Good Spirits News - The spirited world of mixology
Blair Frodelius is a professional full-time musician, an award-winning mixologist, USBG Spirits Professional, BarSmarts Live & Wired graduate and member of the Museum of the American Cocktail. Several of his original cocktails can be found in the 75th Anniversary Mr. Boston Official Bartenders Guide, and one inspired by Harry Craddock in the Mixellany publication The Deans of Drink.
Today is National Amaretto Day. I’ll bet you had no idea. Well, break out that dusty bottle from where it’s languishing in your closet and fix yourself an Amaretto Sour while I tell you a little background behind this unusual liqueur.
2 oz Amaretto liqueur
1 oz Fresh squeezed lemon juice
½ fresh organic Egg white
2 dashes Aromatic Bitters
Dry shake (without ice) all ingredients. Add ice, shake again and strain into ice-filled glass.
Amaretto literally means “a little bitter”. The original recipe contained bitter almond, but today’s liqueurs tend to be quite sweet. We’ve all tasted a brand at least once. Usually our first experience was sneaking a swig from our parents liquor cabinet. Memorable and probably not our finest drinking moment. “It has essence of tree nut, with elements of cane sugar”.
Yet, Amaretto has a long and distinguished heritage. And it’s not necessarily almonds that you’re tasting.
Interestingly, the world’s best-selling brand DiSaronno contains no almonds, but rather uses a blend of seventeen herbs, fruits and most importantly apricot pits. In fact, this recipe has been around since 1525, so who’s to say whether the product is supposed to be almond or apricot pit flavored?
Lastly, Portland bartender extraordinaire Jeffery Morganthaler claims to have perfected the world’s best Amaretto Sour. You can check out his version here.
According to the manufacturer, “H2 is the smallest bio-available molecule in the universe, representing 90% of living matter. When infused in water it provides multiple benefits, including increased energy and antioxidant activity. HydroTab puts the power of molecular hydrogen in your pocket.”
Dark Corner Distillery located in Greenville, SC and HydroTab recently teamed up to make the Hydro-Gin Fizz cocktail. Featuring the distillery’s Jocassee Gin, Dark Corner has created the first-ever molecular hydrogen cocktail with its Hydro-Gin Fizz cocktail. Utilizing the new hydrogen tablet delivery system via HydroTab (as not to water down the drink), cocktail creator Harrison Han has created a playful twist off the classic Gin Fizz.
Hydrotab claims that, “benefits of molecular hydrogen can include: increased energy, improved mental clarity and even reducing the side-effects of hangovers, to name a few.”
Watch the video below to learn more.
Introducing HydroTab - YouTube
GSN Review: We tried a tab in a glass of room temperature water to see what happened. The tabs are a dark purple and as they effervesce, there is a cloudy film that floats on top of the glass similar to an Airborne tablet. You can stir it into the glass, but there is a film that’s left on the glass. I can see why the cocktail recipe calls for an egg white, as it hides this film.
The flavor is mildly alkaline and sour, but not off-putting. This makes it ideal for any kind of sour cocktail. We made the recipe below and found it was fine.
Overall, I’m not sure about the health benefits, but it does make for an interesting experiment. And today, that’s always something to look for to in the world of mixology.
Pour club soda in to glass and set aside. Add remaining ingredients to a shaker and shake vigorously for 10 or more seconds (important for emulsifying egg white). Add 3 or 4 ice cubes and shake further. Add to glass of club soda, drop in tablets and enjoy.
Kevin Mowers launched Bom Bom in early 2016 with the intent of creating something unique, delicious, and versatile. After great effort “Coco Mochanut” received a Gold award from a recent Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) tasting. And rightly so, the Bom Bom line checks everything off the list. “Nilli Vanilli” was rated the best cream liqueur of 2017 by the International Review of Spirits. Ironically, there is no cream at all.
Both flavors offer a variety of sweet summer cocktail options. Bom Bom is also unique in the sense that they market their line as gluten-free and/or vegan. It’s refreshing (pun intended) to see milk-based beverages use alternative ingredients such as almond milk. The recognizable chalky nut taste adds a remarkable texture.
Bom Bom Nilli Vanilli (14% ALC) Visual: Milky Nose: Sweet aroma of vanilla with a hint of banana; very reminiscent of the classic childhood snack “Nilla Wafers”. Taste: Sweet creamy taste with a distinct chalkiness that comes from their unique use of almond milk allowing the drink to remain Vegan-Friendly. Finish: The slow build of the rum comes afterwards, a slightly molasses taste teases at the end. Overall: A nice beverage that can be used in many different summer cocktails as a refreshing change to citrus classics. GSN Rating: B
Bom Bom Coco Mochanut (18% ALC) Visual: Chocolatey / Milky Nose: The strong chocolate scent masks the additional coconut and coffee smell, very similar to a coffee shop/bakery. Taste: Complex mix of coffee and chocolate, with no overwhelming coconut. Served over ice balances the flavors. Finish: A warm reminder from the rum compliments and completes the sweet creaminess. Overall: A mix between a fresh brewed mocha java with a kick and the best chocolate Necco Wafer you have ever had. GSN Rating: B+
Fourteen can be an awkward age for some. But for Rogue Spirits, it was time to grow up and get a new wardrobe. That’s why they’re putting their two-year-old Dead Guy Whiskey, three-year-old Oregon Rye Whiskey, five-year-old Single Malt Whiskey and two gins – Spruce Gin and Pinot Spruce Gin – in bottles that make them look their age.
Back in 2004, then-Mayor Bud Clark cut the ribbon at the grand opening of the first Rogue distillery in Portland’s Pearl District. Oregon’s first rum distillery since Prohibition had arrived but they were just getting started. Over the next three years, they hand crafted four spirits: three styles of rum and their Spruce Gin, introduced in January of 2007. The more recently released Pinot Spruce Gin has been aged for approximately six months in used barrels from the Chehalem Winery in Newberg, Oregon.
Both gins contain Spruce, Juniper Berries, Ginger, Fresh Cucumber, Orris Root, Orange Peel, Lemon Peel, Tangerine, Grains of Paradise, Angelica Root, Coriander & Free Range Coastal Water.
Spruce Gin (90 proof) Visual: Clear. Nose: Quite a bouquet of fruit, cucumber, spruce and juniper. There’s even a surprising note of banana. Taste: A heft of cucumber on the initial entry, quickly followed by dry and crisp juniper. The citrus takes a bit longer to arrive, but leaves a refreshing lemon-orange flavor. Finish: Smooth, clean and remarkably fresh tasting. The combination of veg and fruit makes for a lively exit. Overall: A lovely gin in the new world style. Ideal for complex gin based cocktails that need body. GSN Rating: A
Pinot Spruce Gin (90 proof) Visual: Light pinkish apricot. Nose: Mostly juniper, but also a fruity touch of red wine. Very slight oak. Taste: Most of the subtleties found in Rogue’s flagship gin have been greatly softened by the time spent in an ex-wine cask. Instead, a warm and fruity sweetness pushes forward and teases the palate. Finish: Fairly long, with a lot of the fruit staying on for a lengthy visit. Overall: This is almost a cocktail in itself. Try stirring a few ounces with some ice, strain into a coupe, and garnish with an orange twist. An unusual gin that works on its own, but also will play well with non-vermouth based concoctions. GSN Rating: A-
“85% of all known worlds in the Galaxy, be they primitive or highly advanced, have invented a drink called jynnan tonnyx, or gee-N’N-T’N-ix, or jinond-o-nicks, or any one of a thousand or more variations on the same phonetic theme. The drinks themselves are not the same, and vary between the Sivolvian “chinanto/mnigs” which is ordinary water served at slightly above room temperature, and the Gagrakackan “tzjin-anthony-ks” which kills cows at a hundred paces; and in fact the one common factor between all of them, beyond the fact that the names sound the same, is that they were all invented and named before the worlds concerned made contact with any other worlds.” – Douglas Adams
Be that as it may, we here on planet Earth will be celebrating International Gin & Tonic Day this weekend. Cheers!
Gin and Tonic
2 oz. London dry gin
Tonic water (from a fresh bottle)
1-2 ample wedges of lime
Plenty of cold ice cubes
1) Chill the glass. You may want to fill it with ice, then empty it and refill, as some bartenders do with a martini glass.
2) Fill the glass with whole ice cubes. If you wish, take a wedge of lime and moisten the rim the glass with it.
3) Pour the gin over the ice, which should be cold enough that it crackles when the liquor hits it.
4) Fill glass almost to the top with tonic.
5) Squeeze one wedge of lime into the glass. Drop the squeezed lime into the drink as a garnish if you like; it’s not necessary, but can add a bit of extra flavor. (If you do, notes Dale DeGroff, make sure the peel has been washed.) Serve.
Time flies when you’re having cocktails! Now that spring is here, GSN has some recommendations for reading, learning and crafting spirited libations for the season. Cheers!
The Cocktail Guy: Infusions, Distillations and Innovative Combinations by Rich Woods Pavilion (April 1, 2018) At the forefront of the mixology revolution, Rich has been garnering fans and accolades through his creative re-inventions of classic cocktails and exciting new drinks, all served with his signature innovative flair. In this, his first book, Rich unlocks the secrets of making creative cocktails at home, from mastering classic techniques, to flavoring alcohol through simple infusions and more complex distillations and making your own home-made bitters from herbs, spices, fruits, and roots. At the center of Rich’s creative process is an understanding and exploration of flavor; from the way it unravels on the palate to new and unique combinations that are designed to surprise and delight. Including 70 drink recipes, and key information on tools and techniques and infusing and distilling to imbue your drinks with maximum flavor, this is the ultimate guide to modern cocktailing for the home bartender.
Prosecco Made Me Do It: 60 Seriously Sparkling Cocktails by Amy Zavatto Andrews McMeel Publishing (April 3, 2018) Prosecco is no longer just a sparkling wine; it’s a cultural phenomenon—a party in a glass. From food, wine, and spirits maven Amy Zavatto comes this beautifully illustrated introduction to a whole world of bubbly beverages. Prosecco Made Me Do It contains sixty delicious drink recipes paired with bright, fun, original artwork. Also included: a brief history of prosecco, purchasing and serving tips, and a guide to cordials, syrups, and liqueurs. From the classic Bellini and fresh fruit mimosa to a wide range of sparkling cocktails, the recipes in Prosecco Made Me Do It are light, fizzy, and fun.
Drinking Distilled: A User’s Manual by Jeffrey Morgenthaler Ten Speed Press (April 10, 2018) An opinionated, illustrated guide for cocktail beginners, covering the basics of spirits plus making and drinking cocktails, written by celebrated craft cocktail bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler. This easy-reading, colorful introduction for cocktail beginners, with approximately 100 succinct lessons on drinking culture, spirits, and cocktail making, is delivered in the pithy, wry style Morgenthaler is known for in his instructional videos and writing for beverage publications. Novices will learn how to order a drink, how to drink with the boss, how to drink at the airport, and more. Twelve perfect starter recipes–ranging from a Dry Gin Martini to a Batched Old-Fashioned (perfect for the flask)–plus thirty original illustrations round out this distillation for new enthusiasts.
Texas Cocktails: An Elegant Collection of More Than 100 Recipes Inspired by the Lone Star State by Nico Martini Cider Mill Press (May 8, 2018) Texas’ unique cocktail culture is on the rise once more — and you can discover it for yourself with over 100 creative and artful cocktail recipes. Tour the best bars across the state and around the world. Evocative photos, scene-setting descriptions, mixologist insights, party planning themes and shopping tips make this the perfect guide to the art of drinking, Texas-style. With gorgeous, full-color photography throughout, and cocktails inspired by Lone Star state artists, revolutionaries, and cowboys, Texas Cocktails features innovative libations shared by the best bartenders in the state, as well as creative new twists on old classics.
Ginspiration: The Best Distilleries, Infusions, and Cocktails by Klaus St. Rainer DK (May 15, 2018) Gin aficionados, let your ima-gin-ation run wild! Curiously quirky yet comprehensive, this is your ultimate guide to choosing and infusing your favorite spirit. Discover 45 of the top craft gins from the US, Canada, England, Scotland, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, and enjoy an in-depth profile of the smallest commercial distiller of its kind. Soon you’ll be familiar with botanical flavors and craft ingredients like raspberry syrup, hibiscus sugar, and smoky ice cubes. Once you know your coupe from your collins, peruse and prepare a gorgeous array of cocktail recipes straight from the mind of international mixologist Klaus St. Rainer. Whether you choose a classic Martini or a Royal Hibiscus Gin Fizz, Ginspiration will put you in the spirit to shake up something sensational.
Session Cocktails: Low-Alcohol Drinks for Any Occasion by Drew Lazor & Editors of PUNCH Ten Speed Press (May 22, 2018) Bartenders are increasingly moving away from strong, spirituous cocktails toward a lighter canon of low-alcohol drinks that you can drink all day. These drinks provide an occasion for more leisurely socializing through their “sessionability”–you can have a few at a time without having to go down for a nap. Driven by a renewed interest in aperitifs and the increasing availability of liqueurs and amari in the U.S., these drinks provide new creative opportunities for professional bartenders and home hosts alike. Session Cocktails explores this trend through the history and evolution of low-proof drinks, tips on building a low-ABV (alcohol by volume) bar, and more than 60 recipes appropriate for occasions ranging from brunch to the end of the night, contributed by some of the industry’s best-known mixologists including Will Elliot, Natasha David, Dale DeGroff, and Leo Robitschek. In addition to drinks like the Mermaid Parade (Aperol, raspberry liqueur, grapefruit juice, and egg white), the Soft Shock (fino sherry, gin, lime, and mint), and Far East Side (sake, elderflower, tequila, and lemon), the book also features low-proof versions of your favorite classic cocktails.
The New Rum: A Modern Guide to the Spirit of the Americas by Bryce T. Bauer Countryman Press (June 5, 2018) Rum, traditionally relegated to cloying cocktails or tropical- themed novelty drinks, is undergoing a global renaissance. In bars and distilleries across the world, rum is being defined as a dynamic, complex, and versatile drink. New to the scene of connoisseurship, rum is a spirit of possibilities, inviting imaginative bartenders and mixologists to leave their marks on this burgeoning movement. In The New Rum, award- winning drinks author Bryce T. Bauer charts the historical and cultural journey of the spirit of the Americas from its origins in the Caribbean, to its long- held status as a cheap vacation drink, to today’s inspiring craft revival. This rum-spiked travelogue also includes a producer- focused drinks guide, covering dozens of the world’s most innovative and iconic producers, making everything from Martinique rhum agricole to long-aged sippers from Barbados and the Dominican Republic.
The Ultimate Guide to Beer Cocktails: 50 Creative Recipes for Combining Beer and Booze by Jon & Lindsay Yeager Skyhorse Publishing (June 5, 2018) Written by Jon and Lindsay Yeager, the renowned husband-and-wife mixologist duo of the Tennessee cocktail creative PourTaste, this book provides a variety of innovative and experimental recipes for mixing beers and spirits together (yes, you read that right) so you can join in on the imaginative new trend of “beertails.” The experts at PourTaste, with their years of training and dedication to the art of mixology, teach readers how to combine the beauty (and bubbles) of beer and the spirit of spirits to create refreshing new additions to any bartender’s repertoire. Included through this book are lush full-color photographs and step-by-step recipes to help educate readers on how to sling these delicious (and welcome) new members of the mixology scene. Beertails are easy to make, they taste great, and they accommodate any type of drinker―whether the preference is beer or liquor. Perfect for any type of celebration!
In 1872, Earl Grigory Stroganoff opened a distillery in the town of Podolia in Nemyriv, Ukraine. In 1992 Nemiroff, the first in Ukraine joint venture for the production of alcoholic products, was created on the basis of the distillery in Nemyriv. The vodka is produced at two factories in the city of Nemyriv.
The natural water purity, that defines the taste of vodka, is a unique advantage of Nemiroff. The artesian water is filtered by minerals, which are more than 540 million years old, drawn from deep sources, which are protected from external influences by a granite slab.
Nemiroff makes several styles of vodka, both regular and flavored. GSN received these two with spiffy new bottles for the US market.
Nemiroff Vodka (80 proof) Visual: Clear. Nose: Fresh, clean, rainwater. Taste: Very smooth with a lot of minerality, nice body and a dry, crispness. Quite a bit of character and zero sweetness. Finish: Medium with a semi-chalky finish on the palate. Overall: A bargain and not only a fine sipper, but a great in vodka forward cocktails such as a Kangaroo. GSN Rating: A
Nemiroff Honey Pepper Vodka (80 proof) Visual: Pale yellow. Nose: Mild honey and dried grassy herbs. Taste: Mild spice heat and just a touch of honey flavor. The main taste is of a herb blend that is reminiscent of buffalo grass, but not overwhelmingly so. If you’re thinking that this will be sweet & hot, you’d be wrong. It’s just right. Finish: Medium long, with more of the minerals coming through. Overall: A tasty flavored vodka that has enough kick (80 proof) to stand well on its own, plus give bartenders a new toy to play with when creating an original cocktail. GSN Rating:A
The Rogue Revolution began in 1988 in the basement of the first Rogue Public House on Lithia Creek in Ashland, Ore. where American Amber Ale and Oregon Golden quickly became popular brews. Before long, founder Jack Joyce was looking for a second location.
In 1989, Jack found himself in Newport, Ore., stuck in an unusual snowstorm when he met Mohava Niemi, aka “Mo” (founder of Mo’s Restaurants) who extended her signature hospitality and fed him some of her famous clam chowder. Over a bowl, she told him she’d always dreamed of living above a bar and described the perfect spot for the next Rogue Brewpub: Mo had a large building with three apartments upstairs, a sweater shop, an art gallery, 1,100 sq. ft. of empty storefront and an 800-square-foot garage.
Mo offered to rent Jack the vacant storefront and the garage under two conditions:
1. Rogue promises to “feed the fisherman,” Mo’s way of saying give back to the community. The vast majority of Newport’s residents are fisherman who work on the waterfront, a huge part of Newport’s economy.
2. A photo of Mo in a bathtub forever hangs over the bar. It’s still there today and a copy of the photo hangs in every Rogue Meeting Hall.
The Rogue Bayfront Public House soon opened in that storefront and John Maier, who joined Rogue in May of 1989, brewed the first batch of Rogue beer there in the back room. Before long, this would become the world headquarters of Rogue Ales & Spirits when the Ashland location was forced to close due to flooding. The brewpub in the back of the Bayfront Public House would eventually be moved to a larger facility on South Beach, which is now also home to Brewer’s on the Bay, Rogue House of Spirits, Rogue Spirits Distillery and Rogue Rolling Thunder Barrel Works.
Dead Guy Whiskey is distilled from the same malts as Rogue’s Platinum medal-winning Dead Guy Ale, including the Rogue Farms Dare & Risk Malts grown on the Rogue Barley Farm in Oregon’s Tygh Valley. Dead Guy Whiskey is Ocean-aged by both the Pacific Ocean and nearby Yaquina Bay.
Dead Guy Whiskey (80 proof) Visual: Light gold. Nose: Quite malty and beer-like. A bit of a funky amalgamation of scents. Wet fur, old hardwood, damp leaves and dark beer. Taste: My initial impression is of fresh tobacco leaves and tanned leather. Very dry and intensely compact bundle of flavors. Burnt caramel, brown bread, and toasted bread all make appearances here. Finish: Long, with an almost effervescent quality at the base of the palate. Overall: Very different, but in line with other beer based whiskies I’ve had. Definitely unusual and of a kind, this will appeael to those who like to experiment. GSN Rating: B+
Oregon Rye Whiskey (80 proof) Visual: Medium gold. Nose: Nicely balanced with a punchy rye kick. Woody and rustic, but tamed into a friendly beast. Taste: A lovely fresh rye loaf flavor. The spiciness is tempered somewhat by the malt blend, but this only serves to meld the flavors in a more beneficial way. Bakery in the glass. Finish: Medium long with some sweeter caramel notes coming out towards the fade. Overall: Good gosh, but this is a wonderful rye whiskey. Perfect on its own, but eminently mixable in cocktails. GSN Rating: A
Rogue Farms Oregon Single Malt Whiskey uses Rogue Farms Risk Malt, Free-Range Coastal Water & Rogue’s Proprietary Pacman Yeast.
Oregon Single Malt Whiskey (80 proof) Visual: Darkening orange Nose: Lots of high ester notes laid over a softer and fresh oaky base. Quite bright and bouncy. Taste: Quite light and smooth. A hint of vanilla and caramel, but more of a soft malt-forward palate. There’s also more than a touch of salinity. Finish: Medium, with a slight bitter wood note that cleanses the palate. Overall: Really easy to drink this one. The aging is perfectly balanced, leaving the whiskey to shine. GSN Rating: A
Whisk(e)y is such a ubiquitous spirit that it is hard to imagine cocktail culture without it. Think of all the iconic drinks from the Old-Fashioned to the Manhattan to the Sazerac to the Penicillin. And there are nearly as many countries known for their own particular take on the “water of life”. Scotland, Ireland, Canada, America, Japan are just the major epicenters of distillation. Then, you’ve got a variety of styles. Single malt, single grain, blended, unaged, aged in a plethora of different wood barrels. It is truly amazing.
So, on this day, toast with a glass of your favorite either neat, straight up, on the rocks, or mixed into a cocktail. Without whiskey, our lives would be lacking a little joy.
Of course every day is Cocktail Day, but now there’s an official holiday!
The history of the cocktail starts over 425 years ago in 1586. At that time, people drank an incredible amount of alcohol every day, much more than we do now. They drank beer or other beverages for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Children drank it, pregnant women drank it, monks and priests drank it. It touched every part of life.
And this was especially true on board ships. Ships of the time would be at sea for months sometimes without seeing land or taking on new supplies. So rum, beer, wine and other beverages were really important to keep sailors healthy. Why not water? The reason was that water was typically unclean from lack of sanitation, but using it to create alcohol of some kind killed the germs that made people sick.
In 1586 the English privateer Sir Francis Drake was pillaging the Spanish settlements in the Caribbean. The English called him a hero, but to the Spanish he was nothing more than a pirate.
On one fateful trip to sack Havana, Drake found his men suffering from malnutrition and scurvy, so he sent a shore party to land in the southernmost tip of Florida called Matecumbe to find local natives who could show them nearby medicinals that would make his men better.
And that’s just what the locals did.
They mixed the bark from a tree called chuchuhuasi with distilled sugar cane juice, known as aguardiente, raw sugar cane juice, lime and mint. (click here for the recipe)
Do these ingredients sound familiar?
This is the precursor to the Mojito, which was supposedly invented in Havana. As it turns out, it was simply modified in Havana not invented. They just dropped the tree bark from the drink and used rum instead of aquardiente.
The concoction worked, by the way. Drake’s men got better, and they went about their business, attacking Fort Augustine not long after.
So here we have the first recorded mixed drink—what we’d consider a cocktail (strong, weak, sour, sweet and bitters).
Information courtesy of Bucketlistbars.com
Read Full Article
Read for later
Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
Scroll to Top
Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.