A Truly Interesting and Contemplative Quaff

Root - pic from artintheage.com

I was in Cask the other day and noticed a bottle of something called Root based on a root beer recipe.  I was tempted, but then dismissed it as probably being something nasty and artificial. I obviously forgot that I was in Cask and not BevMo because if Cask had it, it was probably worth checking out. When I got home I looked it up and was immediately intrigued enough to go back and buy a bottle.  It turns out that Root is an organic liqueur based on an alcoholic pre-prohibition “root tea” recipe, which eventually spawned the nonalcoholic root beer as we know it today (yeah, I know, go figure).  I could waste time writing about it or, I could go mix myself up a Root cocktail and you could watch this video instead.

I based the following cocktail on my favorite Heaven’s Dog Agricole Rum Punch. I used Root instead of the Allspice Dram and increased the quantity. I added a homemade vanilla syrup to the sugar cane syrup because root beer and vanilla…well, you know.

Root Ti’ Swizzle

  • .5 oz Root
  • 1.5 oz La Favorite Rhum Agricole Ambre
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • .5 oz Martinique sugar cane syrup
  • .5 oz homemade vanilla syrup (rich simple syrup infused with Tahitian vanilla beans)

Combine ingredients in a 12 oz highball or double Old Fashioned glass.  Add crushed ice to top and swizzle thoroughly until well mixed and chilled. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Published in: on March 19, 2010 at 8:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Q & A with Rachel Maddow

Rachel Maddow mixin' it up. Photo by Eric Susch, Flickr.

No, no, don’t get all excited. I didn’t bump into Rachel Maddow on the bus and grill her about her cocktail preferences.  Imbibe Magazine had a great little Q & A with her, and if you want to read it for yourself click here.  I must say, the woman has excellent taste in cocktails.  Also, apparently we both share a love of rhum agricole and diet Dr. Pepper. (I try, but I just can’t stop!)  Rachel says that she likes her rye old fashioneds, hold the fruit.  In honor of her tonight I made a round of Rhum Agricole Punches for my guests (big fans of her, by the way) and then capped it off with an obscure rye cocktail from Ted Haigh’s Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails called The Japalac Cocktail. No, no again! I know what you’re thinking…how un-PC.  Well, as Dr. Cocktail points out, The Japalac just sounds bad…it’s actually just the name for an old-timey brand of quick-drying varnish. So, here it is, if you feel like getting varnished:

The Japalac Cocktail (1931)

Combine in an iced cocktail shaker, and shake and strain into a small cocktail glass.  Garnish with an orange twist.

Drink Note: (by Ted Haigh) This is a prime example of  a classically proportioned pre-Prohibition-style cocktail. By modern standards, it is quite small.  Here, though, is the genius of the method: Unlike the highball, the julep, the sling, or the fizz, the cocktail is a powerful, largely undiluted bolt of unfettered flavor — and of alcohol. As such, small really does work best.

Published in: on January 21, 2010 at 12:36 am  Leave a Comment  
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Feeling Punchy?

Photo from Flickr: Lupo Lupo

Then join me at Omnivore Books on Saturday, January 30 at 4:00pm!  They are having a punch contest (of all the wacky and wonderful things).  Having just acquired my mother-in-law’s “Stars & Pinwheels” punch bowl, I have decided to enter.  This will be a first, as I’ve never entered any sort of food or drink competition before. I don’t know how big it will be, but it sounds like a good time.  Trying different punches while gazing at books for $5?  Yessir!  Plus, you know I love my cookbooks, and I’ve been meaning to check out this place since a friend told me about it. Omnivore Books features “new, antiquarian, and collectible books on food and drink.” Sounds right up my alley.  As for the punch contest, here is their description:

Are you an amateur mixologist just itching to show off your skills? Or a professional bartender with a lazy Saturday afternoon? Make up a bowl of your favorite punch (alcoholic or non), and bring it to our punch contest! Free to punch entrants; drinkers-only pay $5 at the door, then judge their favorite punch, and the winner splits the door money with us. It’s a win-win here, folks, so come on by and wow us with your mixing skills. Or you drinking aptitude.

My only problem now is what punch to make?  I’m split between making a version of a rum Ti Punch (kind of like the Rhum Agricole Punch in my last post), or representing my home state and county with an Applejack (aka Jersey Lightning) punch.  If you’d like to weigh in one way or the other, please post a comment with your vote!

Published in: on January 14, 2010 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  
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Rhum Agricole Punch

Rhum Agricole Punch

Back in the summer (ah, summer…where did you go?), I had a long lunch with a friend at Heaven’s Dog.  It was my first time there and I had picked our luncheon spot specifically because of the great things I had heard about their cocktails.  What did we eat?  I don’t recall, except that there was pork belly involved.  But the cocktails? Yes, things of beauty.  After the food was consumed, we moved to the beautiful cypress wood bar and sampled a couple more of their wonderful drinks. At one point I ordered something on their menu called “Freedom from Choice”.  Basically, you tell the bartender if you want a citrus-driven or spirituous cocktail and give him an idea of what liquor you might like.  I said, “Citrus and rum.”  What I got was a Rhum Agricole Punch.  I loved it, and was told that it was on the menu at The Slanted Door (the two places are owned by Charles Phan).  I asked what was in it and was graciously given the ingredients.  It wasn’t until recently that I had the proper rum to make it with.  I decided to mix one up and see if it was as good as I remembered.  When I looked at the note in my trusty iPhone I realized that I had gotten the ingredients, but not the proportions.  I tried to recreate it as well as I could, and I was very happy with the results.  I hope you will be too. It’s one worth trying…

Heaven’s Dog Rhum Agricole Punch

Shake first 5 ingredients with ice and strain into a glass over crushed ice.  Grate nutmeg over the drink and serve.  Note: The proportions are my own, but the ingredients were given to me by the bartender. It tasted like I remembered, so I think it’s pretty close.

Rhum Agricole Punch @ Heaven's Dog (on left)

Published in: on January 12, 2010 at 11:00 pm  Comments (6)  
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Spiced Pear Daiquiri

Spiced Pear Daiquiri

So I finally tried the Spiced Pear Daiquiri and I liked it so much I had to make two.  Well, actually I made three and drank two.  I had planned to make this for the infamous Christmas party that birthed this blog, but as they say, the best laid plans ….  Anyway, after a whirlwind of rushed packing and cramming everything we could possibly fit into the lil’ Civic, we made it up to our Tahoe rental.  I unpacked the mini bar I brought and set to work mixing up the drink that never made it to the party.  This recipe was featured in an article on holiday cocktails in the recent issue of Imbibe magazine.  It involved making a special spiced simple syrup, but that was easy and made the house smell damn good.

Spiced Pear Daiquiri

  • 1 1/2 oz. rhum agricole
  • 1/2 oz. spiced simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 oz. fresh pear juice

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled glass.

Garnish: pear slice, lemon twist or candied lemon peel

Cocktail by Todd Appel, Piranha Bros. Consulting, Chicago

I cheated a bit and didn’t juice my own pears, but the Looza pear nectar I used seemed to work well.  For the rhum agricole I used La Favorite Ambre. Dare I say, it? Pear-fection!

Published in: on December 27, 2009 at 9:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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