Beekman 1802 ICE!

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Ice, Ice Baby

By:

 

 

I believe that ice is the most important ingredient in a well-crafted cocktail.  Just imagine this scenario.  You go to your favorite cocktail lounge; the bartender is making crafted cocktails.  The first thing that you notice is the amount of tiny cubes he is putting in the drinks.  It would appear that the glasses are filled to the brim with this frozen substance possessing neither form nor shape.  The bartender adds liquor to this rapidly melting material.   It appears that the entire glass is filled with liquor.  You say to yourself, they sure pour a nice drink here.  WRONG!  What they are actually doing is filling your glass with water!

The ice melts so quickly giving the impression that the bartender filled you glass up with booze.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  What the bartender has done is fool you, making money for the house and surreptitiously given you the impression that your glass actually has something in it other than cold water and chips of ice.   Maybe what you really have is just a waste of your hard earned money?

May I please suggest changing your ice?  My little friend Klaus is around here somewhere.  He suggests going to the store in Massachusetts named the Boston Shaker.  They will help you with this dilemma.  The Boston Shaker recently held a book signing for my new book, Apothecary Cocktails, Restoratives from Yesterday and Today.  While Klaus and I were there making hot buttered rum, I had the chance to gaze wistfully over their well-stocked shop.  There were many different items there for freezing perfect ice.

You can buy rounds or squares.  They come in many varieties of sizes.  May I suggest the 2×2 inch trays for your ice?  Why should you care?

You see, when you use refrigerator ice, it often comes out chopped into small bits.  Dilution takes place nearly immediately.  This is unacceptable.  I believe when your ice stays solid, hardly any dilution takes place.  Your drink stays cold, yet it doesn’t dilute- at least it doesn’t turn to water quickly!  When your ice stays solid, your money doesn’t turn to water as rapidly in your system.  Thus you get your money’s worth.

Another example of superb design in gourmet hand-crafted ice is Glace Ice, made by my friend Roberto Sequeira.  He has designed and implemented a truly gourmet ice cube that you can purchase already frozen.  His brilliant product gives your cocktails that one-of-a kind, light catching look.  There really is nothing I have seen in ice that is of this high quality, unless you make it yourself.

I continue to state and have gone on record to say that Roberto’s “Glace” ice is the best ice that money can buy.  It’s not inexpensive, but the best things in the world are rarely cheap.

If you put one of the Glace rounds in a glass and poured a mere strand of Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey over the top in your hand cut crystal glass, I think you’d be greatly rewarded.  Let me let you into a little secret.  If you like rye whiskey, and who doesn’t, may I suggest Catoctin Creek Organic Roundstone Rye?  It’s brilliant over one of Roberto’s Ice Squares.  Just shimmering.   Did I tell you it’s organic?  Yes.  This small batch, handcrafted spirit is one of a very few rye whiskies that are made with all organically grown ingredients.  I like that and try to tell people about my passion for craft spirits when I can.

 

The Soused Gnome Gift Guide

Tuthilltown up in New York State also garners my attention during the Holiday Season.  Their Half Moon Bay Gin distilled from local apples and wheat is so perfectly balanced that using mixers may not be necessary.  Up in Vermont I’ve discovered a salubrious Maple Cream liqueur that has got me actually telling others about it. Vermont Ice Maple Crème Liqueur got my attention and a place in the fridge.  Vermouth is hot this year and I have three, no four recommendations.  I love from Channing Daughter’s in Long Island’s wine country their seasonally made VerVino.  Each bottling exemplifies what is fresh in the woods and fields that surround the winery.   Bianca Miraglia is out in the wild, hand-gathering herbs, spices and woodland secrets for her vermouths.  It’s as if she captures her dreams into each bottle of Uncouth Vermouth.  Perhaps the woodland fairies have offered their enlightenment to her.

Vya Vermouth from Portland, Oregon is making expressive products that are equal or greater than most of the vermouth coming out of Europe.  I love the use of Oregon wine in the richly textured slurps of American passion and ingenuity.

Atsby Vermouth is also from New York.

There are two varieties that Atsby proudly produces.  One is named Armadillo Cake and the other is named Amberthorn. The Armadillo Cake reminds me of the high quality, Italian made sweet vermouth named Carpano Antica.  The Amberthorn is just far out stuff and my tasting notes are all over the road every time I try it.  Drip a bit over a glass filled with Casa Noble Reposado Tequila.  Warn the neighbors if you should shout out loud!   Atsby Vermouth is heady on its own or mixed into a way-out Manhattan-style cocktail made with Busted Barrel Dark Rum from New Jersey.

New Jersey you say?  Yes.  There is rum being made again in New Jersey.  And it tastes smoother and richer than some rum that I tasted from the Caribbean islands.  It’s made one drop at a time in hand made stills located just off the West Essex airport.  The building that the distillery resides was used to build aircraft during WW2.  There is a very historic feel to the place and the handcrafted rum.

Vodka is on most people’s minds this holiday and the raw honey distilled vodka from Barr Hill in Vermont is the best vodka I’ve ever tried.  Not because it tastes like water, far from.  This is vodka that allows me to retrace my roots.  Each sip is a revelation of terroir.  There is nothing else like it on the market.  And their gin is gushing with botanicals, all in perfect balance to the locally gathered raw honey.  If you mix this gin with anything more than air (or a cube of hand cut ice) you’ll have Klaus over to your house in a skinny minute!  Do not use corn syrup tonic water in this one.  Bad things will happen!

Try finding tonic syrup like Jack Rudy from Charleston, SC. Or Tomr’s Tonic syrup from good old New Jersey works.  What I like to do is use tonic syrup and seltzer with a pinch of fleur du sel at the end.  Finally I can make a great G&T.  Barr Hill Gin, handmade tonic syrup, Perrier Sparkling water.  I’m in heaven.

Klaus will never forget.  He never does.  Throw out that corn syrup tonic water now!

I’m not really a Scotch drinker, but if you can find a Japanese Whisky you should try some.  Perhaps you’ve found a smoked American Whiskey?  Did you know that the domestically produced whiskies are overtaking the Scots at their own game?  Add to the new whiskies that are being distilled in India.  These are gorgeous examples of Scottish know-how being produced craft style on the other side of the globe?

Are you looking for cordials?  Pur Likor is making a lush and memorable Blood Orange and Spice liqueur.  Find it.

Fruitations in Massachusetts has both a cranberry and a tangerine syrup that should change the way you look at sweeteners.

My bet is on Royal Rose Three Chili syrup.  Try it with Arrogante Tequila!

Bitters?   Just try something other than the usual and experiment!

I know Klaus would love to see that!

 

 

Happy Xmas and Happy New Year! …and Cheers to All!

Pisco Porton in DrinkUpNY!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Get to know little more about Pisco & Porton

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer
Pisco, just the very word creates a thirst for knowledge.  As Americans, we don’t usually go to bars and ask for it… Most people don’t even know what it is!
Pisco is a distilled product from up to eight different varieties of grapes depending on the producer.  These grapes happen to be less attractive for wine, yet more polished when distilled as a type of brandy.   Pisco is gorgeous when accompanied by food, especially seafood.  Pisco also works beautifully in creative mixology.
A popular drink for Pisco is the classic Pisco Sour.  Sweet/Sour mix from 2 parts simple syrup to one part fresh lemon or lime juice is combined with an egg white along with a portion of Pisco.   This drink is shaken with ice until the egg white is a foam.. then the drink is strained into a coupe.  Bright green in color, if you use lime or a pale yellow if you use lemon, a Pisco Sour is a thing of rare beauty.
I like to take Pisco and add it to a bit of Absinthe, just a wash really for the glass-
along with crushed ice and a bit of gum Arabic for mouth-feel.  There is a new product, tangerine syrup that I’ve discovered from Fruitations in Massachusetts.  They also do gorgeous cranberry syrup that just smacks of New England fruit.  At any rate, the tangerine syrup from Fruitations when combined with Pisco Porton is most marvelous and thirst quenching.  Of course this drink is not complete without the Absinthe wash, nor the Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters.  (for balance)  I complete the drink with Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water; the Pink Grapefruit adds just the right amount of lip-smacking crispness.
The Wunderkammer Cocktail (Cabinet of Curiosities) 
Ingredients:
3 oz. Pisco Portón
¼ oz. Absinthe (I used Tenneyson)
1 oz. Fruitations Tangerine Syrup
¼ oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ oz. Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water in Pink Grapefruit essence
Lemon zest cut with a knife, never a peeler!
Add the Pisco Portón and the Fruitations Syrup
Fill the shaker ¾ with ice
Shake for 10 seconds
Pre-chill your coupe with the Tenneyson Absinthe and ice, pour out when chilled (preferably into your mouth, so not to waste the fine spirits)
Strain into a coupe
Add the Perrier Sparkling Water
Add the Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters
Twist the lemon zest over the top
Serve…
I asked Vanessa Sobers of Pisco Portón to answer some questions about this gorgeous and highly expressive spirit.  Enjoy!
1.  Why Pisco?  What makes it unique in the market?  
Porton uncompromising quality is what makes us unique.   We use a “techno artisanal” process that integrates century old Peruvian Pisco making technique with modern distillation technology.  Today, one of the grapes is fermented, distilled and processed using the original distillery and our new distillery takes inspiration from the original with its gravity fed process.
There are not many white spirits that can claim that they derive taste/flavor naturally, without additives.  Porton can.   And we have been rewarded for it.   We continue to win spirit competition worldwide and to date we are the most the most awarded white spirit.
Porton adds complexity and character to cocktails and the bartending and mixology community are looking for spirits that helps them take their cocktails to the next level.   With the Peruvian culinary movement taking US by storm, our genuine authenticity and our mixability; Porton is poised to continue to generate excitement and to continue to reign as the #1 pisco brand in the US.
2.  What is Pisco made of?  What is the history of the product?
The three grape varietals that give Portón its flavor are the Quebranta, Albilla, and Torontel grapes.  These grapes are 100% from our vineyards at La Caravedo in Ica, Peru.  Portón is distilled to exactly 86 Proof at Hacienda La Caravedo, the world’s oldest distillery established in 1684, in custom-made copper pot stills using the Mosto Verde method. This means that our distillate is made from 100% must (grape juice) that has not completely fermented. This serves to keep some of the natural grape sugars from converting into alcohol, thus putting more flavor and aroma into every bottle.
Porton is handcrafted in small batches and each bottle requires approximately 15pds of grape.
3.  Does a company like Pisco Porton use Social Media?  What are your links, Facebook?  Twitter?  
Yes, we do.  We have focused most of our efforts are geared towards Facebook and Twitter.   These are platforms for us to engage with our fans and to showcase our cocktails and events.
https://www.facebook.com/PiscoPorton
https://twitter.com/PiscoPorton
4.  What is the best way to serve Pisco Porton?  How do YOU like it best?
Pisco Portón is a highly mixable white spirit that can be added to any cocktail to take it to the next level.  It gives off an earthy aroma with floral complexity and a touch of sweetness.  Given its versatility and mixability, there are many ways to serve Porton…In classic Peruvian cocktails like the Pisco Sour or in a Pisco classic like the Pisco Punch.  I personally, love it in the classic Pisco Punch that dates back to the 19th century.  I’m a fan of it in the Porton Mate that features jalapeno peppers and most recently I was pleasantly surprised to have in a tasty warm cider prepared by a mixologist at a pre-holiday event.
5.  Pisco and food.   What is a good paring?  
Due to earthy aroma and floral complexity, Portón pairs extremely well with seafood dishes such as Ceviche
Cheers from DrinkUpNY!
Article by Warren Bobrow, a nationally published food and spirits columnist who writes for Williams-Sonoma, Foodista and the Beekman Boys.

The Negroni.. As Illustrated…

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Negroni

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer

I love the drink named the Negroni. It’s bright, refreshing and quenches the thirst, unlike many cocktails. It never leaves me feeling drab, nor does it take away my appetite like some other cocktails do when sipped before a meal.

In my upcoming book, Apothecary Cocktails, Restoratives from Yesterday and Today, I discuss the correlation of the digestive tract and healing, by using liquors mixed with fresh herbs. If only the pharmacists from years back had known about the Negroni as a healing curative! Well, in a way they did.

The Negroni was invented back in 1919 in Florence, Italy – purposively built to heal what ails you. Orson Wells famously said in 1947 that, “The bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other.” I don’t know about you, but I think gin is good for you. Perhaps Mr. Wells had it altogether incorrect. The entire drink is good for you. Gin, after all, was used during the Middle Ages as a curative for the Black Plague. And Vermouth has long been held as a curative for many internal battles surrounding the digestive glands.

The history of the Negroni involves a base spirit, like gin, plus bitters and vermouth. I enjoy my Negroni Cocktail with the powerfully intoxicating Caorunn Gin from Scotland. Distilled with a healthy smack of the juniper berry and woven into a backdrop of citrus with a hefty punch of alcohol, the Caorunn Gin just tempts me to have another. Combined with the syrupy and complex Carpano Antica Vermouth and the historically correct Campari Bitters from Italy, the Negroni speaks very clearly of getting buzzed with the minimum of effort. I just sipped my Negroni down and absolutely feel no pain. And why would I, with the application of my finger to stir this magnificent cocktail?

My friend Gary Regan stirs his with his finger so why shouldn’t I?

Well the reasons are numerous why you should not stir your cocktail with your finger. Cleanliness has something to do with this. But I suppose if you dipped your finger in your tri-sink filled with disinfectants and cleansers, you’d really have nothing to worry about as long as you were in your own home. I always use a cocktail spoon when working behind the bar so not to upset my customers! The drink shown was mixed with my own finger… far away from any paying customers!

The best Negroni is also the simplest one to make. I do only a couple of things differently:

1. Wash glass out inside and out with cool water.
2. Dry carefully with a soft towel.
3. Pack with ice and water.
4. Carefully measure out your ingredients, pour out the bar ice and water.

I also use a couple large hand-cut cubes of ice from the Williams Sonoma silicone ice cube tray. But most importantly, I filter my water first with ice made from from my Mavea “Inspired Water” filter. With this magical device, my ice nearly freezes crystal clear. A far cry from the ice that comes out of the ice machine in the fridge.

The Negroni Cocktail

Ingredients:
• 1 oz. Campari
• 1 oz. Carpano Antica
• 1 oz. Caorunn Gin
• 2 dashes of The Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters

Preparation:

1. Add Campari.
2. Add Sweet Vermouth – I ALWAYS USE Carpano Antica for the second step.

3. Add your choice of Gin. In this case I used Caorunn Gin from Scotland. Caorunn is liberally flecked with citrus fruit woven around the haunting elegance of the moors at night.

4. Add The Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters.
5. Add ice.
6. Stir all ingredients together… (And no, you don’t have to use your finger!!!)

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

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

Last Minute Xmas Gifts from the Cocktail Whisperer

December 20, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

UNDERBERG if you can get it is the miracle cure!

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

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

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

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

 

Ah.. so many flavors… So little time!

 

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

Apothecary Cocktails on Behance !!!

http://www.behance.net/gallery/Apothecary-Cocktails/11972133

 

What a nice surprise!!!

Beekman 1802- Klaus the Soused Gnome

 

Warren

Gartending: Cranberry Soused

By: IMG_4243

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Ingredients:  (Klaus proven!)

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

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

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

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

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

Lime pinwheels

 

Preparation:

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

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

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

Add ice to ¾ in the shaker and then cover

Shake hard for 15 seconds

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

Strain the Cambridge Cocktail over the ice

Garnish with the lime pinwheel and a long straw

Disclosure of Material Connection…

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
JUST SAYING…

The Vincent Price Affair (originally published on DrinkUPNY)

The Vincent Price Affair

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.

The Vincent Price Affair

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

Preparation:
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.

MIND ERASER!!!!!!

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 Summer Cocktails from Foodista.com

 

 

Four Summer Cocktails

 

 

June 3, 2013

 

 

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

 

2 oz. Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey

 

Several Hand Cut Sweet Vermouth Ice Cubes

 

2-3 shakes Angostura Bitters

 

Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water

 

Preparation:

 

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

 

Serve

 

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:

 

4 oz. Casa Noble Blanco Tequila

 

8 oz. Hoosier Momma Bloody Mary Mix

 

¼ teaspoon Fleur du Sel

 

1 Meyer Lemon, cut into wedges

 

Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Bitters or Angostura

 

http://hoosiermomma.com

 

Preparation:

 

In a Boston Shaker filled ¾ with ice, add:

 

Casa Noble

 

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

 

Preparation:

 

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

 

Stir lightly

 

Serve immediately!

 

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

 

Ingredients:

 

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…

 

Preparation:

 

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!

The Last Train to Brownsville

Monday, May 6, 2013

Last Train to Brownsville

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.

So, without further adieu…

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

Preparation:
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.