I’ve been curious about the dry manhattan for awhile. It’s made the same way you’d make a regular manhattan, just sub dry vermouth for sweet and olives for cherries. I made one last night and was very excited to try it, but unfortunately the flavor was pretty offensive! It could very well be a result of my fanatical imbibing of “regular” manhattans for so many years, but who knows. Any dry manhattan fans among our LARC crowd?
Fabulous article from the Smithsonian about how one professor has done tons of research around the world on fermented beverages of all sorts.
A couple interesting quotes:
“Dr. Pat,” as he’s known at Dogfish Head, is the world’s foremost expert on ancient fermented beverages, and he cracks long-forgotten recipes with chemistry, scouring ancient kegs and bottles for residue samples to scrutinize in the lab.
A new discipline was born, which scholars jokingly refer to as drinkology, or dipsology, the study of thirst.
With a supply of mind-blowing beverages on hand, human civilization was off and running. In what might be called the “beer before bread” hypothesis, the desire for drink may have prompted the domestication of key crops, which led to permanent human settlements
“Fermented beverages are at the center of religions all around the world. [Alcohol] makes us who we are in a lot of ways.” He contends that the altered state of mind that comes with intoxication could have helped fuel cave drawings, shamanistic medicine, dance rituals and other advancements.
I stumbled across this great list of Pride cocktails from 7x7 this morning. I figured vibrant colors would mean gross, overly synthetic and sugary cocktails, but these actually look pretty incredible! I can’t wait to try them.
Not certain how many of you have been following the saga of Painkiller, a delightful tiki bar in NYC. I was there on a trip last year and had the bartender make a delightful concoction based on my favored flavors. He also made non-alcoholic drinks for a friend who does not imbibe. As you can see, a lot of people also think this is a great spot, not just me!
Evidently Pusser’s Rum didn’t like the fact that bar was named Painkiller, one of the names in their brand portfolio. So much so that they sued the bar and forced them to change names to PK-NY. NY bartenders have amassed a small crew claiming that they will not purchase anymore Pussers. An even larger groups of cocktail fans and bartenders have created another Facebook page to decry this.
One of my favorite quotes from this is on the FB page of bartenders against the rum. The main reason Pusser’s wanted to protect their name is a cocktail in a can they hope to launch.
"For 8 years, we’ve been working on a Painkiller Mix and looking at the chance for a Painkiller RTD (Ready-to-Drink Painkiller in a can)."-Charles Tobias
Sir, If you think a cocktail should come in a can, you are everything wrong with the industry. Please leave, and never come back.
I’m all for companies protecting their marks and understand the importance of a brand name, but a bar in NY that happens to have the same name as your booze is not evil incarnate.
I love nothing more than the spice and fresh zing of ginger and often make ginger infused simple syrup. This recipe calls for a slightly different ratio than a traditional simple syrup - not as sweet. I’ll definitely have to try this, add some bourbon and soda and see how that tastes!
Stopped by First Crush last night for dinner. It’s been a favorite since the Real Estate Agent and I stumbled in there after a whirlwind of shopping in Union Square a few years ago. The food is always consistently good, and even though it’s a wine bar, the cocktails are great as well. They change up their menu on a fairly regular basis, too.
This visit, they had a cocktail called the Silver Whiskey Flower. Whiskey, a touch of St. Germain, hard cider and an orange twist. Very nicely balanced, not too sweet. I managed to find the recipe here. I think I could re-create it at home, if I ever had cider around.
(No pictures, alas, as it was dark and tREA gets upset when he sees cameras around our food.)
Ya’ll, I’m so into shrubs right now. And I don’t mean prickly potted plants. For those not in the know (which was me, until recently), a shrub is a sweet and tart syrup using vinegar as base, with sugar, various spices, fruits or berries added. The word itself derives from Arabic shiraab, which means “a drink or beverage,” relating in its etymology to syrup. Quick tangent: this reminds me of narsharab, a pomegranate molasses sauce I grew up with at the dinner table, frequently used to flavor fish and kabobs. It would be interesting to use it instead of regular molasses in a cocktail. (puts on thinking cap)
Anyhow, the shrub combines two things I really love in drinks lately - pickled fruits & preserves, and house made syrups. Huzzah! I think I will definitely be using it somehow for the next meeting of LARC, but for now, wonderful reader, here are some additional links for you to get stoked:
While interesting on the surface, the newly announced 48 ounce martini sounds absolutely ridiculous. For one, that drink is not going to remain the right temperature - nor be the same temperature throughout.
Second, this is not a Scorpion Bowl for a bunch of friends on a rowdy night out. I don’t want to share my nice drink with 20 close friends.
Here’s some advice from the folks over at Serious Eats - who interviewed some top notch bartenders about their preferred bourbons.
What are yours?
We tend to keep Bulleit and Knob Creek on heavy rotation, and even Maker’s Mark for baking. I do like the higher end stuff too, but given the prodigious amount we can plow through, try not to break the bank.
Tea and Treats from Kettle Whistle and Tell Tale Preserves
From the Tell Tale Preserves blog:
"Come join us for afternoon tea as you’ve never experienced before.
Kettle Whistle pays respect to tradition while giving a nod to seasonality in all its playfulness.
We are teaming up with Lawrence Lai and Ann Lee from Naivetea for three flights of Naivetea’s premium Taiwanese oolong teas paired with Tell Tale’s savory and sweet tea fare.
There are two seatings on Saturday, June 25th at 1:00pm and 3:30pm at the Burritt Room, a classic parlour located in the Crescent Hotel. The price per person, $55 exclusive of gratuity and tax, includes a take home gift from both Naivetea and Tell Tale Preserve Co.
One person has done a ton in popular culture to promote the martini — and that is James Bond. In early films, he was a fan of the Vesper. This compendium provides a full dossier of his drinks for your files, along with recipes and movie info.
This way you can plan your moving watching around your drinking. Of course, stocking up on expensive champagne may set your budget back a bit, but you only live once…or is it twice?
While ice quality is an under-appreciated part of the cocktail process, it is essential ingredient. Fine shivers and slivers of the cold impart a magical quality to our cocktails. Ice with freezer burn, not so much.
We recently bought one of the large cube trays and are finding this to be great when drinking something on the rocks, if you want a slow melt.
Otherwise, while some of the techniques in the above linked articles are laborious, others won’t require much extra effort.
I find this fascinating and will suggest this for an upcoming LARC meeting - drinks based on emotions!
Granted this competition was sponsored by a vodka, but think it’s yet another nuance to the ways that consumers are thinking about cocktails nowadays. For a while the trend has been about seasonal and fresh ingredients - not to mention that in general cocktails are regaining popularity. The idea of emotions may be the next era.
Ready for some adult summer time fun? These look like a great way to enjoy a cool treat without being too disgustingly sweet. I’d probably opt for not using frozen lemonade or orange juice - what would you do?