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.
A few weeks ago, my friend David of the Oregon Bartender’s Guild hosted the bar for a charity event. A woman in Camas, WA was very suddenly struck by an infectious disease that took one of her legs and almost took her life, and here friends had hired him to help them raise funds with a bar and original cocktail menu. He put a call out on the OBG message boards for any donations, raffle giveaways, et cet. When I asked what I could give, all he asked for was a recipe, and so I set out to make something extra special for the event.
Inspiration finally came at 4:30am on a blurry Wednesday morning two weeks before the event. I had just bottled a batch of Falernum the night prior and, came up with this little dazzler of a syrup for something a bit different.
- 2 cups Unsweetened Pineapple Juice
- 1 1/2 cups White Cane Sugar
- 2 Tblsp Rum-soaked Falernum Spices (lime zest, allspice, clove, toasted almonds, ginger)
- 1 crushed Ceylon Cinnamon stick
- 2 Horns Star Anise (the seed pods, not the whole star)
Place juice and spices in a pot and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes. Strain out spices. Add Sugar to Juice and bring to gently heat to a rolling boil while agitating. Syrup is done when spoon comes out smooth.
Note here the use of Rum-Soaked Falernum spices. Which, yes, means used spices. There’s still plenty of flavor in those suckers, and the Rum they’ve been soaking in just adds a bit of zip to it.
Here is the cocktail, as was on the menu at the Charity event.
- 1 1/2 oz Light Puerto Rican
- 3/4 oz Lime
- 3/4 oz Pa’avaetuli Syrup
- 3 drops Bridgetown Bitters (sub. Bittermens Tiki Bitters)
Shake and strain into cocktail glass
The event was apparently a smashing success, and it was reported that my drink sold until there was no syrup left! Good thing I’ve got a few bottles to spare, and a big batch of Falernum about to be finished.
Oh, and the name? It means… whatever you think it means. Tell you what. I’ll send a bottle of Pa’avaetuli to the first person who can figure out the inspiration for the name, and post it in the comments section of this post. Good luck!
This past Saturday, the Oregon Bartenders Guild and host David Wondrich provided drinks and discussion at Teardrop Lounge for an enthusiastic group of imbibers, bar professionals, and journalists. Really, I can’t say much more on it than hasn’t already been said by Jeffrey Morgenthaler (A brilliant fellow, by the way). However, I do have a few things to add.
All drinks served, from the Rocky Mountain Punch to samples of the Blue Blazer were just fantastic, and really representative of various bits of the history of drink. Mr. Wondrich and the members of the OBG presented the drinks to a delighted crowd, with bits of discussion from IMBIBE! and even some new updates about the Professor’s life and times, with more than a few toasts being raised to his honor. While all the drinks were fantastic, some really stood out for me. The Improved Whiskey Cocktail, it was noticed, had the Don the Beachcomber 1-2 punch of Absinthe(or Pastis) and Bitters, which made it just as improved as any Don drinks should be, though developed well before the Beachcomber was born.
One of the niftier things, of which I believe Craig snapped a picture, was the original Hawthorne strainer that Mr. Wondrich had brought with him. He had brought quite a few interesting toys, all shiny and silvery and strong, made to last, as opposed to the snap-off julep strainers we can get nowadays. Hooray for eBay, I suppose.
Another drink that stood out for me was the Buck and Breck, a drink named for th 15th American President James Buchanan and his vice president, John C. Breckenridge. Besides the drink being a lovely mix of Champagne and Cognac, and me being a sucker for the bubbly, this drink had great presentation with its sugar-frosted glass. The glass is wetted, coated with sugar, and dried, for a lovely frosted effect.
After the event, much fun was had by a few locals and visitors touring the various places in Downtown Portland, including Ten 01, Red Star, Clyde Common, and Gilt Club. The most exciting part was being served a Moscow Mule in actual copper cups at Gilt Club, again, toy-jealousy rearing its ugly head.
I would highly recommend getting on the Oregon Bartenders Guild mailing list for info on any upcoming events. These ain’t no Jaeger Double-shot special nights, no sirree.