I’m REALLY Passionate about ICE. (Foodista)

http://www.foodista.com/blog/2014/11/16/really-great-ice-arctic-chill

Really Great Ice (Arctic Chill)

November 16, 2014
I’m really passionate about ice in my cocktails.  Bring me a drink with 1/4 cube ice and you fail.  Just like that.

A drink should speak clearly of the quality of the ingredients.  Chipped ice that turns to water the moment the liquor or “bottled-possibly concentrated from a powder” mixers hit it.

Cheap ice is a cheap experience.  And at a time when consumers and that includes drinkers want better “Craft” spirits in their glass, why are bars still using crappy ice?  Even at home, do you you have an ice program?

Or are you still using the ice that your freezer pumps out, day in and day out with that satisfying thunk.  This ice from your freezer, is in polite terms, not even worth your water glass.

Have you even noticed that festering container of garlic pasta that your housemate stashed in the fridge.  You might as well be making ice out of it.  Why?  Because until your fridge gets a good vinegar and water cleaning, everything that enters the fridge is going to taste…. AND most importantly smell like that putrified garlic pasta.

So, here’s what I propose.  Clean out the fridge.  Wash it out with white vinegar and water.  Do the freezer too.  I’ll bet you’ll be shocked by what you find in there.  Let it dry off well.

During the day or so that it takes to do a great job on your fridge and freezer, may I suggest placing an order for a most carefully made ice ball maker that I’ve played with in recent memory.

The company name is Arctic Chill Products.  They make a really great ice ball maker that works really well for just about any bar application.

The mold is made of up two sides.  When they close, they make a really tight seal.  There is a little hole in the top.  You will it with liquid through this opening.  Experiment with all different liquids but do not put them in the dishwasher.  They’ll be ruined.  Just listen!

The company says that the mold is airtight on their label.  I couldn’t verify that but I’ll take their word for it.  This mold makes really nice ice in a 2.5 inch round.

I believe that ice is the most important thing in cocktails, at least the drinks that call for it.

Ice can make or break your experience.  And if the ice is clear and hard in the glass, this is a thing of rare beauty.  When you’re pouring expensive spirits doesn’t it just make sense to use the very best products that money can buy?

I think the Arctic Chill Ice Ball Maker is one of the finest products of its kind on the market. I’m very impressed!

If you want crystal clear ice, try using distilled water.  My water is on a well, no matter what I do, it always turns out milky colored.  But no matter, it’s still really nice looking!

 

Yesterday I was doing some further experimentation with a marvelous bourbon by the name of Barrell Bourbon.  In this case the 003 edition.  

If you haven’t heard of it yet, hurry to DrinkUpNY and order some, because they don’t make much- and what they do make disappears REALLY FAST.  So Xmas is coming up and you DON’T have a bottle yet?

Hurry.

 

Please buy my second book, Whiskey Cocktails.  Thank you very kindly!  wb

North Jersey (dot com)

“Whiskey Cocktails”: new from Morristown writer

October 26, 2014    Last updated: Sunday, October 26, 2014, 1:21 AM

Whiskey, writes Morristown cocktail expert Warren Bobrow, has long had a reputation as a spirit enjoyed straight out of the bottle “without the benefit of mixers, and often without tasting much of anything except the alcohol’s heat.” Bobrow’s new book seeks to show off how the best whiskeys can be made into phenomenal cocktails. In “Whiskey Cocktails,” (Fair Winds Press, $22.95) he presents 75 classic and modern recipes including a German Pavilion cocktail made with smoked American whiskey and a Late Summer Fizz with rye whiskey and sweet Italian vermouth.

* Whiskey gets a remix

 

* Whiskey gets a remix

 

– See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/whiskey-cocktails-new-from-morristown-writer-1.1118221#sthash.e5CVEqLs.dpuf

Finally, The BEST bottled cocktails you can buy!

 

I would be lying if I told you that I paid much attention to the genre of pre-mixed cocktail.  They just haven’t been on my radar and probably for good reason.  What you can buy here in New Jersey would not be to my taste, nor would I even waste my time looking for them.

HOWEVER…. at my door last week, a package arrived from my friend Charles Joly.

Charles is, if you don’t know- the American Bartender of the year and the James Beard Society Award Winner… That alone made me perk up and say, I’ll try what you are working on and I’ll let you know what I think.

My friends, Crafthouse Cocktails is the best effort that I’ve tasted to date out of a bottle.  In fact I will go out onto a limb to say that Crafthouse Cocktails in the bottle is still better than 99% of all the bars in Morristown, NJ!

They just do it right.

I cracked open the handsome flip top on the Paloma.  What greeted me was the scent of excellent grapefruit soda, but not your usual flavors.  This grapefruit soda appears to have been charred lightly before juicing.  It’s really gorgeous stuff.  The sugar level is just right and the tequila element is not cloying, nor is it rock-gut quality.  This is high end stuff that demands your Boston Shaker and salt rimmed glass.  The grapefruit is all natural so it separates a bit in the bottle, give it a light shake and all is well.  This is the best grapefruit soda by far that I’ve ever enjoyed.  Bravo!  And the tequila is lush and rambunctious.  I’m suddenly feeling better!  The Paloma is made from Blanco Tequila, Grapefruit, Lime, Pure Cane Sugar and “natural flavors”….  I’m stunned by its beauty!

The Moscow Mule is a delight.  From the sparkling peppery goodness of the hand crafted ginger beer to the spices inherent to the mix, this is not your grandpappy’s Moscow Mule.  This is a most modern interpretation of the classic drink that I’ve tasted.   Again.. Bravo!  I’m catapulted

to the British Virgin Islands, gripping one too many Moscow Mules while trying to keep a hand on the wheel of the sailing yacht.  Something has to give!   The label clearly reads, Premium Vodka, Ginger Beer, Lime, Pure Cane Sugar.. Nothing else!

I think my favorite of the group is all three, but if I HAD to choose, I’d say the Southside Cocktail would be my favorite for the morning.  (because it is morning!)  Brimming with the expressive notes of quaility gin, lime, pure cane sugar and natural mint flavoring, if I don’t stop tasting these I’m going to have to slow down a bit before the serious work of day drinking begins.

These are quite possibly like having Charles at your beck and call, down in your bar- waiting to prepare you these amazing cocktails.  The only thing holding you back is your

ice.  Don’t mess it up by using freezer ice from the dispenser.  Take the time to boil your water and use good quality 2×2 cubes in the final glass.

When you shake your drink it’s ok to use the freezer stuff, but not in your glass.  You’ll ruin this amazing product!

Get some just as soon as you can.

www.crafthousecocktails.com

www.facebook.com/crafthousecocktails

 

My second book, Whiskey Cocktails will be out in the coming weeks.  You may grab one here!

My 1st. book, Apothecary Cocktails was translated into French!

Rechercher
Artémis - Cocktails de l'apothicaire (Les)
Photo non contractuelle
C02750

Cocktails de l’apothicaire (Les)BOBROW Warren

Hors collection (Vin/Cocktail)
ISBN 978-2-81600-587-5, september 2014, 14.6 x 19.7, 160 pages. (14,90 €)

Des cocktails stimulants pour guérir tous les maux !

Bénéficiant d’une histoire riche et fascinante, les cocktails thérapeutiques furent d’abord créés par des apothicaires, précurseurs de nos pharmaciens actuels. Ils préparaient des remèdes aux plantes à base d’alcool pour soigner une grande quantité de maux, de l’indigestion au banal petit rhume. Ces boissons d’autrefois constituent une intarissable source d’inspiration pour les bars branchés ou les amateurs de cocktails vintage, aux ingrédients naturels. Cocktails de l’apothicaire vous propose 75 recettes traditionnelles ou modernes de boissons fortifiantes, digestives, apaisantes ou énergisantes.

• Vous vous sentez paresseux après un repas copieux ? Sirotez un Cocktail Iberville Street. À base de plantes amères et de brandy, un cocktail réputé calmer les maux de ventre.

• Vous avez bu un verre de trop hier soir ? Le Corpse Reviver, un cocktail littéralement conçu pour réveiller un mort vous remettra sur pied en un clin d’œil.

• Vous peinez à trouver le sommeil ? Essayez le Narcotique mexicain, un mélange relaxant qui combine un chocolat chaud pimenté au mezcal et à la vanille.

FEW Spirits/ Five Questions…

FEW Spirits/Five Questions

September 26, 2014
I recently spoke to Paul Hletko, the founder of FEW Spirits in Illinois.

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. 

 

Barrell Bourbon: Tasting Notes and Observations

Barrell Bourbon:Tasting Notes and Observations on Whiskey

August 30, 2014
I just received two bottles of bourbon from Tennessee.  Tennessee Bourbon you say?  What is that?  I thought all whiskey from Tennessee had a black label on it?

Well to be perfectly honest with you, so did I.  I wasn’t aware that there are Craft Spirits in Kentucky.  I know that some are working on getting the laws changed to permit Craft distilling, but I’m really not sure who they are, or if they’ve been successful.

But without that tainting my impression of the Craft Spirits industry and who makes what and where, I’d like to introduce you to Barrell Bourbon.

Barrell Bourbon is a true luxury product that you can get.

DrinkupNY has it!  http://www.drinkupny.com/Barrell_Cask_Strength_Tennessee_Straight_Bourbon_p/s0185.htm

Sitting in front of me are two bottles .

Batch #001 and Batch #002.

Barrell Bourbon link here

I’ll try to be kind to you and your thirst.  This isn’t going to be easy.

Writing about and tasting fine liquid is like describing Grand Cru wine.  Most people cannot even fathom spending hundreds of dollars on a bottle of wine, much less ever given the chance to taste it.

Although Barrell Bourbon is not inexpensive, it’s not over 100 dollars per bottle either!

When a company sends me a bottle and it just isn’t available to the public, all I can do it hope that it makes you thirsty.  I do my best to guide you and help you find a bottle.

I actually had someone reach out to me the other day, who read my review on Pappy 20 Year, assuming that I had a secret in with the company to get a bottle (or more) of this highly allocated liquid.

Nope!

But Barrell Bourbon is available.  Extremely limited, but you can find it.

It’s not even noon and I’ve just taken a healthy slurp of Barrel #001.  This is Cask Strength my friends.  Rolling in at 121.6 Proof, it is straight out of the barrel.  They don’t fine pad filter this whiskey. They only use a light mesh screen to keep the larger chunks from inside the barrel out of your glass.  That’s not to say that this bourbon is crystal clear, far from, there is stuff in there.  I love spirits with a soul and Barrell Bourbon has it!

Tasting Notes:

The bottle – no you don’t taste the bottle, but bear with me… is made of fine perfume grade glass.  It’s gorgeous to the touch.  Sumptuous and smooth.  The cap is wood and real cork.  A nice touch in the world of plastic almost everything.  The label on each batch is very similar, with the only differences in the writing.

My bottle of Batch #001 reads Craft Distilled Barrel Stength.

Batch # 001, Bottle # 2384.

It goes on to read 121.6 Proof, 60.8 Alc/Vol.

Batch #002 reads Bottle # 429,  117.8 Proof, 58.9% Alc/Vol.

Batch #001 is made from a Mash bill of 70% corn, 25% rye and 5% malted barley.  It’s distilled in Tennessee and aged in Kentucky for five years in freshly charred American oak barrels.  It’s bottled at full barrel strength without any artificial colors or additives.

Flavors of Earl Grey Tea reveal themselves along with sweet vanilla, dark stone fruits, salted caramels and quince-slow cooked ones at that.  The heat is ever present.  You cannot escape it, even with a few drops of Branch Water sprinkled over the top to release the flavors and inner soul of this passionate product.  The alcohol tingles on the tongue and wraps around your brain.  This is serious stuff, worthy of your finest crystal glass.  But don’t put anything other than water into it.  This would be a waste of fine liquor!

Peanut brittle expands across my tongue along with long cooked apricots and white raisins.  Pine nuts reveal themselves, enrobed in dark chocolate.  The finish is tannic and dry.  It goes on and on.  Impressive and worthy of your hard earned money.

Batch # 002 is also made from a Mash bill of: 70% corn, 25% rye, 5% malted barley.  The first thing you perceive is the flavor of a grilled Reuben Sandwich on Rye bread.  Toasted rye has a very specific flavor and this is no exception.  There is a sharp cinnamon bitterness, almost like a red hot candy that pokes a hole right in the middle of your memory.  This is exceptionably memorable bourbon.  There really is nothing like it on the market.  Stone fruits and caramelized nuts reveal themselves after a few seconds along with deep flavors of Spanish Saddle leather and wet stones.  But not wet from a fresh water stream, they are slicked with the flavors of the ocean.

The slightly less alcohol *117.8- is a welcome relief after the hit of nearly 122% alcohol in Batch #001.

Both versions are memorable.  Orange marmalade and lemon curd fill your mind along with toasted rye bread and slabs of freshly smoked meats.  There are bursts of fleur de sel (sea salt) and more chocolate, but not the sweet kind, I’m talking 75% bitter.

Take little sips and bite your Reuben Sandwich,  let me know what you think!

This is bourbon on steroids! Definitely not for everyone!  No fooling!

***********************

Warren Bobrow,is the widely published 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 2014.  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

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

Whole Foods/Dark Rye Magazine

Whole Foods/Dark Rye Magazine
Whole Foods/Dark Rye Magazine

A How-To Guide for Making Sweet & Sour Concoctions

By Warren Bobrow

Contrary to what you might think, shrubs are not the large green hedge plants that grow in your backyard.

As the “Knights Who Say Ni” well know, those are shrubberies. The real shrubs—strange and delicious concoctions of vinegar and sugar-preserved fruit syrup—are making a comeback.

Shrubs had their peak in the United States during the colonial era and were frequently used into the mid-1800s, mostly among the working class. Fruit syrup was an inexpensive, sweet refreshment. People found that drinking certain acidulated liquids like shrubs cured their aching bellies and gave them quick energy, too. The acidic vinegar also helped purify their poisonous drinking water.

When fizzy, cheaply produced soda pop hit the scene, shrubs all but disappeared from drinking vernacular. But modern hipster mixologists have rediscovered the magic of shrubs. Now people are starting to use them at home, too.

Shrubs can be simply made with only three easy-to-purchase ingredients: sugar, vinegar and fruit, plus water. They have a salty, sealike undertone but are also sweet and tart. The fruit gives a deeply welcome hit of sweet perfume, the raw cane sugar sweetens naturally, and the unmistakable tang of vinegar makes your lips pucker, and few things are more salutary for the gut than naturally fermented beverages. Shrubs really were the original energy and health drink. And now it looks like they’ve gotten their second wind!

Here are two of my favorite shrubs, along with three cocktail recipes.

Note: These shrubs will remain fresh for 1 to 2 months in the refrigerator.

Shrub Recipes

Raspberry Shrub

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

This very basic shrub makes all kinds of refreshing combinations. Although the raspberry shrub starts out vividly red, in the end result, the shrub will have a pale red hue.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup very ripe organic raspberries
  • 1 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1 cup raw cider vinegar

METHOD

In a nonreactive bowl, add raspberries and pour sugar over the top.

Cover and let sit refrigerated for a few days, stirring and muddling often with a wooden spoon to combine. This mixture should expel lots of liquid.

After a few days of gentle fermentation, add vinegar. Let the vinegar combine with the sugar and raspberries for another week refrigerated.

Arrange a fine-mesh strainer over a nonreactive bowl (one with a spout is handy). Pour the shrub mixture into the strainer and mash with a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.

Funnel the shrub into sterilized jars. Cover and refrigerate for at least a week more, shaking well before using.

The assertive vinegar flavor will fade over time, leaving you a simple syrup that is tangy, sweet and memorable!

Tip: A simple way to enjoy this raspberry shrub is with a glass of seltzer water and the addition of a few slivers of lemon zest.

AFTER A PAUSE PUNCH

Serves 2

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Ingredients:

  • Ice cubes
  • 4 ounces sugar cane rum
  • 3 ounces raspberry shrub
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed orange juice

Method:

Fill a cocktail shaker three-quarters full with ice. Pour rum, shrub and juices over the ice. Cover, cap and shake hard for 15 seconds or until frosty.

Add a large ice cube to each of 2 cocktail glasses. Strain cocktail into glasses and serve.

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Roasted Peach Shrub

Makes about 1 1/2 Cups

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Ingredients

  • 2-3 pounds peaches, preferably extra ripe, roughly chopped
  • 2¼ cups raw cane sugar, divided
  • 2 cups white wine vinegar or Champagne vinegar

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Arrange peaches on a large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with ¼ cup of the sugar and roast for 45 minutes or until deeply caramelized. Let cool and transfer to a nonreactive bowl.

Cover roasted peaches with remaining 2 cups sugar. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for several days, stirring often to mash and muddle the peaches and release peach-flavored sugar syrup.

After a few days, add the vinegar. It may bubble a bit, which is ideal. Cover and let sit refrigerated for a week, stirring twice daily to release the flavors.

Arrange a fine mesh strainer over a nonreactive bowl (one with a spout is handy). Pour the shrub mixture into the strainer and mash with a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.

Funnel into sterilized jars. Cover and refrigerate for at least a week before using.

Note: If your shrubs ever become fuzzy, foamy or speak in strange tongues, throw them out immediately! Mold is not your friend!

Only Fair Play Mocktail

Serves 2

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Ingredients

  • Ice cubes
  • 2½ ounces Roasted Peach Shrub
  • 2½ ounces rye whiskey
  • 3 ounces plain seltzer water, divided
  • 4 dashes aromatic bitters
  • Fresh mint, for garnish

METHOD

Fill 2 old fashioned glasses with ice and water, and then set aside to chill.

Fill a cocktail shaker three-quarters full with ice. Pour shrub and whiskey over the ice. Cover, cap and shake hard for 15 seconds or until frosty.

Pour ice water out of the cocktail glasses. Add a couple ice cubes to each glass. Strain the cocktail over the ice and top with seltzer water. Dot each cocktail with bitters and garnish with sprigs of fresh mint.

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THE OLD PACIFIC COCKTAIL

Serves 1

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Ingredients

  • ¼ teaspoon fresh thyme plus a sprig for garnish
  • Ice cubes
  • 2 ounces Roasted Peach Shrub
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 ounce plain seltzer water
  • Aromatic bitters

METHOD

Add thyme and a handful of ice to a mixing glass.

Add shrub and lemon zest. Stir 40 times and then strain into a cocktail glass over a large ice cube.

Add a splash of seltzer water, a couple drops of bitters and garnish with a sprig of thyme.

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Warren Bobrow is the author of Apothecary Cocktails, and his second book, Whiskey Cocktails will be released in October. In addition to his popular blog, The Cocktail Whisperer, Warren has written for Foodista.com, Voda Magazine, Saveur, Serious Eats, and Edible. You can follow him on Twitter at @WarrenBobrow1.

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