I’ve always had trouble with Scotch whisky when it comes to making cocktails. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this—the long history of cocktailing has only managed to come up with a handful of Scotch-based cocktails that have any semblance of balance and finesse.
Hangovers have been around forever, so it’s not surprising that one of the most popular branches of amateur medicine is the hangover “cure.”
But more significantly, I discovered that rye whiskey and brandy go astonishingly well together.
And the knowledge of that happy combination led to delight when I came across Brian Miller’s riff on the Old-Fashioned, the Conference cocktail.
It’s June, 1860, just months before the start of the American Civil War. The Pony Express has just made it possible to send a letter overland to San Francisco in just a few days; Abraham Lincoln is busy getting himself elected President of the United States; and Jerry Thomas is writing The Bon-Vivant’s Companion and working at New York’s 622 Broadway bar. Continue reading “The Japanese Cocktail”
The most notable (and infamous) ritual food in my family was the Christmas goose. Oh, how my mother reviled even the smell of that great, fatty, oven-greasing bird; she taught the rest of us to hate it, too, just as she and her sister had for decades. On the other hand, there was my grandmother, matriarch of the family, and for her, roast goose was the one immutable element of Christmas dinner. No goose, no Christmas. So we roasted goose.
Last time, contemplating Trader Vic’s Fog Cutter, I pondered the risks of combining multiple spirits—“too many spirits”—in cocktails, and the fine line between great cocktails and trainwrecks.
So it was an interesting moment for my first encounter with the Libertine.
I hope you still have some of the “Devil Mix” from Johnny Michaels’s Handsome Devil, because we need some for the Future Ghost.
Michaels describes the Future Ghost as “a Sazerac-Manhattan hybrid, served in a bordeaux wineglass.” Continue reading “Devil Mix and smoked absinthe: the Future Ghost Cocktail”