Friday, October 26, 2007

17) The Tiramisu

1.5 oz. Macallan Amber
1.5 oz. Godiva White Chocolate Liquer

Fill and Old Fashioned Glass halfway with ice, add ingredients and stir briefly. Garnish with a light dusting of either coco powder or nutmeg.

This one came about as a sort of follow up to our Elixir Cafe I had spied a bottle of Macallan Amber (a sort of whiskey Liquer with a maple infusion) and remembered having tried it a while back at a whiskey show. It's really quite a fantastic product and having remembered the excellent results that we got in combining the Nevan and Coffee Liquer I knew that was what I wanted to use. Ed felt that the Godiva would make for a good compliment to the strong vanilla flavor and, as always, he was right.

The final cocktail was very much more than the sum of its two parts. It had a much more vanilla flavor rather than maple with the chocolate elements very smooth and subtle. It's a simple drink with complex results, which is one of our favorite kinds of drinks.

The name? Well, that came about when one of the bar's regulars gave it a try and said it tasted like Tiramisu. I didn't really see the comparison, but since I enjoy naming drinks about as much as I enjoy getting punched in the crotch it was a done deal.

Comments always welcome, or if you prefer the e-mail fire away at drinkaweek [at] gmail [dot] com.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Well I'll Be Damned

I assumed it was going to be just another post work cocktail at Cantina (yes, I do go to other bars) but was a bit surprised when I was informed that there would be a guest bartender for the evening. I was a bit confused at first, but quickly became delighted upon finding out that the guest bartender was Nick Mautone. He was there advocating on behalf of Grey Goose Orange - When he asked me if I wanted to give a Vodka drink a try there was no way I was going to say no.

"So, do you like ginger?"
Except to that.
"Uh, not really. No."

Fortunately Mr. Mautone is twenty pounds of awesome in a ten pound sack. He began grilling me on the sorts of spirits and flavors I'm fond of, and in no time at all had whipped up a damn fine drink, and given my general dislike of Vodka that's saying something. About half way through the drink I noticed the owner, Duggan, had begun making a drink. Nothing to write home about, until he pulled out the egg.

See, I'm one of those sorts that is thoroughly skeeved out by the very idea of raw eggs. There are many things in this world which are to be consumed only after the through application of heat. Eggs are right up there on the top of the list. So it was that I watched Duggan make the drink, thinking all the while, I wonder what poor bastard is going to have to choke that down.

Somewhere between the completion of the drink, and it being set in front of me, I realized I was the poor bastard that was going to have to choke it down. Having roundly rejected ginger I suppose I could have looked at the drink and said something like, "Sir, are you trying to kill me? Take from me this vile beverage then fetch my top hat and monocle lest I give you a good thrashing!", but that just didn't seem like the thing to do at the time. So, with the restrained dedication of a child being forced to take their medicine I took a small sip.

And it was goddamned delicious.

The egg white provided a fantastic silky, creamy, foamy texture that I had never encountered in a cocktail before, yet had no discernable effect on the flavor of the drink. It was a delicious revelation and I am sure to be having many more in the near future. If, like me, you have been wary of drinks containing egg whites do yourself a favor and give one a try.

I'm still not ever going anywhere near a Flip though.

Monday, October 15, 2007

16) Green Machine

1.5 oz. Damrak Gin
.5 Cointreau
.5 oz. Green Chartreuse

Add all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake for 30 seconds and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime twist.

Ed and I came up with this one for a Damrak competition that was being held in town last week (he ended up not being able to make it). I have been playing around with Chartreuse a lot lately as I'm finding it a rather fascinating ingredient so I was pretty keen to see if we couldn't match the Gin with that. In our first attempt we use .5 oz of lime just instead of the Cointreau. Ed and I had the same reaction upon the first sip - There was a lot going on there. Unfortunately it also seemed as though the lime juice was a bit too much (though I'm beginning to think my palate has started rebelling against citrus for some reason).

Ed and I thought replacing it with Cointreau would provide a bit of brightness to help pull together the Gin and Chartreuse. What a difference that made. The flavor profile changed dramatically with the Chartreuse coming way up front but smoothed out by both the Gin and the Cointreau.

We were pretty happy with how it turned out, though one which we will probably revisit in the near future to see if we can't tweak it just a wee bit. For people not too fond of anise flavors it may not be the best drink to win them over with, though the original recipe might do the trick. Probably with a little less lime.

If you try this out let us know what you think, or if you give it a tweak leave us a comment or send us one of those e-mail deals to drinkaweek [at] gmail [dot] com will ya?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

This is not a cocktail

It is known by many things - "swamped", "in the weeds", "sweet mother of God will somebody please stop this endless march of thirsty bastards" - This weekend Ed was all of those and more. So it is with a heavy heart I regret to inform you that we are sans drink for this week. Rest assured that the hot sting of shame burns brightly up our respective cheeks, and we will labor in earnest to prevent this from happening again.

Speaking of shame, I was recently poking around a variety of web sites for local restaurants and came across the digital home for a relatively new restaurant naught but a stones throw from my office. My eye was immediately caught by the "Drinks" link in their menu, uh, menu and clicked away with perhaps a wee bit of glee. As I read through the menu I was not so much impressed as saddened. Sure, you could call them cocktails, but they were so uninspired and rife with drinks relying on Vodka which to me is not a good indication. Even so, imagine my horror when I saw their description for their Blood Orange Old Fashioned (emphasis mine) - "Fresh blood oranges, brandied cherries and sugar muddled together with bourbon and a splash of soda. A dash of orange bitters is added and you’ve got a refreshing classic in your hands."

No, what you will have in your hands is a fizzy glass of ass. When a restaurant puts its cocktail menu on its site, that is an indication that they look upon their cocktail program with the same dedication to quality that they have towards their food. With that in mind I have to admit that it takes some pretty serious balls to unleash unto the public at large the fact that nobody in your establishment has any fucking idea how to make one of the most classic cocktails in human history.

In spite of the fact that I sound like nothing other than a pompous harpy, I assure you that I don't really care if one wishes to drink an Old Fashioned with soda water or if that's what I bartender wants to put on their drink menu. Just call it what it is - Not an Old Fashioned. Call it a Whiskey Highball or even an Old Fashioned Fizz for all I care, but when any drink is altered far beyond the realm of reason (I'm looking at you martini!) yet not renamed it promulgates the falsehood to ridiculous levels.

Look, all I want is to be able to walk into a bar and be able to order and Old Fashioned confident that I’m going to get a goddamned Old Fashioned. There. I said it.

Hey look, content!

Would you like to tell me what a pedantic prick I am? Leave a comment or send us one of those e-mail deals to drinkaweek [at] gmail [dot] com.