Tuesday, 10 July 2012

"Fifty shades of...

...bartender book recommendations!"

It's been a few weeks since I wrote my last blog as I've been exceptionally busy with bitters production and preparation for Tales of the Cocktail, however this really isn't an excuse for not posting something so apologies to my regular reader (singular).  In all seriousness, trying to find the time has been a bit of a nightmare so I took the advice of a very wise man who shall remain nameless, "If you're struggling to get something on paper, get someone else to do it for you."

I've long been wanting to write a piece on my ever expanding book collection though this posting was inspired by a question posed to me by Craig Harper a number of weeks back;

"If you were to recommend just one book to a bartender, of any skill-set or experience, what would it be?"


Talk about trick questions!  This wasn't one I could easily pinpoint and I'm sure I changed my mind at least five times during our call; from Jerry Thomas, to Harry Johnson, to Charles H. Baker, to David Embury, to Dave Wondrich, and back again.  I've a pretty enviable collection which I'm forever adding to and I could argue a case for many of them, so it occurred to me to utilise my Facebook and Twitter contacts and put this question out to the masses, reaching every corner of the globe.  This would serve a three-fold purpose;

1. To ascertain which books have had most influence on the wider bartending community,
2. To form a reference point which could essentially act as a guide for anyone looking to start their own library,
3. To highlight any books I don't yet own but really have to get my hands on!

I targeted a number of influential industry figures of various standing and let them do the rest of the work to get to 50.  Before you go any further please note each person's name is followed by a link to their workplace (so you can pop in for a drink if it's a bar they work in), the title of the book they selected, and finally the author.

I would have liked to add a line from each person about their choice as I had some great justification;

Paul Mant: "Harry's ABC. Not because of its seminal historical value but because it was the first pocket sized alphabetised book that allowed bartenders to keep it on them and pretend like they knew it all when in truth they were ducking under the bar to make it look like they did."

Anistatia Miller: "I always direct people to Harry Johnson's Bartenders' Manual. Why? Because we have to remember that being a great publican stands above being a great drinks maker."

and my own personal favourite from Jim Romdall: "In life, it's never about the drink you're having, it's about what's happening around you while you're having that drink."

...though I'm sure you'll understand this would have taken the length of this blog to ridiculous proportions.

For anyone wishing to purchase a particular title that's listed, I have taken the time to link the book titles/authors to sales links on AbeBooks and Amazon.  Click on the title and it will bring up a list of books available for sale.  These will range from first editions to modern reprints so you can buy based on your budget.  I also want to point out I'm in no way affiliated to either of these companies and won't in any way profit from any sales.

Without further ado, the books...

"We need to make books cool again. If you go home with somebody and they don't have books, don't fuck them."

-- John Waters

1. Alastair Burgess (Happiness Forgets) - The Joy of Mixology by Gary Regan

2. Steffin Oghene (Strange Hill) - Cosmopolitan by Toby Cecchini

3. Andy Gemmell (Bacardi Global Brands) - Service That Sells! the Art of Profitable Hospitality by Jim Sullivan

4. Timo Janse (Door 74) - Imbibe! by Dave Wondrich

5. Jamie Stephenson (Drambuie Global Brand Ambassador) - Cocktail by Heywood Gould

6. Nidal Ramini (Brown-Forman) - Killer Cocktails by Dave Wondrich
 
7. Jared Brown (Sipsmith) - The Leader in You: How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

8. Pete Kendall (TBC) - Craft of the Cocktail by Dale DeGroff

9. Hayden Scott Lambert (Merchant Hotel) - The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks by David Embury

10. Edmund Weil (Nightjar) - Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh

"There is no friend as loyal as a book."

-- Ernest Hemingway

11. Richard Gillam (Refinery Concepts) - How to Booze: Exquisite Cocktails and Unsound Advice by Jordan Kaye and Marshall Altier

12. Jon Hughes (Sygn) -  A History of the World in Six Glasses by Tom Standage

13. Mike Aikman (Bramble and The Last Word) -  The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks by David Embury

14. Daniel Bovey (Sahara) - Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh

15.  David Kaplan (Proprietors LLC) - Everyday Drinking by Kingsley Amis

16. Tom Zyankali (Zyankali Bar) - Cocktailian: Das Handbuch der Bar by Helmut Adam

17. Zdenek Kastanek (Quo Vadis) - All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum

18. Craig Harper (Bacardi Training Team) - The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks by David Embury

19. Tim Etherington-Judge (Diageo) - The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit

20. Patrick America (Cafe Hopper) - Imbibe! by Dave Wondrich

"A book without words is like love without a kiss; it's empty."

-- Andrew Wolfe

21. Tom Walker (American Bar at the Savoy) - Straight Up or On The Rocks by William Grimes

22. Chad Larson (Bradstreet Crafthouse) - The Joy of Mixology by Gary Regan

23. Stanislav Vadrna (Analog Bartending Institute) - The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

24. Benjamin Fierce (Air) - The Game by Neil Strauss

25. Sam Carter (Bombay Sapphire) - The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks by David Embury

26. Stephen Dennison (bourbonblog.com) - Service That Sells! the Art of Profitable Hospitality by Jim Sullivan

27. Matthew Bax (Der Raum and Bar Americano) - American Bar... by Charles Schumann

28. Gary Regan (Ardent Spirits) - Cosmopolitan by Toby Cecchini

29. H. Joseph Ehrmann (Elixir) - The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

30. Lance Mayhew (Whisked Foodie) - The PDT Cocktail Book by Jim Meehan

"In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them."

-- Mark Twain

31. Hal Wolin (Angel's Envy Bourbon) - Craft of the Cocktail by Dale DeGroff

32. Anthony Caporale (Institute of Culinary Education) - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

33. Anistatia Miller (Mixellany) - Bartender's Manual by Harry Johnson

34. Jim Romdall (Vessel) - The Gentleman's Companion... by Charles H. Baker

35. Ian Burrell (Rumfest) - The Ideal Bartender by Tom Bullock

36. Andrew Says (Liberty) - The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks by David Embury

37. Dominic Venegas (The NoMad) - On Drink by Kingsley Amis

38. Toby Maloney (Alchemy Consulting) - The Gentleman's Companion... by Charles H. Baker

39. Ben Belmans (Ben's Bar) - Fix the Pumps by Darcy O'Neil

40. Arno van Eijmeren (Barrelproof Boutique) - The Joy of Mixology by Gary Regan

"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers."

-- Charles Willian Eliot

41. Paul Mant (Rematch!!! Beeyatch!!!) - Harry's ABC of Mixing Cocktails by Harry MacElhone

42. Chris Hannah (The Museum of the American Cocktail) - Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh

43. Giuseppe Gonzalez (Mother's Ruin) - Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Craddock

44. Paul Bradley (Sushi Samba) - The Joy of Mixology by Gary Regan

45. Joey Medrington (Bacardi) - The Gentleman's Companion... by Charles H. Baker

46. Rob Rademaker (Lucas Bols) - The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks by David Embury

47. Sophie Mackay (The Rose Villa Tavern) - Behind Bars by Ty Wenzel

48. Elizabeth Markham (The Publican) - The Flavour Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg

49. Charlotte Voisey (William Grant & Sons) - Craft of the Cocktail by Dale DeGroff

50. Sean Ware (Bombay Sapphire) - Neurogastronomy by Gordon M. Shepherd

"Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten."

-- G.K Chesterton


Following on from the original 50 I've had some more suggestions as follows;

51. Shaun Pattinson (Cushdy) - The Upstart Guide To Owning & Managing a Bar or Tavern by Roy Alonzo

52. Paul Harrington - (Clover) - The Physiology of Taste by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

53. Jamie Boudreau (Canon) - Bartender's Manual by Harry Johnson

54. Ago Perrone (The Connaught) - The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks by David Embury

Top Four Voted Books


1. The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks by David Embury (7 votes)

2. The Joy of Mixology by Gary Regan (4 votes)

3. Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh, Craft of the Cocktail by Dale DeGroff and The Gentleman's Companion... by Charles H. Baker (3 votes each)

4. Imbibe! by Dave Wondrich, Cosmopolitan by Toby Cecchini Service That Sells! the Art of Profitable Hospitality by Jim Sullivan and Bartender's Manual by Harry Johnson (2 votes each)

A number of the books, and more, are available as PDFs on the excellent resources below;

Exposition Universelle Des Vins & Spiritueux
Golden Age Bartending
Mixellany

Many thanks to everyone for taking the time to offer their insights and opinion, and of course to you for taking the time to read.  Please feel free to offer your suggestions in the comments below, particularly if there's a tome not listed which you feel is worthy of inclusion.

Sláinte!

-----


Adam Elmegirab
Bar Consultant / Compounder
Evo-lution / Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Bitters

E-mail: adam.elmegirab@evo-lution.org
Web: www.evo-lution.org / www.bokersbitters.co.uk
Facebook: Adam Elmegirab / Evo-lution Bar Consultancy / Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Bitters
Twitter: @AdamsBitters

Monday, 21 May 2012

The Bottle-Aged Cocktail Experiment

As I wrote in May last year, aged cocktails are unquestionably one of the biggest phenomenons to reach bar-rooms in every corner of the globe with barrel, bottle and steel-aged libations now being served by bartenders in a variety of different establishments.

Much has been written covering the science behind these beverages, and you will also find wide discussion on the flavour imparted during the barrel-aged process or the integration of flavour when resting in glass or steel, however there seems to be very little in the way of detail comparing the latter two (in this case specifically those rested in glass) to a cocktail that has been freshly made.  And it is this which takes me to the purpose of this blog...

As I am a curious cat and always looking for reasons to justify a drink or three I have decided to bottle-age a series of my favourite cocktails which call for my line of cocktail bitters alongside a host of my favourite spirits.

Each cocktail will be prepared in three different bottlings which will be aged for 3 months, 6 months and 1 year before they are opened and compared to a freshly made variant.  I intend to open each bottling with a group of friends (it'd be rude not to) to gather the thoughts and opinions of many and I'm also hoping some of you reading this may also age your own bottling so we can compare notes as we go along.  The recipes to produce one 70/75cl bottling can be found below with rum and gin cocktails currently underway.

I am also looking into the possibility of producing an aged brandy cocktail, vodka cocktail, tequila cocktail, cachaça cocktail, whisky cocktail, bourbon cocktail, rye cocktail and genever cocktail to name but a few.

Rum


Kennedy Manhattan (to be opened on 30th June 2012, 30th Sept 2012 and 30th March 2013)

Created at the Oak Room in Copenhagen 

500ml El Dorado 15 year old
200ml Dolin Dry
40 dashes Boker's Bitters
50ml maple syrup  

Method: Add all ingredients to jug and stir until maple syrup has dissolved and all ingredients are combined. Funnel into a clean glass bottle then cork down and store in a cool, dry place for three months, six months and one year. When ready to open add 75ml liquid to mixing glass fill with cubed ice and stir for 15-20 seconds  
Glass: Vintage cocktail  
Garnish: Home-made cocktail cherry  
Ice: N/A
 Gin


Spruce Goose (to be opened on 11th August 2012, 11th November 2012 and 11th May 2013)

Created by Matt Clark at Dutch Kills in New York

450ml Adnam's First Rate Gin
225ml Lillet Blanc
56.25ml Bitter Truth Apricot Liqueur
15 Dashes Dandelion & Burdock Bitters  

Method: Add all ingredients to jug and stir until all ingredients are combined. Funnel into a clean glass bottle then cork down and store in a cool, dry place for three months, six months and one year. When ready to open add 97.5ml liquid to mixing glass fill with cubed ice and stir for 15-20 seconds  
Glass: Vintage cocktail  
Garnish: Lemon zest  
Ice: N/A
As each cocktail features a selection of my favourite spirits I shall also be writing articles about each ingredient to give you some further insight into each bottling that's featured above.  Should you have any questions or queries please don't hesitate to ask in the comments or by contacting me directly.

Sláinte!

-----


Adam Elmegirab
Bar Consultant / Compounder
Evo-lution / Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Bitters

E-mail: adam.elmegirab@evo-lution.org
Web: www.evo-lution.org / www.bokersbitters.co.uk
Facebook: Adam Elmegirab / Evo-lution Bar Consultancy / Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Bitters
Twitter: @AdamsBitters

Thursday, 5 April 2012

The Negroni is a simple drink

...it contains dry gin, Campari and Italian vermouth (of the sweet variety). There's no rum in the Negroni. No brandy. No tequila. No smoke. No foams. There's no such thing as a Rum Negroni. Nor a Brandy Negroni, Bourbon Negroni or Tequila Negroni. These drinks have their own names, their own place in history, and they don't need to piggy-back on the popularity of the Negroni to gain recognition...

The beauty of the Negroni is in its simple structure and complex flavour. Take your choice of dry gin of which we have an abundance to choose from, Campari and vermouth, I recommend Gancia Rosso, Cinzano Rosso, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino or other bottlings of this ilk.

What I wouldn't reach for, as many seem eager to, is Carpano Antica Formula. An outstanding product of that there is no doubt, but it's too bold for this cocktail, it's as if there's a clash of flavour with the herbal notes becoming too pronounced and the sweetness being off. I feel you're best saving Antica for brown & bittered drinks such as the Manhattan or Harvard. Should you insist on utilising a vermouth by the Carpano company then Punt e Mes is more than capable of doing the trick, it's enhanced bitterness stretches out the flavours found in the Negroni bringing the subtle sweetness in Campari to the fore.



I've been known to draw comparisons between my younger self and the over-use of Antica Formula. In school I was adorable to all I encountered (look at that pic, you can't say I wasn't), much like Antica Formula is adored by the cocktail cognoscenti, but we are both quite the character and aren't suited to all occasions.

Picture a young version of me as Antica Formula and my chemistry class as a Negroni; the results won't be what you desired should you combine the two. Lots of potential but generally a letdown and an irritant to those around. A pain in the arse if you must. I didn't belong there, I needed to be in surroundings where my character would stand out for the right reasons. For young me, see Physical Education, for Antica Formula, see the Palmetto. Bold characters need bold surroundings. I digress...

Negroni (1919)


There's more than enough information in the public domain telling the story of this drink that I don't really need to add my tuppence worth but I will give you a couple of pointers for essential reading should you wish to dig deeper.

Luca Picchi has devoted much of his life to this cocktail and his excellent book 'Sulle Tracce Del Conte' focuses on the life of Count Camillo Negroni and the beverage widely believed to have been named after him. It's currently only available in Italian though I understand it has been transcribed in english with a view to being released in the near future. I'd suggest picking up a copy of both books particularly if you're an avid book collector like myself.

On the interweb Gary Regan wrote a short piece for The San Francisco Chronicle, 'Negroni history lesson ends in a glass', whilst Naren Young penned an excellent article, 'The Negroni Files', in 2011 for Imbibe. Both worth dedicating a few minutes to.

For an alternative view on its inception there's an entertaining thread on The Chanticleer Society forum centred around one Noel Negroni and his belief.

Were you looking for my opinion, I side with the 1919 Count Camillo story and will continue to do so until such time that Noel Negroni climbs down from his high horse and provides evidence to back up his claim.



Preparation


In its preparation there's what I call the lazy method; equal measures are poured over ice in a rocks glass, lightly stirred, then allowed to mellow as the ice melts. Being honest this is how I'll typically make it at home after a big meal, a slow-burner, one to linger over. Whilst tending bar I'll go to a bit more effort, generally stirring the ingredients in a mixing glass then straining over fresh cubes or an ice ball (see picture), and on occasion serve it straight up (served without ice in a cocktail glass) should it be preferable. As always personal preference is king and I'm not going to argue semantics. On this anyway...

Garnish


To finish the traditional and most common garnish is orange zest or a slice of orange though when I visited Italy lemon seemed to be just as popular. It may be a question of seasonality or availability but some do prefer the lighter aromatics that lemon offers. Believe it or not I've noted many squabbles on forums, Twitter and Facebook regarding the garnish so for the sake of diplomacy I'd suggest the double zest. Should you not be able to control the squabbling bring some grapefruit zest to the party and suggest that instead. No really, try it, it works wonders.

I tend to take the garnish one step further and match it with the botanicals found in the gin. In the picture above I used Adnam's Copper House so finished with orange peel (sweet orange peel being present in Adnam's), were it Bombay Dry I'd use lemon (as is used in the gin), or Beefeater 24 I'll take that grapefruit back off you (present in the 24). For what it's worth, I use this same thought process when garnishing the Martini and other such-like drinks as I believe it makes for an effective way to add another dimension to your cocktails.



What's in a name?

As I touched on before the Negroni's popularity and somewhat cult-like status has brought to our attention a number of variants which takes me onto the purpose of this article.

Those who know me know one of my pet-hates is turning specific drinks into categories of sorts. The Martini, Manhattan, Daiquiri, Mojito and Negroni are just five which are regularly found on drinks listings pre-fixed with an *insert-name* moniker. I completely understand the simple point-of-reference and marketing reasons why some feel the need to list drinks in this way but I really don't think it's necessary. A debate for a later time I think.

Has anyone ever taken the time to tell you, or have you ever felt the need to enquire about, the origins of their Sparkling Negroni - "Erm, I just added sparkling wine to the classic Negroni," - I'm going to assume not but when it comes to the Sbagliato (spal-yacht-oh), I've been asked the question many times and recited it on a number of occasions as well. A cocktail has so much more substance and character when it has its own etymology, the Negroni being a good example, and its brethren also deserve to be recognised in their own right...

Negroni Sbagliato (Prosecco - between 1972-73)

"Our friend Maurizio Stochetto and his family have perhaps the most famous and certainly the best cocktail bar in all of Milano, Italy, Bar Basso. They also have some original drinks that warrant repeat visits. One of these is a twist on the old favorite, The Negroni. While making a Negroni for a customer one night, a barista at Bar Basso grabbed the spumante bottle instead if the gin by mistake (hence sbagliato) and history was made. Because sharing feels so right for the 90s, we offer you the original receipt for a Negroni Sbalgiato, courtesy of the world famous Bar Basso!"

60ml / 2oz Spumante
30ml / 1oz sweet vermouth
30ml / 1oz Campari
1 slice orange for garnish

Stir well over ice in a balloon-size wine glass.


Old Pal (Rye - 1922)
The Old Pal first shows up in the 1922 edition of 'Harry’s ABC of Cocktails' but, oddly, in 1927 Arthur Moss credits the drink to one 'Sparrow' Robertson, Sporting Editor of the 'New York Tribune', in the appendix of Harry McElhone's 'Barflies and Cocktails'. It also appears in the first edition of the 'Savoy Cocktail Book' in 1930 so seems to be a relevant drink of its time. Admittedly I need to dig a little deeper with this beverage to offer insight similar to Ted Haigh and Gary Regan as below, though it's accepted there's no known reference that pre-dates 1922.

30ml / 1oz Canadian whiskey
30ml / 1oz dry vermouth
30ml / 1oz Campari
1 orange zest for garnish

Stir all ingredients with cubed ice in a mixing glass, strain into a chilled cocktail glass then add the garnish.


Boulevardier (Bourbon - 1927)

"As the crocuses bloom and spring emerges, thoughts turn invariably to rebirth. In honor of such fancies, it seems appropriate to choose a cocktail from the years of national Prohibition. “Dr. Cocktail,” you ask, “don’t you mean the repeal of Prohibition… rebirth and all?” Well, no. Before Prohibition, the cocktail had become something of a stuffed bird in a dusty cage. Ironically, the Volstead Act helped revive the American cocktail - it was handy to disguise otherwise unpotable hooch with preferable flavors and a pretty name. But Prohibition had also sent thousands of bartenders into a tailspin. Most had to find other work, since their profession had been summarily yanked from beneath them. An adventurous few expatriated themselves to Europe and made a name shepherding nascent Old World barmen through the craggy fields of cocktail creation. New Yorker Harry McElhone was among the first to go. Robust, jolly, cigar-chomping Harry once helmed the bar at the Plaza Hotel in New York. By the time America went dry Harry had relocated, first to Ciro’s in London, then to its branch in Deauville, France, and finally to Paris with his own place, Harry’s New York Bar. There and in other American bars, he and other Yanks served the expected pre-Prohibition cocktails as well as new drinks - created with European ingredients never imagined back home and mixed with a lively continental ingenuity. One amply palatable drink of that milieu, The Boulevardier, appeared in Harry’s 1927 bar guide, 'Barflies and Cocktails'. It was the signature drink of Erskine Gwynne, expatriate writer, socialite and nephew of railroad tycoon Alfred Vanderbilt. Gwynne edited a monthly magazine, a sort of Parisian New Yorker, named The Boulevardier.

Obviously, this is a Negroni with bourbon in lieu of gin. The Negroni, however, would not see print for another 20 years, and Americans had never heard of Campari in 1927."

30ml / 1oz Bourbon whiskey
30ml / 1oz sweet vermouth
30ml / 1oz Campari
1 orange zest for garnish

Stir all ingredients with cubed ice in a mixing glass, strain into a chilled cocktail glass then add the garnish.


Rosita (Tequila - 1988)

"Rosita is a beautiful cocktail that was introduced to me by a fellow cocktail geek a couple of years ago. At the time, we were playing around with the versatility of Tequila, trying to come up with drinks that strayed from the margarita path. Rosita runs along Negroni lines, calling for Tequila, two styles of vermouth, Campari and one solitary dash of Angostura bitters. My right hand has to be physically restrained by my left hand when I make a Rosita. It's unaccustomed to adding just one dash of bitters to any drink.

My friend told me that he'd come across the recipe for Rosita in an article written by Terry Sullivan, a drinks writer of great renown who happens to be a personal friend of mine. We're good drinking partners, Sullivan and I. Bartenders have been known to pale at the sight of both of us gracing the same stretch of mahogany.

Sullivan couldn't remember writing about Rosita, let alone where he found the recipe, so I let the matter drop until about three months ago when I made the drink as an aperitif for a few friends over at my place for dinner. Asked about the origins of the drink, I had to admit I didn't have a clue, but I promised to contact Sullivan again. Sometimes these things come back to us, right? An e-mail to Sullivan resulted in a phone call just two days later.

"I found the recipe in 'The Bartender's Bible,' " he told me.

"The Bartender's Bible" was my first book. It was published in 1991 and in time it became both my biggest success saleswise, and my biggest embarrassment to boot. It's not a bad book, per se, but I've learned so much more about cocktails during the past 16 years that when I look at some of the stuff I wrote back then, my cheeks flush with color. I didn't remember putting Rosita in "The Bartender's Bible," but it's there all right. Where did I steal that one from, I wondered.

In the back of the closet in my guest room sits a pile of oversize envelopes filled with memorabilia from different periods in my life. One of them is marked "Bartender's Bible." There are three cocktail books in the envelope, the tomes I consulted when writing my first book. Rosita came from a 1988 edition of "Mr. Boston Official Bartender's Guide" - sans the dash of bitters, which I added. I added a tad more Tequila, too, but why I stopped at only one dash of bitters mystified me. I experimented with the formula a little recently, and it turns out that one dash is all it takes. I deduce, therefore, that back in 1990, when I was compiling "The Bartender's Bible," I must have actually tested the recipe for Rosita. Wonders never cease."

45 ml / 1.5 oz blanco tequila
30 ml / 1 oz Campari
15 ml / 0.5 oz sweet vermouth
15 ml / 0.5 oz dry vermouth
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 lemon twist for garnish

Pour all the ingredients into an old-fashioned glass filled with crushed ice. Stir briefly and add the garnish.


Bencini (Rum - ????)
Little is known about the provenance of this drink though it would definitely appear to derive from Italy as any referencing I could turn up comes from there, and the only time I can recall seeing it in a bar was when I visited Venice at the tail end of 2011. I suspect it's a recent creation though I'm hoping some of our friends in Italy, or someone that reads this, may be able to offer some insight.

30ml / 1oz White rum
30ml / 1oz sweet vermouth
30ml / 1oz Campari
1 orange slice for garnish

Pour all the ingredients into an old-fashioned glass filled with cubed ice. Stir briefly and add the garnish.


Capri (Brandy - ????)
Much like the Bencini I've not yet turned up where it originates though the little I have found points to Italy again, we may well find that there's little-to-no-significance of these last two drinks. What cannot be disputed is that it's undoubtedly a derivative of the Negroni but most importantly, it is uniquely named and the ratios tweaked to ensure the brandy isn't lost amongst its fellow ingredients.

50ml / 2oz Brandy
30ml / 1oz sweet vermouth
15ml / 0.5oz Campari
1 cherry for garnish

Stir all ingredients with cubed ice in a mixing glass, strain into a chilled cocktail glass then add the garnish.


And we also have other recipes of note such as the Camparinette which first appears in 'Boothby’s World Drinks' in 1934 (2 parts gin to one part each of sweet vermouth and Campari), the Cardinale believed to have originated in the Excelsior Hotel in Rome or Harry's Bar in Venice [citation needed] sometime in the 1930s (1 part gin, 1 part dry vermouth and 1 part Campari), the Cardinal [citation needed] (3 parts gin, 1 part dry vermouth and 1 part Campari), The Right Hand by Michael McIlroy of Milk & Honey New York in 2007 (2oz aged rum, 1oz sweet vermouth, 1oz Campari and 2 dashes Xocolatl Mole Bitters), and the White Negroni created by Wayne Collins in 2002 for his friend Nick Blacknell (2oz Plymouth, 1oz Lillet Blanc and 0.75oz Suze)...

It seems only right that these drinks have their own piece of history and don't live in the shadow of the Negroni, the same would go for any other variant you may have constructed that follows this drink style. If you have a recipe please feel free to share, and if anyone can shed some light on the Bencini or Capri that would also be appreciated.

Sláinte!

-----


Adam Elmegirab
Bar Consultant / Compounder
Evo-lution / Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Bitters

E-mail: adam.elmegirab@evo-lution.org
Web: www.evo-lution.org / www.bokersbitters.co.uk
Facebook: Adam Elmegirab / Evo-lution Bar Consultancy / Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Bitters
Twitter: @AdamsBitters

Monday, 2 April 2012

A dash of panache... (Imbibe UK)

Though most of my witterings end up on this website I'm occasionally called upon to write features for industry magazines such as Imbibe, CLASS, or Mudl. I'm not entirely sure why they wish to unleash my ramblings to the masses so I can only assume there's some nuggets of gold within. In all seriousness, it is an honour to write for the drinking world and I appreciate anyone and everyone that takes the time to read what I have to say.

With this in mind I'd like to share a recent article I wrote for Imbibe. There's an excerpt below followed by a link to the full article should it grab your attention. If it doesn't I'm going to ensure every Martini you intend to consume for the rest of your days will not contain bitters or vermouth so you'll just be left with gin. Hot gin at that;



You might have mistaken the bitters category for dead up until just a few years ago. But now, a plethora of inspiring launches means that this category is finally regaining the status it deserves, says Adam Elmegirab

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'That rug really tied the room together,' is a much-quoted line from 1998 film The Big Lebowski, and it somewhat represents the role that bitters play in mixed drinks. Due to the many layers of flavour they contain, bitters assist in the integration of flavour within cocktails, bridging gaps between the various components, enhancing or complementing existing flavours, and adding layers of complexity, depth and character. Little in stature, big on flavour...


You can read the rest of this piece by clicking this linky

Sláinte!

-----


Adam Elmegirab
Bar Consultant / Compounder
Evo-lution / Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Bitters

E-mail: adam.elmegirab@evo-lution.org
Web: www.evo-lution.org / www.bokersbitters.co.uk
Facebook: Adam Elmegirab / Evo-lution Bar Consultancy / Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Bitters
Twitter: @AdamsBitters

Friday, 9 March 2012

"The Martinez? ...what Jerry Thomas said it was."

The title of this piece is an answer to a question originally posed by Dan Priseman of Bitters&Twisted, European Brand Ambassador for Four Roses Bourbon;


To quote directly from Dan's article;

"On the surface of it, the question of ‘what’s a Martinez’ seems pretty self-explanatory; after all, you can walk into any good bar, order one and be pretty confident about what you’ll get in your glass. The chances are you’ll get a lot of sweet vermouth, a little bit of gin, a splash of maraschino and a dash or two of bitters. Occasionally there might be a bit more gin and a little less vermouth, or you might get Boker’s bitters or orange bitters; you might even get a splash of curacao instead of maraschino, but all in all you’re likely to receive a sweet vermouth and gin cocktail, with a splash of liqueur and a dose of bitters."


I have long suspected the lines between the Manhattan, Martinez and Martini are blurred, with the latter evolving (as we know it today) from the former two drinks but only by name, gaining popularity because of the Martini brand who I believe created it, and coupled with a switch toward drier drinks. You see, I believe the Martinez and Martini were originally one and the same, differing only due to ratios of gin and vermouth. This also means that the Martini started off as a sweet drink, with its dry variant following in later years.

Call me crazy, but this article covers my thoughts on that belief. Not revelatory as the two have been linked many times before, long before I entered the drinks industry in 2001, but still the debate rumbles on even though there is an abundance of information which makes a link seem obvious. Of course there will be conflicting detail but this is an attempt to tidy it up somewhat.

As I (am pedantic and) have been working on a more extensive piece covering the as yet un-named family of drinks, arguably the favourite of bartenders the world over (those consisting of spirit, vermouth, bitters and dashes of liqueur if applicable), I first wanted to get this down in print so as to be able to explain my reasoning for claiming the Manhattan and Martinez are the grandfather and grandmother of all that have followed. To name but a few of these libations; Turf, Jumbo, Hearst, Marguerite, Brown University, Zabriskie, Monahan, Rosemary, Rob Roy, Kangaroo, Sherman, McKinley's Delight, Palmetto, Honolulu, Lone Tree, Harvard, Brooklyn, Narrangansett, Bradford, Hanky Panky, Dia de los Muertos (see recipe at bottom of article)...

A lot of these drinks have distinct similarities with their only difference being a sole ingredient or ratio change, which in the late 1800s was enough for a beverage to earn itself a new name. I won't be covering this in too much depth within this article but it is something I'd like you to keep in mind as this article moves on.

Anyway, I digress. Back on topic I know some of you will possibly need a little convincing of my belief so please read on.

The Martinez & The Manhattan

O.H Byron's 'Modern Bartender's Guide' (1884);



...and Jerry Thomas' 'Bartender's Guide, How to Mix All Kinds of Plain and Fancy Drinks' (1887);



...are the earliest known references to the Martinez (and Manhattan) recipes in print that have been uncovered up to this day. As you will see in Byron's book the only difference between the Manhattan and Martinez is the base spirit, so it is also worth noting the Manhattan recipe in the 1887 edition of Jerry Thomas' book calls for;



...which is virtually identical to the Martinez save for a couple extra dashes of bitters (to stand up to whiskey versus gin?), the additional option of curaçao instead of maraschino (pairing orange with whiskey?) and straining into a claret glass. At this stage it would be hard for anyone to argue that the Martinez and Manhattan are not closely linked.

The only unanswered question is the choice of vermouth which is commonly accepted to have been sweet (or Italian) as over 90%, possibly as much as 95%, of the vermouth imported into the United States during the 1800s was as such.

The prominence of dry (or French) vermouth would occur in later years with a trend shifting toward drier cocktails coming into play toward the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, again around the same time when books started listing recipes with the Dry or Sweet prefix clearly defining a style, or preference if you must. The Martinez would largely remain unchanged in print until some thirty-eight years later, when Robert Vermeire's 'Cocktails and How to Mix Them' replaced the original sweet vermouth with dry vermouth. This takes us nicely onto...

The Martini

The importance of first, or earliest known, references to a cocktail recipe should not be over-stated or under-stated. They serve only to provide an insight into what was accepted at that time, with drinks and their names constantly evolving as you'll see throughout this post but also in the current drinks world. The Cosmopolitan being a perfect example of a modern evolving drink.

Unless a cocktail were to come with a signed affidavit (could anyone really be bothered after a skinful?) we can only apply our knowledge and common sense to what we consider as fact and sadly this was never provided with the creation of the Martini. I can think of no other cocktail that has spawned as many variants or has had as many words devoted to it. So where did the Martini come from?

Following our earlier lead taken by the Martinez and Manhattan, our first clear references to a Martini in print comes courtesy of Harry Johnson's 'New & Improved Bartender's Manual' (1888);



...which was also accompanied with this curiously labelled image of the Martine, not the Martinez or Martini;



As there is no Martinez recipe to be found in Johnson's tome it should be assumed that this was a simple mis-spelling of Martini. Either that or a deliberate attempt to confuddle our brains in later years.

UPDATED [11am, 10th March 2012] - After Craig Harper's comment at the bottom of this article I quickly revisited my references which has brought a couple of queries to my attention. The first is a curious quirk regarding the drink on the left of this Martine picture, which Lowell Edmunds believes to be a mixing glass in his excellent book 'Martini, Straight Up: The Classic American Cocktail,' though I have been wondering if this was a Frappe (served over crushed ice) of sorts. Was the Martini also served Frappe style? There are references. More on this later.

After Harry Johnson, the next known Martini reference is brought to us by Henry J.Wehmann in his '...Bartenders Guide' (1891);

Martini Cocktail

(Use large bar glass)
Fill the glass with ice
2 or 3 dashes Gum Syrup
2 or 3 dashes Bitters
1 dash of Curaçao
1/2 wine glassful of Old Tom Gin
1/2 wine glassful of vermouth

Stir well with a spoon, strain into cocktail glass, squeeze a piece of lemon peel on top, and serve


Now, I won't be the only one that's noticed these Martini recipes are identical to the Martinez from Byron and Thomas, with the sole change relating to the gin and vermouth ratio, now equal parts as opposed to two parts vermouth to one part gin. To recap;

The common denominators for the Martinez;

Two parts sweet vermouth
One part Old Tom gin or whiskey
Dashes of bitters
Dashes of maraschino or curaçao
Gum syrup optional


And the Martini;

Equal parts sweet vermouth and Old Tom gin
Dashes of bitters
Dashes of maraschino or curaçao
Gum syrup optional


From this it would be fair to conclude that the Martini was originally a drink calling for sweet vermouth, and equal parts gin. Would that ratio change be enough to warrant a new name? In short yes as there are numerous examples of this, but what if we had another consideration. Let's say a company called Martini that produced an ingredient found within the drink...

Martini & Rossi Vermouth




Originally founded in Turin, The Martini & Rossi company began exporting their sweet vermouth to New York around 1867 and quickly grew to be a market leader, sending more vermouth to the United States than any other company. This tells us that Martini & Rossi had been doing business in the US twenty-one years prior to the first mention of the Martini in 1888.

With Martini's dry vermouth not making an appearance stateside until it was launched on New Year's day 1900 (after originally launching in 1890 in selected worldwide countries) and the Martini having showed up in print twelve years earlier (1888), I think the previous conclusion that the Martini started life as a sweet drink holds a lot of weight. I would also guess that the Dry Martini was likely created sometime in the early 1890s when you factor in the release date of Martini Dry and the timeline of the original Martini as above. The Dry Martini is a branded variant of a branded cocktail if you must.

In 1894 the Oxford English Dictionary credited the Martini company with the creation of the Martini Cocktail. This is a claim that is regularly debunked but from all the sources I've stumbled across what is being falsified is the Oxford English Dictionary's claim that the Martini company had created the Dry Martini. As I understand it this isn't necessarily their claim, the Martini the Oxford English Dictionary are referring to is the sweet variant of 1888. Also consider that up to 1894 there had been no mention of a Dry Martini (which I'm aware of), or of a Martini specifying French (dry) vermouth which it would most likely have to, though there is every possibility that the Dry Martini did appear between 1888-1894.

This is stengthened by the knowledge that Martini & Rossi began placing various newspaper advertisements detailing the Dry Martini Cocktail toward the end of the nineteenth century and at the start of the twentieth ("It's not a Martini unless you use Martini"), with the first printed recipe making an appearance in 1903/4 which we'll come back to shortly.

With the Dry Martini holding this specific designation it is clear that it was separating itself from something else. That something being the 1888 Martini. Or Sweet Martini as we'd call it nowadays.

Of course, dry vermouth had been around in the US prior to the introduction of Martini's bottling, by way of Noilly from France. This is where the correlation between sweet-Italian and dry-French stems from, but would anyone seriously claim that Noilly was the original vermouth used in a Martini Cocktail which, to me anyway, clearly began life with sweet vermouth? Unless of course you believe the Martini di Arma di Taggia story from 1911. A story which seems to have a strong link to what would now be a competitor to Martini in the dry vermouth stakes, Noilly. I would actually hang my hat on the Martini di Arma di Taggia story having come from Noilly after the swift success of Martini's marketing. If you're still not convinced, note the 1903 date, and ask how it could have been created almost a decade later?

The Dry Martini


In the 1890s there was a shift from sweet and/or sugary drinks to their drier counterparts, most notably recognised in the switch from Old Tom gin to London Dry. Olives also start making a regular appearance in this decade, and the obligatory dashes of curaçao and maraschino, often called for in Jerry Thomas' Fancy or Improved cocktails, would also be seen less and less with many drinks being simplified to a degree. It's apparent there's an increase in 2-3 ingredient cocktails versus those containing 5-6 which seemed all to common in the decade or so previously.

This dumbing down is recognised in the first recorded mention of a Dry Martini which appeared in Frank P. Newman's 'American Bar: Recettes des Boissons Anglaises et Américaines' (1904);



Written in French this roughly translates to;

Take the glass mixture No. 1, put a few pieces of ice:
3 dashes Angostura (or orange bitters)
Finish with gin and dry vermouth, quantities equal, stir, strain into the glass no. 5, serve with a twist of lemon, a cherry or an olive, to the taste of the consumer.


In the same book a recipe can also be found for a Martini which reads;

Take the glass mixture No. 1, put a few pieces of ice:
3 dashes Angostura (or orange bitters)
Finish with gin and Turin vermouth, quantities equal, stir, strain into the glass no. 5, server with a twist of lemon, a cherry or an olive, to the taste of the consumer.


The Turin vermouth being called for in this Martini would obviously be sweet vermouth, but most importantly it had now been joined by a sibling which utilised dry.

UPDATED [11am, 10th March 2012] - When Craig Harper made mention of the 1903 Dry Martini that he and Jeff Masson uncovered I realised I needed to revisit a book I (do not readily own at this moment in time but) had used as a reference point when piecing together this article. 'Daly's Bartender's Encyclopedia' by Tom Daly (1903) makes reference to the word Martini five times. The first two are in the Index, the third under a listing for Cocktail Frappe where it suggests, "Manhattan and Martini cocktail should be made the same way, except using orange bitters," the fourth links to a Bottle of Martini Cocktail and the fifth to a Martini Cocktail that shares similarities to the 1888 Martini (equal parts Old Tom gin and vermouth with bitters, curiously no liqueur though).

It wasn't until I revisited this that I noticed a couple of important things. Firstly the Bottle of Martini Cocktail;

Use bar shaker for mixing

1 pony glass of orange bitters
1/2 pony glass of maraschino
Half fill the shaker with fine ice.
1-3 bottle of French vermuth
2-3 bottle of Tom gin
Mix well with spoon, strain into a full quart bottle, cork and label.
Always use a dark-colored bottle when mixing cocktails for a party.
This is supposed to be a very dry cocktail.
Ice should always be used in making bottled cocktails.


I have bolded the relevant line from this recipe, I'm still not sure how I missed this first time around. Is this the first reference to a Dry Martini? Also interesting that the ratio of gin to vermouth has changed from equal parts to a two-to-one preference. Other than that it is identical to the 1888 Martini.

The second important element of this book are the references to Frappe Cocktails. Recalling the mystery beverage to the left of the 1888 Martine picture, and considering the third mention of Martini in Daly's book under Cocktail Frappe, it's apparent that at some point the Martini wasn't just served straight up, but may have also been offered Frappe style.

For what it's worth the recipe for the Martini Cocktail;

Use a mixing glass

Half fill with fine ice.
2 dashes of orange bitters
1/2 wine glass of Tom gin
1/2 wine glass of vermuth
Spoon well and strain into a cocktail glass; put in an olive, and serve.


...in this 1903 guide still cites a 50/50 ratio, inclusion of bitters, and Old Tom as the gin of choice associated with the Martini. I also wonder if we can assume that the vermouth was optional at this point, typically served sweet but also available as a dry option as per the Bottle of Martini Cocktail? Definitely something to stew over.

For the most part, in the years following the 1903 and 1904 references the Dry Martini would remain as equal parts gin and vermouth (as first called for in its original guise in 1888) in a selection of notable books such as Jack's Manual (1908), the Savoy Cocktail Book (1930) and the Cafe Royal Cocktail Book (1937).

There we have a simplified explanation of the evolution of the Manhattan, to the Martinez, to the Martini, and finally to the Dry Martini. The relation between the Martinez and the Martini takes further interest when it is noted that few, if any, books reference a recipe for each. If they were so different, why does no book list both? The increase of Martinez recipes calling for Dry Vermouth also correlates with a time where the preference was away from sweeter recipes. It also intrigues me that many Martinez recipes call for French vermouth, as if separating itself from the Martini which was by now largely associated with the Italian brand.

There's just one more matter I'd like to address and it relates to a recipe printed seven years prior to Tom Daly's Martini, eight years to Frank P. Newman's Dry Martini.

Marguerite Cocktail


1896 saw a reference that is now commonly linked to the Martini for obvious reasons, the Marguerite Cocktail from 'Stuart's Fancy Drinks and How to Mix Them' by Thomas Stuart;

1 dash of orange bitters
2/3 Plymouth gin
1/3 French vermouth


There's no doubting the relevance of this drink and that it may well have influenced later variants of the Dry Martini but I believe this was a stand-alone drink for a few reasons, predominantly the call for French vermouth and the fact it is quite a large deviation away from the 1888 Martini. It is only a Martini by association as proven by the Martini recipes above.

It makes more sense that the 1888 Martini would evolve into the 1903/4 Dry Martini, and then for a whole variety of reasons we'd see a selection of variants of the 1903/4 Dry Martini, most often calling for little-to-no bitters (I've covered the rise, fall, and rise of bitters in a previous blogpost) and a decrease in the usage of vermouth, which is understandable given factors such as Prohibition in the United States and that both vermouth producing nations, France and Italy, were involved in the World Wars around this same period with production of their bottlings being affected.

Bartender's Ketchup

I'll leave you with this final thought. Was vermouth the St. Germain of its day? The bottle you'd reach for if all else failed? I ask as this is the Gin Cocktail from 1862 as per Jerry Thomas...



Fair to say we've come full circle and it's the addition of vermouth to the Gin Cocktail that gave rise to the Martinez?

Many thanks to Craig Harper, Angus Winchester, Dan Priseman, Jared Brown, Anastasia Miller, Wayne Collins, Dave Wondrich, Jeff Masson, Tristan Stephenson, Gary Regan, and everyone else that chimed in to the many discussions we've been having offering their thoughts, knowledge, book collections and common sense, ultimately leading to this prose.

This piece, in essence, captures where my thought process leads regarding these drinks but I do look forward to hearing your thoughts, comments, insights and of any evidence regarding this topic. Should there be anything amiss, or any question you'd like to raise, then please ask away. Just don't bring up the Turf Cocktail (this image came courtesy of Dave Wondrich and was found in George Winter's 'How to Mix Drinks: The Bar Keeper's Handbook' from 1884);



...that's a conversation for another day. All I will say is that I believe it's the lack of fancy dashes (by way of maraschino, curaçao or similar) that separate it from the Martinez. It's a confusing business, enough to drive you to drink. I suggest one of my own as created in March 2011;
Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

60ml / 2oz Tapatio Reposado
30ml / 1oz Byrrh
3 Dashes Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Spanish Bitters
1 Dash Luxardo Maraschino

Method: Add all ingredients to mixing glass fill with cubed ice and stir for 15-20 seconds
Glass: Frozen vintage cocktail
Garnish: Aromatise inside of glass, rim and stem with fresh grapefruit zest and discard
Ice: N/A


Sláinte!

-----


Adam Elmegirab
Bar Consultant / Compounder
Evo-lution / Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Bitters

E-mail: adam.elmegirab@evo-lution.org
Web: www.evo-lution.org / www.bokersbitters.co.uk
Facebook: Adam Elmegirab / Evo-lution Bar Consultancy / Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Bitters
Twitter: @AdamsBitters

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The Return of... Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Spanish Bitters



It's around 18 months since I reformulated and released Spanish Bitters as a Limited Edition bottling following their original creation as an ingredient for a bartending competition. With stocks now running low bartenders have been inundating my distributors and myself with enquiries asking if I'd bring them back as a permanent addition to my portfolio. As a fixture on many drinks listings a number of barkeeps were beginning to panic, not quite on the level of the great Angostura shortage but enough to warrant begging messages and emails.

Being a man of my word I didn't want to go back on my original pledge; they were to be a Limited Edition batch and once they were gone they wouldn't be seen again. Consigned to the annals of history. Disappearing in the sands of time. A thing of the past. You get the idea...

However things have changed dramatically in the months following July 2010, specifically new partnerships set-up with a host of distributors covering various markets, predominantly territories in the United States and across Europe (Spain included). Couple this with increased awareness of my bottlings and demand for the portfolio has increased exponentially. As we all know the market dictates the success of a bottling and as with my original reformulation of Boker's Bitters, people have spoken and they want Spanish Bitters. Who am I to decide they can't have them?



I'm not going to cover the history of Spanish Bitters in this posting as it is so lengthy that it deserves one of its own. I'm still putting together the finishing touches to an open treatise covering the subject which will also look at a number of uses for Spanish Bitters in food and beverages. Spirit pairings and suggested serves will be the order of the day.

What this is really about is to offer a little background into the raw materials, production processes, tasting notes and a couple of recommended servings. This detail is typically kept under wraps by bitters producers however I believe it is essential to arm bartenders with this information so they have a deeper knowledge and understanding of the product they're working with. I can't be the only one that believes botanical considerations should be taken into account when reaching for a bitters.

Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Spanish Bitters start with eight natural botanicals, namely roots (Polypody, Angelica, Orris and Gentian), citrus peels and chamomile flowers. My further discourse on the history of Spanish Bitters will cover these botanicals in depth but as a brief overview; Polypody is the root of ferns, Angelica root from the Angelica herb, Orris root from Florentine iris, Gentian from Gentian plants, citrus peels from oranges and lemons (seriously, I went there) and chamomile flowers are stating the obvious. Some of you will instantly recognise these as botanicals used in a host of gins and if you've had the chance to smell or taste them you'll have an idea what to expect from Spanish Bitters. More on tasting notes later...

These are carefully prepared before being macerated in overproof rum and agitated twice daily for no less than two weeks, or until such time that the desired flavour profile is reached. As with any diligent producer a number of controls are put in place to ensure consistency, most importantly relating to the source of my botanicals, how they are prepared, how they are weighed and the maceration time which rarely, if ever, fluctuates due to these stringent controls.

After the initial maceration stage the bitters go through a two-step filtration process before being diluted to bottling strength with Scottish water and coloured with caramel (burnt sugar) to an abv of 38%. The caramel also enhances the natural sweetness found in the botanicals creating an aromatic, perfumed, bitter-sweet bitters, unlike anything else on the market. All natural, all singing, all dancing.



Rated 4 / 5 in CLASS Magazine

Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Spanish Bitters evoke memories of a style of bitters dating back to the early years of the cock-tail. Based on Spanish Bitters recipes from the 1800s, these bitters have been reformulated to work in harmony with modern spirits and libations and are now in demand across the globe.

Handcrafted, hand-bottled and hand-labelled, Spanish Bitters are a great addition to any bitters collection adding depth to simple beverages such as a Tequila & Tonic or Gin & Tonic, a point of difference in a wide range of classic cocktails, a substitute where citrus bitters are typically called for, or in original libations such as Dr. Adam's rum-based Union Flip or the Mariachi with Tapatio Reposado, Campari, Agave Sec, fresh lime juice and Spanish Bitters.

Tasting Notes: Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Spanish Bitters have layers of complex flavour including coriander, violet, raspberry, honey, citrus, pomegranate, toasted orange and predominant chamomile all leading to a long bittersweet finish.

Bottle webpage: Spanish Bitters
Bottle Image: Available on request, please contact adam.elmegirab@evo-lution.org
Dedicated recipe archive: Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Spanish Bitters recipes
Purchasing contact: adam.elmegirab@evo-lution.org
Distributors: Global Distributor PDF
Retailers: Please contact your local distributor on the above PDF

-----


Adam Elmegirab
Bar Consultant / Compounder
Evo-lution / Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Bitters

E-mail: adam.elmegirab@evo-lution.org
Web: www.evo-lution.org / www.bokersbitters.co.uk
Facebook: Adam Elmegirab / Evo-lution Bar Consultancy / Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Bitters
Twitter: @AdamsBitters

Friday, 24 February 2012

The Eager Beaver by Jason Williams

One of the great aspects of my work is that I regularly receive drinks recipes featuring my bitters from bartenders and enthusiasts the world over, giving me a snapshot into global trends whilst somewhat justifying my need to regularly partake in the odd cocktail or three.

Every so often one of these drinks will land in my email inbox and I'll know instantly that it has worldwide appeal. The beverage this post is about is a perfect example and is too good not to share, proven by the reaction when I posted this picture on my Twitter feed and Facebook page.



The cocktail has been created by Jason Williams (of the Keystone Group and Australian Bartender of the Year 2010) for the Parched March launch and will be available at theloft, Gazebo Wine Garden, The Winery, Kit & Kabooodle, Manly Wine and Cargo Lounge from the 1st - 31st March 2012. Priced at $17.00, $2.00 from the sale of each cocktail will go to the Animal Welfare League. So not only do you get a tasty libation with excellent bitters, you're also contributing to charity as well. Everyone's a winner...

For those of you who aren't in Australia, Jason's kindly shared the recipe for you to make at home or in your bars.

The Eager Beaver

30ml Tanqueray Gin
15ml Massenez Creme de violette
15ml Fresh apple juice
15ml Fresh lemon juice
Barspoon sugar syrup
3 Dashes Dandelion & Burdock Bitters
Fresh egg white

Method: Add egg white, lemon and sugar in that order then add remaining ingredients to mixing glass and dry shake for five seconds. Fill with cubed ice and shake hard for a further ten seconds
Glass: Coupette
Garnish: Rose bud
Ice: N/A


For more info on Parched March please clicky this linky.

Should you wish to pick-up my bitters portfolio in Australia please contact my distribution partner Vanguard Luxury Brands

Vanguard Luxury Brands
57 Bream St
Coogee, NSW 2034
Tel: +61 (0) 408 411 859
Email: james@vanguardluxurybrands.com
Web: www.vanguardluxurybrands.com


Salute!

-----


Adam Elmegirab
Bar Consultant / Compounder
Evo-lution / Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Bitters

E-mail: adam.elmegirab@evo-lution.org
Web: www.evo-lution.org / www.bokersbitters.co.uk
Facebook: Adam Elmegirab / Evo-lution Bar Consultancy / Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Bitters
Twitter: @AdamsBitters