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Bengal Hot Drops

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  1. Ballast & Keel Bitters

    You're welcome for the recipe, I'm always happy to share. Sorry the skate wasn't up to standard, but please do head back sometime. Saul should have a new spring menu soon (this time last year he was butchering whole lambs and serving a 5-way tasting as an entree: shoulder, shank, leg, loin, and merguez - so there should be some interesting things happening), and I'm almost settled on finalizing the recipes for the spring cocktail list... I usually run new ideas on the alternating weekend list until I get some feedback and iron out the kinks, so I'm about 90% there. And speaking of syrups, I started using a new technique for making orgeat that makes a huge difference in one of the new cocktails - basically a Dark & Stormy riff with lemon for lime, and the addition of orgeat and velvet falernum bitters... Haitian Straight 1.5 oz. Matusalem Classico (Ron Cubaney is even better but harder to find sometimes) .75 oz. Gosling's Black Seal .75 oz. Lemon .75 oz. Ginger-Agave Syrup .5 oz. Orgeat 8 drops Ballast & Keel Velvet Falernum Bitters Dry gingerale 1 large mint sprig Add Matusalem, lemon, ginger syrup, and orgeat into a shaker tin with 4 large ice cubes and shake aggressively for 10 seconds. Strain into a collins glass filled with large-format ice and top with dry ginger ale. Float Gosling's, plant the spanked mint, and cover the leaves with bitters. You still get the spice, heat, citrus, and heady rum boost from a Dark & Stormy - now with a subtle nutty character and enhanced aromatics. Cheers. Also started working on a pine/crushed velvet travel case for bar tools and bitters. All done with the exterior construction, and need to start cutting the foam and upholstery in a few days. I'll post some pictures when she's done.
  2. Ballast & Keel Bitters

    Thanks for stopping by Roddy, I'm glad she liked the drink. I usually try to send something out for people who don't drink booze because it seems like they're afraid to ask for anything more than a cranberry & soda... and they deserve better! I'm trying to think back to last Friday night and I'm guessing that you were having dinner with another couple at one of the tables next to the bar? Apologies if I'm mistaking you for someone else, but I'm pretty sure I made this one for her: 1 oz. Lemon Juice 3/4 oz. Ginger-Agave Syrup (2:1:1 diced ginger to water and raw agave syrup, reduce to about 3/4 *I've tried using a blender in a pickle to save time but cooking the ginger really draws out the heat) 1/4 oz. Chestnut-Honey Syrup (2:1 water to chestnut honey) 3 Mint Sprigs Soda Water Combine lemon juice, chestnut honey syrup, ginger-agave syrup, and 2 mint sprigs (or about 5 medium sized leaves) in a large shaker tin with 3 to 4 large-format, dry ice cubes and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Double strain (hawthorne and fine-mesh to catch the little pieces of mint) into a double old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Add soda water to fill (about 2.5 oz.) and garnish with slapped mint sprig. Should be a refreshingly crisp, yet fairly dry and spicy one to sip on. This is another one that's a "virgin riff" on one of the cocktails coming up on the spring menu: 1 oz. Blood Orange Shrub (1:1:1 blood orange juice to red wine vinegar to 1:1 simple syrup, reduced to about 3/4) 3/4 oz. Yuzu Juice 1/4 oz. Agave Syrup (1:1 raw agave syrup to water) Dry Ginger Ale (not to be confused with it's spicy, robust ginger beer cousin) Combine shrub syrup, yuzu, and agave syrup in a large shaker tin filled with large-format ice and shake violently for 10 seconds. Strain into a double old fashioned glass filled with ice,top with ginger ale (about 2.5 oz.), and garnish with a <preferably> blood orange swath. I know it may sound daunting with the homemade syrups, but they're really quick and easy to make and worth it in the long run - especially if you plan on drinking more than one. If you're having trouble finding any ingredients, you can score chestnut honey at any of the Garden of Eden supermarkets in Manhattan, Eataly, or any Italian grocer. Yuzu can be tricky sometimes but Sunrise Mart in Soho has a couple kinds (unfortunately they're concentrated - kind of like those little green and yellow plastic limes and lemons at MegaLoMart) and they sometimes have fresh yuzu fruit too. Some of the Chinatown shops have the good stuff, but I've always had to ask for help finding it - the less English on the bottle the better. Hope this helps! Cheers.
  3. Ballast & Keel Bitters

    Just a quick update - Avery sent out a mass email a few weeks ago to let everyone know that while it is recommended that you send in samples of your bitters along with the paperwork to get them approved, it is not a requirement. I'm still in the process of meeting all of the necessary requirements, and therefore do not have any products for sale yet. However, I do have sample bottles I've been giving away to try to get some feedback so that I can tweak things a bit for when everything does work out with licensing/approval. Also, I did a quick interview with The Daily Meal last week with a sample recipe and step-by-step slideshow. The actual interview was much more in-depth, but they just ended up pulling a few quotes... I think it looks great though. I've been trying to update the website whenever I get a chance as well. Thanks to everyone who's been helpful with thoughts and suggestions so far!
  4. An Ideal Negroni

    I know this is an older post, but I've got a softspot for Negroni riffs and have finally settled on one that's the most satisfying for me. I wrote this recipe after reading a post on BetaCocktails about how well salt and Campari play together, and it found it's way to the top of my winter list at the bar. Basically, gin takes the backseat in this one and lets the Italian potable bitters shine through. While Hendrick's is about as far as you can get from an aggressive, big-backboned, dry gin (which is at the heart of the concept here), it's complexity lies in it's subtle undertones that really come out in tandem with Peychaud's. Salt, in the form of fleur de sel, acts as a galvanizing agent for the *nearly overwhelming* amount of ingredients. The Fall of Rome 2 oz. Hendrick’s 1 oz. Punt y Mes .5 oz. Campari .5 oz. Aperol 6 drops Fleur de Sel* 8 drops Peychaud's Bitters * Mix 1 part Fleur de Sel with 1 part hot water and shake violently until diluted. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing glass filled with cracked ice and stir for 10 – 20 seconds. Strain into a chilled double old-fashioned glass and garnish with a flamed orange, discard peel, and replace with a fresh orange swath. ***blood oranges are in season now and have that great dark red blush on the skin when they're ripe that really makes the swath pop in the glass This one's a long-sipper for sure. cheers
  5. Ballast & Keel Bitters

    Avery, I just saw your reply to the posting and as a matter of fact I contacted you a few months ago inquiring about navigating the process of making everything FDA/ATF compliant. I was under the impression that starting out as a small business as long as you were in the process of getting everything registered and tested then that was OK but I understand now that there is a different protocol because of the strict regulations on alcohol. I haven't sold anything yet, and was looking for feedback, which I got. Thanks for the heads up, the helpful information, and all the best to you. Cheers.