Tips for Substituting Ingredients Behind the Bar

https://talesofthecocktail.com/techniques/tips-substituting-ingredients-behind-bar

Bottles on a shelf.

Photo via iStock/Lisa-Blue.

When you reach for a bottle to find that it’s empty, it’s important to be ready to improvise.

Whether it’s fruit that’s out of season, that bottle of super rare aperitif that you’re dying to mix up, or you’ve simply run out of one of your bar staples in the middle of a rush, it’s important to have effective substitutions ready to take center stage.

Below you’ll find some handy suggestions on substitutions that could easily bail you out the next time you’re in a pinch.

1. Substitute fresh juices

Warren Bobrow, author of “Apothecary Cocktails, Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails, Whiskey Cocktails,” and “Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonics” relies on Fruitations Craft Soda and Cocktail Mixers when you need a quick — but still flavorful — stand in for fresh fruit juices.

Fruitations is currently available in three varieties — cranberry, grapefruit, and tangerine.

“It’s brilliant stuff,” Bobrow said.

2. Make your own liqueurs

Sometimes it’s harder than it should be to get your hands on a specific liqueur. Sometimes, it’s just cheaper to make them yourself.

Mike McSorley, Head Distiller and Brand Ambassador at Island Distillers, has a handful of quick fixes when behind the bar.

Cointreau substitute

  • 750 ml 100 proof vodka
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • Steep for 24 hours
  • 187 ml rich simple syrup

St. Germain substitute

  • D’arbo elderflower syrup
  • 100 proof vodka
  • Small pinch citric acid

3. When you need to MacGyver it

Sometimes it’s simply a matter of being put in a tough spot in the middle of a rushed service.

Izzy Ramos Foster, owner of Mixotica Cocktail Design, has had to make a handful of fast decisions in her time.

“For a Sidecar, using Tuaca and/or Licor 43 as a substitute when your orange liqueur unexpectedly runs out has worked every time,” Foster said. “Sometimes it works in a Margarita, depending the tequila. I’ve never had a complaint!”

Other off-the-cuff substitutions have been a bit more unique.

“I’ve also had to resort to using crushed Altoid breath mint powder (diluted in a bit water and strained) a couple of times when a sudden Mojito craze hit, fresh mint ran very low, but the cocktails needed to go out stat,” she said. “It’s not my proudest ‘professional bartending’ moments but it worked and the party went on!

4. All in the family

When it comes to replacing ingredients, remember that like replaces like.

For example, if you’re short on Cynar, you could easily swap out with a similar potable bitters like Campari (although it’s much fruitier than Cynar), Fernet Branca or Punt è Mes — a dark, bitter Italian vermouth produced by Carpano.

Consider the balance of your drink and its key features, and you can even create some unique cocktails by switching out key ingredients. For example, if you’re short on vodka when dying for a Moscow Mule but happen to have a silver rum in the house, replacing the vodka with rum leads to the heavier, richer Jamaican Mule.

5. Knowledge is your best substitute

Finally, have a working knowledge of how flavors relate to each other — and an even better understanding of what you actually have access to behind your own individual bar.

“Knowledge is key here,” said Matthew Biancaniello, owner of Eat Your Drink, LLC.

Specifically, while behind the bar one night Biancaniello noticed he had suddenly run out of fresh lime juice. What he did have, however, was fresh passion fruit juice.

“Instead of 2 ounces of lime juice, I did 3/4 ounce of passion fruit juice,” he said. “The passion fruit became the citrus in place of the lime juice. By reducing the amount I was able to keep the citrus there without making it painfully obvious that I wasn’t using the usual ingredient.”

The key to quick substitutions behind the bar is a deep knowledge and appreciation of similar flavors, a willingness to play around with different ingredients, and the ability to think on your feet.

Substitution quick tips:

Substitute liquors and liqueurs from the same family. In a pinch, rye can stand in for bourbon.

Take the time to play around with different flavors before you really need to punt. Having a knowledge of parallel flavors will keep your flavors relatively consistent.

Don’t be afraid to play around with different flavor combinations to create something new (so long as your patron knows that you’re being creative).

These Are The Drinks You’ve Been Looking For!

bobrow_2016Certainly by the end of the year I’ve become a bit jaded on what I consider to be trends for the following year.  Everyone wants to know what the “next best thing” is… Or what it’s going to be tomorrow, next week or in the coming months.

It is here that I want to start my list of what I think, as a taste-maker- will be hot in the coming months. I’ll give a list with some explanation- just in case.

Last September I was fortunate to attend the Moscow (Russia) Bar Show.  It was enlightening, amazing and educational.  I gave a master class on rum and traveled to the other side of the globe to find a country that for all intents and purposes is just like ours- except they speak Russian.  They love us- we’d never know that from our press though. The Russians are passionate about American Whiskey.

Want to know where all the Bourbon Whiskey is?  Russia.  So, I’ll start my list in Moscow.

• Authenticity, Nostalgia, Simplicity.  I was sent to the Moscow Bar Show by Mezan Rum.  You would think that Russians would be preoccupied with vodka.  Not so, they demand authenticity and that “Jerry Thomas” approach to history.  Fine aged rum plays directly into this chess game.  Rum that hasn’t been colorized, chill-filtered nor any added sugar, or saccharine allowed.  Mezan fulfills this purpose and takes you further into the plethora of flavors that speak clearly to the métier of the rum distiller.  Get some!  I prefer the Jamaican version. There is a certain funk in each sip.  Powerful stuff in a Planter’s Punch or even in a Rum-Manhattan.  Make sure you use a Vermouth like Atsby, or Uncouth- even Carpano… But use the white one.  The red is too sweet for these perfumed rums.

• Whiskey from actual distilleries!  What a concept- is it me, or are there more made-up names than usual on the store shelves?  I actually had a friend ask me about a Bourbon the other day from a distillery that has never existed outside of a Madison Avenue advertising agency desk.  The label appeared to be hand attached and the closure had the look of a cork stuck in the top of a bottle of Moonshine.  There may have been leather involved.  All it said to me was, stay far away.
Authenticity in Bourbon takes guts these days.  But should you find a true craft distillery- then by all means buy their stuff.  They deserve your support.  The big guys are ok, but cut out the fake-craft labeling.  It’s confusing to the consumer!  My favorites going forward, Barrell Bourbon, Few Spirits, Catoctin Creek, Hudson…  They are my favorites for a reason.  They speak the language of history.

• Scotch from Scotland and other places – Ok, so they call them smoked whiskies when they are from other places.  I don’t want to raise the ire of Scotch drinkers.  Pardon me. Amongst my favorites going forward- Virginia Highland Malt Whisky- yes Virginia, they distill absolutely gorgeous whisky in Virginia. I’ve been making Bee’s Knees with Old St. Andrews Scotch Whisky- lightly aromatic of cut grass and toasted peat. Not overpowering with smoke, but to my palate, just enough.  And that bottle!  Looks like a golf ball.  Brenne from France continues to please and going forward I would say that any releases from this marvelous producer will challenge even the most snobbish of the Whisky drinkers.   I had some beautiful Scotch Whisky in Russia that dated back to the mid 1960’s… If you can find any of these, save your pennies… They are worth every cent.

• Rhum Agricole.  Certainly you should be drinking Rhum Agricole…  Don’t just put a bottle on your bar and forget about it.  I continue to wax poetic about the mysterious flavors that appear and disappear in each sip of Rhum Agricole.  One of my favorite ways to drink this perfumed slice of Rhum history (yes they use an extra h in Rhum in the French West Indies) is with a chunk of lime (with the skin on) and a couple splashes of Cane Sugar Syrup… This is so simple!  Anyone can choose their own demise by making this drink as strong or as weak as they desire.  Thank you to Ed Hamilton for teaching me what I needed to know in the first place.

• Flavored Syrups and Shrubs.  What is a shrub?  My third book, Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails defines a Shrub as an acidulated beverage, historically used as a method of aiding digestion and for refreshment- as an energy drink.  In the days prior to soda, a touch of vinegar, sugar and fruit along with cool water would satisfy most thirsts.  Flavored syrups make our jobs as bartenders and mixologists much easier.  Amongst the very best that you can buy are: Royal Rose… Fruitations (I’m just blown away by their Cranberry), Pickett’s from Brooklyn (yes, that’s a place and their hot ginger syrup is world class) Shrub and Company, Shrub Drinks, Liber and Company.  All delicious and lip-smacking.  Powell & Mahoney is my go/to for Pomegranate Mixer- yes- even I use a pre-mix for some events.

• Craft Soda… With too many names to mention, but I’ll mention a couple.  Q-Drinks- they’re magnificent.  The Club Soda has a pinch of sea salt- keeps you thirsty!  I’m thrilled by some of the Root Beers that come down from Bar Harbor in Maine… I love to drink Boylan’s and Bruce Cost sodas when I want something even more authentic.  Dry Soda is just amazing stuff- the cucumber variety is crisp and refreshing.

• Hard Cider.  Possmann’s from Germany is my go/to.  This lightly sparkling cider is all apple and just the right amount of fizz and alcohol rolling in at 5% abv.  I’ve had it on tap in the New York/Metro area and if you see it, get some… immediately!  Farnum Hill from up in New England continues to charm my palate as well.  There are some Spanish Ciders that are just so assertive- Burgundy wine comes to mind.  Barnyard notes and crushed stones come into view, sip by sip, if you dare! They are just different styles from Spain.  I much prefer the German ciders, at least for my palate.

• Tequila.  I don’t know what happened to Tequila, but I’m tired of Tequila that tastes like Bourbon.  Maybe it’s because they age the distillate in used Bourbon casks?  Absolutely, this is why your Tequila tastes sweet.  It’s in the cask!  I much prefer the rare and usually a bit more expensive versions like Casa Noble- aged in French White Oak.  This is a much more expensive method, but worthwhile in my opinion.

• Mezcal… It’s mysterious like a high fever in the middle of Summer.  There’s smoke in there- lots of stuff going on in your imagination.  If you want to really challenge your palate, in a good way… Taste Mezcal.  Of course if it has a worm in the bottle, throw it out immediately.  This is not the real thing.  It was invented, yes again… by one of those ad agencies.  No one eats the darned thing!

• Gin.  Stick to what you like and I love Barr Hill from Vermont.  The Tom Cat, aged in American Oak is my preference in a snifter- for a perfectly marvelous gin and juice – use nothing more than the raw honey and grain distilled Barr Hill Gin with freshly squeezed- broiled grapefruit in a muddle.  A splash of Q-Tonic water and a couple dashes of Angostura to finish…  All good. Happy New Year!


My fourth book, Cannabis Cocktails (the first book on the topic!) is in pre-sell now: www.quartoknows.com/books/9781592337347/Cannabis-Cocktails-Mocktails-and-Tonics.html

 

- See more at: http://totalfood.com/articles/these-are-the-drinks-youve-been-looking-for#sthash.PKUMRV7J.dpuf

DrinkupNY!!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Journey to the Center of the Earth (a trip for two)

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer

Icelandic craft distilled spirits like Reyka are famous for more than just their provenance.  They are famous because of the quality of the water.

Is the water from Iceland alcoholic?

Nope, I’m sorry to tell you that it isn’t.  But it certainly is pure.  And unpolluted water is everything when blending the highest quality spirits.

The water from Iceland is perhaps the softest in the world because of the utter clarity of the ecosystem.   The water for Reyka vodka is drawn from a 4000-year-old volcanic rock “field” that is, according to researchers, uncontaminated by the environmental ills of mankind.

Reyka (Ray-kuh) is an ancient Icelandic word for steam or smoke.   This would make perfect sense because Iceland is a country filled with volcanoes and smoke.  I’ve never been to Iceland, but in college I had a down comforter from Iceland.  The down was gathered from puffins.  You know, that impossibly cute bird that lives in subzero temperatures without any complaints?  The same.  But what does a down comforter in college have to do with vodka from Iceland?

It means absolutely nothing at all.

But I suppose the correlation is more of the quality of the products that I’ve seen coming out of this country. They tend to be of the highest eminence.  They are the very best items that money can buy.

The same holds true to fact about their spirits.  Reyka is one of the best vodkas I’ve ever passed through my lips.  It is produced on a pot still in very small batches.  There is a gorgeous sweetness that follows each drop, one of caramel and then another of sweet corn still glistening in the morning sunlight.

It’s bursting with flavors and I want to drink more.

Reyka is bottled in a handsome light blue tinted bottle with a long neck (easy to grab in your hand) with a real cork, instead of synthetic cork.  It’s bottled at 80 Proof, 40% ALC/VOL but you’d never think that this vodka could be so smooth at this proof level.

The label reads something in Icelandic and we are also told that the vodka is a “Small Batch Vodka, Hand Crafted in Iceland.  In smaller writing it goes on to read Traditionally Distilled & Filtered through Ancient Artic Lava Rocks.  Lava rocks?  Ah, that would make sense.  Most of Iceland was formed from the eruption of volcanoes.  Pure water is filtered through layer upon layer of the finest filter known to distillers.  This makes the water from distillation sing with Terroir.  I’ve tasted Icelandic water at the Fancy Food Show and can attest to its softness across the palate.

Reyka is distilled from grain and they carefully prepare each batch to emulate the exuberance that the head distiller feels.  This is translated into each batch.

I don’t usually find myself drinking vodka.  It just doesn’t do it for me on a flavor profile, but I am impressed by Reyka Vodka.  It’s the anti-Vodka.  There is flavor in there as deep as the depths of the volcanoes in Iceland.  This vodka is the voyage to the center of the earth of Vodka.

Didn’t that take place in Iceland?

This week’s cocktail is derived from Voyage to the Center of the Earth.

In fact it is named just that.

I’ve included that masterfully prepared Fruitations Tangerine Soda and Cocktail Syrup to be combined with Reyka Vodka and a nice dose of Arkansas’s own Mountain Valley Spring (pure sparkling) water- because I think this combination of sweet to crisp is the perfect foil against this gorgeous Icelandic vodka.

Bitter Truth makes Creole Bitters that bring this very international cocktail back down to the Caribbean Sea through the luscious Creole Bitters.  Tinted the color red- of a late summer sunset.  These bitters complement the Reyka Vodka, the Mountain Valley sparkling water, the Fruitations Tangerine Syrup and your own favorite glass.

Journey to the Center of the Earth (a trip for two)
Ingredients:
2 oz. Reyka Vodka
1 oz. Fruitations Tangerine Soda and Cocktail Syrup
4 oz. Mountain Valley Sparkling Water
Lemon zest
Bitter Truth Creole Bitters

Preparation:
To a Boston Shaker, fill ¾ with ice
Chill two coupe glasses with ice and water
Pour out just before service…
Add the Reyka Vodka to the Fruitations Tangerine Syrup
Cover and Shake hard for 10-20 seconds
Strain into coupe glasses and top with the Mountain Valley Sparkling Water
Drip 4-5 drops of the Bitter Truth Creole Bitters over
Garnish with a lemon zest

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

About Warren Bobrow
Author of: Apothecary Cocktails-Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today- Fair Winds Press- Beverly, Massachusetts. Apothecary Cocktails was nominated for a Spirited Award, 2014 Tales of the Cocktail.  His forthcoming book, Whiskey Cocktails will be released October 14.  Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails follow with publication in spring ’15.  Warren is a master mixologist for several craft liquor companies.

Warren consults about mixology and spirits, travel, organic wine and food.  He’s written for web-blogs and magazines like: Williams-Sonoma, Whole Foods: Dark Rye, Distiller, Total Food Service Magazine, Beverage Media Group, DrinkupNY, Edible Publications, Foodista, Serious Eats, Mechanics of Style and Beekman1802.  He was in the Saveur-100 in 2010.

Warren is a former, mostly self, trained cook from the pot sink on up.  J&W and ACF were thrown in for good luck.  Warren was the former owner/co-founder of Olde Charleston Pasta in South Carolina: *Dissolved his business after Hurricane Hugo in 1989* – to a career in private banking, (nearly 20 years; “a very grand mistake”) to this reinvention in 2009 as the Warren he’s finally become.

Warren is available to do highly personalized, interactive mixology events, local, national and international.
Contact: jockeyhollow@gmail.com

cocktail recipe: At last a paltry decree…

Monday, July 28, 2014

Cocktail Recipe: At Last A Paltry Decree

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail WhispererIt’s remarkable how fine spirits respond to freshly squeezed juices.  But imagine for a second that you don’t have a great source for perfectly ripened fruits.  I know that in New York City, we always can get something fresh and lush, even in the corner Bodega.  But just outside the city things are much more dicey on the freshly squeezed juice front.Fortunately I’m well versed with the gorgeous product named Fruitations.  While I was down in New Orleans during the recent Tales of the Cocktail, I was pleasantly surprised to see many bottles of Fruitations.  But that’s not why I love Fruitations, although it was great to see the product get international recognition.  What I like about this product is the unmistakable taste of freshly crushed fruit.

That means something to me. Read on!

While I was down in New Orleans, feeling the sweat pour down my back because I walked nearly everywhere in the 100 per cent humidity days, I had the honor to sit down with Jason Kosmas of the 86 Company.  I’m sure I looked like something that just came up out of the swamp for the first time, because I asked for a bar rag instead of a napkin to dry my brow.  They say in the South, that you don’t sweat- you glow.  Well my friends, I was not only sweating, every drop of my fiber was pooling around me and soaking my clothes.  It wasn’t as hot as past years, but the humidity more than made up for the lack of burning summer’s heat.

Jason re-introduced me to his line of highly expressive spirits.  He made note of the new label design, how it comes off easily and the reason for all those hatch marks in the bottle.   I always knew that the bottle with a long neck fits into my hand easily and won’t slip out.  This is important to anyone who is limited on time in a high volume cocktail bar.  The shape of the bottle is important too, easy to fit into a speed rack, with a narrow, rounded surface.  Very impressive are the measurements on the side of the bottle as well.  This allows the bartender to batch with relative ease.  But the most important thing about these products isn’t the pretty label, or the markings on the bottle, what is most important what is inside the bottle.

Francisco “Don Pancho” Fernandez  carefully  makes Caña Brava rum in Panama.  This Cuban-styled  rum is a rarity in the United States where most of the high volume products barely taste like rum at all.  Not to point fingers at any one producer, I’m less than impressed by rum that tastes like vodka, if I wanted to drink vodka, I would…  This is gorgeous rum that tastes like the rum I bought in Duty-Free in Rome last September.  Francisco made Cuban rum for 35 years and now he is making it for the 86 Company as he did in the old country with an antique copper and brass column still during the days of America’s Prohibition.  His rum is filtered, crystal clear in color and rambunctious in the mouthfeel.  Woven into cocktails, Caña Brava will most certainly fool you with its authenticity towards the very rare rum from Cuba… And as anyone who has traveled abroad knows, bringing back a few sample bottles is not frowned upon, yet one cannot just buy a bottle at their local package goods store.

It’s illegal to trade with Cuba!   Thankfully we have Caña Brava to take our minds off of Cuban Rum…

Send for a bottle from DrinkupNY, do it now!

Tenneyson Absinthe, just a drop really- added to the Caña Brava and the Fruitations Tangerine Soda and Cocktail syrup makes a fine cocktail even more alluring.  When I saw Graham Wasilition, the enthusiastic owner of Tenneyson down at Tales, I wanted to tell him about this cocktail- but time didn’t allow it.  Tenneyson is unique to the Absinthe market.  It comes clear, without dyes or other artificial ingredients, but when you add it to a cocktail or just dribble some cool water over the top, magic happens in your glass.  It makes me thirsty just to think about it!

As most of my cocktails contain bitters, the Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters is a fine way of finishing this lush cocktail.

Cheers!

WB

At Last A Paltry Decree

Ingredients:
2 oz. Caña Brava Rum from the 86 Co.
.25 Tenneyson Absinthe
.50 Fruitations Tangerine Soda and Cocktail Syrup
2 oz. Polar Sparkling Water
2-4 dashes of Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters

Preparation:
To a Boston Shaker filled ¾ with bar ice:
Add the Caña Brava Rum
Add the Tenneyson Absinthe
Add the Fruitations Tangerine

Cap and shake hard for 10 seconds or so

Add ice to an Old Fashioned glass
Strain into the glass
Dot with the Lemon Bitters
Serve!

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

Article by Warren Bobrow, a nationally published food and spirits columnist who writes for Williams-Sonoma, Foodista and the Beekman Boys. His first book, Apothecary Cocktails has been nominated for a Spirited Award at the 2014 Tales of the Cocktail!

The Urban Meditation Fizz. Thank you DrinkupNY!

THURSDAY, JULY 3, 2014

Urban Meditation Fizz Cocktail

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail WhispererWhen the weather starts getting really oppressive outside, getting bombed is the last thing on my mind.  Sure, it’s fun to get a little buzz on to keep the feeling of the humidity at bay.  I know this sense of relaxation is just the thing to keep the hounds of summer at bay.  Simplicity is the key to summer drinks.  There is nothing more revolting to me than an mélange of disparate, garbage pail quality ingredients, thrown together into a blender with stinky ice and much less than high quality spirits.  This kind of drink is just not going to be memorable and please let me assure you that the hangover that ensues will certainly be memorable!

(Calling Fernet Branca please! !)

High quality spirits such as Casa Noble are even more pleasurable when less it done to each sip.  Covering up (expensive) expressive spirits with candy flavored artificially flavored mixers IS NEVER OK!  So don’t do it.   LISTEN UP!

Casa Noble makes some of the most delightfully aromatic and potentTequila expressions that I’ve ever had the chance to enjoy.  Each sip is an countenance of passion for my thoughts.   And with the approach of the hottest weather of the year so far, I love to taste what I spend my money on.

That’s why after a week of shooting pictures in the studio for my third book up in Massachusetts, all that I want is simple, simple, simple!  Why?  It’s going to get really hot in a few days and sharing this refreshing thirst quencher is the way that it is done.

The Casa Noble Blanco is the perfect base for craft cocktails that don’t come off as being too crafty or  too complicated.  What do I mean about that?  Well, there are the ingredients.  As few of them as possible, that is for sure- but also the quality of the ingredients.  That is essential.  Casa Noble makes it easy for me to do great work because of the quality and simplicity of their ingredients.

Fruitations is a marvelous fresh fruit soda and cocktail syrup made with love up in New England.  Well, syrup is a misnomer, what Fruitations represents to me is condensed affection in a bottle.  There are three handcrafted flavors, Tangerine, Ruby Grapefruit and Cranberry.  The New England in me loves the Cranberry for rum cocktails, the Grapefruit is a burst of Florida, perfect for gin and the Tangerine is like a trip to Mexico, screaming out for Tequila…  Fruitations is exotic, bold and highly intriguing.  For this cocktail, I chose the perfectly adept, Tangerine flavor.

Each sip is like biting into a perfectly ripened citrus blast.

To give this drink a bit of lift I used Polar Seltzer.  The miniscule bubble that Polar encapsulates in each sip makes the Casa Noble Tequila and the Fruitations Syrup scream out for more, more…  And to the finish, may I suggest a few drops of the Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters?  Why?  They just work to heal your body.

With hot weather you want to heal what ails ye, your head, your heart, whatever is bothering you.  What ails ye is what I printed in my best-selling 1st book, Apothecary Cocktails.   This is the phrase that means- drink something, drink anything with bitters and this becomes an elixir for good health of your belly.

Drinking this little gem is nice.  And drinking anything with the splendid liquid named Fruitations simply as a mocktail will make the steamy summer seem much further away.    And the healing?  Have a few and call me in the morning..

Urban Meditation Fizz

Ingredients:
2 oz. Casa Noble Blanco
1 oz. Fruitations Tangerine Soda and Cocktail Syrup
4 oz. Polar Seltzer (Plain is fine- and preferred!)
2-4 shakes Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters

Prep:
(It’s so easy to mix a simple drink; you really should try it sometime…)

To a tall Collins-type glass:
Fill with 3-4 ice cubes
Add the Casa Noble Tequila
Pour over with the Fruitations Tangerine
Top with the Polar Seltzer
Mix with a funky straw and serve with a few shakes of the Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters

Easy!

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

Article by Warren Bobrow, a nationally published food and spirits columnist who writes for Williams-Sonoma, Foodista and the Beekman Boys. His first book, Apothecary Cocktails has been nominated for a Spirited Award at the 2014 Tales of the Cocktail!

Mother’s Day Cocktail: Beekman 1802 and Klaus the Soused Gnome

photo

Is your mom sweet like honey?  Warm and comforting like a cup of tea?  Or even a little spicey?  Klaus has never met his own mother, but that doesn’t stop him from celebrating all the moms in his life.

So he’s concocted a cocktail for all moms–no matter what shape or form they come in.

Springtime brings flavor into the equation because after the long winter we had, all Klaus wants is simplicity and flavor.

So what does Klaus want?

Fabulous Rio Red Grapefruit syrup, grenadine, Barr Hill Gin, Tenneyson Absinthe and Bitter End Thai Bitters???

Bitter End Bitters out in Santa Fe, New Mexico makes Thai Bitters that are like delving into a bowl of Thai Chilies. There is that heat element that is for certain…But then there are the flavors that open up, drop-by-concentrated-drop in a cocktail. I’ve tasted dozens of bitters and there really is nothing on the market that has the character of the Bitter End. Don’t get me wrong, I love bitters and could wax poetic for hours using them in my drinks. Bitters are just about the best thing for a hangover, according to Klaus. He knows.

Fruitations from Massachusetts are a most gorgeously concentrated, pure fruit syrups that are just exceptional in any kind of cocktail or mocktail. I just go gaga over the grapefruit syrup because it is like tucking into a juicy, ripe grapefruit. Less is more with this high quality syrup. You don’t have to use much, it’s that good!

A hit of Tenneyson Absinthe Royale is necessary. Try it and you’ll know why. It’s a secret otherwise!

Klaus’s Mother’s Day cocktail

(for two)

FIRST,  make a pot of Beekman 1802 Mercantile Blend tea – please serve it steaming hot to warm you deeply before, cooling yourself with this spring cocktail.

Ingredients:

4 oz. Barr Hill Gin, made from Raw Honey and grain with juniper berries

½ oz. Tenneyson Absinthe Royale

2 oz. Grenadine

6 oz. Fruitations Rio Red Grapefruit Cocktail and Soda Syrup

Preparation:

Pour yourself a cup of Beekman 1802 tea and while you enjoy the smoky demeanor of this very elegant tea

In a Boston Shaker, fill ¾ with bar ice

Pour over the Barr Hill Gin

Add the Grenadine

Add the Fruitations Rio Red Grapefruit cocktail and soda syrup

Cap and shake hard for 15 seconds

Pour into a Collins Glass with several hand cut ice cubes

Drip four drops of the Bitter End Thai bitters over the top. If this is too spicy, cut back to two drops

CHEERS TO WHATEVER PERSON IN YOUR LIFE YOU CALL ‘MOM’!