This drink is one of my favorites that Christina Kuypers ever came up with. We had it on the menu for the month long Gwai Lo pop up last fall and it is one of those simple to make but complex to taste as long as it’s made properly.
We used 1.5oz El Dorado 12 year rum, .75oz. Cynar and .5oz. Amaro Montenegro. You stir it and then flame an orange cheek (which took me a few hours to remember how to do properly, I have it down now as I was demonstrating at my friend Wendy’s house last week in Ridgeway). Served straight up in a coupe, this is one of the least summer style drinks you will see on a drinks blog this summer. Deal with it.
Sorry I haven’t posted in a few weeks, you know how summer gets.
Here are a few things though.
Sailor Jerry Rum has invited me to go to Tales Of The Cocktail with them. I am really excited and feel really lucky to have this chance. If you find yourself there, just look for wherever Sailor Jerry is and I will be there. When I get back I will set up the basics class. To the people that have gotten in touch about it, I promise it’s coming. To anyone else interested, please e-mail me.
I have been working out a lot lately and have managed to put on weight. Having been a skinny white guy my whole life, I feel really good about it. So does my girlfriend, because she gets to work on her photos while I’m in the living room working out, which I’m told is funnier than anything on TV.
We were in Mexico a few months ago, when I got back I had an e-mail in my inbox asking if I would be interested in making drinks at The Stop Night Market. Last year the event was such a hit that this year they held it over two nights. I was scheduled for night number two and was asked to come up with a cocktail using Meukow cognac.
If you aren’t aware, traditionally, cognac is associated with colder climates. Consumed after hearty meals in front of fires on bear skin rugs or sitting in terrifically ornate, throne-like chairs. Working this delicious cognac into a summer time drink was a challenge.
Meukow in particular is very oak heavy so mixing it with other spirits works well, but going juicy is not so simple. When we were in Mexico in April, though, I remembered Jamaica (ha-MIKE-ah) being a floral, bitter syrup that was added to soda or water to make a nice refreshing drink but with some round character to it. BINGO! I made 5 litres of syrup using dried Jamaica flowers and added some lemon juice and a healthy dose of cognac. There we are, a lemonade, but not over sweet or sour and nicely rounded by the afformentioned woodsy overtones. When the event was over (we ran out in about an hour and 15 minutes) I had about 3 litres of the syrup left over, so we ran it as a special at Bar Isabel and we ran out there too. I guess I found a winner. Even though I never properly came up with a name. After the night market myself and a handful of friends headed to Pharmacy where some of my best friends, got very creative with my coasters.
A few other things:
1. The new Black Sabbath record is not bad. I had my doubts about it, but it sounds like pretty classic sabbath, just with modern production.
2. I am planning on doing some more competitions in the next little while.
3. If you work for a liquor company and need a hand at any of your events, please call me.
4. I am just stocking up on bar supplies to start running my beginners course on a regular basis. If you are (still) interested, hit me up.
That little nugget of information was conveyed to me by a dude named Matt that is affiliated with Tromba in Australia. I had no Idea that Paloma meant anything other than “delicious tequila and grapefruit soda drink” before we met. I also hadn’t eaten 1/2 a pound of pork tacos in one sitting, but that’s a different blog post.
Pretty much anyone that has some tequila and some ting can make this drink. I make it by filling a tall glass with ice, then pouring in 2oz. of tequila, then filling it with the grapefruit soda.
What’s that? You haven’t got any ting?
Well, have you got some club soda? How about a grapefruit? BOOM! That should cost you about 65 cents. You can do this. I believe in you.
Summer looks like it might be here for longer than 2 or 3 days at a time (finally) so drink some Palomas. I know this guy does.
Also, tonight I will be at The Stop Night Market, making drinks with Meukow Cognac. See you there.
The Aviation fell into obscurity once prohibition was repealed. That’s when things like gin and whisky took too long to get/make, so vodka kind of took over. Also, throughout the years both Maraschino Liqueur and Creme De Violette have been available really infrequently in North America, especially Ontario so the drink only got a new life in the last 10 years or so.
London dry gin, lemon juice, and the above mentioned liqueurs give this drink a zippy, refreshing kick that makes me want to make a pitcher of them. The garnish is a proper maraschino cherry (not one of these), and usually they are skewered. In general, I’m not into skewering garnishes. I like seeing them IN the drink, through the side of the glass, not perched like a vulture. Of course if I’m making someone else’s drink I garnish as I’ve been instructed. With something like The Aviation though, I feel safe just dropping the cherry in the glass.
If you’re curious, I got the bottle of Violette from Craig as a going away present at Campagnolo and have managed to only use like 5 ounces out of it. I treasure it as much as Short Round treasures his Yankees hat.
Photos, taken minutes before a rain storm, by: Jessica Blaine Smith
It’s been a while since I posted. Sorry. I have been learning everything about Bar Isabel and getting ready for The Stop Night Market. I will be making cocktails with Meukow cognac. You know how tough it is to make a cognac cocktail for summer time? So after a few tries at something summer-y that isn’t a Sidecar I came up with this.
Not really summery and not the drink I’ll be doing for The Stop Night Market, but a delicious drink of the week anyway. Also, as the name indicates, it’s a nice sweet warm hug from mom. As for the drink for the night market, I don’t have a name for it yet, but there is a flower involved. I’ll tell you about that one later.
Also, I have had three or four inquiries about doing another cocktail basics class.
This one will be geared more toward home/hobby bartending, rather than executing cocktails at high volume. If you want in, please e-mail me, and I will start to set up a time/date.
Photos of wooden pegasus and warm hug from mom by: Jessica Blaine Smith
There it is! Juan Guzman.
Everyone in the city is talking baseball because, well, we have a team that has the capacity to do really, really well. This drink is a nice way to enjoy summer, that doesn’t involve $11 beers and screaming kids at a stadium.
1.5oz. Brugal Anejo
.5oz. Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
.5oz. Lime Juice
2 dashes (big ones) of Angostura Bitters
Shake the hell out of it on ice and serve it straight up, with a mint sprig as garnish.
Also, if you are wondering, I have moved again, work-wise. I am now at Bar Isabel 3-4 nights a week. I am really excited to be working there. It seems like a great team and we launch our summer list soon, so keep an eye out.
Photos: Jessica Blaine Smith
Fortuna Mezcal has been in and around the city doing a bunch of events over the past few months. I featured a drink called a Long Winter which was a mezcal drink on MTV a few months ago. This week I had photos taken of a different mezcal drink called Say “What” Again!. This drink is made with smokey, leathery Fortuna, Victoria Oaken Gin that I won from the Toronto’s Hottest Bartender Competition (thanks again for voting), my favorite liqueur in the world, Tuaca and some Bitter End Mexican Mole Bitters. Imagine it as a Perfect Manhattan as far as proportions go.
Photos, as always, by Jessica Blaine Smith