Teeling Whiskey and Barrell Bourbon, Two Delights, recently discovered. from Foodista.com (yes, I’m on the masthead!)

Teeling Whiskey and Barrell Bourbon, Two Delights, recently discovered.

Whiskey Cocktails is coming out in a few short weeks, so it seems to reason that my mailbox is suddenly full of whiskey!In this case I’ve received several fine bottles that I’d like to share with you.  The first one is Ireland in every sip.  The Spirit of Dublin, Teeling Whiskey is one such example of high quality.  They represent Ireland in each sip, in fact when I uncorked the bottle, the very aroma placed me on the Temple Bar, enjoying the mist against my face and Irish Whiskey woven into coffee, filling my belly with happy warmth.

I’m trying not to lose sleep over claims about what Craft Distilling means outside of marketing, nor am I getting bent out of shape about “Small Batch” and what actually constitutes that statement in the broad context of the word.

But what I will say is Teeling Whiskey makes statements on their label about the lack of chill filtration and the fact that they use former rum casks for a deeper and sweeter finish.  What I do know is that they use cork on their bottle finish and I do like that extra effort for quality.

I also like the bottle shape and the color- a deep brown/green/black that should ostensibly protect the fine spirits held within from damaging rays of the sun.  Who knows, but it certainly is a handsome bottle design.

The label evokes the feeling of another time- perhaps less hurried.  And when enjoyed out of my Bormioli tasting glass, I truly get what this whiskey has to offer.

It’s really luscious in the mouth and it finishes astonishingly sweet without a hint of smoke- because in Ireland their whiskies are sweet in their flavor profile.

 

For that reason I like to craft cocktails with Irish Whiskey

Teeling is as good as I’ve had in what appears to be a well crafted spirit. It’s something new and I know you will want to taste it.  So seek it out and don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit.  To that end I offer you a fine cocktail.

Black Irish Smash

 We know that adventurous Spanish sailors followed the Gulf Stream up to Ireland looking for conquests and fishing grounds.  Some stayed and gave the island an entirely new population.  Black Irish people, are the amalgamation of Irish people and those Spanish sailors.  Hence the cocktail.

2 oz. Teeling “Small Batch” Irish Whiskey

4 oz. home-made lemonade – Sweetened to taste with your own mint simple syrup (Mint Simple Syrup 1:1 mint to sugar to 1 cup almost boiling water- steep overnight or longer in the fridge and then filter out mint)

1 oz. Mountain Valley Sparkling Water

4 drops El Guapo Chicory-Pecan Bitters

very tiny pinch of sea salt

Prep:

To a mixing glass, fill 3/4 with ice

add the lemonade and pour the whiskey over the top and stir until mixed

Strain into two rocks glasses with one cracked 2×2 cube in each

Top with a splash of the sparkling water, add a very small pinch of sea salt

Finish with the bitters and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint for clarity

 

Barrell Bourbon is clearly getting my attention because it tastes like success.  Good luck finding it though- you can make this your quest, like that of Pappy Van Winkle, another very hard to get commodity.  I think that Barrell is a bit easier to get because of the nature of distribution.  They are not a huge company yet, so sale of this whiskey is pretty normal.  If you find it, buy it because a case is just six bottles and there aren’t too many of them around.

But why give you only bad news?

That’s certainly not my intention.

They say that Barrell Bourbon served at cask strength is just too strong for most palates.  So it needs a bit of water to reveal the inner flavors.  But I think it needs some mixing up.  Perhaps that’s just the twisted part of why I love what I do.  May I suggest doing a wash with Lucid Absinthe in your glass?  Then some pineapple that has been both grilled and then juiced?  Perhaps a sage leaf, lit on fire and the smoke captured by the inside of a Boston shaker?  The honor for teaching me this technique is firmly on the shoulders of the head bartender from Secreto in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Chris Milligan.  He taught me this art.

Ah.. it’s darned good stuff.  Pay attention though.  This cocktail does work with any high proof bourbon or rye.

The Antidote

3 oz. Barrell Bourbon (bottling 002, because 001 just isn’t around any longer)

1/4 oz. Lucid Absinthe- wash rocks glasses with Lucid Absinthe and a bit of ice to cool, let sit

2 oz. Grilled Pineapple juice

1 oz. Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice

1/2 oz. Freshly Squeezed Grapefruit juice

2-3 Sage Leaves

Crushed Ice

1 oz. Simple Syrup

3-6 Drops of El Guapo Gumbo Bitters

Sprig of mint

 

Prep:

Light your sage in a fireproof ashtray

Capture the sage smoke in your Boston Shaker

Fill the Boston Shaker 3/4 with ice (and the sage smoke)

Add the juices and the simple Syrup

Add the Barrell Bourbon

Cap and shake for 20 seconds

Pour out the water and the Lucid absinthe into your mouth (why waste good liquor?)

Add 1 cube of 2×2 ice to each glass

Pour your mixture over the ice

Dot with the El Guapo Gumbo Bitters

Garnish with the mint

Serve to a happy camper

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