Thursday, January 1, 2009

Booze Letter--expanded!

This format is a work in progress, but here it goes . . ..(this has been edited..)

Zephyr (short for Zephyrus) is one the Greek wind gods (the Anemoi). Each of the wind gods blew from one direction, and were related to different seasons, and displayed different qualities. Zephyr was the Anemoi of the west wind, conveyer of the gentle spring and early summer breezes.

So in honor of Zephyr I offer a few cocktails!

A Blu Zephyr Martini (a classic I know, but still really good!)

2 Oz Blu Zephyr
1/2 Oz Dry Vermouth (adjust for personal preference)

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

**For a delectable, and very simple variation on this drizzle any liqueur you have handy, right on top
-- Raspberry? Orange? Elderflower? Pear? You decide, and enjoy.

A Lavender Zephyr

2 Oz Blu Zephyr
1 Oz Charbay Pomegranate Aperitif (adjust for personal preference)
1/2 Oz Lavender Cordial

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


On the nose this leads with juniper, orange succade and vanilla cream- as if you used an orange 50-50 bar for your gin rocks. The soft palate approach shows more of these influences in a medium bodied mouth-feel with orange custard, spice, and delicate juniper-- in that order. New Amsterdam finishes with creamy fruit, and resolves into Madagascar pepper with a hints of lemon zest-- Delectable!!

What an excellent go to gin, silky soft, and slightly sweet-- an ice cube and a glass, or a versatile cocktail base. . .


Wonderfully fruit intense Muscat scents are clean and pleasant in this 'grappa styled' brandy; leading with aromas of grape, vanilla, greengage plum, very ripe pear, green fig and a delicate floral backdrop. The flavors show Muscat must, yellow plum, peach and baked pear. The mouth-feel is full and luxurious, balanced, sweet and round. The finish persists with fruit and wine tones to a fresh lingering finale.

This is a style of spirit that I feel is unfairly overlooked as a cocktail component. The complex floral tones and intricate fruit nuances just beg to be shown off in an excellent beverage. So here are a few to play with. . .

Patio Drift

1 1/2 oz Peshterska Muskat Brandy
3/4 oz Peach Liqueur
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice & strain into a chilled Cocktail Glass Garnish with a Lemon twist


2 Shots Peshterska Muskat Brandy
1 1/2 Inch piece of Cucumber
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
Dash of simple syrup (optional)
Dash of Olive Oil/ Pinch of Dill (optional)

Slice the Cucumber into small chunks, muddle, add liquid

Shake vigorously with ice & double strain* into a chilled Cocktail Glass
Garnish with Pickled Garlic Clove, and/or Fresh ground Pepper (optional)

*The best method for double straining involves a julep strainer and a tea strainer (a mesh screen),using a hawthorn strainer and a julep works fine in a pinch.

Bulgarian berry

2 Shots Peshterska Muskat Brandy
1 Full Tablespoon Lingonberry Jam
Lemon Juice from wedge
Dash of Peychauds Bitters (optional)

Squeeze lemon and drop in, stir until everything starts to merge and then
Shake vigorously with ice & double strain* into a chilled Cocktail Glass
Garnish with Berry or a Lemon zest


2 Shots Peshterska Muskat Brandy
4 – 5 Radishes
1 Tablespoon Orgeat (adjust to taste)
Dash of Angonstura Bitters (optional)

Clean, slice and cut up radishes; Muddle, add liquid, muddle more
Shake vigorously with ice dump all of it into a Collins Glass,
top with mineral water or sparkling wine (preferred) and dash with
Angonstura Bitters (optional).

Another favorite is a Café Corretto, which translates into- Corrected coffee.

Just make a VERY STRONG coffee (espresso, French press or Moka ) and when you finish it put a little (½ a shot?) Peshterska Muskat Brandy into the same cup to mix in with residual coffee, and drink!


El Fogonero leads with soft vanilla, baked agave, clean damp earth and fresh cut white oak which is a really nice way to start. The flavors that show through are rich, delicate agave honey, intricate baking spices and full elegant dark oak tones. These tastes are carried in a pillowed, medium weight, mouth-feel that moves slowly to a lean clean finish that includes flan, toasted nuts and light vanilla.

This is definite proof that we are always on the lookout for excellent deals on wonderful products!

Get this Tequila, it is fantastic, copiously tasty and a real nice price.


On the nose is soft clean leather, stewed figs, caramelized marmalade, fresh cut dark wood and alfalfa. The palate is an evolved and evolving mouth-feel filled with salt, dry roasted grains (buckwheat, barley and flax meal), white pepper, ginger, cumin and baking chocolate. The finish is lengthy and active showing dried heather, salt, chestnuts and indiscriminate spice.

A wonderful offering from the only distillery on the Isle of Mull, here are the Official Tasting Notes from the web:

Nose: A lovely sherried nose with notes of figs, orange marmalade, hints of leather and a touch of smoke.
Palate: Medium to full bodied. Rich sherry fruit cake, milk chocolate, creamy toffee, light oak, a hint of white pepper creating a lovely spicy tang.
Finish: Softly spicy, tingling with a nutty note, a hint of salt, lingering then gently fades.


Aromas of dark chocolate dust, demerara sugar and perfectly cooked pie crust, invite you to taste. The mouth-feel is syrupy with cocoa, coffee, brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon; it is full and delightful. The dryer finish shows clean leather, tobacco, roasted nuts that articulate a svelte emphatic conclusion to an exhilarating kinetic journey of exquisite and surprising flavors.

Well here is a review by Bill Dowd:

A comment by Jon Hansel, of Malt Advocate:

and an article/review by Serge from Whiskyfun:(about 1/2 a page down...)


Clean toasted grains, with honey, citrus and smoke, lead the tempting scents. The copious flavors of orange, lemon and pear, all buttressed up with sea-salt and gilded with gentle peat smoke, make for a splendid range of tastes that are sweetish, rich and miraculously harmonized in a medium body. The finish tarries to show the influence of the Montilla Fino Sherry cask as the other flavors fade.

The Oban 15 year D.M. (Double Matured) is a fantastic iteration of a wonderful malt, have a dram and you'll understand.


Old Forester Repeal Bourbon is a new, one-time, limited-release that celebrates the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition. Lovely vanilla on the nose caries all the way through to the finish. On the palate traditional bourbon tones lead with orange zest, allspice and clove; this a great whiskey, and it comes in a mock 1933 bottle with a replica label from that era so it is both tasty and fun.

What a perfect way to celebrate the end of prohibition-- with a delicious whiskey! Old Forester 100 has been an household favorite to me for quite some time. The Old Forester Birthday Bourbon release every year is ALWAYS something to look forward to. This Old Forester Repeal Bourbon is right up there; its quality is astonishing, its provenance in uncontested, its history is unmarred-- it is the perfect way to say “Good Riddance Prohibition!”. December 5th Repeal Day!