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Friday Musings: The Hemingway Daiquiri

Friday Musings: The Hemingway Daiquiri

hemdaiquiriWhen in Havana, Ernest Hemingway spent a good deal of his time in a bar called El Floridita. It is said that he asked the bartender there, whose name was Constantino Ribalaigua Vert, to make him a daiquiri with “half the sugar and double the booze.” Since the original would have contained only rum, lime juice, and sugar, changing those ratios would have created a very unbalanced drink. According to Hemingway, “it was good, it was a fine drink” and he claimed to hold the record for drinking 16 double Daiquiris in one night! And to think he was worried about sugar!! Hemingway may have loved his version of the cocktail, but over time it proved to be too bland, too tart, and too boozy. It eventually morphed into something a bit different with the addition of Maraschino liqueur and grapefruit juice. Most people feel the need to also add the sugar back in by using simple syrup; I know for certain that I do.

Original Daiquiri

2 oz light rum such as Bacardi
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz simple syrup*
Lime wheel for garnishing

Add all the ingredients to the bottom half of a shaker tin. Add your one large cube, and 2 small, or fill 2/3 full with regular ice. Shake until very cold. Double strain using a Hawthorne strainer and a mesh strainer into a chilled cocktail glass.

Hemingway Daiquiri

2 oz light rum such as Bacardi
1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 oz simple syrup*
Lime wheel for garnishing

Add all the ingredients to the bottom half of a shaker tin. Add your one large cube, and 2 small, or fill 2/3 full with regular ice. Shake until very cold. Double strain using a Hawthorne strainer and a mesh strainer into a chilled cocktail glass.

*To make the simple syrup combine equal parts sugar and water and bring to a gentle boil until the liquid is clear. Store in a mason jar in the fridge for about a month.

You can also batch these Daiquiris in a blender with ice if you want more of a slushy drink. For one drink, simply pour over crushed ice. I would use wineglasses here instead of cocktail glasses.

Daiquiris are traditionally thought of as summertime drinks, but with a few changes we can easily transition them into cocktails for the colder months. Think along the lines of an aged rum like the Appleton Estate I used for the East India Trading Co. cocktail, winter citrus like blood oranges or Meyer lemons, simple syrups that are infused with spices like the Tippleman’s Burnt Sugar syrup that I used in my Rum and Root Old-fashioned, and liqueurs that have the same flavor profile like Dry Curaçao, Apricot Liqueur, and even an Amaro like Montenegro. Just keep the ratios the same as those in the Hemingway Daiquiri, and then adjust from there if you think you need to. The possibilities are endless – I can’t wait to try some of them!

Have a great weekend! See you all on Monday when we’ll be talking about that friend that gets you into trouble all the time… you guessed it – her name is Tequila.

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Barlogue: Art in the Age store, Philadelphia, PA.

Barlogue: Art in the Age store, Philadelphia, PA.

aia1As you all know by now, I believe that the secondary ingredients that go into cocktails are just as essential as the main spirits. If you choose a great rum to make your Dark and Stormy, then you’d better choose a ginger beer that can stand right beside it! It also helps to have the right equipment. For this reason, I am happy to report that the Art in the Age store at 116 N 3rd Street in the Old City section of Philadelphia is an absolute bonanza of excellent cocktail making supplies, ingredients, and books. Housed in a historic building where the original signage is still hanging out front and the interior boasts preserved brick walls, AITA is a very cool place to visit anyway, but if you have the passion for cocktails that I do, then you’ll be in heaven for sure! Among the products that you can find at AITA are Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. syrups, tonics, and chicory root cherries, DRAM bitters (individual sizes and an awesome sampler pack), Royal Rose simple syrups in flavors like Orange Vanilla and Hot Ginger Lime, Dashfire bitters in Clove, Bayleaf, Hibiscus, and citrus, Pickett’s syrups, Bittermilk cocktail mixes, Hudson Standard shrubs, and Walker’s cocktail rimmers and mixes. That’s a long list, I know, and I’m not quite finished. You’ll also be able to grab tonic water, ginger beer, and Victorian Lemonade from Fentiman’s Beverages, ginger ale from Boylan Heritage, and Egbert’s brandied cocktail cherries. I personally could not resist the Tippleman’s simple syrups; I bought the Burnt Sugar flavor and you can bet I’m going back for the Double Spiced Falernum!aia2AITA also carries a good selection of cocktail making equipment like strainers, juicers, muddlers, barspoons, whisks, and that indispensable citrus zester/peeler tool that makes long thin strips for garnishing. You can also find Peak ice cube trays here in medium and large sizes. They are my absolute favorite because they have rigid sides and lids, and removing the cubes is easy – definitely not true for most other brands. If you’re thinking along the lines of Christmas gifts for the cocktail enthusiast in your life, there is a Bar Roll Tool Kit that includes essential drink-making equipment in a handy waxed canvas roll that’s easy to store, a Homemade Gin Kit which allows you to make your own aromatic 36 hour spirit infusion, and Cutting Board Sets in medium and large from Snow Peak where the knife stores inside the foldable, hinged cutting board. A big hint, hint goes out to the young Camels and Mr. Camel on this last item (in medium, please).aia3In addition to all the amazing cocktail necessities that AITA carries, the store is also a tasting room for the AITA spirits created by Steve Grasse in conjunction with Tamworth Distilling and Mercantile in New Hampshire. (I’m thinking a Thirsty Camel road trip might be in order here!) Root, Snap, Rhubarb, and Sage are part of the Historical Recipes collection and are based on formulas from the colonial era. The Garden Infusion collection reflects AITA‘s “commitment to fresh, local ingredients and totally unique flavors” and includes Beet Root, Chicory Root, and Sweet Potato vodka infusions, Black Trumpet Blueberry Cordial, Apiary Gin, and a Tamarind Cordial called Von Humboldt’s Natur Wasser. The most recent addition is Sweet Lips, based on Martha Washington’s recipe for Cherry Bounce (rye whiskey, cherries, and apple brandy all stored in oak), discovered by Grasse while doing research for his book Colonial Spirits. All of these AITA spirits are available for tasting right at the Old City location. Because of the Pennsylvania laws regarding liquor sales, the store cannot sell spirits, but the historical collection is available at the PLCB Fine Wine and Good Spirits stores, as well as in numerous locations in NJ (list available on the AITA website). The Garden Infusion spirits can be special ordered from the PCLB. There are also a number of Philadelphia restaurants that serve AITA spirits; this list is also available on their website.aia4You can purchase all of the cocktail essentials and equipment online, but don’t miss out on the opportunity to actually visit the store. You’ll be glad you did. You can easily spend an hour or so there browsing and tasting the spirits and then head out to one of Old City’s nearby restaurants for lunch. Before coming home be sure to stop by the Fine Wine and Good Spirits Store on 2nd Street near Chestnut and grab a bottle from the Historical Spirits collection!

I’ll leave you today with my recipe for a Rum and Root Old-Fashioned made with ingredients purchased at the AITA store.rumandroot

Rum and Root Old-Fashioned

2 oz Gosling’s Black Seal rum
1/2 oz Art in the Age ROOT
1/4 oz Tippleman’s Burnt Sugar syrup
2 dashes DRAM Apothecary Palo Santo bitters
Orange peel for garnishing

Place all ingredients in a mixing glass and add ice. Stir with a long handled bar spoon for 20-30 seconds or until well-chilled. Strain using a julep strainer and pour into an Old-fashioned glass with one large cube of ice. Garnish with an orange peel. Enjoy!

Art in the Age Store   116 North 3rd Street    Philadelphia, PA 19106

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The East India Trading Co: Polished, smooth, and potent.

The East India Trading Co: Polished, smooth, and potent.

westindies1It’s hard to believe that the Mojito from Monday’s post contains the same base spirit as the East India Trading Co. (a cocktail from Death & Co in NYC), pictured above. I specifically chose this drink for today because I wanted to illustrate just how versatile rum can be. And let’s be honest, I was dying to try it! The combination of ingredients intrigued me: Appleton Estate Reserve Rum, Lustau East India Solera Sherry, Ramazzotti (an Italian Amaro), and Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters. The Appleton is a Jamaican rum that has a gorgeous aroma of sweet molasses, orange, cocoa, and vanilla. When you taste it, you’ll also find all those flavors, but it’s powerful so you have to be careful to take small sips. Its beautiful color comes from the fact that it’s been aged at least 12 years in oak barrels. I had to substitute Osborne Oloroso Cream Sherry for the Lustau because it just wasn’t available anywhere. To me it’s all raisins and vanilla, sweet and easy to drink. The Ramazzotti is something I’ve had before and happen to like very much. It smells and tastes like bitter oranges and sweet spices, and it has that elusive element that all the Amari have. Who knows what’s in them? The Italians aren’t saying! I also had to substitute Bittered Sling Malagasy Chocolate Bitters for the Bittermens Xocolatl simply because that’s what I had here at home.

So let’s look at how this drink is composed. There are 2 ounces of the Appleton in this cocktail, so it clearly provides the main flavor profile, as well as the backbone and the punch. The Sherry draws out the sweetness in the rum, and the Ramazzotti echoes the oranges. The Chocolate Bitters act as a bridge, pulling out the cocoa from the Appleton and the spices from the Ramazzotti, while keeping the sweetness of the drink under control. It’s perfect harmony! This stirred cocktail is meant to be served in a chilled cocktail glass with no garnish. My husband loved it that way but, for me, it was just a little bit too strong. I preferred it in an Old-fashioned glass with one large ice cube. westindies2

East India Trading Co. from Death & Co. in NYC

2 oz Appleton Estate Reserve Rum
3/4 oz Lustau East India Solera Sherry
1/2 oz Ramazzotti
2 dashes Bittermens Xocolatl Mole bitters

Add all the ingredients to a mixing class and add ice. Stir with a long handled bar spoon for 15-20 seconds or longer until the drink is well chilled. Strain (using a julep strainer) into a chilled cocktail glass. Enjoy!

Check back tomorrow when I’ll be featuring the Art in the Age store in the Old City area of Philadelphia on the Thursday Barlogue!

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The Dark and Stormy: Get inside, there’s a big one rolling in!

The Dark and Stormy: Get inside, there’s a big one rolling in!

darkandstormy1The year is 1860 and the place is Bermuda, where the Gosling family has developed an aged black rum, bottled in champagne bottles and sealed with black wax (hence the name Gosling’s Black Seal). Nearby the Royal Navy is brewing a ginger beer, either in an effort to deal with seasickness or as part of a movement towards reducing the amount of rum that sailors were consuming on a daily basis. Before long these two beverages crossed paths and the Dark and Stormy was born. It is said that a sailor gave it its name when he remarked that it was “the color of a cloud only a fool or a dead man would sail under.”

My own personal history with the Dark and Stormy began about 15 years ago while away for a long August weekend in Saint Michael’s, Maryland. A bartender in a crabhouse there recommended it to us, describing it as the perfect summertime drink that went along with water, docks, and blue claw crabs. He was absolutely right and it quickly became one of our favorites. Even now it remains one of our go to cocktails as soon as the weather turns warm. The Gosling’s Rum is a must because it’s the original choice, but if you must use another make sure it’s just as dark and rich. There are many ginger beers, ranging from having lots of bite to being fairly mild. I chose Fever Tree for my drink; it’s definitely on the milder side, which I prefer. Whether or not to use lime juice is also up for debate. Many people think the lime cuts the sweetness of the rum, and tempers the bite of the ginger. I agree, and I also think that adding citrus has the effect of brightening the drink in much the same way it does when it’s used in cooking. The 4 ounces of ginger beer and 2 ounces of rum are pretty standard, but the lime juice can vary from none at all on up to a ounce. Change it up and see which way you like it best!

Not only is this a built drink, but it is also a layered drink. You will add the lime juice first, then the ginger beer, and then finally you will gently pour the rum on top. It will sit there and give the effect of dark, looming storm clouds. Serve it with a straw so you can eventually stir it up and incorporate everything together.darkandstormy2The Dark and Stormy

2 oz Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
4 oz good quality Ginger Beer
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
Lime peel or twist for garnish

Fill a Collins glass with ice. Add the lime juice first, then the ginger beer, and then gently pour the rum on top. Do not stir. Garnish with a lime peel or twist and serve with a straw. Enjoy!

Tomorrow we’ll get to know rum’s darker, deeper side with a recipe from Death & Co that features Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12-year aged rum, Oloroso sherry, Amaro Ramazzotti, and chocolate bitters! I’m excited!

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Friday Musings: Now that’s a first!

Friday Musings: Now that’s a first!

icedteaWhen you’re a parent you experience lots of firsts with your children. There are the ones that you totally anticipate: first steps, first words, first day of school. These are wonderfully warm and fuzzy moments that fill your heart with joy and remind you why you wanted to have kids in the first place. You feel as those your heart will burst. Then there are those firsts that are a bit more unexpected: you open your eyes in the middle of the night and find a toddler staring at you, just inches from your nose. It takes everything you have not to scream out loud. You feel as though your heart may have stopped. Or how about the first time your teenager drives away alone in the car? You don’t know what your heart is doing because you can’t find it. It seems to have fallen down near your feet somewhere.

And then there are those firsts that just feel strange: you’re heading out to buy some obscure ingredient that Thirsty Camel told you about and your 22-year-old son says, “I’ll come too – I have to grab something for the party tonight.” Weird, right? This happened to me not long ago when I found myself driving to the liquor store with my youngest son all the while wondering what he could possibly be planning to buy. I know which of my cocktails he likes at home, but I doubted that Hendrick’s gin, St. Germain, and Fever Tree tonic were on his list. I’m thinking a middle of the road whiskey to make whiskey gingers, or maybe a rum for rum and cokes. Or maybe just a good craft beer. Knowing what a purist I am when it comes to alcohol, it’s impossible that he could be anything but the same. Or is it? When I get to the register he’s already checked out. “What’d you buy?” “Just something.” Oh boy. When I finally wrestle the bag away from him in the car, I discover some hideous concoction in a bottle that claims to be a Long Island Iced Tea. Oh the horror.

I will tell you that I haven’t missed an opportunity in the last couple of months to remind him how disappointed I was in his beverage choice that day. Truth be told, I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of it and it’s been quite entertaining. He gives it right back though by leaving empty bottles in the fridge to let me know that this transgression is still going on. Last week when I was doing my photo shoot for my Thursday Barlogue about Gorshin Trading Post, I was excited to discover that the Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. makes a sweet tea syrup, an ingredient in their recipe for a Long Island Iced Tea found on their website! Now I could convince Connor that there was a truly superior cocktail he could try. I had it ready for him when he got home from work tonight. He took a few sips, looked at me and said, “Wow Mom, you were right.” Now that’s a first!

Seven Island Iced Tea (from Jeff Bell of the NYC speakeasy PDT)

1.5 ounces Mount Gay Barbadoes Rum*
.75 ounces Jack Rudy Sweet Tea Syrup**
.50 ounces fresh lemon juice
.50 ounces Cocchi Americano
5 drops Bittermen’s Elemakule Tiki Bitters***

Place all the ingredients in the bottom half of a shaker tin. Add your 1 large cube and 2 small and shake vigorously for about 15 seconds or until very cold. If you don’t have the large format cubes on hand, just fill the shaker 2/3 full with regular ice. Top with 1 ounce of a good quality club soda like Fever Tree or Q and garnish with a lemon twist.

*The Jack Rudy recipe calls for Banks Golden Age Rum.

**Purchased at Gorshin Trading Post.

***Found these on Amazon!

Have a great weekend everyone! See you on Monday when we’ll be talking about Vodka!!

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