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Posts Tagged ‘Orange Bitters’

*Recent ruminations from LUPEC Boston, originally published in the Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

It’s easy to walk into a bar and order a call brand of gin with your martini or tonic, but how familiar are you with the gins you order and why you like them? If you’ve only ever tried the brand your dad liked, LUPEC implores you to branch out this summer.

There is art to all distillation, but when it comes to gin in particular, everything about the flavor of the end product depends on the distiller’s choice of botanicals and how they’re infused. In a sense, gin is the original flavored vodka. All gin begins as neutral spirit (typically distilled from cereal grains) which most producers purchase (though it’s usually distilled to their specifications and desired standards). The gin is then flavored by the master distiller using whatever botanicals his heart desires along with gin’s signature flavor, juniper berries.

To ensure that their product stands out in the marketplace, distillers go to great lengths to develop botanical blends that make their gins different from the rest. Common botanicals include all manner of citrus peels, coriander seed, Angelica root, cardamom, licorice, orris root powder, bitter almonds and much, much more. Once the list is finalized, the distiller must develop the gin recipe by testing it in many small batches until the perfect balance is achieved.

Another factor that directly impacts flavor is how the distiller gets those botanical essences into his high-proof neutral spirit. In one method, the botanical blend steeps with the spirit for a length of time before water’s added and the spirit is redistilled. Other distillers toss the botanical mixture into the still with the spirit and begin redistilling immediately. They may also opt to impart flavor by hanging the botanicals in a wire basket through which the spirit passes during the distillation process, picking up their essence.

With all of this in mind, we suggest you revisit your favorite gin brands and taste them side by side. There’s much more to these brands than just packaging, and we think you’ll be fascinated by the difference a brand makes. After you’ve tasted them on their own, try them in cocktails—a martini, a Pink Gin or a Pegu Club, perhaps—to see which gin is best for which occasion.

PEGU CLUB

1.75 oz gin

0.75 oz orange curaçao

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

dash angostura bitters

dash orange bitters

Shake in iced cocktail shaker; strain into a vintage cocktail glass.

CIN-CIN!

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*The latest ruminations from LUPEC Boston, in case you missed ‘em in this Week’s Dig.

by Pink Lady

As members of LUPEC, we devote a good deal of time, both personally and professionally, to breeding, raising and releasing endangered cocktails into the wild. It’s arduous work, but someone’s gotta do it. Every now and then, we like to take a little break from the cause and diversify our activities. What better way to do so than with a night at the theater?

We were thus utterly delighted when the folks at Manderley Bar invited us to participate in the immersive theater experience Sleep No More. Produced by award-winning British theater company Punchdrunk in conjunction with the American Repertory Theater and La Morra restaurant, this performance has been making headlines since it opened in Boston in October. A cursory read of the details leaves no question as to why:

• The show takes place in an abandoned elementary school in Brookline, where each room has been transformed into that of a 1930s-era home. (Except the bathrooms, where the stalls are still portioned for little people and hark eerily back to second grade.)

• It’s theater … kind of. More precisely, the show is an installation of scenes designed to intimate the story of Macbeth told in the framework of an Alfred Hitchcock thriller.

• The audience dons masks and moves through the set among the actors, experiencing the performance on a sensory level as they choose what to watch and where to go—from pine-scented rooms full of Christmas trees to a hallway that reeks of mothballs, to room after room of props you can actually touch.

• A ’30s-era jazz club, the Manderley Bar, acts as home base for the show, where a swinging jazz quintet, the Annie Darcy Band, performs standards post performance as you mix, mingle, debrief and drink.

• The entire experience is creepy as hell but with Manderley Bar as home base, you can pop in for a tipple at any point during the show, and return to experience more art through a slightly rosier lens.

LUPEC Boston will join the staff at Manderley Bar behind the stick tonight pouring a special cocktail list inspired by the performance, including Satan’s Whiskers (Curled or Straight) and our favorite punch, David Wondrich’s Fatal Bowl, among others. These will be served in addition to the Manderley’s excellent classic menu, which features gems like this one, the Old Etonian. Mix one up at home as you toast the coolest interpretation of Macbeth to hit Boston in some time—and buy tickets online before the show ends on January 3rd.

OLD ETONIAN

1.5 oz Plymouth Gin

1.5 oz Lillet Blanc

Add two dashes each of crème de noyaux and orange bitters.

Shake with ice; strain into your favorite vintage cocktail shaker. Garnish with a twist of orange peel.

Drinks from the LUPEC Boston menu at Sleep No More are below:

SATAN’S WHISKERS (Curled or Straight)
.5 oz gin
.5 oz dry vermouth
.5 oz sweet vermouth
.5 oz orange juice
2 tsp orange curacao
1 dash orange bitters
Shake, strain up, garnish with orange twist. For straight, sub Grand Marnier for curacao.
From Harry Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail Book, published in London in 1930. “We sip our Satan’s Whiskers curled if it’s still light outside and straight if it’s not.”

BLUE MOON
2 oz Gin
.5 oz lemon juice
.5 oz Crème Yvette
Shake and strain in to a chilled cocktail glass
Lemon twist

THE BLINKER
2 oz rye
1 oz grapefruit juice
2 barspoons raspberry syrup
Shake with ice, strain into a chilled vintage cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon twist.
First appeared in Patrick Gavin Duffy’s The Official Mixer’s Manual, circa 1934. Blinker was another term for the blinders worn by working horses to help keep their eyes on the road.

THE FATAL BOWL (aka The Wallop Bowl)
Recipe by David Wondrich
4 lemons
1 cup demerara sugar (or Sugar in the Raw)
4 English Breakfast Tea bags
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 1/2 cups Cognac
1 1/2 cups Dark Rum
fresh nutmeg
Remove the peel from 4 lemons with a vegetable peeler, and place in a large punch bowl. Pour demerara sugar over the lemon peels and muddle to release the lemon oils from the peel.
Boil 2 cups of water and steep the 4 tea bags for 5 minutes.  Add hot tea (tea bags removed) into the lemon and demerara mixture.  Let cool for 20 minutes, if possible.
Add Cognac, Dark Rum, and fresh squeezed lemon juice. Place large chunks of ice, of an ice mold into the punch. Top with grated nutmeg.

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Old Hickory Cocktail

Old Hickory Cocktail

*LUPEC Boston’s latest ruminations, in case you missed ‘em in this week’s Dig…Special thanks to Pinky Gonzales who supplied this week’s suggested cocktail!

by Pink Lady

LUPEC dons our stars and stripes to celebrate the birth of our nation this week. We do so by raising a glass—after all, drinking is our national heritage.

Alcohol has been part of America since the arrival of the earliest colonists, with the tavern situated at the center of colonial life. Often one of the first permanent structures erected in some colonies, taverns were the only public buildings and doubled as a space for meetings, trials and even religious services. They played a key role in developing early business and commerce in young America.

This was the era of “dram drinking,” taking small amounts of alcohol throughout the day, all day, every day, starting with a pick-me-up in the morning and ending with a put-me-down at night. “Drinking on the job” was the norm: Craftsmen quaffed while they crafted, hired hands drank in the fields, sailors sipped at sea and so on. The commonly held belief that alcohol was medicinal and healthy, and water would only make you sick, further enabled our national bender.

In the decades after the Revolution, the spectacular bender raged on. Government figures from 1790 show annual per-capita alcohol consumption amounted to 34 gallons of beer and cider, five gallons of distilled spirits and one gallon of wine.

And early Americans were totally OK with that. In the words of a colonist from Georgia, “If I take a settler after my coffee, a cooler at nine, a bracer at 10, a whetter at 11, and two or three stiffners during the forenoon, who has any right to complain?”

Certainly not us. We toast that fierce independence with a drink famously tippled by Andrew “Old Hickory” Jackson during the Battle of New Orleans in 1815.

OLD HICKORY COCKTAIL

1 small shot French vermouth

1 small shot Italian vermouth

1 dash orange bitters

2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

Pour the two vermouths into a bar glass and add the dash of orange bitters and the two shots of Peychaud bitters. Fill with cubes of ice and stir well. Strain into a serving glass. Twist a piece of lemon peel over, then drop it into the glass.

CIN-CIN!


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