The White Negroni

Having been hooked on the Negroni for quite some time, it made sense that I would be at least as enthralled by the White Negroni. It is, in a way, the French cousin of the Negroni – the base of gin is maintained, while the Campari and sweet vermouth of Italian origin are replaced by Suze and Lillet, which both are French ingredients.

 

Negroni blanc

A White Negroni with Junipero gin Continue reading

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Timeless elegance

Timeless elegance is the theme of this month’s Mixology Monday Challenge and Special 100th Edition. With the resurgence of cocktail culture in the last 15 years, it’s interesting to note that we seem to have gone though a cycle. The old classics were rediscovered, elevated, tweaked, riffed on. Eventually we got a bit side-tracked with exotic ingredients, molecular mixology, or 20-component cocktails. Now the trend seems to be for simple yet memorable cocktails.

One person though always stayed the course, and his vision of perfectly crafted cocktails inspired countless bartenders all over the world. That person, of course, is Sasha Petraske, who passed away a few days ago. It’s quite incredible how much of a deep impact he had on the cocktail world as a whole. So many bartenders I admire have worked in his bars, or have been trained by people who worked in his bars. Many of them have opened or managed successful and influential bars. Continue reading

That’s not a Martini!

Finding something original for this month’s Mixology Monday Challenge, “almost, but not quite, a Martini“, was somewhat of a difficult task. The Martini is such a popular cocktail that it already inspired hundreds of variations (and I am not talking about the abominations that don’t bear much resemblance to the gin and dry vermouth classic, other than the glass they are served in). For example, The Savoy Cocktail Book contains endless variations on this theme that only differ by dashes of various ingredients, from bitters to curaçao, grenadine, or absinthe… Continue reading

Reflective Blue

Like a lot of my cocktailian friends, the Aviation is one of the drinks that really got me into cocktails a while back. Lured by the appeal of a cocktail with a beautiful pale blue hue, for months (years?) I looked for that elusive bottle of violet liqueur. When I finally put my hands on one, the Aviation became my go-to cocktail for a while and was what I would serve to my friends at cocktail parties. I loved how refreshing and interesting it was, despite having only a few ingredients.

Aviation Continue reading

Tailspin

The Tailspin is another cocktail from the Death & Co Cocktail Book, this one from the Classic & Vintage section.

I realized while making it that it’s a Bijou (gin, sweet vermouth, green Chartreuse, orange bitters) with a Campari rinse.

At Death & Co, they make it relatively Chartreuse- (and vermouth-) heavy with 1.5/1/1 ratios. I am used to 2/1/1 as in, for example, the Bartender’s Choice version, although historically this may be an equal-parts drink (see Harry Johnson’s Bartender’s Manual), like its younger cousin the Negroni.

I used Dolin sweet vermouth, which is lighter than the Carpano Antica used in the Death & Co version. It’s a pretty drink, although a little busy. You would think that, as a fan of the Negroni and green Chartreuse, I would be all over this one. But Chartreuse is richer than Campari, so the cocktail ends up being a little over the top for my taste buds. And there is a lot of Chartreuse in that cocktail.

All in all, it’s best enjoyed as a post-dinner drink.

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Old Harbor Distillery

Old Harbor Distilling There are close to 100 breweries in San Diego, but only 6 distilleries, including this one that opened just a few weeks ago. Old Harbor Distilling Co. was co-founded by Michael Skubic, head distiller, who also co-founded Hess Brewing. The distillery is located in a nondescript industrial warehouse space in the East Village in a not-so-pleasant part of town. Walking around the building past a few homeless people, I finally spotted a small sign that confirmed I was in the right place (the building now has a colorful mural that makes it hard to miss). Continue reading

The Monroe

Although the classic Improved Gin Cocktail is a favorite, gin-based Old Fashioneds are not something you see very often. So I was intrigued when I saw one in Death & Co new cocktail book. Even better, this particular one was an occasion to use my homemade orgeat (I used a coconut orgeat that I made with a fresh coconut using the same technique I normally use with almonds).

The Monroe (Scott Teague @scotchpineapple): Junipero gin, crème de pêche, homemade orgeat, Peychaud's and orange bitters, club soda

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