Friday, December 13, 2019

Hail Columbia!

This is part of Ben Paris Cocktails Vol I.  These were some of the drinks on our opening menu almost a year ago.  I just had my workaversary with Columbia Hospitality and though this first drink I created for Ben Paris would be a good place to start.
In 1798, Joseph Hopkinson rearranged and wrote new lyrics to "The Presidents March", itself written and performed at George Washington's inauguration, for the song Hail Columbia!  Hail Columbia was one of the unofficial national anthems of America until "The Star-Spangled Banner" was named so in 1931. Hail Columbia is still played upon the entrance of the Vice President of these United States.  

This one is for Uncle Joe.  
Buzzing with local Rosemary infused vodka, this sour unifies locally made Italian Amaro and limoncello and tangles it all up with Oregon Iris liqueur till you are floating on a cloud tufted with Seattle's own Sun Liquor Rhubarb bitters.  All Hail Columbia!
Vodka, Rosemary, Citrus, Iris, Limoncello, egg white 

2 oz Oola Rosemary Vodka
.75 oz Iris liqueur
.5 oz Letterpress Limoncello
.5 oz Amaro Amarino
.75 oz lemon juice
1 egg white
Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with Rhubarb bitters

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Bitter Southerner no 4

Years ago I was honored by the Bitter Southerner, an on line Southern literary magazine, to create a cocktail that was variations on a theme, like a the Corpse Reviver series.  I created the Bitter Southerner no. 4 to be a bitter rum drink that had the look and feel of a Sazerac with strong Sicilian and Italian roots.

There were beautiful prints made of these cocktails based on the even more beautiful photographs by Pableaux Johnson.  And I used my Grandma Gullo's glassware that day so they are extra special representations of my craft.  Unfortunately, they sold out before I could get one.  Please, Bitter Southerner!  You didn't even pay me for my intellectual property!  Could you please send me a print of my work?  And one for Pableaux too?!?

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Ben Paris

The word is out!  I have moved to Seattle to open a new project with The State Hotel.  Watch this sweet little space explode with new cocktails!  I have a lot of practice to do and have already started a weekly happy hour in the office.

Not a bad way to transition into 9-5 life.  Cue Dolly!

Cherokee Rose

Cherokee Rose at Compere Lapin
This Happy Monday we talked about the Cherokee Rose and Bolivian Brandy.  I was so sure this drink was gonna be the hit with the Tales of the Cocktail crowd.  But that honor actually went to the Lucian Bacchanal.  Here I am.  Just ten years a head of my time again.

This drink bore out of a Vesper inspiration with Cocchi Rossa and contains a nice hit of salinity from a thyme and rosemary infused olive oil mixed with sea salt and hot water.  I bought these gold rimmed coup glasses just for this beautiful drink.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Lucian Bacchanal

You're twisting my melon, man.
Its Happy Monday here at Compere Lapin!

Every Monday at 4pm we will be going over a cocktail on our menu, how its made, what inspired it and then do a tasting of the base spirit in said cocktail. 

This 20-30 minute class is free and open to the public! And the cocktail of the week will a $6 happy hour special at the bar on that Monday til 6pm! 

Today we did the Lucian Bacchanal. This is a drink I invented under a different name 10 years ago.  The story of that first drink, where I was challenged by another bartender, is here. 

Video of me making that drink can be seen below.  Please forgive the sloppy jigger work and silly hair toss.  I was but a baby bartender in a strange bar and had just gotten my hair did. Tell you prefer my raven locks of hair, or my current curly strawberry blonde?

We discussed in class today how Chairman's worked great, but the Bounty Dark brings out a little more of that mezcal smoke.

Lucian Bacchanal

1.5 oz Bounty Dark Rum
.5 oz Vida Mezcal
.75 oz "Abby's Mix"*
.75 oz Lime Juice

Shake and strain into a cocktail coup/

*To make the "Abby's Mix" which is a play on Don's Mix form Tiki lore:

1:1 ratio by weight / Sugar : Water
1 :1 ratio / whole GF peel for “Abby’s Mix” : per cup of sugar
Peel the skin off oranges and place in a vacuum seal bag.  Add the appropriate amount of sugar to the bag.   (4 whole peels : 4 cups of sugar, 6 whole peels : 6 cups)
Vacuum seal the bag and let sit overnight.  (Write how much sugar is in the bag)
Next day add appropriate amount of hot water to sugar. (4 cups sugar : 4 cups water)

Stir to incorporate and take out left over GF peels.  Use immersion blender if necessary to dissolve sugar. **for Abby’s Mix include 2 cinnamon sticks and 3-5 anise pods per cup of sugar when you add the hot water

The rest of the August schedule for Happy Monday's is below:

TUESDAY August 14th (we are closed on this Monday the 13th)

Cocktail: Boos Teesi 

Spirit: Drumbshambo Gunpowder Irish Gin

Monday August 20

Cocktail: Cherokee Rose

Spirit: Bolivian Brandy

Monday August 27

Cocktail: Martino

Spirit: Rye Whiskey

Spreading Love and Knowledge in the Spiritual World!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Happy Mai Tai Day!

Mai Tai perfection
 Well, as with many Tiki drinks...already we start with controversy.  Trader Vic's would like you to know that the real Mai Tai day, by proclamation of the City of Oakland, is actually August 30th.  It was on this date in 1944, according to them, that Vic himself crafted a rum drink using rock candy syrup, fresh lime, orange curaçao, and orgeat. His Tahitian friend exclaimed “Mai tai roa ae!” which translates to “out of this world!” Thus this most popular Tiki drink was created.

Indeed,  I say, there can't be enough days to celebrate this amazing drink.  So look for another post on August 30th.

Mai Tai Tie!!
Here is the other controversy.  Pineapple juice.  Let me here by proclaim that this post will be about the classic tiki Trader Vic/Donn Beach/ Beachbum Mai Tai, not a Hawaiian Mai Tai.  I went to Hawaii last year and can confirm their Mai Tais are quite different with the addition of both pineapple and passionfuit and a very dark rum float.  I think we need to approach this drink like a "New Orleans Daiquiri".  Its going to be different with its own regional flair, and I accept and embrace that....when I am in Hawaii.

But today I am in glorious New Orleans!  And am about to embark on a Mai Tai crawl through the French Quarter.  First stop is my home bar of Compere Lapin, natch.  Bartender James whipped me up the prefect Mai Tai to start my day.

Think of a Mai Tai as an orgeat Daiquri had a baby with an agricole Daisy.  The Daisy being lime, spirit and orange curacao; we are going to use Clement Creole Shrubb, to perfectly compliment the aged agricole, in this case, Rhum JM VO, aged at least 3 years. 

The Daiquiri part would be lime, rum and sugar, in this case taking the form of orgeat, an almond rose water syrup popular in Tiki. With almonds and rose or orange water, it does indeed have it roots in the Mediterranean. It can be homemade if you are feeling ambitious,  but there are many fine pre-made versions available as well.  

The rums, according to the drinks inventor, were to be from Martinique and Jamaica.  But we are creating a dry funky Mai Tai for a modern palate that would go well with the Creole Caribbean food of our Chef, Nina Compton.  She is from St Lucia, so we will surely use Bounty or Chairman's reserve from her home Island in place of the Jamaican Rum.

So have a Mai Tai today, August 30th and, indeed, every and any day in between!

Happy May Tai Day from James and Abigail!
Easy steps on how to Mai Tai on Mai Tai Day!

1 oz Chairman's Reserve Rum
1 oz Rhum JM VO
.5 oz Rhum Clement Creole Shrubb
.5 orgeat
.75 oz lime.
Whip shake and put over crushed ice.
Garnish with mint sprig and lime wheel
. And for an extra touch I add a float of Chairman's Reserve Forgotten Cask to float on the top.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Rhum Old Fashioned

Rhum JM VSOP Old Fashioned from Beachbum Berry's Latitude 29
Just because the weather is heating up, it doesn't mean you have to forgo your Old Fashioned.  Spirit forward drinks sipped leisurely over big cool ice is actually just the thing for fighting off the blazing summer sun.  Especially if you use that elixer made from sugar cane in the tropics; rum.

And for those of you put off by the molasses heavy sweetness of traditional dark rums, I have the solution. Rhum Agricole.   Agricole is French, but from the Latin, agricola, meaning, ager (field) +‎ -cola (-tiller”, “-cultivator).  Indeed this Rhums are made with cane fresh from the fields, unlike the h-less rums made from molasses, a byproduct of sugar production.  The result is a dry, grassy and green spirit bursting with terroir and flavor.  When aged, in their tradition French casks, the result can be as fine as cognac with a Caribbean twist.

Rhums from Martinique are labeled "AOC Martinique Rhum Agricole" because French and European law allowed a designation called "Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée" (protected designation of origin) for rums produced on the island of Martinique.  That means both the quality of the production and the workers on that Island get the protection of putting out a quality product with quality wages. This is a feel good drinking rhum inside and out! 

So order an aged rhum agricole Old Fashioned from your next cocktail bar and keep the Don Draper in Martinique vibes all summer long!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Gentleman Caller

My handsome Gentleman Caller

My Eve app is telling me I am fertile right now.  I guess that is why I wanted to devour this handsome fella at the dog park today.

Alas, no man has come a calling in a while so I'll just have to drink my sorrows in this Gentleman Caller.  

This is one of those drinks that has classic specs and can be quite versatile.  In fact, I originally made it with the rhum agricole, but changed it to gin when I saw we had too many rum drinks on the menu. Is that possible?  I think not. 

This drink has been names one of the best cocktails of 2016 and has been published in a St-Germain cocktail book called How To Drink French Fluently.  In the book I subbed out the hard to find genet for St-Germain.  See?  I told you it was versatile.

Aperitif and digestives are an essential part of the ritual for eating and drinking.  We are a restaurant/bar and our cocktails are tailor made to go with that experience of eating and drinking in harmony.  The Gentleman Caller is a light aperitif cocktail consisting of Aperol, Fino sherry, Genepy and gin.  The bitter full brightness of the Aperol and Genepy (an herbal French liqueur) prepare the mouth and belly for food, opening up all your flavor receptors.

The Gentleman Caller was inspired by one of my favorite sherry cocktails, The Adonis, from the Savoy Cocktail Book.  A fine dry sherry like a Fino or Manzanilla is so elegant and complex.  This drink manages to enhance and balance that elegance with other equally complex ingredients. Its a sexy drink too.  Served in a Nick & Nora glass, so named for Nick & Nora Charles in the Thin Man Movies of the late 1930's and 40's.  Nick Charles was a scoundrel but a gentleman all the same.  The Gentleman caller...I like the name as men order the cocktail because they want to be one, and women because they want to have one.

Gentleman Caller

  • 1 oz Fino sherry
  • 1 oz Gin
  • 3/4 oz Aperol
  • 3/4 oz Genepy

stir and serve up in a chilled Nick & Nora glass.  Garnish with a twirly mustache of a lemon twist.  I love mustachioed gentleman.  LeSigh!