Precision, Perfection, Symmetry and Intensity… Japanese Whisky

Japanese Whisky: Quiet Perfection

A quiet pursuit of excellence is taking place by the careful and studied guidance of Eric Tschudi, the affable and youthful beverage director of Shuko. His hand-chosen selection of esoteric, Japanese Whiskies will certainly intellectualize even the most altruistic guest in your dinner party.  And then there is a private dining room that intrigues the carefully interested. This space is the most private room, set deeply down in the subterranean part of the former bakery- a quite hidden, inner sanctum, located in the depths of 47 East 12th Street in New York City. This is certainly not a tourist restaurant, nor does it have any signs announcing the constantly changing approach to an educated curiosity that takes place within the walls daily. There are no lines of paparazzi craning their necks towards the stars, nor very much in the way of foot traffic on this part of the street, set just off the teeming hustle and bustle of soon to be, lower Broadway. Find some parking just across the street, just up the way a bit and stretch your legs, but only so much. The scent you detect in the air may well tinge of sea salt water on this tiny spit of land only a few short blocks from the churning East River. The Japanese inspired liquids are driven by the culinary treats that emulate from within the tabla rasa walls. And all of these surprises are completely undetected from the street. A hidden gem surrounded by so much darkness.

READ MORE AT FORBES

Stonington Harbor Yacht Club Event

Stonington Harbor Yacht Club Event

Single Malt Scotch Tasting

Saturday October 21, 2017 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

A Virtual Cruise to the Isle and Highlands of Scotland- A Single Malt, Scotch Whisky Tasting

Back by popular demand, Warren Bobrow, noted international judge, journalist and food writer, the “Cocktail Whisperer” will share his knowledge of Single Malt, Scotch Whisky. From the Isle to the Highlands, you will taste 12 different Scotch whiskies, from the bland to the beautiful. From the bottles that you can buy anywhere to something special from his own stock. Warren will have us tasting the difference between the stuff your father drank and the fine bottles we should be drinking!

The cost per person will be $35.00 for tasters. Accompanying tea-totalers and designated drivers will be admitted free. This tasting is limited to the first 30 members and their guests to register.

This is sure to be an educational and memorable event.

The tasting will be followed by a Scotch themed dinner at the club. Have your kilts pressed and dust off your bag- pipes for a wonderful evening.

CHECK OUT THE DINNER MENU!!

Musings on Whiskey

My influence for writing Whiskey Cocktails is one of a most circuitous nature. Whiskey has rough and tumble roots for me. Initially I looked at whiskey as something that was rough and harsh across my palate. I wasn’t a whiskey fan until a couple of years ago. Rum was more my forte, I was a rum judge for the Ministry of Rum in 2010. I also wrote about food, and, of course wine. It’s very tough to make a living being just one more voice in the room of food writing or even wine writing.

READ MORE HERE AT WHITE MULE PRESS:

Dad Food: A Scotsman’s Flourish

Our Father’s Day week of recipes continues with a little bit of whiskey. Whether dad enjoys it on the rocks or mixed into a drink, make him something extra special with this oatmeal recipe from the Cocktail Whisperer himself, Warren Bobrow.
And if you’re looking for the perfect gift for dad this Father’s Day, why not pick up a copy of Apothecary Cocktails? This drink book features cleverly concocted restorative drinks that dad is sure to love.

A Scotsman’s Flourish
Excerpted from Whiskey Cocktails by Warren Bobrow, The Cocktail Whisperer

Feed a cold and starve a fever, the old saying goes. It’s true: If you’re feeling under the weather, it’s even more important to eat regularly and healthfully. Nutritious meals can play a huge part in boosting the immune system. That’s where this steaming bowl of classic, steel-cut oatmeal comes in. Spiked with a generous serving of whisky-soaked dried fruit, A Scotsman’s Flourish comes at the final stage of this breakfast of champions—you’ll top your bowl with an extra ounce or two of Scotch for good measure. It just goes to show that you can eat your breakfast and drink it too! And there’s no need to waste any Scotch: Pour the whiskey left over from steeping the dried fruit over another cup of dried cherries in a sterilized container. Refrigerate these gorgeous home-cured cherries for garnishing your Manhattans, or serve them over vanilla gelato for dessert.

Bowl of steel-cut oatmeal, served piping hot
¼ cup (38 g) dried cherries
¼ cup (32 g) dried apricots
2 ounces (60 ml) blended Scotch whisky
½ cup (15 ml) spring water
To taste: Raw Honey Simple Syrup

Cook your steel-cut oatmeal for about 45 minutes according to package directions. While it’s cooking, add the dried cherries and dried apricots to a glass bowl. Cover with the blended whisky and the water. Let the fruits reconstitute for as long as it takes to cook your oatmeal. Toward the end of cooking, spoon the whisky-softened fruits into the oatmeal, and stir well. Serve in preheated ceramic bowls. Pour the remaining whisky over the top of the oatmeal. Sweeten to taste with Raw Honey Simple Syrup. Then, dig in and enjoy your healing breakfast! For an added kick, serve with a David Balfour Cocktail: It’ll prove a cool, refreshing contrast to your steaming hot, whisky-laden oatmeal.

Preorder your copy of Whiskey Cocktails TODAY. It makes a great gift for dad.

Whiskey Cocktails Rediscovered Classics and Contemporary Craft Drinks Using the World's Most Popular Spirit

Grab your bow tie and a rocks glass, because we’re talking all about one of the most classic—and classy—spirits. Whether you like bourbon, scotch or rye, whiskey’s diverse and complex taste will be your new go-to drink for parties, gatherings, or evenings in your study with a roaring fire. Whiskey can be an intimidating drink to the uninitiated. Most folks may not be able to drink it straight. We’ve got you covered. The Cocktail Whisperer, Warren Bobrow, author of Apothecary Cocktails (Fair Winds Press), incorporates some of the best whiskeys into hand-crafted cocktails that bring out the subtle notes and flavors of any good bourbon or scotch. Whiskey Cocktails features 75 traditional, newly-created, and original recipes for whiskey-based cocktails. This wonderfully crafted book also features drink recipes from noted whiskey experts and bartenders.

https://www.quartoknows.com/blog/quartocooks/2014/06/11/dad-food-scotsmans-flouris/

This 4/20, Catch A Buzz With A Cannabis Cocktail

 Like the word “gay,” the term “edible” has adopted a radically different accepted use than was originally intended. Thanks to mainstream media coverage of medicinal marijuana and the drug’s recreational legalization in seven states, plus Washington, D.C., “edibles” now generally refer to the psychoactive chemical compounds in marijuana … ingestible in the form of food as simple as a jelly bean or as gourmet as fois gras.

While basement chemists and chefs continue to elaborate on edibles, the market is looking toward “drinkables” as the next frontier in catching a high. Some weed-legal states like Washington are already licensing the sale of non-alcoholic beverages that contain THC, the chemical in cannabis that produces the buzz, and DIY mixologists are putting out cannabis cocktail recipes as fast as their minds can fire them up.

Still, the federal government, which classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance, prohibits the addition of THC to commercial alcohol products. However, analysts expect the category to eventually ignite, and producers are positioning themselves for an inevitable rule reversal by seeking and receiving permission to infuse their products with non-psychoactive marijuana compounds like hemp and a type of cannabinoid called CBD. Some medical professionals believe CBD can actually help counter the adverse effects of THC like anxiety and has its own therapeutic properties, though controversy exists at the highest levels over whether CBD is technically legal or not.

 Despite a dim view taken by the Trump Administration and mass-market beer and liquor industries, Kyle Swartz, managing editor of three alcohol-industry magazines and editor of Cannabis Regulator predicts, “We’re absolutely going to see more crossover between cannabis and craft beer and spirits. After all, it’s the same generation that’s pushing growth in all three of those categories: Millennials.”

Not much product has hit the scene yet but it is slowly becoming, as they say, “a thing.” The category first came to my attention a few years ago with the release of Humboldt Brewing’s Humboldt Brown Hemp Ale. I don’t remember much about it other than it was pretty forgettable.

 Last year, a public relations team sent me a bottle of Humboldt Distillery’s Humboldt’s Finest vodka infused with hemp seed (yes, there is a pattern here – Humboldt County, California, can arguably be considered America’s ideological ground zero for pot growing and smoking). As in the hemp ale, the hemp seed produces no high, and distillery founder Abe Stevens tells me he had to send his vodka for tests to ensure it contained no measurable amounts of THC before the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) would approve it.

He also tells me he knows of just two North American distilleries – one in British Columbia and another in Alaska — that started selling hemp vodka before he launched his last spring but since then he’s received numerous phone calls from entrepreneurs looking for advice. In October, the TTB approved a Colorado beer brewed with CBD, which also doesn’t spark a buzz, for national sale.

“It has a relationship to the growing interest in cannabis. That’s our sales angle, as it certainly helps the story,” he says of his own spirit, which retails for $29.99 MSRP. “But the market needs this product because it’s something new and the herbal quality makes nice cocktails.”

The hemp primarily comes through in the vodka’s aroma though it can be hard to discern among the other botanicals. Plus, the smell of the hemp oils can dissipate quickly.

So if it doesn’t get you high, doesn’t taste like dank herb and doesn’t even smell like a freshly lit Rastafarian, is there really a point? Stevens, who sells Humboldt’s Finest in about a dozen states patchworked across the U.S., says he gets that question all the time, especially from the west coast.

“Sometimes with people who’re really into the cannabis culture … we specifically try and even avoid that aspect and focus on the craft cocktail aspect. In Mississippi and Georgia they don’t have a legal marijuana outlet so to them there’s possibly a lot more novelty,” he says.

Until such a time when the feds do license THC-infused spirits, Humboldt’s Finest and its competitors can find sanctuary behind the bar next to an endless range of DIY possibilities that are building the backbone of today’s craft cannabis cocktail scene. Since around 2014, magazines and websites have been teaching readers how to make (mostly illegal) THC infusions of spirits, syrups, bitters, and the like. Last year, renowned cocktail author Warren Bobrow published the first book on marijuana cocktails, called Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails and Tonics – The Art of Spirits Drinks & Buzz-Worthy Libations and containing 75 self-tested recipes.

 “I wanted to make it into a wellness book with flavor,” says the 55-year-old conservative dresser. “I wanted to take away some of the stigmas. It’s not a ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ book, it’s thoughtfully written and beautifully photographed to add possibilities to the regiment of taking cannabis for medicinal purposes. And it’s also tongue-in-cheek.”

But its publication hasn’t brought the New Jersey-based writer much wellness himself. He’s lost consulting clients on the east coast and his father literally disowned him before he died. While his dad had his own reasons for shunning his son, Bobrow’s big-liquor friends presumably stopped associating with him because conventional wisdom says that pot cuts into sales of beer and spirits. Bobrow’s actually made this argument himself, as has Cowan and Company, which made news by entering the marijuana investment space and analyzing a Nielsen report that showed beer sales dropping in three states where the drug has become legal.

 But the jury is still very much out. Bart Watson of the Brewers Association craft beer lobbying group argues that he sees no causal effect on beer sales in the short term, and Jason Notte of Market Watch reminds readers that overall beer sales have been falling on their own, with no push from pot.

Regardless of whether legal consumption will harm or help alcoholic beverages in the long term, one aspect does need to be addressed: the effects of mixing alcohol and pot.

“This is a legitimate concern,” says Swartz. “People must be careful to pace themselves when consuming alcohol and cannabis simultaneously. But after more people learn how, I believe mixing cannabis and alcohol will become even more socially acceptable.”

Right now, it’s not necessarily publicly acceptable, even in states where it’s legal. Californians need a card to purchase weed, and a sales guy at an extraordinarily professional dispensary in Bend, Oregon, told me to furtively smoke my legally purchased $9 joint on a dark residential sidewalk instead of lighting up at the bar where my friends were enjoying craft beers, cocktails and cigars. Did I order any fewer drinks than I might have? Yes. But not because I was stoned. Rather, it’s because I had to leave the bar for 20 minutes at a time to light up in secret. Had I been able to ingest my intoxicant as an alcoholic digestible I could have sat there far longer … and I probably would have ordered even more.

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/taranurin/2017/04/19/this-420-catch-a-buzz-with-a-cannabis-cocktail/#35be3e4cd35e

2017 Whisky Live NY!

 I’ll be signing books at Whisky Live, Wednesday March 1, 2017!

Sample from Over 300 Different Scotches, Bourbons And Whiskies From Around The World, All Under One Roof At:  Pier Sixty Chelsea Piers, New York, NY 10011 

 General Admission Ticket
  • 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm
  • Souvenir Glencairn tasting glass
  • Event program
  • Full dinner buffet
  • Live entertainment
  • Regular Price $139
 VIP Admission Ticket
  • 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm
  • EARLY entry to whisky sampling event
  • Access to the VIP Experience Area from 6-9pm
  • Souvenir CUT CRYSTAL Glencairn tasting glass
  • Event program
  • Full dinner buffet
  • Live entertainment
  • Limited ticket availability
  • Regular Price $199
 2017 Whisky Live NY Program
 
 Whisky Live VIP Pours
  •  Tullibardine 25 Oloroso Sherry Butt Finish
  • Glenfarclas 25 years
  • Talisker 18 years
  • Aberfeldy 21
  • Notch Whisky 12 years American Single Malt
  • Deanston 18 Bourbon Finish
  • Makers Select – limited Whisky Magazine special selection
  • Evan Williams Single Barrel – limited Whisky Magazine private barrel selection
  • Four Roses Single Barrel – limited Whisky Magazine special bottling
  • Michter’s –premium selection
  • Breckenridge Dark Arts Malt Whiskey
  • Johnnie Walker Blue
  • Woodford Reserve – limited Whisky Magazine special bottling
  • Bushmills 21

http://www.whiskyliveusa.com/tc-events/2017-whisky-live-ny/

Ulysses Left on Ithaca Cocktail

Ulysses Left on Ithaca Cocktail

Excerpted from Whiskey Cocktails by Warren Bobrow

ulysses left on ithaca cocktailCome fall, my palate is already calling out for the heat and aroma from the fireplace. There is something about wood heat that fills me with warmth for the coming cold months. I love the snap of the fire and the brooding heat that fills the room.

 

The same holds true for my cocktails. I seek out brown liquors that speak of warmth like whiskey spun into a very seasonal cocktail.

Smoked American whiskey is a wonderful match for a citrus-oil–tinged tea like Earl Grey. Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you start spiking your morning pick-me-up; this delicate cocktail proves that Earl Grey isn’t just for breakfast anymore. Bound together by homemade ginger simple syrup, the Ulysses delivers spicy, sweet, smoky, and even salty—all at once. This cocktail is named for the Greek hero of the epic poem The Odyssey. Reluctant to leave his homeland of Ithaca, he pretended to be insane by sowing his fields with salt instead of grain. In his honor, the final touch to the Ulysses is a pinch of sea salt, which adds an unexpected, crunchy kick. It’s a delicious finish. The ingredients for this cocktail are simplicity themselves, but the sum of the parts is truly bewitching.

 

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces (120 ml) freshly brewed Earl Grey tea, cooled
  • 3 ounces (90 ml) smoked American whiskey (like Balcones Brimstone or the salubrious and rare, limited edition- Knob Creek Smoked Maple Bourbon)
  • 2- ounces (60 ml) Spicy Ginger Honey Simple Syrup (see below)
  • 1-ounce (30 ml) club soda
  • 2 pinches of sea salt
  • 2 sprigs of thyme

Instructions

  1. Brew and cool the Earl Grey tea.
  2. Fill a mixing glass three-quarters full with ice.
  3. Pour the whiskey, tea, and the Spicy Ginger Honey Simple Syrup over the ice, then stir to combine.
  4. Taste for sweetness: If it’s not sweet enough, add a bit more simple syrup.
  5. Place a chunk of hand-cut ice into each of two short rocks glasses. (If you really want to bring out the gingery taste of the simple syrup, make ginger ice in advance: Freeze slices of fresh ginger root into your homemade ice.)
  6. Add the splash of club soda to each glass, and top each with a pinch of sea salt to add a welcome “crunch” to each sip.
  7. Garnish with the thyme sprigs—and get ready to pour a second round.

SIMPLE SYRUPS

Raw Honey Simple Syrup:

In a medium saucepan, combine 1-cup (340 g) honey with 1/2 cup (120 ml) water and simmer, mixing until the honey has dissolved. Let the mixture cool. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a month.

Ginger Honey Simple Syrup:

Make a batch of Raw Honey Simple Syrup. Add 1/4 cup (25 g) finely chopped fresh (preferably young) ginger. Pour the mixture into an airtight container, and let it steep in the fridge for a couple days. Strain before using. Use within 2 weeks. If it becomes frothy or speaks in pirate tongues, throw it out!

Spicy Ginger Honey Simple Syrup:

Make a batch of Raw Ginger Honey Simple Syrup, and add 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Pour the mixture into an airtight container, and let it steep in the fridge for a couple days. Strain before using. Use within 2 weeks. This can also be added to a glass of seltzer water, making ginger beer that you’ve never tasted before! Can you say Dark and….. STORMY?

Barrell Bourbon Batch 009

BATCH 009
BATCH 009

Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Distilled and aged in Tennessee and Kentucky

Crafted and bottled in Kentucky

112.10 proof cask strength bottling

Aged for 13 years in Char #4 American white oak barrels

Mash bill: 74% corn, 18% rye, 7% malted barley

FLAVOR NOTES

Neat

Appearance: Broiled apricot orange at the core and resplendent warm gold at the edges.  Sunlight reflecting off of burnished copper flashes across the surface leaving iridescent streaks with each swirl.

Nose: Slowly roasted exotic fruits like kiwi, coconut, and Satsuma orange swirled with smoked bergamot tea.  Herbed brown butter dripping over toasted brioche and northwest cherry

Palate: Lively and amusing across the palate, the mellow warmth makes this bourbon easy to enjoy.  Future sips touch all parts of the palate with broad strokes of thick clotted cream.  The glow of the 112.10 proof lurks just out of sight, a welcome but not distracting figure.

Finish: Oven dried stone fruit jam with a hint of citrus oils leads to Caribbean spices.  The multi-minute finish is reminiscent of sweet buttered carnival corn.

With a few drops of water

Bright sarsaparilla gives way to gooey apricot bread pudding fresh from the oven topped with rum soaked raisins.  Each taste leaves almond oil sticking to the back of your tongue.  The cool water spreads nuance and sophistication throughout each pleasurable sip.

Tasting Notes by Warren Bobrow, The Cocktail Whisperer