This is my 8 minute interview for the website: My Path Builder. Thanks for watching. wb
We are happy, no, ecstatic to be able to introduce you to our newest contributor. Warren Bobrow does not write about design, and yet, his work is all about designing; designing the perfect drink that is. Warren’s ability to not only create masterful cocktails but to carefully craft descriptions that evoke the perfect ambiance has garnered his publications great reviews, both nationally and internationally. Warren is the Food and Drink Editor of the 501c3 non profit Wild Table on Wild River Review located in Princeton, New Jersey. He attended the Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, where he successfully sought and found quite a few well prepared drinks and you can see him in person when he presents on the topic of rum at the Charleston, SC Wine and Food Festival in 2012.
And a few more claims to fame:
His research on Biodynamic and Organic Wine and Food will appear in the 2012 Oxford Encyclopedia of Food/Drink in America, Ed., 2.
Warren has published over three hundred articles on everything from cocktail mixology to restaurant reviews. (Served Raw, Drinking in America, DrinkGal.com, Bluewater Vodka, Purity Vodka, Botran Rum, Orleans Apple Aperitif, Marie Brizard, Art in the Age: Root, Snap, Rhuby, Hendricks Gin, Sailor Jerry Rum, Tuthilltown Spirits, Bitter Cube, Bitter Truth, Bitter End-Bitters, Voda Magazine and dozens of other spirit and wine publications, nationally and internationally.)
Warren’s recipe for the “Last Pirate Ship” just appeared in Daily Candy Magazine.
He’s written food articles and news for Edible Jersey, Chutzpah Magazine, NJ Monthly and does a bit of traditional newspaper food journalism.
He is one of the cocktail bloggers for Williams-Sonoma and Foodista, as well as Serious Eats.
He is a Ministry of Rum judge and, if all of that were not enough, Warren is also a trained photojournalist and shoots with the venerable Leica M8.
Now can you see why we’re not only a little bit proud to have him on Modenus ? So without further ado, we want to jump into a weekly series of TGIF: Warren Bobrow’s cocktail hour which we will, conveniently, post every Friday. Cheers!
Late Summer Peach Punch
Sometimes the most interesting cocktails are the easiest to make- you just have to know how to use a careful hand.
To kick off this end of summer cocktail- I look to the farmer’s markets that are just brimming with the flavors of the season.
Using fresh herbs in a cocktail has always intrigued me. I love cooking with basil, thyme; rosemary- they combine beautifully with vegetables and fruits in culinary arena- why not in a cocktail?
The explosion of herbaceous and spice infused rums on the market inspired me to open the tool-kit of Friday “after work” cocktails that speak clearly of the season.
When I was down in New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail, mixologists experimented with many culinary ingredients in their concoctions.
Late summer fruit like peaches, white rum and lemon thyme combine to make a dreamy little cocktail. I call it the Peach Punch- what makes it a punch? The addition of freshly squeezed citrus juices. The base is firmly in the tropics with the use of crisp and aromatic white rum. This drink is served elegantly in a Martini glass with a slice of peach and a leaf (or two) of lemon thyme.
Late Summer, Peach Punch
The most aromatic peach you can find- just a few thin slices per cocktail is used
Spiced rum like Sailor Jerry (in a pinch, a fruit or vanilla scented vodka)
Freshly squeezed lime juice (about a 2 tablespoons, it’s essential to use fresh juice!)
Crush a few slices of fresh peaches in a cocktail shaker with a few pieces of lemon thyme (no wood!)
Fresh Ice to cocktail shaker (just a few large cubes- you don’t want to dilute this cocktail)
Add fresh lime juice
Add 3 shots of spiced rum (like Sailor Jerry) or flavored vodka
Shake until the cocktail shaker is frosty
Strain into a Martini glass – Garnish with a slapped piece of mint and sprinkle few leaves of lemon thyme over the top. To slap mint- put it in your hand and slap it with the other- it releases the oils with this motion.
The Jimi Cocktail
I certainly didn’t invent this, but what I did do is refine it with “slapped” mint and a cucumber round and Rhum Agricole (or white Rum).
All This Rum! A New Tiki Bar Cocktail
Ever since I sat as a Rum Judge at the 2010 Ministry of Rum tasting competition in San Francisco, the whole direction of my spirits-writing career has changed. I used to only write about wine.
Then a flash went off: wine is so serious; why not write about something fun, like spirits?
I’ve always loved rum. Rum appeals to me.
Rum is a spirit woven from history. Flavors exist within rums that don’t reveal themselves in other lighter-colored liquors. I’m a fan of rums aged in used wooden casks that formerly held bourbon or cognac. The caramelized notes of smoke, butter and bittersweet chocolate reveal themselves beautifully with the white flower aromas of freshly crushed cane sugar.
What is good rum, and how does it differ from all other rums? I’m not entirely sure. But when you’re out on a yacht, somewhere between Bermuda and the Virgin Islands, nothing tastes so delicious with some coconut water ice.
Over the past few years, Tiki Bar cocktail lounges have revealed themselves as funky representations of times gone past. Tiki gives credence to the easier times in America.
Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco faithfully reproduces a dream Tiki bar located down off a decaying pier, jutting out into a world of rotting boats and handcrafted cocktails. If a stage set of liquid pleasures could be created, Smuggler’s Cove fits the West Coast genre to a T. Over on the East Coast, on the Island of Manhattan — described as the Greatest Island in the World – PKNY – formerly named Painkiller(the name is another story for another day) has a knack for Tiki as well.
Here’s a Tiki Bar cocktail you’ve never had before.
The Yachtsman’s Demise
3 oz. Kōloa Rum from Hawaii (use their Spiced Rum for this cocktail)
1 oz. fresh mango juice
1/2 tsp. freshly chopped coconut meat
1/2 tsp. freshly scraped ginger
3 drops Bitter End Thai Bitters
6 ice cubes made with coconut water and freshly grated nutmeg (just a bit, it’s strong stuff!)
1/2 oz. Lemon Hart 151 Rum
Q-Ginger Ale to finish
Fill a cocktail shaker with fresh ice (reserve your coconut water ice for the glass). Add the Kōloa Rum to the shaker, then the fresh mango juice, coconut meat and ginger. Add the Bitter End Thai Bitters.
Shake and strain into a tall Tiki (ceramic) mug filled with your coconut water and grated nutmeg ice cubes. Float the Lemon Hart 151 Rum over the top, and finish with Q-Ginger Ale. Makes 1 cocktail.
Cocktails for Insomniacs
This drink, code-named “The Sleepwalker’s Delight,” is of particular interest to those who, instead of sleeping, find themselves walking the floors at all hours of the night.
It’s an easy cocktail to make, especially when sleepwalking. Many of the ingredients hail to Europe, where meanderings in the nighttime are less suspect.
You won’t want to find yourself wallowing in your neighbor’s pool at 4 a.m., so be careful when sipping this warming cocktail. (Note: The aforementioned swimming pool reference is completely hypothetical and in no way related to an actual event. I plead the Fifth.)
The Somnambulist Cocktail
A few sips of this sleep-maker makes dreamweaving a whole lot easier. Cue the sheep.
- 3 ounces Eau de Vie of Williams Pear
- 2 ounces SNAP — USDA Certified Organic Ginger Snap liquor (80 proof, please. Go higher if you want to sleep for days.)
- Hot chocolate — your choice (I prefer the Aztec Spicy Hot Chocolate from MarieBelle)
- Pre-heat a large, chunky ceramic mug: Fill boiling hot water into the mug prior to cocktailing. Pour out just before making the drink.
- Prepare the spicy hot chocolate and add to the preheated mug. Add the liquors and sip carefully!
If your Somnambulist needs a chaser, try the film version of a sleepwalker’s cocktail, quite possibly the best horror film of all time. Sure, you’ll have nightmares, but you’re not sleeping anyway.
My friends over at Art in the Age in Philadelphia sent me the most lovely bottle of a truly new liquor the other day. Who is Art in the Age you ask? They are the creative minds behind the products like Hendrick’s Gin, Sailor Jerry Rum, Snap and the precursor to Root Beer known simply as Root. I actually first tasted Rhuby in the offices of Steven Grasse, the gregarious and intense owner of the Quaker City Mercantile. Steven has a way with something that is known as Brand re-Invigoration. I just call what he does- brilliant. Within the past few years, Steven has sold his product line to the William Grant Company from Scotland, freeing up his career to create new and interesting products, marketing for existing products and the anticipation for new ones.
Rhuby is based on the story of John Bartram the Philadelphia botanist during the 1700’s who received seeds for rhubarb from Benjamin Franklin on one of his trips to Europe. Bartram grew rhubarb in his Philadelphia garden then concocted a tea from the rhubarb stalks and used beets, carrots, lemon, petitgrain, cardamom, pink peppercorn, coriander, vanilla, and pure cane sugar.
Of course the always inventive and creative minds of Art in the Age took this recipe and turned Bartram’s history into a most unique spirit that is unlike anything on the market. I tasted Rhuby for the second time down in New Orleans at Tales of the Cocktail. They were whipping up different cocktails with this spirit- all delicious- but what I really wanted to do was experiment with this spirit myself and make mixology history with it. My connections in the spirits industry run deep- so I contacted my friend Laura at Art in the Age and asked her to send me a bottle of Rhuby. Last week I received a bottle and the hunt for new and interesting cocktails was on!
(Thank you Laura!)
Rye Whiskey is one of my favorite intoxicants and the hand crafted spirits from Tuthilltown are no exception to my creativity. Tuthilltown is a small batch distiller, just north of New York City. I’ve championed their tiny 375ml bottles in my cocktail mixology crafting.
Faulty Aim Cocktail
2 shots of Tuthilltown Manhattan Rye Whiskey
1 Shot Rhuby (USDA Certified Organic)
A few scant drops of Bitter End Memphis Barbeque Bitters
Really good ice (like Gläce)
Driscoll Organic Strawberries (USDA Certified Organic)
In a cocktail shaker glass, muddle a couple of the Driscoll Strawberries until they are crushed. Add the liquors, then the bitters. Add some regular ice (not too much) Shake and strain into a Coupe’ glass that one Gläce gourmet ice cube sits. Sip through and hope your aim improves!
The Devil’s Due
Last week, Dan Cohen from Jim Beam sent me a professional sample of their new product known as the Devil’s Cut. What is the Devil’s Cut? In the parlay of distillation you have the Angel’s Share. That is of course what evaporates from the barrel during aging. The Devil’s Cut is what soaks into the barrel. There used to be a time when this liquor could not be extracted from the barrel, until now, through a propriatary process, the folks at Jim Beam have invented a method of extracting the soaked liquor from the barrel. Sure this is a time consuming method, but in the end the flavor is much more intense- creamy with deep vanilla notes. I love the stuff!
2 shots Devil’s Cut Bourbon Whiskey *90 proof!*
1 Shot Rhuby
Freshly Squeezed Grapefruit juice *a few tablespoons*
Freshly Squeezed Lemon juice *a few tablespoons*
Chunks of fresh Rhubarb for garnish
To a glass cocktail shaker add the Bourbon and the Rhuby. Then the juices, finally a few drops of the Bolivar Bitters. Shake well until a frost forms on the cocktail mixer.
Serve in a short “Rocks” glass with a couple of ice cubes. Garnish with fresh Rhubarb
Purity Vodka is one of my favorite “new” brands of vodka. They pot still produce this crisply aromatic vodka with all organic ingredients- so in a way, it’s a perfect match for the aromatic Rhuby with their own USDA Certified Organic designation.
Large Format Cocktail
2 Shots Purity Vodka
1/2 shot Rhuby
Spray of Imbue Dry Vermouth from Oregon (marked bittersweet on the label)
Spray the inside of a well chilled Martini glass with dry Vermouth
Chill and stir (don’t shake) 2 shots of Purity Vodka and 1/2 shot of Rhuby.
Strain into the Martini Glass and garnish with one gorgeous strawberry, sliced in half to release the juices.
Rhuby with notes of the garden fits perfectly into the scope of the Bluewater brand. This I discovered completely by accident- as any mixologist knows is the best way to discover new drinks- by accident!
Another Martini-Like drink- this one makes it easy to splice the main brace.
2 Shots Bluewater Vodka
1 Shot Rhuby
3 Shakes Angostura Bitters
Crushed Strawberries and Rhubarb muddled together with a few chunks of orange and grapefruit
Muddle the citrus fruits with the Angostura Bitters
Add the liquors and some ice cubes
Shake until combined and the shaker is frosty
Strain into a tall cocktail glass with a couple of fresh ice cubes
Garnish with a stalk of Rhubarb and one strawberry sliced to release juices.
Sip through to a night under the stars far out to sea.
Bid Farewell to Summer with The Last Pirate Ship
Make a Cocktail with Art in the Age’s Rhuby
Art in the Age’s Root and Snap liqueurs created quite the buzz. Now, the collective is causing another stir with its much-anticipated spirit Rhuby, made of rhubarb, pink peppercorn, petitgrain, and other organic ingredients, based on a Revolutionary era recipe.
According to legend, Benjamin Franklin and botanist John Bartram tinkered with brewing rhubarb tea back in 1771. The boozy variation is now on shelves, just in time for a late-summer libation created by modern-day mixologist Warren Bobrow.
The Last Pirate Ship
2 oz. Rhuby
1 oz. fresh lime juice
Fleur de sel
1 sprig of thyme
1. Combine ice, Rhuby, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker.
2. Toast strawberries in a cast iron pan.
3. Muddle strawberries and add to cocktail shaker.
4. Shake and strain into a rocks glass, sprinkle with fleur de sel, and garnish with a thyme sprig.
Featured writer: Warren Bobrow
Mark your calendar – Wednesday, Oct. 19 is the next Drink.Think reading event!
Once again, we’ve got a great line-up of writers slated to read from their work — and over the next few weeks, I’ll entice you with mini-biographies, starting this week with Warren Bobrow.
Now, if you’re out and about in the NY food and drink scene, surely you’ve run across this chap. Somehow, the man seems to be everywhere — He’s at spirits launch parties. He moderated a panel on food writing I attended at the IACP regional conference. He was front and center at a rum seminar I attended at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans (he’s a rum judge for the Ministry of Rum, so that makes perfect sense). And all the while, Warren manages to tweet up a storm like it’s an Olympic sporting event–go ahead, follow him @WarrenBobrow1. I dare you.
Warren is a prolific writer off Twitter, too: he’s the Food and Drink Editor of the 501c3 non profit Wild Table on Wild River Review; he is a cocktail writer for William-Sonoma’s Blender Blog, Foodista and Serious Eats; and his research on Biodynamic and Organic Wine and Food will appear in the 2012 Oxford Encyclopedia of Food/Drink in America, Ed. 2.
Whew! Come on out to Lolita Bar on Oct. 19 and hear what he has to say.
I came up with this little beauty while fishing some leaves out of my pool on an unusually cold day — what to do when it’s too chilly to swim? Make a drink.
The Early Fall Cocktail is based on the premise of a cold winter coming. Days before the Labor Day holiday, it’s freezing cold here in the Northeast and I wanted to concoct something truly American for the upcoming holiday.
The anchor of this cocktail is the Tuthilltown Manhattan Rye Whiskey, redolent with the flavors of late summer, and it’s easy to produce in large batches. Peaches are fresh now and grill beautifully.
The Early Fall Cocktail
- 3 shots Tuthilltown Manhattan Rye Whiskey
- Splash Imbue Sweet Vermouth
- 2 medicine droppers of Bittercube Lemon Tree Bitters
- Crushed ice
- Grilled peaches (about 2 of them, grilled until caramelized, then puréed)
- Heat a charcoal grill. Grill slices of peaches until uniformly brown and caramelized.
- Add ice, rye and vermouth to a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Chill, don’t shake. Add bitters.
- “Purée” the peaches with a cocktail muddler. Add 2 tablespoons of the grilled peach mash to a sterling silver julep cup and add some crushed ice.
- Pour rye and vermouth mixture into the sterling silver julep cup.
- Mix carefully with a wooden mixer — never use metal on silver (you know by now that’s my pet peeve).
- Serve with grilled corn and barbecued ribs that have been marinated with peaches and rye whiskey.
What happens when a man is snowbound with only his wits and his sideboard? He crafts a perfectly balanced flight of cocktails: too cool!
Passage to India
We just had some snow, about 8 inches this time. The last time it was about two feet. Everything is covered in a fine white dust. It’s quite lovely to look at as long as you’re inside and not shoveling. A friend of mine just sent a lovely container of Fig and Pear Chutney. I had been looking at some photographs of India and it churned my imagination. There was a picture of the Ganges River comingonto the computer screen and I thought of a Passage to India cocktail.
- 2 shots Bluewater Organic Vodka
- 1 tablespoon of a spicy chutney (homemade if possible)
- 1 or 2 saffron threads
- Orange peel
- Add crushed ice and vodka to a cocktail shaker. Do not shake or stir.
- Add spicy chutney to a well-chilled martini glass.
- Strain iced vodka into the glass and garnish with saffron threads and an orange peel.
The Red Hour Cocktail
The Red Hour Cocktail’s inspiration comes from the Star Trek show of the same name. How completely rational people can go quite crazy when the clock strikes The Red Hour.
- 2 shots Siesta Key White Rum
- 1 or two drops of Bitter End Thai Bitters
- Freshly squeezed orange and lime juice (just enough)
- Q-Tonic Water
- Add a few cubes of ice to a cocktail shaker, then the rum, followed by bitters, then fruit juices.
- Shake. Strain onto fresh ice in a tall glass.
- Top with a few splashes of Q-Tonic Water and a RED Cherry.
The Pure Driven Snow
Another cool-as-ice cocktail. If you live anywhere outside the tropics this year, you’re in the snow belt and understand the inspiration for this drink.
- 1 wheat beer such as Brooklyn Brewery Hopfen-Weisse
- 2 shots Anchor Junipero Gin
- 1 lime in chunks
- 1 tablespoon sugar cane syrup
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, pour in beer and gin.
- Add lime and syrup.
- Shake very gently, or the drink will foam wildly.
- Serve in a short glass with fresh ice.
- 2 shots Calvados
- 1 shot good cognac
- Hot Black Tea to fill a mug
- Scraping of fresh nutmeg
- Serve hot.
Sleepy time, sleepy time!