So, while we were in the midst of moving to Brooklyn, back in late May and early June, I was also writing a piece, for Ralph Lauren’s online magazine, about Calvados and apple brandy. It appears in the fall issue of RL Magazine, here.
I now have the full audio from my appearance on the Jen’s Dish radio program.
Or listen to it, embedded, here:[audio:http://www.michaeldietsch.com/audio/JensDish_3_11_2009.mp3%5D
For those who heard me on Jen’s Dish, and for those who did not, here are the recipes I talked about on her program.
Drink #1 comes from Portland (OR) bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler. Jeff volunteered this recipe when I asked for bourbon-based drinks involving maple syrup. I tried it at home and loved it. The best thing is, it perfectly bookends the Savoy drink that follows. Jeff demonstrates that you needn’t bury your ass in the past and you needn’t follow the modern trend of infused vodkas to make an excellent drink.
- 2 oz. pecan-infused bourbon (I used Wild Turkey 101)
- 1/2 oz. maple syrup
- 3/4 oz. fig jam
- 1 egg white
- 2 dashes of bitters
Shake over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
The second cocktail is adapted from the Savoy Cocktail Book, by Harry Craddock. Craddock was an American disgusted by Prohibition; he grabbed the first boat out for England, and settled in to the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel in London.
These proportions are based on Erik Ellestad’s, at Underhill Lounge. Erik’s working his way through the Savoy book, and he’s having a great time with it. Erik found Harry’s proportions to be a little sweet, and I agree, so I’m going with Erik’s recipe.
The one thing to note is that Erik used the Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy, which I can’t find in Rhode Island. I used Laird’s Applejack, which is a blend of apple brandy and neutral grain spirits. The Bonded Apple Brandy has nothing in it but the brandy. The blended, since it also has grain spirits, is less appley than the bonded. I’d rather have the bonded, but I’ll take the blended when I have to.
Apple Jack Rabbit
- 1-1/2 oz. Laird’s Applejack
- 1 oz. fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 3/4 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 oz. maple syrup
- Lemon twist, for garnish
Shake over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add garnish.
For this month’s Mixology Monday, I decided to highlight a cocktail called the Diamondback, which I first saw in the September/October 2007 issue of Imbibe magazine.
Our taskmaster, Rick, demands we tax our livers with drinks that “contain at least 3oz of 80-proof spirit or have less than 1/2oz of non-spiritness.” No Rick! Don’t throw me in the briar patch! Anything but the briar patch!
The recipe in Imbibe credited the Diamondback as Murray Stenson’s variant of a recipe that first appeared in the book Bottom’s Up, by Ted Saucier. Saucier’s volume calls the drink the Diamondback Lounge and credits it to the Lord Baltimore Hotel, in Baltimore, Md. The hotel itself is still around, but I see nothing about the Diamondback Lounge.
Saucier’s original calls for rye, applejack, and yellow Chartreuse. Stenson’s says rye, applejack, and green Chartreuse. (Don’t worry; I’ll list both recipes at the end.) You might see where I’m going with this. I chose bonded rye (100 proof), bonded applejack (100 proof), and green Chartreuse (110 proof).
That’s a lotta proof.
When I first mixed this drink, I realized immediately that it had a strong bite and so I understandably assumed that both the drink and the lounge were named after this charming critter:
Turns out, I was probably wrong.
As I was researching this post, I learned that an animal called the diamondback terrapin is the state reptile of Maryland. Sports fans should recognize the terrapin as the mascot of the University of Maryland, and college-journo geeks (I know you’re out there) will remember that the U of M student publication is the Diamondback. So, the real culprit for my achin’ head? This beast:
Man, I thought it was a snake fucking me up. Turns out it was a freakin’ turtle. I’m so embarrassed.
Diamondback Lounge, Bottom’s Up
- 1 jigger rye whiskey (I used Rittenhouse bonded)
- 1/2 jigger applejack (Laird’s bonded)
- 1/2 jigger yellow chartreuse
Technique: Shake well. Serve over ice in old-fashioned glass. Decorate with sprig of fresh mint.
This is okay, although it’s a little mild, and I don’t think the mint adds anything.
Diamondback, from Imbibe
- 1-1/2 oz. rye whiskey
- 3/4 oz. applejack
- 3/4 oz. green Chartreuse
- Ice cubes
- Garnish: Cherry
Technique: Stir ingredients with ice in a mixing glass. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish.
photo by Jennifer Hess
You’ll note from the photo above that I forgot the garnish. A cherry makes more sense to me here than mint does, anyway. This is a better drink than the version with yellow Chartreuse, since the green has more backbone and brings more botanical notes to the drink. Still, I think equal parts applejack and Chartreuse result in a drink that’s a tad too sweet for my tastes.
Hence, if you’ll forgive me…
- 1-1/2 oz. rye whiskey
- 1 oz. applejack
- 1/2 oz. green Chartreuse
Build in an old-fashioned glass over ice. Stir until chilled. Garnish with your own best wishes or deepest fears.
What’s pig, but a foodie-blog emotion?
I know, this ain’t a cooking blog, but one thing I do want to discuss here is using spirits in cooking. I’m just a novice here, but it should be fun to discuss what works well for us and what fails miserably.
One night last week, my lovely wife brought home a couple of nice pork chops from the Greenmarket. We had planned on grilling them over hard-wood charcoal, but the rains had other plans, so I started prepping them for the iron skillet. Jen recommended a bourbon reduction to glaze the chops, but as I seared the chops, I had another idea: pork chops and applesauce.