Wit-ty Flip

drambuie

Here’s one more preview of the cocktails Ezra Johnson-Greenough and I will be serving at our Brewing Up Cocktails Spirited Dinner at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans. Because we’re gluttons for punishment, we’re serving not one but two flips during our dinner. That means that if all 70 seats sell out, we’ll be shaking up 140 flips in the course of an evening in addition to 140 other drinks. Our arms will be feeling it the next day.

New Orleans in summer doesn’t exactly scream flips, but this one bucks the reputation flips have as heavy, wintertime indulgences. The four ounces of Belgian-style witbier used in this drink lightens and carbonates the cocktail, making it suitable for hotter weather. The orange peel and coriander often used in witbier also make a nice complement to the spice and herbal notes in Drambuie:

1 1/2 oz Drambuie
3/4 oz lemon juice
2 dashes orange bitters
2 dashes allspice dram
1 whole egg
4 oz witbier
nutmeg, for garnish

Pour the beer into a pilsner or wine glass. Shake all the other ingredients hard with ice. Fine strain back into the mixing glass and then pour into the beer. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg. (Pouring the heavier flip mixture into the beer rather than the other way around ensures that it mixes thoroughly.)

If this drinks sound weird, you don’t have to take my word for its tastiness: A version of it took third place in the Drambuie Nail or Fail cocktail competition earlier this year.

Tickets for our Spirited Dinner, happening this Thursday, are on sale here. It’s at Emeril’s Delmonic Steakhouse and is sponsored by Drambuie and El Dorado rum.

[Photo via the Drambuie Facebook page.]

The Black Glove

blackglove

This morning I tweeted with frustration about the inane Dark Knight Rises themed cocktail press releases that were arriving in my inbox. It didn’t occur to me that my agenda for the day included writing about my own Batman-inspired cocktail recipe. Hypocrite, thy name is Grier! (In my defense, the name for this drink comes from Grant Morrison’s fantastic run on the comics and its appearance alongside the new Christopher Nolan movie is completely coincidental.)

A while back the owner of Metrovino, Todd Steele, harvested a bunch of green walnuts to make Nocino, a liqueur made by steeping the unripe nuts in neutral spirits. The liqueur came out powerfully flavored, pitch black and both drier and spicier than the commercial versions I’ve tried. We decided to embrace the darkness and pair it with the very molassesy Cruzan Black Strap rum in this rich variation on the Manhattan:

1 1/2 oz Cruzan Black Strap rum
1 oz Dolin sweet vermouth
1/2 oz house Nocino

Stir with and serve up. Garnish with an orange peel and preserved walnut. (The preserved walnuts come from Armenia and are produced by Harvest Song; they deserve a post all their own and make the perfect edible garnish for drinks made with Nocino.)

Since we only produced two bottles of house Nocino, the Black Glove is available for an inherently limited time. Get it while it lasts!

I haven’t tried making this with a commercial Nocino, but my guess is one would have to reduce the amount of liqueur used and add aromatic bitters to prevent the drink from becoming too sweet.

New posts at The Drink Nation

My first articles for Drink Portland/The Drink Nation are online. This week I review Pierre Ferrand’s Dry Curaçao, the new orange liqueur that bartenders seemingly can’t get enough of. And from a while back, a guide to visiting breweries in Portland’s north and northeast quadrants.

Upcoming events in July

Denver: I’ll be back in Colorado this week to do some work for Bols in Aspen and Denver. While there I’ll be doing a guest bar shift at the Coupe Bar at Denver’s Ghost Plate and Tap. The event runs from 5-10 pm on Wednesday with cocktails featuring Bols Genever, Galliano L’Autentico, and Damrak Gin.

Portland: It’s that time, you guys. That time when I turn 30. A time to reflect on how I should take some responsibility in life and get a real job and stop drinking out of animal bones and wonder how I let my youth escape so easily. Or, alternatively, a time to drink awesome beer and sip excellent rum and smoke great cigars. Yes, let’s go with the latter.

My 30th birthday is this Thursday, July 12, and I’ve planned some fun events for the night. We’re going to kick things off at Breakside Brewing, where we’ll be tapping a beer brewed for just this occasion. Brewmaster Ben Edmunds has created several cocktail-inspired beers in the past and for this event we wanted to make a beer inspired by the Harvey Weissbanger beer cocktail, which was in turn inspired by the classic Harvey Wallbanger. That’s a weird lineage for a beer but we have high hopes for it. We made a traditional German hefeweizen and are going to spice it with many of the same flavor notes found in the Weissbanger cocktail, including orange peel, star anise, and vanilla. (All references to “we” really just mean Ben, as he did all the hard work of creating and executing a recipe while I just lifted, poured, and cleaned stuff.) This will run from 6 pm to at least 8 pm.

I’m not sure where we’ll go after that but there’s no better place to end the night than at Rum Club. Starting around 11 and going till close I’ll be there for cigars and rum on the patio. Blue drinks may happen. Galliano bottles may be emptied. You won’t know if you don’t show. I hope to see you there!

New Orleans: On Wednesday, July 25, from 6-9 pm, I’ll be behind the bar at Avenue Pub. I’ll be mixing drinks but if you want to take a break from cocktails, this is the spot: This two-story pub on St. Charles Avenue is one of the best beer bars in the country.

Then on Thursday, July 26, is the big Brewing Up Cocktails Spirited Dinner at Emeril’s Delmonico Steakhouse, held in association with Tales of the Cocktail and sponsored by El Dorado Rum and Drambuie. The dinner will feature four courses from Chef Spencer Minch paired with four original beer cocktails. Tickets and full menu are available here.