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Rock & Rye

A Drink On The Rocks…..

Vow of Silence

It seems that certain combination of spirits always results in endless variations of a similar cocktail. Which is not bad, as it allows you to gain an understanding of the small nuances between recipes, as well as helps you refine your palette as you look for those differing qualities.

This cocktail is just that, a play on the timeless pairing of gin, chartreuse and rosemary. Many cocktails have been made using these three ingredients, as they work so well together. Taking these flavors and adding modifiers or playing with ratios, results in cocktails with similar, and at the same time, differing qualities. This particular cocktail is currently on my menu at the Oyster Bar at Bayou on Bay and has been very popular in the last couple of months.

Vow of Silence
1 1/2 oz Rosemary Infused Gin
3/4 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
3/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse

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The Park Avenue Manhattan

The Manhattan. Probably one of my favorite cocktails and one that is open to almost endless tweaks and variations, while still remaining distinguishable as a Manhattan. This particular variation is one of our house cocktails at the Oyster Bar, and really shows the versatility of this classic cocktail.

While at first glance chai and bourbon may not seem like a likely pairing, the flavors of chai and vermouth pair extremely well, and a nice high proof bourbon ties the sweetness together perfectly. Cheers!

Park Avenue Manhattan
1 oz Chai-Infused Vermouth
2 oz Bourbon (90 proof or higher preferred)
3 dashes Orange Bitters

Chai-Infused Vermouth
750ml Dolin Blanc Vermouth
3oz (by volume) loose Chai
Steep in covered container for 24 hrs. Strain through coffee filter and bottle. Refridgerate infused vermouth for up to one month.

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Beer of the Week: Angry Orchard Strawman

Earlier this year the Boston Beer Company, makers of Angry Orchard Cider, launched their all new Cider House Collection. Their first two forays into this arena are Iceman and Strawman.

At 10%abv, and 750ml in volume, these small batch ciders are modeled after traditional European cider-making processes, and use a blend of apples from the Northern Alps and Normandy. These ciders are then fermented with wine yeasts and aged in wooden barrels. So does all this effort, paired with a higher price tag, actually provide something you would want to consume? Let’s find out.

The Strawman pours a rich gold with a fizzy beige head. Lots of tart apple and oak aromas. The taste is tart, with lots of crisp apple, some vanilla notes and woody astringency. The finish is bone dry, very wine like, with just a hint of acetic acid. It would pair extremely well with pork belly, cream sauces and rich seafood. This is a cider that is decidedly different than the bulk of the mainstream american ciders, and if you treat it more like a wine than a cider, definitely is a decent value for the money. Cheers!

Imbibers Top 100 (Updated 2012)

Originally posted by Darcy O’Neil, of the famed Art of Drink website, this is the top 100 liquid items you should consume before kicking the bucket. I say items, because some of these cannot really be classified as beverages in the traditional sense of the word. If you want to give it a shot and try all one hundred, please do. It’s great fun.

Since originally posting this in November of 2008, I have jumped to 83 of 100 items consumed or tasted in my lifetime. Here’s to an exploratory next couple of years.  Cheers!

List of Drinks You Must Try Before You Expire

1. Manhattan Cocktail
2. Kopi Luwak (Weasle Coffee)
3. French / Swiss Absinthe
4. Rootbeer
5. Gin Martini
6. Sauternes
7. Whole Milk
8. Tequila (100% Agave)
9. XO Cognac
10. Espresso
11. Spring Water (directly from the spring)
12. Gin & Tonic
13. Mead
14. Westvleteren 12 (Yellow Cap) Trappist Ale
15. Chateau d’Yquem
16. Budwieser
17. Maraschino Liqueur
18. Mojito
19. Orgeat
20. Grand Marnier
21. Mai Tai (original)
22. Ice Wine (Canadian)
23. Red Bull
24. Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
25. Bubble Tea
26. Tokaji
27. Chicory
28. Islay Scotch
29. Pusser’s Navy Rum
30. Fernet Branca
31. Fresh Pressed Apple Cider
32. Bourbon
33. Australian Shiraz
34. Buckley’s Cough Syrup (unfortunately I have had the pleasure of this unique Canadian product)
35. Orange Bitters
36. Margarita (classic recipe)
37. Molasses & Milk
38. Chimay Blue
39. Wine of Pines (Tepache)
40. Green Tea
41. Daiginjo Sake
42. Chai Tea
43. Vodka (chilled, straight)
44. Coca-Cola
45. Zombie (Beachcomber recipe)
46. Barley Wine
47. Brewed Choclate (Xocolatl)
48. Pisco Sour
49. Lemonade
50. Speyside Single Malt
51. Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
52. Champagne (Vintage)
53. Rosé (French)
54. Bellini
55. Caipirinha
56. White Zinfandel (Blush)
57. Coconut Water
58. Cerveza
59. Cafe au Lait
60. Ice Tea
61. Pedro Ximenez Sherry
62. Vintage Port
63. Hot Chocolate
64. German Riesling
65. Pina Colada
66. El Dorado 15 Year Rum
67. Chartreuse
68. Greek Wine
69. Negroni
70. Jägermeister
71. Chicha
72. Guiness
73. Rhum Agricole
74. Palm Wine
75. Soju
76. Ceylon Tea (High Grown)
77. Belgian Lambic
78. Mongolian Airag
79. Doogh, Lassi or Ayran
80. Sugarcane Juice
81. Ramos Gin Fizz
82. Singapore Sling
83. Mint Julep
84. Old Fashioned
85. Perique
86. Jenever (Holland Gin)
87. Chocolate Milkshake
88. Traditional Italian Barolo
89. Pulque
90. Natural Sparkling Water
91. Cuban Rum
92. Asti Spumante
93. Irish Whiskey
94. Château Margaux
95. Two Buck Chuck
96. Screech
97. Akvavit
98. Rye Whisky
99. German Weissbier
100. Daiquiri (classic)

 

El Gaucho

One of my most recent experiments, is a twist on the Margarita. Taking the base recipe even further with the addition of cilantro and avocado, this pairs well with some blackened halibut tacos. A couple of these drinks, along with some friends and you are setting yourself up for the perfect summer afternoon. Cheers!

El Gaucho
1 1/2 oz Tequila
1 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Grand Marnier
Fresh Cilantro
Wedge Avocado

Vintage Cocktails #75: The Mint Julep

Perhaps nothing defines a classic as much as the Mint Julep. First appearing in print in 1803, three years prior to the first defintion of a cocktail, the julep is complex and versatile, yet so simple at its core. While juleps rained supreme in the 18th and early 19th centuries, they soon gave way to the family of drinks known as “smashes”. Faster to prepare and consume, smashes meshed well with the increasing pace of American life.

While early juleps were likely mixed with cognac, the accepted spirit nowadays is bourbon. For the preparation of a proper julep, a few things are needed. Firstly, a traditional silver or pewter julep cup is essential, allowing frost to form on the outside of the cup and keeping the drink icy cold. Secondly, crushed ice is a must. I make my crushed ice by placing it into a canvas lewis bag and crushing it with a mallet. Thirdly, lots of nice fresh mint is needed both as an ingredient and as a very functional garnish.

So let’s begin. A traditional julep is made with just four simple ingredients, Spirit, sugar/syrup, ice, and mint. I switch mine up just a bit and use a sweet liqueur in place of the sugar, which adds a little bit of extra flavor to the drink. We start by gently muddling roughly a dozen mint leaves in the bottom of the cup. The goal here is to gently express the mint oils and coat the glass, not to shred the leaves to a pulp. I usually add the liqueur (Apricot in this case) at this time as I like to get the flavors incorporated. Next we will fill our cup with the crushed ice, and pour in our Bourbon. A quick stir is really all that is needed, just enough to get the cup to start frosting on the exterior. Then we will pile more crushed ice on top to give it that adult snow cone look. Then we will garnish with several large sprigs of mint, the more the better in my opinion, and place our straw nice and close, so that in sipping the beverage your nose is treated to the wonderful aromatics of the mint. And there you have it, a perfect summer sipper for those long hot afternoons. Cheers!

The Mint Julep
2 oz Bourbon
1/2 oz Orchard Apricot Liqueur
Mint

April Reboot…and a cocktail

Hey All,

I do apologize for my absence of late. The past two months have been incredibly busy, and coupled with some personal stuff, I just haven’t found the time to post anything. But now I am back, and hopefully will be regaling you with all sorts of fantastic stuff!

For those that don’t know, I am now managing the bar at the Bayou Oyster Bar. Look for a new seasonally rotating menu and some other cool stuff in the coming months. If you want to come and visit me while I’m working, I am there most Friday and Saturday nights.

I also had the pleasure of attending Tales of the Cocktail on Tour Vancouver this past February, and I’ll have a couple posts about some of the sessions I attended up soon.

And last, but not least, I have a cocktail for you. This cocktail comes from the PDT Cocktail Book, but I believe is an original creation from The Raines Law Room. The pairing of gin, aperol, and cucumber is an absolute delight. Perfectly balanced and refreshing, this is one drink that you must try at least once, if not twice. Cheers!

The Archangel
2 oz Plymouth Gin
3/4 oz Aperol
2 slices muddled Cucumber

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