Thursday, February 22, 2007

Habanero Orange Blossom

Gary Regan mentioned this one in the Chronicle, and now people are bugging me to get the recipe up here. Here it is:

Habanero Orange Blossom

1.5 oz. Sarticious Gin
1 oz Orange Juice
1 dash Orange Bitters
2 slices habanero pepper

Carefully remove all seeds and pulp from habanero pepper and cut it into slices or rings. (Wear rubber gloves when you're messing around with these pappers, they're hot!)

Dash the orange bitters into the cocktail glass. Shake the Sarticious Gin, orange juice, and a slice of habanero pepper and double strain into the cocktail glass, garnish with a slice of habanero pepper.

I used Sarticious Gin in this one because it has a lot of unique botanicals that go really well with the pepper. Jeff Alexander, the man behind Sarticious, mentions cilantro, coriander, cardamon, and orange among other secret ingredients. Orange juice is traditionally used to tame the heat from habaneros, so this cocktail seemed like a natural. The heat from the pepper goes really well with the orange juice and botanicals. It is hot though. If you don't like spicy, you probably won't like this one.

I'd like to make a habanero/gin infusion to use a drop or dash at a time like bitters. I think it would give a bit more control over the heat level in this cocktail. If you try this one, let me know what you think.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Mixology Monday XII:: Wrap-up

It's taken me a while to get it done, but here's the wrap-up from another successful Mixology Monday. I think I've got everyone who submitted a post for MM listed here and I've include a few other links that were either related to our topic, or posted on Monday and peripherally related. Here we go:


Matt, over at My Bar, Your Bar has picked up some Wild Turkey Rye Whiskey to experiment with and has come up with a variation on a boomerang. He found the results pleasing, and it sounds pretty good to me as well.

Thinking Bartender and cocktail researcher extraordinaire George Sinclair looks at the influence of Dick Bradsell on the UK scene, and includes a recipe and some background on the Manhattan.

Michael Dietsch from A Dash of Bitters presents the High Hat based on Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey. He also explores the neighborhoods of Brooklyn, and throws together a concoction to avoid. Good job Michael if you're not falling down on occasion, you're not trying.

The EGullet community has contributed several recipes in the Mixology Monday threads for this month. This one covers the Red Feather Boa, Metropole, Bob Tailed Nag, Suburban, and more.

Phil used Rittenhouse Bonded Rye Whiskey in the Sons of Baracktail cocktail. The recipe is something like: “Blah, blah de blahdy da, rye, blah blah, juice, blah blah.” You'll have to get over there and read the post for all the details.

Paul at Cocktail Chronicles has been exploring Rye Whiskey lately, and stays with it for the Colleen Bawn . Rye, Chartreuse and Benedictine sound like a powerful combination.

Rick at Kaiser Penguin gives us the Adam and Eve, using Elmer T. Lee Bourbon. He also takes a look at Difford's Guide and several other recipes. Another classic picture too!

Kurt provides us with the recipe for the Liberal, which he figures is a variation of the classic Manhattan. This is a good one to try if you're looking for a few more places to use Amer Picon.


Seamus covers whisky and whiskey. He also throws in an interesting original recipe with ideas for modifications. If Our Language Was Whiskey.

In my post, I mentioned that someone else had gone in the direction I had. In an example of "great minds think alike" (or sheer coincidence) Darcy has posted his version of the Rye-Tai. (I used whiskey and he used whisky.)

Haalo at Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once has posted a nice looking little cooler called the Canadian Summer. I'm not sure if Canadian Club is whisky or whiskey. Take a look at the great picture, try the recipe, and check out Paalo's vintage coaster! (and leave a comment about the coaster)

Outside of Mixology Monday.

Robert Hess isn't doing Mixology Monday this time, but on Monday he posted about Applejack, an original America "whiskey."

Eric Asimov at The Pour isn't doing Mixology Monday either, but he recently covered Bourbon, Moonshine and the ATF regulations.

Next Time.

The next Mixology Monday is scheduled for March 12th and hosted at Saving the World, One Drink at a Time . Keep track of all the upcoming events at Paul's main Mixology Monday page.


Monday, February 12, 2007

MMXII::Bergeron Cocktail (Rye-Tai)

Mixology Monday is back, this time with the theme "whisk(e)y." Everyone is sending in their posts now and I'll be writing the recap over the next day or so. Check back here for the full listing of posts. On to the Bergeron Cocktail.

The original recipe Mai Tai is one of my favorite cocktails. Made well, the depth of flavors and complexity can be unequaled. "Trader Vic" Bergeron's original recipe calls for Wray & Nephew 17-year-old rum. This element is nearly unobtainium. A few prized bottles were recently released in the UK, but other than those few bottles, it is hard to find. I wanted to explore some alternatives.

I thought that using rye whiskey might make an interesting variant. The relative lack of interest in rye over the past 20 years has had an interesting effect on the market. A lot of rye sat in the warehouses, for a long time. Now there are a lot of interesting, aged rye whiskies available. And they can be really nice. I like the 18-year-old Sazerac Rye, and I thought it would be an excellent candidate for my Rye Tai cocktail.

Here's my recipe:

Bergeron Cocktail
1.5 oz Sazerac 18 yr rye whiskey
1 oz Bacardi light rum
1 oz orange curacao
.5 oz lime juice
.25 oz orgeat syrup

Shake with ice and strain over crushed ice into a chimney. Garnish with a generous sprig of mint and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

The availability of so many interesting rye whiskies has turned rye into one of the next "hot categories." People are starting to ask about rye, but aren't always sure what to order. Right now, I'm using rye whiskey The Sazerac, The Old-Fashioned, and Manhattans, but for an interesting variant on a classic, try my Bergeron Cocktail recipe.

(As a side note, one of the benefits of being the host, is you get to see everyone's write-ups as soon as they are done. As I was working on my post, I got a note from another participant. It seems that the idea for a rye-mai-tai wasn't as unique as I thought, we've got another one. Come back for the wrap up and check out the other rye-tai recipe, as well as all the other great Mixology Monday posts.)

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Top 100 Cocktails

A while back I wrote about the "Top Ten Cocktails." That was a post about the top cocktails that people come into the bar and order. Merit had nothing to with the choice, it was all about popularity. What did people order. There wasn't even a classic cocktail on the list. It's been a popular post, and there are lots of people out there searching for top cocktails.

What if I could put together a list of the 100 best cocktails? That would be a monumental task. You'd have to mix expert knowledge of cocktails with a strong constituion, add in plenty of help from the likes of Tony Abou-Ganim, Jared Brown, Dale DeGroff, Jill DeGroff, Ben Dougherty, Lowell Edmunds, Kacy Fitch, Phil Greene, Ted Haigh, Robert Hess, Ryan Magarian, Chris McMillian, Anastasia Miller, The Regans, Audrey Saunders, Murry Stenson and David Wondrich.

Let me see. I'll compile the lists of drinks. Taste and verify all the recipes. (Probably several times.) Write something interesting about each recipe. Heck, once I've gone to all that trouble, I might as well write a book. And make it pocket-sized so people could take it along everywhere...

As all this was running through my mind, I discovered that Robert Hess and
Anastasia Miller had already taken care of it. All of it.

The Museum of The American Cocktail,
Pocket Recipe Guide.

This guide presents 100 classic cocktail recipes every bartender and cocktail lover should know. Small enough to put in your back pocket (3x4 inches), it contains historic notes and variations as well as mixing tips and details to deepen your understanding of the cocktail art. It's a value too. It costs about $10 shipped. I figure that's about the price of 1 cocktail. Cocktails covered include:

Algonquin, Aviation, Bacardi Cocktail, Bellini, Bijou, Corpse Reviver (#2), De la Louisiane, East India Cocktail, Fog Cutter, Jasmine, Jupiter, Last Word, Negroni, Pegu, Pisco Sour, Ramos Gin Fizz, Straits Sling, Vieux Carré, Ward 8, and the Zombie.

That's just a taste, there are 80 more classics in this little book.

It is fantastic, I couldn't believe it. Why had I never heard of it? I put this question to co-author Robert Hess, and he said "we're not really promoting it broadly because we don't really have ENOUGH of them."

They don't have enough of them. They do have some though. So go order one now. They are currently thinking about a larger print run, but get yours now and force their hand. The book is available at Amazon and, where you can also see the full recipe list.

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