For you regular readers, or new readers, or anyone in general, this isn’t something very exciting, but I fixed the sidebar so it no longer drops down below the comments. Damn you min-width!
I’ve also updated the Drinks Section to make it more readable, changed up the fonts, the favicon… you get the gist. Let me know if you’ve got any feedback, I’d love to hear it.
In other news, I’ve finally put up my Concoctioneering section! There are only a few things on there now, as I’m still translating a few items from my little black book. Next due up, Falernum Bitters!
For those interested parties, here was my initial entry into the Great American Distillers Festival 2008 Mixology Competition.
- 1 ½ oz Dry Fly Gin
- ¾ oz Yellow Chartreuse
- ¾ oz Carpano Antica
- rinse Campari
- 3 dashes scorched Dry Fly Bitters
Rinse a chilled cocktail glass with Campari. Stir liquors with ice and strain into Campari-rinsed cocktail glass. Spray Dry Fly Bitters through a flame and into the glass.
About the drink
The cocktail is named Old Wood because I had originally wanted to base a drink on the Bijou (Jewel) cocktail, a favorite of mine. Since Dry Fly is distilled is Washington, I figured the name of the state jewel, if not already taken, would be a fine choice. Well, there’s no state Jewel for Washington, but there is a state gem. That gem, is petrified wood. Hence, the Old Wood cocktail. I also think it leads in nicely to the use of Yellow Chartreuse VEP, with the name Very Old Wood.
Dry Fly Bitters
- 3 parts Caramel Syrup
- 3 parts Toasted Coriander Tincture
- 2 parts Lavender Tincture
- 2 parts Spearmint Tincture
- 1 part Madagascar Vanilla Bean Tincture
- 1 part Seville Orange Tincture
- ½ part Dried Granny Smith Apple Tincture
- ¼ part Wormwood Tincture
Solids should be infused in 95% grain spirit. The Coriander, Apple and Orange take around 3-4 days to infuse, the Lavendar, Mint, Vanilla and Wormwood take 24-48 hours.
Caramel Syrup is Caramelized Cane Sugar mixed 4:1 with water, then shaken until dissolved.
The Dry Fly Bitters were developed to aromatically accentuate the botanicals found in Dry Fly Gin. Flaming them brings a bit more of the fragrance into the air, and adds to the nose of the drink.
As you may know, or may now know, I am a bit of an Earth lover. I’ll give you a cross-eyed look if you call me a hippie, but I’ve been known to clip a 6-pack holder to avoid strangling sea birds, and hop on my bicycle for transport here and there. Well, that doesn’t always work as planned when you’re into booze. Whether it’s a cross-state trip to the liquor store, an orchard’s worth of pears in one bottle of Eau de Vie, or that bottle that shipped by oil freighter from Paraguay, liquor can be an expensive hobby for the wallet, and the planet.
Looking to change that environmental impact (as well as a few other things) is the new liquor Veev. Veev is a column distilled wheat spirit mainly flavored by Açai berries, with prickly pear and acerola cherry. If you’re not familiar with the açai berry, step back a few years ago into your local Jamba Juice. One açai berry packs a load of antioxidants, and has pretty much become the super food of the day (move over Blue-Green Spirulina!). It’s really interesting stuff, as the fruit flavor is different that pretty much anything out there.
Anyhoo, the company that makes the stuff was founded by Courtney and Carter Reum, with the intent of doing something entrepeneurial, but also progressive. The company conducts Green Audits, measures itself against Climate Clean standards, has a whole scout’s sash full of badges and stamps of approval, and even donates $1 a bottle to green initiatives. It’s all well and good, save the earth, plant a tree, but is it good stuff? I certainly think so. It’s unique on the market, and for my palate, pretty darn tasty. It can be a tough sell neat, as the sourness of the fruit can be a little strong for some, but it mixes like a miracle.
Speaking of which, here are some drinks I’ve developed using Veev as the base spirit. I think they’re pretty damned tasty, though not the most original (see if you can figure out the inspirations). Ah well, there’s still quite a bit of that bottle to play around with!
- 1 oz Veev
- 1 oz Lime Juice
- 1 oz Green Chatreuse
- 1 oz Falernum
- 1/2 oz Cane Syrup (adjust for taste)
Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Cane Syrup can be omitted to adjust for taste, as homemade Falernum can vary the sweetness.
- 2 oz Veev
- 3/4 oz Lime Juice
- 1/2 oz Orgeat
- 1/2 oz Rhum Clément Creole Shrubb
- 2 drops Vanilla Extract
- Ginger Beer
Shake all but Ginger Beer and pour into Double Rocks Glass. Top with Ginger Beer and garnish with mint and two short straws.
If you get a bottle of Veev, do give these a shot and let me know what you think. The Vinalé has a sharp citrus flavor, with just a bit of spice and herbal notes. The Vic is, well, I think you can figure out the inspiration, but has a that slightly sour berry flavor gently sweetened with Almond and Citrus, and given effervescence and a bit of bite with the Ginger Beer.
Oh, and if you haven’t already seen The End of Vodka, it’s pretty damned amusing (and eerily accurate). I can’t say it’s going to work wonders and end that bedamned breathless spirit, but at least you can do some funny things on the way.
If you haven’t already seen the rather colorful (and blinking and scrolling) note at Cocktailnerd.com, there will be a Rum Discussion this coming Monday at the Mixoloseum Bar (okay, it’s a chat client, not a bar. Still, drink away).
I will be joining the throng of drunks panelists, which includes such luminaries as Scott Steeves of Scottes’ Rum Pages, Matthew Robold of Rumdood.com, Phil Gomes of Cachacagora, and Rick Stutz of Kaiserpenguin.com. Just register at the Mixoloseum and join on in, pick our brains, get our addresses and send us free booze, whatever you’d like! Just make sure you’re there!
More info on Cocktailnerd.com
Here’s the selection for the August Tiki Tuesday at Teardop Menu, this time featuring a few of my favorite takeaways from this year’s Tales of the Cocktail. The Luau Coconut will be in limited supply, so get there early!
A Martin Cate original, featuring tawny port and maple syrup in a surprising balancing act, this drink was developed for and premiered at NW Tiki Kon 2007.
The REAL Pat O’Brien’s Original, not that sloppy red “stuff” you’ll see in the stores. Tart, sweet, and deep.
A spicy sweet drink from The Luau in Beverly Hills. The Luau was owned by Steven Crane, who also owned the now defunct Kon-Tiki here in Portland.
Lei Lani Volcano
This drink hails from Disney’s Polynesian Village resort. A balanced sweet and sour combination of Guava, Lime, Coconut Rum and Pineapple juice is no Mickey Mouse cocktail.
Served by Beachbum Berry at the Tiki Spirited Dinner, this one’s a real treat, served in a real coconut! Be sure to ask for a spoon, the inside’s the best part!
Trader Vic’s most famous creation, and easily the most recognized tiki drink in the world. This lightly sweet combination of aged Rum, Lime, Curacao and Orgeat put Trader Vic’s on the map.
That good old Don the Beachcomber classic, with a mix of aged rums, grapefruit, and agave nectar.
Don the Beachcomber’s spicy classic, with Aged Rum, Orange and Lime juices, and Don’s Spices #2, a secret only recently unearthed by Jeff “BeachBum” Berry.
A Martin Cate Original, as served at the Cocktail Hour at Tales of the Cocktail. This one’s rich and tart, with a lot of molasses and dark rum.
Trader Vic’s sweet and complex original, recently unearthed for Tales of the Cocktail 2008.
Watch out, this one’s got a bite to it! This mixture of citrus, passion fruit and dark rums will really sink its fangs into you.
The most infamous of all Don the Beachcomber’s creations, any more than two and you’ll be joining the living dead with this combination of tropical juices, passion fruit, and plenty of dark and light rums.