Rock & Rye

A Drink On The Rocks…..


July 2010

Summer Sips!

A Drink on the Rocks is putting on our first event, Summer Sips!

Join us on Saturday, July 31, 2010 and support Redeemer Church’s India Missions Team, by enjoying a night of cocktails and musical entertainment. Tickets are just $25 per person, and must be purchased in advance.

We will be featuring some of the best cocktails in Bellingham, and for those who are under the age of 21, or do not consume alcohol for moral or health reasons, we have a number of non-alcoholic libations for your enjoyment as well.

Entertainment will be provided by musical trio The Fanatics, as well as an acoustic set from Darryn Zimmermann.

For more info, contact me or any of the Redeemer India Team members. Tickets may be purchased from either myself, or any of the Redeemer India Team members, or may be purchased below using PayPal. If using paypal, please note the first and last names of the persons you are buying tickets for, and they will be held at the door.

[wp_cart:Summer Sips:price:25.00:end]


Vintage Cocktails #31: The Ford Cocktail

Up next we have the Ford Cocktail, created by George Kappeler, author of Modern American Drinks. Kappeler was the head bartender of the Holland House Bar, one of the three most acclaimed Manhattan hotel bars at the turn of the century.

This cocktail is a create variation on the classic martini. Featuring a once popular style of gin, It is paired with an equal amount of vermouth, orange bitters and a couple dashes of liqueur to deepen the complexity of the flavors. If you are a fan of the traditional gin martini, this cocktail is a must to experience.

The Ford Cocktail
1 oz Old Tom Gin
1 oz Dry Vermouth
3 dashes Benedictine
3 dashes Orange Bitters

Bar Update

Just a little update on how the bar is progressing. Will post some more after I get back from my trip to New Orleans.

Vintage Cocktails #30: Picon Punch

Besides having the world’s largest ice cream factory (which I am a huge fan of), the city of Bakersfield, California has made popular one of the forgotten cocktails, The Picon Punch. Picon Punch is the national drink of the Basque people, and there are enough of them in Bakersfield to make this drink the most popular cocktail in the city.

So what is Picon Punch? Well, it is based on the bitter orange spirit Amer Picon, which is pretty much impossible to obtain today apart from a quick flight to France. Currently owned by spirits giant Diageo, Amer Picon is not distributed in the US for some reason, and not only that, in the 70’s its proof was lowered from 78 to 39, resulting in a change in flavor. However fear not, as you currently have two options if you live here in North America.

First option: Make your own. It can be done, and apparently tastes almost exactly like the original Picon. Jamie Boudreau created this version called Amer Boudreau, and you can find all his info here.

Your next option is brought to you by the Torani syrup company. Yes, the same ones that make overly sweet and sugary additions for your morning latte. Ths version of Amer Picon, called Torani Amer, has a similar flavor and the same proof as the original Amer Picon. Still relatively hard to find (I got mine from Bevmo in California. It can also be found here and here.) this makes an excellent substitution for real Amer Picon.

Now on to the drink. The Picon Punch is an excellent apertif cocktail that will really open up your palate into trying and enjoying some of the more bitter cocktails.

Picon Punch
1 tsp Grenadine
2 1/2 oz Amer Picon
Soda Water
1 oz Brandy

Lucy’s Temptation

Over the 4th of July weekend, I had the time to get together with friends and enjoy some bbq and cocktails. As often is the case, my contribution to many of these occasions is the beverage. I was asked to bring something refreshing. Since it was such a beautiful weekend, my wife and I decided that we would bike to dinner, so I grabbed my laptop backback, threw in a couple bar tools, a bottle of rum, soda, simple syrup, and some fresh fruit.

After biking across town, we arrived just as the steak was about to come off the grill, so I got to work in the kitchen and whipped up a couple light and refreshing drinks. I named the drink after our friends 1 1/2 year old daughter Lucy, as she wanted to try the drink so badly. Try it, it is delicious!

Lucy’s Temptation
1 1/2 oz Light Rum (Mount Gay Eclipse)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2-3/4 oz Simple Syrup
4-5 Strawberries cut into slices (or)
10 Raspberries
Shake with ice, pour entire contents into glass and top with soda water.
If you are mixing with the raspberries a little more simple syrup can be used to balance the drink.

The Real Mojito

Recently I managed to get my hands on a bottle of Havana Club Anejo Blanco. Living so close to the Canadian border can have it’s advantages. First, a little history of Havana Club.

Havana Club is distilled in Santa Cruz del Norte, Cuba.   The company was established by José Arechabala in 1878.   After the Cuban Revolution of 1959, the distillery and company was nationalized by the Cuban government; subsequently, the Arechabala family left for Spain, then emigrated to the United States.   Since 1994 it has been produced by Havana Club International, a 50:50 joint venture between Pernod Ricard and the Cuban government. Havana Club Anejo Blanco is a white rum that is aged 3 years in new barrels, giving it a nice strawlike color, and a fresh fruity flavor.

Now of course what better way to sample the famed cuban rum, than to sample it in the quintessential cocktail of Cuba: the mojito. A delectable mixture of rum, sugar, lime, mint and sparkling water, the mojito is one of my all time favorite drinks. A pain in the ass to many bartenders, I do not mind mixing these up at all, in fact, the most frustrating thing to me is juicing limes when they aren’t in season, because they are so stingy on the juice. On to the drink

The Mojito
2 oz light rum
3/4 oz lime juice
8-10 mint leaves
2 tsp sugar
soda water

Now here is where it can get tricky, and everyone has their opinion on the correct procedure. One option is to take the mint, use lime wedges and granulated sugar, and muddle. The idea is that the sugar will help extract flavor from the lime wedges. I don’t like this method myself. First, you can never be sure how much juice you are getting, and if you muddle the lime enough, you will start to extract some bitterness from the peel. Secondly, sugar doesn’t dissolve well in cold water.
My method is to use a measured amount of juice, and sub simple syrup for the granulated sugar. Muddle the mint gently with the juice and syrup, and then fill the glass with ice and add rum. Then you can either roll the drink between two shakers to mix and chill, or stir. Top up with soda when you are ready to serve. This way I know that I am getting a consistent flavor from one drink to the next.


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