Rock & Rye

A Drink On The Rocks…..


January 2012

Breakfast In Bed

While beer cocktails may seem like a novel new trend in mixology, using beer in cocktails is not actually a new concept. In fact, the earliest beer cocktails date back to 1695, with the mention of the flip in Oxford’s English Dictionary.

Although rarely seen on a cocktail menu today, a flip is a fantastic way to get into beer cocktails. In its most basic iteration, a flip is simply beer, spirit, and sweetener. Flips can also include egg, and may be served hot or cold.

This flip variation was created by Owen Schmidt, while he was still bartending at the Bayou Oyster Bar and features a combination of amaro and stout. The initial creation utilized a locally brewed oatmeal stout, but any stout that is thick and creamy will do. This drink can easily be used as a starting point to experiment with other amaro/stout combinations. Cheers!

Breakfast In Bed
3 oz Oatmeal Stout
1 1/2 oz Amaro Abano
1 whole egg
Dash Orange Bitters


Beer of the Week: Alaskan Black IPA

Alaskan’s new spring sea­sonal is a session version of their 2010 Double Black IPA Pilot Series. So how does this beer stack up against the competition? Let’s find out.

This beer pours very dark, almost jet black, with a thick and creamy mocha/tan head. First impressions from the nose was choco­late and some roasti­ness from the malts. Also present were some resin pine aromas from the hops with just a hint of citrus in the background. On the taste you definitely notice the chocolate and malt up front which then quickly fades into the hoppy bitterness and is coupled with grapefruit, lemon, and grassy flavors. The finish is long and mildly bit­ter,­ with some slight roasti­ness around the edges.

Over­all, I really enjoyed this ver­sion of a Black IPA/Cascadian Dark Ale from Alaskan Brew­ing Com­pany. If you are a fan of this style, you may be a tad dis­ap­pointed as it is a little more laid back than others. If you are not a fan of this style, this is the per­fect beer to help you change your mind. Cheers!


Spirit Reviews: Yamazaki 12 Yr Single Malt Whiskey

This 12 year old whisky from Yamazaki first came onto the US market in 1984 and was the first seriously marketed Japanese single malt whisky here in the United States. The Japanese have been making whisky since the 19th century, but their first commercial endeavors began with the opening of the Yamazaki distillery in 1923. Masataka Taketsuru, Yamazaki’s first distillery executive, had studied the craft of distilling in Scotland, and his style of whisky closely mimics the traditional Scottish styles. The Yamazaki 12 is made with just barley, water and yeast, and is aged in a combination of American, Spanish and Japanese oak barrels.

The Yamazaki 12 pours a dark golden brown, darker than many other 12 year old whiskeies. The nose is well malted, and has hints of dried fruits, warm honey and butterscotch. The taste is quite dry, with an almost astringent quality, paired with hints of vanilla, citrus zest, caramelized toffee and just a hint of oak. The finish is long and has hints of spices with a little more of that astringency lingering in the background.

The Yamazaki 12 is an outstanding whisky, especially if looking for an introduction into Japanese or Scotch Whisky. A 750ml bottle will usually run between $40-$50, which is not a bad price for such a great tasting spirit. Cheers!

[rating: 4.5/5]

Tales Of The Cocktail Is Coming To Town

And by town I mean Vancouver, BC. In just over 6 weeks time, bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts from around the US and Canada will once again be gathering together at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel.

“Vancouver is such a rich, vibrant cocktail city. We couldn’t help but come back for a second year”, said Ann Tuennerman, Founder of Tales of the Cocktail®. “With all the friends we’ve made north of the border, it’s really become our home away from home.”

This year the festivities have grown, and will include five tasting rooms, Meet the Maker, a specialty coffee bar and the Mott’s Clamato Caesar Bar. In addition there are 6 fantastic seminars that are sure to provide excellent information. In the evenings, guests will attend parties, and take part in a pub crawl that highlights some of Vancouver’s best restaurants and bartenders. In short, this is an event that you will not want to miss.

This year I am extremely happy to be covering this event as media. I will be attending everything I can, taking pictures as well as frantically scribbling notes, making sure that I can soak in as much as I can. If you are a cocktail enthusiast, or bartender in the Pacific Northwest, I would highly encourage you to check out this event. It is a great way to get involved in the fantastic community that surrounds our area! If you do come, drop me a note so I can make sure we meet up. Cheers!

Spirit Tasting Class: American Whiskey

This month I will be resuming my series of classes on different spirits at the Bayou Oyster Bar.

This month’s class will be January 15th at 6:00pm, and we will be looking at the history of American Whiskey. We will dig into the main types of American Whiskey, enjoy some cocktails, and take part in a tasting of a variety of some bourbon and rye whiskies.

The class will be limited to 10 people, so if you are interested, or know anyone who is, reserve your spot now at the Bayou Oyster Bar, preferably between the hours of 5:00-7:00pm. It should be informative and a lot of fun, and I hope to see you there. Cheers!

Tea and Crumpets

This last week I made some fresh lemon curd for brunch with some friends. Lemon curd is light, both sweet and tart, and is a fantastic addition to any brunch. Not only that, it is ridiculously easy to make on your own!

Start by mixing together the eggs, sugar and lemon juice (freshly squeezed please) in a double boiler set on medium-low. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. This usually takes about ten minutes. Remove from heat and add in the butter and lemon zest. Stir until the butter is completely melted into the mixture. Now you can either just cover and cool in the fridge, or you can take the extra step of straining the mixture through a fine sieve to remove any chunks of egg that may have formed. I usually skip this last step as any little bits are usually too small to be noticed.

Lemon Curd
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
5 Tbsp unsalted butter (room temp)
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon zest

Now that we have our lemon curd, lets make a drink with it!

Breakfast themed cocktails have been on the rise as of late, and a good number of them seem to include such ingredients as black tea, lemon, marmalade, jams, honey, etc. Since I love all of these things, I had to go with the flow and mimic the masses, albeit with my own twists.

I started with an earl grey infused genever, added some homemade lemoncello and lemon curd, included a generous dash of simple syrup, and finished it all off with some lemon bitters. The resulting drink is fantastic; with the biscuity malt, astringent tea, and lemon flavors all coming together in harmony. Give it a try, I am sure you will like it. Cheers!

Tea and Crumpets
1 1/2 oz Tea-infused Genever
1/2 oz Lemoncello
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
2 barspoons Lemon Curd
Lemon Bitters

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