MxMo in the Crescent City

Mixology Monday logoFor this month’s Mixology Monday, which has a New Orleans theme, I’m going with a couple of drinks, both inspired by panels that I attended at Tales of the Cocktail.

The first drink is the Sloppy Joe’s Mojito, inspired obliquely by the To Have and Have Another panel, on the drinking life of Ernest Hemingway. Whether Hemingway actually drank Mojitos appears to be in some dispute. The eminent Eric Felten argues persuasively that he probably did not, but it is clear that old Papa frequented the Havana bar that originated this version of the classic rum drink. He even apparently persuaded the proprietor of a Key West saloon to rip off the Havana original’s name. So, who knows?

Charles Baker, writing in The Gentleman’s Companion, describes the drink thus:

Put several lumps of ice into a 16 oz collins glass, toss in 1 tsp sugar or gomme, insinuate a spiral green lime peel about the ice, turn in 1-1/2 jiggers of Bacardi; white, or Gold Seal, and the strained juice of 1 small green lime–not a lemon. Stir once, fill with really good club soda and garnish with a bunch of fresh mint.

What I love about this variant is that a) it’s not too sweet, and b) it’s not too minty. I don’t feel like I’m chewing rum-spiked Doublemint gum.

The second drink comes straight from the Beefeater reception at Palace Cafe and also the Juniperlooza session. I had heard of this drink prior to Tales, but I had never tried it. It’s the Jasmine cocktail, devised by architect and booze writer Paul Harrington. It tastes remarkably like grapefruit juice even though it contains no grapefruit whatsoever. Honestly, this is one of those drinks that I often post where I’m sure the majority of my single-digit readership is thinking, “What! New to the Jasmine? He needs to crawl out from under Plymouth Rock or wherever the hell he lives and actually drink from time to time!”

No argument here, Skippy. I will say this, though. I’ve mixed a lot of cocktails at home, and I’ve had many others out. It’s a rare treat when something passes my lips and earns a spot in my regular drinks rotation. The Jasmine is right there. Jen and I both adore it. It tastes like an old-school cocktail, even though it’s not old enough to drive, let alone drink, and the ingredients are perfectly balanced. A new favorite.

Jasmine

  • 1-1/2 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz Cointreau
  • 1/4 oz Campari
  • lemon twist for garnish

Technique: Shake, strain, add garnish, sip, and smile.

Many thanks to Paulernum Clarke for hosting.

Photos by Jennifer Hess.

Neo-prohibitionism

If you think Repeal Day, 74 years ago, was the end of the story, think again. Check out this great, exhaustive site by David J. Hanson, a professor of sociology at the State University of New York in Potsdam:

Alcohol: Problems and Solutions

The gist of the site is to explore, even-handedly, the effects of alcohol use and abuse on both individuals and society. Hanson explores just about every facet of this topic you can imagine–youth drinking, binge drinking, alcohol and health, drunk driving, you name it.

Among the resources, though, is a long page of prohibitionist personalities and organizations, both past and present. It’s remarkable how many groups are today actively seeking to discourage and restrict adult drinking behavior. Hanson writes:

Because Prohibition is now recognized by most people as having been a disastrous failure and currently lacks strong political support, modern prohibitionists are using a different approach to achieve their goal.

Their tactic is to establish cultural rather than strictly legal prohibition by making alcohol beverages less socially acceptable and marginalizing those who drink, no matter how moderately. Like the anti-alcohol activists who preceded them, the neo-prohibitionists of today (often called reduction-of-consumptionists, neo-drys, or neo-Victorians) don’t distinguish between the use and the abuse of alcohol. Both should be reduced.

I think this Repeal Day, we owe it to ourselves to take some time and read up on these groups and their tactics.

The green fairy of record

Happy Repeal Day! I’m going to have a couple or three posts today, but I’ll start briefly.

The Times, this morning, continues to trip merrily through the spirits world with a piece on absinthe. The piece, by Pete Wells, opens with a bit of surprise, at least to me–the first American-produced absinthe of the revival. St. George Spirits, from Alameda, has cleared all regulatory hurdles and should be on the market soon.

Wells then samples the absinthes of Lucid, Kubler, and St. George (which provided him an early sample) and judges the St. George the most complex of the lot. The piece, with quotes by Ted Breaux and St. George’s Lance Winters, is worth a read, although absinthe aficionados probably won’t find anything new.

Elsewhere…

…I’ve been invited to contribute pieces to How to Do Things, and my first article went live today. I’ve been working on it for a month, alas, and it shows how busy I’ve been that such a relatively simple piece should take a month.

Anyway, my first piece is about buying bar tools. I think next up I’ll probably tackle glassware.