April 28th, 2009

Felten hearts Boston bartenders

Food & Wine Cocktails ‘09Eric Felten’s last two drink columns for the Wall Street Journal have referred, directly and indirectly, to some of Boston’s best bartenders. April 18’s A Welcome Sign of Vodka’s Decline describes a development for which I have been beating the drum for some time, and it singles out Misty Kalkofen‘s mezcal-based recipe for Food & Wine’s Cocktails ’09 — the Maximilian Affair — as “an instant classic.” (Thanks to those readers who tipped me off about this article, and congrats to you, Misty.) Felten also mentions an original cocktail by Jackson Cannon, the Fernet-laced Heather in Queue, as an example of a gravitation toward bitters.

April 25’s Women Behind Bars compares the male-only saloon culture that largely kept women employees out of bars until well after WWII with the prevalence of female bartenders in today’s “culinary cocktail” scene. Felten begins by mentioning this year’s James Beard Foundation culinary gala, whose theme is Women in Food. “More than a dozen prominent female bartenders will be mixing original drinks at the May 4 dinner in New York,” he writes. Guess who will be among those “prominent female bartenders.” Yep, Misty rides again, and she’ll be accompanied by her Drink colleague Josey Packard. Have a blast, girls — can’t wait to see the pics!

Maximilian Affair

Misty Kalkofen (adapted by Eric Felten of the WSJ)

1 1/4 oz mezcal (preferably a smoky, single-village mezcal such as Del Maguey)
3/4 oz St. Germain elderflower liqueur
1/2 oz sweet vermouth (preferably Punt e Mes)
1/4 oz fresh lemon juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Heather in Queue

Jackson Cannon (invented at Eastern Standard)

1 1/2 oz gin
3/4 oz Martini and Rossi Bianco vermouth
1/2 oz Bauchant Orange Liqueur
1/4 oz Fernet-Branca

Stir well over ice and serve straight up. Garnish with flamed lemon twist. This cocktail is named for a regular Friday-night customer who was standing "in queue" when Jackson created this drink for her as a replacement for the Hoskins, "as I was running out of the then famous 164-bottle stash of Amer Picon that I picked from a dusty corner of the Martignetti warehouse."

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4 Responses to “Felten hearts Boston bartenders”

  1. Arnold

    Misty is awesome. And it was great to see a Felten shout out for her last week.

    What I like about Felten besides his writing ability is his willingness to take a classic recipe and innovate. For instance, his article on Pink Gin made no mention of Plymouth. He has no use for brand adherence or acceptence of blind recipe orthodoxy. Instead, he excels in pointing out the history of certain drinks and then suggests modifications that fit his own personal taste with explanation.

    In my opinion, the best cocktail writer currently working.

  2. Frederic

    The article is a bit misleading. It should read “Top mixologists eschew vodka for other liquors in new recipes (but the general public still drinks plenty of it).” It’s a good sign, but the vodka soda/tonic crowd still seems pretty strong (especially when observing the drink orders at Eastern Standard’s bar 30 minutes before and after a Red Sox game ends for a drastic shift).

    Great that Misty and Jackson’s recipe get some national attention though. However, it’s still a struggle to get vodka drinkers to drink herbal-flavored vodka (sometimes called gin), for example.

  3. ljclark

    And it will continue to be a struggle to win over the vodka drinker. Consider that it has taken craft beer 30 years to get 6% (in dollars) market share in the U.S. The rest is Bud Light.

  4. Review: Drink (Boston) « A Jigger of Blog

    […] with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Source: Eric Felten via DrinkBoston (a blog unrelated to the bar) Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)LeNell It All […]

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