Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
I am a sucker for a well-told story...and Vikings...and ships...and dogs...and whisky. As luck would have it, Ardbeg has got them all going on at their website. I joined the Ardbeg Committee awhile ago and have received a fair amount of promo stuff from them that has been very well produced. I normally find this sort of thing wasteful and unnecessary, but theirs has been pretty cool. Well, the latest package from them was a special offer for a limited bottling called the Corryveckan. Thanks to some stifling liquor regulations, I cannot get a bottle shipped to me legally here in the US (maybe through Mexico!?!) and to be totally honest, the heavily peated Kildalton Malts (Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Port Ellen) are not really my favorite. However, the campaign supporting this bottling is pretty cool so I am totally trying to score a bottle.
Only 2 of the 3 episodes are up, but I couldn't resist posting.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Anyhoo, we did see this little bit of laced-strapped awesomeness in a window along the way. $60.00 is a pittance to pay for the complete overload of sultry vibes that come with this item.
I received a mixed pack of Dogfish Head beer to sample last week and just got around to tasting some of them. They all were quirky and cool, but the Palo Santo Marron really impressed me. I vaguely recalled hearing of the wood before and a co-worker who is well-versed in South American stuff described it as an incense wood. Well, I went to Wikipedia to see if there was anything anecdotal and low and behold, Dogfish Head is mentioned in the article!
The beer is oily, toasty and high in booze, yet finishes with a little menthol-type feeling. I was reminded of varnish after the first sip, but subsequent drinking revealed a sweet balance. Powerful and elegant, two of my favorite words, in what is now one of my favorite beers.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
1/2 oz. Square One Vodka
2 oz. Rose Vermouth
3/4 oz. Veloce (soon to be Dimmi Liquore de Milano)
very thinly sliced meyer lemons and oranges
Build in tall glass over ice interspersed with paper thin citrus slices and top with soda water.
You can check her out at www.thepetalersf.com.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Well, it appears they have gotten serious with their literary pursuits and published a book. I haven't actually received mine yet, so I can't review it, but I can sort of tell by the cover that I am going to dig it. Also, "The book costs $15 and all proceeds from book sales benefit the Friends Boutique at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, which provides wigs, prosthetics, scarves and services for people dealing with the appearance side effects of cancer treatment."
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
This recipe is made in two stages the first infusion takes at least a week, longer is better.
Stage 1) Fortifier
1 .750 bottle of Everclear
2 oz. jigger dried roses
2 oz. jigger dried jasmine
1 oz. jigger grains of paradise
-infuse for at least a week
1 case dry rose (my boy K found me an 05 Rhone for $3.00 a bottle!)
3 cups dried rose buds (I like the Chinese ones available through Le Sanctuaire, if using the more common Mexican loose petals, bump up the amount a little)
2 cups dried jasmine
1 cups dried lotus
2 oz. jigger grains of paradise
1 oz. jigger quassia bark (careful here this stuff is bitter!)
1/2 cup honey
Combine in stock pot, let soak for at least one hour then move to stove, cover and cook on a low flame for 30 min or until the color has leached out of the roses. Let it cool, then strain though a china cap and loose cheese cloth being sure to ring dry (lots of goodies tied up in the flowers and stuff, squeeze it out!) Strain the infused Everclear the same way and marry into wine.
Now taste. It should be just slightly oxidised, enough to keep the floral notes from being overbearing and a little bitter on the finish. If the quassia has over infused (it happens...powerful stuff) add honey or a fresh bottle of wine. If you are careful to let the wine cool before adding spirit, the proof will be high enough to rebottle in the original wine bottles and store on the shelf. As with any vermouth, it is best to refrigerate once the bottles have some air in them.
I will post some drinks recipes using this later in the week.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
"VELOCE LIQUORE DI MILANO HAD A LEGAL CHALLENGE FOR THE RIGHTS TO THE VELOCE NAME WITH BAR VELOCE IN NEW YORK LAST SEPTEMBER. WE HAVE DECIDED THAT EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY VELOCE LIQUORE DI MILANO WILL BE RENAMED TO DIMMI LIQUORE DI MILANO.
DIMMI IS A WORD IN ITALIAN THAT IS USED FREQUENTLY EVERYDAY AMONG FRIENDS.IT IS AS COMMON AS THE WORD CIAO. IT MEANS "TELL ME" IN FRIENDLY WAY. IT IS NOW THE NEW BRAND TRADEMARK FOR LIQUORE DI MAILANO. THE NAME TRANSITION FROM VELOCE TO DIMMI WILL BE OVER THE COURSE OF THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS.
WE ASK OUR FRIENDS, CONSUMERS AND ACCOUNTS FOR YOUR PATIENCE AND SUPPORT DURING THIS TIME. THE ONLY THING TO CHANGE WILL BE THE NAME. THE GLASS, BOTTLE DESIGN AND OF COURSE THE WONDERFUL SPIRIT IN THE BOTTLE WILL ALL REMAIN THE SAME.
THANK YOU ALL KINDLY,
STEFANO AND CHRISTINA TURRINI"
I think this is pretty sad. While they are a fairly new brand and I do not anticipate too much confusion for them, they really do not deserve the hassle. I went online and found the website for the three Veloce bars and they no not appear to even have full liquor licenses.
I congratulate the Turrini's for handling this setback in a mature and responsible way and wish them great success in the future.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
So, like I keep telling everyone who cares to listen, I don't compete in cocktail competitions anymore. I took a couple of tough losses over the years to totally crap drinks judged by drunk media and P.R. types in bars completely unprepared for the events. That being said, I just found out I am a semifinalist an Averna competition. The finalist are all going to Sicily...which is in Italy...which is totally worth me selling out one more time.
Here is the drink and I am actually pretty happy about it. The first time I had Averna, it was served along coffee and chocolate biscotti and it was a rocking good combo. It still evokes an urge for chocolate when I taste it today. To respond to this, I took a couple of other ingredients that mesh well with chocolate....and well, they click. I call this technique of building drinks around flavors that are not actually present 'echoing' and it is very useful when stuck on a hard-to-pair element.
3/4 oz. Averna
1/4 oz. Maraschino
1/4 oz. Mandarin Napoleon
1/4 oz. Hangar One Chipotle (or Chipotle tincture or couple of hits of Tabasco in a pinch)
4 oz. Sparkling Wine
Built in flute and garnished with a nice healthy orange zest.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Maybe the best lottery ever. A bunch of Islay charities stand to benefit from this event if they get the 60,000 entries they hope for. For 25 pounds ($50 USD) you get to pick a set of coordinates in the Hebridean Sea where you think a barrel will end after after being dropped from an airplane.
The prizes are plentiful and very cool. Those casks of Kilchoman for example are going to be worth a whole hell of a lot more than the 4,000 pounds suggested once the distillery is in full release mode. I am not going to get into how I picked my coordinates (I will say it involved a canary, 2 beers and a hub cap,) so pick your own.
Monday, April 07, 2008
One soulful guitar!
I picked this up from the laddie blog over at Bruichladdich. Manne Guitars, an fine Italian instrument house carved an ax out of a used Lagavulin barrel to be presented at a Music Festival in Frankfurt. They even mixed some whiskey in the varnish!!!
The right tall and honorable Thad Vogler gave me a bottle of Blue Gin last night and I cannot help but rave. I knew this was coming as I was lucky enough to meet the distiller, Hans Reitsetbaur last year when he was in town hawking his beautiful Eau de Vies. I floated a nice pour of his carrot eau de vie on a bloody mary and got him interested, I used a sample of the Blue with his apricot spirit in a French 75 and made a friend for life.
Anyway, this is just wonderful stuff. 23 separate botanicals (I think that is the number) blended in a powerful, elegant spirit. It has a great sense of depth and flavor layers that make it just a blast to mix with.