Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Obesello Absinthe Vert

A while back, We got an e-mail from a representative of Obesello Absinthe asking us if we would be interested in being sent a bottle to try out. Why, yes -- Yes we would. Like most other Americans, Absinthe is new to us due to its recently legal status 'round these parts, so getting our hands on yet another bottle to add to those which we have had so far was a-ok with us. Ed isn't actually much of an anise fan, so it was left up to me to give this stuff a whirl. My life? It is so hard.

I first tried it neat -- The anise was huge (as one might expect) , with a lingering, sweet follow up. Past the anise punch were hints of mint and vanilla. Not surprisingly, sans water it's a big punch of heat and flavor -- Definitely asking for a little bit of water to open it up. With the water, there is a beautiful opalescent louche. Opened up, the botanicals come out to play with the anise -- The flavors cling to the tongue like I used to cling to my He-Man action figure.

I also wanted to give the Obesello a whirl in a cocktail to see how it would mix. My first thought was to try it in one of my favorites, the Sazerac. I decided that it might be more fun to try it out in something different, just for kicks. I ran on over to the always handy Cocktail DB and came across the Yellow Daisy. I had encountered this drink before and thought it would be a good one to take the Obesello for a ride.

Yellow Daisy
1.5 oz. Gin
.5 oz. Dry Vermouth
.25 oz. Grand Marnier
.25 oz. Obesello

The Gin and Absinthe were quite dominant, and it seemed to me that .25 oz. of Absinthe called for is a bit much. However, as the drink had time to rest, a bit more balance developed. The notes of the Grand Marnier asserted themselvs a bit more, and I feel the rounding out effects of the vermouth.

Overall, I like this entry into the Absinthe market. I still fall into the camp of 'if you can only have one Absinthe' choose St. George, but as people begin to take advantige of of the Absinthe craze, and churn out crap, Obesello is a well crafted, worhty entry to the market. Well worth giving a try if you get the chance.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

SF Cocktail Week

It's down to the wire, but I just done got to let y'all know that San Francisco Cocktail Week is just around the corner. I made it to a few of the events last year, and had a damn fine time at each.

One of the things I'm particularly excited about is the USBG cocktail competition. I've been to a few similar events in the past, and they're a fun way to see a real breadth of drinks being made by the best bartenders around.

The thing I'm really digging for this year is the day of bar school classes that are going on around various parts of the city. All the classes look to be gangbusters, but there are a couple that I particularly wish I could attend.

Cane, grape & cactus -- I probably shouldn't admit this, but Latin spirits are a bit of a weakness in by booze knowledge. I know the basics, sure, but the intricacies of the wide selection of southern continental potables are far from my forte. While it's true that Duggan has been known to dress so snazzy as to cause severe bouts of vertigo, and Jordan will smash you with friendliness (tell him, "not in the face!") -- This is a great opportunity to learn from two of the most knowledgeable folks in the city.

Gentleman's Companion -- I've said many times that I believe Slanted Door is running one of the best cocktail programs that isn't talked about in San Francisco. The man behind that program is also the man behind the program at the recently opened second Charles Phan project Heavens Dog. Erik Atkins is that man, and on my first visit to "The Dog", his passion for the drinks from Charles H. Baker's book was infectious. To see one of the best bartenders, talking about one of his favorite drink manuals will be treat indeed. Also, if you ask him nicely, he may show you how he is able to turn ice blocks into any number of shapes using nothing but the power of his mind.

I'm biased to be sure, but any and all cocktail week events you can make, you should get your fine bodies to. You won't regret it.