Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Sunset Cocktail: Classic Ripoff

1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse Rye
3/4 oz Cocci Vermouth de Torino
1/2 oz Rothman and Winter Orchard Cherry Liqueur
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 tsp Simple Syrup
2 dash Angostura Bitters
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a cherry (I didn't have one).

The other day I saw this drink posted on The Cocktail Virgin Slut's page and knew I had to make it. It's still a bit chilly at sunset this time of year but well worth the view.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Interlude: Powerless [52 Whispers From The Muse]

Well, I'm going to have to be a bit behind the reviews. I haven't had Internet or consistent power for over a week now at home and don't really know when I will so I took off for a long weekend to get away. It's difficult to write a blog post on the phone and I've already blown through my data plan for the month.

I will catch up when I can even if it means I'll have to drink a different Absinthe every day for weeks. Oh, the torture of dedication!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Sunset Cocktail: Hearn (and Herne)

Hearn Cocktail

1.5 oz Jameson Irish Whiskey
1.5 oz Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry Rouge (sweet)
.5 oz Green Chartreuse
4 dashes Angostura Bitters
2 dashes Butterfly Boston Absinthe
2 dashes Hella Bitters Orange

Stir everything on ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Finish by expressing the oils of an orange peel over the glass.

Happy St. Patrick's day. While it's a quite night in here at home, it just wouldn't seem right to not have a little Irish Whiskey. I came across this when looking for more Chartreuse drinks and figured it would be a perfect one for the holiday. I subbed the Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey with Jameson and the The Dead Rabbit Orinoco Bitters with Angostura as this was what I had. I made a point to use Butterfly Boston Absinthe, not only because it's one of my favorites, but since it was from a Boston based recipe I figured it fit in well with the St. Patrick's day idea.

What also intrigued me about this drink was the name Hearn. A quick search didn't turn up the origin of the name but I don't think it was a reference to the Legend of Herne the Hunter... which would have been very cool. While sipping the first Hearn drink at sunset, and with just about all of the ingredients layed out before me, I quickly tried to make a variation of the Hearn (which, in itself may be a variation of The Brain Duster which is a variation of a Manhattan but could also be a Tipperary Cocktail) and make a Herne Cocktail. 

I was originally thinking of swapping out the Vermouth for Elderflower Liqueur but those ratios wouldn't work at all with an ounce and a half Liqueur to the ounce and a half Whiskey. For expediency, I swapped out the Chartreuse with the Elderflower instead. It sort of worked, but the original is much better. Maybe, should I feel the need to make a Herne the Hunter drink, I'll start somewhere else... I think with a woodier whiskey.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Week 11: Lucid Featuring The Slipstream Absinthe Glass [52 Whispers From The Muse]


Overall Rating: 3.5

Appearance: 3.5
Louche: 4.0
Aroma: 3.0
Flavor/Mouthfeel: 3.5
Finish: 3.0
Overall: 4.0

Style: Verte
ABV: 62%
Country: France
Distillery: Combier

Appearance: A very pleasant olive green.
Louche: Thick and quick.right at the start and rapidly turns to a light jade milk. The pictures I shot washed out the color a bit so it looks much whiter than it really is.
Aroma: Mild but complete, alcohol heat before louche but not medicinally so. Slightly forward in Anise with Wormwood and Fennel following and a bit of a vegetive background after louche with that bit of alcohol burn is gone.
Flavor/Mouthfeel: Similar to the aroma, Anise just slightly ahead of the other herbs but overall well balanced. Not very outgoing but very pleasant and clean.
Finish: The finish tapers off pretty quickly but a hint of herbs and that vegetive nature linger with a bit of tongue tingling and mild astringency that settles in as the initial sweetness fades. If I had to guess, that underlying vegetable-ness may be the Beet Spirit Base?
Overall: A pleasant drink that is a bit subdued and completely inoffensive. A great introductory Absinthe as it is one of the easiest to find and perfectly representative to what a real Absinthe should be. Also, due to it's availability and nature being well balanced and mild, it's quite an excellent cocktail Absinthe as it blends very well with other spirits.

To me it has become the standard the I compare all Absinthe to. Not only is it adequately balanced it was also the very first true Absinthe I'd ever tried. As I mentioned in my post about my agonizing and expensive journey of discovery with faux Absinthes, once I found Lucid (and the set of glasses and spoon), the whole game changed and that journey actually started to head toward prosperity (or, maybe 'poverty' depending if you look at it from a monetary view instead of a spiritual journy). 

Another aspect of Lucid that warms my heart and endears me to the brand is how instrumental they were to 'legalizing' Absinthe in the States several years ago. They were one of the very first brands of real Absinthe available here and started many on the long road of dispelling those old bullshit myths about Absinthe. Finally there was a good drink one could get and let those crappy Czech (Zufanek excluded, of course) brand lovers burn their horrible, bitter grain alcohol wormwood tea and light their faces on fire away from the rest of us.

The last nail driven into my heartstrings was, of course, the delivery of the Slipstream Absinthe Glass that I won in a joint contest with Lucid and Slipstream. The glass really is a lot of fun. Certainly not traditional in any sense of the word but they never claimed it to be. The reaction in the center bulb is very animated and I'm looking forward to watching how different styles louche in it. It seems like it will take a little extra care to clean and it does take some mental disconnecting to drink Absinthe from a glass straw (a pretty green glass straw!). One thing that I did notice was that if you drink right from the straw after the louche you could get a sip of undiluted Absinthe which can be a bit of a shock to the system. Just make sure it's mixed well (I guess you could blow into the straw a bit to force the undiluted bit back). I think the only real problem with it is that I need more than one. Just having a single Slipstream seems wrong and I already have arousing thoughts thinking about watching the Pretty One drink from one.
You can get one (or more) on their site. We're actually going to an Absinthe tasting that will feature the Slipstream Absinthe Glass (as wellas Butterfly Boston and La Clandestine Absinthe) at The Steampunk Worlds Fair in NJ this May. I'm glad I got my tickets when I did as it looks like the tasing is now sold out.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Week 10: La Veuve Verte [52 Whispers From The Muse]

La Veuve Verte

Overall Rating: 4.3

Appearance: 4.0
Louche: 5.0
Aroma: 4.0
Flavor/Mouthfeel: 4.0
Finish: 4.0
Overall: 4.5

Style: Verte
ABV: 68%
Country: Switzerland
Distillery: DuVallon

Appearance: Perfect crystalline yellow green.
Louche: This was one of the most beautiful louches I've seen. Thick, rolling clouds of yellow and green. If it wasn't such a small bottle and hard to get, I'd just keep pouring this to watch it dance.
Aroma: Full but not strong. Sweet and a bit perfumey. Not nearly as strong in Anise as that super thick louche would suggest.
Flavor/Mouthfeel: Again with a nice fullness like in the aroma. No flavor overwhelming another but still very robust Alpine. Well balanced with a bit of citrus.
Finish: While the flavor was full and bold, it didn't hang around for very long. The Anise holds your tongue just after the sip but it quickly fades to Wormwood. Pleasant but I wish it had more stamina to match it's punch.
Overall: A distinct pleasure to drink and has a character of it's own. I did drink this at  ~1:3 with water so perhaps that's why it seemed so bold to me. Your mileage will probably vary as this seems like the kind of Absinthe that will change characteristics drastically with more or less water. As it is at 1:3, I loved it.

It's also a well known fact that I'm a complete sucker for packaging. I absolutely love this label, and The Green Widow probably endears me to the drink.

Sunset Cocktail: Mint Julep

5 or 6 leaves of Mint
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
3 oz. Trader Joe's Kentucky Bourbon Straight Whiskey
2 dashes Hella Bitters Lemon Ginger Bitters

Lightly muddle the mint and syrup in a chilled Julep cup.
Fill the cup with crushed ice.
Add the bourbon and stir until the cup is frosted on the outside.
Pack tightly with more crushed ice to form an ice dome and garnish with a few drops of bitters and a mint sprig.

So today hit over 70 here in New England and I couldn't think of a dink I'd want more on such a nice day than a Mint Julep. After hearing about Trader Joe's line of spirits I decided to take advantage of not only my new hours, but the location of the new job which has a Trader Joe's right in the path of my drive home. 

Once I was there I picked up some mint leaves, their Kentucky Straight Bourbon and a bottle of their Single Malt Irish Whiskey. They also had a full line of different styles of Scotch Whiskies and some variations of Rums and probably Vodkas. I figured I'd pay more attention should these be ok. 

The first I tried was the Irish Whiskey which was actually very nice, especially for a bottle that costs less than $25. It may not be quite up to Redbreast, but it was a really quality sip. The Bourbon wasn't bad at all either, again, not quite Larceny or Angel's Envy but for $15 it blows Beam away and makes for a lovely ingredient in a cocktail as it is completely inoffensive.