We’ve managed to get our hands on a few bottles of Bacardi Heritage – a reproduction of the original Bacardi white rum released in 1909. Unlike today’s Bacardi white, this rum is incredibly balanced. The initial heat (98 proof) gives way to a sweetness and depth of flavor not found in most white rums. There is a clear start, middle and finish to this rum that makes it fantastic on the rocks, or in a cocktail.
Unfortunately it looks like this was a one time release for Bacardi. Poop.
Honestly, I’m not very good at relaxing. Instead of socializing with family and friends, I’m sitting on the couch and reading K&L’s November 2012 newsletter which is all about single malt Scotch, something I’ve always had an affection for, but have recently become increasingly obsessed with.
Here’s a link to it:
It covers all sorts of interesting Scotch related topics like blends, single malts, pure malts, independent bottlers, etc. Definitely worth the read, but be warned, you’re going to be bummed you didn’t ask for an 18 year old cask strength single barrel bottle of 1994 Laphroaig, bottled by Cheiftan’s for Christmas. I certainly am.
Also, you should be reading there blog, “Uncorked” – it’s real great:
What’s up ya butts? We’re working on some cool crap for NYE. I think it’s going to be eight drinks for that night’s menu… trying to make it really interesting with stuff that we haven’t really done before in various ways. Here’s what I know we’re going to have so far…
Clarified Cognac Milk Punch aka Mary Rockett’s Milk Punch
This is from Wondrich’s “Punch” book, which is a must read. However, I was never really interested in making it until I tried it at Bellocq in New Orleands, which is a must visit. We went down there for Tales, and we ran into Sandy and crew from the Oakland, another must visit. Kirk, HNIC at Bellocq, graciously let us sample a few versions of his clarified milk punch and I was really blown away. Essentially this is Cognac, sugar, lemon juice and water, and scalding hot milk is added to it. The whole mess curdles, and then is clarified thru a series of steps involving coffee filters and swearing. It sucks to make, but it’s fantastic, and I made this about a month ago so it’s aging very nicely.
Barrel Aged White Hook
James Downs aka Lil’ Jim Jim aka Chim-chiminy (if you’re not into the whole brevity thing) came up with a White Hook a while back. It’s Journeyman’s White Rye, Noilly Prat dry vermouth and Luxardo Maraschino (ratio 3:2:1). Welp, in a typical boss move on my part, I made five gallons of the stuff an put it in a Journeyman Silver Cross barrel that I had in the office. Here’s a tip: make sure the barrel doesn’t dry out completely otherwise your very expensive booze will leak out all over your office floor, and then you’ll be like “fuuuuck,” and then you’ll have to make more and you’ll be all salty for wasting all that money and just, in general, being sorta a douche. Either way, it’s been aging for about a month and is looking pretty nice.
2 oz. Yamazaki 12
.75 oz. Yuzu Juice
.5 oz. Jasmine Syrup
Hana-Awaka sparkling sake
This is a drink I really like, but frankly it’s just too expensive to make and keep on the regular menu. If we priced it the way we price our other drinks, it would be about $19… But since it’s New Years and the bar is gonna be filled with a bunch of cool MFs, I fig’d I’d p the t.
Hot House Shrub
2 oz. Lemon Peel-infused Tanqueray Rangpur
1 oz. Celery Cumin Shrub
House made tonic water
I’m re-thinking my stance on shrubs in general. If made correctly, they should completely replace both the sour and the sweet in a drink. That’s what this one does… it brings sweetness as there is some honey in it, and the vinegar adds the acidity normally provided by citrus. I think if a shrub can’t do that, it’s just not made correctly. Dunno, maybe I’m just a dick. I don’t have the micro basil in hand yet, so I’m not actually sure how it’s going to add to the drink, but I think it’ll look cool as fuck at the least. Overall it’s an extremely complex but refreshing cooler.
I’m also working a Sazerac with Sazerac 6, Nux Alipna Walnut Liqueur, Root Beer bitters and Absinthe. I think it’s pretty close. Sazerac 6 is so hard to get I wouldn’t normally put it on the menu, but for that night it should be fine. Oh, also, we’ve got at least one cocktail on draft for that night. I’m trying to carbonate it, but I’m having a fucker of a time… but at the least it’s going to be something like a Manhattan on draft.
Okay, peace. Hope you have a good whatever it is you celebrate. If you’re not coming to NYE here you’re going to be doing something that sucks by comparison, but you may want to swing by early in the New Year in case we have any of this stuff left over.
If you’re at all familiar with mixology, this blog, or generally just don’t live under a fucking rock, then you’ve probably been exposed to the wonder that is Amari. “Amaro,” the Italian word for “bitter” is used to describe a entire cross section of liqueurs that are often based on centuries old recipes from a specific geographic location within Italy.
Among some of the more notable amari is Fernet, the infamous bitter from Milan. The most popular version of this is made by the Fratelli Branca Distillery, and has been made the same way since 1945. However, there is also a Luxardo version of Fernet, and even a domestically produced Fernet made by Leopold Bros. in Colorado. If you’ve never tasted Fernet and are unable to find it, you can replicate the sensation by filling your mouth with mint and band-aids, and having a good friend promptly punch you in the teeth.
Another of the great amari is Averna di Sicillia, which has an incredible complex flavor consisting of oranges, caramel and mint. It’s spectacular to mix with, or to sip on it’s own over ice. Both of these are a must have for your liquor cabinet.
1 oz. Fernet Branca
1 oz. Averna di Sicilia
.75 oz. Blackberry Syrup
.75 oz. Lime Juice
In a shaker, combine amari, juice & syrup, along with a sprig of mint and some ice. Shake well, and strain over a goblet or wine glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with blackberries, mint and canela. Serve with short cut straws.
Smack That Mint Up.
Whenever using mint, it’s important to get the best looking, freshest mint possible. Old mint can develop a bitter, grassy flavor that can ruin a cocktail. Also, when garnishing with mint, it’s important to express the mint oil before inserting the sprig into the drink. This is easily done by gently slapping the sprig a few times on the palm of the hand. This will break open the oil cells (that’s a technical term) and get those minty aromas flowing.
Friends, I’m excited to announce starting today, all of our blog photography going forward will be done by the legendary Joe Vaughn. If you’re not familiar with his work, check out this link to his website:
And, follow Joe on Twitter, while you’re at it:
The first new post will be up shortly!
I just got an allocation of the Woodford Reserve New Cask & Aged Cask Ryes in today. I’m a huge fan of rye, so while the price point on these is pretty steep, I figured I’d buy a set (it comes in pairs of 375ml bottles, in a fancy little box) just to try it. FWIW, I could only get one set – apparently this stuff is in major demand.
Both bottles contain the same spirit: triple distilled, 100% rye. However, one was aged in a new charred American oak cask, while the other was aged in a previously used cask. The first difference you’ll notice is the color; the New Cask rye is a deep caramel, while the Aged Cask rye is a much lighter straw color.
Woodford describes these as “grain forward” (Aged Cask) and “barrel forward” (New Cask), which is pretty accurate. I personally prefer the New Cask Rye, but here are my tasting notes on them… both very interesting.
Woodford Reserve Aged Cask Rye
Aroma: Delicate, slightly grassy, lightly citrus and very subtle vanilla.
Taste: Green & black pepper, tastes young (duh), very light vanilla, clean finish.
Woodford Reserve New Cask Rye
Aroma: Wow. Shit tons of oak, cinnamon, caramel, vanilla on the nose.
Taste: Soft pepper and tons of nuttiness on the palate. Much fuller bodied than the Aged, with a slightly sweet finish.
Overall, these are both excellent, and a very fun experiment in aging, if you consider rye fun, which I do. Personally, I prefer a “rye” that doesn’t have a 100% rye mash bill – Rittenhouse, Wild Turkey – where the pepper and snap from the rye is cut with sweetness of a corn, and which I generally find have a greater depth of flavor. Having said that, I’ll fuck up some Bulleit rye, which has a 95% rye mash bill.
Either way, I’m not going to use these in a drink, as they are way too expensive, but we’ll have them on hand at the bar if you want to try them.
Since we opened in early October, we’ve changed our menu 19 times. I know…. like, really? And then we’re like, yes. Not complete makeovers, mind you, but swapping out this drink for that, etc. And not a single drink we opened with still exists on our menu, which you’ve got to admit is pretty cool. Now, not all of them have been the complex masterpieces we are known for, but we also wanted to keep the menu a bit accessible for those people who don’t really know what we’re about yet. I know what you’re thinking: that’s not what you signed up for. I get it. You want new and exciting, and we want to give that to you. But listen brohammers, it’s not easy being sleazy, as they say. Actually, that has nothing to do with the conversation, but I wanted to slip it in there… ahem … so to speak.
So, we’ve been plotting and planning, spending all hours working on new drinks that will eclipse our previous drinks in terms of complexity and sophistication. Yes, we’ll still make you a sazerac and be pretty happy about it, but we’re rolling out some balls-deep shit here. We’ve even got some fancy new toys we’re going to show off. But slow. Slowly. Slow. Don’t get all jazzed up. The new menu will be released on NYE. Until then, I’m going to drop a new drink from the menu on the blog, along with a photo and the recipe, so you can make it at home, or rip it off, or whatever. Consider it a gift, from us to you, during this holiday season.
Tonight’s drink: The Johnny Rottenseed
Here’s a link to pretty cool blog and a photoshoot that was done at the bar a few weeks back. Check it out…
Friends, here’s the plan for New Year’s Eve:
First Seating: $50
5 pm – 9 pm
5 drink tickets
Second Seating: $60
10 pm – 2 am
5 drink tickets
Contact jeff (at) sugarhousedetroit (dot) com to purchase your ticket.