Monday, August 30, 2010

Drinks of the Week

Having a soft spot for rye whiskey, and being reminded about this great classic by my friend Paul Anderson, I present to you La Louisiane. I first came across this one in Stanley Clisby Arthur's Famous New Orleans Drinks and How To Mix 'Em (1937); it's a close relative of Walter Bergeron's fabulous Vieux Carré Cocktail, which Bergeron created at the Monteleone Hotel in the 1930s. Stanley says, "This is the special cocktail served at Restaurant de la Louisiane, one of the famous French restaurants of New Orleans, long the rendezvous of those who appreciate the best in Creole cuisine. La Louisiane cocktail is as out-of-the-ordinary as the many distinctive dishes that grace its menu." That restaurant is, sadly, long gone, but fortunately we can still quaff its signature drink.

LA LOUISIANE

1.5 oz. Redemption Rye Whiskey*
.75 oz. Benedictine
.75 oz. Carpano Antica Vermouth
3 healthy dashes of Peychaud Bitters
A bar spoon (1/8 oz) La Fee Absinthe

Stir until well-chilled; strain into chilled cocktail glass
Brandied Cherry and Flamed Orange Peel for garnish

The classic recipe calls for equal parts (1 oz. each) of the whiskey, sweet vermouth and Benedictine. I find this to be too sweet, and the the great flavor of the whiskey gets lost in the mix. The above recipe leads to a balanced, great tasting cocktail that allows the Rye whiskey to shine, without overpowering the modifiers.

*A word about Redemption Rye: This American Straight Rye captures the essence of young rye whiskey perfectly. Boasting a mash bill featuring 95% Rye, those classic flavors shine right through the charred American oak. Dust & earth, coupled with the spicy, zesty rye and subtle hints of pepper, softened with a touch of vanilla and oak. Great for mixing!


One of my favorite spirits for mixing is Pisco. It's a clear, un-aged Peruvian brandy that's packed full of interesting flavors. Here's a new cocktail I've been making at the Yacht Club for guests. Come on by and have one for yourself!

PISCO-APRICOT TROPICALE

2 small pineapple chunks
OPTIONAL: 1 barspoon of cane syrup
muddle well in bottom of a mixing glass
.75 oz. Rothman and Winters Apricot Liqueur
1.75 oz. Encanto Pisco*
.5 oz. Egg White
.75 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
3 dashes Grapefruit Bitters
Dry shake. Add Ice, shake again.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Dried Apricot slice and grapefruit twist for garnish

*A word about Encanto Pisco: An ‘Acholado’ style historically created not by the Don of a Hacienda but by his Servant, now blended for Bartenders by Bartenders. Paul Clarke of Cocktail Chronicles has stated that Encanto Pisco is “mind-blowing stuff, absolutely the best Pisco I’ve ever tasted.” Campo de Encanto ‘Acholado’ Pisco is a vibrant, artisanal grape brandy produced in the Ica Valley of Peru. A blend of three different varietals: Quebranta (76%), Torontel (6%), and Italia (18%), Encanto Pisco is rested for nine months to refine its smooth texture, aroma and spice notes. Encanto is sustainably harvested, vinted, and distilled according to the strictest standards set by the Comisión Nacional del Pisco of Perú: distilled only once, nothing added, no preservatives, no sugar. Not even a drop of water. It is an honest, blended-by-hand, bottled-at-proof beauty.



RYE-FALERNUM COOLER

6 mint leaves
3/4 oz. Velvet Falernum Liqueur*
4 dashes Peach Bitters
Muddle
1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 oz. Spiced Syrup, or to taste
2 oz. Redemption Rye Whiskey
Shake, strain over ice, tall glass
Top with Seltzer Water
Mint Sprig garnish

*A word about Velvet Falernum: A textured mixer comprised of liquid sucrose, lime juice, almond, clove essences and water. Clove and lime juice on the nose. Thick and sweet on the palate, but the lime juice acts as the perfect balance for the high-octane liquid sucrose. Scores of applications in cocktails!

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