Tired of the medicinal, overpowering taste of Ango orange, and the impossibly high price point of most other commercially available orange bitters, I set out a month back to make my own…
1/11/11: 750 ml Everclear 151, 2 tsp. Seville orange peel (dried), 1 tsp. gentian, 4 cardamom pods, 2 allspice berries.
1/15/11: Removed cardamom pods – getting way too much from them.
2/11/11: Strained off liquid. It’s good – very bitter with a sharp orange aftertaste, but lacks that vibrant orange taste up front. Added diced peel of 4 oranges.
2/16/11: We’re in pretty good shape here. The dried peel gives this stuff a pretty nice backbone, while the fresh peel gives off tons of aromatics and fresh orange taste up front. Gonna let it sit for a another week, at which point it’ll either be bottled or additional fresh peel will be added.
Made this during Snowpocalypse: 2011. I basically spent the day insulating the bar and making fancy drinks. This is the best one of the day… based on a “Last Word” style of drink.
.75 oz. Bourbon
.75 oz. Punt e Mes
.75 oz. Benedictine
.5 oz. Lemon
Shake / Double Strain
It’s a fantastic variation on a whiskey sour, with much more body and depth.
If you’ve read my blog, you know I’m a big fan of Laphroaig. It’s my go to liquor. My hearty sauce. My good place party time. And my friends have accused me of adding it to just about any drink and remarking on the drink’s improved taste. But this time it’s different. This time it’s special. I made this one at 4 am a few weeks back and have been received very positive, if somewhat biased, feedback on it.
1.5 oz. Laphroig
1 oz. Campari
.5 oz. Luxardo
Stir & strain, garnish with an orange peel twist.
Sweet, smokey, bitter… everything I want out of life.
I picked this one up from Gary Regan’s twitter feed (@gazregan). It was invented by Dick Bradsell, patriarch of the UK cocktail scene. You can see the whole article here. It’s a surprisingly simple combination of only a few ingredients, but as the saying goes, if it’s good enough for Gaz, it’s good enough for me.
2 oz. Dark Rum
.5 oz. Simple Syrup
.5 oz. Fresh Pressed Apple Juice
Prepare this as an old fashioned: build in the glass over ice, stir. Float the apple juice on top, drink, win.
Gaz recommends Myers, but I only had Goslings Black, which did the job just fine. I also used Honey Crisp apples, which are by all accounts “extremely tits.” And, if you wanted to garnish it with a crisp little apple slice, I wouldn’t blame you… you’re clearly a genius.
If you haven’t yet seen the article in Hour magazine, here it is, in all it’s glory, copied without permission from the Hour website. Written by Nicole Rupersburg. Photos by Dave Lewinski.
Classic cocktails are having a resurgence. The almost cultish trend is one-part organic, two-parts local content, with a splash of Iron Chef and a dash of Mad Men for style.
The new darling of the drinking crowd is rooted in the belief that drinks are meant to be sipped and savored, not slammed and forgotten. Apparently, the slow-food movement and its emphasis on farm-to-table, sustainable, and artisanal, applies to what’s on your plate — and in your glass.
“It’s a natural progression,” says Antoine Przekop, sommelier and beverage manager for Bourbon Steak and SaltWater at the MGM Grand Detroit. “[With craft cocktails], people want to push the envelope and do things that you would not expect, just like chefs do.”
“Mixology” is fast becoming considered as much a skill and science, as are brewing and winemaking. Dave Kwiatkowski, head mixologist at Detroit’s soon-to-open Sugar House Bar on Michigan Avenue, says, “People are looking for more quality in what they’re eating and what they’re drinking, demanding more for their dollar. The craft cocktail is the next natural step. This isn’t anything new; it’s been around for 150, even 200, years, but people just kind of forgot about it.”
Toasted Oak Grill in Novi, and Cork Wine Pub in Pleasant Ridge are among those at the forefront of the new breed. In addition to Sugar House, another speakeasy-style bar is planned for Ferndale (opening sometime this spring). In a space once occupied by Nami, owner Sandy Levine, formerly of Atlas Global Bistro, will offer the in-vogue drinks.
Craft cocktails employ the same principles and sensibilities as a chef’s cuisine. Seeking flavors that are balanced and complex, mixologists will spend hours perfecting one drink. Sugary, flavored vodkas are shirked in favor of quality gins, whiskeys, bourbons, and vermouths.
At Roast in the Book Cadillac, cocktails receive as much attention as other beverages. Joseph Allerton, Roast’s wine and service director, says, “We’re seeing a new focus on high-quality ingredients.”
Cocktails at Ann Arbor’s Grange Kitchen & Bar reflect the restaurant’s seasonal-food concept. “We wanted to dig deeper into what it meant to get the full experience,” says Jennifer Richtmyer, bar manager at Grange, where she says the bacon-infused Bulleit Bourbon has been well-received.
Consumers have a way of creating their own culture, and self-proclaimed cocktail nerds have a way of finding one another. “Small worlds become even smaller when you throw that element in,” says the MGM’s Przekop. “It becomes kind of a microcosm [in which they are] basically creating the market out of nothing.”
With everything from cottage-industry start-ups to home charcuterie clubs and underground dinner parties, locals know if they want something done, they have to do it themselves. Kwiatkowski says that was the inspiration for Sugar House. “I’ll finally have a great bar to drink at,” he says. “Problem is, I’ll be working there every night.”
The growing community of Detroiters who are excited about food and drink is creating the market they desire. And like the pleasure of sharing a good cocktail, the trend is creating a newfound camaraderie. Says Roast head bartender Travis Fourmont, “There’s a great community of things going on here … the collaboration factor is unbelievable.”
1-1/2 ounces black-tea infused Beefeater gin
3/4 ounce Rosemary simple syrup
1/4 ounce lemon juice
1/4 ounce grapefruit juice
— David Kwiatkowski, Sugar House, Detroit
(Based on the Negroni, a cocktail classic)
Equal parts fig-infused Old Raj gin, Campari, Cherry Heering (Danish liqueur), and cranberry juice. Add a healthy dash of Angostura bitters, and garnish with a vanilla-soaked fig.
— Travis Fourmont, Roast, Detroit