Lime Burst Garnish

You may recall, I posted a drink called the Chance of Showers.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of the so called “lime burst” garnish or the drink itself.

To remedy the situation, I have made a movie!

Chance of Showers

1 dash Angostura Bitters
Juice 1/2 Lime (or 1/2 oz)
1/2 oz Rich Simple Syrup (or to taste)
Yeast Carbonated Ginger Beer*, chilled
2 oz Ron Zacapa 23
Lime Burst, with a pickled ginger stuffed peppadew pepper http://savoystomp.com/2013/10/11/ginger-beer-take-2/

Fill an old-fashiohned glass with cracked ice. Add Bitters, Lime Juice, and rich simple syrup to glass and stir to combine. Pour in chilled ginger beer to nearly fill and stir again. Float on Ron Zacapa and garnish.

So the components of the garnish are the lime skirt and a peppadew pepper stuffed with pickled ginger.

My first thought was to do a red spicy pepper in the middle of a simple lime wheel.

When I workshopped the drink at Holy Water, my friend John Ottman said I really needed a better garnish if I wanted to win. The judges go for that sort of thing. Though I did ignore his advice about vintage glassware. Anyway, I knew I needed to improve my presentation.

When I was in Boston earlier this year, one of the bartenders showed me a cool garnish which was a sort of citrus jellyfish thing.

Also, earlier this year, when working at South, in the Jazz center, the opening bartender did all the bar prep and garnish prep. For a long time I pushed off the lime skinning for lime pigtails to the barbacks, but eventually I bit the bullet and figured out how to do it. There is a knack to getting the ice pick into the lime pith at the right angle between the lime flesh and the lime skin.

I was thinking I would try to combine the citrus skin jellyfish with the lime garnish, but the lime was too thick to work quite the same way as the citrus zest squid.

So I started playing with the lime skirt and realized it made a kind of cool grass skirt effect when it was bent. Maybe I could combine the pepper idea with the tentacle idea?

Lime Squid

The first try was a little “tentacular.”

But when I flipped it over, it turned out to look pretty cool.

Chance of Showers

Ever since I’ve started making yeast carbonated Ginger Beers this summer, I’ve wanted to use them to make a drink with dark rum and lime.

Last week, an email arrived with the following subject: Ivy Room Cocktail Competition & Anniversary Party (12/09)

Sponsored by Ron Zacapa 23 Rum

Details:
Competition is open to any bartender currently working in the bar, restaurant or spirits industry
1st PLACE Prize = $500 gift card
2nd PLACE Prize = Bar Kit & Bottle of Ron Zacapa 23
3rd PLACE Prize = Bottle of Ron Zacapa 23
All cocktails shall utilize Ron Zacapa 23 as main ingredient and only spirit

Create four cocktails – recipes shall be original creations

We invite inventiveness and creativity, drinks should be delicious – try not to overthink it

Cocktails will be judged according to the following criteria, with a total of 100 points possible:
Use of Zacapa product: 25 points
Aroma: 15 points
Flavor: 15 points
Technique: 15 points
Presentation: 15 points
Creativity: 15 points

My first thought was to make the drink a bit of an “old-fashioned” and serve it stirred on a single large ice cube.

However, after workshopping that idea at a friend’s bar in my neighborhood (Hi John! Thanks for loaning me a well at Holy Water!), I discarded that idea and re-made the same drink on their lovely regular Hoshizaki cube ice.

When I got to a version where a coincidentally located booze salesman said, “I could drink A LOT of those!” I figured I was close.

Here’s what I ended up with:

Chance of Showers

1 dash Angostura Bitters
Juice 1/2 Lime (or 1/2 oz)
1/2 oz Rich Simple Syrup (or to taste)
Yeast Carbonated Ginger Beer*, chilled
2 oz Ron Zacapa 23
Lime Burst, with pickled ginger stuffed peppadew pepper

Fill an old-fashiohned glass with cracked ice. Add Bitters, Lime Juice, and rich simple syrup to glass and stir to combine. Pour in chilled ginger beer to nearly fill and stir again. Float on Ron Zacapa and garnish.

*Yeast Carbonated Ginger Beer

5 oz Ginger
4 Dried Thai Bird Chiles, or other small piquant pepper

32oz Water
3/4 Cup Washed Raw Sugar

1/2 tsp Yeast

METHOD: Bloom yeast in lukewarm water with 1 teaspoon sugar. Over low heat, dissolve sugar in 24oz water. Add ginger and chiles to blender bowl with 8oz water and puree. (Blender works well for me in these amounts, but if you have a juicer that can juice ginger root, go for it.) Pour through cheesecloth to filter. Press as much liquid out of ginger solids as possible, I use a sturdy potato ricer. Add ginger juice and water to hot sugar solution and cool to lukewarm. Add yeast and bottle in clean sanitized containers, leaving some headroom. Seal tightly and place in a warm dark place for 5-8 hours, depending on temperature and how feisty your yeast is. Move to refrigeration when the bottles are firm to the touch. Yeast (tan) and Ginger starch (white) will fall out of solution. When serving, open carefully over bowl to catch potential over-foam. Makes a Quart and a bit more.

If you know anything about cocktails, you’ll probably know that this drink is somewhat similar to a Caribbean Potation called the “Dark ‘n’ Stormy”, allegedly invented in Bermuda some time during prohibition.

However, the Gosling’s Rum corporation is quite insistent that if you put a drink called a Dark ‘n’ Stormy on a restaurant or bar menu, that you must make it with their Rum and their recipe or not at all.

The Right Stuff (by Law), Jonathan Miles, NY Times

“‘What’s in a name?’ Shakespeare famously asked. In the case of the Dark ‘n’ Stormy, a Bermudan cocktail that’s been making a quiet resurgence in New York City bars and restaurants in the last couple of years, it’s two ounces of Gosling’s Black Seal rum and a fizzy hit of ginger beer.

“And, by law, nothing but.

“That’s according to two trademark certificates on file with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, which — in an exceptionally rare instance in the cocktail world — dictate the precise ingredients and amounts required to call a Dark ‘n’ Stormy, well, a Dark ‘n’ Stormy.”

So, as much as I might like to call this drink a “Dark ‘n’ Stormy”, it cannot be! It has Ron Zacapa 23, for one, and, it has lime juice, not to mention homemade yeast carbonated ginger beer.

“Dark ‘n’ Stormy” or not, this is a delicious drink, even if you must make it with Gosling’s Rum, not something I’d really recommend if you have another delicious rum like Zacapa 23 in the house…

Prepared with a NOT “Dark ‘n’ Stormy”, I wrote up the following to say to present my drink:

“Hi, I’m Erik Ellestad and I work for the Slanted Door Group of restaurants.

“My Ron Zacapa drink for this competition is called ‘Chance of Showers’.

“I have been a big fan of Ron Zacapa 23 for some time. A friend gave me a taste of it before I was really that into Cocktails and spirits and it blew me away. Mount Gay Eclipse had been about as far as I had journeyed up to that point vaguely in the direction of premium rums, and it basically convinced me that there was even such a thing as a sipping Rum. I frequently enjoy it as an after dinner digestiv, but my favorite story related to this fine Rum is in regards its other properties as a “mixer”.

“A while ago a good friend (Hi Rich!) of mine started dating a woman (Hi Humuhumu!) who was really, and I mean seriously, into Tiki Bars, Tiki drinks, Tiki culture, and related paraphernalia. One day he took me aside to ask for my advice. He wanted to buy his new girlfriend a bottle of Rum, but didn’t know much about Rums. My initial reaction was, don’t buy a Rum for someone who is that into Rum. What could you buy her that she hadn’t already tried or had in the house? He insisted, and I thought about it some more. Some aged Rhum Agricole came to mind at first, a little obscure, he’d get points for difficulty. But then I thought of Ron Zacapa 23. As I had liked it so much, maybe it could be a gateway Rum for him, as well as a fine gift for his new girlfriend. I mean, really, who can argue with Ron Zacapa 23, even if you already have a bottle?

“I guess it worked, as when they got married, instead of drinking wine to celebrate their new union, they drank Ron Zacapa 23!

“My drink is Angostura Bitters, Fresh Lime Juice, Homemade Yeast Carbonated Ginger Beer, and Ron Zacapa, garnished with a lime and a ginger stuffed pickled pepper.

“Please enjoy Chance of Showers. Or, now that I think about it, with young Wanda Trott in mind, maybe I should call it, ‘Chance of Baby Showers’!”

Watermelon Coolers

Mrs Flannestad’s sister is visiting and the two of them challenged me to make a before dinner cocktail. I’d been craving watermelon, so my first thought was watermelon, Tequila, and Mezcal. But I knew Mrs Flannestad wouldn’t be super happy with that. Next I thought Miller’s Gin, with its cucumber, would be an interesting combination with its relative watermelon. Warm day, so a long drink seemed appropriate, and a little spice never hurt anyone.

image

Watermelon Cooler

1/2 Cup Watermelon, Peeled and cubed
1/2 oz Rich Simple Syrup
Small Pinch Cayenne
Small Pinch Salt
1 1/2 oz Miller’s Gin
Juice 1/2 Lime
1/2 oz Seltzer Water
Watermelon spear, for garnish

METHOD: Place watermelon in shaker with Simple Syrup, Cayenne, and Salt. Muddle. Add lime juice and Gin. Shake with ice and fine strain over fresh ice and seltzer in a Collins Glass. Garnish with Watermelon spear and serve with a straw.

The Defend Arrack

Homework

Before heading to work the other day, I was reading through Rogue and Beta Cocktails, looking for some improvements to my “Whiskey, Spirituous” game, and glanced at The Defend Arrack by Maksym Pazuniak. Looked cool, but whenever am I going to get a chance to make a, “Batavia Arrack, Bartender’s Choice”?

But then a bartender type came in Monday night, relatively new to the game, and asked if he could try Batavia Arrack, “…and maybe could I make him a cocktail?”

What sort of bizarre coincidence is this?

Well, then!

The Defend Arrack

1 1/2 oz Batavia Arrack
3/4 oz Marie Brizard Apry
3/4 oz lime Juice
1/8 oz St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram
Orange twist (garnish)

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Express the oil from one orange twist onto the surface of the drink and discard.

“Batavia Arrack is a challenging spirit. Funky and pungent, this doesn’t mix easily. When encountering an animal like this, I like to turn to Apry, a magic liqueur that has an uncanny ability to reign in and blend disparate flavors. /Maks”

Note, Apry has been a bit thin on the ground in California recently, so I used the Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur. I found I needed to up the amount slightly, as it is not quite as assertive as the Apry is. Nothing near an ounce, but a generous 3/4 oz. Your Mileage May Vary.

Do give that a nice vigorous shake, as well.

I believe you will be surprised how, as the nouveau bartender put it, “more-ish” this seemingly unlikely combination proves to be.

3 Dots and a Dash

I’ve always liked the Rum drink called “3 Dots and a Dash” but never learned to make it.

A friend of mine, who also has a cocktail blog, wrote it up last week (Matt Robold over at Rumdood.com: 3 Dots and a Dash), so I figured it was about time I learned to make the damn thing.

A sort of Rum Punch, it is a delicious mix of potent rum flavors and drinkability.

3 Dots and a Dash

1 1/2 oz Neissen Ambre Rhum
1/2 oz El Dorado 5 Year Demerara Rum
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Orange Juice
scant 1/2 oz Honey Mix*
1/4 oz John Taylor Falernum
1/4 oz St Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram
1 scoop crushed ice (about 6 oz)

Blend or shake very well, until the outside of the mixing tin or glass frosts. Pour into a collins glass and garnish with a pineapple spear and 3 cherries.

*Honey Mix: Combine Honey 1-1 with warm water and shake to combine.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of 3 Dots and a Dash, so this Tabouleh will have to suffice:

I was looking through the fridge the other day and noticed I had a rather large, and totally forgotten, bag of uncooked bulgur wheat towards the back. Realized I hadn’t made Tabouleh in quite a while, so I figured now that tomatoes are starting to come into season, it would make a fine side salad for a roasted chicken.

Tabouleh is an interesting salad to play with, I’ve had them made all over the map. From basically all Parsley to almost entirely Bulgur. It’s sort of left to your interpretation. The mandatory elements, to me anyway, are: Cooked Bulgur Wheat, Parsley, Tomatoes, and olive oil. After that, the sky’s the limit.

Tabouleh

Cook bulgur wheat according to the directions on the package it came in. Cool Bulgur, draining if necessary. Get out a large bowl. Finely mince a clove or two of garlic, pour in a couple tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice. Add a similar amount of olive oil. Chop your herbage and add it, being quite generous. Sometimes this dish is more an herb condiment than a salad. Chop a ripe and tasty tomato and throw it in with the herbs and garlic. Slice a green onion or two and add. Salt generously and toss to mix. Peel and chop a cucumber, (or other crispy vegetable,) and add. Toss again and check seasoning. Add bulgur wheat, maybe some crumbled feta cheese, and freshly ground pepper. Toss, allow to stand at room temperature for flavors to marry.

It is really easy to scale this up and down, it makes a totally classic hippie dish for a potluck. In fact, I believe, in certain cities, like Madison, WI and Berkeley, CA, if, through a bizarre set of coincidences, someone fails to bring Tabouleh as a “Dish to Pass”, all you have to do is close your eyes and say, “Tabouleh,” and it will appear on the table.

Other Uses for Pistachio Syrup

You might recall, I made a Pistachio Syrup to recreate the Mustachi-ode from Booker & Dax.

While the Mustachi-ode is a fantastic drink, I’ve been experimenting with other uses for the syrup.

The first easiest targets are mostly simple substitutions for Orgeat.

Here are a couple interesting, and so far unnamed, things to try with Pistachio Syrup:

2 oz Tequila Ocho Blanc
Heavy Barspoon Pistachio Syrup
2 dash Miracle Mile Chocolate Chile Bitters

Stir and strain into a small cocktail glass. Grate fresh Cinnamon on top.

Obvious riff on the Japanese Cocktail, really like how this highlights the interesting vegetal characteristics of the Ocho.

1 1/2 oz Barbancourt 8 Rum
1/2 oz Neissen Blanc Rhum Agricole
1 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Pistachio Syrup
1/2 oz Orange Curacao

Shake and strain over cracked ice in a 10 oz glass. Garnish with Mint Sprig and Lime Wheel Cherry Boat.

Fairly literal Mai Tai variation, for me the nut character of the Pistachio syrup really pops in this.

Of course, if you don’t feel like making Pistachio Syrup yourself, you can always stop by Heaven’s Dog!

Nevada Cocktail

Nevada Cocktail

The Nevada Cocktail

1 Hooker of Bacardi Rum. (1 1/2 oz Montecristo White)
The Juice of 1/2 Grapefruit. (Shoot, should have measured.)
The Juice of 1 Lime. (Juice 1/2 lemon)
Powdered Sugar. (Scant teaspoon caster sugar)
1 Dash Bitters. (1 dash Angostura)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

This is another one from Judge Jr.’s prohibition era tome, “Here’s How!”

Actually probably the best drink of any from that book so far. Really highlights the floral flavors of the rum, grapefruit, and bitters.

About all I’d say is it’s a bit too large. Divided in two, this would be a good appetizer cocktail. Bittersweet and tart. This large and it gets a bit acid-ey on the stomach by the end.

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.

Davis Cocktail

Davis Cocktail

Davis Cocktail
1/4 Jamaica Rum. (generous 1/2 oz Inner Circle Green)
1/2 French Vermouth. (generous 1 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
2 Dashes Grenadine. (1 tsp. homemade)
Juice of 1/2 Lemon or 1 Lime. (1 lime)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

This is a confusing one, not least because the ingredient fractions fail to add up to the usual “one”.

My version of Duffy gives it as:

Davis
1/2 Jamaica Rum.
1/2 French Vermouth.
2 Dashes Raspberry Syrup.
Juice of 1 Lime.
Shake well with ice and strain into glass.

And the Cocktaildb, Jones’ Complete Barguide one assumes, gives it as:

Davis Cocktail
3/4 oz fresh lime juice (2 cl, 3/16 gills)
1 1/2 oz Jamaica rum (4.5 cl, 3/8 gills)
1/2 oz raspberry syrup (or grenadine) (1.5 cl, 1/8 gills)
3/4 oz dry vermouth (2 cl, 3/16 gills)

I tried the cocktaildb version on Saturday night using Appleton V/X and my wife said it tasted like candy. Pretty disgusting. Way too much grenadine.

Went back to the original, and decided the sensible thing would be an overproof and rather flavorful rum. Not bad at all. With the Inner Circle overproof rum and a reasonable amount of sweetener, it really is all about the rum and the lime. A refreshing tonic.

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.

Daiquiri Cocktail

I’ve actually talked already about the Daiquiri in the post “Daiquiris, a Cautionary Tale,” but for that post, (back when I wasn’t too lazy to make movies,) I didn’t actually make a regular Daiquiri. So here we go!

Daiquiri

Daiquiri Cocktail

The Juice of 1/4 Lemon or 1/2 Lime. (1/2 Lime)
1 Teaspoonful Powdered Sugar. (1 teaspoon caster sugar)
1 Glass Bacardi Rum. (2 oz Flor de Cana Extra-Dry)

(Drop the lime shell into the cocktail shaker.) Shake well and (double) strain into cocktail glass.

“The Moment had arrived for a Daiquiri. It was a delicate compound ; it elevated my contentment to an even higher pitch. Unquestionably the cocktail on my table was a dangerous agent, for it held in its shallow glass bowl slightly encrusted with undissolved sugar the power of a contemptuous indifference to fate; it set the mind free of responsibility; obliterating both memory and to- morrow, it gave the heart an adventitious feeling of superiority and momentarily vanquished all the celebrated, the eternal fears. Yes, that was the danger of skilfully prepared intoxicating drinks . The word ‘Intoxicating’ adequately expressed their power. Their menace to orderly, monotonous resignation. A word, I thought further, debased by moralists from its primary ecstatic content…but then, with a fresh Daiquiri and a sprig of orange blossom in my button-hole, it meant less than nothing”

A short extract from Joseph Hergesheimer’s “San Cristobal de la Habana” which contains much wisdom concerning Drinks, Cigars and the Art of Fine Living.

This was always one of my favorite quotes from the Savoy. Fortunately, I was able to track down the Full Text of Hergesheimer’s “San Cristobal de la Habana” on the Internet archive. The Savoy editors chose to edit the passage in some pretty interesting, and fairly predictable, ways. I’ve added the deleted text back in, in bold.

“The moment, now, had arrived for a Daiquiri: seated near the cool drip of the fountain, where a slight stir of air seemed to ruffle the fringed mantone of a bronze dancing Andalusian girl, I lingered over the frigid mixture of Ron Bacardi, sugar, and a fresh vivid green lime.

“It was a delicate compound, not so good as I was to discover later at the Telegrafo, but still a revelation, and I was devoutly thankful to be sitting, at that hour in the Inglaterra, with such a drink. It elevated my contentment to an even higher pitch ; and, with a detached amusement, I recalled the fact that farther north prohibition was formally in effect. Unquestionably the cocktail on my table was a dangerous agent, for it held, in its shallow glass bowl slightly encrusted with undissolved sugar, the power of a contemptuous indifference to fate; it set the mind free of responsibility; obliterating both memory and tomorrow, it gave the heart an adventitious feeling of superiority and momentarily vanquished all the celebrated, the eternal, fears.

“Yes, that was the danger of skilfully prepared, intoxicating drinks. . . . The word intoxicating adequately expressed their power, their menace to orderly monotonous resignation. A word, I thought further, debased by moralists from its primary ecstatic content. Intoxication with Ron Bacardi, with May, with passion, was a state threatening to privilege, abhorrent to authority. And, since the dull were so fatally in the majority, they had succeeded in attaching a heavy penalty to whatever lay outside their lymphatic understanding. They had, as well, made the term gay an accusation before their Lord, confounding it with loose, so that now a gay girl certainly the only girl worth a ribbon or the last devotion was one bearing upon her graceful figure, for she was apt to be reprehensibly graceful, the censure of a society open to any charge other than that of gaiety in either of its meanings. A ridiculous, a tragic, conclusion, I told myself indifferently: but then, with a fresh Daiquiri and a sprig of orange blossoms in my buttonhole, it meant less than nothing.”

More interesting that, and an interesting book on the whole.

It’s kind of funny, I’ve made versions of the Hemingway Special, (with Maraschino and Grapefruit Juice,) a lot; but I don’t think I’ve ever sat down and made myself a regular Daiquiri. I guess it seemed too simple to be extraordinary.

The trick of dropping the the half lime shell into the shaker to get that extra bitter lime oomph, I learned from an instructive youtube video (Daiquiri) from Mr. Angus Winchester.

Like the Cuban Cocktail (No. 1), the relatively small amount of lime and sugar, leaves the Daiquiri a pretty dry and sophisticated cocktail. The flavor of the Rum and scent of the lime are front and center with just enough sweetness to take the edge off.

Simply delightful.

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.

Goombay Smash

When I was thinking about a Mixology Monday drink a while ago, it reminded me of my parents, and specifically my Dad. My parents took their honeymoon in the Bahamas. It was there that my Father discovered both the wonder and pain of strong drink. I don’t know the details; but, for him, whatever cocktail he had there confirmed what he had been taught. That what was too tasty and too fun, was also bad. While, later in life he would occasionally have a glass of wine with dinner, to my knowledge, he didn’t drink hard liquor again in his life.

A quick read through Jeff Berry’s Intoxica and Grog Log, revealed only a glancing reference to the “Queen’s Park Swizzle” as a drink which might have been served in the Carribean in the 50s. Worried that I might have to make a Bahama Mama, I asked a couple people what cocktails might have been likely served during that era in the Bahamas. Martin Cate of Forbidden Island suggested the “Goombay Smash” and Ted Haigh agreed the Goombay Smash or a Planter’s Punch might be a good choice. Both Mr. Cate and the Doctor dismissed the Queen’s Park Swizzle as far too strongly tasting of liquor, to appeal to young midwestern tourists.

The Goombay Smash is a specialty of Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar in the Bahamas. While the exact formulation of the Goombay Smash remains a secret of that establishment, Mr. Cate suggested the following from the UK sauceguide publication.

Goombay Smash

Goombay Smash

1.5 oz Pusser’s Navy Rum
.75 oz coconut rum (Cruzan)
3 oz pineapple juice
.25 oz fresh lime juice
.25 oz Cointreau
.25 oz simple syrup
(dash drinkboy house bitters)

Shake and pour over (crushed) rocks.

Fine and tasty it is. My only embellishment was to add a generous dash of homemade drinkboy house bitters, whose ginger-spice kick I thought would nicely complement the tropical flavors. For an extra touch of exotica, I garnished it with a couple sprigs of lemon balm and a cup and saucer vine flower.

While I don’t know if the Goombay is truly that “exotic”, it certainly is quaffable. Just the sort of thing that goes down easy during the afternoon on a hot Carribean island. And the Pusser’s certainly packs enough of a punch to make you regret having one too many.

Dad

Dad, this one’s for you.