Category Archives: FLAVORS

New To Me: Arak

New To Me
Gantous & Abou Raad Arak

  

Arak is liquor distilled from grapes and flavored with Anis Seeds.

It is the traditional alcoholic beverage in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Israel.

The Arak I tasted last night is from Lebanon and clocked in at 100 proof.

It tasted like a less viscous, more potent sambuca. 

Like Sambuca, Arak is also compared to Ouzo, Pastis & Absinthe.

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Filed under ANIS, ARAK, BOOZE, FLAVORS, LIQUOR, NEW TO ME

Apple Cider Maple Syrup

Photos from a batch of flavored simple syrup I made this week:

 

 
 

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Filed under APPLE CIDER, FLAVORS, KITCHEN EXPERIMENTS, MAPLE SYRUP, MIXERS, PHOTO POST, SIMPLE SYRUP

Comics & Cocktails #6 • Dottie Quinn/The Fade Out

COMICS & COCKTAILS
Dottie Quinn and The Fade Out

Issue number 10 of “The Fade Out” recently hit comic shop shelves — and the book sets up pretty much all the pieces for the big conclusion coming in the final two issues.

Since debuting some many months back, every time an issue of “The Fade Out” arrives, I want to frame the comic for its cover alone.

For this month’s cover, one of the secondary characters, a gal named Dottie Quinn, was featured. 

Dottie does PR for the movie studio where the story is set, and has a personal and professional relationship with the main character.

Dottie Quinn
 

As a fan of comics and detective fiction, I have a great love for this hard-boiled era in which “The Fade Out” is set. And as a professional bartender, I’ve also got a great love of the pre-prohibition and post-prohibition eras and all the the drinks which were created in those years.

So in honor of the comic and the character Dottie Quinn, I put together an original cocktail recently which felt like a throwback — bourbon, coffee liqueur, banana liqueur, Grand Marnier & orange bitters. And I garnished it with a banana chip. 

 

It’s sort of a blend between a “Talent Scout and a “Revolver,” but with the timing and arrival of this new issue of “The Fade Out,” I figured I better call it a Dottie Quinn — sweet and strong, with a stiff bitter side that’s not overwhelming but is surprisingly balanced and complex.

THE FADE OUT

This series is one of the best comic books being published right now.

Written and drawn by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, respectively, “The Fade Out” is published by Image Comics and set in post-World War II Hollywood. My podcast buddy Jason Sample has compared the comic to the film “L.A. Confidential” and that comparison is right on the mark. This book is noir done write — written and drawn by two guys who’ve proven themselves to masters of this genre.

Brubaker and Phillips are well known for tackling not only this era, but the gritty pulp world— with the series “Fatale” being just one example.

“The Fade Out” started as a murder mystery, with an actress’s death covered up as a suicide in issue number one. It has since evolved into a scandal so large in this pseudo-real Hollywood setting that our two main protagonists don’t even care if they solve the case, they just want to go down swinging and maybe make enough noise that it’ll draw some attention to the crime.

Our main character in the book is the scriptwriter for the movie being shot in the comic, and after coming across the corpse of the actress, he removed himself from the situation and then read in the newspapers the next day that it was a suicide — but he knows better.

Someone in his studio covered up the crime, and rearranged the crime scene to look like a suicide. 

Now that we’re 10 issues in, he and his fellow writer, who’s been made aware of the crime, are on the warpath. They’ve discovered an even deeper issue below the murder of this one, individual actress — and they mean to expose it.

“The Fade Out” is a great little story that’s really taking its time to develop. Brubaker and Phillips immerse the reader in this sleazy Hollywood era and spend each of the first few issues introducing us to more and more players in the story. The middle set of books in the series really catapult the story forward and now I can’t wait for the final issues to bring it all to a head.

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Filed under BANANA, BOURBON, COGNAC, COMIC BOOKS, COMICS AND COCKTAILS, GARNISHES & OTHER EDIBLES, LIQUEURS

Happy Birthday, Lauren Bacall

Today is Lauren Bacall’s birthday and I wasn’t expecting to find a cocktail named after the actress, but then I stumbled across this gem posted by a WordPress site called Wine Cocktails.

  
We’ve got a nice rose at the bar where I work, so I’ll definitely be trying this out later tonight.

Maybe if I get time I’ll search online later to see if there’s a Dark Passage cocktail. 

  
From what I can tell from Wine Mixology’s post, this cocktail is an original drink that two of their contributors came up with earlier this year — and I hope they don’t mind if I re-post their recipe. But for anyone reading here On this blog bout this drink for the first time, please click over and check out the original post!

From Wine Mixology:

This cocktail is a play on three classics with its own distinctive twist. One classic is obviously Lauren Bacall herself – the sultry actress of the Golden Ages of motion pictures. This cocktail also puts a twist on the classical gin and tonic as well as the “Greyhound” with its splash of grapefruit. It is very refreshing without being too heavy in body. 


INGREDIENTS

  • 2 oz Pol Clement Rose Sec (French Sparkling Rose Wine)
  • ½ oz Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin
  • ½ oz Triple Sec
  • 2 oz Organic Pink Grapefruit juice
  • ½ oz Honey Syrup (1/2cup honey; ½ cup boiling water, stir)
  • Top glass off with Tonic
  • Grapefruit and basil for garnish

PREPARATION

Fill a Collins glass with ice and add in the rose, gin, triple sec, grapefruit juice and honey syrup, and then top the remaining room left in the glass with tonic water. Garnish with grapefruit and basil.

Still Thirsty For More?

—Got a minute-and-a-half!? Here’s a cute, quick video on how to make the Lauren Bacall.

Update:

I’ll be updating this post later tonight after I take a picture of my Lauren Bacal drink I’ll be making.

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Filed under BIRTHDAYS, COCKTAIL CALENDAR, COCKTAIL RECIPES, GIN, GRAPEFRUIT, OLD HOLLYWOOD

Happy Birthday, Fay Wray!

Fay Wray was one of cinema’s first “Scream Queens” and today is her birthday.

She was born Vina Fay Wray on Sept. 15 in 1907.

Not familiar with the actress? Well, read on… Because she’s got more than 100 acting credits to her name — including one gargantuan role for which she’ll always be known.

Fay Wray was born in Alberta Canada and in her life she amassed upward of 100 acting credits to her name.

She acted through 1980, and in the 50s she appeared on television shows such as Perry Mason and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, but she’ll forever be know for a role she played in 1933 — as the female lead in King Kong:

  
Google search the name “Fay Wray and add the word “cocktail” and the first hit you’ll find will be this article on the website Punch.

It only makes sense that someone would have given this Old Hollywood actress her own cocktail, and that it would be related to her role in King Kong — or at least, I assume that’s why this drink has a banana flavor component.

The following recipe was created by Brooklyn-based bartender Matthew Bellanger.

About This Cocktail

The Fay Wray is a banana-flavored tiki drink made with rum and cognac.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 ounce gold rum (preferably Barbancourt 4 Star Rum)
  • 3/4 ounce cognac (preferably Dudugnon)
  • 3/4 ounce banana liqueur, Giffard Banane du Bresil
  • 3/4 ounce lime juice
  • 1/4 ounce rhum agricole, Rhum Clément
  • 1/4 ounce demerara syrup (2:1, sugar:water)
  • 1 small lime wedge

Preparation
Shake all ingredients over a small amount of crushed ice — including a lime wedge. Squeeze the lime wedge in with the other ingredients and drop it in the shaker. Pour all the ingredients, without straining, into a rocks glass and add more crushed ice. Garnish with a dried banana slice and a mint bouquet.

Further Reading:

— Do bananas belong in cocktails? The Savory wrote this article about that question.

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Filed under BANANA, COCKTAIL CALENDAR, COCKTAIL RECIPES, OLD HOLLYWOOD

A Limited-Edition Shandy

Today’s post is of another Southern Tier Shandy, but this one’s made with a one-off beer we scored from the brewery and Arthur R. Gren Distributing.

Curious about the Hop Sun Shandy? My initial post can be read by clicking here.

Today’s post though is about Southern Tier’s “Local Sour,” a kettle sour beer we were lucky enough to get a keg of this week at the restaurant where I work:

 

About This Drink:

Shandies and Radlers have become quite popular in the past few years. It seems like every summer there’s new flavors and brands on the market. With tart specialty beer on tap, we started adding in fresh-squeezed lemon juice and some liqueur for a basic and delicious house shandy.

Ingredients:

•.5 oz lemon juice
•.5 oz simple syrup
•.5 oz orange juice
•.5 oz Domaine de Canton
•10 oz Hop Sun
•4 oz Sierra Mist
•Citrus garnish

Preparation:

Add the citrus and simple syrup into an empty pint glass with the Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur. Next add 8 to 10 oz of “Local Sour” and then top with lemon-lime soda. Garnish with a lemon, lime or orange wedge — or all three.

Note: The above recipe is scaled to serve the drink in a pint glass, but we also cut the recipe in half to serve in a smaller glass, as pictured here:

  

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Filed under BEER, BREWERIES, GINGER, LIQUEURS

Customer Appreciation Post — Ginger Manhattan

Stolen from the Instagram of a friend:

  

It’s a Manhattan on the rocks, but I cut back on the simple syrup and added Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur as well as regular Angostura and orange Angostura bitters.

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Filed under BOURBON, CUSTOMER PHOTO, GINGER, LIQUEURS