If I was to suggest several must haves for Father’s Day, I would recommend some items that are esoteric, yet attainable on the national market. And why my recommendations? I have, according to many, the abilities as a “taste-maker” so please allow me that small slice of an opportunity to share some of my Father’s Day gifts for the home cocktail bar.
I’m a huge fan of gin. There are so many different styles. Take London Dry and imagine that bone dry whisper of juniper and a scraping of citrus oil, perhaps some tea leaf and some pine needles. There you have gin. Other varieties bend the realism of floral notes and some even combine the two with cucumbers and roses! I’m a fan of one that hails from Vermont made from raw honey and grain. It tastes just fine in a snifter or when treated to fresh lime juice and a touch of ice. It’s always up to the drinker how they want to enjoy their slurp.
Gin has had a tempestuous history. A thing of the underclass, a cheap drunk and sometimes even a curative. Every sailor knew that the gin he carried on the high seas was made to be enjoyed with a squeeze of lime- it probably wasn’t fresh lime like we have today, but that lime (hence the word limey’s) represented healing. And that healing is why we drink gin up to today.
Because gin represents more than just a mere foil for tonic water, it’s the stuff that keeps you from getting malaria when you’re in the rain forest. See that quinine water is the thing that you take when there are those pesky mosquitos around carrying malaria. And the gin? It keeps your mind numb to the fact that the mosquitos are looking to give you whatever they are carrying. And you don’t want that. Nope.
Gin is here for healing what ails ye. During the Middle Ages, it was said that gin was a powerful curative against the plague. I’d like to believe that gin was purified water with folk healing herbs added.
One very delicious way to enjoy gin is with citrus juices. But instead of just opening the refrigerator and taking out juices of an uncertain demeanor, why not raise the bar and use freshly squeezed juices that have been roasted prior? Roasted? What does that mean? Cooking the fruit juices in the oven with raw sugar or honey is one of life’s simple pleasures. Then as if by magic, the roasted juices are woven into punch with the above mentioned gin of your choosing. And since I’ve been charged with the responsibility for being slightly askew of the norm, I’m going to ask you to use a gin that has been infused with THC.
Since you’ve been following along, or not- let me explain. I wrote a little book, really the first one on the topic- named Cannabis Cocktails and this book teaches a different approach to the enjoyment of gin. Since I teach an alternative method to extracting THC and adding it to craft spirits, this new way is quite simple and therefore intriguing. I was given permission by the kind folks at the Magical Butter Machine company to use their namesake invention. This made my life extremely easy for the infusion part. The decarb part is cumbersome and stinky, but necessary to make your weed active. That means you feel the good stuff happen in your head and in your belly. A craft cocktail that has THC in it. Not CBD (well meaning) or hemp (a money grab), but the real thing. Yes Virginia, you get drunk and stoned and guess what? They are pretty tasty together!
Remember: please, never more than one drink per hour. They tend to cause negativity if you go over this little rule of thumb. If you take too much, suck a few lemons- that seems to work.
Three Planets Punch
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut about four grapefruits in half, with four oranges and four limes, two lemons as well. Place on a non-stick baking sheet. Sprinkle with raw sugar and Angostura Biters. Roast for ½ hour to an hour. Let cool and then juice.
For two persons or more…
- 8 oz. Botanical Gin infused with the strain of your choice
- 4 oz. Dry Sherry
- 4 oz. Roasted Grapefruit
- 4 oz. Roasted Lime
- 4 oz. Roasted Orange
- 2 oz. Roasted Lemon juices
- 1 bottle Sparkling wine
- Angostura Bitters
Combine all the juices with the gin and about twenty shakes of Angostura Bitters, add the sherry and stir. Add the sparkling wine and stir again. Taste for bitterness. Adjust with Angostura and stir. Spoon into Victorian Tea Cups and serve.
Warren Bobrow is a firm believer in the homeopathic values of cannabis, especially when paired with the curative powers of a good cocktail. This recipe, which gives delicate floral flavors an herbaceous kick, comes from Bobrow’s “Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, & Tonics,” coming out June 2016 through Quarto Publishing.
Don’t forget to catch our Cannabis Cocktails livestream with Warren on Wednesday, March 2 at 3 p.m. EST.
- 1 ounce cannabis-infused gin
- 2 ounces rose simple syrup
- 1 ounce seltzer water
- 3-4 drop grapefruit bitters
- Esprit Edouard Absinthe Supérieure, in atomizer
- 1 long grapefruit twist
Fill a Collins glass with ice and top with a little water. Set aside for a few minutes to chill, then discard the ice water.
Fill a Boston shaker three-quarters full with ice. Add the gin and the rose simple syrup, then shake hard for 12 seconds. Pour into a coupe glass and add the seltzer water. Dot with the grapefruit bitters, spray the top of the drink with the absinthe, and garnish with a grapefruit zest twist.
It’s been a while since I embarked on this project, known as the Five Questions, and I beg your time to read the questions and drink the highly personal answers from each craft distiller whom I see worthy of your attention.
Without further adieu, may I present Paul Hietko.
1. WB: What do Craft Spirits mean to you?
PH: To me, “craft spirits” means passion for product over all else and actually made by the folks claiming to make it. Authenticity and honesty is the key.
2. WB: Where are you from? What did you do before you became a distiller?
PH: I was born in the Chicago area, grew up in Michigan, spent time in Northern California, and have lived in Chicago now for over 20 years. Prior to becoming a distiller, I pursued several creative passions, and played guitar professionally, as well as running a record label, building custom guitar effects pedals, and more. I also had a desk job for many years, but always strived to pursue dreams.
3. WB: What is your favorite food? Which of your spirits go well with that dish?
PH: My favorite food depends on my mood. I’m currently a bit obsessed with banh mi, as well as working on some homemade curries. I’m really digging the bourbon with the banh mi, as the spiciness of the bourbon plays well with the spices in the sandwich.
4. WB: Is there anything you’ve eaten or sipped that brings a tear to your eye when you taste it? Why?
PH: Some of the favorite things I sip are products that my friends make, as I know what it takes to bring it to life. Food and drink can have such a dramatic affect, and eating various foods can really bring me back to various places. I can’t eat matzo ball soup without missing my grandmother. I can’t think of Spätzle without missing my grandmother’s!
5. WB: Social Media brought us together originally. What are your thoughts on Social Media? Do you use it? Do you have time to Tweet?
PH: I love social media – it’s the best way to communicate with the people that actually consume what we make. All that we do, we do for the spirit that is in the glass so that we can hopefully be a part of peoples enjoyment of life with their family and friends. That means a lot to us, and this connection with our fans is truly amazing.
My tasting Notes for these gorgeous spirits…
FEW Bourbon Whiskey
Spanish Leather, sweet cream and wet stones give way to a bit of heat and that long finish that says CRAFT. This is very drinkable stuff, worthy of your finest glassware
FEW Rye Whiskey
If I could drink a corned beef sandwich, this is what I’d be enjoying for lunch! Smoky notes of charred earth, tangy and cinnamon tinged rye bread with a zingy finish that goes on and on!
FEW Single Malt Whiskey
Is this whiskey from Scotland? Nope, it’s all American! Licks of wood smoke give way to sweet grains and a haunting finish punctuated by toasted citrus zest and salt crusted stones. This is sophisticated and worldly. Class act!
FEW Barrel Gin
Sweet notes of long cooked grains enrobed in dark (70% or more) bittersweet chocolate, cooked slowly with the aromatics of Juniper Berries and slowly cooked stone fruits, like quince and peaches. A Ramos Gin Fizz with this slurp would take you to places not yet discovered!
My second book, Whiskey Cocktails is available ever so shortly on Quarto Publishing. In the book, I’ve created 75 new and re-imaged cocktails for one of the world’s favorite spirits, Whiskey… With my unique- Cocktail Whisperer style and grace.
My first book, Apothecary Cocktails has been nominated for a Spirited Award for the 2014 Tales of the Cocktail!
Back to the Negroni. Count Negroni as legend has it was rather fond of the cocktail known as the Americano (Campari and Vermouth with soda water). Being a nobleman with either a stomach ache or a drinking problem – or both…, he asked his bartender to change the cocktail and remove the fizzy water in favor of a large dose of gin.
As it turns out to fans of the classics, and with history being my guide, this drink of Campari, Sweet Vermouth and Gin- to present day is still named the Negroni.
I’m certainly not calling my drink a Negroni, but what I will call it is the Hubbery Devrey Cardigan, named after a character in Monty Python’s Flying Circus. It’s a silly name for a very grown-up sense of humor, dispensed sip-by-sip.
In this case on ordering a Negroni, while walking up (or down) the Spanish Steps, your typical combination of Campari, Sweet Vermouth (often of a dubious origin) and gin (is that gin or rockgut?) is poured down the throats of thirsty tourists in bars that line the broad Spanish Steps in Rome.
May I propose something completely different in this case. Being someone who is not a Nobleman, well this does create certain difficulties when working with venerable cocktails such as the Negroni. Please hear me out on this; I think the finish is brilliant and very, very fresh. And modern. And fascicle. Because life is meant to be all things, bitter, sweet and strange.
I’ve been drinking Spanish Vermouth as of late. These are brilliant efforts are made with some of the most expressive base wines available from Spain- and only in miniscule quantities. Spanish Vermouth is certainly a gourmet’s pleasure.
Atxa Vermouth Tinto is from the Basque Region of Spain. It is a lovely sipping Vermouth, bursting with flavors of citrus and tobacco. I love it in a Negroni, especially one of a different stripe like the Hubbery Devrey Cardigan Negroni.
Next in this philosophically incorrect version of the classic Negroni I’ve included Orleans Bitter Aperitif Cider infused with red currant and bitters, I know already that your ears have perked up and the word bitter may connote something else entirely. Whatever your idea is about Campari, may I please suggest substituting the Orleans Bitter with red currant and bitter herbs instead? Thank you.
And now in a tip of the hat to the alchemists who discovered that saffron really is worth muchGabriel Boudier Saffron Infused Gin as the gin component to this cocktail. Who can resist something as elegant as gin in a cocktail that is woven it seems from the finest grains and the best saffron that money can pluck from impossibly tiny flowers. Did you say add saffron to a Negroni? I think so, rabbit.
more than gold I’m including
The gin element is unmistakable. You cannot imagine what this drink was like without the deeply mysterious aromatics of exotic saffron coursing through each sip. The combination of the Orleans Bitter and the Spanish Vermouth along with the saffron infused gin is otherworldly.
I finish this drink with a splash of Bitter Truth Grapefruit bitters. My thoughts are simple. Where there is gin, somewhere there should be juice. Or bitters, or something. I forget. I’ll have another please.
Just make a few and let me know how you enjoy it.
Hubbery Devrey Cardigan
2 oz. Gabriel Boudier Saffron Infused Gin
1.5 oz. Orleans Aperitif Cider infused with red currant and bitters
1.0 oz. Atxa Vermouth Tinto
2-3 dashes Bitter Truth Grapefruit bitters
To a cocktail mixing glass, fill ¾ with bar ice
Add the gin, then the cider, followed by the vermouth
Stir 30 times with a long cocktail spoon
Strain with a Hawthorne Strainer into two coupe glasses
Garnish with lemon twists and dot the top with the grapefruit bitters to finish
Cheers from DrinkUpNY!
Article by Warren Bobrow, a nationally published food and spirits columnist who writes for Williams-Sonoma, Foodista and the Beekman Boys.
I’m sitting in front of the fireplace right now. Also in front of me are over 15 bottles of Artisanal Gin. My new favorite is the London Dry Gin from Martin Miller’s Gin. This is truly exotic stuff. The London Dry is in a low, squat bottle. Upon opening the handsome bottle I detect immediately the scent of cucumbers. Not just any cucumber but an especially aromatic variety. This Gin doesn’t need to be mixed- it’s got all the stuff right inside. I’m absolutely blown away by the softness of the nose- coupled with that unmistakable aroma of the cucumber. I got to thinking- when was the first time that I smelled this quality of Gin? Hendrick’s does a cucumber scented Gin that I like, very much. This Gin from Martin Miller is a very sophisticated and dare I say sensual slurp of liquid pleasure. The cucumber is right there in the foreground. You cannot miss it. I’m almost shocked by the depth of the vegetable aroma and flavor. White flowers follow up immediately- those little tobacco flowers. Then the attack of herbs and spices come quickly into view. The initial distillation happens in England. The blending occurs in Iceland with pristine glacial water as the adjunct. I’m just blown away by the finish- it goes on and on and… on .
I thought I introduce a new cocktail to Modenus this week. Gin and Citrus come to mind. Charred grapefruit juice, Maraschino Cherry liquor and a chiffonade of Thai Basil. What? Fresh herbs in a drink? Why not?
To make this cocktail you must be ready to take your palate to another place. In this case, the drink is Martini-like but not a Martini. Sure it has Vermouth, but Carpano Antica is the Sweet Vermouth (instead of dry) and there is the slightly charred grapefruit bringing up the rear.
I love working with great ingredients and you should too!
The Gin Twist
Makes two invigorating cocktails for whatever you desire at the end of the day.
Martin Miller’s London Dry Gin
Bitter End Thai Bitters
Seltzer water like Perrier Pink Grapefruit
Chiffonade of Thai Basil
To a cocktail shaker filled ¼ with ice add some charred grapefruit. (sear grapefruit segments in a sauté pan until nice and colored on all sides, then muddle with fresh mint and the cucumber, lime and grapefruit chunks until they release their essence about 3 minutes or so. Add to the shaker the Carpano Antica Vermouth (about a shot) Roll the Thai Basil into a cigar shape, and then slice on the bias to release the aromatic oils. Add to the shaker.
Add the Martin Miller’s Dry London Gin and the Maraschino Liqueur. ( 1 shot)
Shake and strain into a coupe’ glass and garnish with a flamed peel of orange peel. Top with a home cured cherry. Add a splash of seltzer water to finish.
Slurp away to a freezing cold and wet spring in old England.