La Rosita

At Serious Eats, I contributed a drink to a new feature, “The Best Cocktails We Drank in [a given month].” This previous month being April, it was April’s turn to be the given month. The remit was, pick a drink you loved, whether out or at home. We don’t really get out much, for several reasons, so it would have to be a drink at home. I chose something new, a drink I’d never had or made before. My comments on the site were …

“Reposado tequila, sweet and dry vermouth, Campari, and Angostura bitters combine for the La Rosita, a spin on the classic Negroni cocktail. I mixed this one up at home for a crisp springtime refresher. Tequila and Campari play very well together, making for an herbal, lightly bitter drink that highlights tequila’s agave flavor.”—Michael Dietsch, Cocktail 101 columnist

Now, the recipe:

La Rosita

  • 1-1/2 ounces reposado tequila
  • 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
  • 1/2 ounce Campari
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters

Stir all ingredients over ice in a mixing glass. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. No garnish.

For tequila, I used Espolon Reposado. For sweet vermouth, Cinzano; for dry, M&R.

Disclaimer: The Espolon and Campari were sent to me for review purposes by Campari America. I had never before had the Espolon and I quite liked it. I would consider buying it again, but I would consider other reposados before Espolon. As for Campari, I almost always have a bottle on hand, usually purchased with my own money. But to cover my ass, I probably can’t fail to disclose that Campari America sent me a bottle.

Photograph © Jennifer Hess

No tonic for the body

THE MINT JULEP: The Very Dream of Drinks

by Joshua Soule Smith

Then comes the zenith of man’s pleasure. Then comes the julep—the mint julep. Who has not tasted one has lived in vain. The honey of Hymettus brought no such solace to the soul; the nectar of the Gods is tame beside it. It is the very dream of drinks, the vision of sweet quaffings. The Bourbon and the mint are lovers. In the same land they live, on the same food they are fostered. The mint dips its infant leaf into the same stream that makes the bourbon what it is. The corn grows in the level lands through which small streams meander. By the brook-side the mint grows. As the little wavelets pass, they glide up to kiss the feet of the growing mint, the mint bends to salute them. Gracious and kind it is, living only for the sake of others. The crushing of it only makes its sweetness more apparent. Like a woman’s heart, it gives its sweetest aroma when bruised. Among the first to greet the spring, it comes. Beside the gurgling brooks that make music in the pastures it lives and thrives.

When the Blue Grass begins to shoot its gentle sprays toward the sun, mint comes, and its sweetest soul drinks at the crystal brook. It is virgin then. But soon it must be married to Old Bourbon. His great heart, his warmth of temperament, and that affinity which no one understands, demand the wedding. How shall it be? Take from the cold spring some water, pure as angels are; mix it with sugar until it seems like oil. Then take a glass and crush you mint within it with a spoon—crush it around the borders of the glass and leave no place untouched. Then throw the mint away—it is a sacrifice.

Fill with cracked ice the glass; pour in the quantity of Bourbon which you want. It trickles slowly through the ice. Let it have time to col, then pour your sugared water over it. No spoon is needed, no stirring is allowed—just let it stand a moment. Then around the brim place sprigs of mint, so that the one who drinks may find a taste and odor at one draught.

When it is made, sip it slowly. August suns are shining, the breath of the south wind is upon you. It is fragrant, cold and sweet—it is seductive. No maiden’s touch could be more passionate. Sip it and dream, it is a dream itself. No other land can give so sweet a solace for your cares; no other liquor soothes you so in melancholy days. Sip it and say there is no solace for the soul, no tonic for the body like Old Bourbon whiskey.

Great Gimlet Controversy, Redux

I promised to follow up on my Gimlet post from a while back. I was happy to see it garner so much commentary, so I wanted to address everyone’s thoughts.

First, the majority of you rightly shun and abhor Rose’s Lime Cordial. I’m sure that at some point, before the addition of HFCS, preservatives, and artificial colorings and flavorings, it was a quality product. No more.

Second, there’s far less agreement on whether a drink of gin, lime juice, and simple syrup deserves the moniker “Gimlet.” I believe that it does not. A Gin Sour is a fabulous drink, one I’ve enjoyed in the past and will enjoy again in the future. It is not, however, a Gimlet.

So, what’s a drunk to do?

I side with those of you who either use the Employee’s Only cordial or who make their own. I have yet to actually tackle that project, although I keep meaning to. It’s a worthy endeavor. I even have a bottle of Rose’s in the fridge that I intend to use as a control. If I get around to it while computers still exist and while blogs such as this are still a viable means of communication, perhaps I’ll even post about it.

Gojee Go

The food website Gojee launched its new Drinks site last week, featuring content from a slew of drinks bloggers. For those unfamiliar with Gojee, it offers a unique take on recipe searches. The first thing you notice when you hit the site is the large-scale photography. The site displays a slideshow of yummy looking food and beverages; the recipes are provided by individual food or drink bloggers. If the picture appeals to you, click the screen and a box pops up showing a list of the major ingredients. Click a link in the box, and you’ll be directed to a full recipe on the site of the contributing blogger. You can also search the recipes according to what you have on hand, in your pantry, fridge, or home bar.

I was fortunate enough to be asked to contribute, so you’ll find several of my recipes there, along with drinks by RumDood, Cocktail Chronicles, Cocktail Buzz, and Jacob Grier, among other esteemed collaborators. For teetotalers, drinks aren’t limited to only the alcohol-bearing; Gojee Drinks also contains a number of NA recipes as well. The following images should provide the basic idea behind Gojee’s interface. We’ll start, immodestly, with one of my recipes. Then you’ll see a cocktail from 12 Bottle Bar, and a non-alcoholic limeade from Winnie Abramson.

oudeplein

[Links: Larger image on Flickr | Recipe on Gojee Drinks | Original recipe on my site]

fourthdegree

 [Links: Larger image on Flickr | Recipe on Gojee Drinks | Original recipe on 12 Bottle Bar]

 

limeade

[Links: Larger image on Flickr | Recipe on Gojee Drinks | Original recipe on Healthy Green Kitchen]