Lil Cowboy Cocktail. Reprinted from The Beekman 1802 Boys Website

http://beekman1802.com/food-and-wine/gartending-lil-cowboy.html

Gartending: Lil’ Cowboy

By 

Photo: Warren Bobrow, Leica M8

For the Spring and Summer growing season, we bring you a new feature at Beekman 1802, the Soused Gnome.  He’ll teach  you how to “gartend”–create perfect seasonal cocktails using fresh ingredients from the garden.

Klaus has been visiting farmers markets all over the country for the past month or so. His first adventure was to Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, next was to the bread-basket of our nation in Columbus, Ohio. Last weekend he journeyed all the way out to Portland, Oregon to watch me do a presentation on freestyle mixology for the International Food Bloggers Conference held by Foodista.
It certainly stimulated my taste and olfactory senses!
Portland, Oregon is a city of farmers markets. There is a plethora of cocktail friendly ingredients that defy the imagination.
Cherries are in season again out on the left coast. This time the bounty of the garden is in the form of rare white cherries.
White cherries exemplify the gartender’s dream cocktail. When crushed into a cocktail, white cherries are otherworldly on the flavor profile.
Be sure to pit out your cherries before they go into your mixing cup.
We almost never see white cherries on the east coast. Klaus (the Soused Gnome) explains that the cherries flesh is sometimes too tender to travel. He told me that in his home country (Germany) his kinfolk put up sumptuous white cherries in fiery brandy! He goes on to tell me that brandied white cherries are marvelous in a cocktail that includes Denizen Rum, cucumber ice (really!) House Spirits White Dog and freshly squeezed grilled grapefruit juice. The lift for this cocktail is provided by Klaus’s favorite pinpoint seltzer water, the Perrier Sparkling Natural Spring Water. He says that this water reminds him of his youth on the German/French border. I’ve told him that he needs to concentrate on locally sourced ingredients, but he disagrees.
Funny how a drinking gnome can have such an opinion on mixers!
Klaus grew cucumbers this year in the garden. These cucumbers are the European variety (no surprise here) they are seedless. Frozen into the Williams-Sonoma KING ice cube tray (2 inch x 2 inch) the European variety makes for a flavorful augmentation of Klaus’s soon to be infamous cocktail.
I reproduced this drink back in New Jersey with my own home cured cherries. Unfortunately these cherries are red instead of white, but they are delicious all the same. You can reproduce the cherries yourself by pitting out a few pounds of WEST COAST cherries, then covering in the spirit of your choice. Klaus suggests using a light spiced rum or even Apple Jack.
They take a couple of weeks to cure, but Klaus and I both say that the wait is worth it!
I know that after the trip to Oregon, cowboy music plays very well into the re-birth of the West Coast sensibilities that Klaus possesses. His GIANT thirst is only superseded by his ability to drink dozens of (tiny) drinks while roaming the myriad of mixology bars that dot this most interesting of cities.

I created this cocktail “on the fly, free-style” at the IFBC/Freestyle Mixology presentation ‘Lil Cowboy Swing Cocktail (named for Portland, Oregon’s lost cowboy culture)

 

‘Lil Cowboy Swing Cocktail
Ingredients:
(A couple weeks before you make this cocktail “put-up” some home-cured cherries)
Denizen Rum White Rum
House Spirits White Dog (Moonshine) (Oregon Distilled)
Royal Rose Simple Syrup of Roses
Bitter End Thai Bitters
Freshly Squeezed Grilled Grapefruit juice (Slice grapefruit into rounds and sear or grill until charred over charcoal or in a sauté pan) then juice as normal
Home cured Cherries (white if you can find them, red if you cannot)
European cucumber (peeled and sliced into coins for both the ice cubes and the cocktail)
Perrier Sparkling Natural Spring Water
Cucumber water ice- freeze rounds of a European seedless cucumber into an ice cube tray. I recommend the Williams-Sonoma silicone KING CUBE tray- I do a 50/50 blend of freshly juiced cucumber water with filtered water from my Mavea water filtration pitcher (The Mavea pitcher is from Germany- are you surprised?)
Instructions

for two strikingly powerful cocktails
Muddle several rounds of cucumber with some (pitted) home cured cherries in a mixing cup
Add some regular ice (about a handful)
Add 2 oz White Dog from House Spirits
Add 1 oz Denizen Rum (White Rum)
Add 4 tablespoons of Royal Rose Simple Syrup of Roses
Add 4 oz of your grilled grapefruit juice (essential)
Shake, Shake, Shake, Shake
Add a couple cubes of the homemade cucumber ice to your hand-blown cocktail glass
Double Strain into a tall hand-blown glass filled with cucumber ice

Don’t have a hand-blown glass?? Time is now to connect with your cocktail glass!
What does it mean to double-strain? Pour through 2 strainers to remove all bits of cherry and cucumber and grilled grapefruit juice
Add four drops per cocktail glass of the Bitter End Thai Bitters
Top with the Perrier Natural Sparkling Mineral Water (Essential)
Garnish with either a red or white cherry (your choice)

Kilbeggan (The Oldest Operating Distillery in the World!)

Kilbeggan (The World’s Oldest Distillery)

April 4, 2012

Is the world’s oldest distillery in Scotland?  If you said yes, then you are incorrect.  The oldest operating distillery is in Ireland.

I’m quite fond of Irish Whiskey.  You may note that Irish Whiskey is not spelled Whisky like in Scotland.  Irish Whiskey has the addition of the E at the end in a fashion similar to the way Whiskey is spelled in the United States.

Why?  I believe through my research that the extra E is meant to discuss a higher quality spirit that those without the E. This was a historic reasoning that had something to do with quality of a specific spirit. I don’t care to discuss the personal history, you can do that yourself.  This history pit country against country.  It was certainly not inclusive.

Oh, they spell Whisky without the E in Scotland.  Whatever.  I think that the exclusion or inclusion of the letter E is confusing to the consumer.  But like any interesting puzzle the historical reasoning is out there on the web.

Onward…

Back in the late 80’s I had chance to travel to Ireland for the first time.  This lush country, with gorgeous,1000 shades of deep green vistas set against limitless skies. This is where passionate crafts-people, embrace the ancient methods of distillation.  The distillation arts in Ireland harkens back to a time when living off the land actually meant something.

I was fortunate to stay in Dublin- a young, raucous city filled with vivid splashes of color and light set against dark skies and brooding classical architecture.  It’s a magical place- well geared to intellectuals and also thirsty entrepreneurs.  There are authors and artists from all over the world that make their way to Dublin to study, to drink and to make history.  You can go into dozens of bars, listen to traditional music and meet poets, dreamers and best of all, drinkers.

The pubs are filled with lads and lassies who come to seek solace in a fine pint of dark and a glass of uisce beatha or water of life.  The pubs of Dublin and her denizens make this city go round and round.

I tasted Irish Whiskey for the first time at the historic horseshoe bar at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin.  I was immediately hooked on the friendly, yet potent sweet water.

Ireland has amazing farmland well suited for growing grain.  The soil in Ireland is rich in many of the nutrients necessary to grow grains. Grain just happens to make excellent many alcoholic finished products.

You have a thirsty country, much rain- generally miserable weather in the winter… Made even more lovely with a finished product made from fermented grain.

With grain comes distillation- and with distillation comes Whiskey.  Irish Whiskey, is a unique product.  It tastes like no other Whiskey in my opinion and it helps me dream.  Dream you say?  Drinking Irish Whiskey for me- unlocks a liquid history of searching for round-towers and seeking lovely wool sweaters woven in specific ways to identify the wearer.  Irish Whiskey is part of the deeper social thread but is easily enjoyable in a lovely Irish Coffee.

I have the ingredients, but it’s just 8:53 in the morning.  Not a good time to start drinking when a man has writing to do!

Ireland is no stranger to the craft of distillation as witnessed by Kilbeggan.  Their handsome bottle reads 1757.  No, this is not a misprint. 1757 is when the distillery was established.  And 1757 means that this spirit is from the world’s oldest operating distillery.  Not surprising to me. Kilbeggan is a new brand to the United States although by the bottle not so new to the world!  Kilbeggan uses a 180 year old pot still.  I believe a pot still gives great character to a spirit.  There has to be something said to the distillation vessel.  It must contain memories of some sort.  It’s not just cold metal.  It has a soul.

But does this make the spirit within the handsome bottle good?  I think so.  Please let me tell you about my thoughts.

Open the tall narrow bottle, classically finished in dark lettering over a pale yellow label.  There is a hint of maroon and gold highlighting some important facts about the distillery.  Several places on the bottle the numbers 1757 appear.  The distillery is quite proud of their lineage and heritage.

Open the top and pour a healthy portion into a glass that resonates with you.  From very moment that the magical liquid hits the glass I can smell the aroma of honey and hand-scythed grains.  There is a bit of smoke way off in the finish, but nothing like drinking Scotch.

The beginning of the mouth-feel is peppery fire from the 80 proof spirit.  The aroma of Kilbeggan is haunting and centering in the room.  I want to have a taste.  It’s soft, creamy in the mouth and quite beguiling on the top of my palate.  Flavors of toasted nuts, fleur de sel, caramel and Irish Soda Bread (with extra raisins) predominate.

Add to this a healthy slathering of creamy yellow Irish butter, still warm over the toasted Soda Bread.  This tiny slurp of Ireland just goes on and on with a multi-minute finish.

This is very sophisticated stuff.  I’m especially enjoying the aroma in the room.  Bacon fat, maple syrup and hot tea.  Yum!

As a food writer I love to give the literary connections to flavors I’ve tasted in my childhood.  This directional ability seems to translate well to the world of spirits writing.

As a cook, I find it interesting, to identify many of the flavor profiles that are available in spirits.  Sure they all have brooding alcohol, that’s the point!  People drink for pleasure.  It tastes good and some even have a kick!

Flavor has everything to do with it.

Irish Whiskey is Irish history in every sip.  For me to taste creamy butter melting over a thick slice of freshly toasted Soda Bread is to encourage you to find a bottle of Kilbeggan.

 

Two Cocktails For Kilbeggan

1. The Sheep in the Road cocktail- meaning that group of sheep don’t appear to be getting out of the road!

Makes two rather lovely cocktails

Ingredients:

6 Oz. Irish Breakfast Tea- chilled

4 Shots Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey

Local Honey Simple Syrup (1:1 ratio of Honey to water, heat, then cool. refrigerate)

Preparation:

To a cocktail shaker add the Kilbeggan and the Irish Breakfast Tea

Add 4 Tablespoons of the Honey Simple Syrup

Garnish with a lemon round and a sprig of mint

 

2. The Cow in the Road Cocktail- meaning, there is a cow in the road up there, watch out!

Makes two cocktails of bewildering strength from the use of warming liquids, you won’t taste the alcohol, so please be careful.

Ingredients:

Freshly Whipped Cream flavored with Kilbeggan

Hot Chocolate (your choice)

4 Shots of Kilbeggan

Sugar to taste

Preparation:

Make your hot chocolate and add to pre-heated mugs

Add the Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey

Sip and when the cow jumps over that wall, know that there is a pub just up the way.  Someone will come to the pub and tell you to move your car!

 

Straight

2 Shots of Kilbeggan

Glass (preferably clean)

no ice

a bit of cool water

 

PreparationMoisten your brow with the water, drink the Whiskey and have another

 

 

http://www.cocktailwhisperer.com

http://www.wildriverreview.com/wildtable

Extractions of Seasonal Citrus Fruits in Cocktails

Happy New Year all!  I’ve been experimenting with citrus as of late- but instead of the usual juice it and forget it- the cast iron pan (over there) has made a new dimension to my drinks.

What?  A cast iron pan?  How do you mean?

I like the charred flavor of citrus fruits.  But how?

Clementines are seasonal.  As are blood oranges.  Grapefruits are gorgeous at this time of year.  Sure, they are great juiced, but why not heat up your cast iron pan to almost smoking, peel your citrus and throw it into the pan.  Char the citrus and set aside to cool.

Use your juicer.  What?  You don’t have a juicer?  Run down to Williams-Sonoma and buy one! 

Photo: Warren Bobrow (Leica M8-Summicron 50mm F2)

Tequila is one of my favorite mediums to work with.  As is the new wave of “Botanical” Gin.

My first cocktail- named aptly the “Essence of Simplicity” cocktail is just that.

Ingredients:

2-3 grapefruit peeled

sprig of mint

Bitter End Moroccan Bitters

4 shots of Casa Noble Tequila

Preparation:

Heat your cast iron pan to sizzling hot

Char the grapefruit segments until nicely browned on all sides

Juice the segments and strain

Add Casa Noble Tequila to a cocktail shaker filled 1/2 with ice

Add one medicine dropper of Bitter End Moroccan Bitters to the shaker

Add the juice of the charred grapefruit

Shake!!! Shake!!! Shake!!!

Strain into a short rocks glass with a sprig of mint as garnish…  Slurp and enjoy!

The next cocktail combines blood oranges juice, lime juice, and clementine juice in a punch-like concoction that includes Cava from Spain, Conjure Cognac and Ron de Jeremy Rum.  “The Long, Smooth Rum”

It’s aptly called the “Hedgehog’s Revenge”

Ingredients:

Blood Oranges

Limes

Clementines

Preparation:

Take about three each, peel away the bitter pith and char in your cast iron pan. Set aside to cool.

Juice the citrus fruits

To a cocktail shaker, add 1/2 with ice

Add 2 shots of Conjure Cognac

Add 4 shots of Ron de Jeremy Rum

Splash of Cava (Spanish Sparking Wine)

Add about 6 oz of the charred juices

Shake and strain into two Champagne flutes

Top with a splash of Cava

Sip carefully!

This Cocktail uses Botanical-style Gin.  What is Botanical Gin?  Quite simply, it’s Gin that tastes like something!  Most of the Gin on the market today has very little flavor.  If it said Vodka on the label- you’d be 1/2 way to a hangover by now!  My friend Laura Baddish sent me some samples of a lovely Botanical Gin named Bulldog.

This is Gin with GUTS!  It stands up to citrus faster than you can say “Gin with juice”  which is the basis of this little drink.  It’s more of a long drink than a mere shot.

You can also use- if you can find it… The new Gin named FEW from the mid-western part of the USA.  It’s remarkable stuff and it reminds me of White Whiskey in the nose… (More to follow on this one)

The More to Follow Cocktail is just that.  You want more- to follow!

Ingredients:

Blood Oranges- Charred in the cast iron pan

Home cured cocktail cherries

Fresh Mint

2 Shots of Bulldog or Few Gin

1 Shot of Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth (or your choice)

1 Medicine Dropper of Bitter End Jamaican Jerk Bitters

Preparation:

Muddle the cherries and mint together in a cocktail shaker

Add some ice- how much?  Not much.

Add the Blood Orange juice

Add the Gin

Add the Carpano Antica

Add the Jamaican Jerk Bitters

Shake and strain into a tall Collins glass with a couple cubes of ice and one of your home-cured cherries.

 

 

 

 

cocktail cherries

sterilize some Ball jars

pit out some nice black cherries

fill jars and add a couple sprigs of lemon thyme

add a pinch of cardamom

top with brandy

seal and refrigerate for a week or so- no peeking!

enjoy in a cocktail or over ice cream!

Reprint from Foodista. A series of cocktails using Rhuby

Rhuby- A surprise in my glass

September 25, 2011

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 RumSnap 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

Ingredients:

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)

Preparation:

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!

Ingredients:

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*

Bitter Cube Bolivar Bitters

Chunks of fresh Rhubarb for garnish

Preparation:

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

Ingredients:

2 Shots Purity Vodka

1/2 shot Rhuby

Spray of Imbue Dry Vermouth from Oregon  (marked bittersweet on the label)

Preparation:

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.

 

Bluewater Vodka caught my eye as a domestic brand of ultra-premium vodka.  I’ve written about the owner, John Lundin in my series for the Wild River Review named theFive Questions.

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!

Accidental Sailor

Another Martini-Like drink- this one makes it easy to splice the main brace.

Ingredients:

2 Shots Bluewater Vodka

1 Shot Rhuby

1/2 Shot Rhum Agricole from JM Rhum (Martinique)

3 Shakes Angostura Bitters

Crushed Strawberries and Rhubarb muddled together with a few chunks of orange and grapefruit

Preparation:

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.

 

Cocktail Whisperer: Warren Bobrow

http://drinkthinkreadings.com/2011/09/01/featured-writer-warren-bobrow/

 

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 @WarrenBobrow1I 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.