tangy and sweet. I like to sprinkle some sea salt into this cocktail instead of on the rim of the glass. The sensation of the crunchy salt in your mouth is mesmerizing.
The Jalisco Bloody Mary
Ingredients for two Bespoke cocktails:
¼ teaspoon Fleur du Sel
1 Meyer Lemon, cut into wedges
Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Bitters or Angostura
In a Boston Shaker filled ¾ with ice, add:
Hoosier Momma mix
Fleur du Sel
Shake and strain into a Collins glass with several wedges of Meyer Lemon squeezed inside before adding the ice
Finish with a couple drops of the Fee Brothers or Angostura Bitters
Garnish with a pinwheel of Meyer Lemon and serve to an appreciative friend who may not know that Casa Noble is only one of three tequila brands that are certified organic by the USDA.
I very rarely review vodka and I even more rarely drink it but imagine my delight when I received a new bottling of vodka from Italy. The brand is named Punzoné and it is certified organic by the USDA, made with organically grown Italian wheat. The packaging is gorgeous, tall and frosted in color, in a style reminiscent of Grey Goose or Belvedere or even Chopin. This is ultra-luxury stuff that calls out for simplicity. The clear section of the bottle is a visual cut-out in the shape of the Italian country. Tucked in the back a Tuscan scene of verdant fields and grand homes framed by mountains. It’s gorgeous looking from a visual perspective. The neck is tall and narrow in a shape appreciated by bartenders because it’s easy to hold and pour. I recommend drinking Punzoné with as little as possible. The aromatics are far too good to cover up with sugary soda or even fruit juices. This is ultra-sophisticated, ultra-prestigious stuff. I could never see mixing it with ice cream. That would just be wrong. Even if you were as wealthy as an oil baron, I’d still drink it simply.
My drink exemplifies this desire for simplicity. I’ve frozen lemon zests into ice cubes made from Mavea filtered water in a Tupperware two quart size. Then I cut them into cubes and placed them in an Old Fashioned style glass. As the ice melts, the lemon zest is exposed, gently scenting the vodka with the crisp aromatics of the citrus fruit. Simple? Absolutely. Can you do it at your restaurant or home? Of course, if you can freeze water, you can make this cocktail.
The Punzoné Lemon Cocktail (will blast the mind of one very thirsty friend)
Ingredients for one very intense drink that has all the stuffing…
Lemon Zests frozen into a two quart Tupperware container overnight
3 oz. Punzoné vodka
Several lemon zests
Rub the inside of an Old Fashioned glass with a lemon zest
Add a couple cubes of the lemon zest infused Mavea water filtered ice
Add the Italian Vodka
Gin is uniquely geared to the spring season. I like the idea of gin mixed with the gorgeous Q-Drinks in the Orange flavor. Made with loving care by my friend Jordan Silbert in New York, this is soda that defies your imagination of soda just as a quick energy drink. Here is what they use to make this sparkling soda of the highest quality. Q Orange is made from real oranges – Valencia oranges from Florida, Peras from Brazil, and tangerines from Mexico. And only a dash of organic cane sugar. I’m proud to use in in this cocktail that calls for gin. I used the Barr Hill Gin from the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Barr Hill is distilled from grain and finished with raw honey. The health benefits of raw honey are well established. This is a unique product and it calls out for simplicity and grace when mixed. In this case I took some oranges and sliced them into thick rounds. I scored them on a cast iron grill pan to char deep grill marks into them. Then I placed each orange round at the bottom of a “Rocks” glass. I added a few hand cut chunks of Mavea filtered “Inspired Water” ice. Then I added over the ice 2 oz. of the Barr Hill Gin. Finally I added 3 oz. of the Q-Drinks Orange soda. That’s it!
Orange Inspirational Cocktail
2 oz. Barr Hill Gin
3 oz. Q-Drinks Orange Soda
1 thick slice of orange (grilled deeply)
Filtered Water Ice – I recommend the Mavea pitcher to filter my ice…
Grill the orange round to set deep grill marks, let cool
Add several cubes of hand cut ice to a Rocks glass
Add the Barr Hill gin
Top with Q-Drinks Orange soda
Serve with a wedge of lemon or orange (an un-grilled slice, please)
Sip and enjoy!
By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer
I can picture in my mind’s eye the first time I tasted Mezcal. I was down in Mexico – specifically in the Yucatan Peninsula, visiting the Mayan ruins with my family. Overflowing pitchers of green-tinged, icy cold drinks were set upon broad tables shaded from the tropical sunshine by the lush vegetation. Down in this part of the world an icy drink is a welcome diversion against the burning rays and the inferno-like heat of the sun.
I was perhaps sixteen and already well acquainted with Tequila from childhood forays into the seedy underbelly of overindulgences. But these pitchers held something more than just mysteries. The vessels contained fever-dripped dreams of another world, linked together with a thin veneer of char and smoke. It was a heady brew for anyone, much less a teenager with a serious thirst from the heat. After several cocktails in the hot sun, the world took on a deeper dimension – the Mayan temples seemed a part of my experience and the Mezcal spoke to me. But please don’t ask me what it said, because I don’t remember a thing!
|Roasting agave at San Luis Del Rio|
Mezcal is made with similar ingredients as Tequila but it takes a twisted path up the side of the mountains through a method that involves the use of smoke. Mezcal is to Tequila as Scotch Whisky is to Bourbon. They both use similar ingredients but one is sweet in the nose and mouth while the other can be vividly smoky to the palate and especially the nose. I love Mezcal for precisely that reason. There is an obviously sophisticated method of making Mezcal. Although it mimics Tequila in the flavor profile, Mezcal takes on a characteristic all its own through the potent application of fire and earth.
As a rule, I’m very fond of Mezcal, in this case one named Mezcal Vida from Del Maguey. What Del Maguey has done is get high quality Mezcal into the hands of more consumers at a much lower price point.
During this mostly cool spring, citrus is at the forefront of my palate. I cannot seem to get enough of it. Oranges are at their peak right now and I love to lightly sear them in a dry sauté pan, let them cool, then juice them, releasing a perfume and spark that makes me salivate.
Perrier, you know – the pink grapefruit sparkling natural mineral water happens to work very well with grilled orange. Brightly aromatic, the citrus weaves around each bubble. The spark of the bubbles rises through the smokier elements of Mezcal and the grilled orange juice.
To make a Last Train to Brownsville Cocktail you must first get all the ingredients. Each comes together in a bold, multi-layered event in your glass and soon your mouth. My ice is the most important part of the Last Train to Brownsville (Texas) Cocktail. I ALWAYS filter the water through a Mavea “Inspired Water” pitcher and you should too – water just tastes better, soft, creamy almost. There is sensuality about the water that I cannot explain… You must drip it into your mouth or suck on an ice cube made with Mavea filtered water.
The Last Train to Brownsville (Texas) Cocktail
Ingredients for two VERY STRONG DRINKS:
• 4 oz. Del Maguey “Vida” San Luis Del Rio Mezcal
• 3 oz. Grilled Orange Juice (reserve a few slices for garnish)
• 4 dashes of Angostura Bitters
• 4 oz. Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water (Pink Grapefruit essence)
• 3 oz. Valley Girls Grapefruit Soda Syrup*
• One very large hand cut cube of ice made from Mavea “Inspired Water” for each cocktail
1. To a Boston shaker add the liquors and the bitters.
2. Add the grilled orange juice and the Grapefruit Soda Syrup, then fill ¾ with plain ice.
3. Shake Boston Shaker for 20 seconds, it’s going to be quite frosty.
4. Pour into short rocks glasses with one really large hand-cut ice cube made of the Mavea filtered water ice. (There might be enough for a couple of shots as well, unless you use a tall glass then no shots for you.)
5. Top with a couple splashes of the Perrier Pink Grapefruit Sparkling Natural Mineral Water.
6. Garnish with a slice of grilled orange and a couple of shakes of Angostura bitters over the top.
7. Sip very carefully and have another immediately afterwards.
8. Marvel at the visual elements of this strikingly beguiling cocktail.
*Valley Girls from Sonoma are dedicated to handcrafted, small-batch cooking that preserves old-school methods of making food that tastes, tasty! The sales benefit Sonoma Valley Teens Services “Skills For Life” programs which benefit at-risk teens. http://www.valleygirlsfoodstuffs.com
Cheers from DrinkUpNY!
Article by Warren Bobrow, a nationally published food and spirits columnist who writes for Williams-Sonoma, Foodista and the Beekman Boys.
Format: Flexi w/ Concealed Wire-o, 160 Pages
Publisher: Fair Winds Press
Not Yet Published – Available 10/15/2013
At the turn of the century, pharmacies in Europe and America prepared homemade tinctures, bitters, and herbal remedies mixed with alcohol for curative benefit for everything from poor digestion to the common cold. Today, trendy urban bars such as Apothke in New York, Apo Bar & Lounge in Philadelphia, and 1022 South in Tacoma, as well as “vintage” and “homegrown” cocktail aficionados, find inspiration in apothecary cocktails of old.
Now you can too!
Apothecary Cocktails features 75 traditional and newly created recipes for medicinally-themed cocktails. Learn the history of the top ten apothecary liqueurs, bitters, and tonics that are enjoying resurgence at trendy bars and restaurants, including Peychaud’s Bitters, Chartreuse, and Vermouth. Find out how healing herbs, flowers, and spices are being given center stage in cocktail recipes and traditional apothecary recipes and ingredients are being resurrected for taste and the faint promise of a cure. Once you’ve mastered the history, you can try your hand at reviving your favorites: restoratives, sedatives and toddys, digestifs, and more.
Whether you’re interested in the history, the recipes, or both, you’ll love flipping through this beautifully presented book that delves into the world of apothecary cocktails.
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!
• 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
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!
Heat and humidity is what says “Charleston, South Carolina” in the summertime. The air, thick with the sour smell of decay from the confluence of the Cooper and the Ashley Rivers at low tide. Fort Sumpter just out of reach, where the Civil War started they say. The mood somehow becomes somber around town. People run amok for the smallest things. Heat and the unrelenting breezes will do that — it makes them crazy!
Muddle mint and sugar — be gentle … it’s not a test of physical strength.
I was working as a chef at the Primrose House and Tavern. Joann Yaeger, the owner and creative force behind the restaurant, would gather me up at the end of a particularly busy night at the restaurant, under the broad piazzas that signified the architectural history of this former mansion, to learn the art of the hand-crafted mint julep. Bourbon would be at the ready. Sterling silver julep cups, polished to a crisp shine waiting in the wings, along with ice to be crushed, sugar to be muddled and mint just picked from the garden.
Add rye whiskey, the mother’s milk of the julep.
Thanks to Joann Yaeger for being my friend all these years.
Adding more rye, always recommended.
Klaus invented a new cocktail! This is not just any cocktail, mind you- but one that speaks clearly of the season. But what season is that? The dull time, just before the burst of spring. The ground coming out of its slumber, mud all around, a few crocus flowers straining to move through the soft soil. It’s going to snow in the next few days though…
A cruel joke perhaps?
The past few days, Klaus has seemed full of wanderlust. He spent the time wandering through the International Restaurant and Foodservice Show in NYC. He met the kind folks at Total Food Service Magazine and many others along the way. Klaus admired the commercial ice machines, the electronic technology laden kitchen equipment and high-speed dishwashers. He was so impressed!
Then, as if by magic, he tasted raw fish for the first time, cut deftly by a Japanese sashimi master. This artisan of all things sashimi was flown in directly from Japan with his plethora of hand-made carbon steel knifes glistening in the light. (Just like the knives in Kill Bill) Just around the corner from the sashimi master, his student sits on an ancient stool and hand-sharpens sushi knives as if his life’s work was to sharpen those knifes. (And it was!)
Klaus commented that the stones appeared so wet as the sharpening student lay the blades down, nearly perpendicular to the stone, lying in a pool of water, the sharpening surface itself pure, as if in an excited state of altered reality. Klaus was mesmerized by the motion of the sharpening master, one push against the stone, then the other side and so on and so on and…
But if there is one thing that Klaus knows how to do and that is drink.
Many top end Sake producers appeared in the Japan Pavilion at the show and Klaus started pulling me towards the broad tables, laden with sake from all over Japan. Klaus didn’t want to extol over the immense pleasures of both jasmine and green tea, what he wanted was to get soused! He was actually being quite insistent! Klaus was leading me towards a veritable Holy Grail of sake. Smiling men and women were holding out little plastic cups of liquid history to Klaus. He threw back his little ceramic head and drained a whole series of sake. Some were fruity and light, the pinot grigio sake- served ice cold and meant to be enjoyed quickly. Others were more introspective, like Burgundy, thick with sediment and possibilities. Still others in the nearly unknown, creamy style of sake pleased Klaus to no end and I actually saw him stashing a few bottles worth in his little flask on his chest for the car-ride home.
Ah Klaus, you work in strange little ways.
The season for drinking sake is year round in Japan and Klaus suddenly realized the meaning of his own desire. That is the absolutely freshest fish that money can buy, washed down with glass after glass of distinctive and crystalline sake from micro producers around Japan- as pure as the melted snow on Mt. Fuji.
Klaus told me that he wants to do a story on Japan. Maybe he will be in the right place at the right time to attain a story of this merit?
Klaus? Klaus? Ah, he wandered off again. Looking for another little glass of sake? He’s so predictable.
Twisted Cherry Blossom Cocktail
Ingredients (for two friends or one thirsty gnome)
3 oz. Hiro Sake (well chilled)
1 oz. Bluewater Vodka (also well chilled)
3 oz. Blood Orange Juice (freshly squeezed)
1 oz. Royal Rose Simple Syrup of Tamarind
Crushed filtered water ice (Klaus uses the Mavea “Inspired Water” pitcher)
4 drops in each cocktail- Bitter End Thai Bitters
Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water- Lemon essence
Freeze filtered water ice overnight and crush, pack into tall Collins glasses
To a Boston Shaker filled ¾ with filtered water ice, add the liquors and the blood orange juice
Add the simple syrup
Shake for 15 seconds
Taste for sweet/tart quality
Pour over filtered crushed ice and finally add a few drops of the Bitter End Thai Bitters over the top… finish with a splash of the Perrier Sparkling Water and drink!