What’s that ole saying… “Strange bedfellows make great neighbors?” Well, in this case, it was never more truer… As many of you know, I’ve been smashing the heck out of Negroni’s lately, because I just recently found out I can get Carpano Antica in MI (rejoice). But, I ran out of gin the other morning, and was like, FMA, let’s go for it dude, let’s just P the fucking T. And so I did. And so it went. And jebus said to the angels, “let’s get crunk, my freaks.” And they did. And it was good. Friggin’ real good.
FMA Cocktail (tentative title)
2 oz. Bourbon
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. Carpano Antica
Build over a large chunk of ice, garnish with a large peel of lemon and orange.
Okay, let’s talk bourbon for a minute. Since there’s only 2 oz. in there, I like it strong. I was rocking the 107 Old Weller, but a 101 Wild Turkey or even a 101 Grandad would be suitable. Campari, duh. But Carpano – and don’t fuck me on this one – is important. If you wanted to use Punt E Mes, that would be okay, and if you had to use Vya, I could live with it… I mean, I wouldn’t be stoked about it, but I’d forgive and forget. Just don’t use Cinzano, or any crappy vermouth in this. Or in general. As a matter of fact, I forbid you from drinking cheap vermouth. Deal with that – it just happened. No go forth, and crunkify.
So, you’ll notice that I’ve added a new category, over there, on the right. The one called “The Classics.” I’ll be marking posts with this category when it’s a real-deal, old school recipe. I’ll also go back and tag posts that adhere to this criteria (Daquiri, Margarita, Sidecar, etc.). So, having said that, here’s the recipe for a Brooklyn, my absolute favoritest cocktail ever.
3 oz. Rye
.75 oz. Dry Vermouth
.5 oz. Averna Amaro
.25 oz. Luxardo Maraschino
Stir over ice, strain, serve down, mist and garnish with orange peel (or lemon peel if you’re a coward like me).
Okay, so, after I said all that crap at the start of this post about “real deal” recipes, I’ve already waffled. You see, the traditional Brooklyn calls for Amer Picon. Amer Picon is basically an orange flavored French amaro that is no longer available in the states. However, I’m using Averna – a lovely Italian amaro that’s got a great orange flavor – which is IMEFO the closest commercially available substitute to the real dangle.
Also, I am going to take a moment to endorse Wild Turkey 101 rye. I’ve mentioned it a few times in this blog, but I want to point out that it is both a fantastic tasting overproof rye, and is extremely reasonably priced. It’s under $20 in Michigan, and is pretty much the best bet if you’re in the rye market. Which I am, frequently.
The Duke went to Iceland for new year’s… and he brought me back a bottle of French / Japanese single malt scotch. And I’m not even making that up to sound cool. It’s called “Nikka Malt Whisky Black ‘Smoky & Mellow’ fabrique au Japon par La Maison du Whisky.” Which – and I could be wrong here – pretty much means it’s party time. Party the fucking Time.
Bro dogs, have you tried this one? You have!?! Well, then where in the fuck have I been? All this time, I’ve been drinking my blended scotch out of the bottle, with a straw, like a damned hick. Whereas, with a bit of vermouth, a dash of bitters and a touch of maraschino, I could have been living it up. Living it the fuck up! Damn, dude.
Rob Rob Cocktail
3 oz. Blended Scotch Whiskey
1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
.25 oz. Maraschino
Dash Ango bitters
You’ll notice I went 3:1 whiskey to vermouth on this one. Since the scotch is so smokey, the increased amount of sweet vermouth helps balance this out. It’s a kick ass drink, but I can’t decide if maybe I like it on the rocks better? I don’t have any big-assed ice cubes at the moment, but I’m going to give that a run and get back to you. But I implore you to grow a pair and try it for yourself.
Yes, it’s a great name for a drink. And yes, it’s a great drink. And yes, you wish you thought of it. But you didn’t. So suck it. Sorry, I get aggressive sometimes, especially when I’ma drinkin’. Me likely the sauce, as the kids say.
This little bastard is all about the root beer bitters I just finished. They don’t stand up to Michael’s at TVH, but they’re dang, dang close.
3 oz. Rye
.5 oz. Benedictine
A few dash Root Beer Bitters
Stir, serve up. Be a better man because of it. Even if you’re not.
Earlier today I stumbled across a place called the River House, and was fucking tickled to find they served Chatham Artillery Punch, which is exceptionally ass kicking, since it was created in Savannah, GA probably around 200 years ago, as the house punch of the Chatham County Artillery of Savannah, Georgia, formed May 1st, 1786.
“When you visit the town of Savannah
Enlist ‘neath the temperance banneh,
For if you should lunch,
On artillery punch,
It will treat you in sorrowful manneh.”
- Old Klingon Proverb.
Chatham Artillery Punch
1 ½ gal. Catawba Wine
½ gal. Rum (probably Jamaican)
1 qt. Gin
1 qt. Brandy
½ pt. Benedictine
2 qt. Maraschino Cherries
1 ½ qt. Rye Whiskey
1 ½ gal. Strong Tea (probably black)
2 ½ lbs. brown sugar
1 ½ qts. Orange juice
1 ½ qts. Lemon Juice
Mix from thrity-six to forty-eight hours before serving. Add one case of champagne when ready to serve.
The owner says this will make 5 gallons, and trying to reduce this amount ends is disaster. They, however, make their batches 20 gallons at a clip. Well played, sir.
The CA Punch is a like an American version of Sangria – but the good stuff – not the stuff that tastes like rotting fruit. It’s definitely one of the more substantial and boozy punches I’ve had, and the topping of Champagne makes it a bit lighter and fizzier. Umm, apparently four was too many.
Okay, this is a weird one. I’m stocking up on the sauce earlier; grabbed on some gin, a nice peaty scotch, maybe a bottle of tawny port, throw in some rye for Gary and the boys, a classic recipe french vermouth for good measure, and I was hoping to find a nice Amaro. Maybe an Averna or even an Amaro Nonino… I dunno – the day was young and I was drunk with anticipation – and the seven beers I had at lunch – but, the important thing here is that when I told the woman behind the counter I was looking for an Amaro, and she replied with a confused and somewhat “stabby” look, I explained it was a fortified Italian liqueur – a digestif – typically produced by macerating herbs, roots, bark, flowers, citrus and syrups in liquors and allowing the mixture to age in fine oak casks. At which point she shrugged, pointed to a dusty bottle located just between the lemon Puckers and Midori, took up her cigarette and promptly resumed her post near the television, at for where she best could look on her stories. I hesitated, examined the aged bottle, and decided to take a plunge into the great and wild unknown… for it is said that “God hates a coward.” Indeed, I am most certainly doing The Lord’s work.
Strega Brooklyn Varitation
3 oz. Rye
.75 oz. Dry Vermouth
.5 oz. Strega
Dash Luxardo Maraschino
Combine all ingredients in a bar glass, add ice, and stir. Serve down in a rocks glass, with a spray of lemon oil.
I like this one better with a lower proof rye… an Overholt would do nicely, but I’m using the Sazerac brand. This cocktail is really similar to a Brooklyn, hence the name, with the obvious swap of the Strega instead of the Amer Picon which in my mind is like swapping out the orange flavor for the lemon. Also, be careful not to overdo the Maraschino – it’ll ruin that shit with the quickness. I also like throwing in the Peychaud’s as the herbaceousness of the bitters enhances the Strega, which is strangely sweet and has notes of juniper, mint and saffron. Saffron? Fucks yeah, bro dog. Fucks yeah.
More on this topic tomorrow. ish.
So I’ve been drinking quite a bit of Bulleit Bourbon of late, for several reasons. The first being it’s nearly impossible to find a bottle of Rye in the City of Detroit. The second reason is because Bulleit calls itself “Pioneer Bourbon,” and living in Detroit makes me feel like a pioneer of sorts. And thirdly, it turns out I really, really, really like getting drunk. Who knew? So, using my inadequately stocked make-shift hotel bar, I’ve developed this cocktail that’s relatively easy to make and extremely easy to drink.
The Urban Pioneer
3 oz. Bulleit Bourbon
1 tbsp. Lemon Juice
1 tsp. Simple Syrup
A few dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
A few Mint Leaves
Combine lemon juice, simple syrup and the mint leaves in an old fashioned glass. DON’T MUDDLE! Instead, stir the ingredients together, allowing the mint to be bruised, but not devastated. Add the bourbon and a some cracked ice, and dash with the Peychauds. The beauty of this drink is that it’s made right in the class. Little to no mixology paraphernalia is required. Only a glass, some basic ingredients, and a will for greatness.
My life is made up of a few simple rules. For example, don’t eat sushi in Detroit. Always opt for a layover in Tulsa. Never see a movie on Wednesday, unless it’s the first Wednesday of the month. Okay, they’re not actually simple. And there are more than just a few. In reality, they amount to a voluminous tome of bizarre superstitions and fear-based myths. But arguably the most important rule is #246: when fortunate enough to find a bottle of Thomas Handy Sazerac, buy it.
Thomas Handy Sazerac rye whiskey is, in my expert fucking opinion, the best rye ever made. There’s a whole story about who Thomas Handy is, and why he has a rye named after him, but I’m not going to bore you with that crap. After all, that’s not why you’re here, and that’s not why I am here. I will say that Thomas Handy Sazerac Rye is part of the “Antique Collection,” made by the venerable Buffalo Trace distillery (maker of the more commercially available Sazerac Rye – 6 and 18 years). The Thomas Handy is the same distillation as the 18 year Sazerac rye, but it’s bottled at barrel strength – the way they did it before prohibition, thus the name “antique” – and only a few thousand bottles are released per year. That means it hasn’t been diluted with life killing water, and it usually ends up between 125* – 130*. The two bottles I happened to stumble across were bottled in 2008, the third release, and ended up at 127.5*.