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Chris Amirault

MxMo XLIV: Money Drinks

15 posts in this topic

For a good while now, Paul Clarke over at Cocktail Chronicles has been organizing a monthly online cocktail event he calls Mixology Mondays:

Mixology Monday is a monthly online cocktail party. Since launching in April 2006, Mixology Monday has attracted scores of participating bloggers and thousands of curious readers, all coming together on a monthly basis to share drink recipes and related information in a friendly online environment.

The process is quite simple: each month, a host, working with the moderator, selects a theme for the upcoming event, which is announced on various blogs and forums (including this one), and on or before the event date (a Monday — hence the name), participating bloggers join the party by posting a drink recipe or other post related to the theme. Each participant notifies the host that they’ve joined in, and soon after the event, the host posts a roundup, listing each participant.

This month, MxMo is being hosted by Kevin Langmack of Beer in the Shower. His subject? No, not practical uses for cocktail umbrellas while enjoying a cold one in a hot shower. It's Money Drinks:

A “Money” drink is something you can put in front of anyone, regardless of tastes or distastes about the spirits involved. Come up with a drink or a list based on spirits about drinks that would appeal to anyone. example: turning someone onto a Corpse Reviver #2 when they like Lemon Drops.

Drinks that you upgrade to the ne plus ultra: cocktails that for whatever reason (holiday, birthday, old friends come to visit, or just because you feel like it) you upgrade to superior; for example, taking your normal Sazerac with Rittenhouse and Herbsaint and, for a special occasion, turning it into a supreme-o Sazerac by breaking out the Thomas Handy Rye and the Jade Edouard absinthe. Due to the higher cost involved, and the spectacular results that should (hopefully) be found in the glass, this could also qualify as a “Money Drink”.

Yes, yes, we know: two different definitions. So be creative -- use either one!

I'll email everything posted here by Monday, Dec 14 at midnight to Kevin. Have at it!


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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My latest Money Drink has been a Michter's Rye Manhattan made with Carpano Antica, two kinds of bitters and brandied cherries. I had a customer tell me it made him weak in the knees. :smile: It's a pretty ridiculously smooth example of a Manhattan. Might be one of my favorite iterations.

2.5 oz. Michter's Rye

.75 oz. Carpano Antica

2 dashes Angostura bitters

3 drops Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel aged bitters

3 La Parisienne brandied cherries, skewered

1 barspoon of brandied cherry juice from the La Parisienne jar

Add everything but the cherries to an iced pint glass. Stir contemplatively for almost a minute and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with cherries. Sip with a smug smile.


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Apologies in advance for the long story.

*****

Mine is also a Manhattan, but there's a story (of course--isn't there always?).

So in late September I got a notice from one of my liquor reps about a Woodford Reserve contest/promotion happening in Houston in early October. I entered the contest but of course did not get selected, later learned my ingredient list was too exotic (included of Bianco Vermouth and Clear Creek Douglas Fir EdV). Against my better judgement I made the drive to Houston for the promotion, rushing out immidiately after my last class of the day.

Event was at the wonderful Houston Museum of Natural Science, and since I could bring a guest and the fiancee was busy taking care of horses or some such nonsense I invited my good friend who many years ago first piqued my interest in cocktails. He is now in software sales but retains a fascination with mixed drinks and is a good drinking buddy anyways so we arrived a little early and were eventually admitted within, after a thorough examination of some extremely large geodes.

The drinks served were Manhattans, allegedly prepared according to a highly seductive-looking formula created by none other than our own Dr. Wondrich (I must admit that some part of my willingness to drive two hours to engage in this foolishness was in hopes that he might be there--his name was mentioned on the invite--but sadly this was not to be). The profile of these drinks, being prepared in huge batches, was not quite gelling with the printed recipe, but they were agreeable enough especially when one considers the price. The rationing system was based on tickets handed out upon admittance, 3 per person, and there were other, quite suspect, drinks available for those who did not care to go the Manhattan route. My friend, however, soon realised that one of the fellows dispensing beverages was not actually very diligent about collecting ticket (told you he was a good drinking buddy). Long story a little shorter this involved us each having about 7 Manhattans and then deciding that a visit to Anvil was in order.

Well we arrived there in short order, one way or another, and ordered off their excellent menu, which had been updated since I had been there. We gleefully indulged in our cocktails, while visiting with Justin, an off-duty Anvil bartender who had been a judge at the aforementioned contest (the entries do not bear repeating). For our second round my accomplice returns to the menu. I am, however, in dire need of something that will reconfigure my worldview. If there is anywhere in the Lone Star State I can do that with a potable, I am there. The immense wall of liquor sits silently as I contemplate it. Then I see the tall, slender, brown bottle. And I know just what I need.

Normally I do not order cocktails or even by the glass wine when I go out. Typically I stick with Bourbon on the rocks or with water, or beer. On the rare occasions I bother with anything more complicated than that I am extremely explicit about what I want. Not at Anvil though. There, I am content to let these artists perform their craft and take what comes. The drink I am ordering now, though, will not allow for deviation or improvisation. My world is hazy but my goal is clear. The drink I need now must be made to exacting specifications.

Bobby comes over to us. "I need you to do me a favor...I need a Manhattan--" My friend, hearing me order, is incredulous: "Are you serious, we just drank our weight in Manhattans!"

I start again, "I need a Manhattan, Jerry Thomas Style," I say, not at that time able to recall exactly how JT specifies his Manhattan--though vaguely aware that by the time that recipe appeared in his book he was dead. "I need half George T. Stagg, and half Carpano Antica, up. You choose the bitters...but Angostura would be nice," I quickly add. The inclusion of Carpano Antica is clutch. I have plenty of Stagg at home, but precious little of AF comes to Texas, and much of it ends up at Anvil. I passed up my one chance at a bottle of it some time back, thinking since it was there it would be available with some regularity. Mistake.

Shortly I am presented with a glass. My anticiaption builds. Moses receiving The Law from God could not have been so excited. I bring the glass to my lips and inhale. The scent is both familiar and unfamiliar. A sip.

Yes. This is a cocktail.

The fact that my next (and final) round was wasted on me says some about my state at the time, but mostly is a statement about the Manhattan I had, since the next drink included the soon-to-be-legendary Smith & Cross Rum. The drink was very nice indeed...but nothing could follow what I'd just drank, not if Harry Craddock himself mixed it.

I later was told that that exact formula is served at PDT, though I can't verify that myself until I am next in NYC (Honeymoon, perhaps!) As it stands, this was the single greatest cocktail of my life. Better than the XO Sidecars. Better than the VSOP punches. Better that the Weller 107 Juleps. Even better than the Thomas Handy/Jade Edouard Sazeracs. Carpano Antica Formula is now my life's pursuit, and no one touches (wastes?) the Stagg until I can find some*.

The story of the next morning is at least as long as this one, but suffice to say Bacchus smiled upon me that day and not my friend, and I made it back to CS in time for my first class of the day. Not much worse for the wear, but even through the relatively mild overhang unable to focus on much of anything.

Except that Manhattan.

And that, my friends, is a Money Cocktail.

*Preferably without obscene shipping charges.

Edit to add apologies for length. Hopefully worth the read.


Edited by thirtyoneknots (log)
1 person likes this

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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As of Thanksgiving, Spec's in Houston had at least five bottles of Carpano AF on the shelves. I brought one home but am awaiting the right moment to crack it open.

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As of Thanksgiving, Spec's in Houston had at least five bottles of Carpano AF on the shelves. I brought one home but am awaiting the right moment to crack it open.

Thanks for the lead, I might send a friend over there to snag me one.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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You can order AF to Texas from drinkupny.com. Free shipping on orders over 100. (No Affiliation).

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Andy:

It's just all about the Antica in the Manhattans, isn't it? Stuff of magic. Well worth the cost of admission. I can't tell you how many guests I've turned on to it. A lot of folks that ordered their Manhattans with little or no vermouth now come back to my bar to have a proper Manhattan with the Antica. A couple of Rob Roy drinkers too. Never had someone not have an epiphany when that's in the glass.


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Something to celebrate tonight, as it turns out, so before I head off to the shindig I made myself a Rum Old Fashioned with demerara, Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters, and a bit more of my dwindling supply of Inner Circle Green. Perhaps not quite as pricey as that Carpano Stagg-hattan, but I can live with middle-of-the-road if it tastes this good.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Along Andy's line, a Rob Roy with Macallan cask strength and faux Carpano (1:1 PeM and M&R). Just about any cocktail with the Macallan seems to be a 'sit down' drink in that you sit down and don't do a damned thing else until it's done.


 

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Andy:

It's just all about the Antica in the Manhattans, isn't it? Stuff of magic. Well worth the cost of admission. I can't tell you how many guests I've turned on to it. A lot of folks that ordered their Manhattans with little or no vermouth now come back to my bar to have a proper Manhattan with the Antica. A couple of Rob Roy drinkers too. Never had someone not have an epiphany when that's in the glass.

Yeah CAF is pretty incredible stuff, though my first intriduction to it in a Manhattan was with Rittenhouse BIB and while very nice indeed I sort of felt like the vermouth overpowered the rye (and this was presumably at 2:1). AF is kind of a bully of a vermouth, and I'm now firmly convinced that it needs to be paired against an equally potent spirit or used in what would otherwise appear to be fairly small amounts, as in your example. If/when I can get some, Thomas Handy is next in line. In fact, dream cocktail of the moment is a Vieux Carre with Thomas Handy, Force 53 (dont have any of that either), and Carpano AF. That would be Money as well, I bet.

Off-topic question: Does anyone know of a Cognac bottled at normal proof they consider quite assertive? Pierre Ferrand Ambre sort of comes to mind but it's assertiveness is quite a relative thing, imo.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Along Andy's line, a Rob Roy with Macallan cask strength and faux Carpano (1:1 PeM and M&R). Just about any cocktail with the Macallan seems to be a 'sit down' drink in that you sit down and don't do a damned thing else until it's done.

Macallan Cask Strength kick ass. I bet that drink owns.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Try it in a Blood and Sand, along with CAF. Most money brunch drink ever.


 

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Most expensive bottle I have is Marteau absinthe. So, I made a Gasper, with 1 oz Plymouth, 1 oz of the Marteau, and some simple.

DSC00242.JPG

Never has a cocktail had a better name. Love it, but the inhaler is next on hand just in case.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I had an awesome Hemingway with Rhum JM 1997 at Nopa last night.

edited because i can't spell


Edited by vice (log)

 

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