Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Featured Libation #102: Orchard Sour

Spring is upon us now and that means we are one step closer to that elusive summer that seems like a distant, faded memory of old.  You know what I mean.  Sipping Caipirinhas and soaking in the summer sun by the pool.  How bout' a Mai Tai while rolling a hard eight at Caesar's?  Well, we're not quite there yet, but I like to think of spring as the perfect time to sip luscious flavors of ripe apples and sour lemons.  That's it, a sour.  One of my favorite cocktails to enjoy during spring.  Come to think of it, it's one of my favorite drinks to enjoy year round.  I look to more warm and rich flavors in fall and winter such as bourbon, allspice, and maybe some tart cranberry.  But today, I'm thinking crisp and light; maybe apples and honey?  Hmm, my Applejack has been collecting some dust lately and I haven't even tapped my Orchard Apricot yet...Me thinks' I may be on to something.

Orchard Sour
1 oz Laird's Applejack
3/4 oz Rye
1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot Liqueur
1/2 oz Honey Syrup (1:1)
1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
5 drops Fee Brothers Peach Bitters for Garnish
1 Egg White

Combine everything but bitters and dry shake for 5 seconds.  Add ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds.  Strain into a chilled coupe or sour glass and garnish.  Enjoy.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Featured Libation #101: Spanish Inquisition

Had a bottle of Lustau PX Pedro Ximenez sherry eyeing me the other day and I started thinking about how it would play in a cocktail.  You don't see too many sherry based concoctions out there as depending on the sherry they can be rather rich.  I started thinking about very mediterranen style ingredients such as Italian amaros and apperitifs, almonds, citrus and how those would play on the luxurious, unctus notes of raisin and mohagany from the Spanish sherry.  I turned to some favriotes in the likes of Aperol, the sweet, bitter orange apperitif; and Averna Amaro, a sweet, bitter amaro from Sicily that also has notes of raisin to it.  For the almond component I decided orgeat would fit the bill without really trying to sweeten an already sweet style cocktail.  Finally, the refreshing smooth citrus flavors from blood orange juice would help bring it all together.  Be sure to measure out these ingredients and try to avoid free-pouring as they are quite rich and too much sherry will make for a sickenly sweet cocktail.  As for the name, well I thought this just sounded cool.  Cheers!

Spanish Inquisition
3/4 oz Lustau Pedro Ximinez Sherry
3/4 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Averna Amaro
1/4 oz Orgeat (Monin is a fine choice)
1 oz Fresh Blood Orange Juice
Flamed Orange Peel for Garnish (a blood orange one makes sense)

Combine with ice, shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish and enjoy.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

TIME in a Bottle

Funny thing happened the other day;  my bartender, Michael, walked into the office and had the latest issue of TIME magazine with him.  He sets in in front of me and tells me to read the featured Food article.  I curiously open up to pg 56 and read the heading "Puched Up.  Mixing Victorian-era cocktails with molecular gastronomy"by Josh Ozersky.  Sounds cool, I've been doing a little dabbling in the science department as of late so it peaked my interest.  I get down to about the second paragraph and I can't believe what I read:  eh-hem, "It might be an obscure cocktail with a modern twist, as at Elliott's Oyster House in Seattle, where the $10 juniper flip combines gin, elderflower liqueur, hibiscus syrup, pink-grapefruit juice and a whole beaten egg into an intoxicating booze smoothie."  WTF?!

Now don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled TIME Magazine gave a nice shot out to us here in the humble Pacific Northwest and my restaurant...but here's the funny thing, I've never had this cocktail on our menu...ever.  However, this is actually an original creation of mine that I came up with about 4 months or so ago, but I never got around to adding it to our menu because of how long it takes to properly emulsify an egg cocktail.  Doing 500 covers a night makes it a little tough to do these types of drinks.  And he even got the price I would of sold it at right! 
Now, I did get this tasty cocktail published on the recipes section for the online magazine and spirits review site, Cocktail Enthusiast, run by Dallas based journalist and cocktail geek Kevin Gray (thanks again Kevin).   Maybe he got it from there?  Or maybe he was the gentleman whom asked me a couple questions about it when I was photographing it?  Whatever the case, thanks for the kind words Josh and some street cred courtesy of TIME.  As for everyone else, shake one up and enjoy!

Juniper Flip
1-1/2 oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
1/2 oz St. Germain
3/4 oz Grapefruit Juice (I like pink)
1 tsp Wild Hibiscus Syrup (the syrup that flavor edible hibiscus flowers in jars is delicious)
1 Whole Egg
Freshly Grated Cinnamon for Garnish
Combine without ice and shake vigorously for 5 seconds.  Add ice and shake vigorously again for 20 seconds.  Fine strain into a chilled goblet or flute.  Garnish and enjoy.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Coffee House Cravings

It seems you can't walk more than a couple blocks without seeing a small coffee shop or Starbucks beckoning to have you get a tall double shot white chocolate mocha...with whip.  At least, here in Seattle that's the norm, heck we have over 400 Starbucks in Washington alone.  If there was a pilgrimage to the meca of slow, dark roasted perfection, it would be to the Emerald City.  I mean, we have enough bi-polar weather, yuppies, computer geeks, white collars and sleep deprived college students that it would only be natural for us Washingtonians to worship the slow drip gods of the ancient bean.  What's better than a perfect cup of Joe?  Well, a perfect cup of Joe with booze in it, of course!