Millennial Pink Gin

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The Newest Craze That’s Not New At All! The current obsession was invented in the 1800’s. Invented by millennials? Yes and no. The original incarnation of the Pink Gin was developed in the mid-1800’s in England and in the Colonies (Princeton … Continue reading

10 Curative Cocktails

Favorite tipples from the book, Apothecary Cocktails

Tipsy tinctures

Give your merry-making a healthy makeover with these 10 healing drinks from Apothecary Cocktails: Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today. From a buttery hot toddy to a gin-and-basil tonic, these curative drinks have roots in the era when pharmacy-mixed potions were prescriptions for what ailed you.

Warren Bobrow is a mixologist and creator of the Cocktail Whisperer.

 The Deep Healer

The Deep Healer

Chiles may set your heart racing and make you break out in a sweat, but eating them should leave you feeling cleansed and purified in both body and soul. Historically, pharmacies may have concocted products combining chile peppers with magnesium. When these ingredients were combined with grain alcohol and used either as an external salve or an internal elixir, they offered sufferers relief from painful ailments, such as lower back pain, muscle cramps, and fibromyalgia. Today, a chili-laden cocktail is a great way to relieve headaches caused by overindulgence.

Like the classic Bloody Mary, its tomato base is jam-packed with the antioxidant lycopene, but the addition of onions, chiles, and leafy magnesium-rich green vegetables make this cocktail super-healthy, closer to a salad in a glass. A Deep Healer with a protein-packed brunch, such as a veggie omelet, will fix that pesky hangover in no time.

Serves 2

1 c (250 g) tomato purée
½ c (125 g) onion purée
¼ c (65 g) hot chile paste
1 oz (28 g) spinach, kale, or other dark leafy green
5 oz (150 ml) vodka

1. ADD all ingredients to a blender, and blend on regular speed until thoroughly combined.
2. SERVE over ice cubes in two tall glasses, and wait for the pain to evaporate.

Chartreuse Curative

 
Chartreuse Curative

Saffron has been used in Ayurvedic medicine and Asian and Mediterranean cooking for thousands of years. Derived from the crocus flower, this precious spice has been praised for its healing qualities: It’s reputed to be an antiseptic, antidepressant, antioxidant, digestive aid, and anti-convulsion restorative. And it’s been used in the production of herbal liqueurs like Chartreuse, something French imbibers enjoy as an after-dinner drink. Of course, saffron is astronomically expensive, but never fear: As with most good things, a little goes a long way.

This mood-lifting prescriptive combines top-quality Chartreuse with vermouth and egg white for a colorful, frothy little cocktail that’ll brighten up even the greyest day. Top it off with a thread or two of saffron as a nod to Chartreuse’s luscious color.

Serves 1

3 oz (90 ml) Chartreuse VEP
1 oz (30 ml) dry vermouth
1 egg white
2 to 3 saffron threads
Ice

1. ADD the Chartreuse, vermouth, and egg white to a Boston Shaker; then fill the shaker three- quarters full with ice.
2. SHAKE vigorously for 20 seconds until frothy. Strain the mixture into a coupé glass, and garnish with the saffron. Then sit back and watch sinking spirits rise.

 
Cold Cure #1001

While you may not be able to actually cure a cold, it’s certainly possible to relieve its symptoms. Peppermint has analgesic qualities, which means it’s known to ease cold-related pain like headaches. Peppermint infusions can also relieve ailments of the stomach, such as nausea, indigestion, and seasickness. It’s also used in Bénédictine, one of the main ingredients in this insomnia-banishing drink. Be sure to crown your Cold Cure #1001 with Jamaican bitters, which are said to contain ingredients widely used in folk healing, such as allspice, ginger, and black pepper. Breathe deeply before taking a sip of this curative: If that pesky cold makes breathing feel like snorkeling with a drinking straw, a few whiffs of these aromas will alleviate congestion and speed snoozing.

Serves 2

12-oz (355 ml) pot of hot peppermint tea
5 to 6 oz (150 to 175 ml) Bénédictine
3 to 4 oz (90 to 120 ml) sweet vermouth
10 drops Jamaican bitters

1. PREPARE the pot of peppermint tea; then remove the teabags.
2. PREHEAT two large mugs by filling them with boiling water; discard the water after a few seconds.
3. ADD the Bénédictine, followed by the vermouth, to the pot. Mix gently, and let the mixture sit for a few minutes.
4. ADD the bitters, pour into the mugs, and serve immediately. Inhale, soothing those grumpy sinuses.

Hot Buttered Rum: The Sailor’s Cure-All

The hot toddy cocktails we know and love today have their roots in the days of yore, when apothecaries might have prescribed them for relief against the aches and pains the Siberian-strength cold weather brings on. Hot toddies are cocktails in which hot or boiling water is added to spirits and other ingredients, and many of these tasty, warming tipples were created to ease cold and flu symptoms. Ships’ doctors may have delivered doses of this classic hot buttered rum to sailors to relieve aching bones and flagging spirits. Four magic ingredients—hot tea, sugar, butter, and rum—shore up every sailor who’s ever headed face-first into a full gale. Today, this curative is a treat that goes down smoothly after a long day of skiing, hiking, or just sitting by the fire.

Serves 2

Hot black tea
6 oz (175 ml) rum
Dark brown sugar to taste
2 tsp butter (9 g or about 2 acorn-sized lumps)
Freshly grated nutmeg

1. BREW a pot of strong black tea. While the tea is steeping, preheat mugs by filling them with boiling water; discard the water after a few seconds.
2. ADD 3 oz (90 ml) of rum to each mug. Fill each mug with tea and mix gently.
3. SWEETEN to taste with dark brown sugar. Add an acorn-sized lump of butter to each mug, and dust each drink with fresh nutmeg. Anchors aweigh!

Green Tea Tonic

Green Tea Tonic

Genever, the botanical gin that hails from Holland and Belgium, has been used as a curative for more than 500 years, and it’s packed with healing ingredients like nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, angelica, thistle, sweet orange peel, and grains of paradise. It’s a natural match for citrus juices, like oranges and lemon—although in the early days of the apothecaries, citrus fruits were so exotic that you’d rarely catch a glimpse of them outside of the tropics. Nonetheless, pharmacists may have prescribed a combination of fruits, spices, and grain-based spirits as a speedy antidote to pain. This warm tonic unites citrus, fresh ginger, green tea, and mineral-rich Brazil nuts, which are meant to reduce inflammation and relieve pain, into a gently warming prescription that eases all sorts of aches.

Serves 1

3 oz (90 ml) genever
1 oz (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 oz (30 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp (15 g) powdered Brazil nuts
Warm green tea

COMBINE all ingredients in a small saucepan and warm over low heat until the ginger releases its perfume (about 10 minutes). Pour into teacups and serve.

Herbal Sleep Punch

Herbal Sleep Punch

When it comes to curatives that enhance restful sleep, hot drinks aren’t the only answer. A punch made from herbal teas and botanical gin can relieve sleeplessness, even when it feels as if nothing could bring you closer to the Land of Nod. This cocktail combines infusions of herbs known to relax the sleep-deprived, and traditional apothecaries would have been well-versed in their benefits. Chamomile, an anti-inflammatory, has been used as an antidote to anxiety for centuries, while lavender is said to gently ease irritating sleep disturbances. Fennel helps to keep digestion on track. A dose of botanical gin and lime juice bind the infusions together into a gentle tipple that will help turn off the lights for even the most dedicated insomniac.

Serves 1

1 tea bag each chamomile tea, lavender tea, and fennel tea
Juice of 1 lime
Honey simple syrup (1 c boiling water + 1 c honey, mixed and dissolved), to taste
3 oz (90 ml) botanical gin
Ice

1. INFUSE the teabags in 5 oz (150 ml) hot water for at least an hour and let cool.
2. PACK a tall glass with ice. Pour the tea over the ice; add the lime juice, and sweeten to taste with the honey simple syrup.
3. ADD the gin, and mix gently. G’night!

Fernet Branca with English Breakfast Tea

Fernet Branca was invented in nineteenth-century Italy to ease maladies of the belly, and it’s certainly retained its marketing mystique even a century and a half later. Fernet is easy to quaff on its own or mixed with cola—but it’s just as good served steaming hot. In the Caribbean, it’s often paired with English breakfast tea and honey, a combination that’s said to relieve stomachaches of all sorts. Plus, as any apothecary of auld lang syne would have agreed, both warm liquids and honey can aid digestion.

Nota bene: While it calls for English breakfast tea, I don’t recommend trying this curative for breakfast. You’ve been warned.

Serves 2

3 oz (90 ml) Fernet Branca
Pot of strong English breakfast tea (about 2 c, or 475 ml)
2 Tbsp (40 g) raw honey

1. PREHEAT two mugs by filling them with boiling water; discard the water after a few seconds.
2. ADD 1½ oz (45 ml) of Fernet Branca to each mug. Fill the mugs with tea, and stir 1 Tbsp of honey into each mug. Sip slowly, and let the healing begin.

Dr. Livesey’s Cocktail

Combining ginger—said to be an effective cure for a variety of ailments, including headaches, motion sickness, fatigue, and pregnancy-related nausea—with hot punches or beer is a classic way to use the root as a curative, as sailors of yesteryear would have known. Named after the honorable doctor in Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic, Treasure Island, this cocktail matches ginger beer with its natural partner, rum, into a tipple that rouses the mood and washes the doldrums away.

Serves 1

3 oz (90 ml) dark rum
4 oz (120 ml) ginger beer (non-alcoholic)
Lime wedge for garnish
Ice

1. FILL a Collins glass with ice cubes. Pour the ginger beer over the ice; then float the dark rum on top.
2. GARNISH with a lime wedge to keep scurvy at bay. Drink slowly, and let good cheer fill your sails.

Mead Refresher

Everyone knows that royal jelly, which is produced by worker bees and fed to their hive-mates, is an important curative in health preparations. But raw (unprocessed) honey is also deeply curative, and what’s more, the distillation of spirits using raw honey is an ancient, well-regarded technique. Honey has been used medicinally at least since ancient Egyptian civilization, and beverages produced from honey, such as mead, have been enjoyed since time immemorial. Raw honey may possess antibacterial qualities and is said to promote weight loss, reduce cholesterol, and relieve symptoms of intestinal disorders. This bubbly cocktail combines sweet mead with tart, refreshing lemonade and a dash of fizzy water into a prescriptive that is sure to cheer and heal at the same time.

Serves 4

6 oz (175 ml) mead
6 oz (175 ml) fresh lemonade
4 dashes of aromatic bitters (any kind)
4 oz (120 ml) seltzer water

1. COMBINE the mead, lemonade, and bitters in a mixing glass or pitcher.
2. STIR to combine, and pour into four short glasses.
3. TOP each glass with about 1 oz (30 ml) of seltzer water, sip, and start feeling like the bee’s knees.

Thai Basil Fizz

Basil, with its bracing, peppery taste, isn’t just good for pesto. It was said to mitigate the symptoms of malaria and was made into a liniment to soothe sunburns. Basil was also used as a nerve tonic against stress and anxiety, and it is even said to promote longevity. One variety of the herb, called holy basil or Thai basil, is used as an ingredient alongside other green herbs in both absinthe and green Chartreuse, due to its antiseptic and antibacterial qualities. Thai basil can be very effective when it comes to healing a sour stomach: Try a Thai Basil Fizz if you spent last night indulging in spicy food washed down by one too many cocktails.

Serves 2

1 sprig basil, finely chopped
2 oz (60 ml) botanical gin
¼ oz (7 ml) absinthe
3 to 4 shakes of Peychaud’s bitters
2 to 3 oz (60 to 90 ml) ginger beer
Lemon zest twist
Ice

1. TOSS the chopped basil into a Boston shaker. (Be sure to lean over the shaker for a restorative whiff of its crisp, spicy scent!)
2. ADD the gin and absinthe, and fill the shaker three-quarters full of ice.
3. SPRINKLE the bitters into the mix, then shake for 20 seconds, strain into a coupé glass, and top with the ginger beer.
4. GARNISH with the lemon zest twist. The heady combination of basil, ginger, and lemon is sure to brush the cobwebs away

A SIMPLE TYROL FIZZ

A SIMPLE TYROL FIZZ

by Warren Bobrow

Ingredients:
50ml Stroh Rum
100 ml broiled grapefruit juice (grapefruit and Angostura Bitters-broiled until caramelized, cooled then juiced)
25 ml Demerara Sugar Simple Syrup
25 ml Seltzer water
5-6 drops Angostura Bitters

Preparation:
To a Boston Shaker filled 3/4 with ice add the Stroh Rum
Add the broiled grapefruit juice
Add the Demerara Sugar Simple Syrup
Cap and shake hard for 20 seconds
Strain into 2 coupe glasses
top with a splash of seltzer and dot with Angostura Bitters

Cheers!

Cocktails for Athletes: 5 Drinks That Can Speed Recovery

Alcohol is no nutritionist’s ideal post-workout drink. But let’s be honest — if you’ve just battled through an after-work run or basketball game, it’s exactly what you want. And while drinking hard does not aid recovery, we know that one or two cocktails won’t prevent you from making gains. Better yet, if you use a few choice ingredients — like chrysanthemum tea or carrot juice, included in our cocktails below — your boozing can actually provide muscle-aiding benefits.

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Good news, whiskey drinkers. This classic should have a place in your post-run rotation, especially as fall race season blows in. “I think some cocktails can help with being sick or making you feel better after a hard workout,” says Kevin Diedrich, legendary San Francisco barman and cocktailier. “For instance, a Hot Toddy with brandy, lemon, honey, and bitters can ease some pain or soothe a sore throat.” And Diedrich’s Hot Toddy is good for your most important muscle, too — your heart. It has a spike of Chrysanthemum tea, which is known for helping with hypertension and high blood pressure.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Yamazaki 12 Japanese Whisky
  • 1/2 oz Lemon
  • 1/2 oz Honey Syrup (2:1)
  • 3 oz Hot Chrysanthemum Tea
  • 2 dash Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish Lemon Peel studded with cloves

Americano
This isn’t your typical barista-made Americano. This is Diedrich’s own boozy recipe. “I love an Americano — which is sweet vermouth, Campari, and soda — for afternoons after a workout,” he says. “It’s low-proof, refreshing, and won’t make you tipsy.”

Ingredients:

  • 1 1⁄2 oz Campari
  • 1 1⁄2 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • Soda water to top
  • Orange for garnish

The Blue Mamontauk
If you’re vegan or have hopped on the coconut-water bandwagon to replace electrolytes lost during intense gym sessions and workouts, then this is the drink to order when you belly up to the bar. “Originating from The Surf Lodge in Montauk, this drink is vegan-friendly, fairly low in calories and carbs, and serves as the perfect recovery drink for restoring hydration and replenishing electrolytes lost during exercise,” author and Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award Nominee Warren Bobrow says. “They’re refreshing and are packed with antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, and minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and zinc.”

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Mamont Vodka
  • 3 oz Thai Coconut Water
  • 1 oz Sweetened Coconut Milk
  • 3 drops blue all-natural Butterfly Pea Extract
  • Garnish with an orange slice

Beet the Mammoth

Beet the Mammoth
Recent medical studies have shown beet juice to improve blood flow and increase muscle restoration. It’s a key ingredient to this drink, along with a protein-packed egg white — you’ve basically got yourself a post-gym shake. “Also, beets are one of the best foods to help with a natural ‘lift’ in sexual performance,” Bobrow says. “Packed with protein and a touch of citrus, the Beet the Mammoth is the perfect post-workout cocktail.”

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Mamont Vodka
  • Puff of Dry Vermouth
  • 1 Egg White
  • 1 tbsp Beet Juice
  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
  • Sprig of dill

Prep:

  • Boil the beets, let cool and juice, set aside.
  • Chill a coupe glass with ice and water; pour out when glass is frosty.
  • Spray the inside of the coupe with the Dry Vermouth.
  • Into a Boston Shaker, add the egg white and the lemon juice. Dry shake hard for 15 seconds.
  • Add ice to fill 3/4.
  • Add the Beet Juice and the Mamont Vodka to the Boston Shaker.
  • Re-cap and shake hard for at least 15 seconds.
  • Double strain into the pre-chilled, Dry Vermouth puffed coupe and garnish with the dill.

The Strong Siberian
This is the cooler older brother of the White Russian, and it could almost pass for inclusion in a juice cleanse. First off, it contains carrot juice, “a powerhouse for vitamin A and a crucial element for top performance,” Bobrow says. It also has ample amounts of vitamins C, D, E, and K, as well as many minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and calcium.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Mamont Vodka
  • 1/2 oz Raki – Turkish Anise liqueur
  • 4 oz Carrot Juice
  • Large cube ice

Prep:

  • Fill a Boston Shaker 3/4 with ice, add vodka, Raki, and carrot juice.
  • Cap and shake hard for 15 seconds.
  • Strain over 1 large cube of ice in an Old Fashioned glass and garnish with orange zest. Pro tip: “Hand cut always — never use a peeler!”

http://drinkwire.liquor.com/post/cocktails-for-athletes-5-drinks-that-can-speed-recovery#gs.pJdyggA

 

Warren Bobrow’s Fresh Toast Fizzy

Behold the magic of raspberry shrub and cannabis simple syrup.

Real shrubs are for your cocktail glass. And no, they are not the kind that take up room in your front yard. Shrubs are an almost unheard-of combination of both vinegar and preserved fruit and cane sugar syrup. During the late summer months, they are especially delicious because they are cost next to nothing to make and quite thirst slaking. They also mix really nicely with Cannabis in a cocktail made with rum.

The history of shrubs dates back hundreds of years. They were most frequently used into the mid-1800s. The people who enjoyed them were amongst the working class and mostly because of the utter lack of refrigeration. No electricity, meaning no refrigeration for food preservation means all bad things to the gut.

But everything isn’t gloom and doom. Enter this home-made, vinegar based- fruit syrup. Shrubs were an inexpensive, sweet refreshment that could be added to a multitude of alcoholic liquids. People found that drinking certain kinds of acidulated liquids like these preserved fruit shrubs helped ease their aching bellies from the consumption of ‘certainly compromised foods and drink’.

Drinking these easy to make and easier to enjoy- sweet and tangy beverages were found to give the imbiber quick energy, too. Were they the first energy drinks? Possibly…

Fast forward to today, mixologists have rediscovered the magic of utilizing fresh fruit and vegetable shrubs in their craft cocktails. And now aficionados are starting to toy with them at home because of their ease in production.

Shrubs can be simply made with only three easy-to-purchase ingredients: raw sugar, some kind of vinegar and just over-ripe fruit, plus a bit of fresh water. They have a salty, sea-like undertone after they ferment for a few weeks, but are also sweet and tart. The fruit gives a deeply welcome hit of sweet perfume, the cane sugar (essential) sweetens naturally, and the unmistakable tang of your favorite vinegar makes your lips pucker, and few things are more salutary for the gut than naturally fermented beverages. Shrubs really were the original energy and health drink. And now it looks like this tangy combination of flavors have received their second wind!

Note: These shrubs will remain fresh for 1 to 2 months in the refrigerator, unless until they start to dance the jig and sing in Gaelic, then make a new batch immediately!

Summer Raspberry Shrub
(Makes about 1.5 cups)

This very basic shrub makes all kinds of refreshing combinations. Although the raspberry shrub starts out vividly red, in the end result, after a couple of weeks fermenting; the shrub will have a

pale coral hue. It’s delicious mixed with gin, vodka, rum, whiskey, Madeira, a smoky Scotch, Sherry, white wine, sparkling wine- and of course just plain water like they used to drink in the Colonial period!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup very ripe organic raspberries (they can be bruised and soft, but please, no mold)
  • 1 cup raw cane sugar (Sugar in the Raw or like product)
  • 1 cup raw cider vinegar (I use Bragg’s with the Mother Yeast intact)

Directions:

  • In a nonreactive bowl made of either ceramic or glass (or possibly stainless), add raspberries and pour sugar over the top.
  • Cover and let sit refrigerated for a few days, stirring and muddling often with a wooden spoon to combine. This mixture should expel lots of liquid, and this is good!
  • After a few days of gentle fermentation, add the apple cider vinegar. Let the vinegar combine with the sugar and raspberries for another week refrigerated. (Cellar temperature if you want to be absolutely authentic)
  • Arrange a fine-mesh strainer over a nonreactive bowl (one with a spout is handy). Pour the shrub mixture into the strainer and mash with a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.
  • Funnel the shrub into sterilized jars, this means submerged in boiling water for at least a minute and removed with sterilized rubber tipped tongs.
  • Cover and refrigerate (or cellar temp) for at least a week more, shaking well before using.

The assertive vinegar flavor will fade over time, leaving you a lightly thick- simple syrup that is tangy, sweet and very noteworthy!

Tip: A simple way to enjoy this raspberry shrub is with a glass of seltzer water and the addition of a few slivers of lemon zest. I also like to add it to gin!

Cannabis Infused Simple Syrup
(Use strain of your choice)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw cane sugar – like sugar in the raw
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable glycerin (this helps supercharge the cannabis)
  • 3 or more grams finely chopped, ultra-high-grade cannabis

Directions:

  • The first thing you have to do is measure out equal parts of sugar and water then bring the water to a boil.
  • Drop the heat down, just a bit- you’ll know when you see the sugar turning to caramel that it’s too hot!
  • Add in your finely chopped cannabis and stir in until the sugar has been completely dissolved.
  • Cover the pot and bring it to a quick simmer (do not boil!) for about 30 minutes.
  • Cool for ½ hour, bring back up to a simmer. Stir in the vegetable glycerin. Strain.
  • Let cool again, and refrigerate for up to two weeks.
  • h-1-warren-bobrows-cannabis-infused-fresh-toast-fizzy
  • Fresh Toast Fizzy
    (Serves 2)

    Ingredients:

    • large handmade ice cubes
    • 4 ounces independent producer rum- think no chill filtering or any added caramel for color (the real thing)
    • 1 ounce Raspberry Shrub
    • 1 ounce cannabis tincture infused simple syrup (using the strain and amount of your choice)
    • 4 dashes Angostura Bitters
    • splash of fizzy water

    Directions:

    • Fill a cocktail shaker three-quarters full with ice.
    • Pour in your rum, your handmade Shrub and the simple syrup (either cannabis infused or not) over the ice.
    • Cover, cap and shake hard for 15 seconds or until the shaker is really frosty.
    • Add a large ice cube to each of 2 coupe glasses. Strain cocktail into each of the glasses, dash the Angostura over the top of each glass (2 dashes each) and serve while icy with a splash of fizzy water of course!
    • Use the Thai spice principle. You can always add more spice- but you can never take it away!

    NEVER more than one per hour…

  • http://thefreshtoast.com/drink/warren-bobrows-cannabis-infused-fresh-toast-fizzy/

Some Strange And Delicious Concoctions

http://totalfood.com/strange-delicious-concoctions/

Warren Bobrow

Real shrubs for your cocktail glass, not the kind that take up room in your front yard, are a strange and delicious concoctions of vinegar and sugar-preserved fruit syrup.  During the late summer months, they are especially delicious because they are inexpensive to make and quite thirst slaking.  And guess what? This respectable beverage that has its roots in the Colonial Era and are making a comeback in restaurants, craft cocktail bars, and even at home.

The history of Shrubs dates back hundreds of years. They were most frequently used into the mid-1800s, regularly among the working class because utter lack of refrigeration (and electricity) for the preservation of fresh ingredients.  No refrigeration meant all bad things to the gut.

Home-made, vinegar based fruit syrup was an inexpensive, sweet refreshment that could be added to a multitude of liquids. People found that drinking certain kinds of acidulated liquids like shrubs helped ease their aching bellies from the consumption of ‘compromised foods and drink’. Drinking these easy to make and easier to enjoy- sweet and tangy beverages were found to give the imbiber quick energy, too.  Were they the first energy drinks? Possibly…

The acidic vinegar based beverages helped to purify their poisonous drinking water in the ages before sanitization.

When fizzy, cheaply produced soda pop hit the scene in the late 1800’s, shrubs all but disappeared from popular drinking vernacular and might have been lost forever if it wasn’t for the resurgence of the popularity of barmen such as Jerry Thomas.

Fast forward to today, mixologists have rediscovered the magic of utilizing fresh fruit and vegetable shrubs in their craft cocktails. And now aficionados are starting to toy with them at home because of their ease in production.

Classical elements and techniques are hot behind the cocktail stick because they are authentic!Bobrow1_August2016

Shrubs can be simply made with only three easy-to-purchase ingredients: raw sugar, some kind of vinegar and fruit, plus a bit of water. They have a salty, sea-like undertone but are also sweet and tart. The fruit gives a deeply welcome hit of sweet perfume, the cane sugar (essential) sweetens naturally, and the unmistakable tang of your favorite vinegar makes your lips pucker, and few things are more salutary for the gut than naturally fermented beverages. Shrubs really were the original energy and health drink. And now it looks like this tangy combination of flavors have received their second wind!

Here are two of my favorite shrubs, along with three cocktail recipes.

Note: These shrubs will remain fresh for 1 to 2 months in the refrigerator, unless until they start to dance the jig and sing in Gaelic, then make a new batch immediately!

Shrub Recipes

Summer Raspberry Shrub

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

This very basic shrub makes all kinds of refreshing combinations. Although the raspberry shrub starts out vividly red, in the end result, after a couple of weeks fermenting; the shrub will have a pale coral hue.  It’s delicious mixed with gin, vodka, rum, whiskey, Scotch, Sherry, white wine- and of course just plain seltzer water!

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 cup very ripe organic raspberries (they can be bruised and soft, but please, no mold)
  • 1 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1 cup raw cider vinegar (I use Bragg’s with the Mother Yeast intact)

Method

  1. In a nonreactive bowl, add raspberries and pour sugar over the top.
  2. Cover and let sit refrigerated for a few days, stirring and muddling often with a wooden spoon to combine. This mixture should expel lots of liquid, this is good!
  3. After a few days of gentle fermentation, add vinegar. Let the vinegar combine with the sugar and raspberries for another week refrigerated.
  4. Arrange a fine-mesh strainer over a nonreactive bowl (one with a spout is handy). Pour the shrub mixture into the strainer and mash with a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.
  5. Funnel the shrub into sterilized jars. Cover and refrigerate for at least a week more, shaking well before using.
  6. The assertive vinegar flavor will fade over time, leaving you a simple syrup that is tangy, sweet and very noteworthy!
  7. Tip: A simple way to enjoy this raspberry shrub is with a glass of seltzer water and the addition of a few slivers of lemon zest.

AFTER A PAUSE:

Late Summer Punch  (serves 2)

Ingredients

  • Ice cubes
  • 4 ounces Mezan XO Jamaican Rum
  • 3 ounces Raspberry Shrub
  • ½ ounce Freshly Squeezed Lime juice
  • 1 ounce Freshly Squeezed Lemon juice
  • 1 ounce Freshly Squeezed Orange juice
  • 4 dashes Angostura Bitters

Method

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker three-quarters full with ice. Pour the Mezan XO Rum, your handmade Shrub and juices over the ice. Cover, cap and shake hard for 15 seconds or until frosty.
  2. Add a large ice cube to each of 2 coupe glasses. Strain cocktail into each of the glasses, dash the Angostura over the top of each glass (2 dashes each) and serve while icy.

Roasted Peach Shrub

Makes about 1 1/2 Cups

Ingredients

  • 2-3 pounds peaches, preferably extra ripe, roughly chopped
  • 2¼ cups raw cane sugar, divided
  • 2 cups Champagne vinegar

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Arrange peaches on a large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with ¼ cup of the sugar and roast for 45 minutes or until deeply caramelized. Let cool and transfer to a nonreactive bowl.
  3. Cover roasted peaches with remaining 2 cups sugar. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for several days, stirring often to mash and muddle the peaches and release peach-flavored sugar syrup.
  4. After a few days, add the vinegar. It may bubble a bit, which is ideal. Cover and let sit refrigerated for a further week, stirring twice daily to release the flavors.
  5. Arrange a fine mesh strainer over a nonreactive bowl (one with a spout is handy). Pour the shrub mixture into the strainer and mash with a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.
  6. Funnel into sterilized jars. Cover and refrigerate for at least another week before using. This shrub takes at least three weeks to actualize.  Please, plan ahead!

Note: If your shrubs ever become fuzzy, foamy, spin like whirling dervishes or try to take the car keys, send them down the drain immediately! Mold is not your friend! Remember the Salem Witch trials and the fun they had with home-made mold!

Only Fair Play Allowed

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • Ice cubes
  • 2½ oz. Roasted Peach Shrub
  • 2½ oz. Barrell Whiskey Batch #002
  • 3 oz. plain seltzer water, divided between the two Old Fashioned glasses with large cubes of hand cut ice
  • 4 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Fresh mint, for garnish
  • Spray of Absinthe

Method

  1. Fill 2 old fashioned glasses with plain ice and water, and then set aside to chill.
  2. Fill a Cocktail Mixing Glass ¾ with ice
  3. Add the Roasted Peach Shrub and the Barrell Whiskey
  4. Stir for at least 30 turns
  5. Pour ice water out of the cocktail glasses and spray the inside of each glass with Absinthe.
  6. Add a couple fresh ice cubes to each glass.
  7. Double strain the cocktail over the ice and top with a splash of seltzer water.
  8. Dot each cocktail with the Angostura Bitters and garnish with impeccably clean and dry sprigs of fresh mint.

Across Rivington Street (mocktail)

Ingredients

  • Couple pinches of fresh thyme (No Wood please, it’s bitter. Use just the leaf) plus a sprig of thyme just for the garnish
  • Large Handmade ice cubes
  • 2 oz. Roasted Peach Shrub
  • 2 lemon zests
  • 1 oz. plain seltzer water
  • Aromatic bitters

Method

  1. Add thyme leafs and a handful of ice to a mixing glass.
  2. Add shrub and your lemon zest. Stir at least 30 times and then strain into a double old-fashioned glass over a large round ice cube.
  3. Add a splash of seltzer water, a couple drops of bitters and garnish with a fresh lemon zest that you pinch over the top and a sprig of fresh thyme over that.
  4. Don’t be afraid of adding more of that Mezan XO Rum if you have it handy.  This drink tastes amazing with a couple ounces of Mezan Rum.

Summer Rum Punch!!

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Welcome to rum, the libation understood by Buccaneers, Pirates, Sailors and “Armchair Sailors” the world over, throughout history.

Follow the Rhumb line on your sailing chart and let it take you around the globe.Here also is an intoxicating liquid in your hand.This liquid is as ancient as the early sailors who plied the relentless seas. It is called Rum.

Rum is usually available in almost every port where sailors gather after a long voyage or before embarking upon a longer one.

Rum has always been served as an inexpensive and potent form of relaxation for sailors and landlubbers alike.As a panacea against fear, rum always calmed a sailor’s beleaguered nerves while far out at sea, unable to tie up to the yacht club dock.Rum would take the edge off of weeks without even a tickle of wind, or in the face of the fiercest weather. Rum is the complete drink of sailors who took this tipple to sea as a cure-all against all known infirmities from being a sailor in the early days.And let me tell you from working for weeks aboard a modern boat, it’s really hard work!

The ocean has always held an allure for me.It’s unlike any other place that I’ve ever experienced.I’ve done more than just a bit of sailing.Mostly my sailing took place on a yacht belonging to my family.I can picture her now, about sixty feet in length, displacing 65 or so tons.She had all the modern conveniences of home along with a water maker- to turn seawater to a dense, brackish substance seemingly only good for washing dishes.But it also made decent, not clear: ice- but extremely helpful to the brain, when all about you is sticky: hot, humid and mosquito beleaguered. Being out at sea and having an iced rum cocktail housed in a clean glass is one of life’s simple pleasures. It connects you with every sailor who has ever sailed upon the ocean, even if they didn’t have your milky colored ice to cool their fevered brow.

The sea at night (and even in the daytime) can be a very scary place in a storm.As anyone who has been in a yacht away from the relative safety of the yacht club dock knows, the ocean is much larger than you are.Ships are not meant to be docked.They are meant to explore the globe. And to do this they need to go to sea.The waves will tower over your tiny vessel, threatening to smash you and your hard earned dollars into piles of shredded (read expensive) sailcloth, toothpicks of your fine teak decks and miles of razor sharp fiberglass where the bow decided to split open for no reason at all, exposing the interior of the vessel to the bottom of the sea in mere seconds.

That is why sailors kept rum on board their ship.Because that mug of rum somehow makes it easier to forget that such a horrible demise may await you with every uncontrollable gust of wind or steep wave that knocks you to the wooden deck. You’ll know it when it happens.

Rum is hand-held courage for the sailor.f1d5f6018cc91b03bdff752c52eff6f141a4d855

Maybe the thrill of being a sailor out at sea continues to make rum so beguiling to all kinds of drinkers, even today. After all, this allure and call to the sea is what took this drink through history.

A daily tot of rum punch might have been made with a preserved fruit shrub.Shrubs were made up of vinegar along with citrus fruit and molasses or raw honey.They were mixed with water for purification and also with rum in a rudimentary punch.The early shrubs were no more than citrus fruit, mixed with vinegar and sugar against decay.

Drinking what little water taken on board a ship could be fatal because the water was potentially deadly without purification systems like on modern vessels. The feeling of being soaked to the skin in cold weather with a steaming mug of grog filling your belly makes the going so much easier.Just like cooling punch made with rum and tropical fruit juices gave scurvy ravaged sailors deep relief.The modern day product, Rose’s Lime Juice, a potent curative in its own right dates back to the Colonial era when drinking lime and rum was not just a casual drink, it was a curative in your mug of more than good cheer.

Rum traditionally found its way around the world because it was easy to transport from place to place.And rum is sturdy stuff.It doesn’t sour like wine or beer in the motion of the ship or the heat of the hold.

There are many names for rum that flows clear from the still with a hiccup or bubbles forth with a belly laugh. Times are changing and this has made rum universally respected.

Rum is cheap to make, easy to store, it lasts nearly forever and it gets better over time when resting within a cask.It’s a win/win for the distiller and the casual drinker alike.

A Summer Rum Punch should always be made with freshly crushed juices. I cannot imagine making something that I may be serving to others with anything but the very best.After all, aren’t you worth it?

In my travels I always come across individuals who say that when they are entertaining, they use less than satisfactory ingredients because their guests won’t know any better.That’s a shame- because it doesn’t cost much more to ensure a unique experience.When you take short cuts- well, the overall understanding is cheap.I don’t know from cheap.That’s why my drinks are memorable.They evoke history, one sip at a time.

The Sea Cook
(the cook is the most important person aboard your ship, don’t ever forget that)

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz. Mezan XO Rum (no chill filtering, nor glycerin, nor added sugar, nor caramel coloring added)
  • 2 oz. juice: Take 2 pineapples- cut into rings, placed on a silicone tray, with Angostura Bitters (for good gastric health) and roasted for 20 minutes at 400 degrees or until caramelized.Cool and set aside
  • 2 oz. juice in each cocktail-
    Do the same with a couple splashes of Angostura Bitters upon 2 large grapefruits- cut in half, also sprinkled with Demerara Sugar and broiled until bubbly.Cool and set aside
  • ½ oz. Freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ¼ oz. Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 oz. White Balsamic Vinegar
  • Angostura Bitters
  • Fresh Nutmeg and scraper
  • 1 oz. Oloroso Sherry (dark in color, rich and smoky in taste)
  • Lime chunk garnish
  • Fresh ice- not stinking of last month’s garlic pasta

    Prep:

  1. Take the pineapples, skin them well, no bitter crust allowed! Roast them with the Angostura Bitters.
  2. Juice them and add 2 oz. of this juice to a Boston Shaker filled ¾ with ice
  3. Do the same with the broiled grapefruits- no pith (it’s bitter!) just juice them and add 2 oz. of this broiled grapefruit juice to the Boston Shaker
  4. Add the Mezan XO Rum and the vinegar
  5. Finally, add the Orange juice and the Lemon juice
  6. Cap and Shake hard for 15 seconds
  7. Pour into two Collins Glasses filled with ice
  8. Float the Oloroso Sherry over the top
  9. Scrape some nutmeg over the top to finish
  10. Garnish with a lime chunk and serve

 

– See more at: http://drinkwire.liquor.com/post/summer-rum-punch#gs.lqKmswQ – Read more at: http://scl.io/0qw7YBH7#gs.MwcUd3k

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 Dripping Spanish Moss Cocktail

 

Warren Bobrow’s Cocktail Hour – Dripping Spanish Moss Cocktail

Tuaca- Dark Rum from Atlantico- Angostura Bitters, Grade B Maple Syrup and charred citrus fruits make up this week’s cocktail experience.

The inspiration for this drink came during dinner a few weeks ago at the highly regarded modern American restaurant named Serenade; located in Chatham, NJ.

They prepare a cocktail that’s similar in scope, using sweet vermouth and chopped apples named the Chatham cocktail.

I love it.

In keeping with my twisted cocktail logic, I deepened the version served at Serenade by adding Carpano Antica Formula Sweet Vermouth, Tuaca- the savory Mexican Vanilla / Citrus Liqueur, Atlantico Dark Rum, a muddle of chopped, grilled citrus fruits (tangerine, orange, grapefruit) with Grade B (Dark Amber) Maple Syrup and finally a few dashes of Angostura Bitters with a splash of Perrier.

I call this drink the Dripping Spanish Moss Cocktail in reverence to the coming week’s activities.

I’ll be traveling to Charleston, South Carolina to judge the Iron Cocktail Competition at the renowned Charleston Wine and Food Festival.

With regards to the Iron Mixologist competition I will be judging, William Grant & Sons is sponsoring this competition and the back bar will feature their entire portfolio (or most of it).  Their master mixologist Charlotte Voisey will be the master of ceremonies.  The competition is 3 rounds.  The 4 mixologists involved are Charleston locals and were the finalists in the Official Festival Mixologist Competition in January for the Festival featuring Milagro Tequila + Hendrick’s Gin.  They are:

Jon Calo of The Cocktail Club

Mick Matricciano of The Belmont (Mick won the competition in January + his cocktail will be featured at the opening night party)

Brent Sweatman

Evan Powell of Fish Restaurant

 

The first round will have all 4 competing against one another to create a specific themed drink (decided by Charlotte).  You and the other judges – Junior Merino, The Liquid Chef and Nicholas Polacchi, The Balvenie – will then narrow the finalists down to 3 who will then go to the next round to create a specific themed cocktail (decided by Charlotte).  The second round will continue like the first and the 3rd will be the final two.

 

The competition is from 4:00 – 5:00 PM on Friday, March 2, 2012 in the culinary village in Marion Square in the Palmetto Cheese Culinary Hub Tent.

If you are anywhere near Charleston, South Carolina on Friday, stop by and introduce yourself.

The Dripping Spanish Moss Cocktail– is named for the surfeit of Spanish Moss that hangs gracefully from the “live oak” trees.

Ingredients:

Atlantico Dark Rum

Tuaca Italian Liqueur

Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth

Angostura Bitters

Charred Citrus Fruits – combinations are up to you. Sear in a sizzling hot pan until crunchy, then muddled with the Angostura Bitters and Maple Syrup

Grade B (Dark Amber) Maple Syrup

Perrier

Preparation:

In a sauté pan that is heated to smoking hot, sizzle the citrus fruits until nicely charred and crunchy

Add a couple of chunks of the seared fruits to a cocktail mixing glass

Muddle with a few splashes of Angostura Bitters to release their aroma and juice

Add 2 Tablespoons of Dark Amber Maple Syrup and muddle a bit more

Add 2 shots of the Atlantico Rum

Add ½ Shot of the Tuaca

Add a couple cubes of ice to the cocktail shaker

Shake and strain into a pre-chilled Martini glass

Garnish with a chunk of grilled citrus fruit and finish with a splash of Perrier for spark