MxMo July 2008 — New Orleans

July 28th, 2008 by Colonel Tiki

I’ve been in a fog since returning from Tales of the Cocktail last Wednesday. Half my pictures are sitting on Blair‘s memory card at his house. The past days have been wonderful blurs of house guests, unpacking and a Teardrop Lounge anniversary party.1 It is taking all my effort to get my ass in gear to get out this Mixology Monday post.

I had a good number of drinks in New Orleans. From vieux carré to sazerac, from crap hurricane to french 75. Heck, I even mixed up Beachbum drinks with Rick and Blair a session. I ended up in the Tulane emergency room with Gout on account of the all the imbibing.2 However, I never did get around to ordering a Suissesse. Oh, I may have begged the odd taste from my drinking companions, but it just didn’t get together on a bartop for me.

Luckily, I picked up a hard copy of Stanley Clisby Arthur’s New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix ‘em while in the crescent city. It’s a little volume I’ve loved for a while now in soft copy. Low and behold, therein lay a Suissesse recipe.

Suissesse before pouring

While some may poo-poo creme de menthe and/or standard maraschino cherries, I refrain from shirking. The very idea of pairing these ingredients with absinthe filled me with petulant glee. I even chose green over white. I quite enjoyed the outcome. Much like New Orleans: a mixture of the sacred and profane.

Suissesse

Suissesse
1 tsp Sugar
1 oz French vermouth3
2 oz absinthe
1 egg white
½ oz creme de menthe
2 oz charged water

Mix sugar, charged water, vermouth, absinthe, & egg white with hand egg beater (a la Jamie Boudreau). Fill shaker with cracked ice and shake until you want to cry. Strain into champagne4 glass in which there is a cherry with the creme de menthe poured over it.

Be on the lookout for wrap-up posts and further diatribes once I’ve had a few more Suissesses to clear the fog out.

  1. congratulations, Daniel & Ted []
  2. The fat and shellfish may have helped []
  3. I used Lillet Blanc []
  4. saucer please []

Cocktail Garnishes From Functional to Fabulous!

July 19th, 2008 by Colonel Tiki

This morning has been wonderful. Trader Tiki, Kaiser Penguin and I ‘tended at Jeff Berry‘s “Potions of the Caribbean.” I helped Martin Cate unpack teeny tiny ice cones, and I’ve batched drinks for Jeff Berry. I’m pooped, but I’ll here is the live blogging Martin Cate’s “Cocktail Garnishes: From Functional to Fabulous”

2:24 — Martin and Jeff Berry are setting up and getting things in order. Martin has just carved through a pineapple and is now prepping lemons.

2:27 — Rick “Kaiser Penguin” Stutz: “Martin has angry knives.”

2:31 — Martin starts with The Kids in the Hall’s “Girl Drink Drunk” to introduce the garnish. He brings up the old canard of the revolutionary bar maid placing a rooster feather in a drink and naming it a “cocktail.” Nonsense, yes — but the drink was originally a garnish.

2:45 — Martin introduces the “Sidewinder’s Fang” as an example of a horses neck. This is a peel of citrus that is placed into the drink and winds its way close to the edge, just peeking out of the top. In this instance, it is an orange peel giving the appearance of a snake winding about the drink. These garnishes are meant to serve as conversation pieces. These are garnishes for excitement and discussion.

Sidewinder’s Fang
1oz El Dorado 5 Yr. Demerara Rum
1½ oz Fresh lime juice
1½ oz Fresh orange juice
3 oz Fever-Tree Soda Water
1½ oz Passion fruit syrup

2:47 — Harry Yee of Henry Kaiser‘s Hawaiian Village Hotel: “I was the first person to use orchids – you know why? we used to use cane sticks. People used to chew on them and put them in the ashtray and they used to get the ashtray all sticky. I did it just to make cleaning up easier.”

2:54 — The ice cones come out. Martin displays the ingenious method of ice carving with a Snoopy Snow Cone machine. We are served Navy Grogs with miniature ice cones.

Navy Grog
1 oz Cruzan Estate Light Rum
1 oz Old New Orleans Amber Rum
1 oz El Dorado Demerara 5 yr old
1 oz Fever-Tree Preium Spring Club Soda
¾ oz Fresh lime juice
¾ oz Fresh grapefruit juice
1½ oz Honey Syrup

2:56 — Jeff Berry comes to the podium. He is demonstrating the ice cone technique. The ice needs to be small and snowy. First a waring professional ice machine crushes they ice. Next Jeff puts the ice into a cuisinart to reduce the ice to tiny little pieces. This is packed into a pilsner glass with a chopstick to make room for the straw. Freeze this for a minimum of four hours before use.

3:05 — Next ice garnish: place a cut lime flat side dowin into a cocktail shaker and pack with ice. Freeze for four hours, invert and remove the shell. Place a carved shell in the hole, fill with 151 rum and place in a bowl drink. Light on fire for a wonderful contrast of fire and ice.

3:11 — Jeff Berry: “If the drink tells a story, keep the garnish linked to it” For example, Donn Beach’s “Three dots and a dash (…-, V). Morse code for V and code for victory during world war II, the garnish consists of 3 maraschino cherries and an extended pineapple piece.

3:27 — Fresh Mint. Martin is back. Mint’s main enemy is oxygen. Heat does not cause wilting: exposure to air does. Always remember to slap the mint to release the oil before placing in the drink.

3:34 — The Peelers showed up and we each experimented making a horse’s neck. I don’t want to brag, but mine was the biggest.

3:36 — Oregon Natural Maraschino Cherries: no sulfides, no f,d&c red. Red color is due to beet juice.

3:45 — Pure lemon extract soaked croutons produce a marvelous flame. I’ve just seen a slide of the most fabulously garnished Bloody Mary. Garnishes included bacon and crab legs.

3:50 — This just in: Morgenthaler slipped in at the end to note Martin mentioning him. Slipped back out. He must be headed back to the pool.

p.s. the last drink:

For Pete’s Sake
1 ½ oz Barsol Pisco
½ oz Cherry Heering
½ oz Hibiscus Syrup
1 Dash Fee Brothers Aromatic Bitters
¾ oz Fresh lime juice
½ oz Partida Agave Nectar

So that’s Bourbon Street

July 16th, 2008 by Colonel Tiki

After surviving the banality of the Denver airport and 1 lost garment bag1 we’ve arrived in New Orleans. At the airport we met up with Trader Tiki, Chuck and Wes, & Jeff Morganthaler who happened to arrive at the same time we did. We split a cab with Trader2.

I had a Vieux carré at the Carousel bar3 and met up with Rick, Jay, My compatriot in naming Craig (the Good Dr. Bamboo), Trader, Paul Clarke, Mr. Morganthaler, and Seamus. We headed off for a bit at Coop’s place. Perfect Choice, Paul. A belly full of fried seafood, gumbo and jambalaya made a good ballast.

We hit Arnaud’s French 75 Bar where we met with more who’s-who of the blog and non-blog cocktail scene. Matt came along presently and after a french 754, a cigar5, a Negroni6, and Gabriel‘s arrival7 we headed to a location not to be discussed.8 We bumped into Ed Hamilton on the way out which was lovely.

Going via Bourbon street to the non-disclosed location, I couldn’t help notice that the block that most smelled sewer-like happened to be the block with the live sex act clubs, Larry Flint’s Barely Legal, and other assorted gentleman’s clubs. It was such a mix of wonderful and horrible: Gaudy, tawdry neon are contrast against shuttered 300-year old windows. The moist heat of the evening was interrupted by cool breezes escaping from the open doorways of the aforementioned establishments. Garbage binge drinkers surrounded the group of cocktail snobs in the birthplace of the cocktail. It is beautiful and shocking and hideous and profane and I love every single damn thing about it.

We finished off the evening back at the Carousel bar. We closed it. Martin Cate dropped by and it was good to play catch-up with him.

Now for today’s fun. I’ve already missed the blog breakfast event (9:00am? Are you serious?). We’ll be toasting the Sazerac at 2pm. Join us, won’t you? I want to find a Rum Swizzle today.

P.S. Anyone have an SD card reader? Just realized this laptop9 is free of one. The USB cable is resting comfortably back on the table at home.

  1. it has since been found and delivered to the hotel []
  2. with a perfect crazy/nice/ranting cab driver to boot []
  3. tasty – but as it was my first, I have no comparison []
  4. good but not great []
  5. Montecristo No.3 []
  6. fair []
  7. with the lovely Joana []
  8. Thanks, Gabe – now we’ve lost the blackmail ability. First rule of Drink Club, man. []
  9. thanks, TriMet []

On the eve of Tales

July 14th, 2008 by Colonel Tiki

Tomorrow morning, I leave Portland for New Orleans. For the next week or so, I will be live blogging from Tales of the Cocktail. I’ll be posting reviews of Restaurants and bars. I’ll be writing summaries and epiphanies based on the seminars I’ll be attending. I’ll be putting up interviews of bartenders, mixologists and fellow cocktail lovers who I meet and whom I’ve met that drive me in this pursuit.

I’m packed and ready to go. My liver is girded, my fingers are nimble and my senses are keen. Next stop NOLA.

Tales of the Blogtail

April 1st, 2008 by Colonel Tiki

Tales of the Cocktail BlogI am proud to announce that I’ve been chosen to participate as a contributor at the Blogging tales of the Cocktail: 2008. I am humbled to be in such wise and warm company. Paul Clark is our ringleader and taskmaster. I hope he knows what he’s gotten himself into.

I know it’s early: Tales runs 16-20 July and it is currently April. We’re launching early because we’ll be covering pre-reviews of all the wonderful seminars and topics and events. Oh, Yeah: Tickets are now on sale. Get yours while the getting is good! If you happen to miss out on the actual event, just keep an eye on the RSS feed and let our experienced perceptionists bring Tales of the Cocktail to you.