Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mixology Monday LXVI: Bein' Green Roundup

October is month two of the revived Mixology Monday, thanks to Frederic from Cocktail Virgin Slut for taking the reins from Paul Clarke, and as you've probably gathered I'm hosting this month.  I went with the theme "Bein' Green", calling for drinks using at least one green ingredient, and people ran with it, often using several and sometimes as many as seven. We got a solid representation from the online cocktail crowd, with 37 participants, including at least 5 first timers. Let me extend welcome to the newcomers.

The green ingredients ranged from the basic lime and mint (and/or dozens of other herbs), to more exotic items from bird's eye chili peppers to hops, and even fresh snap peas! But without further ado, onto the drinks (in order of submission):

First up we have Mark at Cardiff Cocktails who not only racks 'em up for us with the Paracelsus cocktail, using a nice combo of four green foundation ingredients, he also treats us to a sweeping 2500 year history of the medicinal use of alcohol. A sage way to start us off.
Next up to bat, haresfur posts from Australia a Hot Green Tea Punch on eGullet, fortifying sweetened green tea with a couple rums, finding it surprisingly refreshing. I'm not sure we get Inner Circle rum, but he says it's for the funk so I'll sub Smith&Cross when I try it out.
Third is Dagreb from Nihil Utopia who infuses rum with Shiso and uses it in a Mai Tai variation called the She Sew My Tie (nice name, btw). It has the honor of being the best tasting new drink submission I tried, but before his head gets too big that's because his was the only one I've made so far, mostly because it was an early submission and I was excited to use some of the copious Shiso I have growing, and then I got slammed travelling so have not been home to try more. But it was a grassy and delicious quaff.

With their first MxMo entry, Booze Nerds takes up the gauntlet I laid down in my announcement post and try their hand at making a cocktail with Douglas Fir eau de vie, determining that rye is a good match, and they even top their Rainier Sunset with a bespoke foam. Well done, and nice to have you join us.

Back at eGullet, FrogPrincesse discovers the classic tiki drink Missionary's Downfall and enjoys the marriage of pineapple and chlorophyll from the blended mint. The downfall is one of my favorites; they do an excellent rendition at PKNY next time you are in town, I enjoyed it last I was there.
The Pocket Square's Zak gives us the #PepinoSalvia,  tequila cocktail hit with the quintuple green blast of lime, cucumber, sage, and green tabasco. Sounds wonderful to me.
Alex the Malty Puppy writes in from Moscow, lamenting the dismal nature of Russian Octobers, but nonetheless rises to the occasion and gives us another quartet of emerald-hued ingredients to compliment pear eau-de-vie, including rosemary and parsley, to make his October's Still Green. (Silly me, I thought it was Red). Of note, even this Russian says that pear eau-de-vie tastes much better than vodka. EDIT: HE clarifies in the comments, that's it's better in this drink, not in general. Plus he thought my announcement post was poetic.

Dan Chadwick of Kindred Cocktails, while wearing green socks, serves up the Bad Word, steering a Last Word away from funk toward a more bitter tack by use of Gran Classico instead of the usual maraschino. His kindred commenters declare it a success. I believe them. If you are unfamiliar, in my mental frame of reference of Gran Classico taste is "negroni-in-a-bottle", thought it also makes a mean Negroni variant replacing Campari.

 Tri2Cook swizzles JWray rum with an awesome sounding Thai syrup, and by my counts sets the pace using 7, count 'em 7, green ingredients: lime, mint, lemongrass, hot green chile, kaffir lime leaves, basil & cilantro. I'd pony up to any bar serving his Patong Swizzle. Now where can I get my hands on some kaffir lime leaves, like, right now?

One of Stew's 901 Very Good Cocktails is Green Like a Fox, which marries Tequila and Pisco with a Last Word's Green Chartreuse, lime, and maraschino, albeit in altered (and boozier) proportions.
Another first timer, Whitney de Casa de Milo proffers forth La Ultima Palabra, along with some serious photography chops, a mezcal version of the Last Word. Whitney also offers a variation dialing back the maraschino, resulting in a drier cocktail that more suits his palate, as it would mine.
Scott at Shake, Strain & Sip enlightens me to the interesting origin of the chartreuse laden Bijou cocktail's name (I knew it meant jewel, but didn't know that gin=diamond, vermouth=ruby, and chartreuse=emerald), and adds a lavish original he dubs Gatsby.

Spirited Remix's DJ HawaiianShirt brightens rye, chartreuse, and dry vermouth with celery bitters in his Tee Ball cocktail, and may or may not garnish with an olive.
Pardon my French, but as our third new participant in MxMo, Cocktail Alex of les cocktails d'alexandre verte's it up with basil and grapes in the Floc de Gascogne contest winning Floc Beauty cocktail, a light and floral apéritif style cocktail. Ask google to translate.
The September Frost Cocktail from the Gin is In blog helps us transition from summer to fall, bridging the gap with mint and a burnt honey syrup, in this minty Tom Collins-Bee's Knees mashup.
If you still need help with the transition to autumn, Mixology Monday draws Raff back into blogging at The Shorter Straw, and the Laphroaig's smoke mixed with summer's green in his Recycle should do the trick.
All the way from Taiwan, the Boo Lion infuses green tea into scotch, and fashions it into a chartreuse enhanced Rob Roy to make his Sucha Rob Roy, relishing the complexity imbued by the tea and chartreuse. He also presents a bonus cocktail mixing Lillet and St. Germain with another tea infused scotch.
Now we come to out esteemed Executive Producer, frederic, who describes a Stan Jones drink from the 70s called the H Bomb, named for some combination of the double dose of neon chartreuse liqueurs and the sheer heat of the unadulterated proof of the drink. (phew, almost half way done, frederic, you didn't warn me about how long it'd take to summarize and link to nearly 40 posts).

 Lindsay and her Alcohol Alchemy, trying to hold on to her adventurous travel filled summer, concocts her Endless Summer with cucumber, basil, and lime as well as watermelon and a touch of balsamic. We'll score that as four, watermelons look green to me.
JFL goes on an absinthe vert bender at Rated R Cocktails and brings us two absinthe heavy drinks; the new and complex take on planter's punch called Deserted Plantation, and also includes the Ectoplasm, which totally nails Slimer's color.

Over at theSpeakista, KeithP gives us three drinks, the staggering combo of Chartreuse, Rittenhouse, and Bénédictine in the Purgatory, as well as two originals, using either basil or rosemary in his Two-wide of Bid-Offer and Greener PAST-erz drinks.

With what are in my opinion the best photos of the month, Ian opines on the state of affairs re cocktail culture and locally produced hooch in his Atlanta home, while I lust after his Jacques-in-the-Green cocktail, made with Lemon-Thyme, Bay Laurel, tarragon, and absinthe verte to supplement a lime-gin-St. Germain base. note to self: I've got those plants, I think the tarragon is still going, check tomorrow.

DrinksBurgh's Mike matches Cthulhu's fury with an eerie green glow in his tiki drink The Cocktail of Cthulhu.
In a drink named after the QB beating Boston's New England Patriots whilst the drink was being created, Doré's Andrew offers us a wintery take on a julep utilizing the potent Fee's Mint Bitter's (which are VERY green) in his Damnit Wilson! cocktail.

Thiago's research at his Bartending Notes pick's up Hidetsugu Ueno's Midori cocktail City Coral, but then he discovers he can't get his hands on Midori, so he consoles us (and presumably himself) with a Caipirinha.
At Southern Ash, Joel makes us a Tequila Gimlet utilizing lime syrup made from fresh limes, as well as garnishing with the (underutilized in my opinion) lime zest.
At Feu de Vie Muse of Doom goes awesomely and delightfully bonkers with the garnish on her Fall Carnival, the recipe for which is an only slightly less complicated than the garnish. Suffice it to say that the garnish includes both squash and hazelnuts. And so does the drink, albeit a different squash. Click over to check out the details.
Getting back a bit closer to basics, Anam UK and his Sybaritic Wanderings offer what I deem to be an ingenious take on the Sazerac with his Pickled Fennel Sazerac, where instead of the absinthe rinse in the classic, he uses fennel from his garden that he pickled with vinegar and Chartreuse Elixir Végétal. Brilliant!

Joseph from Measure and Stir revisits Thailand's bounty for his Bird's Eye Julep, marrying muddled Thai Basil with a Thai Chili and lemongrass infused Soju. Yes please.
Stewart at Putney Farm discusses two drinks, Hemingway's absinthe fueled Death in the Afternoon, as well as the 100% green The Silent Order, which he found in Frederic Yarm's new book on Boston cocktail's, "Drink and Tell".

 Zach The Venture Mixologist's Petiolus green of choice is celery, which he pairs with Cynar in both celery-infused vodka and celery bitters form.
Ok, my turn, my turn! I eventually got around to posting something myself. In fact a few times. I experimented with my PolySci smoking gun to make rosemary-smoked chartreuse. Which I'm still deciding how much I like. Then I tried it in my Hal Jordan cocktail, paired with aquavit and garnished with a ring of green jalapeño.

For my second drink, I infused aged genever with fresh home grown hops, which I then muddled with lovage and sweetened with two liqueurs to form my Verdant Hope cocktail.
I love the name Michael at the liquid culture project used for his drink: Green Eggs and Ham. Not just the name, the drink sounds great as well. The drink is a take on a Bloody María, but using a Bloody Green mix, which is tomatillos instead of tomato based. And garnished with Bacon, just to gild the lily. I had thought about mentioning Green Eggs in my announcement, but since it got used anyway I'm now glad I didn't. Unfortunately, no one ended up using Soylent Green in a drink, now that would have been sweet.

Coming into the home stretch, The Mix Lab brings us two more drinks, the Hazy Morning using chartreuse and lime with tequila and pineapple gomme, and the Siren's Song, a lime-in-the-coconut kicked up with lemongrass-infused rum.
Two more first time participants coming up, Two Sheets in the Wind gives us the little flavor packed cilantro-infused Batavia Arrack ditty he calls The Herbalist.
 For our penultimate entry, Boozed+Infused offers Friends of Pea, adding lime and lemon balm to fresh sugarsnap pea infused vodka, which sounds kinda awesome, but I figure I'll have to wait until next spring to try it out.
Last but not least, we have Jordan from Chemistry of the Cocktail, who brings us the stirred tequila and chartreuse Texanus, and well as a remixed version of the same leavened with lime and soda to lighten it up a bit.

Once again, thanks to Frederic for his gumption to organize this thing. (As well as my blatant rip-off of the visual design for this roundup post from his roundup last month.) But most of all, thanks to all the particpants for their thoughtful submissions, hope everyone enjoyed posting, as well as checking out all the other drinks.


Monday, October 15, 2012

MxMo LXVI: Bein' Green - Verdant Hope

To complete my trilogy of posts for the "Bein' Green" themed Mixology Monday I'm hosting, here's a second green cocktail. This one has evolved significantly over time as I've played with it, but it's inspiration came from a cocktail incorporating lovage I had at the (now closed) Compose. The muddled lovage gives the cocktail a slight savory character; if you are unfamiliar with lovage a comparison to celery will get you in the ballpark, though lovage has both a more subtle celery component and a wider herbaceous flavor profile.

Inspiration struck when I was making one of the lovage cocktails and I noticed a bowl of fresh hops I had harvested from the vines that I had planted last season (see pic to left), which have taken quite well to their environs. Before muddling the lovage, I tossed a couple hop cones in to muddle as well. Since they were added fresh at the end (as opposed to being boiled for hours while brewing beer), the hops added some bitterness, but their biggest contribution was to add a lovely floral aroma to the cocktail.

I figured if muddling added a subtle enhancement to the cocktail, what if we went further and infused the spirit (here aged genever) with the fresh hops:
I added the genever to several handfuls of hop cones and let them sit, tasting occasionally until I felt a good balance was struck. After 7 or 8 hours, the hops had imbued the genever with a pronounced aroma reminiscent of a strong IPA and a present but not overwhelming bitterness. So I strained and bottled, and shortly thereafter tried it in this cocktail. Before trying the infusing tactic, I simply muddled the fresh hops and supplemented with Colonial Bitters, which themselves have both a bitter and a floral component, but when using the hops infusion the hops themselves added enough of both that the bitters are best skipped.
Verdant Hope
Muddle hops and lovage with other ingredients, stir with ice and double strain into glass of choice (DOF usually, but I got fancy for this one); garnish with fresh hop cone and lovage sprig.

I've been pleased with my earlier attempts to mix hops and genever, and I find that the genever's malt and the hops are happy together this time around as well. The genever is the backbone, the hops (and/or bitters) lend bitterness and aroma, the lovage add herbal notes and a slight savoriness, whilst the maraschino and Curaçao add background fruit notes, as well as body with their sugar content. I tend to prefer my cocktails on the drier side, which is why I oft reach for the dry Curaçao, but if you don't mind a slightly sweeter profile another triple sec like Cointreau should work.

The reflection of the trees in this shot remind of a tranquil, albeit quite green, lake.

UPDATE: I've finished the roundup post, check out all 37 contributors there; we got some great drinks!

MxMo LXVI: Bein' Green - Hal Jordan cocktail

Continuing my series of posts for the "Bein' Green" themed Mixology Monday I'm hosting, here is a cocktail (optionally) using the rosemary-smoked green chartreuse I described in my previous post. This drink is a variation on a previous drink I made which I dubbed the Green Lantern Cocktail. A tweaked name befits a tweaked recipe, so this drink I shall call the Hal Jordan. The Hal Jordan uses the same ingredients as the Green Lantern, but shifts ½ oz away from the Aquavit to the Dolin Blanc to form an equal pats drink, as well as swapping in Mole bitters for the original Celery bitters, while still retaining a profile befitting an apéritif cocktail.
Hal Jordan
Stir and strain into DOF and garnish with Hal Jordan's ring fashioned from a slice of jalapeño.
I apologize for the out of round garnish, my peppers were all misfits.
I used Celery bitters in the Green Lantern because they pair nicely with the Aquavit, but here I've opted for the Mole bitters to focus more on the chartreuse, as chocolate and chartreuse always play nicely together. The mole makes this drink a bit richer, in contrast to the sharper focus bestowed by the slight bite of brighter celery bitters.
As for the question of whether to use rosemary-smoked chartreuse or the pure stuff straight from the bottle? I'm still undecided which is best. Or even if the smoked version is good. I think I need to try it several more times to wrap my head fully around. So until then, I'm sure I like the more straight-forward recipe, and as it seems unlikely that many people are going to try smoking rosemary, if the base recipe looks good give it a try. I'll update here if if figure out what I think of the smoked version after I give it a few more tries and it sinks in. Since I suspect I overdid the smoking, I'll try using mostly regular chartreuse and supplementing with a ¼-½ oz smoked.

UPDATE: I've finished the roundup post, check out all 37 contributors there; we got some great drinks!

Rosemary-Smoked Green Chartreuse: MxMo LXVI: Bein' Green

Well, I suppose since I'm hosting Mixology Monday this month, I might as well participate. I chose "Bein' Green" as the theme, and as opposed to jamming a couple drinks and some other stuff into one post to submit to the MxMo host, I'm exercising my hostly discretion and breaking my submission into a few bite-sized (and more logically organized) posts. I predict the host will be ok with that.
It should be a surprise to no one that I'm making use of Green Chartreuse this month. To add even more green to the mix, after recalling Jamie Boudreau's Rubicon using rosemary flamed with Chartreuse, I grabbed my trusty PolyScience Smoking Gun (previously documented for a prior MxMo) to experiment and give some Chartreuse the rosemary smoke treatment:
And the result? Let's just say the jury is still out. I honestly can't decide what I think of my concoction. It's definitely smoky. And chock-full of toasted rosemary. But it's also quite pine-y. I may have overdone the smoke a bit. But it also might be quite good. For sure interesting. I'm still deciding. Stay tuned for the next post where I use it in a cocktail...
ps: this Rosemary's Baby cocktail also sets aflame rosemary, albeit not with Chartreuse.