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MxMo IX


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#1 eje

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Posted 06 November 2006 - 07:52 PM

If any of you read (or write) blogs which cover cocktails, you might know that Paul over at Cocktail Chronicles has been organizing a monthly online cocktail event he calls Mixology Mondays.

Since I'm sure there are still at least a few eGulleters who might not have blogs, I thought I would again start a thread here and encourage you to post your cocktails, ramblings, and pictures. I'll compile a list of the cocktails posted and contact the host of the event with them.

I'm hoping this month's theme of Bitters hosted by Michael Dietsch over at A Dash of Bitters will do a better job of getting your creative juices running than last month's Exotic Cocktails. The deadline for posting is November 13th at midnight.

Inspired by my trip to Wisconsin this summer and the myriad old-fashion(ed) variations I tasted, I'm going to to do old-fashion(ed) cocktails three, or maybe 4, ways.

If you've got a particularly bitter cocktail, or a not so bitter cocktail that will lull the unaware into consuming potent potables, let's see it.

Posted Image

How bitter are you?
---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#2 ThinkingBartender

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Posted 06 November 2006 - 07:56 PM

Might I suggest that you compare an Old Fashioned to a Whisky Cocktail prepared the Jerry Thomas way (shaken and all that).


Cheers!

George

#3 eje

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Posted 06 November 2006 - 08:07 PM

Might I suggest that you compare an Old Fashioned to a Whisky Cocktail prepared the Jerry Thomas way (shaken and all that).
[...]

View Post

Well, I always like a whisk(e)y Cocktail.

Though, I don't have Boker's bitters, which Thomas does specify in the Whiskey Cocktail.

Angustura is almost always used in old-fashion(ed)s. Do you happen to know if it is indeed the closest modern bitters to Boker's?

I have heard a rumour that the gentlemen at The Bitter Truth may be working on a Boker's clone.
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Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#4 ThinkingBartender

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Posted 07 November 2006 - 05:34 AM

I was more concerned with the method rather than the actual bitters. The particular bitters used should be constant in each recipe.

I know anything about the Boker's making of the Bitter Truth guys, but there was someone recently on Drinkboy who had analysed Abbott's Bitters. But I am sure you are aware of this.

#5 eje

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 03:57 PM

MAKE IT ANOTHER OLD-FASHIONED, PLEASE
Cole Porter, 1940
[...]
there are moments, sooner or later
When it's tough, I got to say, love to say ... Waiter

Make it another old-fashioned, please
Make it another, double, old-fashioned, please
[...]


There's an art to the Old-Fashioned cocktail. It's a simple thing, yet when you order it in two bars, you will seldom receive the same cocktail twice.

By the time Jerry Thomas published his "Bartender's Guide" a whiskey cocktail had come to be a shaken "up" cocktail. Due respect to Mr. Thomas, I stirred, and did not shake with crushed ice.

Posted Image

Whiskey Cocktail
(Use small bar-glass.)
Take 3 or 4 dashes of gum syrup. (Barspoon Rich Simple Syrup)
2 dashes of bitters (Boker's). (Angostura)
1 wine-glass of whiskey. (2oz Sazerac 6 Year Rye)

Fill one-third full of fine ice ; shake and strain in a fancy red wine-glass. Put in a piece of twisted lemon peel in the glass and serve.


Some authors posit that the Old-Fashioned Cocktail came by its name as a shortened version of something like, "I'll have a Whiskey Cocktail made in the Old Fashioned Manner". That is to say, not shaken and served on the rocks. Presumably, a "Really Old-Fashioned" would be whiskey, water, syrup and bitters. From the Savoy Cocktail Book:

Posted Image

Old-Fashioned Cocktail
1 Lump Sugar (Barspoon Rich Simple Syrup)
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
1 Glass Rye or Canadian Club Whisky (2 oz Sazerac 6 Year Rye)

Crush Sugar and bitters together, add lump of ice, decorate with twist of lemon peel and slice of orange using medium size glass, and stir well.  This Cocktail can be made with Brandy, Gin, Rum, etc., instead of Rye Whisky.


Some time in the 20th century, Bourbon replaced the Rye as the whiskey of choice in the Old-Fashioned, and even stranger, bartenders began to muddle the garnish in the glass with the bitters and sugar. Also, for better or worse, soda crept into the mix. From Charles Schumann's, "American Bar":

Posted Image

Old Fashioned
1 Sugar Cube (Barspoon Rich Simple Syrup)
dashes Angostura Bitters
2 oz Bourbon (W.L. Weller 12 Year)
soda (skipped)
stemmed cherry
orange
lemon

Place sugar cube in an old-fashioned glass saturate with Angostura, add orange and lemon wedges, press with a pestle, add Bourbon, stir well, add ice cubes, fill with soda or water, stir again, garnish with cherry.


Even odder, in Wisconsin, the liquor of choice in Old-Fashioneds, is not Whiskey at all, but, Brandy (preferably Korbel). Wisconsinites, being cold weather folk, also have a tendency to make these rather large, and sometimes give you a choice of "Sweet" or "Sour". "Sour" includes a spritz of Soda and "Sweet" a spritz of 7-Up.

Posted Image

Muddled Brandy Old-Fashioned (Sour)

Recipe identical to the Schumann Old-Fashioned recipe; but, with a generous 2 oz pour of Korbel Brandy instead the Bourbon.

Lately, however, I have found a return, in a few local bars, to the Savoy style stirred Rye Old-Fashioneds, with or without the orange and cherry garnish. This makes ordering an Old-Fashioned somewhat less of a crap shoot. Though, the bartenders do tend to ask, if you're sure you want it that way.

MAKE IT ANOTHER OLD-FASHIONED, PLEASE
Cole Porter, 1940
[...]
So, make it another old-fashioned, please

Leave out the cherry,
Leave out the orange,
Leave out the bitters
Just make it straight, right


Posted Image

Sazerac 18 year Old Straight Rye Whiskey

And, of course, it wouldn't be complete without a drink of real old fashioned rye whiskey.

Edited by eje, 13 November 2006 - 12:42 AM.

---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#6 Joerg.Meyer

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 05:21 PM

Yes, I think a gentlemen from the bitter truth is working on a rebirth of a classic bitter.

Here is, I think a recipe from the Drinkboy forum

http://the-bitter-tr...ts-bitters.html

And if you prefare the old bokers taste - give UNICUM Bitter a try.

Kind regards

Joerg Meyer

#7 ThinkingBartender

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 06:03 PM

Erik,

I would assume that the whole point of reverting to the Old Fashioned Style of Whiskey Cocktail was a revolt against the Shaken with crushed ice drink. No-one shakes their Whisky Cocktail anymore, so this was a smart move. Even serving a straight up Old Fashioned would seem a little odd to me.


Cheers!

George

#8 eje

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 06:12 PM

Really, Unicum is close to the Original Boker's taste?

I had no idea.

Are Abbott's and Boker's/Unicum close in flavor profile? I mean, aside from being bitter? I haven't tasted either, myself.

I have been following the ABBOTT'S BONANZA thread over on the drink boy forums. Was going to try to track down assorted ingredients to give it a try myself; but, if you guys are doing it, perhaps I will save myself the trouble and just brave the shipping from Germany.

Regards,

Erik
---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#9 eje

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 06:24 PM

[...]
Even serving a straight up Old Fashioned would seem a little odd to me.

View Post

Don't tell my father-in-law! He's been making the same straight up rye old-fashioned (angostura, sugar, ice, rye, lemon peel) for his wife every night for almost 50 years now. I always ask for them when we are visiting and he is tending bar. They are very tasty. Practise makes perfect.
---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#10 ThinkingBartender

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 07:23 PM

Well without the ice (and therefore extra dilution) they must be even more deadly than they already are. :blink: Or maybe its just me.

#11 eje

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 09:34 PM

Well without the ice (and therefore extra dilution) they must be even more deadly than they already are.  :blink: Or maybe its just me.

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Oh, I'm sorry George, I misunderstood what you meant by "straight up".

My father-in-law makes yer classic (if dangerously large) Savoy style Old-Fashioneds on the rocks. No fruit garnish aside from the lemon peel, though, and only enough water to dissolve the sugar.

In any case, the Thomas Whiskey Cocktail, is no more "deadly" than an extra dry Martini. The only danger comes when you decide you need to fill that 8 oz (or larger) conical goldfish bowl all the way to the rim. Then, yep, you're in trouble, Martini or Whiskey cocktail.
---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#12 sadistick

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 11:07 AM

I really hate bitter flavours (blech!), however...This past summer I was introduced to Campari, and mixed with a bit of fresh OJ and a bit of soda on ice, is fantastic! I guess the sweetness of the oranges counters the bitterness of the campari, great stuff.
"He who does not mind his belly, will hardly mind anything else."
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#13 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 10:09 PM

So as a result of my extreme procrastination in setting up my own blog, I will post my findings on the matter of Bitters here. Unfortunately I do not own nor was I able to borrow a digital camera for this, so just use your imagination ;)


The Bijou
---------------------
Chartreuse is a word that until about a year and a half ago was something I associated with fishing, 'Charteuse' being a vivid neon green color popular for plastic worms. I always thought it was a bit odd of a name for a color, little did I know that it's namesake was even more unique. Thr purchase of my first bottle of Green Chartreuse coincided closely with my first bottle of Mr. Regan's orange bitters, and after reading that one of Mr. Hess' favorite drinks to use orange bitters also used Chartreuse, I decided to give it a spin. So with my beautiful girlfriend and trusty sidekick in cocktailian adventures by my side, I mixed up my first Bijou about 6 months ago. I remember my first sip, sweet, rich, savory all at once, with a nice zing from the spicy orange bitters. It immidiately became a favorite, though the high price and rich flavor of Chartreuse makes it an occasional drink. Chartreuse has since become one of my favorite ingredients, and I am always on the lookout for drinks to use it in. But since this is about bitters and not herbals, we must move on. I recently bought a bottle of Boodles gin to try and after making a Bijou with it I will likely never make it any other way. The dry and powerful flavor of the Boodles goes toe-to-toe with the rich Chartreuse and both tames and accentuates it better than any other gin I have tried. Anyway not long after falling for the Bijou, I came across a slight variation, the Tailspin. The Tailspin is a virtually identical drink, though with the substituion of a dash of Campari for the orange bitters. Since I began using orange bitters at home I had been slightly depressed by their scarcity and had wondered if Campari, which tastes both orangey and bitter, could be a stand-in. Here was the perfect opportunity to test it out. I loaded up one of my Hazel Atlas dasher bottles with Campari and mixed up a Tailspin, being sure to add several generous dashes of Campari. The drink was such a disappointment. As much as I love Campari, it just can't compare to the spicy zing of the ROB#6. Now a caveat: I have before, by mistake, omitted the bitters from a Bijou, and the resulting drink was very lackluster (I would say it is one of the best examples of how bitters benefits a drink in fact). IF you are craving a Bijou, and the bar you are at has no orange bitters (or even a lesser example like Fee's) then the Tailspin would be a fine choice. But if, by any means, you can get it made the right way, then do so. You'll thank me. You'll thank yourself. You'll thank Mr. Regan. After a few of them, you'll probably thank everyone you meet.

Verdict: Regans>Campari>Fee's>No Orange bitters

At least in a Bijou

And now for the recipes:

Bijou
------------------
3/4 oz Gin
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth
3/4 oz Chartreuse
dash orange bitters

Stir/strain/up

For a Tailspin, substitute a dash of Campari for the orange bitters.

-Andy
Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

#14 Joerg.Meyer

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 10:32 AM

Really, Unicum is close to the Original Boker's taste?

I had no idea.

Are Abbott's and Boker's/Unicum close in flavor profile?  I mean, aside from being bitter?  I haven't tasted either, myself.

I have been following the ABBOTT'S BONANZA thread over on the drink boy forums.  Was going to try to track down assorted ingredients to give it a try myself; but, if you guys are doing it, perhaps I will save myself the trouble and just brave the shipping from Germany.

Regards,

Erik

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Dear Erik,

I talked to Stephan and here are the results:

Robert Hess is right, TBT working on a rebirth of an BOKERS BITTER. In the past, they made 2 different batches, a tribute to a printed old recipe.

Have a look

http://www.aawabp.ne...s/TBTBokers.jpg (sorry - I don't know how to post pictures here)

They gave a few samples on the Barshow 06 in Lodon for example to Jarred and Anastacia. Stephan meet a few mixologyst in London ( I think Gin Symposium) and gave them also the samples to try:

Ted gave good notes, Sasha agree also I think. Stephan open one of his original bokers bottles and he said his new samples are still a little bit away from the old bokers taste. So he is working on a perfect one. If you have a few tousend Euro to spend tell him - he want's to make a chemical analysis of an old bottle - but it is very expencive.

Kind regards

Jörg Meyer

#15 eje

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 10:10 PM

Roundup of the various contributions to MxMo IX, 21 in all this time...

MxMo 9 Roundup
---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#16 kvltrede

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Posted 22 November 2006 - 02:54 PM

...Are Abbott's and Boker's/Unicum close in flavor profile?  I mean, aside from being bitter?  I haven't tasted either, myself....

Can anyone answer Erik's question? Is Unicum similar to the long-lost Boker's bitters? Jörg?

And, to add to the discussion of bitters and Old-Fashioneds, I'm rereading Embury and he mentions that brandy and Unicum go well together. He doesn't offer any Unicum recipes but as I have a dusty bottle of Unicum from a friend who spent a few years in Hungary I thought I'd rescue it from the Cupboard of Misfit Booze and put Mr. Embury to the test. Perhaps I shouldn't pat myself on the back but I think I hit a home run in my first at bat. I'm calling it the Magyar Old-Fashioned:

The Magyar Old-Fashioned
2.5 oz brandy (or cognac or armagnac)
.25 oz Unicum bitters
.25 simple syrup

Build in rocks glass . Stir. Add large ice cubes to fill. Stir. Lemon twist.

I made three of these over the weekend and used three different brandies. The first was made with E&J VSOP brandy. Very nice. I'm not sure how or why Hungarians (almost exclusively) drink Unicum straight but this modest amount sure grabs the brandy by the lapels and gives it a good shake. The sweetness of the brandy and the simple syrup (2:1 turbinado) balance the pungent herbal bitterness of the Unicum quite well.

For round two I used Chateau de Laubade bas armagnac VSOP. I don't know much about armagnac (or cognac for that matter) but I can say that I think Wine Enthusiast is right in calling this a best buy at $25. I like it a lot on it's own and it made for a better drink. That it's a little drier than the E&J, I think, allowed for the Unicum to come through a little more forcefully. While this was noticably better than the E&J version I wouldn't say it was significantly better.

On Sunday I made another. This time I used Chalfonte VSOP cognac and I was surprised to find that this is the version I liked the best. It could be that it's a more perfect match with the Unicum or that a couple days time had dulled the memory of the previous two drinks or it could be that I was just that much more accustomed to the peculiar flavor of the Unicum. After all, I doubt Hungarians are born with a taste for the stuff. Regardless, the Chalfonte Magyar O.F. was quite delicious and, as the Chalfonte is a very modestly-priced cognac I couldn't be more pleased.

Kurt
“I like to keep a bottle of stimulant handy in case I see a snake--which I also keep handy.” ~W.C. Fields
The Handy Snake

#17 eje

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 12:35 PM

Can anyone answer Erik's question?  Is Unicum similar to the long-lost Boker's bitters?  Jörg?
[...]

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Kurt,

You're a heretic!

I think you may get your ex-cheesehead status revoked for making an old-fashioned with a)E&J not Korbel b)Unicum not Angustura. Then you go on to use Armangac and Cognac! It's a good thing you're down there in Illinois! Putting on airs, like that.

I've been in contact with Stephan Berg of the Bitter Truth recently in regards to aquiring some of their bitters. I'll drop him a note and ask his opinion, as I expect he may be one of the few people who has actually tasted both Unicum and Boker's.

"Cupboard of misfit booze"! Snort!

We're a couple of misfits, yah hey...
---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#18 eje

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 12:26 PM

Here's what Stephan said re: Boker's vs Unicum.

well, unicum(Hungaryan product) has a very intense cardamom taste and this
is typical for the early bitters. as you know bokers was a stomach bitters
with lots of medicinical properties.
unicum is some kind of a stomach bitters too, i suggest to give it a try.
play with it, add a little to your bitters bottle and make a classic like
the old fashioned or a martinez. you will be impressed!
maybe one day we can revive bokers bitters.


---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#19 kvltrede

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 04:05 PM

Kurt,

You're a heretic!

I think you may get your ex-cheesehead status revoked for making an old-fashioned with a)E&J not Korbel b)Unicum not Angustura.  Then you go on to use Armangac and Cognac!  It's a good thing you're down there in Illinois!  Putting on airs, like that....

Erik, I'm pleased to report that I was not stopped at the WI/IL border on my way home on Thanksgiving Day. Hopefully, it's not just that the State Patrol had limited staff due to the holiday. Then again, you can take the cheesehead off of the boy but you can't take the cheesehead from closet shelf to the dumpster so I think I'm okay regardless. Besides, my old man has been drinkin' Canadian Club Perfect Manhattans with olives for decades. He doesn't cotton to that Brandy Manhattan or Brandy highball masquerading as an Old-Fashioned nonsense so if being born in Wisconsin isn't sufficient I'm pretty sure that my dad's heresy makes me a legacy of sorts. And now that I think of it, it strikes me as very unlikely that Fightin' Bob LaFollette, William Proxmire or Vince Lombardi ever made an "Old-Fashioned" with brandy and 7-Up.

Kurt
“I like to keep a bottle of stimulant handy in case I see a snake--which I also keep handy.” ~W.C. Fields
The Handy Snake