Posts Tagged ‘lady friend’

Rule 37: Merrymeeting Stump Puller

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.



The Lady Friend’s familial clan has a lakehouse (they’re among the New Englanders who refer to such locations as “camp” even though there is a roof over a walled structure, and thus, no actual camping is involved) on Merrymeeting Lake in New Hampster.

No, I hadn’t heard of it either.


rule37merrymeetingmap

Here’s a handy map.



Regardless, if you can avoid the dreaded “daytrippers,” it’s an excellent place for drinking WAY too much, though the drive home Sunday morning along winding dirt roads with many drastic elevation changes and the Lady Friend at the wheel can be a bit… horrifically ungodlyawfulmurderousvomituplungsandliver. That’s the technical term. But I never learn lessons about drinking too much so we packed some beer and cocktails and headed out to the aquatic splendor of central New Hampshire. I didn’t pack any bar tools, figuring there’d at least be a lowball glass (there was), some ice (yup), and a shot glass for measuring (there were plenty of those). What I did bring were the two simple ingredients for making a Merrymeeting Stump Puller.


merrymeetingpan

Begin imbibing.



I found this drink in a copy of Mr. Boston, and it was apparently invented by a “Ronald Sperry” for some Boston “Shake Up the World” contest. That’s all the detail it gives. The original name was the MONTANA Stump Puller, but I’ve made a slight ingredient adjustment to make this one a bit more unique to Merrymeeting. Also fitting, the specific area of Merrymeeting where the Lady Friend’s relations “camp” is known as Adder Hole. It’s the shallower end of the lake, so there’s lots of trees in/along the water slowly being absorbed into the watershed. Which means lots of logs and stumps that needed removal over the years, making this drink even more fitting.

This is not to be confused with the “Gull Lounge” on the end of Pete’s Sandbar. That stump was quite well-preserved with alcohol until the ice claimed it one winter.


rule37merrymeetingstumppullerMerrymeeting Stump Puller
Adapted from the “Montana Stump Puller,” Mr. Boston 65th ed (2000).

– 2 oz Canadian whisky (Canadian Club Reserve 10yo)
– 1 oz Dr. McGillicuddy’s Mentholmint Liqueur

Yeah.
Dump it into a rocks/Old Fashioned glass over ice and give it a stir. The original recipe called for creme de menthe, but I don’t have any. Then again, the original called for this to be served in a shot glass, but it makes 3oz. They didn’t say if this was a double, or if it should be split into two shot glasses, so I’m not too worried about not following their instructions to the letter.



Yes, that’s “whisky” with no “e.” It’s Canadian.

rule37merrymeetingstumppullerbottlesThere’s three reasons for using the Dr. McGillicuddy’s here. First, I don’t have any creme de menthe. No, this mentholmint liqueur isn’t a perfect replacement, but it’ll do. Secondly, the Doctor holds a place of honor in the Lady Friend’s clan’s liquors/liqueurs of choice. Apparently it’s quite popular to sip during ice fishing. Or regular fishing. Or yardwork. Or hiking. Or grocery shopping. They’re quite fond of it, is the point I’m trying to make. I had never tried it until meeting this group, and I jumped right in. It’s like liquid candy canes mixed with alcohol and happiness. Thirdly, I wound up with a nice big bottle (and a little pocket-sized sipper) of the Doctor at their last Yankee Swap. I contributed some very Mainely gifts of Allen’s Coffee Brandy and a 2-litre of Moxie. Uncle Ron was quite pleased to get it.


Into the cocktail we go. Start with a sniff.

It smells… not good. Like toothpaste and caramel gasoline. The sugary mint is pretty powerful in here, and that Canadian whisky is just… antiseptic? Yeah. Let’s hope it tastes ok.

rule37merrymeetingstumppuller_altOh.
Oh my.
That’s… not bad.
In theory, I was expecting this to be like a cheap version of a Mint Julep. All the ingredients are there. Well, sort of. There’s whisky (Canadian Club is no bourbon), mint and sugar (thoughtfully provided in one go, thanks to the Doctor), and ice. It is a bit heavy on the sugar/mint side, and there’s a wash of the whisky malt and alcohol warmth towards the finish of the drink. It’s really not bad. Not GREAT, but not bad.


I mixed one of these “upta camp” and there was even a bottle of the Doctor nestled in the freezer among the ice cubes and frozen vegetables. I supposed I didn’t need to bring my own bottle along. The Lady Friend’s father reluctantly had a taste, then seemed to warm to it a bit more with each sip. After our cruise around the lake, he happily made another one for himself. He’s part of a crew that heartily enjoyed their cocktails back in the day, though they preferred Wild Turkey to the blended Canadian stuff. They even made a club about it.


wtccc

No, seriously. That’s the Wild Turkey Canoeing and Climbing Club.



Simple to mix, with only two ingredients, and one of them is the Doctor. This would probably be better with a better whiskey, but you’ll have more of a flavor battle against the mint. However, given the fact that the Lady Friend’s father tried a couple of them, it seems like the Merrymeeting Stump Puller is officially endorsed.

Rule 37: The Diamondback

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.



Sometimes Teh Interwebz works out the way it’s supposed to.

A couple weeks ago I did a post on the Historic Core Cocktail, which was pretty wild. I happened across another blog in the research, Tempered Spirits, and its author commented back with a suggestion:


rule37diamondback_comment

Sounds awesome. Boozy, but awesome.



Always open to suggestions, I decided to give it a try. I suspect it’s going to be another big boy drink, with those two bonded liquors, and the 110 proof Chartreuse. Kindred Cocktails came to the rescue again here with a little more information. Apparently, there are two versions of this cocktail, one with yellow Chartreuse, and one with the more powerful green (I like to call it Chartreuse2 ). The history is spelled out pretty well on this other site, but the gist is that yellow Chartreuse was originally used until Murray Stenson of Seattle’s Zig Zag Cafe (a well-known craft cocktail mecca) put some green in the mix to liven things up. It’s also listed on this OTHER cocktail site from way back in 2005 when Hollaback Girl was a thing. The green-utilized recipe become adopted as the modern version, so that’s what I’m going with.

Also, yes, we have no bananas yellow Chartreuse.


rule37diamondbackDiamondback
Suggested by Tempered Spirits

– 1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse Rye whiskey
– 3/4 oz Laird’s Straight Apple Brandy
– 3/4 oz Green Chartrueuse

All booze.
Stir this one until icy cold. Serve in a chilled cocktail glass of your choosing. A cherry is suitable for the garnish, though optional. Having a personal cache of homemade cocktail cherries, I opted to include it.



Nose: A decently complex nose snorter. Sweet herbal notes like licorice/anise, laundry detergent, fancy guest soaps and potpourri waft above. Below there’s a warning warmth of alcoholic strength, cooking the nostrils, and hints of brown sugar with apple sweetness. The herbal Chartreuse dominates the aromas here, and you can smell the booze below.

This is either going to be fantastic or vile.

Taste: Alcohol sour, though the cold helps to numb. Bitter herbs and cinnamon spice warmth spreading from the outer edges of the tongue inwards. Fresh green herbs, alcohol heat tingling the tongue and gums. Cinnamon spice again, or is it a tangy botanical of sorts? A lovely hint of apple sweet cruising placidly in the lower currents. The top end is heat, hot coals, a slow burning fire. Rye snap and alcohol sting, and the herbs turn to a floral sensation as the heat passes. Sweet, sugary sensation, I suspect from the liqueur, but with a powerhouse of flavor. This one is complex. This one is boozy. This one is EXCELLENT.


Let’s see what SHE thinks:
“Smells like a sweet apple/caramel. I smell caramel apple mixed with like a whiskey smell. I don’t get Chartreuse. I don’t get anything herbally… from the smell I get mainly the whiskey, but with a little apple.”

I think her nose is on the fritz. Let’s move on.

“Alcohol burn. Hmmm.

I’m waiting for something.


I get an herbalness to the finish. Oooh. Now I really do. But that took awhile.”

Huh. I think her mouth is broken too.


So, apparently we have wildly differing views on what this drink smells and tastes like. She smelled caramel apples and didn’t notice the Chartreuse at all. Where I found lovely complex layers in an alcohol-fueled oven, she tasted nothing but booze and some slight herbs in the finish.

I dunno what to make of that.
But I say it’s a fantastic cocktail.

Rule 37: Fernet Branca Cocktail

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.



Ok. We’re hitting the Fernet Branca tonight. Here we go.

rule37fernetbrancacocktail_bottleI was looking for something-or-other in Dale DeGroff’s Craft of the Cocktail and stumbled upon the “F” pages. The Lady Friend got her Rule 37 cocktail, the Fancy Tequila Cocktail (like a Margarita, but with orange juice), and I got mine: the Fernet Branca Cocktail. I’m a bit late to the whole Fernet Branca craze, but certainly have been an enthusiastic convert. Here’s the deal.

Fernet Branca is an Italian spirit, an amaro, very bitter and herbal, and touted as a digestif. Fernet is the TYPE of amaro (like bourbon is a type of whiskey) and Branca is the specific brand, taken from its inventor’s name, Bernardino Branca. It’s from back in 1845, and claims to have medicinal properties, again, as a digestif or stomach remedy. Listen to Bill’s story.



So, it’ll help you out in times of, shall we say, gastric distress. But seriously, it really does seem to help indigestion and such. Packed with 27 herbs at bottled 78 proof it’s bound to do SOMETHING. The flavor takes some getting used to, and most people it seems never get used to it. I personally started to enjoy it after about my third sip, but it’s wild: dark, bitter, dry, herbal (I know I know, I keep saying that, but there’s not a lot of other adjectives that cover it) and minty. Yup. It finishes kind of menthol/minty. There is a mint version (Branca Mente) as well in case the regular version isn’t minty enough. Apparently Fernet Branca is insanely popular in San Francisco, as a shot with ginger ale back, and in Argentina where they mix it with Coca Cola. It’s even become somewhat of a handshake or nod among bartenders. I like mine IN ginger ale, as a highball, on Sunday nights following a weekend of liver torture. Good for what ails ya. But here’s a cocktail version.



rule37fernetbrancacocktailFernet Branca Cocktail
From Dale DeGroff’s Craft of the Cocktail

– 2 oz gin (Tanqueray)
– 1/2 oz Fernet Branca
– 3/4 oz sweet vermouth (Rosso)

That’s it. No juice here, so pour it into a mixing glass, add ice, and stir.
Serve in a chilled cocktail glass (or on the rocks if you prefer) and garnish with a flamed lemon peel.





Well, based on the ingredients, it seems like it’s going to be interesting. Somewhat like a Negroni, using gin, amaro, and sweet vermouth, but the proportions are way off (Negroni is equal parts). That Fernet Branca is going to be wildly different from Campari, and there’s a lot more gin to deal with. I’m frightened. Hold me.


First impression of the aroma is of the Fernet Branca mint/menthol, with a sickly sweet floral gin essence mingling in. Fernet Branca is powerful stuff, and I think it’s going to take four times more gin to counteract it. It’s that herbal medicine with some gin.

In we go.

Bitter. Right off. Some bark and cinnamon, then various dry herbs. Dry spice, not savory. Lavender? That would be the gin coming in now with floral and citrus notes. It’s alcohol warm all the way through, and finishes minty/piney, like candy canes on a Christmas tree. It’s boozy and a flavor punch. Bitter overall, so don’t chug these down like a tiki drink. This is more like an aperitif. Or digestif. I’m not sure which. Probably both. The Fernet Branca is a renowned digestif, but vermouth is typically an aperitif. Gin is gin. Screw it: drink it whenever you want. But carefully.

Another note: serve this one in a CHILLED glass and drink it as cold as possible. I’m not sure why, but I’m getting the impression that this one would taste absolutely vile at room temperature. There’s a lot of herbs, spices, flowers, and citrus here, but it’s very very dry overall, and none of those attributes get better in a lukewarm drink. Served hot might be a different story, but tepid is going to be a train wreck.


rule37fernetbrancacocktail_altHere’s the Lady Friend:
*Brow furrows. Bitter face.* “I get gin, an alcoholy burn, then the Fernet.”
No no no. Don’t tell me what’s in it, tell me what it TASTES like. Close your eyes, take a good sip, swirl it around in your mouth, swallow, and chew it for a second and tell me what you’re TASTING.
Piney in the beginning. Christmas tree, alcohol, just alcohol, maybe a little grapeyness, kind of like grapey spicy though. Spicy, not like chili spice, but like cinnamony, but not like really, but more in that direction. Spicy. And I’m still tasting Christmas tree.”
Ok. Much better. Now we’ve got some adjectives. Wasn’t too far off from my impressions, but sometimes it’s a struggle to get her to use her WORDS.


So, there it is. Dry, spicy, bitter, but not bad overall. An avant ou apres repas sipper. Just don’t let it get warm.

Rule 37: Historic Core Cocktail

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.



Cocktail time!

The Lady Friend received a bottle of green Chartreuse from her parents for Christmas, so we needed to put that to use. Right away. Chartreuse is interesting stuff: it’s an herbal liqueur from France, was originally made by monks, and comes in a couple different versions. There’s a yellower, mellower version, a super expensive fancy version called V.E.P. (Vieillissement Exceptionnellement Prolongé or “really old”), and the standard green version. Fun fact: Chartreuse is the only liquor/liqueur to have a color named after it. What color is Chartreuse? It’s Chartreuse. Outside of France, you’re most likely to come across Chartreuse in a Prohibition-era cocktail that has been somewhat revieved, the Last Word.


no9_lastwordBut I’ve already had a Last Word before. Several. Two occasions in particular are noteworthy: one at Drink when the Lady Friend and I went on our first date (yup, took her drinkin’), and another on Repeal Day in 2011 when Ted, bar manager at No. 9 Park, sent over a round for us after hearing that we were out celebrating the drinker’s holiday. The Last Word is tasty, but what else can you make with Chartreuse?

The Lady Friend intended to find out just that. She wound up on a site called Kindred Cocktails, which looks like a fantastically awesome resource for future cocktail quests. I don’t recall what Chartreuse-inclusive recipe she wound up making, but she also found one that looked like a winner for me. It’s called the Historic Core Cocktail, and seems to have been invented by a bartender in L.A. named John Coltharp in 2008. Apparently, it was part of a cocktail competition where bartenders had to create cocktails that represented the different parts of the city. Coltharp wound up with the “Historic Core” and started mixing some fun stuff, namely rye whiskey, applejack and Chartreuse. Sounds right up my alley. It also made it into a cocktail book called Left Coast Libations, and the recipe on Kindred Cocktails was attributed to that. Much like this other author, I was kind of excited that I actually had the correct ingredients on hand, except the Carpano Antica vermouth. I generally use Martini & Rossi Rosso because a) it’s easy to find and b) I don’t go through vermouth quickly enough to justify buying the nice stuff. Vermouth tends to last for about a month after opening if you keep it in the fridge. Rossi isn’t as lively as Carpano Antica or Punt e Mes, but it’s more affordable for a consumable until I can find smaller bottles of the nice stuff.


Historic Core Cocktail
By John Coltharp.
From Kindred Cocktails and Left Coast Libations

– 1.5 oz rye whiskey (Rittenhouse)
– .5 oz apple brandy (Laird’s)
– .5 oz Chartreuse (green)
– .5 oz sweet vermouth (Rosso)
– Generous dash bitters (Fee Bros. Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters)

No juice in this one, so STIR it, and serve in a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon peel after squeezing the oils across the top of the drink.


Did you see that? TWO ingredients that are bottled-in-bond, and therefore, 100 proof: the Rittenhouse and the Laird’s. Chartreuse is no slouch either, with a 110 proof sucker punch.The recipe calls for Angostura, but with the rest of the team bringing their A-game, I figured I’d let the Fee Bros Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters come out to play. Go big or go home. Except I am home. Does that mean I don’t have to go big? Wait, what?

Never mind.


Nose: Predominantly apple. With booze. Strange, because there’s only a half ounce of the Laird’s in there. Powerful stuff. I can see the lemon oils swirling across the surface, like 10W 40 on asphalt after a rain shower. There is a bit of lemony essence, but mostly apple. And booze. Did I mention the booze? Yeah, it’s there. Not searing hot in the nostrils like a snort of acetone, but a warm warning. I might be getting a tinge of darkness, from the whiskey and bitters, but it’s hard to detect. A very very slight vegetative musk lurks in there too. Those herbs are up to no good.

Taste: BY THE CROWN OF ZEUS. Whoaowmunummeowzlebub. That’s a-spicy meat-a-ball. Lots of heat in the flavor: some alcoholic burn, some herbs and spices. This isn’t the Colonel’s secret recipe however. Very complex, with a lot going on. I’d take another mouthful to try to walk through the electrical storm of sensations, but I think half of my tongue is numb. My gums are tingling too. They won’t stop. Making another approach. Roger, Squirrelfarts has the ball.

Ok.

Ow.
Alcohol.
Ow.
Herbal Chartreuse.
More of it.
Whiskey, dark, syrup.
Apple.
Astringent alcohol.
Tingle.
Tingle.
Tingle.
Spices. Cinnamon, bark, leaves.
Anise; Licorice.
Astringency eases off.
Dark spices left. Slight syrup. Apple sweetness.
Fresh cut grass? Seriously. Where did that come from?
Brown sugar.


rule37historiccorecocktail_bottlesWowsers.
I think I like it. I’m not sure. I do know that after about a third of this drink, I’m starting to feel the booze kick in. Warm happy warm booze. Make no mistake: this is a potent drink. 2oz of 100 proof liquor, 1/2oz of 110 proof Chartreuse. Oh, and a little vermouth. Yowza.

Oh I totally have to inflict this on the Lady Friend. This should be good. Standby.

“*furrows brow* I get mainly the Rittenhouse. I was searching for the Chartreuse. I get a little herbal essence towards the end, but it mainly tastes like a Manhattan to me. A little bit of sweetness, I guess from the applejack, but I don’t get a lot of the Chartreuse in that. I would assume it would be like a Pernod-rinsed glass. I was figuring that Chartreuse would be like Pernod, like a little would go a long way, and it would overpower a cocktail. Now I’m excited to use it. It adds just a little dimension.

I suggested that she take a good mouthful instead of the dainty little sips she usually employs.

Hmmmm. I guess I could see almost a 50/50 split with the rye and the Chartreuse. It’s a lot of flavor. It’s three big boys fighting. I don’t get the apple so much. The other two are a lot bigger. I do get a little bit of apple sweetness though. It’s not LOST, but the other two are much more prominent.
It’s good though.”
“For the amount of alcohol that’s in there, it’s actually quite palatable.



I think she’s associating the alcohol heat solely with the Rittenhouse, which I found to be a secondary player in this cocktail, despite the ratios. Sure, there’s a whiskey presence, but the addition of strong straight apple brandy, and an herbal Chartreuse kick, creates a complexity that sideswipes my precious rye. It is tasty, though a pricey cocktail. Not that these are particularly rare ingredients, but they are decent bottles that may not be found on every bar. If you do have them, give this drink a try. Very complex and wild. Whoa.

Rule 37: Beachcomber’s Gold

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.



Rum.
I wanted rum tonight.
The Lady Friend had a super awesome Manhattan (THIS version) and I was kind of jealous, but I already had my heart set on RUM. I don’t know why, but I did.

So, I started flipping through the New York Bartender’s Guide by Sally Ann Berk, where I had previously found The Million Dollar Cocktail. This book sorts by liquor, which is awesome, so I started in the middle of the rum section. There were a few interesting recipes to save for another time, but I had to start over at the beginning of the section to find this one: Beachcomber’s Gold. I’m going to assume this one was either created by, or named for (or both), Tiki drink legend Don the Beachcomber. Apparently there are other versions out there, but they’re nothing like the version I made. They do use a cool ice “garnish,” but this version is many much more easiers. You heard me.


Three ingredients. And one of them is rum. The other two are actually both vermouth, but they’re different kinds. That’s it. It’s basically a Perfect Manhattan/Martini with rum instead of whiskey or gin. “Perfect” in these cases means using equal parts dry/white and sweet/red vermouths. A Martini uses dry vermouth, a Manhattan uses sweet, and a “perfect” version of either uses both dry and sweet. Got it? Great. Drink time.


Beachcomber’s Gold
From the New York Bartender’s Guide

– 2 oz light rum (Bully Boy)
– 1/2 oz sweet vermouth (Martini & Rossi)
– 1/2 oz dry vermouth (Martini & Rossi)

The book says to shake it, and strain into a cocktail glass full of crushed ice. Nuts to that. I’m treating this like a Martini/Manhattan or any other spirit-only drink, which means STIRRING it. Since she got that first part wrong, I’m also going to ignore that bit about crushed ice, and serve it UP, in a chilled cocktail coupe. There was no word on garnish either, but with rum, a lime peel might work nicely. I left it plain this time.


Broke out the Bully Boy rum for this one. The recipe is for a light rum, but the Bully Boy has tons of flavor. Like a molasses-coated sugar cookie spread its legs, grunted, and gave birth to a bottle of rum. It probably wasn’t the right type of light rum to use for this, as the flavorful Bully Boy tends to overwhelm things, but with only vermouths as the other ingredients, I figure I may as well put something tasty in there. The drink does have a lovely golden hue (hence the name) as the reddish sweet vermouth is diluted by the faint yellow dry vermouth and clear rum.


The drink reeks of the aforementioned sugar cookie offspring, with a touch of grapey wine-ness underneath. This is a brand new bottle of sweet vermouth, and the difference is apparent. Vermouth is a wine, and tends to lose its aroma and flavor after about a month. Keep it in the fridge after opening, but unless you power through Manhattans and Negronis like I do, buy the little 375ml bottles so you don’t feel too bad about throwing any unused remains out at the end of the month.

The taste is a wash of that sweet blackstrap rum up front, with a pleasant warm alcoholic tingle. Interestingly enough, the vermouth strikes back in the middle of the taste, oozing in with a syrupy dark grape and lightly floral essence. I really didn’t expect the wines to put up a fight against the rum, but it really works out well. The vermouths take the sting out of the spirit, leaving behind the flavors, while adding their own grapey contributions. This is certainly a grown-up cocktail, though I would caution that the same recipe with Bacardi will not be terribly exciting. Having had the “perfect” version, I’d like to go back and try both a sweet and dry version of this drink. My guess is that the sweet will have a nice dark syrup to play with the rum’s spice (oooh… especially with a dash or two of Angostura), whereas the dry version will be more akin to a lighter, floral concoction, like the Presidente without the grenadine. I’d go with orange bitters on that one and see how things play out.


Well there you go. I just gave you three cocktails for the price of one. Bunch of moochers. Go make one! NOWS.


The Lady Friend grudgingly tried the recipe and offered the following pearls of wisdom: “I smell the Bully Boy, the cupcakes, rainbows, and all that good stuff. Hmmm. I immediately get the grapey vermouth, but I can pick up some of that sweet Bully Boy. It’s alright. I wouldn’t drink it, but… *shrugs* It’s an interesting cocktail, but I wouldn’t choose it.”


Great. Thanks.

Rule 37: The Bell of Camille

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.



This one comes from a rather whimsical old book from 1972 that I have in the collection called the “Quick Guide to Spirits.”


…and there’s a picture of a ghost!


Anyway, according to the book, this one comes from the Four Seasons in New York, and reads “John Covas, another dean of drams, named this after Camille, a lamb.” Um. Ok then. I didn’t really find much else about this cocktail, other than other sites posting the same recipe, though apparently there IS an actress named Camilla Belle.


Why, hello there.



That, however, is neither here nor there, and the two are entirely unconnected, since this book dates from 1972, and she was born in 1986. Yes, I know, it’s depressing. The drink itself is pretty simple, with only two ingredients. I like each of the ingredients (bourbon and Campari) but I’m a little concerned about a drink consisting of only those two. It does remind me of the Boulevardier, though that one at least had sweet vermouth in it, as in a Negroni. He didn’t mention how to prepare it, or what type of glass to serve it in, so I’m making a few executive decisions here. Other recipes suggest a cocktail glass, but I’ll take it like my Negronis: on the rocks.


Bell of Camille
From Robert Jay Misch’s Quick Guide to Spirits

– 1 1/2 oz bourbon (Old Crow Reserve)
– 1 oz Campari

Uh.
That’s it.

STIR in an ice filled mixing glass. Use a julep strainer to, well, strain into a cocktail glass, or, as I prefer, a rocks glass with a travel-sized iceberg in it. I garnished with an orange peel sliced thrice.




Well, it smells like Campari and bourbon.

Well, it tastes like Campari and bourbon.

Yeah. Pretty much. The aroma has a decent chunk of orange to it from that swath of peel I garnished with, and the Campari bittersweet is of course, rather dominant. It’s hard to pick up any of the bourbon, though there’s a subtle hint of dark sweetness lurking in the shadows.

The taste is all at once WHANG BANG ZOOM Campari and ZING BOFF FIZZ bourbon. The two actually meld together quite nicely. The herbal Campari dries out the palate while the sweet bourbon adds its complement of brown sugar, molasses, and roasted caramel corn. The two have a bit of back-and-forth, but it’s a discussion, not an argument. Neither one wins and they both make a lot of good points.


The Lady Friend’s take:
“I still get hit with Campari first, as I always do, but that’s actually a good balance. Towards the end I get that whiskey Old Crow… tasty actually. I like that. I think it’s well-balanced. A lot of drinks you make with Campari are WAY too Campari. And of course that quote’s going in there. Stop typing!”
And then she walked away.


I rather like this drink. It’s perfectly simple to make (provided you have Campari) and that Old Crow Reserve goes well with EVERYTHING so far. And I’ve used it a lot. Yum. In a cocktail glass this would make a good sipper, but I like the sturdy feel of a rocks glass with large amounts of solidified water. The orange peel adds a nice touch, and it certainly wouldn’t hurt to flame it over the surface of the drink. Well played, ghost book.

(Call me, Camilla)

Rule 37: Rye Two Ways

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.



Cocktail night!

This one comes from a website sent to me by colleague/bickering compatriot Leelz. She forwards me updates on this site regularly, though why I haven’t subscribed myself, I don’t know. Maybe because she keeps sending me the updates so it’s like I’ve already subscribed. Anyway, the website (Tasting Table) is currently doing a feature on cocktails across the nation (though there is a DISTINCT lack of cocktails from Boston, or, for that matter, Portland, ME) and several of them seemed tasty. This particular one calls for rye whiskey, which I couldn’t turn down.


The recipe source and backstory can be found here, which tells of the tipple’s trail via bartender Mia Sarazen’s Churchill bar in West Hollywood, CA. Apparently it can be made two ways, hence the name. I’ve gone the first route, making it as a cocktail, served “up” (“up” means chilled in a cocktail glass, as opposed to “neat,” “straight,” or “on the rocks.” Bit of a sidebar here so we’re all dealing with the same terminology. “Neat” is usually served in a rocks/old fashioned glass, with no ice. Liquor in glass. Like Scotch, neat. “Straight” means chilled liquor, like “neat” only cold. “On the rocks” is with ice. See also).

Anyway. I’m back now. The drink is Rye Two Ways because there’s a bonus cocktail in there: you take the “up” cocktail, but pour it into a highball glass with ice, and top with Allagash White ale. Sounds like a good idea, especially since Allagash is right up the road from here. But I don’t really get excited about Belgians (the beer or the people). So, it’s the cocktail version for me.


Rye Two Ways
By Mia Sarazen, Churchill. Recipe here.

– 1 oz rye (used Alberta Premium)
– 1 oz dry vermouth
– .75 oz grenadine
– .5 oz fresh lemon juice
– 2 dashes orange bitters (Fee Bros)

Mix ‘em up, shake ‘em up, serve it up, drink it down.
Garnish with a lemon peel.
It doesn’t have to be as big as mine, as long as you know that I’m better than you and you’ll somehow continue to go about your sad little life with that knowledge.



I went with my bottle of Alberta Premium rye whiskey for this one because a) it’s a 100% rye whiskey and b) it looked lonely on the bar tonight because I haven’t used it in awhile, since there are several other ryes to choose from. Like when you drive your Ferrari everywhere but forget about the Lamborghini in the back of the garage. I hate it when I do that. Anyway, this is one you can find ONLY in Canada, and the Lady Friend’s parents were nice enough to traffic this one across international borders for me last year (what’s the statute of limitations on smuggling?). You can read my thoughts about it here, and since it’s a bottle that’s hard to acquire, I don’t use it much. I’m a bit of a liquor hoarder. But you have to drive them all once in awhile.

So let’s drink some rye.


Nose: Lemony (yeah, GIANT lemon peel) with a sweetness. There’s a little whiskey essence, but that grenadine is the dominant smell. Sugary fruity sweet, with some lemon. Not terribly exciting.

Taste: Now, you might say “Gosh golly gee SquirrelFarts, 3/4 oz sounds like a lot of grenadine in that little cocktail,” and I might reply “You’re right. But who are you and what are you doing in my barpartment judging my drink decisions? Be off with you, post haste, lest my cane find your backside!” But it is quite sweet. So. Yeah. There’s a tiny bit of the grapey-ness from the vermouth, and a little caramel with bitterness from the rye. But it largely tastes of grenadine with some lemon. Not that it’s bad, but it’s very sweet.


Then the Lady Friend wanted a taste. Despite quaffing some Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA moments before, apparently she has a magic self-cleansing palate that can jump from big gobs of Cascade hops to a cocktail and give an accurate flavor assessment.
“Big surprise, smells like lemon” on the nose and tastes “Sweet. Not syrupy sweet but I don’t get much whiskey from that.
“I mean, it’s good.
“…because I don’t taste a lot of whiskey.”



I hate you.
Get out of my barpartment.

Rule 37: Tiki Bowl!

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.



TIKI!

The new Portland location of SquirrelFarts HQ came with a “sun room” which is currently being converted into a tropical tiki room. Not that I’m really that into tiki stuff, but it is fun from time to time. Especially since it’s been way too warm here, and put me in the mood for equatorial style drinks. Yeah, it’s going to be real fun looking back on this post in February when the snow drifts block out the sun. But for now, we’re in the middle of a summer downpour and it feels very tropical in here. And moist. Very very moist. Rainforest humidity.


So the Lady Friend made herself a Bajito, which was a Mojito with some basil muddled in. Decently tropical, but I’ve gone and done something silly. I got me a Trader Vic drink to make. In case you don’t know, “Trader” Vic Bergeron, was one of THE big tiki guys back in the day (he started in the 1930s) and grew his business to a franchise chain of tropical-themed restaurants. He claims to have invented the famous Mai Tai, though fellow founding tiki tippler Don the Beachcomber might argue that point.

Anyway, there’s a LOT of tiki history there that I don’t really want to get into, because everything is sticky with moisture and I’m thirsty. I got this recipe from Liquor.com, in a Valentine’s “Cocktails Built for Two” themed article. But since the Lady Friend is already sipping on her Bajito, after I taught her proper muddling techniques and unsuccessfully tried to crush some ice in a blender (didn’t work… resorted to the good ol’ “smash it with a hammer” method) I’m going to drink all of this myself.

Also, I’m selfish. And I don’t care who knows it.


Tiki Bowl
Makes two, but if you drink it all yourself, I certainly won’t judge.
From “Cocktails Built for Two” on Liquor.com

– 1 oz light rum (they suggest Puerto Rican, so I used DonQ)
– 1 oz dark rum (went with Meyers here)
– 1 oz brandy (E&J is great for mixing)
– 2 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
– 1 1/2 oz lemon juice
– 1/2 oz orgeat

Throw everything in a blender with ice and hit the loud button. Pour your frosty bev into a hurricane or some sort of tropical tiki glass. Garnish with a gardenia if you happen to have one of those lying around. I didn’t, but made it work.


Well. It’s frosty and tasty looking. A nice orangy yellow color. Smells like fruit juice and booze. The brandy comes through quite a bit in the nose, though that could be the dark rum as well… whatever it is, it smells dark, syrupy, and tasty. It tastes orangy, which makes sense, though again the dark rum/brandy combo adds some happy dim warmth in there. I keep sucking Lilliputian icebergs into my straw which clogs the whole works. The downfall of a budget-brand blender I suppose. Still, the drink is tasty, though I put a bit too much ice into it. It hurts my teef. Tropicality achieved!


I even gave some to the Lady Friend.

Rule 37: The Waldorf

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.



Well, after a busy week, I was left scrambling for a Rule 37 on Friday night. Dale DeGroff’s The Craft of the Cocktail happened to be lying nearby, and as my tried-and-true standby recipe book, it didn’t let me down. If I’m not careful, I might wind up documenting the entire book. It’s not my fault! It’s full of great drinks. This week’s tipple might not have been the most unusual concoction, but it was still mighty tasty.


The Waldorf

– 2 oz rye or bourbon whiskey (Rittenhouse Rye)
– 3/4 oz sweet vermouth
– 1/4 oz Ricard (Pernod)
– 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Swirl the Ricard, or Pernod, or whatever anise flavored concoction you plan to use (I’m sure real absinthe would do just fine as well) in the mixing glass. I say swirl, but it works better to tilt the glass at an angle, and rotate/turn, which rolls the liquid around. The goat is to simply coat the inside of the mixing glass with the anise liqueur. This differs from other recipes I’ve seen, like a Sazerac, where you coat the drinking glass. Here, you’re only coating the mixing glass. Add ice, and pour in the other ingredients. STIR, strain, and serve in a chilled cocktail glass. No garnish specified, but I’d likely add a nice cocktail cherry, as with a Manhattan.


So, yeah. It’s basically a Manhattan with a Ricard rinse. Don’t discount that too much; it makes a big difference.


I was feeling fancy, and falling behind the Lady Friend in the drink count, so I jazzed up the recipe with my treasured 100 proof Rittenhouse Rye. I had seriously considered using the Old Crow Reserve bourbon, which came highly recommended from Drinking the Bottom Shelf writer Will Gordon, and he’s dead on. It’s stupidly inexpensive, and stupidly tasty. $13 bourbon shouldn’t be that good. I’ve come to enjoy it enough to hoard and stockpile reserve supplies, and recently acquired a large surplus which should keep me happy for a reasonable length of time, if I don’t quaff it in an unreasonable manner. Which can happen. Frequently. However, the Rittenhouse is one of my all-time favorites. Big, bold, 100 proof and spicy rye, versus a sweet sweet bourbon. It also gives me a good benchmark, since I’m quite familiar with how a Rittenhouse Manhattan should taste.


Nose: Spicy rye bite, with a touch of vermouth sweetness. The anise of the Pernod shoves its way through, full of licorice and shenanigans. The Angostura adds its dark spice, and between the rye and Pernod, there’s a weird little aroma dance going on. It almost smells Christmasy.

Taste: Cool, then suddenly warm. Not hot, but warm. The rye spice is tempered by the vermouth, and strangely offset by the anise flavors. Rinsing the glass made a HUGE difference. Angostura is there, laughing in the background, cheerful and cinnamon spice. It’s almost as if the hot rye and cool anise are magnetic opposites, and they have a little battle for control of the taste buds. It’s the tastiness of a Manhattan, but with a new player to the game. The Pernod engages in a tug-of-war with even the power of the Rittenhouse. I wanted to put “Rittenhouse Powerhouse” but it was just too much.

The Lady Friend declared “Yup. Pernod.” upon smelling it, then furrowed her brow as she took a sip.
“I taste the Rittenhouse up front, which is tasty, then Pernod in back. Rittenhouse comes back. It’s good. It was a good little sip. It’s interesting.” She usually can’t stand my high-proof rye Manhattans, so this one was tamed down enough for her to taste, though there’s still plenty of flavor. It is indeed an interesting palate experiment, and a great twist for a Manhattan lover. Try one.

The Monday Hangover: May 19-20

The Monday Hangover:
Other drink adventures of note from the weekend.



Well, the weekend started off right with a stop at Bin Ends on Friday to hit up the Narragansett beer tasting. Brent, the Boston sales manager, was pouring tall frosty cans of the Bock, Cream Ale, Summer Ale, and classic Lager. This is the first time I’ve been able to taste a range of ‘Gansetts side-by-side, and the Bock is still my least favorite of the group. I just don’t like the Nobel Hop sweet-yet-sharp flavor of most bocks. It’s not the brand; it’s the style I don’t really enjoy. The reviews have said that Narragansett’s offering is bang-on for the style, so if you like bocks, give it a whirl. My favorite is still the Porter, which is deliciously chocolaty and great value for the price, though they didn’t have any at this tasting. I’ve got a horde of it back at SquirrelFarts HQ. The Cream Ale is refreshing, the Lager a great go-to with a bit more flavor and character than most macrobrews. The Summer Ale is also a great default beer. It’s a touch lighter than the lager, and flavored with Citra hops, giving it a lovely hint of fruit, but it’s not overly lemony like many other summer beers. A welcome change in my opinion.

The tasting was just the thing to finish off a long soggy work week, though by Friday the weather had cleared to a sunnier attitude. A little taste of Gansett, and a chat with Brent, primed me for weekend mode, especially with a little giveaway. You had a choice of a beer coozie or a Gansett pint glass with purchase of a six pack. It just so happened that my fridge could use a little more Gansett Lager, and I was just lamenting the fact that I didn’t have a proper Gansett glass a few weeks ago.


Total score. Hi Neighbor!



This, of course, was all just the warm up round. When the Lady Friend joined me back at SFHQ, it was weekly Rule 37 time. The novelty of this week’s drink, simply called “Windex,” was its bright blue color, and I played around with some alternative lighting techniques, using long exposures and a bit of light painting. After cocktails, it was time for dinner, beers, and Mad Men, since the Lady Friend makes me wait all week “so we can watch it together.” We tucked into a Bear Republic XP Pale Ale, which very similar to Avery’s IPA, a West Coast malty brew with a dank hop. Tasty, but I’ve moved away from malt heavy beers. Time for bed. Big day in the morning.


The big day in question was a trip down to Plymouth for Mayflower Brewing’s third annual Open House. Since our first visit to Mayflower at their open house LAST year, the Lady Friend and I have been several more times, generally to sample each of the seasonals, and I’ve gotten to know some of the brewery staff. We met up with a small group of friends and repeatedly sampled Mayflower’s brews, all while giving Sarah, the retail manager, as much flack as I could muster. Don’t worry… she throws it right back. I got to meet Drew, the owner/founder, and even played tour guide to my group in a very glossed-over version of how beer is made.

The open house doubled as the release party for Mayflower’s summer seasonal, a Summer Rye beer. This year’s batch had a slightly farm-like earthiness, with some faintly sweet hop underneath. While chatting to Drew, he explained that it was a Belgian yeast that added the slight farmhouse qualities. The taste had a carbonic bite, as compared to the cask version (I’ll get to that in a second) with a bitter snap from the rye grain used, and a slight lemony fruity flavor, though this was likely due to the Belgian-y qualities of the yeast, since there isn’t any fruit in the brew. Overall quite tasty and refreshing. However, they had a special version offered for the party:


Summer Rye Cask (2012) Open House special.
Dry hopped with Citra and Sorachi hops.
Nose: Sweet tree fruit hoppiness. Certainly Citra. It’s got that West Coast nectarine essence.
Taste: Oooh. Citra! Tasty. Tree fruit tart, mouthwatering. There’s a bit of a rye bitter snap to the finish. Very nice. Drew thought it was a bit more flat than he wanted; you lose a lot of carbonation with the cask conditioning. Nice and smooth, and excellent flavor. Citra dominant, but I love Citra.


A good time had by all, and we walked away weighed down with another case of tasty Mayflower brews, much to the delight of the Lady Friend. Time for further adventures, however. Since we had taken the trek down to Plymouth (seriously, it takes FOR-EV-ER to get there. Stupid Rt 3.) we made the most of it. The first stop was the East Bay Grille for some brews and pizza. Bacon and scallop pizza. Which was great, minus the scallops. I don’t like ocean slug creatures getting in the way of my tasty bacon. Anyway East Bay has a nice view of the water, if you look past the parking lot, but it’s kind of overly-fancy and up its own backside with snobbery. Like Marina Bay or most places on the Cape. Their version of a Jack Rose was worth documenting.


Not even close.



This annoys me almost as much as typos on menus. The Jack Rose is a classic cocktail made with applejack (apple brandy), lemon juice, and grenadine. It’s delicious. The abortion at East Bay is simply a whiskey sour, and a lousy one at that. Someone saw “Jack” in the name and made a jump. Do your homework, clowntards.


From East Bay, it was a short walk down the coast to that big Plymouthy rocky thing, and past the boat named after Mayflower Brewery. For some reason, the female members of the group thought it’d be a great idea to walk through the rocks and mud of low tide and dip their feet in the harbor. Have fun with that. With their newly-mudded feet, we hoofed it up the hill to Main Street and into New World Tavern, recommended to me by one of the Mayflower staff for the craft brews on tap. It turned out to be a great place; as we sat down, the server said “Here’s our draft list, double-sided.” Awesome. The list was indeed impressive, and I certainly recommend it. We didn’t see that they offered flights until putting in our order, and I wound up with a Bear Republic Racer X dIPA. So good. The Lady Friend and I followed up by splitting a Cisco Brewing (Nantucket) Moor Porter Nitro, which was just the right beer after the heavily malty and hoppy dIPA. Smooth, creamy, and delicious.


A whole new woooooooorld…



New World was great, but I was also told to hit up the Driftwood Publick House (be sure to check out the Photoshopped “Neon Edges” filtered photo on their website. Looks like someone just got Pshop Elements for his birthday). However, due to the small space, it was somewhat jammed when we got there, incredibly loud, and the waitstaff didn’t seem to know what to do with us. So we bailed and retreated to our fallback position at the British Beer Company. Luckily, there was enough space to establish base camp upstairs in the lounge, and we all chatted amicably, though growing in volume and intensity as the beers disappeared into our gullets. I satisfied myself with Left Hand’s Milk Stout, a wonderful nightcap, though I can’t be sure if it was the nitro version or not. Milk stouts are generally creamy and smooth to begin with, so it’s not easy to discern the usage of nitrogen bubbles. It was delicious either way.


Each time I glanced at my watch, another hour had magically vanished, so we eventually packed up and headed back down to the water. The Lady Friend managed to drink herself into a feeling of discomfort, but made it home without incident. This is why we drive HER car. Another successful weekend of drinkitude. If only I could write these posts faster. Pretty soon they’re going to start lapping each other.

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