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Monthly Archives: December 2011

George’s Last Word

In case you haven’t noticed, there has been a revival of classic cocktails going on for quite a while now, one of these gems is the Last Word. This is a great prohibition era drink that came from the Detroit Athletic Club and is now pretty popular in Seattle. I was charged with selling through the Galliano at my bar, which is no easy task because nobody really ever wants a Harvey Wallbanger. So I tweaked the Last Word to make it my own and toss another bottle into the recycling:

  • .75 gin
  • .75 Galliano
  • .75 Maraschino
  • .75 lime juice
  • splash Fernet Branca

Shake the first four over ice and strain into a chilled, Fernet washed, cocktail glass. This variant is much more neon in color than the original, which calls for Green Chartreuse instead of Galliano and Fernet Branca.

On a side note, Fernet is an amazing Italian Amaro, with some great notes of pretty much everything. It is the everlasting gobstopper of liqueurs, nobody quite gets the same flavor profile. For a different approach and a nice dram of healthy absurdity check out an interesting take on Fernet, from a blog focused on ferns by a friend of mine.

Bitters #1

A while back I decided that I wanted to make some fall and winter bitters so that i could have some more cocktail options. I wanted to make a general aromatic base that I could portion off and work with in sections:

  • 750ml Bacardi 151
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 2 tablespoons Bitter leaf
  • 1 tablespoons, 3 dashes Boldo
  • 1 tablespoons, 3 dashes Chincona Bark
  • 6 tablespoons Uña de Gato
  • 1.5 teaspoons Rue

I soaked the cloves in the bottle for 2 weeks, at which point I could smell a hint of them, then I had my chef make a series of strong teas out of each of the herbs and reduce it from a quart and a half to between 1 and 2 cups each. Then came the fun part, I started mixing the herb teas into the rum drop by drop until I reached a bitter, exotically aromatic, but still light concoction. For ease I converted the drops to spoons and dashes with one drop being a fifth of a milliliter and a dash being 4 drops.

This is a good start to some house made bitters and can be used for a lighter Sazerac, Old Fashioned, Manhattan, or anything that calls for aromatic bitters. Stay tuned for the addition of some butternut squash to the recipe.



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