My favorite party trick: showing up w/ a bottle of Lillet. The new 2009 Reserve is just being released: 1,000 bottles of single-estate vineyard Sauternes magic (at The Lambs Club)
At that point I pour my bourbon in until I get to about 1/8 of an inch to 1/4 of an inch from the top—it depends on the size of the cup, but about three to four ounces—and then I top it with simple syrup. I like to put the sugar on afterward, à la Soule Smith, so you don’t have to get to the bottom of the drink in order to get to the reward. That is, to me, one of the most compelling qualities of the Julep: Every sip is different from the first, because it’s a built drink as opposed to a homogenized drink.
It’s Derby Day, which means Mint Juleps are called for. Like a lot of seemingly simple drinks, I find the Julep is surprisingly tricky to do well. It’s a very boozy built (as opposed to shaken, stirred, or swizzled) drink, which means if you’re not careful you’ll simply end up with a puddle of sugar and mint at the bottom and a layer of pure bourbon on top. This is why I’ve always sworn by revered New Orleans bartender Chris McMillian’s technique, as explained above: start with a little bit of simple syrup at the bottom, gently muddle the mint in it (I like to also try to make sure the sides of the cup get somewhat coated with the mint infused syrup), add crushed ice and bourbon, then put the rest of the syrup in to ensure an evenly sweetened drink.
One of the classic combinations in certain regions of France is Picon Biere, that is a Pilsener or Wheat beer with a splash of Amer Picon poured in.
First I’ve heard of this application of Amer Picon, the hard-to-find (in the US) French bitter aperitif found in several classic-but-now-rarely-made cocktails like the Brooklyn.
I. Always be on time to relieve the other watch. It is a good plan to make a practice of arriving a few minutes early so as to arrange your toilet and step to your station on time.
II. See that your finger nails are always clean and your person presents a tidy appearance.
III. Always appear…
Guys, it’s a Mad Men/Game of Thrones double header. This calls for a cocktail!
A delicious, easy-to-make Old Fashioned variation from Theo Lieberman of New York’s Lantern’s Keep and Milk & Honey.
The basic difference between green and yellow Chartreuse is proof and sweetness. They both have the same 130 herbs and spices, but the green is bottled at 110 proof and it apparently gets its color from spinach. Whereas the yellow is bottled at 86 proof, has a distinct honey sweetness and my best guess is that its color comes from saffron.
Spinach? Who knew?
Bottle of Lagavulin Signed by Nick Offerman for Bartender Hal Wolin (via halwolin on Instagram