3 Boozy Hot Chocolate Drinks for Cold Winter Nights

Winter Nite

Snow is rolling in across the Northeast and some places are expecting to receive up to a foot or more of snow. After a long morning of shoveling your going to need something to warm you up. Or maybe you … Continue reading

Interview with Jamie Boudreau of Canon, Seattle

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In this weeks interview, we chat with Jamie Boudreau of Canon in Seattle. Throughout the years he has won countless awards including the Cheers Rising Star award in 2010. He has become one of the most influential members of the … Continue reading

Subject Bar LES Review

Living in NY gives me access to a wide range of bar styles. Some are dives, others cater to the beer crowd, while others are riding the wave of the speakeasy. One bar is currently bluring the line between craft cocktail joint and neighborhood dive. Subject quietly opened its doors in November ’12 with little fanfare. The bar program is headed by Chris Harrington (Momofuku, Saxon & Parole). At the heart of the program is the house made sodas and the variety of cocktails that make use of them.
So with that to go off of, 3 of us decided to check it out.

Atmosphere/Decor
The facade of the bar is all glass, allowing you a wonderful view of the inside of the bar from the street and from the inside a perfect view for street watching. As soon as you walk in on the left there is a chalk board which heralds the beer and shot combo of the evening along with any specials. The rest of the bar is adorned in brick with earth tone accented by earth tones. On the well lit back bar the vintage Coca Cola soda fountain can also be seen.

Service
Despite there being only one bartender on the night that we were there service was still good and we got our drinks in a reasonable amount of time. He was also knowledgeable and friendly.

Drinks
First off there is a rotating list of beer and shot combos. I believe the shot was a combination of whiskey, root beery syrup, and cinnamon tincture. The shot was good and flavorful and served as a nice complement to the beer. For the cocktails we had the Matilda’s Brother which although no longer being on the menu, our bartender was more than willing to prepare for us. It is a mix of rye, green chartreuse, lime, and the orange cream syrup that is used to make their orange cream soda. We also had the Chai old fashioned, the Elderflower Sour, and the Rum and Root Beer. All of the cocktails were balanced and provided interesting flavor combinations.

Food
Between the 3 of use we had the pulled pork sandwich, the panini, and the popcorn. The pork and the cole slaw was the consensus as the best sandwich between the two but neither was any slouch. The popcorn was freshly popped and seasoned with rosemary and other herbs, but alas it escapes me now. All of the food we had was good and just enough to fill the stomach.

Overall
It is an eclectic mix of craft cocktails, beer and shots that some how manages to work together in harmony. No matter your poison you cannot go wrong. The welcoming divvy atmosphere encourages you to enjoy both your tipple and your company and maybe even make some new friends while your there.

Mixology Monday (Mxmo) LXVI: Bein’ Green

Mixology Monday, the online cocktail party, has returned for another installment. This months party is hosted by Wordsmithing Pantagruel and the theme is: (it’s not easy) Bein’ Green. Here is the description:

With the warm days of summer now fading off into the distance in our rear view mirrors, let’s pay one last tribute to the greens of summer before the frosts come and our outdoor herb gardens give up the ghost for the winter. For our theme for this month, I have chosen: (it’s not easy) “Bein’ Green.” (Perchance due in no small part to my predilection for Green Chartreuse.) I’m giving you a wide berth on this one, anything using a green ingredient is fair play. There’s not only the aforementioned Chartreuse; how about Absinthe Verte, aka the green fairy. Or Midori, that stuff is pretty damn green. Crème de menthe? Why not? Douglas Fir eau de vie? Bring it! Apple schnapps? Uh…well…it is green. I suppose if you want to try to convince me it makes something good you can have at it. But it doesn’t have to be the liquor. Limes are green. So is green tea. Don’t forget the herb garden: mint, basil, cilantro, you name it – all fair game. There’s also the veritable cornucopia from the farmers market: green apples, grapes, peppers, olives, celery, cucumbers…you get the idea. Like I said, wide berth. Base, mixer, and or garnish; if it’s green it’s good. Surprise me. Use at least one, but the more the merrier.

The field was literally open to anything. With this in mind I really wanted to make a Japanese Garden from Bar High Five in Tokyo: “a mix of single-malt Nikka 10-year Yoichi whisky (only available in Japan), Midori Melon Liqueur, Suntory Green Tea Liqueur, and a prototype green tea bitters of Hidetsugu’s own creation”.

Instead I turned my trusty bottle of Green Chartreuse for inspiration and came up with the:

Hazy Morning
1.5 oz Reposado Tequila
.75 lime juice
.5 oz pineapple gomme syrup
.25 Green Chartreuse
Mezcal Rinse
Combine all the ingredients except the Mezcal with ice, shake, and strain into a mescal rinsed cocktail glass.
Notes:
Mescal, Tequila, Pineapple and Green Chartreuse all in one cocktail glass create one big happy family. Rich and silky with a touch of smoke.

The next drink is from the Imbibe website. In reality the original recipe, Put the Lime in the Coconut is actually for shaved ice and not a cocktail. Now its time to add some rum.
Siren’s Song
1 Cup Coconut Cream (Coco Lopez)
.5 Cup Lime Juice
.5 Cup Rich Simple Syrup (2:1)
Zest of 1 Lime
Combine the coconut cream, lime juice, simple syrup and lime zest, stirring well. Overfill a small cup or dish with shaved ice and drizzle with the coconut-lime syrup. Garnish with lime zest and a lime wedge. For my boozy boozy variation add:
1.75oz Lemongrass Infused White Rum (Oronoco) per serving.

Notes: A refreshing treat that takes you back to the warm days of summer. The lime really cuts through and adds a bright and zesty flavor with the lemongrass adding its soft touches in the background.

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Flor de Caña 4 Year Review & The Daisy de Santiago, Boukman Daiquiri

Flor de Caña is a brand of rum distributed by Compañia Licorera de Nicaragua. It was founded in 1890 by Francisco Alfredo Pellas and is today headed by a fifth generation member of the Pellas family. From it’s humble roots it has grown into one of the most widely recognized rums along with holding one of the largest rum reserves in the world.

In this post we will be taking a look at the Extra Dry 4 Year Old Rum.
On the nose there are is an initial intense alcohol aroma which assaults the nose and it is impossible to get any discernible aromas off the spirit. After it opens up there are aromas of caramel, tropical fruit (pineapple and banana), and a hint of freshly cut grass on a summer afternoon.

Upon tasting there are initial flavors of caramel and more tropical fruits. This is followed up by some earth tones, a touch of coconut and the just discernible presence of vanilla. This last subtle touch of vanilla is due to the 4 years that the rum spent in aging in oak barrels. There are hints of sweetness in the beginning but the rum has a dry finish. Not to be forgotten either, this rum is still rough around the edges and has a some alcohol burn. This is acceptable as this rum was not designed to be sipped on it’s own but rather as a wonderful additions to cocktails. Give it a try in your next Mojito or Daiquiri and it will be a rewarding experience. Flor de Caña Extra Dry 4 Year retails for around $15/750ml. Sample provided by representatives of Flor de Caña.

The first drink this evening comes to us from Charles H. Baker
Daisy De Santiago
2 oz White Rum (Flor de Caña Extra Dry 4 Year)
1 oz Lime Juice
.25 oz Simple Syrup
.75 Yellow Chartreuse
1 oz Club Soda
Shake first three ingredients with ice and pour into a chilled wine glass filled with cracked ice. Add club soda and then float chartreuse on the top. Serve with a straw and garnish with mint sprigs.
Notes:
If you like daiquiris then you will enjoy this as it has the same flavor profile. It’s tart and refreshing with added herbal complexity and effervescence.

The next drink up is an original creation. I have been wanting to Bonal in a cocktail for some time. Bonal is a cross between an amaro and sweet vermouth. It has the bitterness of gentian and the sweetness of stone fruits.
Heads or Tails
2 oz White Rum (Flor de Caña Extra Dry 4 Year)
.75 oz Bonal
.25 oz Amaretto (Disaronno)
Stir all ingredients together and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Flame an orange coin over the drink and drape over the side of the glass
Notes:
When you bring the drink up to your nose you are immediately enveloped in rich orange aromas. The amaretto adds a touch of nutty sweetness to the background.

The last drink is a a creation from Alex Day of the Franklin Mortgage and Investment Company in Philly.
Boukman Daiquiri
1.5 oz White Rum (Flor de Caña Extra Dry 4 Year)
.5 oz Cognac (Remy Martin VSOP)
.75 oz Lime Juice
.75 Cinnamon Syrup
Shake and strain all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Notes:
This is quite possibly one of my favorite rifts on the classic daiquiri. The addition of the cognac and the cinnamon adds richness and texture. This is one not to be missed and can be enjoyed year round.

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Ron Abuelo Añejo 7 Year Review and the Pago Pago Cocktail

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Ron Abuelo traces its history back to the first sugar mill in the Republic of Panama and began producing rum in 1936. The rums are distilled from molasses before being aged in white oak casks.
Ron Abuelo 7 year is a light straw/copper color.
On the nose it opens up with a dry woody note before giving way to notes of vanilla and caramel.
It has sweet notes of vanilla, toffee, butterscotch, and caramel before finishing with a mildly dry nutty character. There is almost no trace of burn and it goes down extremely smooth.
The rum is incredibly affordable with a suggested retail of $23/750ml. This rum is equally at home drunk neat or in a variety of cocktails. Its affordable price point and delicious taste leaves plenty of room for experimentation without breaking the bank.

Pago Pago Cocktail
adapted from Beachbum Berry Remixed
1.5 oz Gold Rum (Ron Abuelo 7 Años)
3-4 chunks Fresh Pineapple
.5 oz Lime Juice
.5 ounce Green Chartreuse
.25 oz White Crème de Cacao (Marie Brizzard)
Muddle the pineapple in a cocktail shaker with the lime juice and liqueurs. Add the rum and ice and shake well for about 10 seconds. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Notes:
The first time this recipe appeared in print was back in 1940. This is a drink that has such classic exotic drink ingredients as rum, pineapple and lime juice but it ups the ante with the herbal complexity of green chartreuse. It is refreshingly complex without being overwhelming. It’s perfect for a Friday evening sitting outside watching the sunset.
While I have not yet done so I think an interesting twist would be to infuse the rum with fresh cut pineapple thus creating a rich and aged pineapple rum without the need for muddling. In the future I’m going to have to give it a try and see how it comes out.

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Apricot Rum Fizz
2 ozs Rum (Ron Abuelo 7 Year)
1 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman and Winter)
.5 oz Lime Juice
3 oz Ginger Beer (Fever Tree)
Combine the first 3 ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into an ice filled low ball glass. Top with ginger beer.
Notes:
This is a light and easy sipping cocktail. The vanilla, caramel, and toffee notes meld nicely with the sweet fruitiness of the apricot liqueur. The ginger beer helps to keep everything in balance with its spicy bite.

Lastly I offer up my variation on the Captain’s Blood cocktail. I have decided to rename my variation Dr. Blood. The reason is because in 1935 the film Captain Blood was released in which Errol Flynn plays a Dr. Peter Blood who eventually becomes Captain Blood. This movie was the first thing that came to mind when I saw the name of this cocktail, hence its new name, the Dr. Blood.
Dr. Blood
1.5 oz Rum (Ron Abuleo 7 Year)
.5 oz Falernum
.25 oz Orgeat
.75 oz lime juice
1 Dash Angostura Bitters
Combine all ingredients and shake with ice. Strain over a large chunk of ice in a low ball glass
Notes:
Falernum is a sweet syrup used most often in tiki drinks. It contains flavors of almond, ginger, clove, lime, and depending on the recipe vanilla and/or allspice. Orgeat is a sweet syrup made from almonds, sugar, and rose and orange flower water. In future posts I will describe how to make your own. The drink is wonderfully tropical with sweet spice throughout the drink.

Disclosure: This was a sample bottle that was sent to me.