Wednesday, February 27, 2008

More Link Mania!

And we're back. But not really. Some unusually busy weekends for Ed, and a bit of a bout of self-doubt regarding this endeavor that has been gripping my soul like the jaws of life has briefly slowed the booze-barge. Since, however, Ed and I think of you fondly, and drunk dial you often, we've got links! Hooray!

Ever wonder just why flaming orange zest over your cocktail works? Thanks to my good friend Rob we now have science! With video! Video science!

Oh you kids and your crazy drinks!

I recently finally took a look at the cocktail menu at the recently opened Epic Roasthouse and have to say I'm pretty damn intrigued. Ed and I are hoping to get over there soon, and with any luck a field trip report. If you don't live in or around San Francisco this is sure to be the most boring link you'll see today. Sorry.

Tales Of The Cocktail! It's a bit too early to know if Ed and I are going to be able to make it down to New Orleans, but hopes are high. Judging from what I heard about last year's event this is the place to be if you are at all interested in cocktails.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

27) Allegory #1 and #2

Correction - It was pointed out to me that the instructions on the #2 were incorrect thanks to some devious cutting and pasting action on my part. Previously the instructions indicated that one should top off the drink with milk as in the #1, however that is oh so wrong. The half and half was a replacement for the milk, so there is no need to add it in this incarnation. The recipe has been corrected for the benefit of the future!

Allegory #1
1.5 oz. Rittenhouse 100 Rye
.75 oz. Vermeer Chocolate Liqueur
.5 oz. Aperol

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake briefly and strain into an Old Fashioned glass half full of ice then top off with milk.

Allegory #2
2 oz. Bullitt Bourbon
.75 oz. Vermeer Chocolate Liqueur
.5 oz. Aperol
.25 oz. Half and Half

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake the sweet living bejeebus out of it for ten seconds and strain into an Old Fashioned glass half full of ice. Garnish with an orange twist.

This cocktail pretty much got started on a whim when Ed spotted a bottle of Vermeer Chocolate Liqueur on the back bar. We had a taste and were quite won over. Made with Dutch chocolate, cream, and Vodka we found it to be extremely smooth with a rich, true chocolate flavor and undertones of cherry. Introducing a fruit flavor to work with the chocolate seemed like a fairly natural choice, and as I scanned the bar for what we might use I got a little bit of inspiration in going for the Aperol. I figured the mild orange flavor would work well, and the mild bitterness would actually provide a nice contrast to the chocolate.

As we were looking at this as more of a brunch drink than anything else I advocated the lengthening of the drink with milk. It also helped to spread out, but not overly dilute, the strength of all the ingredients. Ed and another Elixir regular thought the Rye was too much though. More punch in the face than they were comfortable with I suppose. I, however, was quite fond of it, and thought we had a fine drink on our hands. Then again, I'm quite a fan of the Rye so it may well be the case of a drink that was simply pandering to my particular tastes. Fortunately I'm the writer here so I get to put the recipe up anyway. Take that, uh, invisible people trying to stop me!

With one dubious drink out of the way, we set about with the tinkering. The first thing that had to go was the Rye so we could bring in our old friend Bourbon. Ed then started getting squirrelly on the milk angle. He was thinking that the milk was rather unnecessary, but I felt some sort of cream was needed to cut the richness of the chocolate and bitterness of the Aperol. We reached a happy compromise with the addition of a small amount of half and half and a short but vigorous shaking to give some volume to it.

This version is one dangerous drink I tells ya. It was very tasty, and with nary a hint of its boozy background it goes fast. The picture of the drink may make the portion look somewhat austere, but that's because I kept sucking it down - I mean, tasting for quality - before realizing I really ought to take a picture before it was gone. Which it was about 5 seconds after I snapped the photo.

Comments always welcome or feel free to e-mail us at drinkaweek [at] gmail [dot] com.

Friday, February 8, 2008


Thanks to an anonymous tip from a friend, I've been made aware that our humble site has been blocked by the Marin County school board as we fall under the category of "alcohol and tobacco".

I must admit it makes me just little bit sad to know that Ed and I will no longer be able to tempt children with our demonically delicious descriptions of delectable drinks into saving up their allowance for a year to go out and buy top shelf liquor, bitters, and a shaker so they can then go out into the woods and get totally wasted on Foo's, Pisco Pom's, and Sour Cherry Rye's.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

26) Sapin

1.5 oz. Plymouth Gin
.5 oz. Canton Ginger Liqueur
.5 oz. Yellow Chartreuse
.5 oz. Lemon Juice

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Shake, strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry.

I am a lazy man. A lazy, lazy man. Ed knows this, and respects my ability to lay in bed for extended periods of time. That doesn't mean, however, that he's content to sit around the bar waiting for me to show up so we can get to making the cocktails. As a man of great discretion he chooses the subtle arts over blatant violence when it comes to motivating me. So it was that, as I was watching a French movie revolving around the kidnapping of the pope by ghouls, I received a text from Ed - "We've got Canton and the Yellow Chartreuse finally showed up".

That got my attention, and sounded a wee bit more interesting than a French transvestite trying to save the pope from the forces of evil, so I marshaled my internal resources and headed off, my mind full of possibilities.

Canton is a new Cognac based ginger liqueur - The first time I tried it I was a bit fearful as I expected it to be some sort of sweet ginger tongue curling hellwater. I was pleasantly surprised by it's even balance and not too liberal use of the ginger flavors. Using Gin as the base seemed like a no brainer for Ed and I. While I would certainly like to see how the Canton would make overtures towards Whisky or Tequila, we really wanted to give the Canton a chance to take more of a center stage. The yellow Chartreuse was mild enough to not overwhelm the Canton or the botanicals of the Gin, but still add a nice undertone of spice to contract with the mild tartness of the lemon.

Ed and I really liked this drink. The four ingredients made for a nice overall flavor, but the Canton was indeed able to take the spotlight. Notes of honey hit first then gave way to a slightly spicy notes at the back of the tongue. If I'm not mistaken (which, if history is any guide, I probably am) Canton is currently in limited release but should be widely available before the end of the year. If you can find a bottle, I'd highly recommend picking some up and giving it a try.

Comments always welcome or feel free to e-mail us at drinkaweek [at] gmail [dot] com.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Rhum Clement Creole Shrub

I know there's been a bit of a recipe glut, but there will be a new one up tomorrow. I promise. Right now though I'd like to take a moment to talk about Rhum Clement Creole Shrub. It's an orange liqueur based on agricole rum produced in Martinique. What's agricole? What's creole shrub? Which way lays madness? Why are you even talking about this?

Rhum agricole is, simply put, rum which is produced using the juice of fresh pressed sugar cane as opposed to molasses. Creole Shrub? Well, that a syrup which is made from dried orange peels and various spices. It made its way from Africa to the Indies via the slave trade, and is most often made by small companies and in homes for Carnival and mixed with rum. Pretty much like the yearly appearance of Egg Nog 'round Christmas time.

Madness is down the hall, third door on your left.

I'm talking about it for two reasons. The first is that Ed and I have had Rhum Clement on our radar for a while, though haven't really used it much. Turns out that's a bit of a shame - A few weeks ago Ed, having done so himself, set me up with a tasting of Rhum Clement, Cointreau, and Grand Marnier. Other than getting an overdose of orange, the results were pretty interesting. The Grand Marnier had a nice orange flavor but the Cognac gave it a bit of a burning edge. The Cointreau was a bit smoother yet the orange flavor was distinctly candy like. Think starbursty. Which is totally a word. To my surprise the Rhum Clement was an excellent middle ground - There was no harsh alcohol burn, and the orange flavor was a perfectly non-candy like. The rum base really didn't hit like I thought it would either. Definitely the sort of thing we'd look for in something to use instead of Cointreau or Grand Marnier.

The second reason I'm talking about it is because Ed and I attended a Shrub event at Cantina a couple of nights ago hosted by the man behind the booze, Benjamin Jones. Taking place in the bar's sub-basement Gamma, owner Duggan and barman supreme Jordan were on hand as well mixing up drinks showcasing the Shrub as Mr. Jones talked about its history and production. It was certainly a fine combination of information of deliciousness.

While I'll certainly be keeping other orange liqueur's around the house as they obviously have their place (have I mentioned that being a drink nerd is expensive?), if you only keep one bottle of that sort of thing around I'd certainly recommend the Shrub.

I suppose I should also mention that I have nothing to do with the Clement folks. The event I attended was open to the public - I didn't even get any free shwag. Except for drinks, which I suppose really is the best shwag one can get.

Both Ed and I, however, are totally up for being bribed if anybody's interested though.

Comments always welcome or feel free to e-mail us at drinkaweek [at] gmail [dot] com.