Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Mixology Monday IV: Apéritif Wrap-up

Another great episode of Mixology Monday. Thanks to everyone for their posts. There were a lot of interesting ideas that I would have never even considered. And lots of cool pictures. I'm looking forward to a lot of expirimentation with all of the great recipes from this event. Send me an e-mail if I forgot you. I'm still expecting a few posts, and I'll update this list when they arrive. Here's the rundown of what I received, in no particular order.

Paul over at Cocktail Chronicles was so taken with the apéritif theme he ran off to Italy to research Vermouth at the source. That is dedication. He came back with three classic drinks that put the vermouth at center stage.

Robert "DrinkBoy" Hess didn't even know he was participating in MixMo. But if you post an apéritif cocktail on the same day as Mixology Monday: Apéritif, you're in! Robert posted about the Bijou cocktail over at The Spirit World. Chartreuse and sweet vermouth, sign me up.

Meeta Albrecht's post at What's for Lunch Honey? features the "Upton Apéritif." This cocktail features rum and pineapple. It sounds really good and Meeta's photos are gorgeous so be sure to check out this cocktail and spend a while looking through the photos.

Awesome. A double-barrelled effort! Michael and Jen really pushed out the boat with some great apéritif - food pairings over at adashofbitters and Gastronome. Seelbach, Cynar, Adonis, Artichokes, figs... Great!

Barbie2be has posted a recipe and a picture of of delicious-looking Champagne/Pernod combo called the Pernod Pom Royale. Pernod and champagne definitely fit the theme perfectly.

Haalo over at Cook (almost) anything at least once is using the wonderful Campari to mix up a Negroni. The proportions are unique, and it's a recipe I'm going to try. Haalo takes really great photos too, and you can spend hours browsing through the flickr collection.

Gabriella True, the reluctant housewife features Poire William and Framboise. The photo of the Poivre Framboise Apéritif is very inviting indeed.

Anna at Morsels & Musings writes up an elegant Fläderblom Martini (shaken please!)

Macky Lovina's post focuses on apéritif as an event and features Spanish Cava as a perfect party-starter.

Ed Charles explores Aperol and the Pink Grapefruit Double Agent. Extra credit for trying an amaro that wasn't Campari.

Darcy at theartofdrink has invented a drink that no one has ever tried before, and made it for the first time. From the sound of it he also made the last one ever.

Jonathan Arnold at Jiggle the Handle meets la Fee Verte and tries a pineapple mint margarita from MMIII:mint.

My post about the camparinete is here.

Don't forget, Mixology Monday V takes place at Jiggle the Handle on July 17th. The subject is Lemon and I'm really looking forward to it.


Monday, June 26, 2006

Mixology Monday Reminder

Just wanted to post a reminder that today is Mixology Monday. The posts are rolling in, but if you've put it off, it's time to post. The wrap-up will be posted sometime tomorrow, June 27th.


Apéritif - Campari

“The decline of the apéritif may well be one of the most depressing phenomena of our time.” --Luis Bunuel

Bunuel may have had something there, the apéritif could be an antidote for the rush-rush rat-race of the modern world. It's both a refreshing beverage, and it's the evening ritual of transition. It's a chance to relax and socialize, to share stimulating conversation and prepare for an evening meal. It brings a bit of cafe-culture that is sadly missing for most people's daily life.

Designed to waken the senses and develop the appetite, the apéritif encompases a wide variety of wines, spirits and liqueuers, usually accompanied by some light snacks.

I am focusing on three recipes that feature a classic Italian apéritif, Campari.

Campari and Soda
Campari and soda is the lightest of the three recipes. It's crisp and refreshing. A perfect summertime highball. This would be a great pre-lunch apéritif. (If you can get away with that sort of thing.) The recipe on the back of the Campari bottle calls for
2 parts Campari
1 part cold soda water
serve in a highball glass and garnish with an orange wheel

This is a good starting point, but you can adjust this at will to suit your taste, the time of day or your current mood.

The Americano is like a Campari and soda with a boost. Not as light as the Campari and Soda, the Americano maintains a crispness that serves its purpose well. The addition of the Sweet Vermouth really turns up the tastebuds. It's positively mouthwatering.

1 oz. Campari
1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
fill with cold soda water
serve in a highball glass and garnish with an orange wheel.

The Negroni is the King of Camparineti. The addition of gin makes this one more of a cocktail than an apéritif, but the bittersweet complexity shines through and manages to pique the appetite.

1 part gin
1 part Sweet Vermouth
1 part Campari
garnish with an orange twist

Get some Campari and set out some almonds, make some time, and revive L' Apéritif. Do it this week. Do it again next week. Start a trend and build on it. They say what's old is new again.


Friday, June 16, 2006

The Daiquiri

It's hard to nail down the classics. The differences can be subtle, and the research can take you far and wide. The picture above illustrates that fact. That's me researching the daiquiri. When you order one, you never know what you're going to get. The key to a simple classic like this is getting the proportions just right.

Field work is one thing, but I've been reading up on the various versions of this classic.

Burke's Complete Cocktail & Drinking Recipes (1934):
1 glass light rum (2 oz.)
2 teaspoons powdered sugar
juice of 1/2 lime
if desired, 3 dashes grenadine

Except for that bit at the end about the grenadine, this is quite a standard recipe. It's quite similar to what you'd find today in Wondrich's Esquire Drinks or Gary Regan's Joy of Mixology. If you do add the grenadine, I think it stops being a Daiquiri and becomes a Bacardi Cocktail, Country Club Style (see Bullock's Ideal Bartender over at slakethirst).

Then you see a Bacardi Cocktail actually listed as a Daiquiri in
Patrick Gavin Duffy's Mixer's Manual (1940):
1 jigger bacardi
2 dashes grenadine
juice of 1 lime

There is standard version in Embury's, The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks (1961);
1 sugar syrup
2 lime juice
8 cuban white rum

But Embury also lists Ribalaigua's 5 numbered daiquiris:
#1: like our basic recipe
#2: adding orange juice and curacao
#3: basic recipe + 1 tsp grapefruit juice and 1 tsp maraschino liqueur
#4: gold rum + maraschino liqueur
#5: basic recipe + 1 tsp maraschino liqueur and 1 tsp grenadine

And just to muddle things (so to speak) Embury mentions a Daiquiri Grenadine which he says goes by the name Santiago, but which we would call a Bacardi Cocktail.

The Good Doctor lists a recipe like this in VSFC*:
2 oz light rum
juice from 1/2 lime
1 teaspoon simple syrup
1 teaspoon maraschino liqueur
serve blended with ice

And that is quite similar to what I'm making as my standard, except that I'm shaking it hard and serving it up in a cocktail glass.

The Daiquiri:
2 oz light rum
1 teaspoon simple syrup
1 teaspoon maraschino liqueur
3/4 oz fresh squeezed lime juice.
Shake hard over ice. No garnish. No grenadine.

I'd like to hear what other people are using as their "standard" Daiquiri.

*This book is so good and important, I think it deserves an acronym. Note it also can stand for Very Special Effing Cocktailbook.


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Mixology Monday IV: Apéritif

A good apéritif is to it's drinker what a ringing bell is to Pavlov's dog. -- Paul Harrington, from the definition of Apéritif in "Cocktail."

It looks like we had 15 posts for Mixology Monday III. The topic for MM IV is going to be Apéritif. No restrictions other than that, and I don't want to say too much more.

Same rules as before, tell us something about Apéritif and throw in a picture or a drawing scrawled on the back of a bar napkin, if you can. When you finish your post, send me an e-mail with a link. I'll recap everything here on Tuesday. Make sure to link back to the cocktail hour so everyone can find all the posts.

MM I: Pastis.
MM II: Coffee.
MM III: Mint.

The bell rings on Monday, June 26th.