Mustachi-Ode West Coast Stylee

When Mrs. Flannestad and I were recently in NY, we stopped by momofuko ssäm bar for dinner.

After dinner, we traveled down the restaurant’s back corridor for a drink at their new bar space, Booker and Dax, known for its, “Cocktails you won’t make at home”.

From a New York Times Article, High-Tech Cocktail Lounge Is Opening at Momofuku Ssam Bar

Over the last few years, Mr. Arnold has won a reputation as the cocktail demimonde’s own Mr. Wizard, passing alcohol through a variety of elaborate gizmos and coming out with something purer, more potent, and arguably better on the other end. His experiments have influenced many modern bartenders, but Booker & Dax will be the first tavern where he’ll have direct control over the drinks program.

While I went with the safe choice of a bottled Manhattan, Mrs. Flannestad picked out the more adventurous Mustachi-Ode, described on the menu as follows.

“mustachi-ode – nardini amaro, becherovka, bourbon, egg-white, pistachio”

When she quite enjoyed the drink, I promised to do my best to make it at home.

Not knowing the proportions, I tweeted to the Booker and Dax account and, surprisingly, received a reply with a fairly exact recipe.

“1oz 101 bourbon .5 Becherovka .5 nardini .25 lemon 1 pistachio syrup (ours is centrifuged) ango decoration. Cheers!”

Becherovka is a Czech Herbal, well mostly spice, bitter:

Becherovka (formerly Karlsbader Becherbitter) is a herbal bitters that is produced in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, by the Jan Becher company. The brand is owned by Pernod Ricard.

Becherovka is flavored with anise seed, cinnamon, and approximately 32 other herbs. Its alcohol content is 38% ABV (76 proof). It is usually served cold and is often used as an aid to digestion. It may also be served with tonic water, making a drink that is known as a beton (BEcherovka+TONic) (Czech for “concrete”).

Amaro Nardini is an Italian Amaro made by the Nardini Company, which is known primarily for its Grappas:

DESCRIPTION Digestive after-dinner liqueur with a pleasant and distinctive liquorice finish. Can be served straight, chilled or with ice.
INGREDIENTS Grain alcohol, bitter orange aroma, peppermint and gentian.
APPEARANCE Intense color of dark chocolate.
NOSE Perfect balance of aromatic components, intense scent of liquorice and mint.
PALATE Bitter, with an excellent fruit and herbal balance. A fresh impact of mint, the gentian offers a pleasurable finish of liquorice.
SERVING SUGGESTION A pleasant after-dinner drink, can be served straight, chilled or with crushed ice and a slice of orange.

Since I already had both Becherovka and Amaro Nardini in the house, the only real challenge here is the Pistachio Syrup.

Having had success previously (Orgeat: Tales Version) making Orgeat based on Francis Xavier’s Almond Syrup recipe, I figured I would simply attempt to apply his FXCuisine Orgeat Recipe to Pistachios.

Pistachio Syrup

137g Pistachio
274g Washed Raw Sugar
(process a bit in blender)
2 cup water

Bring to a near simmer (at least 140 F), cool and steep overnight.

Strain out nuts with a cheesecloth.

Add equal amount of sugar for every 1gr of strained liquid. Put the pot on a low flame and stir to dissolve sugar. Bottle, cool, and refrigerate.

I guess I see why they Centrifuge this, given the kind of unappealing brown-green color.

The only real problem is I don’t know the sugar saturation level of Booker and Dax’s Pistachio Syrup. If that “1″ in the recipe means 1 Ounce, I think they must be making more of a “Pistachio Milk” than a Pistachio Syrup.

However, the Orgeat Recipe from Francis Xavier at FXCuisine is crazy saturated, so there’s no way a whole ounce is going to work.

Pistachio Syrup in tow, I lugged my bottles of Pistachio Syrup, Amaro Nardini, and Becherovka in to work at Heaven’s Dog for some experimentation.

After a few variation on the Booker & Dax recipe, this worked pretty well and got good responses from customers and coworkers:

Mustachi-Ode, West Coast Stylee
1 oz Old Bardstown Estate Bourbon (101 Proof)
1/2 oz Amaro Nardini
1/2 oz Becherovka*
1/2 oz Homemade Pistachio Syrup
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Egg White

Dry Shake vigorously for a few seconds. Add ice and shake well. Strain into a cocktail glass and apply Mustache shaped Angostura Decoration.

I think the next step is the Mustachi-Ode Flip! Though, by that point, maybe it should be a Van Dyke!

*The Becherovka used in this post was provided by an agency promoting the brand.

Punches.

From the Savoy Cocktail Book:

Punches.

“This ancient Silver bowl of mine, it tells of good old times,
Of joyous days and jolly nights, and merry Christmas Chimes,
They were a free and jovial race, but honest, brave and true,
That dipped their ladle in the punch when this old bowl was new.”

Thus runs the old drinking song by Oliver Wendell Holmes, a song among many that have lauded the old time jollity of Ye Punch Bowl.
The proper preparation of Punch requires considerable care: but there is one grand secret in- its concoction that must be mastered with patience and care. It is just this, that the various subtle ingredients be thoroughly mixed in such a way) that neither the bitter, the sweet, the spirit, nor any liquor be perceptible the one over the other. This accomplishment depends not so much upon the precise proportions of the various elements, as upon the order of their addition, and the manner of mixing. Below are given a selection of famous old Punch recipes worthy of careful study.

The next two sections of the book are “Punches.” and “Prepared Punches for Bottling”.

I haven’t quite figured out what to do about Punches.

There are about 15 in the book, most for larger groups of people.

I guess I could have a Punch party every week for the next 15 weeks, but that seems difficult, not just from a cost perspective.

Or I could scale them down to serve 3 or 4 people.

In any case, while I sort this out, I will probably skip ahead to the last section of the book, the “Cups”.

Jiggling

Got a question from another gentleman on a cocktail quest of his own, over at Cocktail Virgin Slut.

It covered a couple things I originally meant to say in the “Frappe” post, so I will split it off as a post on its own.

Frederic:

I had completely blanked on the term ‘jiggling’ when it came up in conversation. Someone mentioned that a bartender had done it and it looked funny for stirring, and I explained the technique minus the name. I have read it several times but only saw it once before this — John Gertsen made a Spanish anise spirit laden drink like that (but not as vigorous as you did it). Is the technique specific to the absinthe/anisette/pastis-heavy drink family?

Thanks for the comment, Frederic!

To me, “jiggling” and “swizzling” are pretty much the same, one term
from the soda fountain culture and another from the Carribean, just
using different tools.

Interestingly, the quote describing jiggling in the post comes from
Clisby Arthur’s writeup of the Julep.

In bartending, it seems like jiggling and swizzling are techniques
which are used almost exclusively with crushed ice drinks.

Though I think in soda fountains the technique is also used for things
like Egg Creams, where the jerk is trying to create a head on a fizzy
drink.

Regarding the vigor and length of my “jiggling” technique, heh, it’s
mostly because my ice is completely dry and coming pretty much
directly from a freezer at -5 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, the ambient
temperature of houses in San Francisco tends to be on the chilly side,
so it doesn’t aid much in melting.

If I don’t give things a pretty long mix, I get almost no dilution.

If I were using melty crushed ice in a warm bar, it would be a mistake
to “jiggle” for that long.

All the best,

Erik E.

Absinthe Frappe

Frappe.

Absinthe Frappe
2/3 Absinthe,
1/6 Syrup of Anisette, double quantity of water.
Shake up long enough until the outside of the shaker is thoroughly covered with ice. Strain into a small tumbler.

The Absinthe Frappe is basically a soda fountain style presentation for what is essentially an Absinthe Cobbler or Julep. It is NOT a drink for people who dislike Anise or Absinthe. On the other hand, if you like Absinthe, it is a pleasantly refreshing and cooling change of pace from the plain old Absinthe drip.

In “Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix Them” Stanley Clisby Arthur has one of my favorite text pieces with instructions and commentary on the Absinthe Frappe.

Absinthe Frappe

1 jigger Absinthe substitute
1 teaspoon sugar sirop
1 jigger charged water.

Fill a small highball glass with cracked or shaved ice. Pour in the sugar sirop, then the absinthe substitute, and drip water (seltzer or other charged water will improve it) slowly while frapeing with the spoon. Continue jiggling the barspoon until the glass becomes well frosted.

This is the simple and easy way to prepare an absinthe drink, one that has many devotees in many lands. Of course, if you have a shiny cocktail shaker and want to put it to work, you can use it. Shake until the shaker takes on a good coating of frost, and then pour the mixture into glasses which have been well iced before the drink is prepared.

Of course this also requires me to quote Clisby Arthur on “jiggling”:

Jiggling is not “stirring”. Stirring calls for a rotary motion, but “jiggling” is dashing the spoon up and down steadily until the outside of the goblet is frosted. Place the metal or glass container on a table to do your jiggling–do not hold the glass for heat of the hand will hinder frost from forming on the outside.

I like to use the disk end of European-style barspoons, usually intended for layering pousse cafe, when “jiggling”. I will also increase the amount of sweetener from Clisby Arthur, as I am not using a pre-sweetened “Absinthe Substitute” like Herbsaint, Pernod, or Ricard.

Absinthe Frappe.

1 1/2 oz Marteau Absinthe de la Belle Epoque;
1/4 oz Small Hand Foods Gum Syrup;
Soda Water;

Fill a small highball glass with cracked or shaved ice. Pour in the Absinthe, then the Gum Syrup, and soda water slowly into the glass while frapeing with the spoon. Continue jiggling the barspoon until the glass becomes well frosted.

Absinthe Frappe

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

Spring Has Sprung

Spring 2012 has sprung in the Flannestad back yard.

Tree Fern has fresh leaves.

Cyclamen flowering.

Uh, whatever you call these orange flowers are also flowering. Oh right, Clivia miniata, aka fire lily.

Borage seeds planted last year finally flowered.

The irrepressible Jasmine.

The Climbing Rose.

Climbing Hydrangea making a move.

The Hellebore is just about done.

Bleeding Heart vine flowering.

Forget Me Nots flowering.

And the Euphorbia is putting out its alien display.