Saturday, December 25, 2010

Kilchoman Islay Single Malt Summer 2010 Release


This is the second offering from the first distillery built on Islay in 124 years. It started in 2005, and what a glorious beginning. The distillery is situated on a barley field and uses all of its own barley, that is malted there and then distilled. This is the Summer 2010 release and it is limited. Kilchoman is planning on releasing a steady stream of whiskies so that we can taste the glorious, ongoing evolution of this amazing, new whisky. On the nose it shows delicate smoke, cigar box, lychee candy, greengage plum and a subtle back note of coriander. The palate entry is oily and smooth showing barley malt, light saltiness and peat that build with a savoriness expanding to a finish that is lingering, briny, fresh, awake and pleasant. This is a stunning young whisky that shows incredible labryrinthine refinement. Try it neat or give it to (Share it with?) the 'Smoky' Whisky fan in your life.

Chieftains Port Ellen 25 Year

How about an incredible Islay? This Single Malt is very Limited and quite exceptional. Here is my examination...
This Chieftains offering of Port Ellen was distilled in 1982 –just before the distillery closed— and then aged for 25 long years. The Whisky from this distillery is a rare treasure of illustrious reputation and this selection lives up to that celebrated status exceptionally. Nosing reveals wood fire, dried pears, sea weed, toasted coconut, chocolate, fennel, salty butter and smoked apricots. The flavors flow in an oily palate which show again the aromas and escalate to include fried salt-pork and smoky heather. The finish is vigorous and lingering with tantalizing flavors of smoke and grilled fruit that oscillate back and forth. For the lover of the big bold taste of Islay malt, this whisky is exquisite, superlative, elegant and sublime; try this neat with plenty of time to savor it.

Old Pulteney 21

Ready for another Scotch....Well here is a tasty review:


Old Pulteney opened it doors in 1823 before there were even roads into the town and all their supplys came in and out by boat. This 21 year old Whisky is aged in Bourbon and Sherry casks (both made from American Oak) to dimensionalise this splendid single malt. This is a tremendous example of un-chillfiltered and exquisitely matured Highland style single malt. Leading with aromas of straw, apricot, fresh cut wood, honey, alfalfa, pear and peach, the structure and balance beautifully reveal the influence from the barrels. The mouth feel is full and creamy, starting sweet where the nose left off and building with intricate flavors like vanilla, grains of paradise, dried lemon peal and soft coriander which culminate to an astounding effect. The finish is quiet, quick, fresh and natural, leaving you ready for another dram. Try this neat in an appropriate glass and enjoy.

Deerstalker 18

Another Highland Dram... Why not!


Deerstalker has a long and storied history dating back to 1880, but it has been away from the US for a long time-- we are glad to have it back! This 18-year-old expression of Deerstalker is an intriguing and inviting Single Malt—a welcomed addition to any bar, and an excellent gift for any Scotch lover. The nose is filled with vegetal tones, eucalyptus, flowers, straw, candied nuts and clean spice. The palate is full-bodied and calefacient with balanced tropical fruit, layers of toasty oak, roasted filberts, walnut, spice, crème caramel and fennel. The finish appears gracefully and lingers showing deep wood notes, intricate spice and a clean resolve. Have this is neat, in an appropriate glass-- perhaps with a friend.

Dalmore Gran Reserva

Tasty Highlad Single Malt, don't mind if i do....


The Dalmore is back. The marvelous Whisky that won so many over has returned with a reformulated 12 Year old (60% Sherry Oak, 40% American), a name change/ replacement for the immensely popular Cigar Reserve--Gran Reserva and an exciting group of new bottling to boot. The one I will focus on is the Gran Reserva. There have been hundreds of questions about the Cigar Reserve and with a new name and a 'richer' palate weight, it is back! Roasted pecans, delicate tea tones, soft tree fruits, cocoa and heather fill the nose from inside of a copious malt-honey structure. The elegant palate is oily with flavors of holiday spice cake, toffee, citrus zest, roasted nuts, prunes, treacle, marmalade and coffee that are recherché. The finish is soft and creamy showing brazil nuts and citrus in a bath of oily malt nuances. Try this neat, with patience-- and maybe with a Cigar if you dare.

Bols Genever

Bols in the US is mostly known for their line of liqueurs. Which is unfortunate, because what they are historically recognized for is Genever... Here is a review i wrote for Hi-Time Wine Cellars:


The Bols Genever recipe was born out of Lucas Bols' experience as the largest producer of Genever in the world since the 16th Century. The aromas are floral, full and round-- filled with malty blossoms, plums and citrus pith laced with delicate, inviting sweetness while supple spices play in the background. The taste is soft and provocative while maintaining a malt driven juniper purity on the palate. The mouth-feel is simultaneously oily and vibrant-- so interesting. The finish clings with almond oil, juniper and friendly saporous spice. This wonderful nectar came back to the US and opening doors to a new cocktail experience, while also helping us recapture the classics of the past as they were meant to be made. Bols is sweet, pungent and aromatic with a rich, sleek gustatorial appeal--it sips, shoots and mixes with the best-- try it anyway you can imagine.

A Good Start

1 1/2 oz Bols Genever (45 ml)
1 oz Grapefruit Juice (30ml)
2 dashes Simple
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled Cocktail Glass 
2 dashes Bitter Truth Chocolate Bitters
Add a long Grapefruit Twist

Friday, November 19, 2010


Well let it never be said that i am a booze snob.
Kraken is the perfect case in point... An inexpensive, caramel colored, spiced rum that is yummy. That is right; i said yummy.

They provided the photo: 

Flavors of rich vanilla, caramel, coffee, chocolate and molasses with spices like allspice, clove, ginger and nutmeg. Big, well structured and sapid with a creamy mouth feel and long finish.

Looking for some long drinks with great names, such as: Kraken Coke . . . Kraken Up (Kraken & Lemon Lime Soda. This drink was my idea but the master piece of a name was created by Bob Lee) and a Perfect Storm (Kraken & Ginger Beer). Or how about a fun new spiced rum for some hot drinks to handle the cooler weather: Hot Apple Cider and Rum (Kraken Cider). . . Hot Buttered Rum (A Sweet, Hot, Greasy Kraken) . . . Rum & Coffee (Kraken Coffee) . . Rum & TEa (Kraken T)

This whole little blurb is 'blurbish' but really the stuff is simple, versatile and tasty. What could be wrong with that?

So enjoy the cool looking package, savor the tasty 'Spiced' Rum and see for yourself.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Jamaican Cockfight

Well my buddy Nick created a drink for forrest. . . and i am absolutely tickled to share it with all of you. Before i do, here is the thought process in Nick's own words:

"First, I wanted to use a bold, rich, mouthful of flavor rum...something I thought you would fancy, so I chose Jamaican Smith and Cross. I also wanted to utilize your name...naturally I thought forest or wood related. I have been to Jamaica and was intrigued by a geographic area called, Cockpit Country, which was a semi-pristine forest area. In particular, I liked the history of its British-instilled name and the proud people which came to inhabit the area, called Maroons (non-native African runaway slaves). Its geography is very rugged, shaped like a egg carton and resembled a cockpit, where cockfights usually occurred. It is a hot, difficult to traverse land and according to current guidebooks, quite dangerous as it goes..The area is also known as , "me no sen, you no come." (hence, Ginger was added for its effects). Second, I wanted to mix spirits, two rums in this case... I absolutely love Cockspur 12's  flavor and spiced up finish quite a bit and thought its name fit with the area I had in I used it. Third, I wanted a unique flavor mixer that was used in Jamaican cooking...that actually originated from India and was introduced around the same time as sugar cane ~1500s Tamarind was added 
Jamaican Cockfight...dedicated to Forrest Cokely.
1 1/3 oz Smith & Cross Rum
2/3 oz Cockspur 12 Bajan Rum
1/2 oz (15ml) freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 oz (15ml) simple syrup
1/2 tsp tamarind concentrate (heaping teaspoonful) I used Aeroplane brand
1/8 tsp ginger powder
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Shaken vigorously to chilled and tamarind goes into solution, serve in a martini glass dust surface with Jamaican Allspice & nutmeg 
Flowers provided courtesy of Flowers On 15th, Seattle, WA (" Here is what it looks like when Nick makes it:
Now before I go to far i manipulated the recipe for my own purposes, here is the recipe i used:
Jamaican Cockfight
1 1/2 oz Smith & Cross Rum
3/4 oz Cockspur 12 Bajan Rum
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz Allspice Dram
1 tsp tamarind
2 Shakes ginger powder
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Fresh Grated Nutmeg
Shake vigorously, for a very long time double strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Mine looks like this:
This is a delicious drink and i thank Nick for the dedication!                   

Monday, September 27, 2010


I love Coruba, it is my favorite dark rum. There I said it. But even something you love can do something incredibly stupid. . . like changing from a classy, inviting, charming and picturesque label to a cheesy, insipid, glossy and hokey label. That is what Coruba did. Now I know the rum inside is what matters most and it is still amazing dark rum, but the old bottle was so much cooler-- like a portable tropical paradise waiting to be poured into a delicious punch or floated on a tasty boat drink. Here is a picture of me holding the old bottle, taken by a wonderful customer whose name eludes me from the floor at Hi-Time....

My review:
Coruba is a 100% Jamaican Rum made by J Wray and Nephew in the older 'planters rum' style. It is a blend of over thirty rums (from both pot and column stills) that are aged in small oak barrels for at least two years and then high quality molasses is added to it. In the glass it is the color of polished mahogany. The nose is redolent-- filled with baked tropical fruits that were basted with clean molasses and dusted with spice—yummy. The flavor are rich, oily, dark and highly enjoyable. The finish shows the perfect amount of dry wood and burnt sugar and lingers patiently restating the flavors. This rum is delectable--prefect for a grog or a punch!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

MxMo Brown, bitter and Stirred...

i can do that.
Actually it is more difficult (when making a drink for myself...) to not 'do that'.
After i heard about the theme i got all excited and then went slavishly to the many duties on my plate. So here at the last moment is my humble submission. Please comment freely.

As usual i tries to pull out ingredients that my friends may not have tried... this time is no exception. The drink features a few such ingredients you may not have tried--both are fantastic: 1. Echte Kroatzbeere is a German Wild Blackberry Liqueur that is yummy, rixh and bursting with 'wild' blackberry goodness. 2. Killepitsch is a German Krauter Liqueur (think Jaeger... but awesome! More tea tones and way less anise.). 3. Bitter Truth Grapefruit Bitters -delectable, fresh, layered and expansive bitters. The 4th ingredient you should have a bunch of-- Coruba, oh yeah! Here is a picture of them all kicking it on my table:
Here is the recipe:

Big Bitter Berries (3B)
30 ml Coruba (1 Oz)
30 ml Echte Kroatzbeere (1 Oz)
30 ml Killepitsch (1 Oz)
2 Bar spoons Grapefruit Bitters
Stir with ice until well chilled
Strain into Chilled cocktail glass.

This MxMo was fearlessly initiated by Lindsy at Brown, Bitter and Stirred and the wrap up will be posted on her blog... Go check it out!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Just like this advertising poster, Strega is a class act and a great addition to any bar. Strega (the witch) is an Italian herbal liqueur that has been in production since 1860. It is made from a recipe including 'around' 70 ingredients. The nose is fresh and woodsy. Mint, fennel, evergreen, vanilla and citrus scents are easily perceived while others linger in the background. The flavors follow these scents but are sweetly spicy and exhilarating on the palate, showing more of the minty/coniferous/fennel goodness. Strega is considered a digestive to be consumed after meals to aid digestion and works exceptionally as an aperitif or as a vivacious addition to an exciting cocktail-- like the Brandy Witch I wrote about here . . ..

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Yummy new Mezcal drink. . .

Burro del Fuego

1 1/2 oz Don Amado Reposado
3/4 oz Nardini Amaro
3/4 oz Triple Sec (i used Hiram Walker)
3/4 oz Lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
1 Small Jalapeno

Clean and chop Jalapeno toss it into your shaker muddle it with Mezcal, add other ingredients, shake until well chilled, double strain into chilled cocktail glass. Express lemon oils over drink and garnish with a lemon zest and then Enjoy!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I am a Winner!!!

So for the Manhattan Cocktail Classic Gaz Regan Sponsored a Cocktail Contest...

The contest was limited in that we were supposed to use Dubonet, Bernheim Wheat Whiskey, Rittenhouse Rye, Lunazul Tequila or Pama Liqueur as the base of the cocktail and it had to be simple.
Anyways i won the Bernheim division of the contest and now i am going to let you in on how. . .
Being the wise acre i am, i took 4 out of the 5 ingredients and mixed them together and surprisingly it tasted good (i would have used all 5 but i didn't have one of the ingredients...).

What i do when crafting a 'constrained' cocktail (one with specified ingredients) is mix them equal parts and experience on my palate what 'needs' to be adjusted (to sweet - less of that, to strong - less of that, to herbal/spicy/etc. - whichever . . . less of, or complete removal... and then i think in the opposite direction. . . need more of this, or more of that--etc.).

So here is the winning recipe....

Friskey Eve

20-25ml Bernheim Wheat Whiskey [3/4 oz]
20-25ml Rittenhouse Bonded Rye [3/4 oz]
20-25ml Dubonet Rouge [3/4 oz]
20-25ml Pama [3/4 oz]

Stir and Strain into a chilled Glass
Garnish with an orange twist

Here is the Mandala that Gaz Made me... AWESOME!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Old Man Drinks

Recently, I received a copy of  “Old Man Drinks”, by Robert Schnakenberg, for my perusal. I have been playfully stomping through it ever since. This book is a fantastic joy to read. It is filled with great cocktail history snippets, excellent drinks, wonderful photos, inimitable charm, timeless wit and occasional flurries of romantic musing or profound philosophical fun. Now before i go to far, this is a 'lifestyle' book. It is 'entertaining-- and meant to be that way. There are cocktails and everything else I mentioned, but they are merely 'parts' of a lovely montage. As soon as i have re-read it in a 'more orderly' fashion I am placing on the counter in my bathroom for every visitor to enjoy. This is a ineffably enchanting book, a fantastic gift, a nice placement on a coffee table (or bathroom reading), a smart book to place on your bar, but mostly it is just feisty good time with book covers. Find yourself a copy and enjoy it.
(I stole the picture from their lazy to get my camera out...)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Agave Extravaganza. . . you were there, you know this, the Agave Extravaganza was an amazing hit..
Over 150 agave spirits to try (Tequila, Mezcal and Sotol) , excellent food and wonderful people having a great time raising money and awareness for the Breast Cancer Angels!!
Hi-Time Wine Cellars doing good deeds, exposing splendid product/producers and having as much safe merriment as we can. It is impossible to describe how good it was (here are some pictures...), so suffice it to say, see you at the next tasting!
The next Hi-Time 'spirits' tasting is in late August and it will be glorious rum. Trust me this will be another incredible event for another great cause. Also the Chili cook off is in August
By the way, Hi-Time has wine tastings every week, beer tastings once a month and Sake tastings every 2 months which are really awesome also. (i am not just saying that because i work there-- go to one and see for yourself-- here is the Schedule.).
If you are looking for a rum tasting before i will be at San Francisco Bay Ministry of Rum Festival 2010, -- which is always a great time.
If you are looking for a tequila tasting before our next one... i will be at the Spirits of Mexico 2010 also.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Brandy Witch

A new dink..

Brandy Witch

60ml Brandy
20ml Strega
20ml Triple Sec
2 Dashes Absinthe
2 Dashes Boker's Bitters

Stir until Well Chilled
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with Luxardo Cherry

i made this drink as part of an ongoing experiment i am conducting. i am taste testing multiple orange liqueurs comparatively. Ultimately i will review them here on my blog and tell you what i find out. For a snippet-- i have been very surprised,
For this drink i used Baco Spanish Brandy-- lightly spicy, strong wood tones, and a creamy mouth-feel; the absinthe was Kubler (i tried it with 2 others but they were overkill); the Triple Sec i preferred (tried 3) was Hiram Walker (see what i mean? Surprise!).. The Boker's really tied all the flavors together-- Enjoy.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tennessee Waltz

So let's start with George Dickel #8:

George Dickel is a legend in Tennessee Whisky and rightfully so. The nose is very sweet with strong hints of caramel, corn, wood, sweet charcoal- kind of reminds me of barbecuing corn with butter on it with the juice dripping down to splatter on the charcoal-- yeah that's the smell. The taste is mild, woody, minor spice, some sweetness with a little smokiness-- simple flavors, light bodied taste—very easy drinking. Flavors are similar to the nose but more acute or focused. The finale is clean and dry with little rye showing up and a wood tones galore that fall away fairly quick, making for a medium length finish.

Now let's look at Prichard’s Sweet Lucy:

Prichard’s Sweet Lucy is a bourbon-based liqueur blended with the flavors of Apricot and Orange-- Sweet Lucy is a tasty little jewel. The scents are focused on the fruit, but there is lovely bourbon in the background. The flavor starts with apricot jam, building to reveal sweet spices and bourbon tones that resolve on orange marmalade. The finish is long, sugared and zesty.

Tennessee Waltz

Build on cracked ice in a double rocks glass;

2 Parts Dickel
1 part Sweet Lucy
garnish with the zest of an orange with oils expressed

Listen to Eva sing it..

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Fundraiser with tequila?? Oh yeah!!

What could be better???
A fundraiser for Breast Cancer Angels, featuring: 'well' over 100 Agave Spirits (think tequila, mezcal, sotol.. you get it..)- with qualified representatives to answer questions..., along with Wonderful food by RASTA Taco..., and a discount ordering guide for the spirits (and snacks) that were tried...

There will be Raffles, goodies, swag and swagger come on out and join the fun.

What is an amazing way to spend a Saturday Evening--all that and only $50!

So, Saturday, June 19th, from 5PM til 9PM at Halecrest Clubhouse, 3107 Killybrooke Lane, Costa Mesa California, 92626...
Make a plan to join us and MAKE A RESERVATION (we want there to be enough food...). This of course is sponsored by the most wonderful Liquor Store / Wine Shop in the World ... Hi-Time Wine Cellars so you know it will be AWESOME!!!
For info or to RSVP call Trayce or forrest (me) at Hi-Time 800.331.3005, 949.650.8463

To see more info on facebook go here...

Or to RSVP online go here . . ..

Thursday, May 20, 2010

24 Peach Tree Lane

So, if you were wondering, i really like Gin. Lately my heavy handed experimentation has been with Beefeater 24-- having procured a sample (which actually is my 4th bottle, but it funny how much easier it is to experiment when rent isn't in the way)-- and i must say that this is a friendly, flexible, highly versatile gin for these kind of adventures. The tea really adds a palate depth and lingering effect on the mouth-feel. Anyways on to another 'Address Named' new cocktail . . .this one featuring Beefeater 24 and in the supporting modifier role---- RinQuinQuin!

24 Peachtree Lane
[i know hilarious -right!]

60ml Beefeater 24 [2oz]
22.5ml RinQuinQuin [3/4oz]
adjust to preference...

Stir strain into Chilled Glass
Garnish with expressed oils of
and toss in a large lemon zest

Now i must apologize. The picture i included clearly shows a garnish of 3 Olives-- and originally i was going to keep it. It was tasty. A little confused but tasty. When i went it to re-taste with a fresh one i opted out and used the new and improved garnish listed on the recipe above. The new and improved was so good i drank 5 more. Then i forgot to take a picture with the new and improved garnish and now i am out of RinQuinQuin till payday. So i figured i could just explain and say sorry-- we are all friends here right?

Back to the details...

i said this before (you may recall), but don't underestimate the power and beauty of a simple drink.
This is gorgeous and giving a delectable, clean cocktail that would work before/after or during dinner or just lounging on the patio.

There is more about Beefeater 24 here . . .
i made an Une Idee with it here . . .
and lest we forget the other address themed drink, i used Beefeater 24 in 24 Aperol Ave- here . .

Here is a blurb, i wrote, about RinQuinQuin:
RinQuinQuin is an aromatized wine (a Quinquina) infused with sweet peaches and their delicate peach leaves. Along with the pleasant bitterness of quinine and the proprietary blend of herbs and spices, you have the sumptuous richness of peaches-- yum! The palate is delectably smooth and bursting with fruity peach, with hints of citrus, apricot and vanilla in a dry intricate tonic— this is an excellent aperitif. The interplay between rich, sweet peaches and dry intricate quinquina is a joy to imbibe. Try it chilled or over ice, with soda, on fruit or sorbet, or in an amazing cocktail--like this one.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Night with Infinium. . .

I had a great time the other night with a bunch of local bartenders, bloggers and spirits enthusiasts. It was a presentation by Julie and Stacy of Infinum Spirits showing off their excellent brands. In case you don't know they are the ones who bring us our beloved Carpano Antica, Punt y mes, Casa Noble Tequila, Zaya Rum, Fernet Branca, Corralejo Tequila, Bafferts Gin and Crystal Head Vodka - to name a few. . ..Here i am with Julie in front of the Brands... Hello, would you care for a beverage?.

After a brief rundown on the products there was an open forum for questions and then the good stuff-- the tasting. To lead us into the tasting, my buddy Jason (from 320 Main in Seal beach-- if you haven't gone there yet-- you must be crazy.) made an awesome cocktail to get us in the mood called 'The Devil's Own' featuring 2 Infinium products-- Zaya and Fernet-- that was absolutely fantastic.Here is The 'Devil's Own' showing it's radiant horns because somebody was drinking it before the photo op...

Then we went through everything tasting each one. The cap of the event was a drink competition where tasty libations we the order of the evening... Oh yeah good fun. If you see a chance to go to one of these do not pass it up.

The drink i came up with was luscious (sorry no picture)...

Fernet Cafe

20-25ml Fernet [3/4 oz]
20-25ml Half & Half [3/4 oz]
20-25ml Cold Coffee Concentrate [3/4 oz]
(Chilled Espresso will work fine)
20-25ml Trader Tiki Vanilla Syrup [3/4 oz]

Shake and Strain into a chilled Glass

All the photos were courtesy of Matt "Rumdood" Robold and/ Niki Lovejoy. Thanks!

Monday, May 17, 2010

24 Aperol Ave

i am sure there is a better name for this but i'll think about it later.
Basically this is Beefeater 24 with Aperol as a modifier-- simple right?
Delicious more likely. i made 4 of these in a row when i tried it the first time and the second evening i went for 3 more just to make sure.

24 Aperol Ave

60ml Beefeater 24 [2oz]
22.5ml Aperol [3/4oz]
adjust to preference...

Stir strain into Chilled Glass
Garnish with 2 Luxardo Cherries

Don't underestimate the power and beauty of a simple drink.
This is a lovely tipple to be taken on any occasion.

i wrote more about Beefeater 24 here . . .
and used it to great effect in an Une Idee here . . .

Here is a blurb about Aperol:
Aperol is an Italian aperitif originally created in 1919, but it took a while to get to the US-- it was well worth the wait. Some of the ingredients that shine through are bitter orange, gentian, rhubarb, and cinchona (quinine); the flavor and color is articulated by a subtle blend of the 'known' ingredients and a secret array of herbs and roots, using a recipe that has been unaltered since its creation. Delectable aromas of citrus, roots and herbs invite you to drink. The palate focus is oxidized grapefruit with a touch of creamy vanilla. The finish is fresh and supple with a lively citrus pith aftertaste-- gorgeous!

i have also used this to good effect with Rhum... here ....

Yes, Yvette, there is a Martin Miller . . .

So i was talking to my Mark Berge, who is a rep for Martin Miller Gin, and we were discussing me utilizing that lovely gin in a few drinks lately. Out of nowhere he said; "hey, i got a great name for a drink.... Yes, Virginia, there is a Martin Miller". i didn't get the reference (Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus--a good piece on it here...) but i still thought the name had merit. So, i mentioned that i had been making a bunch of drinks with a newly re-introduced liqueur called Creme de Yvette and i thought that name would work as well...
So here is the drink (which coincidentally is loosely an Yvette Cocktail and an Orchid Cocktail hybridized..):

Yes, Yvette, there is a Martin Miller . . .

50ml Martin Miller gin [1 1/2 oz]
25ml Creme Yvette [3/4 oz]
15ml fresh lemon juice [1/2 oz]
i Egg white

Dry shake in a cocktail shaker to emulsify, add ice shake & strain into a chilled cocktail glass

This is a tasty drink and would work well as an aperitif, as an after dinner drink or as an excellent morning bracer...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Andes Gold Cocktail

I happened onto this drink while fidgeting in my bar. It is very tasty with a sumptuous mouth-feel provided by the the Strega/Nigori sake combination. Pisco, Strega and all kinds of Sake are vastly overlooked in in cocktails so i thought i would throw this out and see what you nice people thought...

Andes Gold

50ml Don Cesar Pisco Italia [1 1/2 Oz]
25ml Strega Liqueur [3/4 Oz]
25ml Nigori Sake [3/4 Oz]
15ml Fresh Lemon Juice [1/2 Oz]
*Dash of Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters (optional)

Shake (i stirred but i'll tell you the rules and admit when i break them) with ice and strain into a Cocktail Glass, Garnish with a Lychee nut.

Let me know what you think...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Couple of Drinks....

Well Thursday Drink Night was hosted by my pal Rumdood (Matt Robold) and the themes were summer drinks. Here are the 2 i submitted, for your drinking pleasure...
#1 Naranja Doble

50ml Don Q [1 1/2 Oz]
25ml Fresh OJ [3/4 Oz]
2+ Dashes Regans Orange Bitters
Shake w/ Cracked ice/ strain, garnish with Orange Slice.
This works great with any rum (and cachaca),
but rums from places that speak Spanish make the name work...

This drink is light and refreshing, works great for patio time or as an aperitif.

#2 The River Goddess

50ml Oronoco [1 1/2 Oz]
25ml Damiana Liqueur [3/4 Oz]
15ml Fresh Lime Juice [1/2 Oz]
60ml Soda [2 Oz]

Fill collins glass with crushed ice
add everything and swizzle

The name is a play on the Damiana bottle being modeled after an Incan Goddess, and Oronoco is a river that cruises through South America.
This drink will be perfect for some summer fun, BBQ, patio, picnic--dealers

Friday, May 14, 2010

2010 Miami Rum Renaissance - Redux

So what do you get when you mix 1500 (or so) rum enthusiasts, samples of great rum from all over the world, a plethora of free flowing rum drinks, booths filled with experts to answer questions, international Tiki competitions, expert seminars all put together in a glorious setting... Why you get one hell of a good time: The 2010 Miami Rum Renaissance was all of that and millions of other fun things.
Really it was seemingly a chaotic miasma of 'adult' fun, while simultaneously being an euphonious well oiled machine of informative/instructive experience; so much fun--so much goodness.

This is what it promised to be. . . and frankly this is what is classically known in the sales industry as "Under commit, and Over perform" because as far as those objectives go--SLAM DUNK!

My buddy Chip at Rum Howler runs it down, in his inimitable style, thusly . . .

Want more detail? My pals at the Rum Connection recap here:Part 1, and Part 2

It was so much that they broke it up into 2 parts... You know what: it just barely scratches the surface. [Hey at least they were brave enough to try, i just posted a link to them trying because i couldn't even imagine giving it a go.]

Here is what the Miami New Times had to say. . .

If you would like to know who won the Rum Competition here is a great recap. . .

Also the good news is the Burr family (the force behind The Gifted Rum Guide and Rum Renaissance) are already planning next years-- the tentative dates are:April 26 to May 1st, 2011, so start blocking out your calendars-- and i will see you there!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Rum Renaissance!!

Want to know one of the many things that have been keeping up at night?...
That is right Rum Renaissance is coming. . . i am as giddy as a . . .you get the idea...
Grand Rum Tasting, Celebrity Seminars, Tasting Competition, Tiki Face-Off,
VIP Parties Nightly, Island Culture, Tropical Libations, Beach & Pool Party-- Sounds like an ABSOLUTE BLAST to me.
So mark the date, start doing liver stretches, get your buts down to Miami May 5th -9th and join me for what promises to be a wonderful fun time of rum and rummys!

Beachbum Berry Remixed

i just finished Beachbum Berry Remixed and i can say -unequivocally- this is an amazing book. Great pictures, fun prose, excellent layout and honest evaluations of previous works coupled with helpfully insightful upgrades/updates in the recipes-- plus newly found recipes and custom crafted recipes from the who's who fill this wonderful tome, and you would be remiss if you didn't grab one for your reading enjoyment. Whether you are Tiki aficionado, a cocktail buff, a mixologist, enthusiast or just a plain old interesting person you'll dig this book.

Before i go and leave you with this glowing review let me mention a few things:
This book was a gift from a good friend and i want thank him-- Wally you rock.

Also for people who live in Southern California Jeff 'Beachbum Berry' is having his Los Angeles book release party this Wednesday, April 28th, at Caña Rum Bar, at 7PM. This a great chance to glad hand the mastermind of Tiki archeology, the individual responsible for the 'rising' quality in (maybe 'returning quality to...') Tiki drinks and the catalyst to the resurgence of Tiki's popularity. Besides that-- he is one hell of guy (by all accounts), an excellent drink-smith in his own right and at Caña they are going to be featuring some of the drinks from Remixed so you can see for yourself that night.

In short it looks like this:
A chance to meet 'Beachbum' Berry, Tiki mixmaster/Historian and all around great guy, at Caña for the L.A. book release party of Remixed and rock out to some of the 'Bum's' own cocktails-- This WEDNESDAY, APRIL 28, 2010 at Cana Rum Bar, 7PM.

Here is 'Beachbum Berry's Blog which has some great comments and ideas about Remixed..

Also check out Rumdood's awesome series on 'Beachbum Berry', here . . .

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Monk’s Uncle

So in contact with my buddy Chip (Arctic Wolf) he mentioned a cocktail he had made up basically amounting to well aged rum and Frangelico. i thought this hilarious because i had been making the same drink for quite a while and just 'assumed' that it was already in somebody's cocktail book and i just didn't know the name. The reason i assumed this will be plain when you taste this drink -it is delicious and so simple i am surprised that it isn't everywhere. So i scoured my cocktail books (over 40) scoured the interweb and i found nothing--Wow. So here is the original recipe that Chip (Arctic Wolf) has named The Monk's Uncle:
The Monk’s Uncle
Version 1

2 Oz Appleton 21
3/4 Oz Frangelico

mix with a small amount of ice and serve

Simple, luscious, delectable and so damn easy...
Well Chip (Arctic Wolf) told me he was using Appleton 21 in the drink and i thought: "Well Appleton 21 is an amazing Rum it deserve a little more work than that..." So i came up with these sexy touches:

The Monk’s Uncle Version 2

2 Oz Appleton 21
3/4 Oz Frangelico
1/4 -1/2 Oz Lemon Juice
1 Egg White

Dry shake to emulsify add ice and shake till chilled, strain into chilled cocktail glass, flame foam with 50/50 Fee Brothers Old Fashioned Bitters and Goslings 151.

Now that drink looks awesome, i love the burnt meringue on the top and the smell of the flamed bitters with the rich, pungent aromas of Appleton 21 are amazing, but . . .it is not really any better than the super simple one that Chip and i just 'happened' upon.

So try The Monk's Uncle (either one)and trust me when i tell you it works great with almost any 'aged' rum. i like mine with a lemon twist-- for the record-- unless you are making version 2 then a little juice inside.

Here is Chip's review of Appleton 21 and the cocktail...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Buffalo Trace Bourbon

The nose on this Buffalo Trace Single Barrel (#170) shows salvos of vanilla, cut timber, rugelach and apples baked with honey, cinnamon and granola; it is very deep, interlaced and tantalizing. The flavors are broad, rich, evocative and spicy-- replete with a myriad of subtleties – caramel glazed brown bread sweetened with molassess and baked with raisins, plumcots, peaches, apple and a complex array of baking spice thrown in . . . delectable. The finish is where the wood nuances are revealed; Corn and rye show themselves (in the intricate fade) to be responsible for these large and
fantastic flavors of grain, spice, vanilla and caramelized fruit. This Barrel was picked by, and for Hi-Time Wine Cellars, but this Bourbon consistently delivers whether it be a single barrel offering or the normal offering, it has not disappointed me ever! Have this whiskey neat, with ice, or in a cocktail--like:
Cheerio Cocktail

1 1/2 oz bourbon
3/4 oz orange curacao
1/4 oz maraschino liqueur

Stir in mixing glass with ice & strain
Serve in a cocktail glass (garnish with a brandied cherry)

Hey i just noticed a cool contest at Buffalo Trace Saloon (oh yeah contests!):

Buffalo Trace Derby Big Shot Weekend - Chance to win an all expense paid trip to the Kentucky Derby and the Buffalo Trace Saloon! Registration for this actually ends April 1st 2010!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Rhum JM and a drinky . . .

Last night my lover and i were watching Bogart & Bacall movies and it got me in the mood for some classic 'styled' cocktails with Rhum Agricole. So i reached for my Rhum JM Eleve Sous Bois-Gold Rhum, frankly this is wonderful Rhum.

On the nose there are tight tropical and ripe exotic fruits (papaya, dried mango, quince, persimmon, dried pineapple)> The flavors are grassy slightly sweet and deeply enjoyable. i love this stuff and it hurts (a little) to put it in a drink, but you have to follow Le Muse...
The drink is a lovely juxtaposition of fruit tones with a bitter back note that is really quite refreshing. i present to you:

Hotel Marquis

60ml Rhum JM (2oz)
25ml Aperol (3/4oz+a dash)
10ml Lemon Juice (1/3oz)
Shake with ice until chilled
strain into chilled cocktail glass,
express oils of, and
garnish with lemon zest

Friday, February 26, 2010

Parker's Heritage Collections Golden Anniversary

Parker's Heritage Collections latest offering, called Parker's Golden Anniversary, was crafted to celebrate Parker Beam's 50 years at Heaven Hill. This 100 proof whiskey is an assemblage of whiskeys distilled in each decade—60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, 00's— he was at Heaven Hill. Not only is this a 'novel' concept, it is an amazing whiskey (Malt Advocate named it American Whiskey of the year!) that unfortunately is very limited--there are only 4,500 bottles— that's all. This whiskey is incredible. Harmonious aromas of stewed stone fruit, raisin and citrus immaculately interwoven with black tea, tobacco, toasty almond confect. These daedal scents are provocative, inviting and carried bountifully to the palate, evolving to include cocoa, cinnamon, vanilla, caramelized honey, over-ripe berry's and supple nuances of leather-- stunning. The finish parades all of these sumptuous subtleties slowly as if reluctant to leave, lingering, holding on, continuing to give to finally depart with only baking spice to remain. Better act fast because it wont last.

~~*i took the picture from their website...sorry.

Charlie Palmers: The Results!

Well right off the bat we had an amazing time!
Hundreds of people came out to make a difference while having a drink. A bunch of wonderful businesses donated products for the raffle. The Wonderful bartenders in the competition put forth some yummy drinks. The judges wrestled with the weighty task of picking a winner, and the winner was: Stacey from Charlie Palmers (home court advantage)made a drink A-O-TE-A-ROA (translates into The Endless White Cloud) that included Milagro Tequila, Kiwi, Clementine Orange Cayenne Foam-- in a word delicious! On top of all of that merriment we managed to raise $4,200 for Haiti!
Yeah, that was great time. Thanks to everyone who participated, helped out, donated, bought drinks, showed up, thought good thoughts for us, sent your friend whatever-- you guys rock!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Lysacek

The Lysacek

20-25 ml or 3/4 oz Martin Miller Westbourne Strength
20-25 ml or 3/4 oz Mae De Ouro Cachaca
20-25 ml or 3/4 oz Zwack liqueur
20-25 ml or 3/4 oz Dubonnet Rouge

Shake with ice until chilled and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Express every drop of oil from a Large Lemon zest
(leave it in or pull it out i prefer mine in but it looks better out)
Garnish with a brandied cherry.

Like Lysacek it is intense, elegant, well structured and a surprising winner!

i included metrics for my readers around the world ;),
and because i am thinking maybe it is about time..

By the way i dare you to try it...

i updated the measurements as per the suggestion from my good pal Chip.

Charlie Palmers: The Invitation...

After my wonderfully glowing introduction i am sure all of you went immediately over to CP's, nestled up to the bar and drank in complete pleasure at the service of Gabrielle and Stacey, enjoying drink after drink and then some of the Sliders that ABC Channel 7 called "The Best Sliders in Los Angeles", or some of that 'Brown Sugar Cake That the Editor of the OC Register picked as 'The Ultimate Dessert in OC. . .', maybe you just basked in the overall mall bound goodness that made Riviera Magazine award them the coveted 'Restaurant of the Year', but knowing my readers-- my leaders-- my friends, you went for Gabrielle and Stacey and stayed for a bite.
So the reason for an official invitation... . Well it is a good reason.
Mixing for Haiti...
Simply put, it is a Hand Selected group some of the best bartenders around competing in a cocktail competition, where we as cossumers can purchase the competition level, world class cocktails for a meager $7. and all of the cash goes straight to the Red Cross relief effort in Haiti THAT SAME NIGHT. Now that is what i am talking about High Calber, excellently crafted cocktails FOR ONLY $7 bucks-- and all the money goes to charity... it is a marvelously simple way to build community, demonstrate concern and experience the great feeling of kindness, comradery and cocktail mixed all together...
Wait there is more... There will also be a raffle for donated products-- there is a bunch of stuff and your chance of winning something is real, real high [here the list so far: Fraggoli Strawberry Liqueur/ Holland "Bong" Vodka/ Collectible Bong Vodka Lava Lamp/ 209 Gin/ Appleton 12 Gift set/ Appleton V/X/ Cafe Boheme Gift Set/ Veev Gift Basket/ Tequila Azunia Gift Basket/ Hi Time Gift Basket/ Snowboard/ St George Absinthe 1st Edition Collectible / SOL Cucina $75 Dollar Gift Card/ PAMA Gift set / Evan Williams Single Barrel Gift Set / La Certeza Gift Set / Hypnotic Gift Set / BooTAY Gift Basket / Corrido Extra Añejo Tequila Gift Set / Clement Cuvee Homere / Rhum JM 1997 / La Fortaleza Tequila / El Ultimo Agave Tequila / Karlsson's Gold Vodka Basket / Absolute Golf Bag / Yamazaki 12 Japanese Whiskey/$50 dollar gift card to 320 Main, Sign Bottle of Partida Tequila-- and they just keep coming in.

So come on down, Monday Night--February 22nd, from 7PM til 10PM to CP's and help us raise some money for a noble cause WHILE simultaneously raising the level of positivity in the by having a genuine great time. [Don't forget immediately following the CP's Happy Hour starts 10PM-12PM 1/2 Priced, fun.

All of this is presented to you by the Bartenders Cabinet.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Park Cognac

Photo from their website. . .

About a month ago i borrowed my buddies sample bottles of Park Cognac for the evening and i thought i would share my quick shock tasting notes...

Cognac Park X.O
Nose: raisins simmered w/ cinnamon, currant quince, toasty cedar
Taste: vigorous oak, rich cellulose, delicate spice-persimmon
Finish: warming toffee tones with spices, leather
Available here...

Cognac Park Vieille Fine Champagne
60% Grande Champagne,
40% Petite Champagne
Nose: delicate light fruit, sultana, oil
Taste: chrysanthemum, canola, creamy toffee, spice dusted crème brulee,
Finish: lingering bright fruit, delicate warming spice, oaky vanilla
Available here...

Cognac Park Vieille Grande Champagne, 1er Cru
100% Grande Champagne
Nose: oak forward, delicate spice bound up with luxurious dark fruit, cigar box, leather
Taste: follow the nose and then evolves to include stewed dry fruit-- apricots, pear, sultana, currants with caramelized honey and clean spice
Finish: lingering rich, recherche, restating in a slow promenade all the intricate nuances
Available here...
These cognac are absolutely amazing. This is note the whole line up-- one of my favorites is missing-- Park Borderies..a preposterously beautiful cognac.

Not very elaborate i know, these are crib notes i use when preparing to write something up. i take several sessions-- preferably at differing times of the day-- and i first compile the notes, emphasizing the obvious stand out characteristic and then try to make into something a little less clunky to read.

We are having a Brandies of the World Tasting on Sunday February 21 at Villa Nova in Newport Beach, from 5PM- 8PM. There will be over 120 various kinds of Brandies (and Brandy based liqueur) to try, snacks, etc, etc. . . Luckily the entire Park line up will be there and available to try! Borderies, Borderies. . .

So if you are free join us (RSVP please).

Monday, February 8, 2010

Charlie Palmers-- the introduction

Well it all started a few weeks ago.
My pal John and i decided to pop into Charlie Palmers for happy hour (accompanied by his terrific girlfriend). i'll be honest- i was a little frightened. Being a hardened cocktail enthusiast with enough experience on both sides of the bar has somehow made me leery of Bars in malls. Boy was i wrong. (This is the part of the story where i stop thank John for insisting that i go--thank you John.)
First off, what a gorgeous property, nice layout, very interesting design, crisp-clean lines and the moment you walk through the huge glass doors you are greeted by a friendly host or hostess-- classy. Now this is great -really great- but i am still feeling some trepidation.
So the 3 of us sidle up to the bar and we are immediately greeted by the wonderful Gabrielle. So John had been bragging about this drink that Gabrielle had invented featuring Genever, has a spiced simple syrup along with the spiced pear gelee garnish. So i asked for one of those (though he didn't know the name-- and i still don't). The drink was amazing. Delicate texture, rich complexity, lingering sapor and not to sweet just the way i like my drinks. All fear cast aside i was informed that it was happy hour AND THE DRINKS WERE 1/2 OFF so with a new sense of confidence we order without compunction. Every drink Gabrielle brought us (we were sharing so that was around 8 or 9 drinks) was not only good, but GREAT!
It doesn't end here folks because then here comes Stacy, another bartender at CP's. So i thought "why not" so i ordered one from her. After inquiring as to what 'kind' of drink i would like, she improvised me one and frankly it was perfect. If they have other bartenders at CP's i would have to assume they are of this caliber, so i could recommend going in there any time of day or night for a drink, but you should not miss that Happy Hour(*Every day from 4:00-7:00pm and again from 10:00pm to midnight- oh yeah). Great time, good drink with friends and i learned a valuable lesson--don't judge a bar by it's location or how pretty it is. It is the drinks that matter.
Thank you so much Gabrielle and Stacey.

On the way out we ran into the Bar Manager Eryck Chairez. We had met before at another venue that he had previously managed so i wanted to tell how awesome the experience was. We started chatting about friends from the other place, world event, etc., and suddenly an idea for fund-raising for Haiti came into existence.

Well the day is set, so mark your calender: February 22nd, from 7-10PM. There will be great drinks (6 dollars cash), a mixology competition, raffles and a representitive from the Red Cross to take all the money made that night.
We are still hammering out some detail and i think this deserves it's own post so stay tuned for more info!

**** Update: i found out the name of the drink that Gabrielle served me, it was a New Amsterdam and it is now on the Menu @CP's go try it and see for yourself how delicious it is!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Rum You Into Submission!!

Eva and Benjamin Melin-Jones.

What a great time...
i had a fantastic opportunity the head over to a rum lover's paradise-- Eva's Caribbean Kitchen for her second installment of "RUM YOU INTO SUBMISSION", this time featuring the delectable Rhum of Habitation Clément!
So we had a sampling of all of their 'Core line up'

(Clément Première Canne, Créole Shrubb, VSOP, Homere and XO), delicious cocktails and Eva's glorious food! Oh what a night. To top it off the ever-pleasant, charming, friendly and fun Benjamin Melin-Jones (managing director of Clément and a family member) was there to share from his family's history and the care and dedication put into Clement Rhum.

The place was filled with great people like RumDood and the lovely Niki Lovejoy

and here is RumDood (Matt Robold) with Wyatt Peabody in a photo by Tobin that i call-Dood and Peabody meet at last!:

engaging chats, great food, great drinks, great Rhum! Want more proof: Veronica Castro and Dave Danni seen here in a picture i call: Veronica trying block Daves face with a cocktail. . . nice try.

There are tons of great photos taken by Tobin Sharp here . . . so take a look and see some of the fun that these and 40 or 50 other people-- all had. An astonishingly good time-- fueled by delectable Rhum/Rhum Cocktails, exquisite food and fun people!

Here are the Cocktails, and their recipes (as concieved by Benjamin Melin-Jones, batched by me and served by the caring and ever friendly staff at Eva's):

Me batching...
***Welcome Cocktail***

‘TI PUNCH (Spiced. . . )
1 ½ oz. Clément Première Canne
½ oz. Spiced Sirop de Canne
Lime disk
Add Sirop to a small old-fashioned glass, Gently squeeze or muddle the lime disk into sirop, Add a spoon of crushed ice or one large hunk of ice into glass and
Première Canne, Swizzle

my buddy Ryan Boltan helping me batch..

Sirop de Canne Prep: Simmer (1 lb) Demerera Sugar and water with 3-4 broken up cinnamon sticks, fresh grated nutmeg, 5-6 cloves and 4-5 drops of vanilla extract until it reduces down to almost ½ (Syrup consistency). Simmering time should be about 20 to 25 minutes

Eva and the monster on our second set of 60 drinks...

***First Course***
1 ½ oz. Clément Premiere Canne
¾ oz. Clément Créole Shrubb
½ oz. Dolin Dry Vermouth
2 drops Fresh Grenadine
2 dashes Grapefruit Bitters
Shake and strain into a Chilled cocktail glass/ garnish with a lemon twist.

***Second Course***
2 oz. Clément Créole Shrubb
Muddled Lime and Orange
2 dashes West Indian Orange Bitters
½ oz. Soda Water
Muddle an orange wheel cut, 3 lime wedges and bitters in a mixing glass.
Add Créole Shrubb and ice and shake and Strain into a Collins glass with crushed ice and top with a splash soda water. Garnish with orange and lime triangle and a cherry.

***Third Course***
2 oz. Clément V.S.O.P. Rum
½ oz. Clément Créole Shrubb
Muddled Orange and Cherry
West Indian Orange Bitters
Orange Triangle and Cherry

Muddle an orange wheel, 2 Luxardo Maraschino Cherries, Créole Shrubb and bitters in a mixing glass. Add V.S.O.P. Rum and ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange triangle and cherry

***Fourth Course***
1 ½ oz. Clément V.S.O.P. Rum
1 oz. Clément Créole Shrubb
2 oz. fresh guava juice
½ oz. fresh lime juice
2 dashes Grapefruit bitters
Lime Wheel

Add all of the ingredients except for lime wheel into shaker, Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Float a lime wheel as the garnish

***Dessert Course***
1 oz. Clément Créole Shrubb
1 ½ oz. Averna
1 oz. chilled Espresso
Lemon peel

Add all of the ingredients except for the lemon peel into a shaker, shake and strain into a dessert/port wine glass and twist a lemon peel on the top.

Those were just the drinks.. we also tasted each of the Rhums individually to understand the recherché beauty that each Rhum inherently displays. The drinks were selected to coincide/ pair with each food course and Eva and Benjamin both outdid themselves. Let me show you the menu:

***First Course***
Calalloo Soup

***Second Course***
Conch Fritter
Bahamian Conch, sweet corn & roasted red peppers seasoned with garlic, lime, kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. Served with pineapple, pimiento relish

***Third Course***
Créole Stewed Fish
Wild Australian Orange Roughy marinated in Caribbean fish seasonings and stewed in our Voodoo sauce

***Fourth Course***
West Indian Curried Chicken
Succulent pieces of fresh chicken sautéed with Madras curry, garlic, cumin, katchula and potatoes. Served with coconut rice and sautéed vegetables

***Fifth Course***
Guava Rum Glazed Pork
A juicy piece of pork loin rubbed down and marinated with Eva’s stuff. Topped with Creole Shrubb Guava Rum Sauce, garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed vegetables

***Dessert Course***
Warm Molten Chocolate Cake, w/ Ice Cream

Rum You Into Submission indeed. Fantastic night, i wish you all could have been there-- and it was amazing (as every visit to Eva's is).

Monday, January 25, 2010

MXMO-- Tea . .

So MxMo is here again!!! Hosted by Cocktail Virgin/Slut and the theme is tea. . . i of course followed the exact letter of the rules:
• Find or concoct a drink recipe that uses tea or tisane (a herbal "tea" which lacks tea leaves) as an ingredient. This can be hot tea, cold tea, tea syrups, or infusions and use it in a cocktail, punch, or other drink type.

• Make the drink and then post the recipe, a photo, and your thoughts

i used a tisane called Yerba Mate. . . an absolute favorite for all of the reasons laid out at wikipedia (and a few more... i do enjoy my mate!) The drink i made-- if you will allow me-- fantastic! It is called The Bolar Tereré which is a reference to a cold style of drink made in Brazil with mate (follow the links-- you'll get the gist).
To construct this drink put 1 Teaspoon of Yerba Mate in my shaker, with 2 1/2 Oz of Cachaca and set the glass to chill (a minute), zest a nice long ribbon off of a lemon and tie it into 2 knots (spraying lovely oils all over the chilled glass), squeeze out juice (1 1/4 Oz), add 2 dashes of agave nectar for sweetener and then add ice to my shaker and shake.... Double strain into chilled sour glass... The recipe looks like this:

El Bolar Tereré

1 teaspoon of Yerba Mate infused momentarily
2 1/2 Oz Fazenda Mae de Ouro Cachaca
1 1/4 Oz Lemon Juice
2 Dashes Agave Nectar
Shaken Vigorously and double strained into a chilled sour glass
Garnish with a long lemon zest tied into 2 knots...

This drink is wonderful. Essentially a cachaca sour with yerba mate-- but tasty, very, very tasty!

Hey the MXMO roundup is here . . .

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Clément Première Canne

Clément Première Canne is exquisite, Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée Martinique Rhum. There i said it. This is how they do it:

Within thirty minutes of the sugarcane being cut, the sugarcane is crushed capturing the freshest and purest flavors of the estate-grown, A.O.C. certified sugarcane. To initiates fermentation an organic house yeast is introduced to the free-run juice, zymolysis is then further carried on by the organic field yeasts that live on the sugarcane in an open-top fermentation tanks. The length of fermentation (or zymolysis) is anywhere from 24 hours to 72 hours, resulting in a Vin de Canne (sugar wine), that is between 5-7% alcohol. These first steps are of the utmost importance to the final product, this sugary wine is where the full-bodied flavors and aromas are developed, before the are concentrated and refined in the distillation. The distillation is carried out in a single-column copper still allowing the ABV to remain very low and consistent. After distillation, the fresh cane spirit is placed in stainless steel tanks and oxygenated for nine months to removes any unpleasant esters, which could detract from the creamy clean flavor of the Rhum. The last step in a carefully observed series of quality control measures is estate bottling, insuring that every step of the production is achieved under the watchful eye of Habitation Clément.

That is what is known as care. These steps also apply to their VSOP, and their other wonderful Rhums. . .. but let's get back to tasting Clément Première Canne...

The nose is luscious with candied tropical fruit, floral tones and inviting spice that is redolent and sultry. The flavors are dry, bountiful and hardy displaying clearly the tones implied in the nosing: spices (cardamon, nutmeg, coriander), tropical fruit (pineapple and mango) and flowers (orchids, star jasmine) while evolving to include cocoa nibs, plantain and banana leaf. The finish is sexy, full, delicately spiced and lingering-- Yum!

For cocktail i pull out a couple favorites that are more 'rum focused' so that CPC could show off in my drink... First up:

Blue Boy Cocktail

2 Oz Clément Première Canne
1 Oz Sweet Vermouth (Carpano Antica)
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 dash orange bitters ( used Regan's a lot of complementing spices)
Shake until chilled & strain into chilled Cocktail Glass

and number 2 was a:

Rhum Sour

2 1/4 Oz Clément Première Canne
1 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 - 1 tsp sugar

Shake until chilled & strain into a chilled sour glass
Garnish with orange (or lemon) slice and a cherry

A dash of Peychauds is awesome in this. . .

Want to taste the entire Clement line, have some amazing drinks, with some incredible food? Eva's Caribbean Restaurant is having a rum dinner on Thursday January 28th that promises to be a do not miss event! Get your details here and here . . .

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Corzo Tequila dinner at SOL Cocina

Well last night i was fortunate enough to go to the Corzo Tequila dinner at Sol Cucina. Let me start off by saying what a nice restaurant! Classy, huge dining area, comfy siting arrangements, view of the bay--incredible food, friendly staff definitely check it out if you are in the Newport Beach area.
So let let me get into what we are about here at a drink with forrest. . .. i was there a bit early for the event so i sidled up to the bar and was impressed by all the measuring and fresh juices so i ordered one of my favorite drinks-- a Daiquiri. Only to hear "I'm sorry we don't have a blender, can i make you something else?". i started to explain that a blender is totally unnecessary because Daiquiri's . . . but they were busy and who wants to be that a-hole so i witnessed them making a Margarita and it looked yummy so i ordered one of them to start off with and doggone it it was yummy.
We then went down to get seeted into the secret room for the Corzo dinner and were greeted by more and even tastier Margaritas (these one were made with Corzo Silver) and several snifters of Corzo (the Blanco, Reposado and Añejo). It had been, unfortunately, quite some time since i had tasted Corzo (tho i have always liked it) so it was really good to go through the entire line again.
The highlight, for me, was the Corzo Brand ambassador Pablo Moix-- animated, articulate, well informed, enthusiastic and one heck of a drink mixer (i thought that it sounded funnier than mixologist. . .).
So summing it up: Great drinks, Great Tequila,Excellent food, friendly service, amazing environment-- i'd say that is what is classically known as a good night.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Batavia Arrack

Look at that label-- history!
Batavia Arrack is pot-distilled from molasses that is fermented with Red Javanese Rice on the Island of Java, Indonesia; the fermentation with rice which explains some of the surprising flavors found therein. The nose is intricate: floral tones, dark wood saw dust, herbaceous bay-laurel and dried basil. On the palate it is vibrant and round, filled with flavors moving so quick it is difficult to pick them; there is bread dough, and then basil and Kaffir, and finally roasted saffron and rangpur leaf. With a clean ending that is complex and layered, Batavia Arrack is a dry and exciting base for a drink, or as an superior modifier.

Here is a fun drink:

2 Oz Batavia Arrack
3\4 oz Antioqueño Aguardiente
3 Cardamom pods (crushed fresh, or a pinch of ground cardamom)
1/4 Lemon (squeeze it hard and drop the whole thing into the shaker)
1 Tablespoon of Passion Fruit Syrup

Shake vigorously, double strain into
Old Fashioned Glass with fresh ice