Archive for July, 2008

July 17th, 2008

Blogging Tales, part 1

Jeffrey Morgenthaler, blogger and bartender from Eugene, Oregon, wrote about my Tales of the Cocktail panel yesterday for the Tales Blog. Thanks, JM! I’ll soon link to my own posts on the collective cocktail blog to let you know what we’re all up to down here in New Orleans.

Posted in New Orleans | No Comments »

July 15th, 2008

Yankees in NOLA

Sazerac Cocktail posterFrom what I’ve heard, there is a sizable contingent of Boston-area bartenders, writers and cocktail enthusiasts heading to New Orleans this week for Tales of the Cocktail. I’m looking forward to running into my fellow New Englanders wherever I go, whether it’s the panel on gin called “Juniperlooza: A Journey Deep into the Heart of Mother’s Ruin,” the French 75 bar at Arnaud’s or the cemetery where part of Easy Rider was filmed.

New Orleans is still doing some serious rebuilding and repopulating three years after Hurricane Katrina, and for me and a lot of other attendees, Tales is partly about showing the natives some moral support and generating some cash for the restaurant and hotel employees who make our good times roll.

So leave a nice tip for that Sazerac, which, in case you hadn’t heard, was just declared New Orleans’ official cocktail by the Louisana legislature (thanks in part to Tales organizer Ann Tuennerman). Writer, bon vivant and New Orleans native Chuck Taggart, whom I’m looking forward to seeing again this year, writes lovingly about the Sazerac here. Scroll down a bit for the recipe, and be sure to follow it to the T if you want to taste the real thing.

I’ll be drinking Sazeracs (and Obituaries and Vieux CarrĂ©s) this week and blogging from the Crescent City.

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Posted in New Orleans | 1 Comment »

July 9th, 2008

Hendricks & limericks

Hendrick’s Beantown Bartender Battle The limerick’s structure somewhat
necessitates *eloquent* smut.
If you haven’t the time
to learn meter and rhyme,
then don’t write them, you ignorant slut.

– From the top 150 limericks on LimerickDB

Finally, a contest for those yearning to combine their mixology and rhyming skills. The Hendrick’s Beantown Bartender Battle is putting out the call to all Boston-area mixologists — from those who pour booze for a living to those who have never mixed a drink outside their kitchen — for original recipes using Hendrick’s gin. Recipes can use up to six ingredients, but Hendrick’s must serve as the base. The cocktail also must highlight one of the 13 botanicals used in the gin: cucumber, rose petal, elderflower, chamomile, juniper berry, caraway seed, coriander, cubeb berry, orris root, lemon peel, orange peel, meadowsweat, and angelica. (Anyone who highlights cubeb berry should get extra credit.)

Submissions are due Wednesday, July 23, and should be emailed to Hendrick’s brand ambassador Charlotte Voisey at cvoisey@wgrantusa.com

Now for the fun part. Charlotte will select five finalists and invite them to present their cocktails to a panel of judges at Green Street (280 Green St., Cambridge) on Tuesday, August 5. The contestants can use only one five-line limerick to present, describe or announce their cocktails to the judges. The judges will, of course, consider the limerick along with the cocktail. First prize is a round-trip air ticket to anywhere in the U.S., and Hendrick’s promises other, “mysterious and unusual” prizes.

If you just want to be a spectator, no problem. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7:00 p.m., are $20. Charlotte and Green Street bar manager Misty Kalkofen will mix up four Hendrick’s gin cocktails, and there’ll be some bites to eat, too. To reserve your spot ahead of time, call Green Street at 617-876-1655.

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Posted in Events, Gin | 9 Comments »

July 5th, 2008

Saints of St. Germain

St. GermainBoston bartenders made an impressive showing in a recent St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur mixology contest at Employees Only in New York City. Congrats to No. 9 Park barman Ben Sandrof for taking first prize, which came with a bounty of $5,000. Ben schooled competitors from some of the country’s best cocktail bars, including Bourbon and Branch in San Francisco, the Violet Hour in Chicago, Dressler in Brooklyn and Seven Grand in L.A.

“I’m totally honored. The amount of talent in that room was pretty remarkable,” he says.

Another Boston competitor, singled out by contest judge and “King Cocktail” Dale DeGroff for her original St. Germain cocktail, was Misty Kalkofen of Green Street. She summarized the competition, which she said “was nerve wracking”:

The first round involed a “written test about spirits. The second round we were presented with four bottles marked A, B, C and D. We had two minutes to taste them and guess what they were. We then had five minutes to pick one of them and make an original creation for the judges. That was tough. Then the last round was building the cocktail you had submitted.”

The last round almost did Ben in. Curdled cream and a broken glass tripped up his first two attempts at mixing his Sureau Fizz within the time limit, but he managed to twist an orange peel over his third attempt just as the horn blew. Nice work, Ben and Misty. You made us proud.

Here’s the recipe for Ben’s winning cocktail, the Sureau (that’s French for elderflower, mes amis) Fizz.

Sureau Fizz

2 oz Beefeater gin
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 oz St. Germain
3 drops orange blossom water
1 1/2 oz heavy cream
1 fresh raw egg white
1 oz soda water

Method: Shake all ingredients for 10-12 minutes and pour into a collins glass. Top with soda water. Garnish with orange oil.

And here’s the recipe for Misty’s drink:

Summer of Sureau

1 1/2 oz St. Germain
1/2 oz Batavia Arrack
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/4 oz pineapple syrup*
3 dashes Bittermans Boston Summer Bittahs

Shake over ice and strain into a cocktail glass. *Pineapple syrup: pass fresh pineapple juice through a fine strainer lined with a cone filter (a coffee filter would work, too). Then take the pineapple water and make a syrup that’s two parts pineapple water, one part sugar.

Posted in Bartenders, Liqueur | 9 Comments »

July 2nd, 2008

Punched!

Eastern Standard Flowing Bowl Punch Party - Jackson Cannon

If Monday night’s Flowing Bowl Punch Party, hosted by drinkboston at Eastern Standard, were a high-diving competition, it would score a perfect 10 for both execution and technical difficulty. I mean, how often do you walk into a bar and see 60-odd people holding decorative cups filled with punch made from 200-year-old recipes? How often are you served a drink that involves steeping three kinds of booze, multiple fruits and spices and green tea in hot water for several hours, adding milk, straining the curdled mixture through cheesecloth twice and chilling the finished product down with a massive ring of ice decorated with pineapple slices? And how often do you see bartenders ladling liquid out of large, flowing bowls instead of shaking cocktails?

Eastern Standard Flowing Bowl Punch Party - Chatham Artillery Punch

Thanks to Jackson Cannon and Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli for concocting the four punches — all deceptively potent and enjoyably distinct from one another — from recipes in David Wondrich’s Imbibe!, the Savoy Cocktail Book and Martha Washington’s own notebook. And thanks to the rest of Eastern Standard’s staff for the charcuterie, deviled eggs, beef carpaccio and other tasty bites, and the gracious service.

Below is a list of the punches that were served, along with their key ingredients and bits of historical poetry revealing that odes to alcoholic beverages in America existed well before the Algonquin Round Table. To create these punches yourself, either consult the aforementioned sources or click on the links below.

Eastern Standard Flowing Bowl Punch Party - Savoy Milk Punch No. 1

Philadelphia Fish-House Punch
Toast of Schuylkill and to Independence!

Lemon juice
Cane sugar
Mixture of cognac, rum and house-made peach brandy
Cold water

Created by a colonial rod and gun club on the banks of Pennsylvania’s Schuykill River and remembered in modern times thanks to a recipe passed on by a Philadelphia lawyer, Charles Godfrey Leland.

“There’s a little place just out of town,
Where, if you go to lunch,
They’ll make you forget your mother-in-law
With a drink called Fish-House Punch.”

Martha Washington’s Rum Punch
Cheers to our first First Lady!

Juice of lemons & oranges
Spice mix of clove, cinnamon & nutmeg
Oranges
Curacao, light & dark rums
Water

This recipe is said to have come from Martha Washington’s own journal.

“This ancient Silver bowl of mine, it tells of good old times,
Of joyous days, and jolly nights and merry Christmas Chimes
They were a free and jovial race, but honest, brave and true,
That dipped their ladle in the punch when this old bowl was new.”

Eastern Standard Flowing Bowl Punch Party - Punch drinkers

Chatham Artillery Punch
For soldiers young and old, men of action, brave and bold!

Pineapples, lemons, oranges & cherries
Native wine, rum & rye
Cherry nectar
Strong green tea & champagne

The house punch of the Chatham Artillery of Savannah, Georgia, formed in 1786. Recipe available in Imbibe!

“When you visit the town of Savannah
Enlist ‘neath the temperance banneh,
For if you should lunch,
On artillery punch,
It will treat you in sorrowful manneh.”

Milk Punch #1
Celebrate the wit and wisdom of Aphra Behn.

Juice and rind of lemons
Pineapple
Spice mix of clove, coriander, cinnamon & green cardamom
Brandy, rum & batavia arrack
Strong green tea, water & milk

Aphra Behn was a 17th-century English dramatist and novelist and the “first woman ever to earn her living solely by writing,” according to Imbibe! She is also credited with inventing milk punch, a drink that is “undeniably smooth, but not necessarily lush,” writes Wondrich. This recipe is the Milk Punch #1 from the Savoy Cocktail Book.

“If all be true that I do think,
There are five reasons we should drink;
Good Punch, a friend, or being dry
Or least we should be by and by,
Or any other reason why!”

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Posted in Brandy, Events, Punch, Rum, Whiskey | 11 Comments »

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