Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hello you rock. . .

i wanted to,
i tried--
i was hoping for 104 postings, something that would average out to 2 Posts a week, but . .
You sexy marvelous peoples-- thank you!
101 isn't bad-- and it isn't midnight--- HERE!!!
But HAPPY NEW YEARS!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

TRU2 ORGANIC GIN

Aromatic Mediterranean lavender, raffia and juniper lead the olfactory charge. On the palate these tones evolve to include an herbal bounty with an incredibly active mouth-feel that is nicely full bodied; the juniper shares center stage with citrus as each botanical reveals itself in turn to enhance the overall balance. The finish lingers in a complicated, recherché and deeply enjoyable manner.

I love the concepts that are employed by this company:

Organic: TRU spirits are certified organic, field to bottle.

The flavors are real infusions (infused by the owners, employees and friends) of whole, organic ingredients-- not extracts.

Ecological: The packaging is light and sustainable — everything is recycled, recyclable or biodegradable.

Renewable: They plant a tree for every bottle sold to replenish forests...and paper stocks.

There are so many simple ways to improve how we handle our environment, how about a drink made with scrumptious gin???

Landed TRUth

1 Part TRU2 Organic Gin
1 Part Charbay Green Tea Aperitif

Stir until chilled, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a frozen Pineapple chunk.

TRU Vesper (a take on a Bond Classic!)

3 oz TRU2 Organic Gin
1 oz TRU Organic Vodka (a fun substitute is the TRU Lemon Vodka)
1/2 oz Lillet Blanc

Stir until chilled, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lemon twist.

Bronx (A wonderful classic)

1 3/4 oz TRU2 Gin
1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz Carpano Antica
1/2 oz Fresh Orange Juice

Shake with ice & strain into a chilled Cocktail Glass Garnish with ½ of an Orange wheel

Bronx Terrace (A classic that needs to be revived)

1 1/2 oz TRU2 Gin
1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 tsp Simple syrup (adjust for personal preference)

Shake with ice & strain into a chilled Cocktail Glass Garnish with a lime sliver
For even more info, and cocktails try their website:Tru Organic Spirits


This is yet another that i have rescued from muddled post land...f

Charbay Aperitifs


CHARBAY Green Tea Aperitif leads with aromas of lychee nut, gun-powder green tea and citrus flowers that build to a tantalizing allure to drink. The palate entry is debonair and beguiling; silky and redolent, there are soft fruits (red pear, lychee, papaya) and green tea herbaceous earth tones carried with a vibrant tinge of Viognier or Verduzzo wine that amplify the lingering, luscious tastiness of this excellent aperitif.

The Charbay Green Tea Aperitif starts with High Quality Green Tea infused into an excellent dry white wine, until the tea nuances are perfectly extracted, then fresh papaya, and lemon juices are added to balance all of the flavors-sugars-acidity into harmony, and finally Charbay fortifies there aperitif with some of their gorgeous eau de vie bringing up to a healthy 21% alcohol. This wonderful by itself, in a Collins glass with ice with a mint sprig for a garnish; shaken and serve up in a cocktail glass with a lemon twist or lychee nut; in a pint glass half filled with lemonade... easy and versatile. Also this works exceptionally well in a cocktail, here are a couple:

2+1+1

2 oz Charbay Green Tea Aperitif
1 oz Charbay Vodka (a wonder in it's own right!)
1 oz Charbay Meyer Lemon Vodka

Stir until chilled, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a thin cucumber slice.

Porte-Cochère

2 Part Old Forester Bourbon
1 Part Charbay Green Tea Aperitif
Dash of Regan's Orange Bitters (optional)

Stir until chilled, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a Lychee Nut, or a Pear Slice

CHARBAY Pomegranate Aperitif is made by infusing organic Pomegranates into dry white wine until all the delicious fruit flavor is extracted and finally Charbay fortifies there aperitif with some of their gorgeous eau de vie to bring it up to a healthy 21% alcohol. The soft and fruity floral tone do not even begin to reveal the big berry flavors you are about to drink, but the do entice you, and invite you to drink; Then stunning, bright and full fruit flavors burst on you palate with a tart textural complexity that is saporous, and lip smacking good! With Raspberry, currant and black Cherry shades that Pomegranate encapsulates the flavors linger, fading with toothsome fruitiness and a clean tart finish. This one is as good simply by itself on the rocks; shaken and served in a cocktail glass with a twist; mixed with lemonade, or soda water-- super easy, but in Cocktails it rocks, here are a couple:

Portière

2 Part Old Forester Bourbon
1 Part Charbay Pomegranate Aperitif
Dash of Peychauds Bitters (optional)

Stir until chilled, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a Blackberry.

Cockaigne

1 Part Charbay Tahitian Vanilla Rum
1 Part Charbay Pomegranate Aperitif
Dash of Regan's Orange Bitters (optional)

Stir until chilled, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lemon wedge with juice squeeze in, and a brandied cherry.

Pomegranate Bubbles

1 Part Charbay Pomegranate Aperitif
1 Part Sparkling Wine
Pour, cold, into a flute-- awesome!

Garnish with whatever berries you have.( a great trick is adding frozen berries-- it will keep the drink nice and cold..)

For more info, and cocktails check out the Charbay website.

This is another write up i rescued from a previous write up...

TEQUILA FORTALEZA BLANCO


Aromas on the nose reveal baked agave and minerals that is both fleshy and earthy while bold and pungent. The taste is classic citrus pith, cardamom, white pepper and more minerals with a butter/oil back note. The mouth-feel is big, elegant and classy. It is rich and balanced-- the finish is clean, full and brisk with the slightest touch of sweet agave and bold spices.


This traditional, artisan, small batch tequila is from one of the oldest, royal families of tequila; it is made in one of the most erstwhile distillery's in tequila, utilizing the 'old' methods: slow roasting the agave, stone mill crush and a pot still!

Want to taste history... here is an opportunity knocking at your door.

For more info:

Tequila Fortaleza

or

Tequila Fortaleza

DON PILAR AÑEJO

DON PILAR AÑEJO
Exquisite, delicate and luxurious aromas of perfect-clean-well baked agave fill the nose-- so gorgeous-- it is like the agave is still alive and a fresh rain just washed it. On the palate it is bright, fresh and clean, with grapefruit zest, light soft spice, straw and coriander that are wonderfully good. The finish is long and classy, showing agave, delicate spice and virgin American oak--an amazing new tequila!

Goodness what a lovely, lovely tequila. Each and every sip reveal a new and equally subtle/sublime characteristic. This is a classic waiting to be discovered, savored and enjoyed.

The website is absolutely excellent. It shows each step of the process of production, with pictures, and details-- see for yourself: Don Pilar


**This was pulled out of a previous post as an attempt to clean up some of my messes..-f

Monday, December 28, 2009

Another New Cocktail . .

So my lover wanted to decorate the dining room table with a few 'pretty' bottles in case any cool people came by and the bottles that were chosen were: Beefeater 24, St Germain, Chambord, Bauchonts Liqueur Napoleon.
This leads to a new drink-- Looks like this:

FOTA

2 Oz Beefeater 24
1 Oz St Germain
3/4 - 1 Oz Chambord
(i peferred 3/4 Oz but both were good)

Stir with ice, strain into a chilled glass
Express the oils of a swath of orange zest
roll the zest and use as garnish

Add 2- 3 Drops Bittermans Aromatic Bitters

Une Idee Cocktail

i have never heard of this drink before this afternoon... Apparently it is French for 'An Idea' (the kind usually represented by a light bulb popping over your head. . . )
i was checking at cocktaildb.com if i was accidentally taking credit for an old recipe (see . . .) and i saw this one and said "i should make that!". So i did... and it was good...Une Idee Cocktail

3/4 oz gin
[i used Beefeater 24]
3/4 oz sweet vermouth
[Noilly Prat]
3/4 oz Cognac
[Park VS-gorgeous ...]
1/4 oz apricot flavored brandy
[Stock- from Italy- who knew?]

Stir in mixing glass with ice & strain
Serve in a cocktail glass

Just between us . . . i garnished this with a slice of chilled banana--
and it was awesome!

Here is a blurb i wrote about Beefeater 24 -- good stuff!:
Beefeater 24 was created by master distiller Desmond Payne. This gin features Chinese and Japanese style green teas plus grapefruit zest and Beefeaters traditional botanicals: juniper, angelica, coriander, liquorice, almonds, orris root, seville oranges, and lemon peel. These botanicals are steeped for 24 hours ('24') and then carefully distilled. On the nose, the show begins with a crisp citrus focus (white grapefruit pulp in the lead), clean soft juniper and the faintest hint of green tea. The palate is where the botanicals sparkle with vivacious flavors— citrus, coriander and delicate licorice— excitingly held together by mild juniper. Again, there is only an intimation of the tea which is more adequately expressed in the vibrant and savory mouth-feel. The finish is soft and round with a spicy, lingering aftertaste.

An afternoon delight . . .

So take an amazing Cognac- Park VS, and add a couple of wonderfully complex aperitif's- Cocchi Americano and Carpano Antica with a touch of Apricot Brandy to sweeten and boost the earthy richness and you have- A MIX OF GREATNESS:

A.M.O.G.

2 Oz Park VS Cognac
1 Oz Cocchi Americano
1 Oz Carpano Antiqua
1 Bar spoon Apricot Brandy

Stir and strain into a chilled Cocktail Glass
2 Dashes Reagans Bitters

Amazingly delicious, with a slight bitterness...
Try it and help me with the name....

A Scotch Drink #4

The forth dink in our series of installments based on a discussion with Chip about Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban is not a cocktail because there is no water added so i call it a "snifter' drink, if you know of a 'more correct' term please let me know. . .So here is #4:

Luxury in a Glass

2 1/2 Oz Quinta Ruban
(or a Nice Scotch)
Splash Frangelico
Splash Bauchant Liqueur Napoleon
(sub with a great Orange Liqueur)
Splash Luxardo Maraschino

Warm a Snifter with hot water
Dump water and add all ingredients
and serve Garnish with grated chocolate
(or Nutmeg)

A Splash is around 1/8 Oz, but let your nose be your guide . . .

Named by Chip (from the Rum Howler Blog) and no need for a translator this time.

A Scotch Cocktail #3

The third cocktail in this series from a discussion with Chip about Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban was a bit of a lark that turned out to be a really tasty drink... (which when i looked --in preparation of this post-- i found a Bill Orr Cocktail that is kind of close on cocktaildb.com but i think the Luxardo pushes it into another drink all together so . .
as far as installments, here is the third:

Quinta Morangie Cocktail

2 Oz Quinta Ruban
1/4 Oz Luxardo Maraschino
3/4 – 1 Oz Fresh Orange Juice

Stir w/ cracked ice until chilled, Strain into Cocktail Glass
Garnish with Multiple Strips of Orange zest and a dash of Boker’s Bitters

Also named by Chip (aka Arctic Wolf), i reached out to google translate once again and noticed that Quinta also means 'fifth' (as in the fifth interval in Western music-- which is also called 'the dominant' because it solidly resolves to and from whichever tone it is referring to), and Morangie Translates -Tanquility. So here we can infer a meaning of: "The dominant, or resolution to tarnquility" as a good translation of 'Quinta Morangie'. This drink is fresh, intricate, delicate and well suited as an aperitif cocktail.

A Scotch Cocktail #2

The second cocktail from my discussion with Chip about Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban led me to a special spot in my heart: Cocktails with Sparkling Wine...
So, as an installment, here is the second:

Quinta Vino

1 1/2 Oz Quinta Ruban
1/4 Oz Luxardo Maraschino
1/4 Oz Bauchant Liqueur Napoleon
-sub Gran Gala, Grand Marnier, Royal Montaigne
1 1/2 – 2 Oz Sparkling Wine
*opt* Fee's Aromatic Bitters

Stir w/ cracked ice until chilled, Strain into Chilled Flute
Garnish w/ a twisted- thin cut- Orange Slice

This name is also straight from the mind of Chip, so i used google translate again and found out that Quinta also means villa, so there that is-- we got that going for us. This drink is wonderful, light, refreshing and still complex. Also, don't be afraid of using a less expensive Scotch (but feel free to go big!).

A Scotch Cocktail #1

Discussing (via e-mail) Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban, with my good pal (and fellow booze blogger) Chip (his review here . . ), i was encouraged to mix up a cocktail with said nectar. It was so easy to mix i came up with 3 and a 'Snifter' drink... So, in installments, here is the first:

Quinta Cheri Amour

2 1/4 Oz Quinta Ruban
1/2 Oz Cherry Herring
1/4 Oz Gran Gala
Stir w/ cracked ice until chilled, Strain into Cocktail Glass
Express the oils of a flamed orange zest
Garnish with rolled zest and a cherry
*opt* add dash of Peychauds Bitters

The name, in all of its glory, is straight out of the mind of Chip, so i can't give any details on it (tho i find it wonderfully hilarious...). The drink is tasty. i tried it again with Lismore 100 proof and it still was very good, so don't be afraid of using a less expensive Scotch (but go ahead and splurge-- why not?). The "Quinta" in the name would then apply to the the draft, or a conscription of sorts (quinta, in Spanish), thus implying that the name is saying "come here my gorgeous lover" or something like that..

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Thursday Drink Night . . .

So TDN was a blast, the theme was Retro Free-For-All. Here are the drinks that i made up . . .

Goulet

1 1/2 Oz Bols Genever
1 Oz Stock Orange Fernet
(sub 1/2 Gran Gala, 1/2 Fernet)
1 Oz Charbay Dessert Wine (White Port)
1/2 oz Apricot Brandy
Stir Strain into Chilled Cocktail Glass
Garnish With a Brandied Cherry

The garnish in the photo is a Lychee, but a Brandied Cherry works better. The name was inspired from Will Ferrell impersonation of Robert Goulet that was on in the background when i made the drink...

The Possum Slide

2 1/2 Oz Camus Vs
1/2 Oz Blackbery Liqueur
1/2 Oz Sweet Vermouth

Stir Strain into Chilled Cocktail Glass
2 Drop's Boker's Bitters Garnish With 3 Brandied Cherries

The name for this drink came from a possum sliding along the telephone wires in my back yard.

The Classic

2.25oz Camus VS
1/4oz Orange Fernet
(1/2 Fernet-1/2 Orange Liqueur)
1/4oz Apricot Brandy
Stir Strain into Chilled Cocktail Glass
Garnish w/Lemon Zest

i just threw out this name-- who knows why?

So if you are on the web this Thursday night, looking for a drink, come on by Thursday Drink Night [TDN]. and say hello (or if you just want to see the drinks, go here. . . -).

Friday, December 18, 2009

Flor de Caña 18

Flor de Caña is from one of the most decorated Rum distilleries (Ministry of Rum info Page is loaded with info..)in the world, and it has been that way for over a hundred years. With that legacy in mind, the 18 Year Centenario is the tip-top of their range and quite an accomplished spirit. The nose leads with wet mahogany, candied pear, dark caramel, dried fig, tanned leather, rope, tropical fruit and tea chest. The aromas evolve on the palate to include roasted nuts, black strap molasses, Ibarra chocolate (Mexican style), dried brown spices and charred oak that deliver an earthy-dry-full of flavor libation . . . it is complex and recherché. It finishes with characteristically dry elan and relish showing clean vegetal tones, dried fruit, oak spices, smoky warmth and vanilla. This is a serious rum to enjoy neat, with ice or in a rum focused beverage.

So my good pal Chip from the excellent blog, The Rum Howler and i have been e-mailing back and forth about Spirits in general and he mentioned he was going to post a review of Flor de Caña 18 { click the link to read it!} and wanted to include a cocktail. He had an idea and asked me what i thought?? So i tweaked his idea a bit and this is what we came up with:

El Padrino

2 Oz Flor de Cana 18
1 Oz Amaretto (i used Luxardo)
1/8 Oz Fresh Lemon Juice

Method:
Build on Ice in Small Rock Glass
Garnish With a Thin Slice of Lemon

Some notes on on the 'drink': Any of you who are "Cocktail Recipe" gifted will recognize that this is QUITE obviously a play on a Godfather and that play is pushed even further by the name (El Padrino is 'The Godfather' in Spanish-- i know what you are thinking-- Clever-- yeah!); all of that aside let's look at 'Duo' cocktails in general, using this drink as an example: A duo, basically is a drink with 2 main ingredients-- wow, i know there is a point coming... Everyone has a 'prefered' style of drink-- the 'duo' style drink is perfect for them because it is a simple series of tweaks to make the drink perfect for any person, the 2 main components for El Padrino are F dC 18, and Amaretto: The Rum is stronger, drier, more complex, while Amaretto is Sweeter, Milder, creamier,nutty-- etc. . Both flavors control the drink, if you prefer your drink Drier, more complex, etc. use more Rum, or conversely-- if you in the mood for something sweeter, milder, creamier add more Amaretto--easy. So the range of measurements could easily be 1 Part FdC 18 to 1 Part Amaretto, 2 Parts FdC 18 to 1 Part Amaretto or 3 Parts FdC 18 to 1 Part Amaretto (my personal favorite) leaving the citrus where it is at there just to brighten and balance the drink.

Now before i wrap this up, let me mention something else that is totally obvious: Amaretto matters! If you are using a nice Rum like FdC 18 in your drink, do it the service of adding ingredients of comparable quality, i used Luxardo Amaretto, a wonderful Almond based Amaretto (you'd be surprised most Amaretto's are not "Almond" based...) since i have rambled a bit here is a great review of Luxardo at Spirit's Review, by Chris Carlsson, i would rate it higher but his review is dead on!..

Maybe we could do an informal survey: What is your favorite ratio in the El Padrino? Comments are welcome!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Twas the Night before last . . .

Twas the Punch Before X-Mas Contest.

Great time was had by all, and by all a good night.

i originally submitted a punch that was cut in the first round (i think it was because they didn't have any of the ingredients to make the punch and try it in its glory, you try it . . ) here is the recipe:

Punch L.A. TRU Flora

[3 Parts] 12 Oz Fresh Lemon Juice (Zest first and put into punch)
[2 Parts] 8 Oz Fruit Lab Crism (Hibiscus Liqueur)
[2 Parts] 8 Oz Fruit Lab Theia (Jasmine Liqueur)
[2 Parts] 8 Oz Fresh Orange Juice (Zest first and put into punch)
[6 Parts] 24 Oz TRU Gin (i like mine stronger so i'd say [8 Parts] 32 Oz)
[2 Parts] 8 Oz Double Strength Chamomile Tea (4 Bags/ at least 5 Minutes)
[12 Parts] 2 Bottles of Sparkling wine

Mix everything but the Bubbly and chill at least 2 Hours
allowing flavors to marry. . .

Pour into Punch Bowl with frozen berries/fruit (freeze whatever you have into plastic cups packed with fruit and topped with clean water),
At last possible moment add 2 Bottles of Chilled Sparkling Wine

Ladle into a punch cup with a mint sprig In the bottom
Dash Regan's Orange Bitter on top

Awesome.

But since i was cut, i was free to make Chris Bostick's Punch (he could not make it). The glorious bowl was named: Punch You In The Eye, and it was delicious.

The winner of the night was Chuck from looka (the ever gracious and benevolent Chuck has posted the winning recipe with exciting commentary-- read it here...), and
The peoples choice was Zach Patterson from STK...

A great time and everyone's punch was awesome!
The other Punches were created by:

Jason from 320 Main,
Blair (who is Trader Tiki . .) and
Chris Bostick from The Varnish..

And of course there was yummy Kraken Hot Buttered Rum provided by Malo and Kraken-- definitely a great evening and fun times...

Thanks to Rumdood, Malo Catina and Kraken for a fantastic, fun night!

** as i find or get the recipes approved, i will post them!

Another awesome recap from Thirsty In LA-- WITH PICTURES!! Check it out...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Oso del Feugo

Here is a drink that i made up the other evening at TDN. The theme was Allspice Dram-- which i love there were an amazing assortment of drink presented (CREATED) and a jovial sense of convivial exchange.. So if you are on the web on Thursday night, and you are looking for some fun cocktails pop into Thursday Drink Night [TDN]. and say hello (or if you just want to see the drinks, go here. . . -).
So here is the drink i squeezed in:

Oso del fuego

1 3/4 Oz Laphroaig 1/4 Cask (sub: Peaty Scotch)
1 1/4 Oz Allspice Dram
1/2 Oz Fernet Branca
3/4 Oz Bouchant Orange (sub: orange liqueur)

Stir strain into chilled glass
Garnish with flamed orange Peal.

Usually i reserve my Quarter Cask for sipping, but inspiration struck so who am i to argue. Oso del Fuego, the bear of Fire-- that is how it translates-- i am not sure how that name popped into my head, but i like it. The drink is rich and spicey with delicate sweet orange note and smoke.. Pretty tasty. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

This more of a heads up--

Really, i just read (and re-read some earlier posts) a post on "Cocktail Science: Does Crushed Ice Dilute More?" on the 'Cooking Issues' blog and it was glorious. Something i have always believed, but never was willing to argue about-- these wonderful folks have scientifically proven. If you make drinks you should check them out..

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Evan Williams Black Label

Well if you are looking for it-- Evan Willams Black is an AMAZING value (i think i paid $15.99 for my 1.75). On the nose There is stewed fruit, clean smoke and hints of caramelized corn in a leather bowl. The flavor follows suit in an oily mouth-feel building to articulate mellow baking spices, caramel and vanilla with a slight vegetable bitterness at the back palate that adds a nice bit of complexity to fun and simple whisky. The finish is of a medium duration and enjoyable. This is a solid bourbon. If you factor in the incredible deal-- This stuff is awesome.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Root Organic Liqueur

'Art in The Age' ROOT is based on old Root Tea medicinal infusions that date back to the 1700s where settlers learned of the value of these North American herbs from the Native Americans (talk about Thanksgiving! ). Because of the purifying and preservative power of alcohol, it was added to the herbs and then finally . . . a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down. 100% organic neutral grain spirit mixed with roots, herbs, spices, citrus and pure cane sugar-- this stuff is delicious!. The nose is sweet with birch, mint, oily spices and sugarcane honey. Flavors move on your palate bouncing it seems from the Wintergreen, and then with delicate . . . finesse birch, vanilla, citrus, clove and allspice in a bed of clean sweet taste reveal themselves. On the finish everything resolves and finally the smoked tea shines clearest here as does the nutmeg. A masterful achievement and a joy to drink--terrific neat and even better with ice, also amazing used in a great cocktail.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

St James Cocktail

i was re-reading an old cocktail book and i came across the St James Cocktail . . . Now, i must have made it-- but. . . things do slip.
So i hunted down my Saint James Rhum Agricole to taste again ( before making the cocktail) and all i had was the Hors d'Age . . which frankly is delicious --so good i would 'rarely' use it in a cocktail-saving it for sipping, but my mind was set..

1 1/4 Oz Saint James Rhum
(i used 2 1/4 Oz-- it was the Hor d'Age--i wanted it to lead!)
1 1/4 Oz Orange Juice-Fresh
1/4 Oz Orange Curacao
(i Used Bouchants in one and Grand Gala
in the other and both were magnificent.)
1/4 Oz Gin (Martin Miller Westbourne Strength-- Hellz yeah!)
Shake with ice and strain
Serve in a Chilled cocktail glass
(i also liked it Garnished with a flamed Orange peel and Some bitters
Bokers and Peychauds both were great for totally different reasons.)

This is a great drink- Tasty. Apparently it was invented by Conrad Rosenow who i found very little info on, but hey he made this drink so he is a good dude in my book.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Appleton 30

Only 1,440 bottles of Appleton Estate 30 Year Old were made. . . and i sampled from 2 of them! This rum started as exquisite distillate from Appleton, aged for 8 years-- was blended and then laid down for another 22 years--to emerge as a a masterful achievement in balance and gracious flavors. On the nose there is orchard blossoms, golden apples stewed with maple, cinnamon, ginger, cedar and candied orange zest delicately buttressed by vanilla. The palate is much lighter than i expected from the nosing, but the flavors are intricate iterations of the aroma—presented with flowers, oxidized fruit, dark wood tones, voluptuous baking spices and creamy caramel/vanilla. The finish clings, showing molasses, maple, soft spice and sumptuous oak nuances. This is exquisite rum.

Ron Millonario Solera 15 Reserva Especial

Ron Millonario, Solera 15, Reserva Especial is distilled from select molasses, fermented with specially adapted yeast, in Scottish column stills and then aged in a four stage Solera system that takes 15 years to complete, and utilizes both American and Slovenian Oak, Ron Millonario prides itself on ‘bringing together old and modern techniques, and uniting art, science and tradition’. Aromas of prune, allspice, dates, nutmeg, cloves, balsam, Demerara sugar and dried-fig build to also show caramel, candied tree fruits, maple, butter toffee and molasses—each carving a marvelous invitation to taste. The palate is full with treacle, sweet tea, Lazarakia, mince tart, Panettone, Marzipan, toffee bathed in a lovely sweetness that washes the palate but maintains a clean, salient limpidity. The simple mouth-feel reveals dried fruits, caramel, fig custard, sultanas and butterscotch. All this leads to a solid finish, with lovely balance that articulates in a gentle fade that is rich with excellent palate activity. This is deeply enjoyable Rum and it comes in a sassy package that may remind you of another Rum bottle from the past ...

The Puritan Cocktail

The Puritan Cocktail is a a wonderful old school cocktail to mix one up the recipe looks like this:

1 3/4 oz gin
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1 dash orange bitters
Stir in mixing glass with ice & strain
Serve in a cocktail glass

Gorgeous drink, really.. but-- i always make it this way, and call it:

A Green Puritan with 2 Cherries

2 oz gin
3/4 oz dry vermouth
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
2-3 dash orange bitters
Stir in mixing glass with ice & strain
Serve in a cocktail glass, Garnish with 2 Brandied Cherries.

Truly a lovely drink.

[last one i made was with Martin Miller Westbourne for the Gin, Noilly Prat for the Vermouth and Reagans for the Bitters-- This was AMAZING, but i always mix it up]

Friday, November 13, 2009

Balvenie 17 Madeira


Every year, Malt Master David Stewart, searches out a different cask type to mature a new expression of The Balvenie for limited release. Sixth in a line of extraordinary Release’s, the Balvenie Madeira 17 has set a new unbelievable benchmark for this style of Scotch. It is harmonious, balanced, luxurious and exceptionally rewarding. The sublime matrimony of dried fruit and baking spice begins deftly articulated on the nose, where aromas play, supported by rich grain nuance, honey and oily roasted nuts. On the palate the show really lights up, dried blackberry (and the flowers from the bush), caramel, Mirabelle plum, apple, dried berries, honey, sultana and vanilla spiced with nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon backed up with toasted buckwheat and nuts. The finish is supple, protracted, vibrant and clean showing more oily nuts and clean baking spice. This exemplary whisky is a brilliant display of balanced flavors—each one shining in its moment gloriously and miraculously revealing wave after wave of saporous delights. Grab this whisky quickly, and try it neat— you’ll be glad you did.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Woodford Reserve Seasoned Oak Finish

The Woodford Reserve's, Masters Collection bottling demonstrates ‘one-of-a-kind’ bourbon from a ‘very-limited’ production, created to reveal a single- unique and intrinsically ‘experimental’ aspect as an evolution on the normally excellent Woodford Reserve.

‘Seasoned Oak Finish’ is the fourth release in the series of limited-edition Masters Collection line and it is easily [one of] the best. The whiskey has been finished in barrels made from wood that has been seasoned 12 times longer than average and it shows marvelously. The wood spice is deeply evidenced on every aspect of the whiskey; the nose each nuance is balance and interwoven— Oolong tea, toffee, brown bread, caramel and roasted nuts with miner dried fruit in the background. The flavors on the palate are more categorized, richer flavors lead with treacle, quince, black cherry, caramel and dried plum, only to be followed by dryer tones of mahogany, tea, leather, cocoa, tobacco and a plethora of intricate spices (cinnamon, clove, caraway) that escalate as they articulate to a saporous dawdling finish that leaves you smacking your lips for more.

To explain what the whole ‘Seasoned Oak Finish’ is: typically the oak for whiskey barrels are ‘seasoned’ for only three to five months— the staves and head pieces are allowed to dry naturally (to get rid of excess moisture and excessive tannin). As an experiment the cooper’s for Woodford Reserve aged a batch of staves and head pieces for at least 3 years, and as long as 5 years (getting rid of even more of the moisture and tannins—allowing more subtle and delicate wood tones to shine through), to then make barrels from it, and instead of charring them (the normal practice for Bourbon) they just toasted them (to draw the ‘subtle’ characteristics to the surface).
Then they took mature Woodford Reserve bourbon, aged the normal seven or eight years, and put it in these special barrels for an additional 8 months. The resulting whiskey is by far the most exceptional offering yet from the Masters Collection.
The resulting effect on the whiskey demonstrates ‘wood’ influences well beyond the age; definitely what i'd call a successful experiment.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ardbeg Corryvreckan


This a review I wrote for Hi-Time about the newest expression of Ardbeg, which is called The Corryvreckan! (the Photo is courtesy of David Layden)

Corryvreckan's nose is provocatively inviting with full-bodied, intense and vigorous aromas that lead with fleshy smoke, straw, dried crab-apple, roasted pecans, candied lemon, golden raisins, dates and caramel prolifically articulating while delicate verbena and fennel waft in the background to create an enticing invocation of scents. These aromas, so tantalizing and full, resolve with deliberation on the palate—they are vital and meditative; these supple flavors are joined by sea salt, dry vegetal tones, vibrant pepper nuance and the peaty-beauty intensifies. The finish lingers blessedly and includes smoke—cured back—bacon, mesquite, camphor with rich honey tones, tree—fruit and roasted oily- nuts to an earthy quiet fade.

Like everything that Ardbeg makes, Corryvreckan is impressive, a welcomed extension to an amazing line up of wonderful whisky— each one exciting, contemplative, and vibrant.

The Corryvreckan takes its name from a famous whirlpool to the north of Islay (one of the world's largest natural whirlpool); the name is derived from the legend of a Norse Prince, who sailed into the whirlpool to express his undying love for a princess before being dragged in. Trapped within only to be rescued by the Goddess guardian of the whirlpool (Cailleach Bheur) who, in turn, falls in love with him; To see a wonderful animated version of the story check out the video clip below (it is awesome!) that was produced by Ardbeg to celebrate the Committee release of Corryvreckan.



There are more shenanigans afoot at Ardbeg . . .

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

320 Main


On Sunday, i went out with a friend (Matt Robold-aka RumDood) to chat about a project that we are working on; there was place both of us had wanted to check out in Seal Beach called 320 Main. So we gathered our significant others and met up in Seal Beach, a block away from the Ocean, in this stylish, classy quaint little Restaurant/Lounge. Honestly, we were hopeful... Matt and i had met Jason at a mixology competition that we had judged a few months prior and the drink he made was wonderful (he has now perfected it and it is on the Cocktail Menu-- it is the 'Scintillator' every judge was amazed at the drink-- pop in and try one!); Jason mentioned 320 and said we should check it out.
A couple months pass and here we are finally trying it out... Holy mole is this place fantastic!
First off-- great ambiance... comfy bar, well-disposed people, nice private booths, quick friendly staff (always smiling means they must like working there!) the only drawback for me ( i know it is only me...) was the TV.
Second-- great service.. we sat down at the bar and as we were making our greetings a glass of water and a drink menu magically appeared-- before i was completely situated-- awesome! Now mind you it was a Sunday night, and it was early (5:30PM) but there was a good crowd (not packed but healthy) already i was feeling good about this place the smells coming out of the kitchen were amazing. 1st Drink was a 'Scintillator' (Like i said...it is a tasty drink) Jason recommended starters--which brings me to--
Third-- The food is incredible! The starters were-- Braised Rolard for the Meat eaters and Mac&Cheese for the Vegetarians (see menu here . . ) both of which were exquisite, delectable and perfectly plated! Even the meat eaters were impressed with the Mac&Cheese-- it is easily the best i have ever had--and (being the one of the Vegi's) i have had a lot! i had a bunch more drinks including The best Mai Tai i have ever had in a bar, a yummy Aviation, a Great Apfel with Beefeater 24, a stunning Bourbon Crusta Made with Hirsch Small batch, another new drink that Jason is working on called 'Bizarro' (which is delicious but he isn't settled on the recipe yet so i wont divulge any details) there were more but the we ordered more appetizers and they were: Eggs Mimosa, Duck Fries, Bruschetta and Mushroom Flat Bread. EVERY THING WAS TERRIFIC! i have no idea how you can make it to an entree (with starters as delectable as this) but we are going to plan our food better next time in an attempt to get to at least one 'Main' course.

There were wondrous drinks, and glorious grub shared by friends in a wonderfully comfortable environment... this place gets my highest recommendation!! it is absolutely top notch; try it for yourself at your earliest convenience.
i didn't have a camera so i stole the pictures from 320Main St, i figured they wouldn't mind....

Monday, October 26, 2009

MXMO- Vermouth!-- The Blue Boy Cocktail.


Well i didn't catch a whiff of MXMO until the last minute, but being a huge fan of Aromatized wine-- it was easy motivation!

This month is hosted by Cocktailians and the Subject/invocation was:"challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to present a delectable vermouth cocktail for us all to drool over. ". .

Well let's say-- the hardest part was choosing!

i have dozens of original cocktails featuring obscure aromatized wine, and a library bursting with wonderful concoctions that tantalize and titillate. . .

For boldness and craft i first looked to The Boothby Manhatten (or Cocktail-- however you like..)
1.5 Oz Whiskey
3/4 Oz Sweet Vermouth
A Dash each of Orange and Angostura Bitter's
Stir in mixing glass with ice & strain
With a floater of Bubbles (Sparkling Wine. . .) on top (about an oz)
Garnish w/ a Cherry).
Celebrate With 'Cocktail' Boothby..

But i wavered... My friend and compatriot in Rum-- the RumDood himself posted his
post on The Palmetto Cocktail ... Made me think of an old favorite of mine...

The Blue Boy

1 1/2 oz light rum
3/4 oz sweet vermouth
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 dash orange bitters
Stir in mixing glass with ice & strain
Serve in a cocktail glass

and rather than tinker, i manipulated the recipe with ingredients...
For the rum i use Olo Silver rum ( a Brazilian rum that has a full spicy mouth-feel and a creamy clean finish).
The vermouth was a brand-spanking new bottle of Carpano Antica Formula (mmMMmMmmmMmMm..)
Angostura was called for by name, but for the Orange i pulled out Regan's!!
-- yes indeedy, this is a delicious drink!

Friends, tho there is no 'need' for a garnish, but this drink can be further lifted with a lemon twist-- i am just mentioning it-- merely a point of view..

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cantaloupe Julius

Sorry i didn't post this earlier...
Square One Botanical Vodka is a glorious base, fun, aromatic and subtle!!
Not only that but the company cares about the world. 'Nuf said.

That is awesome; the owner and the ambassador [H!!] showed up for TDN and made drinks with us---ASTOUNDING!!
They were super nice too, which frankly can't hurt!
So here is a drink from TDN Square One Botanical 2 weeks ago:

Cantaloupe Julius:

2oz Square One Botanical
4 1" Cubes of Organic Cantaloupe Muddled
1 Barspoon Organic Agave Nectar
.5oz Lemon Juice
1 Whole Organic Egg
Dry Shake
Ice Shake
[*Double}Strain into chilled
3d Regan Orange Bitters
Garnish Cantaloupe slice
Fresh Nutmeg

*don't use a tea strainer for this- you will be
there long enough to warm the drink up--i used
a hawthorn and a Julip strainer.. Worked fine.

This drink is YUMMY!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Curtis 2003 Roussanne

Really this post is about guilt...i am working on some citrus bitters and i was at the stage where i simmer the infusion matter to release more complicated nuance into the bitters (the peel's and spice after it has soaked in spirit for a few weeks..). Also i have been toying with using wine as a compound flavoring component-- so here is the guilty part: i decided to use this wine i found in my fridge that i have no idea where i got it from for this purpose-- simmering the 'left-overs' in wine, it was a Curtis 2003 Roussanne. So before i put anything in my-- well anything, i taste it to see if it is even worth using or how i should use it or whatever...So i tasted this 2003 Roussanne (that is old for a white wine...) and IT WAS AMAZING!!! Bracing acidity, buttressed by delicate FRESH chamomile tones, damiana flower and lemon verbena.. that all play in a wonderfully balanced crispness finishing clean with delicate fruit and clean exotic flowers--- i am so bad . . . i used it . . . Well i am going to look for another bottle hoping that i can afford it and that the wonderful delicate goodness shows through in my bitters...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mixology Monday-- Dizzy Dairy


The hosts for this round of MxMo are the good folks over at eGullet (led by group manager Chris Amirault), and the topic Chris has chosen is Dizzy Dairy. In his words:

` Any drink using a dairy product is fair game: milk, cream, eggs, butter, cheese, `yogurt, curds, you name it. Given the importance of dairy products in drinks dating `back centuries, there are lots of opportunities for digging through vintage receipts `for a taste of the past, and as always innovation is highly encouraged.

So i had no idea about MXMO this month, i checked early on and there was nada so.... Luckily i read rumdood's blog and he posted his offering....
So anyways, this drink was made up a couple of weeks ago. i had some mini's of Catdaddy, Carolina Moonshine and i was wondering what to do with them-- then my lover asked me for a 'creamy chocolate sort of drink' and i whipped this up... It was a hit. So here is the recipe (makes 2-- of course):
The CCC
(Creamy Chocolate Catdaddy)

3 1/2 Oz Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine
2 Oz TMD Chocolate Liqueur (or Sub)
3-4 Tbsp of Chocolate Yogurt
depending on how creamy you want your drink-- i used 3)
Stir, dry shake, add ice and shake till chilled
Strain into Chilled Glass,
Garnish with 2 Brandied Cherries
(as symbols of your love)
Add 3-4 Dashes Fee's Aztec Chocolate Bitters

This a tasty little treat-- not nearly as sweet as you'd expect.. The 'nutmeg' (??) from the Catdaddy, and the 'sourness' of the yogurt balance all of the creamy sweet chocolate and make this a delicious, surprisingly balanced drink.
Have a dessert and a cocktail-- at the same time.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bruichladdich . . .Need i say more?

So everyone knows i work at Hi Time Wine Cellars. . . Place is awesome, but most of you know that too.. Today, for our illumination the Bruichladdich brought some Whisky by to try . . .
Impressive isn't it... These pictures are by Tobin Sharp, but let me crop it and try to show you a close up...Jeez, that doesn't even really help. i'll split it in two:Well suffice it to say, sitting around that table, with friends, compatriots-- fellow lovers of whisky, all of us were duly impressed and partially stunned by the OVER-All Quality of Bruichladdich Whisky-- the WHOLE line.. Good stuff, try it if you get a chance (make a chance if you have to!).

Oh yeah as a side note while putting this post together i had PC6, PC7, Octomore, Bruichladdich 15 Year 2 Ed--courtesy of my pal David.., to help get me in 'the mood'...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Gran Duque De Alba

Gran Duque De Alba is what i am drinking tonight and here is a write up that i wrote for Hi Time Wine Cellars newsletter:
>>>
Gran Duque De Alba is a graceful and magnificent example of Brandy de Jerez. This fabulously balanced 10 year old brandy, is aged in American oak casks that previously held Oloroso Sherry in a closely monitored Solera style. The aromas of honeyed wood, subtle spices, plum and prune will render you contemplative while invoking you to imbibe. The mouth-feel is a relaxed suave texture with complimentary flavors that hint at Brazil nuts, almond milk and ripe fruit that linger to give a foreground for elusive nuances of basil, and soft rosemary drenched in honey. All of these niceties merge homogeneously and patiently disperse into a smooth finish indicative of a truly great brandy.
<<<
-- Here is a picture 'as evidence' . . ..
GDDA is amazing-- i love it! i am finishing (have finished) my bottle tonight. When you 'review' stuff it seems 'lame' to gush--- but i LOVE THIS BRANDY! [send me more?].
So how about a drink? and do have an awesome weekend!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fun Stuff...

A friend was in town the other day and left me a few mini's of some wonderful little fun things... One in an aromatized wine caled Cocchi Americano in a similar vein to Lillet, but 'spicier'. Eric Flannestad wrote about it and did a great job... sooOooo . . .

Another thing was the Rothman & Winter Orchard Cherry.... Tasty....Works great in drinks . . .
So i tasted them and immediately my head went to drinks-- so here is one:


Cherry Americano. . .

2 Oz Gin
1/2 Oz R&W Orchard Cherry
1/2 Oz Cocchi Americano
Stir to chill, strain into chilled Glass
Garnish with Cherries...


So if you find these. . . Try them!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mixoloseum

Well as usual, i spent Thursday Evening at TDN [Thursday Drink Night!!]. It is basically a consortium of Mixologists, from all over, that get together and 'riff' on a theme spirit... Tonights theme was -- Tequila! Here the 3 i squeezed in...


Garden Floor
3oz Blanco Tequila
3/4oz Forest Floor Bitter
2 1 Inch cubes of cantaloupe (muddled),
Dash agave nectar,
1/4oz Lemon Juice
Shake, strain, Chilled Cocktail Glass


Chocolate Orange
2oz Blanco Tequila
1oz La Pinta Pomegranate
1/2oz Fee's Aztec Chocolate
1/2oz OJ
Shake, strain, Chilled Cocktail Glass
Garnish=Orange Twist




Orange Ponies
2 Oz Blanco
1 3/4 Oz OJ
3/4 Oz Peychauds
Garnish w/ cherries
Shake, strain into hollowed orange


Well there are some fun ones...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Berentzen ApfelKorn

So here it is-- Berentzen ApfelKorn... Frankly, i think it is 'highly un-necessary' to write this stuff up.. Suffice it to say: IT IS DELICIOUS! It Tastes like 'perfectly ripened' Gala apples with a touch of Karo Syrup on top-- or in a word GORGEOUS! The thing that still surprises me after all of these years is how aromatic it is... So lovely is the apple smell you believe you can take a bite-- and the flavors follow suit. i love this stuff and i think you are doing your bar a dis-service if you don't have it there-- EVEN IT IS ONLY FOR SHOTS. . . . but the Mix-ability quotient on this is super good...i have had big luck with Gin, TEQUILA (come on you know that is a surprise...), whiskey and of course Vodka[this was an original ingredient in a drink that we have all heard of...]-- it is wonderfully mixable! Here is an example that i threw together on a whim:

Eleven (do you know why?)

2.5 Oz George Dickel #8
1 Oz Berentzen ApfelKorn
3-4 Fee's Barrel Aged Bitters

Stir and Strain... Garnish with an Apple Slice ( if you have one...)

Here is another one... ( i couldn't resist...)

2 Shot Gin
1 Shot Berentzen ApfelKorn
2-3 Dashes Fee's Lemon Bitters

Stir and Strain into chilled glass, garnish with Fresh Apple Slice, or Lemon Twist..

Monday, September 14, 2009

Diplomatico Blanco

Well, i just got a bottle of Diplomatico Blanco Rum and my my is it good. Diplamatico is one of the absolute sure bet's in the rum world and the Blanco does not disappoint. The blanco was handcrafted in Venezuela and before gracing my lovely bottle it went through 4 distillations, five filtration (the last one to take the color out of it) and an extensive aging (more than 6 years). i've been trying it straight (in my tasting glass) so here are some observations:

Aromas
Luscious delectable tropical fruit nuance is tangibly vibrant on the nose, leading with pineapple. coconut, lemon zest (really lemony lemon cake--yum), sultana, quince and vervain that is deeply evocative and highly enjoyable.

Taste
Suspended in a silky weighted spirit that is elegantly smooth are flavors as exquisite as the aromas were-- fresh cardamom, clean coriander, citrus blossoms and nonfat lemon yogurt. . so tasty.

Finish
An exceptional, debonair demonstration that passes cleanly with traces of fruit, minerals and soft spice calmly and warmly dissipating with daedal finesse.

As recherche as this rum is on its own, i thought i would try it in a drink. . .
So i made up this one:


Berry Nut Diplomat. . .

2 ½ Oz Diplomatico Blanco
i Tsp Blackberry Jam
½ Oz Ferrara Orzata (Orgeat)

Shake with Ice, strain into Chilled Cocktail Glass.
Dash of Peychauds--


Then i tried it in an Oldie but goody . .


Blue Boy Cocktail

2 Oz Diplomatico Blanco
1 Oz Sweet Vermouth (used a Bianco-less sweet)
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 dash orange bitters

Chill with Ice, strain into Chilled Cocktail Glass.


The verdict is..... tasty! Very versatile, wonderfully smooth and extremely good in a 'rum focused' cocktail (a Daiquiri anyone, or perhap a Berry Nuts Diplomat??)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Square One Botanical Vodka. . .

So a good buddy got me a bottle of Square One Botanical Vodka (Thanks Joey!). So i have tried it straight (a few times), in drinks as a 'Regular' vodka substitute (with amazing results!) and just messing and making stuff up. . . You know what... it is good. There i said it-- i like it! Starting with their great base vodka they naturally infuse 8 different organic botanicals (rose, chamomile, lemon verbena, lavender, coriander, citrus peel, pear and rosemary) resulting in a spirit that is deeply floral, with lingering complexity in the background. It is a beguiling and effulgent mixture of organic fruit, flowers and herbs that is choreographed to demonstrate enamoring aromatics and extend tantalizing flavors. . . It accomplishes that. The downside. . . it is spendy... but so many good things are!
A drink i just made up (and was enough to finally get me to write this review) looks like:

Venus Inferred

2.5 Oz Square One Botanical Vodka
1 Oz Canton Ginger
Stirred and strained into a chilled glass
Express and flame an Orange zest over it
Garnish with a LARGE Spiral Zest of Orange
and 3-4 Dashes of Boker's Bitters...

Boker's Bitters

That is right all you cocktailians--i got some!! Hah! (Thanks again to the smuggler-- that guy is going to cocktail nirvana!)
So first off my good friend shows up at my primary place of employ and finds me in the 'back' tasting area (i had just tasted --- something who knows?? oh yeah more vodka-- Smirnoff Pear and Pineapple-- the Pear. . . well lets just say it misses its potential-- The pineapple is workable-- a little more 'canned' tasting than say Skyy <#1> or Van Gogh<#2>-- but decent if you are looking for that sort of thing..) but back to the case in point .... i got BOKER'S BITTERS!!!
So i wa drinking some water (for obvious reasons...) and my pal shows up with these bitters. . . i couldn't even wait -- after lustfully examining the excellent package (hey we all look-- i am just man enough to admit it!), i cracked the seal and dropped a teaspoon into my tasting glass----wow...The aromas were vibrant, and visceral with darker 'roasted' baking spices, and full bark tones... Now to taste. . the flavors come in glorious waves (which always surprises me how so little fluid can move so far on your palate). Very dark-- first bitter bursts that break forth in articulation revealing dry citrus so dry i am going to say it isn't citrus it is cardamon and then green bitter elements (like the aftertaste of lawn grass. . . but less sweet). All of these composite, complex-- yet tight- flavors rest laying on your palate in a seemingly infinite piquance. Lovely, so i grabbed a bottle of vodka (just plain old vodka-- Ruskova, only because it was handy and i wanted to try the Boker's--as an influence..) and goodness, gracious, land-sakes-alive this stuff is magic... a new drink Brown Vodka-- with a twist-- the catch phrase-- something tasty to do with Vodka... Anyways the aromas---fantastic, flavors-- complicated, lingering, evolved, mix-ability-- AMAZING!
Flash forward... i am at home, working on an article-- all i can think about is making a drink with these nummy bitters... First drink that comes to mind is a Japanese cocktail-- for a couple of reasons... The best reason i wanted to 'try' a Japanese Cocktail with Boker's is. . . well Japanese Cocktails are kind of boring-- not bad, but--nothing to write home about (even when i have used other very nice, high quality bitters--- it's just me i know..). So i make a Japanese Cocktail and it is BY FAR the best i have ever had (which to be fair is also because i used some really nice Orzata, by Ferrana instead of pedestrian Orgeat). So how about another you say.... Don't mind if i do.

Slow Travel. . .
2.5 Oz Cerbois XO Armingnac
1 Oz Tuaca
Stir until well chilled, Strain into glass.
Lemon zest twisted to express the oil (Rub rim of glass)
3-4 Drops Boker's

Rum-a-diddle
1.5 Amber Rum (i used Columbus)
2 Teaspoons Passion Fruit Liqueur (i used TMD)
2 Teaspoons Canton Ginger Liqueur
1 Teaspoons Orgeat ( i used Ferrara Orzata)
.75-1 Oz Goslings 151 (or just any Dark Rum)
4-5 Drops of Boker's

Build on Cracked Ice, Garnish with a twisted lemon slice..

So here are some ideas... i should get back to my 'home-work'...

Hey i just realized i should have posted a link to get the bitters--- duh: http://www.evo-lution.org

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ron Zacapa XO

First off, let me mention that the Ron Zacap XO is not available where i live (Southern California). My sample was arranged for me by a very wonderful friend (previously referred to as 'the smuggler') who was aided by another friend- the Rumelier. Thanks guys, maybe next time Diageo will handle that (or whomever. . )!!

Zacapa XO is a rarified blend of rums aged in an intricate solera styled aging system (explained very well here. . . (this is in 3 Parts and all good), and here.) in a variety of barrels. The aromas begin elaborately and are quite resplendent--clean dried fruit (dates, sultana, fig, raisin, apricot, currant, apple), oaky vanilla, and a splendor of rich spice (allspice, nutmeg, clove and cinnamon), harmonized in a copious back drop of cane syrup or honey. To taste, it is dryer than suspected with a miscellany toasted wood and nut tones, that articulate into oolong or darjeeling on the back palate-- without sacrificing the dried fruit notes; it is, simply stated, recherché. The finish dawdles with dryish intricate wood tannin demonstrating toasty oak, cocoa, roasted nuts, vanilla and delicate spices. This is spendy, but worth it.

*********
UPDATE!!
*********

The Ron Zacapa XO is now available in California-- we have it at Hi Time!!

*********
UPDATE!!
*********

Lame excuses...

i swear i will blog more.... i swear.
i have a ton of reviews already done, but i am trying to cogitate a scoring system that sits with my highly obtuse personal 'beliefs'..
That is why i have only been random blogging, but i am getting close...
If anyone has a rating system that they use and you wouldn't mind me picking at it for my own need i would love to see it-- or if you know of one posted online --send me a link (i've read a bunch, but it can't hurt to see them again if i have even seen them..
Also, i have been attempting to conjure a 'style' for this beast and that too has been eluding me-- soo. . . Anyways... How is your day going???

Monday, August 17, 2009

El Ultimo Agave Tequila Blanco

So you know i am in on all the best deals in Spirits-- right... This Blanco is creamy with leading aromas of agave, corriander, citrus pith, layers of clean stone and a mild earthiness. The flavors initially are dry and layered: crisp agave tones buttressed by the stony soil that reared them set in a mildly oily mouth-feel that evolve to include citrus, spice and hints of cocoa. Incredibly balanced, with a hint of bitterness articulating towards earthiness and a finish that is smooth with a slight piquant mineral-rich fade showing citrus resolving to a spicy linger. This blanco is a steal!! Perfect for any get together where quality and quantity both play a part in the equation.

i am having some ... a new drink i made up this evening-- not super balanced or sassy looking, but fun boozing!!! i call it

The Lazy Ass Bastard (The lab for short...)
3 Oz El Ultimo Agave Tequila Blanco
3 or 4 Dashes Regan Orange Bitters
2 or 3 Oz of Grapefruit Soda
and a couple ice cubes....
Build in Double Rocks Glass...

P.S. Don't hate on me because of my super cool Double Rocks Glass (A&W Mini Mug- hell yeah!); and the bottle is a 1.75 that i just opened 3 drinks ago!!>!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Clement Rhum Vieux Agricole VSOP

Clement Rhum Vieux Agricole VSOP begins as fresh sugar cane, crushed within a few hours into juice (also utilized within a few hours!!) which is fermented with Organic field yeasts from the sugarcane for 24-72 hours, masterfully distilled in a small copper column still, rested, and then aged for over a year in small, new French oak Barrels-- only to be moved into Bourbon Barrels for more than 3 years of additional extensive aging-- the results are amazing. The scents include: baked banana, chocolate milk (yoohoo), grilled pineapple, cryptic spice (so harmonious is meld it invoke formulations rather than specific spices), creamy coconut and nuts with dried tropical fruit. The flavor follows suit but in a more focused manner. It has a medium body, replete with delicate restatements of exotic fruits baked into flaky pastries, crowned with crème anglais with temerarious peppery piquance to keep the palate spirited-- vibrant, reminds me of menthol. It ends with a honeyed, dynamic dalliance that intrigues over and over again. Enjoy neat or in an exceptional drink-- like Rumdood's MaiTai......