Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Whiskies of the World - San Francisco

Just a quick reminder to get your tickets now for the premier whisky show in San Francisco. The 9th annual Whiskies of the World Expo is coming back to San Francisco March 28th and 29th. This year's show promises to be excellent once again. Riannon has divided the event over two days in order to give you a chance to see all the workshops and trainings, and enjoy the tasting halls to the fullest.

Lorne MacKillop

Friday March 28th Whiskies of the World plays host to the brightest minds and sharpest palates in the whisky business. Seminars highlights include Lorne MacKillop, John Glaser, Lincoln Henderson, Simon Brooking, The Great Whisk(e)y Debate and others.

Whisskey Debate

Saturday March 29th marks the beginning of the serious whisky tasting.
This year the Expo returns to the San Francisco Belle, docked in San Francisco Bay. The Belle offers plenty of room for moving about and sampling whiskies from Aberfeldy, Ardbeg, Bruichladdich, Glenmorangie, Glenrothes, Oban, Springbank and many, many more.

All the details, including information on purchasing your tickets is available at the Celtic Malts website. Hurry and get your tickets now before the show is sold out.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Mixology Monday - Variations Wrap-up

Thanks to everyone for participating in this month's Mixology Monday. My inbox
was absolutely flooded with links to all the great posts.

One guy in Oregon really knows how to bring his name to the top of the list. He spends a few paragraphs just talking about how great I am. What a guy! Before I get to him though, I wanted to mention a few of the first-timers.

Esquire magazine has re-tooled the awesome Drinks Database and Dave Wondrich has started a new Esquire Drink Blog with a Mixology Monday post on the Hot Pink Handgun.

First timer Sunday Cook, takes the pain out of tax time with the AMT Cocktail.

Felicia's Atomic Lounge's first Mixology Monday post includes the most interesting Cosmo recipe I've seen.

Brian at avenue food brings the 1794 which is a cool San Francisco
variation on the Manhattan.

Before I get to that great guy in Oregon I wanted to run through a few of the veterans as well:

Cameron and Anita bring out Hot Toddy's in all their variations.

Anna Volena presents the variations of Lillet. MetaGrrrl also brings out the Lillet for the BYP and a few of Chuck's variations also call for Lillet.

Jay explores the degrees of separation.
I must be connected to Jay by somewhat less than six degrees. gets into the spirit with a riff on the classic G&T.

East meets west via Dr. Bamboo. The good doctor provides another stunning illustration as well.

Darcy's done it again. His Tequila Maria sounds really good and showcases his creative skill perfectly.

TraderTiki has got a rundown on Mai Tai variations. Craig's got an awesome photo and another group of tiki variations.

Doug over at the Pegu Blog has an entry that involves bottles that wear little hats!

Anna from Morsels and Musings provides an interesting tweak on the Sidecar. (My post also looked at several Sidecar recipes.)

Lance refers to some of the variations being explored by the new Oregon Bartenders Guild.

Ten, count 'em, ten variations on the Gin Fizz.

Variations on the Blue Blazer by Ian.

Haalo provides a variation on the Cosmo.

Scomorokh presents the Long Island Iced Tea and all the variations thereof.

Robert wants to have the last word, his way.

Cynthia's got all the details on the Brandy Alexander, and includes a video.

That guy who goes around insulting other cocktail writers (and founder of a little thing called Mixology Monday by the way) features the Oaxaca Old Fashioned. RumDood also brings us something Old Fashioned.

Jamie Boudreau and Jacob Grier both take a look at one of my favorites.

The Scofflaw's Den has some sunrise variations and a bronx cocktail and a Suffering Bastard.

The ladies of LUPEC Boston are extremely excited about the new availability of Creme de Violette.

The Opinionated Alchemist, AKA Dominik MJ, brings out the "lady" drinks.

[I screwed that up good.]
Sonja covered all the "Lady" drinks at Thinking of Drinking.

The opinionated alchemist has the gorgeous OP|AL Basin Street Cocktail.

A variation on the Maiden's Prayer:

Keith enhances the bitter in his Negroni .

Before I get to that top guy, I wanted to bring in all the posts that Erik has collected from eGullet members:

Katie Loeb, (aka KatieLoeb,) making a variation on the Moscow Mule,
called the Mumbai Mule.

Janet Zimmerman, (aka JAZ,) making a variation on the Last Word called
the Closing Remark.

Mike S. made a variation on the Rusty Nail called the Silver Nail.

Erik Ellestad, (aka eje,) made a variation on the Bull-Dog called the
Dozier Cooler.

Andy Arrington, (aka thirtyoneknots,) made a variation on the
Floradora he calls The Floradora, Imperial Style.

Dave Scantland, (aka Dave the Cook,) made a variation on the Paradise
cocktail called the Paradise Regained.

Bonus midnight Sidecar variation from Andy Arrington.

So that's it. Thanks to everyone who participated in this month's Mixology Monday.
Oh yes, before I forget, Jeffrey Morgenthaler's post is here. Thanks for saying all that nice stuff about me, Jeff.


Mixology Monday - Sidecar Variations

Paul Harrington wrote that "few drinks boast as many variations as the sidecar."
I think this is true. I decided to look through a few old books and see if I could nail down a good formula for this classic concoction.

David Embury is often recognized for preferring very dry cocktails. In his classic "The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks" he list this Sidecar:

David Embury Sidecar

8 parts Cognac or Armagnac
2 parts lemon juice
1 part Cointreau or triple sec

This 8:2:1 recipe is very dry and can be too sour for my taste. Embury calls the Sidecar a variation on the daiquiri, and getting into our Mixology Monday theme offers a sidecar variation with applejack
which he calls the Apple Car.

Harry McElhone gives us a 1:1:1 ratio in his 1922 "ABC of mixing cocktails."

Harry McElhone Sidecar

1/6 gill of fresh Lemon Juice.
1/6 gill of Cointreau.
1/6 gill of Cognac Brandy.

This equal parts recipe tastes a bit flabby to me and I think it could be balanced out with more Cognac.

Paul Harrington, who opened up this line of exploration for me, splits the difference and references a 2:1:1 ratio:

Harrington Sidecar

1.5 oz. Cognac
3/4 oz. Cointreau
3/4 oz. lemon juice

Some versions of the sidecar call for a sugar-coated rim.
Scott Beattie, the creative mixologist at Healdsburg California's Cyrus mixes up a
special sugar blend for his Sidecar variation:

Charentes Sidecar

1 1/2 ounces Cognac
1/2 ounce Cointreau or other triple sec
1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 orange twist

Beattie's Sugar mix:
3 tbsp superfine sugar,
2 tbsp minced orange zest,
a pinch of ground clove.

Moisten the outer rim of a martini glass with the lemon wedge; coat lightly with the sugar mixture.

Beattie's recipe is a true variation, and he's put his own mark on the drink.

The Sidecar in the Savoy book favors a 2:1:1 ratio like Harrington's:

Savoy Sidecar

1/4 lemon juice
1/4 Cointreau
1/2 brandy

"Here's How" a 1933 reference by Emmett Atherton lists a 2:1:1 formula but throws in a few dashes of bitters.

Here's How Sidecar

one half wine glass Cognac
one fourth wine glass curacoa
one fourth wine glass lemon juice
two dashes angustora bitters

All these ratios, and the effort involved in trying them out, can make your head spin. Rather than proclaim one true Sidecar recipe I'm going to follow the lead of the esteemed Gary Regan in his "The Joy of Mixology," and punt. Gary gives a good starting point and then encourages you to work up your own formula. Here's Gary's starting point.

Gary's Sidecar Starting Point

1.5 oz. Cognac
1 oz. Triple Sec
1/2 oz lemon juice

It's as good a place to start as any. My preference lies somewhere between Gary's starting point and The Harrington/Savoy recipe. Half the fun should be in the journey anyway. You may need a sidecar to ride home in. Have fun.

The Mixology Monday recap will be here at Jimmy's Cocktail Hour tomorrow. I've received a lot of links and seen many great posts already.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Mixology Monday - Variations

This is a reminder to all the bloggers that next week's Mixology Monday will be hosted right here at Jimmy's Cocktail Hour.

The theme this time around is "Variations." You can present your variation of a classic recipe, or compare several variations of the same recipe, or anything really. I'm keeping the theme open to anything so get creative.

Post your variations next Monday, February 11th, and send me a link to your post. I'll post the wrap-up here once I receive all the links.

[updated with Jeffrey's fine logo.]