TOTC09: The Science of Shaking

Posted in Events on July 13th, 2009 by Josh

tales I’m still sifting through all of my material from Tales of the Cocktail – so many sessions, so many tastings, so many parties… So maybe it’s not so much that I’m sifting, as recovering.

I didn’t want to wait any longer though before I started to share some of the best information to come out of the show.

One of my favorite sessions of the week was “The Science of Shaking,” presented by Eben Klemm (beverage director of the B.R. Guest restaurant group), Alex Day (bartender at the famed Death & Co.), and Dave Arnold (director of the culinary technology department at the French Culinary Institute and author of the Cooking Issues blog). This session was the perfect blend of the two biggest areas of my life: mixology & tech geekery. Read More

Tags: Events, geek, gin, shaking, Tales of the Cocktail

Friday I’m In Love (With Gin)

Posted in Recipes, Reviews on June 26th, 2009 by Josh

I’ve been on the hunt lately for new summer cocktails. I’m hoping that, in a tribute to mind over matter, the imbibing of summer cocktails will actually cause summer to materialize (which, as those of you enduring the incessant rain along with me in New York know, is long-overdue).

Ingredients for Friday I'm In LoveSo recently when the folks at Bulldog Gin sent me their list of new summer cocktails, Friday I’m In Love jumped out at me (you’ll see why in just a moment). It also gave me a good opportunity to give Bulldog a try.

Bulldog itself is very well suited to summer cocktails. It’s on the drier side with some nice hints of citrus and pine. It’s also got some interesting ingredients like poppy and Dragon Eye (which is related to lychee). I’ll admit though, I had trouble picking out the Dragon Eye in the flavor, but hey, I’m still an amateur taster :-) Read More

Tags: club soda, cocktail, gin, lemon, summer, white cranberry juice

The Tramp

Posted in Recipes on June 8th, 2009 by Josh

Ingredients for The Tramp cocktailThose of you who know me well, know that my father is a die-hard fan of Frank Sinatra. And as much as I tried to prevent it from happening as a child, my father’s love of the Chairman of the Board has been passed down to me. So when I heard the waitress at Raines Law Room mention a cocktail called The Tramp while listing their specials a little while back, I’ll admit, the lyrics “She gets to hungry / for dinner at eight…” started playing in my head immediately. Thus, I had to try the drink.

The Tramp is a simple, tasty little cocktail. Here’s what you’re going to need. Read More

Tags: apricot brandy, club soda, cocktail, gin, lime, raines law room, sloe gin

Want to Breathe your Cocktail? Try a walk-in Gin & Tonic.

Posted in Community, Events on June 5th, 2009 by Josh

Just when you thought you’d seen it all…

Bompas & Parr – designer of fine jellies and curator of culinary events in the UK – has created a project called AlcoholicArchitecture_11[1]Alcoholic Architecture. In essence, they whipped up a walk-in cloud of breathable cocktail (gin & tonic to be precise, with Hendricks Gin no less!) Visitors “imbibed through inhaling.”

I’m honestly at a bit of a loss for words. I just don’t know what to make of this! Certainly, my preference is to experience my cocktails in liquid form, but then again, I’ve never had them any other way, so who am I to say? Any chance any of my readers in the UK have tried this? I would *love* to hear about your experience. Drop us a line and let us know what you thought. For those of you who haven’t tried this – would you??

Thanks to my friend Jenny for bringing this to my attention!

Tags: Events, gin, tonic, uk

Why There’s No Such Thing as a Mistake

Posted in Editor's Notes on June 4th, 2009 by Josh

A King's Park Swizzle?Well sure, mistakes exist. But as far as I’m concerned, not when it comes to mixing cocktails. Just as in the culinary arts, recipes are templates. They’re guidelines that reflect the goals and tastes of the artist, but they’re never carved in stone. The purpose of the resulting dish (or cocktail, in our case) is to be enjoyed, and one must always adjust accordingly.

The other night, I set out to make a Queens Park Swizzle – one of my favorite rum-based cocktails – which I was preparing to introduce to you here. However, what I ended up making was a mixture of lime, sugar, mint, angostura bitters (all of which belong), and gin (which most certainly does not). I poured gin instead of rum by mistake. The funny thing about it is that I was already a sip or two into the drink before I realized it (I swear, I wasn’t drunk!) Read More

Tags: angostura bitters, experimentation, gin, lime, mint, mixology, simple syrup

Absinthe No. 2

Posted in Recipes on June 3rd, 2009 by Josh

I’ll admit it – I’ve been behind on the absinthe resurgence. For those of you who are unfamiliar, absinthe is a high-proof distilled spirit with an anise (licorice) flavor. It has a storied past, dating back to the early 20th century, when it was banned in most parts of the developed world after having been accused of having psychogenic properties (beyond those of normal alcohol.) The psychogenic properties were thought to be related to inclusion of the herb commonly known as wormwood. However, over time, these accusations have been disproven, and contrary to popular belief, absinthe has been legally available in the United States since 2007.

Ingredients for an Absinthe No 2, including Lucid absintheBut again, I’ll admit to being behind on the resurgence. I’ve always kept Pernod around, a common absinthe substitute available during the ban,  and despite absinthe being widely available again, I hadn’t changed my habits. Recently, though, I was sent a bottle of Lucid absinthe to review, so I thought now would be as good a time as any to see how it compares to its colorful past!

I thought I’d start with a mixed cocktail called Absinthe No 2. Over the next week or two, I’ll also tell you about the most traditional way to experience absinthe – the Absinthe Drip. Read More

Tags: absinthe, cocktail, gin, lucid, orange bitters

The Fitzgerald

Posted in Recipes on May 27th, 2009 by Josh

Ingredients for the Fitzgerald cocktailI make no attempt to hide my true love for Angostura bitters. A wonderful, proprietary blend of roots and herbal extracts, bitters are the perfect modifier to so many cocktails. They were originally used to mask the taste of quinine in tonic water. Supposedly, they’re also thought to cure a number of ailments, including the hiccups or an upset stomach. Personally though, I just love the taste, the look, and even the smell (they’re a terrific aromatic when used in cocktails such as the Pisco Sour, for example.)

The Fitzgerald, designed by Dale DeGroff, is one of the most straightforward demonstrations of Angostura bitters. This cocktail is essentially just a gin sour with bitters added. While it may sound simple, and while a gin sour on its own is great, something wonderful happens with that last little touch. Read More

Tags: angostura bitters, cocktail, dale degroff, gin, lemon, simple syrup