Right then - everyone about ready for a #MasterofCocktails?
This evening we're going to make an oft-overlooked drink, the 'Old Pal'. The use of Dry vermouth lends this drink a light and very 'aperitiffy' (definitely not a word) character which makes it a wonderful springtime drink.
We're going to start off by summoning up the energy to get off the sofa and walk over to the bar.
For this week's #MasterofCocktails, we have a Silver Lining recipe. It's a twist on a whiskey sour using Licor 43 Cuarenta y Tres, which is one of those sort of inexplicable flavours, like Vimto or Dr. Pepper. But with the added bonus of making you better at telling stories, and really good at playing pool. It's sort of chocolatey, and also sort of vanilla-y.
This drink is courtesy of Jim Meehan's PDT Cocktail Book. You should really all have this, it's a superbly curated compendium:
This week's #MasterofCocktails recipe is an absolutely stunning, christmassy twist on one of the true classics. The Vieux Carré dates back to the 1930s, but as we're creeping ever closer to Christmas 2013, here's a version using the latest festive ingredient from Professor Cornelius Ampleforth.
Many thanks go to Mark Gill (@thecocktailgeek) for the inspiration behind this one – a top suggestion that's very much appreciated.
In case you're sick of Christmas cocktails, apart from the fact that we pity you, there's also some good news – next week we're doing something totally different and you can find all the ingredients you'll need for that one at the bottom.
The Hudson Whiskey range boasts the first legally distilled and aged grain spirits produced in New York since Prohibition! Fantastic in itself, Tuthilltown Spirits' craft distillery (yep, another one – we love 'em!) charm certainly runs deeper than this single fact, with its very existence oweing much to fate and circumstance. Its success however is owed only to hard work and the high quality of what they have managed to create in the past few years.
When Ralph Erenzo bought Tuthilltown Gristmill and the 35 acres that surrounded it, distilling was far from the professional climber’s thoughts. Originally, he had dreamt of creating the perfect climber’s paradise: a ranch that would act as a base camp for those wishing to scale the cliffs at nearby Shawangunk Ridge.
It’s not often I manage to crowbar distillery visits into trips back to my hometown, near Washington, DC. Last December though, I was invited to go and check out Smooth Ambler Distillery in Maxwelton, WV, only about 4 hours’ drive away.
I put the offer out to a group of friends I’ve known for the better part of 15+ years: Would you like to go down to one of the finest distilleries in the country and try all of their delicious whiskey and gin?
When I first heard about a distillery from San Francisco run by a man who spends his days also running a barber shop, I have to say, I was intrigued. What followed was a story you couldn’t even make up.
Cutting hair and distilling are both skills that run deep in Salvatore Cimino’s family; he learned to make wine and distill grappa from when he was just a young boy. As a child, he would even climb inside the stills to give them a good clean! Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, 'Sal' grew up to be a Master Barber as well as now becoming a legitimate Master Distiller!
If there was ever a word so god damn awful it’s guaranteed to send a shudder down your spine it is the dreaded p-word – prohibition *a wolf howls in the background and you get the feeling you are being followed by a man with an axe*.
This was the boozeless condition that afflicted the United States of America for thirteen parched years thanks to the tireless campaigning of the American Temperance Movement.
The Movement advocated the ‘Noble Experiment’ to save society from the horrors of alcohol abuse throughout the 19th and 20th centuries and they succeeded in 1920 with the 18th Amendment to the Constitution and the Volstead Act which completely banned the sale of alcohol in the U.S.A.
This led to a decade and three years of corruption and violence across America as mobsters and moonshiners sought to bring alcohol illicitly to the understandably thirsty public before the Amendment was finally repealed in 1933.
Today I’m tasting a brace of “craft” rye whiskeys from the High West distillery – the first legally licenced distillery in Utah since US Prohibition ended.
I’m starting off with High West Rendezvous – the first commercially available whiskey from the distillery. It was named after the 19th century meetings of mountain men, who gathered together in the summer to trade their various wares (mostly fur). These gatherings were frequented by the kind of men who wore coonskin caps, bushy moustaches and moccasins, and the whiskey they drank at the time was fairly raw and fiery. More...