Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New drink: 21st Century

Equal parts Square One Botanical and Lillet. Add about 3-4 dashes of Angostura bitters.

This is possibly a bit TOO smooth. Goes down like water. I recommend the following modifier:

Healthy dose of green Chartreuse, and all of its "130 Alpine herbs".

I haven't tried it yet, because I don't have any Chartreuse, but I have a feeling it's right on the money.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

New favorite drink: Botanical Cocktail

About two weeks ago I received my copy of Gaz Regan's new book, The Bartender's Gin Compendium. I've been on a huge gin kick ever since my friend Adam introduced me to the Martinez. In the early pages of the book, Mr. Regan describes a drink common to the latter half of the 1800s called the Gin Cocktail. He sketches out a recipe of gin, simple syrup, bitters, and "perhaps a little curaƧao or or absinthe." Sounds good!

So, a few days ago I was browsing through the gin section at my local Wine and Spirits retailer, and I saw this thing I had never seen before called Square One Botanical.

From their website:

"Square One Botanical is a bold organic rye spirit, infused with a striking blend of 8 organic botanicals - pear, rose, chamomile, lemon verbena, lavender, rosemary, coriander and citrus peel. This enticing composition of organic fruit, floral and herbs creates a captivating fragrance and offers a seductive taste experience in cocktails."

They say that Botanical is not vodka. Because of its complex infusion, it is essentially a gin, but without the juniper. Gin is defined by its juniper flavor. In fact the word gin is actually a corruption of the British slang word gen, which is short for genever, which is the Dutch word for juniper. Genever was once a style of gin (now beginning to make a comeback) that had a very malty, almost whiskey-like palate, unlike today's highly refined gins. It is also the earliest known style of gin to become popular.

Anyway, not to bore you w/the details (although I do recommend that book), but this new spirit by Square One is distilled identically to gin, but w/out the juniper, which some are saying is a revolutionary idea, and possibly a completely new type of spirit. I'm actually pretty excited about it. So... on w/the cocktail:

Botanical Cocktail
2 oz Square One Botanical
1/2 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz absinthe (been using Pernod)
3-4 dashes of bitters (been using Angostura)

Stir well in broken ice and strain into cocktail glass. Amazing!