Rumor Mongering

I have heard from a reliable source that Seattle’s second best bartender may be doing a guest bartending stint at Bourbon and Branch in our fair city from May 26th to May 29th.

I’ve also heard that Mr. Boudreau’s next project is, tentatively, a reinvention of the vodka bar.

Goodness, that’s a change of pace!

If you get a chance to stop in, perhaps ask him for something involving his famous Bruleed Cherries and Grey Goose?

edit – It has come to my attention that my deadpan delivery of the vodka bar rumor may have confused some folks. Allow me to point out that the idea for posting that little jest came from a certain mischievous Seattle bartender whose name rhymes with “furry”. This itinerant Seattle institution asked me to, “please,” stop by Bourbon and Branch and ask Mr. Boudreau about his intention to open, and I quote, “Seattle’s Ultimate Vodka Bar.” I certainly thought anyone who knows Mr. Boudreau’s work and professional reputation would suspect there was no way he would be involved in a project to “re-invent the vodka bar.” I apologize for any misunderstanding.

Enjoy Vegetarian Restaurant

Dearest Vegetarian Friends and Sympathizers,

As you may know, even though I am not a vegetarian, one of my pet peeves is bad vegetarian food. There is no excuse for much of the pathetically inedible and not tasty food which passes for vegetarian in the US.

I blame the hippies.

In any case, I recently dined at Enjoy Vegetarian Restaurant, which is very near where I work.

Enjoy Vegetarian Restaurant

It is a Chinese restaurant which features an amazing array of meat free and meat-like entrees. I’m also not usually a huge fan of the fake meat, but this stuff is really tasty. I had a delicious smoked wheat gluten dish with black bean sauce and Chinese preserved veggies. Yum! The toothy texture of the wheat gluten reminded me most of King Trumpet Mushrooms. In fact, vegetarian or not, this is really tasty Chinese food.

OK, it is true parking in the Inner Sunset sucks to all hell.

However, this restaurant is not far at all from the N Judah MUNI line, so suck it up and take public transportation.

Best,

Erik

Brandy Blazer Cocktail

Brandy Blazer

Use small thick (tempered) glass (or mug).

1 Lump Sugar
1 Piece of Orange Peel
1 Piece of Lemon Peel
1 Glass Brandy (2 oz Korbel VSOP)

(Warm Brandy slightly and…) Light with a match, stir with long spoon for a few seconds and strain into cocktail glass.

This can be drunk whilst still alight if so desired.

Gosh darn it! All the running around putting out the lights, and the cocktail goes out before I get a chance to take a picture. I really could use a camera assistant for some of these!

Cocktail is pretty tasty, in a winter-warmer kind of way. Probably good if you have a cold or similar. Found the Korbel a bit harsh without dilution, and ended up adding a bit of hot water.

I’ve no idea how you could possibly ignite this without first warming the brandy.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

Brandy Cocktail

Brandy Cocktail

2 Dashes Curacao (1 barspoon Senior Curacao)
3/4 Wineglass Brandy (1 1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand Ambre)
(1 dash Regan’s Orange Bitters)

Stir well and strain into cocktail glass.

Couldn’t resist adding a dash of orange bitters. It is supposed to be a cocktail, after all!

Even more than the Brain-storm this is just about the booze. If you enjoy orangey, slightly sweet, cold brandy, you will enjoy this cocktail. If you don’t enjoy the flavor of brandy, this isn’t a cocktail for you.

Like the Brain-storm, it seems like it’s a cocktail where the size might be key. There’s no way I would enjoy 4 oz of this. On the other hand, 2 oz (with dilution) is quite nice.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

Brandy Special Cocktail

Brandy Special Cocktail

3 or 4 Dashes Gomme Syrup (1 cube demerara sugar)
2 or 3 Dashes Bitters (Angostura)
1 Wineglass Brandy (2 oz Korbel VSOP Brandy)
1 or 2 Dashes Curacao (1 barspoon Brizard Orange Curacao)

(Soak sugar cube in bitters and crush with muddler in bottom of old fashioned glass. Add Curacao, and stir. Add brandy, stir.) Squeeze lemon peel and drop in; fill one-third full of (cracked) ice, and stir with a spoon.

Growing up in Wisconsin, the land of the Brandy Old-Fashioned, the Curacao here is a bit twee, not to mention the use of Korbel VSOP. Doesn’t hurt, though, and gives a bit of leeway to us city folk.

Anyway, if you, (or a bartender you know,) can master this simple formula, you may not find much cause to sample other cocktails.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

Brain-Storm Cocktail

Brain-Storm Cocktail

1/2 Wineglass Irish Whisky (1 1/2 oz Red Breast Whisky)
2 Dashes Benedictine (1 Barspoon Benedictine)
2 Dashes French Vermouth (1 Barspoon Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)

Squeeze orange peel on top. (Drop peel into mixing glass.) Stir well and strain into cocktail glass.

I liked this one a lot, actually. It’s fairly subtle, as cocktails go. Whiskey, herbey, orange. Sophisticated, I’d go so far as to say.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

BOTW–Anchor Steam

To be honest, I was kind of a long time coming around to Anchor Brewing‘s beers.

I’d drunk Anchor Steam on and off over the years, of course. However, it always seemed a bit expensive for being what amounts to a perfectly fine beer.

I’d always skip over it for beers with stronger character.

Ales and IPAs. Things like that.

However, some friends always mentioned what a good beer they thought it was, and kept it in their fridge, so I continued to try it.

As I learned more about Fritz Maytag’s contributions to craft brewing, (and craft distilling,) in America, I also came to appreciate Anchor Steam’s qualities.

I think, especially, taking the brewery tour one day a few years ago, made me understand how close what is in the bottle is to the process. Just walking around the brewery taking in the smells. Of the hop room and the fermenting tanks. It is all there. It is a very honest beer. They do flash pasteurize and filter before bottling, but what you get is very much a craft beer, albeit on a slightly larger scale.

Another thing I appreciate is that it isn’t an extreme beer. It’s a nice malty California Common. Not so strong that you can’t drink a few, but not so weak as to be, “@#$%ing near water,” as the Australians in the Monty Python skit say of the often valid comparison between many American beers and making love in a canoe.

Anyway, it’s my favorite beer to drink when we’ve got guests coming over, and I need to keep it together enough to play bar tender and cook.

Of course, at the end of the evening, after all the guests have gone home, it’s always nice to reward myself with a tasty Manhattan Cocktail.

Cocktails for Cat Sitters

Had a party last night for the folks who took care of our cats the last time we were out of town.

Here’s the cocktail menu and recipes, in case any of those folks want to make the drinks at home…

Cocktails for Catsitters:

Last Word: 3/4 oz Plymouth Gin; 3/4 oz Green Chartreuse; 3/4 oz Lime; and 3/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur. Shake with ice and strain into cocktail glass.
Rathbone Sour: 2 oz Plymouth Gin; 1/2 oz Lemon; 1/4 oz Rich Simple Syrup; Basil; and Cucumber. Muddle cucumber in Simple. Add basil and lightly press. Add remaining ingredients, shake with ice and strain into cocktail glass.
Elderflower Fizz: 2 oz Plymouth Gin; 1 oz Lemon; 1/2 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur; 1/2 oz Rich Simple Syrup. Shake with ice and strain into champagne flute or wine glass. Top with soda water or selzer.
Park Slope: 1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse bonded Rye Whiskey, 3/4 oz Punt e Mes, 3/4 oz Rothman and Winter Orchard Apricot Liqueur. Stir with ice and strain into cocktail glass.
Mojito: 1 1/2 oz Havana Club Anejo Blanco Rum, 1 oz Lime Juice, 3/4 oz Rich Simple Syrup, Mint Leaves. In a double old fashioned glass, press Mint leaves in Simple Syrup with muddler. Add Rum, Lime Juice and stir. Add ice, stir again, and top with soda water or selzer.

Brandy Gump Cocktail

Brandy Gump

1 Hooker of Brandy (1 1/2 oz Korbel VSOP)
The Juice of 1 Lemon (about an ounce)
2 Dashes Grenadine (1 generous teaspoon Fee’s American Beauty)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Woo, this is tart and pink. I didn’t have any problem finishing it, but it’s kind of like one of those really sour candies. Bracing.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

Brandy Crusta

Brandy Crusta Cocktail

Use small wine glass. Moisten the edge with lemon and dip edge into castor sugar which frosts the glass. Cut the rind of half a lemon spiral fashion; place in glass. Fill glass with cracked ice.

3 dashes Maraschino.
1 Dash Angostura Bitters.
4 Dashes Lemon Juice.
1/4 Curacao
3/4 Brandy.

Stir well and strain into prepared glass, adding slice of orange.

I tried a Brandy Crusta sort of half way between the above Savoy and the Jerry Thomas recipe. Quite enjoyed it.

Brandy Crusta for 2:

4 oz Brandy
1/2 oz Brizard Curacao
Juice 1/2 lemon
2 Dashes The Bitter Truth Boker’s Bitters (Bother them, maybe they’ll make another batch!)

Followed Thomas procedure shaking with cracked ice, and straining into small sugared glasses with a half a pared lemon peel each. Unfortunately, pictures didn’t really turn out very well. I don’t have the appropriate glassware, need to work on my sugared rim technique, and sharpen my paring knife.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.