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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Bufala Negra

This is a refreshing and kind of tangy recipe that my friend and fellow tender from lyrics libations and life brought to my attention:

  • 1.5 oz bourbon
  • 4 basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1.5 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • ginger ale

Muddle the basil, balsamic, sugar, and bitters in an old fashioned glass; add bourbon; fill with ice; and top with ginger ale, giving it a gentle stir. If you want to you can garnish it with a sprig of basil. Let me know how you like this and what you pair it with.

This is similar to a shrub, which is a spirit mixed with a vinegar based fruit syrup, popular in colonial times and in New England. I’m working on an Asian pear shrub, so stay tuned for that in the upcoming week or two.

The Whisky Brigade

Last night I went to my first Whisky Brigade at Jack Rose Dining Saloon. A number of great whiskys were presented for the sampling, some known and some untasted by me so far.

Among the list were The Glenrothes out of Speyside: Select Reserve, 1985, 1994, and 1998 vintages; all of which took home awards from the San Francisco Wine and Spirits Competition. Of these I tried the vintages, the select reserve ran out too quickly, unfortunately. The favorite of mine was the 1998 with its smooth lush fruit notes and heaviness. This whisky has a definite spice to it, maybe light cardamom, and middling cinnamon, with vanilla smoothing out the sharpness that comes from this.

The other vintages are definitely more drinkable, I could probably only have a couple glasses of this, but I do like the bold character of this one. The 1998 is not something that I would drink with a meal, but something I would have for dessert, I think that it could easily overpower almost any meal. It is an interesting new addition to my notebook.

The Unknown Soldier

If you like grapefruit juice you’ll like this. This tastes strangely like a fresh glass of it. This drink was created to celebrate the birthday of a good friend and went like no other. I made a gallon of it and between 15-20 people it was gone in about a half of an hour:

  • 1.5 dry gin
  • .5 St. Germaine
  • .5 lemon juice
  • .25 Campari
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitter’s
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • 2-3 basil leaves

Muddle the basil into the gin, add the remaining ingredients, stir well but not vigorously, and pour over ice.

This drink ends up an amazing shade of orange and is bitter/tart with a lot of herbal punch. It works well before a meal and would go great with lighter salads.


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