Please watch the Mystery Talk I was fortunate to participate in at SXSW – “Learning how to make the most of Leisure Time”
Travel just about two hours by airplane- due West from the New York/Metropolitan region, and be prepared to find great ice! (As shown above) And much, much more! There is a craft spirits, culinary and craft cocktail revolution- ‘not so quietly’ reinventing itself in Columbus, Ohio. The finest culinary and alcoholic ingredients in the land are no longer only being only shipped to the big cities to the north and on both sides of this ‘fly-over’ city. Local cooks and mixologists are raising the bar on what is delicious- and what has not been discovered yet by the rest of the country. New money and massive amounts of raw, entrepreneurial creativity is gushing into this former rust-belt town. Each passing day is creating great pressure on existing bar and restaurant businesses- to ‘raise the bar’ and to do it really quickly or be left behind by changing tastes. There are gleaming new restaurants, distilleries, micro-breweries and craft cocktail bars all over town- some of them carved into former bank building lobbies, as if the employees of the bank just got up at the end of the day and their places were immediately replaced, not by investments, but by toothsome food and drink.
The market for botanically enriched, “health” drinks have exploded over the past few decades or so. There are hundreds of products on the market that promise wellness and health, but nothing could prepare the consumer for the coming wave of micro-dosed; CBD and THC liquids made specifically for wellness. It’s true! All that is required is a healthy thirst and the desire for something different. Case in point with the Monk line of drinking botanicals. This ultra-luxury line of tiny 4 oz bottles are scientifically calibrated to micro-dose just the right amount of CBD/THC to the careful imbiber. Careful because the dosage of CBD/THC is in the micro amounts- nearly undetected after enjoying the scant few sips of this ‘magical’ elixir. What each bottle represents are flavors and health-giving qualities similar to the days of the early apothecary, when fragile herbs and spices made their way into preparations that the pharmacist concocted to order. Not unlike the early preparations that made their way to the cocktail bar with drinks meant to heal the gut, like the famous Sazerac, or perhaps you’d be interested in knowing why Angostura is so helpful when you have a stomach ache, or are seasick? It all comes around again with the deep desire to write the first book about creative mixology that uses cannabis. There is a large distinction between non-Cannabis augmented health drinks and quality products like Monk’s Drinking Botanicals. What we have here is a modern framework, one that is more flavor-driven as opposed to effect-driven, with varieties like the brightly aromatic and refreshing grapefruit/cayenne. This delicately spicy, yet not overly sweet concoction is precise and carefully combined to offer amusement, candor and excitement into every careful sip. Careful because the cayenne element is not overwhelming, but it is right there in front of the brightly delineated richness of the pink grapefruit juice. The combination resembles a fine craft cocktail- especially with the balance and the depth of the ingredients. They almost taste as if the grapefruit was freshly squeezed and infused with the cayenne peppers.
He’s written five books about mixology and is published in numerous periodicals. Bobrow completed his bachelor’s degree at Emerson College and from there, went on to work as a pot scrubber at York Harbor and worked as a television engineer, cameraman and editor at two New York television stations. Not quite feeling like he was the Warren he aspired to be, Bobrow studied culinary arts at Johnson and Wales University, then moved to Charleston South Carolina where he opened his own restaurant Olde Charleston Pasta. The company prospered until being devastated by Hurricane Hugo in 1989.
Mix up some awesome drinks with celebrity mixologist Warren Bobrow, a.k.a. the “Cocktail Whisperer” at Richland’s Lazy Eye Distillery Saturday, Jan. 20.
Bobrow has authored several books on the topic and is a contributing writer for Forbes.com. He will hold two sessions at the distillery during Mixology Night, where he will teach attendees how to make amazing cocktails with the distillery’s award-winning spirits and tasty ingredients. The first session will take place 4 to 5:30 p.m., followed by the second session from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Bobrow will take questions from attendees and will be selling copies of his books.
In life there are certain accomplishments that are sometimes quantified by the quality of the spirits that you sip. If you doubt the words of a rum expert, all you need to do is look at the groaning shelves at your favorite package store. Rum has just about exploded in popularity in recent decades after a hundred or so year slumber. Sure you could count on a booze-cruise rum punch while sailing with your friends in the islands- you probably want to forget what highly manipulated rum can do to your gut and your aching head. But this is not a piece about what happens when you drink manipulated, (read: lousy) rum on a stern of a pitching sailboat. This is about drinking some of the very best rum that money can buy. And while you’re learning about what is special about Foursquare Rum, the suggestion is first and foremost, that you are worth it. This is not booze-cruise rum, nor is it rum that deserves a place on the very top shelf of your bar, never to be opened. Why? Fear perhaps has much to do with it. You do deserve to drink Foursquare. Recognize this fear of the unknown and you’ll come to a magical place where quality and cost become a misnomer. Where success is not measured by expense, but by quality. Where experience matters, like that picnic boat you ogled over in your youth, or the first time you experienced a glass or two of really well aged wine, or slurped some really rare Scotch Whisky. It’s important to note that while Foursquare is not inexpensive, there are rums on the market that far exceed it in cost. Many of these pretty label and fancy bottle rums are manipulated in some manner. Why is that? Because they can, it’s because they are permitted, because no one really cares to know. From caramel coloring to sugar being re-added for a sweet mouth-feel, to globs of thick glycerin to even out the creaminess across the palate- to all sorts of things that would get a rum judge in trouble, just by mentioning that so-and so’s rum is being manipulated.
“I’ve found that the deep cherry notes of both Luxardo and Heering are a great complement and substitute for almond, allspice and passion fruit syrups.” Warren Bobrow, author of books such as Apothecary Cocktails: Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today, also points to the sweet nature of tiki cocktails as working in cherry liqueur’s favour. “I’m from the mindset of dry, and sometimes over proof rum over sweet, caramel coloured and heavily sugared rum in a tiki drink,” he says. “It’s the sweet stuff that is so memorable the next morning.” So he layers cherry flavours at the bottom of the glass and serves it with a straw for guests to “pull the sweet liqueur up from the bottom through the drier elements of the rum”.