the cover for my first book is up!!

Apothecary Cocktails

Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today

Apothecary Cocktails Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today
Author:

Warren Bobrow

Format: Flexi w/ Concealed Wire-o, 160 Pages
Item: 212140
ISBN: 9781592335848
Publisher: Fair Winds Press
Price: $21.99
Not Yet Published – Available 10/15/2013
Buy the E-Book

            
         
At the turn of the century, pharmacies in Europe and America prepared homemade tinctures, bitters, and herbal remedies mixed with alcohol for curative benefit for everything from poor digestion to the common cold. Today, trendy urban bars such as Apothke in New York, Apo Bar & Lounge in Philadelphia, and 1022 South in Tacoma, as well as “vintage” and “homegrown” cocktail aficionados, find inspiration in apothecary cocktails of old.
Now you can too!
 
Apothecary Cocktails features 75 traditional and newly created recipes for medicinally-themed cocktails. Learn the history of the top ten apothecary liqueurs, bitters, and tonics that are enjoying resurgence at trendy bars and restaurants, including Peychaud’s Bitters, Chartreuse, and Vermouth. Find out how healing herbs, flowers, and spices are being given center stage in cocktail recipes and traditional apothecary recipes and ingredients are being resurrected for taste and the faint promise of a cure. Once you’ve mastered the history, you can try your hand at reviving your favorites: restoratives, sedatives and toddys, digestifs, and more.
Whether you’re interested in the history, the recipes, or both, you’ll love flipping through this beautifully presented book that delves into the world of apothecary cocktails.

Cooking, Food & Drink / Beverages / Bartending
Cooking, Food & Drink / Beverages / Wine & Spirits

Twisted Cherry Blossom Cocktail

 

Klaus invented a new cocktail!  This is not just any cocktail, mind you- but one that speaks clearly of the season.  But what season is that?  The dull time, just before the burst of spring.  The ground coming out of its slumber, mud all around, a few crocus flowers straining to move through the soft soil.  It’s going to snow in the next few days though…

A cruel joke perhaps?

The past few days, Klaus has seemed full of wanderlust.  He spent the time wandering through the International Restaurant and Foodservice Show in NYC.  He met the kind folks at Total Food Service Magazine and many others along the way.  Klaus admired the commercial ice machines, the electronic technology laden kitchen equipment and high-speed dishwashers.  He was so impressed!

Then, as if by magic, he tasted raw fish for the first time, cut deftly by a Japanese sashimi master.  This artisan of all things sashimi was flown in directly from Japan with his plethora of hand-made carbon steel knifes glistening in the light. (Just like the knives in Kill Bill)    Just around the corner from the sashimi master, his student sits on an ancient stool and hand-sharpens sushi knives as if his life’s work was to sharpen those knifes.  (And it was!)

Klaus commented that the stones appeared so wet as the sharpening student lay the blades down, nearly perpendicular to the stone, lying in a pool of water, the sharpening surface itself pure, as if in an excited state of altered reality.  Klaus was mesmerized by the motion of the sharpening master, one push against the stone, then the other side and so on and so on and…

But if there is one thing that Klaus knows how to do and that is drink.

Many top end Sake producers appeared in the Japan Pavilion at the show and Klaus started pulling me towards the broad tables, laden with sake from all over Japan.  Klaus didn’t want to extol over the immense pleasures of both jasmine and green tea, what he wanted was to get soused!  He was actually being quite insistent! Klaus was leading me towards a veritable Holy Grail of sake.  Smiling men and women were holding out little plastic cups of liquid history to Klaus.  He threw back his little ceramic head and drained a whole series of sake.  Some were fruity and light, the pinot grigio sake- served ice cold and meant to be enjoyed quickly.  Others were more introspective, like Burgundy, thick with sediment and possibilities.  Still others in the nearly unknown, creamy style of sake pleased Klaus to no end and I actually saw him stashing a few bottles worth in his little flask on his chest for the car-ride home.

Ah Klaus, you work in strange little ways.

The season for drinking sake is year round in Japan and Klaus suddenly realized the meaning of his own desire.  That is the absolutely freshest fish that money can buy, washed down with glass after glass of distinctive and crystalline sake from micro producers around Japan- as pure as the melted snow on Mt. Fuji.

Klaus told me that he wants to do a story on Japan.  Maybe he will be in the right place at the right time to attain a story of this merit?

Klaus?  Klaus?  Ah, he wandered off again.  Looking for another little glass of sake?  He’s so predictable.

 

Twisted Cherry Blossom Cocktail

Ingredients (for two friends or one thirsty gnome)

3 oz. Hiro Sake (well chilled)

1 oz. Bluewater Vodka (also well chilled)

3 oz. Blood Orange Juice (freshly squeezed)

1 oz. Royal Rose Simple Syrup of Tamarind

Crushed filtered water ice (Klaus uses the Mavea “Inspired Water” pitcher)

4 drops in each cocktail- Bitter End Thai Bitters

Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water- Lemon essence

 

Preparation:

Freeze filtered water ice overnight and crush, pack into tall Collins glasses

To a Boston Shaker filled ¾ with filtered water ice, add the liquors and the blood orange juice

Add the simple syrup

Shake for 15 seconds

Taste for sweet/tart quality

Pour over filtered crushed ice and finally add a few drops of the Bitter End Thai Bitters over the top… finish with a splash of the Perrier Sparkling Water and drink!

 

 Kanpai!

 

­

Can Buffalo Trace Put Pappy on the Shelf?|

Can Buffalo Trace Put Pappy on the Shelf?| On Whiskey

WARREN BOBROW (this article was originally published on April 2, 2012)

On Whiskey is a monthly column on whiskey and whiskey drinks by Warren Bobrow.

On Whiskey is a monthly column on whiskey and whiskey drinks by Warren Bobrow.

Johnny Dodds is on the short wave radio, crooning to me from another world.

“After you’ve gone, after you’ve gone away.”

What better series of words are calling out for a restorative sip of Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey…  This venerable bottle has graciously rested over there on the shelf, alongside many other bottles, and it remained under-sipped and under-appreciated until now.

Music from the 1920s makes me want to drink good bourbon whiskey like Buffalo Trace.  Maybe it’s because Johnny Dodds left New Orleans in 1920 – never to return; yet his music is firmly grounded in the essence of New Orleans.  This passion for the whiskey seems to ooze out of my pores even more intensely when I listen to music from this man. Enjoying a bottle of Bourbon in New Jersey is, to me, at least akin to Johnny leaving New Orleans.  Once this bottle left Kentucky, it would never return.

Buffalo Trace is not a mass-produced liquor. Nor is it overpriced for a spirit being produced in such small batches.

Most importantly a bottle of Buffalo Trace shouldn’t set you off by more than $25 a bottle or so.   That makes it a good deal in a market clogged with expensive expressions of Kentucky bourbon.

Whiskey this well made usually costs double or even triple the price.

There are flavors in the Buffalo Trace that harken to Pappy. And that would be correct, because the same distillery makes Pappy.

Which Pappy are you speaking of?  That Pappy is Pappy Van Winkle!

Of course the recipe is different. That’s what makes Buffalo Trace so unique!

Buffalo Trace is made from Corn, Rye and Barley.  In order for them to call it bourbon, the product must be 51% corn.  There is certain spiciness to each sip from the rye and a creamy quality from the cask.

I like it a lot.

So, I’ve been up to my ears in Pappy. I brought a bottle of the 15-year Pappy down to Charleston for the Wine and Food Festival.  It was much less expensive to drink my own rather than someone else’s Pappy at $30 per GLASS!  Why drink anything else?  If you have it, drink it.  That was until I opened this bottle of Buffalo Trace.  I cannot believe that this expression has rested so long without even being sipped.

The aroma of dark maple syrup permeates the room almost immediately upon opening the cork-finished bottle.  I have a wood stove fire going and the wind is howling outside in more of a shriek than a mere whisper- but this shouldn’t make the situation any less conducive to enjoying a few nips of this lovely hand-crafted bourbon whiskey.  Given the fact that it is suddenly frosty as winter outside, what better reason than to breathe in the sweet aroma deeply?  It is woven into the smell of the earth, the fire and the wind all at once. This is good stuff!

Pappy, go back up onto the shelf. I think I’m going to enjoy this glass of Buffalo Trace!

Packaging Notes:

Nice hand-torn-looking label and natural cork finish!  Very nice touch.

 

Photo by Warren Bobrow

 

Tasting Notes:

The memorable aromatics of freshly tapped maple syrup fills the room almost immediately along with notes of sweet toasted corn and charred cinnamon toast slathered in freshly whipped butter.  There is the warm underpinning of scraped nutmeg along with a deeper backbone of sweet molasses.  I love the scent of this elixer and I jam my nose deeply into the glass, breathing the toasty flavors aggressively into my nostrils.

On the tongue, flavors of Asian spices predominate with vanilla and caramelized peaches.

The sharpness of the alcohol is in the background of the almost juicy mouth-feel.  This would be the perfectly marvelous mixing bourbon.  There is so much going on in my mouth, across my tongue and down my throat.  It’s quite remarkable to taste.  There is a certain density to this bourbon.  It is not thin or cloying in any way.  The sugars reveal themselves slowly and the finish just goes on and on.  There is a certain dusty quality to the finish as well as unmistakable flavor of the earth.  The unique terroir of this whiskey differentiates it from all other liquids on earth.  This terroir is unique to the place.

Weighing in at 45 % ABV, Buffalo Trace has all the stuffing to lead in a mixed drink, not play follower.

Think about Sazerac cocktails, Manhattans, and of course my favorite, a Bourbon Hot Toddy.  All are perfectly suited to Buffalo Trace’s full-bodied approach and long finish.

I’m going to err on the side of craftsmanship.  This bourbon needs creativity- but it also needs simplicity.

This afternoon I’m sprinkling a bit of branch water over the top of a little hand-blown Murano glass from Venice to release the secrets held deeply within.

This is truly delicious stuff.  Now go grab yourself a bottle and share it with your friends!  You don’t even have to tell them how much you (didn’t) spend.

I’ve created the cocktails for the Architectural Digest Home Design Show in NYC!!!



Groups

 

Create an Event Start a Group

 

Marys & Mimosas at the AD Home Design Show 2013

When? Thursday, Mar 21 @ 10:30am – 12pm (EST)
Where? AD Home Design Show Pier 94, 55th Street and 12th Ave – New York City

PLEASE JOIN US FOR OUR THIRD ANNUAL #MARYSANDMIMOSAS TWEET UP TO CELEBRATE THE OPENING OF THE #ADSHOW2013 ON THURSDAY, MARCH 21, 2013

SPONSORED BY SUBZERO:


“Sub-Zero Wolf presents their latest and greatest design and cooking innovations as well as a chance to win your very own cocktail reception and gourmet dinner for 10 guests in the luxurious Sub-Zero Wolf showroom in NYC.  Details to follow at the Show.”

CATERING BY :

 


Please join us for all the buzz and excitement that comes with meeting your digital, social and print media peers to kick off the show. This year’s event is held in the show lounge which is designed by Fendi Casa.


HOW TO REGISTER FOR THE EVENT AND YOUR PRESS CREDENTIALS: 

Please RSVP on Twtvite AND contact Alexandra Zwicky at Alexandra@NovitaPR.com or 212-528-3160 with your name, media outlet and twitter handle so that we can have your press pass ready for you. 

Let’s kick of the 2013 show in style and get the design dialogue started.

We hope to meet and tweet with you there!


Lil Cowboy Cocktail. Reprinted from The Beekman 1802 Boys Website

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

Gartending: Lil’ Cowboy

By 

Photo: Warren Bobrow, Leica M8

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Hankshaw Hawkins Cocktail

Hankshaw Hawkins Cocktail

The Hankshaw Hawkins Cocktail is woven around a core of All-American Bourbon Whiskey.  With the heat bubbling up from somewhere down South it only makes sense to create a cocktail with a unique refreshing twist.  This twist is ice made from perfect spring water that bubbles up from the ground just up the road apiece.  That pure ice, run through the MAVEA pitcher sitting over there on the butcher block has been infused with spearmint from the garden.  As the ice melts, the flavors of the spicy spearmint melts into this drink.  I also added FEE Brothers Mint Bitters to the ice deepening the sparkling flavor.

I’m a real fan of Four Roses Bourbon Whiskey.  Directly in front of me is a thick, round shouldered bottle of Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey. I especially like the cork finish! Nice touch.

Sure, it’s only 10:00 AM and the heat is rising, the humidity rising and my thirst also rising.  If you’ve been following my writing for any length of time, you’ll know that I have a powerful passion for Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth.  The label clearly reads “BEST ON THE ROCKS WELL CHILLED.”  That my friends calls out to me with a huge smile.

I love my Vermouth mixed into cocktails that include Bourbon Whiskey, served on the rocks with a twist of orange.  There is a citrus laced element in this cocktail.  Similar to an Old Fashioned where fruit is muddled into the drink, I took the fruit flavors and added a bit of char to them.  Char you say?  Yes.  Oranges are a favored flavor in my Hankshaw Hawkins cocktail.  I also like using peaches, primarily because peaches are local and plentiful going forward into the summer months.  To char your fruits you must have some kind of fire, or in a pinch a cast iron pan.  I like to grill my oranges and peaches over hard wood charcoal.  If you don’t have a charcoal grill I suppose you can use that gas thing that you use to cook your dinners outside.

I prefer the flavor of wood smoke in my grilled fruit when using them in a cocktail.

Hankshaw Hawkins Cocktail

A perfectly delicious Fourth of July Cocktail that will tickle your fancy…

Ingredients:

Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey

Carpano Antica Formula

Grilled Oranges and Peaches – figure a couple rounds of orange and about 3 chunks of grilled peach per person

Ice from the MAVEA Water Pitcher, frozen in an ice cube tray from Williams-Sonoma.  I LOVE the KING Tray.  The cubes are two inch square and they melt oh so deliciously and slowly.

Fee Brothers Mint Bitters for the ice

Preparation:

Filter some spring water (locally gathered of course) through the MAVEA Water Pitcher System

Pour into the Williams-Sonoma King Ice Cube trays

Add about 5 drops of the Fee Brothers Mint Bitters directly into each water filled tray

Very finely chop some fresh mint (Spearmint, please) to each ice cube and then freeze as normal

Grill several rounds of oranges and chunks of peaches over hard wood charcoal

Let cool then muddle in a Boston Shaker

Add a couple cubes of regular ice to chill the Bourbon and Vermouth down

Add 2 Shots of Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey

Add 1 Shot of Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth

 

Shake Shake Shake Shake Shake

Strain into a short cocktail glass with the mint infused ice, then garnish with a chunk of grilled peach or grilled orange and a big sprig of fresh mint

Danger Level 3 out of 5.  Not too dangerous, yet please drink with caution, a couple of these cocktails in the hot sun can be quite beguiling and then quite dangerous!!

http://www.cocktailwhisperer.com

Warren Bobrow’s Cocktail Hour: HEAT WAVE cooler…

I couldn’t wait for this heatwave to start.  Really.  All year long I’ve wanted to sweat.  That deep down burn that flows through my body.  Sweat flowing from my brow into my eyes, my back soaked on the leather seats of my car.  Yeah, you know what I’m “talking” about.  A real summer heat wave.  You cannot escape.  It’s everywhere.  An egg could be fried on the sidewalk- that kind of heat.

Fortunately I’m here to cool off your frazzled demeanor.  What is that look on your face?  You don’t believe me?

My good friends you are in luck.  I’ve created at this hour of 9:56 am on Thursday a most beguiling of cocktails.  One that will, as I like to put it, mystify and challenge even the most robust of imbibers.  This one my friends garners a 5 out of 5.  Danger Level 5.  I’m getting numb just smelling it.

The ice is as important as the rest of the cocktail.  I recommend spending about 12 bucks on a silicone ice cube tray from Williams-Sonoma.  True there are dozens of other items for sale in the store that I lust over, but for this cocktail, I need a large ice cube that melts- very, very slowly.  Ice is one of my favorite topics.

I’m a fan of liquors from the Near East.  I mean Greece and Turkey.  Raki in Turkey, Ouzo in Greece…

The Moors enjoyed liqueurs and preparations that used anise seeds.  In their attempted conquest of the world, the liquors that they enjoyed in turn influenced others cultures and peoples in the world.  Hence you find Raki in Turkey, Ouzo in Greece, Pastis in France and… Aquavit from the Scandinavian countries.  But what does Aquavit have to do with anise?  Is it because anise is a seed and caraway is a seed as well?  Sure, it’s a stretch, but in flavor transmittal, a stretch is fantastic.. Anise and Caraway just work together.

Another hidden ingredient, at least in the Near East is Rose Water.  The essence of roses can be quite sensual.  They stimulate the feelings of eroticism. I love rose in a cocktail, especially the rose simple syrup from Royal Rose.  I’ve fallen hard for their syrups, but for the summer- in my opinion, nothing goes better with Tenneyson Absinthe than rose syrup.

Blueberries from Driscoll’s.  Organically grown are the base for my cocktail.  I’ve taken these absolutely ravishing blueberries and muddled them with some of the Royal Rose simple syrup of roses until they stain the side of the mixing glass with their juices.  The aroma of blue along with rose is intoxicating to say the least.

Tenneyson Absinthe, made in France with care is clear as a glass window in the perfume grade, cut glass bottle.  But add some seltzer water and the formerly pristine color takes on a shade of cream and blue fruits.  The Aquavit from House Spirits in Portland, Oregon is a hidden Umami flavor.  You sense it.  It’s there.. but soon, very soon you will feel no pain at all.

It’s now 10:32 am.  The air is brisk but steadily heating up.  Soon the leaves outside will begin to wilt.  It’s a true heat wave. I cannot wait to sip this cocktail in the blaze of the summer heat.

You will crave one too.  Crave is not even the word I seek.  Yearn is better.  Hunger.  Thirst.

Bitters should finish this cocktail.  A punch of depth to center that little third eye in the middle of your forehead.  Why the third eye?  So you can see.  Because with your eyes closed (and they will be soon) you’ll need some way to guide you on your spiritual path to enlightenment. My friend Bill York at Bitter End Bitters makes a perfectly respectable Moroccan Bitters.  Woven with the flavors of the Middle East, this salubrious squirt of bitters it more than able to stand up to the task of binding the Absinthe to the Aquavit.

A splash of seltzer water will finish.  And keep you from walking into doors.

One cocktail at a time.  By my patient hand.  Cheers and stay cool if you are able.

BEHİYE Cocktail

Meaning beautiful in Turkish

(with a generous nod of my hat to Joy E. Stocke from the Wild River Review)

Ingredients:

Driscoll’s Blueberries- they’re really the best we can get outside of Maine…

Krogstad Aquavit

Tenneyson Absinthe

Bitter End Bitters

Royal Rose Simple Syrup of Roses

Preparation:

In a cocktail shaker, muddle about 1/4 cup of the Driscoll Blueberries with 2 Tablespoons of Royal Rose simple syrup of Rose until the aroma rises up in the cup, about 10 seconds

Add 1 Shot of Tenneyson Absinthe

Add 1/2 Shot of Krogstad Aquavit

Add four drops of the Bitter End Moroccan Bitters

 

Shake for exactly 15 seconds and pour into a lovely hand blown rocks glass where 2 LARGE ice cubes are resting, patiently…  Add a splash of cooling seltzer and dream.

 

Corrected Coffee? Absolutely!

Corrected Coffee
Posted by Warren Bobrow in Interior Design
19
May

It’s been a rather difficult week this week. First of all I have withdrawl. Last week I was in my element. I was correcting the coffee for the thirsty folks at the VIP/ The Daily Basics Mixology tent.

What is corrected coffee? Corrected coffee is coffee with a kick. And I was the man to provide it.

There wasn’t anyone during the entire event at Brimfield who wasn’t offered a corrected coffee. There is something to be said for this kind of mind eraser/mind opener. After all, at 7 or 8 in the morning, when the coffee is hot, there is ample time to correct the cup in your hand, to augment it, make it better, make it stronger, make it dangerous. Make each mug with PASSION!

I know how to do this. After all, I’m the Cocktail Whisperer!

Corrected Coffee

Each recipe will completely twist your mind, your friend’s and perhaps their friend’s as well. But for this exercise, each recipe serves two persons. Danger Level 5 out of 5! (so be careful)

2 mugs of freshly brewed coffee (try to make it yourself. Starbucks doesn’t count)

4 shots of Snap (USDA Certified Organic Ginger Snap Liqueur)

2 shots of Tenneyson Absinthe

1 shot of Fernet Branca

Bitter End Mexican Mole’ Bitters

Freshly whipped cream

Preparation:

Whip your cream, whip it good, I say whip it… (apologies to DEVO)

Add two shots of the Snap into each mug

Add the coffee to each mug

Add four drops of the Bitter End Mexican Mole’ Bitters to each mug

Top with fresh whipped cream. If you have those imitation cans, shame on you!

Sip and try not to drink too quickly, there’s plenty of time to sleep later in the day…

Kilbeggan (The Oldest Operating Distillery in the World!)

Kilbeggan (The World’s Oldest Distillery)

April 4, 2012

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

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

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

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

Onward…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flavor has everything to do with it.

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

 

Two Cocktails For Kilbeggan

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

Makes two rather lovely cocktails

Ingredients:

6 Oz. Irish Breakfast Tea- chilled

4 Shots Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey

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

Preparation:

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

Add 4 Tablespoons of the Honey Simple Syrup

Garnish with a lemon round and a sprig of mint

 

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

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

Ingredients:

Freshly Whipped Cream flavored with Kilbeggan

Hot Chocolate (your choice)

4 Shots of Kilbeggan

Sugar to taste

Preparation:

Make your hot chocolate and add to pre-heated mugs

Add the Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey

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

 

Straight

2 Shots of Kilbeggan

Glass (preferably clean)

no ice

a bit of cool water

 

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

 

 

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