Tag Archives: ABSINTHE

Playing With Fire

Just another Friday night at the bar:

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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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Remembering Hemingway

Yesterday was Hemingway’s birthday, and we celebrated it appropriately at the bar where I work:

  

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Happy Birthday, Jack Dempsey!

It’s Jack Dempsey’s birthday today, which had me flipping through my copy of Mr. Boston for the recipe for the Dempsey Cocktail:

  
That pic above comes from the 1953 edition of the Old Mr. Boston De Luxe Official Bartender’s Guide.

I know Mr. Boston’s not the oldest cocktail book nor the most cited, but it’s the only one I have on hand that mentions the Dempsey Cocktail.

Jack Dempsey

Who was Jack Dempsey? I didn’t know much about the man until I cribbed the following from Wikipedia:

William Harrison “Jack” Dempsey was born June 24, 1895 and dies May 31, 1983. He was also known as “Kid Blackie” and “The Manassa Mauler.”

He was an American professional boxer, who became a cultural icon of the 1920s.

Dempsey held the World Heavyweight Championship from 1919 to 1926, and his aggressive style and exceptional punching power made him one of the most popular boxers in history.

From Mr. Boston:

Ingredients:

•1 oz dry gin
•1 oz apple brandy
•1/2 teaspoon absinthe substitute
•1/2 teaspoon grenadine

Preparation:

Shake well with cracked ice and strain into a 3 oz cocktail glass.

Other Recipes:

—Difford’s Guide uses rum in its “Jack Dempsey” cocktail.


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Filed under ABSINTHE, BIRTHDAYS, COCKTAIL BOOKS, COCKTAIL CALENDAR, COCKTAIL RECIPES, GIN

Any Reason For A Sazerac Is Reason Enough For Me

Today is Katharine Hepburn’s birthday.

She was born May 12, 1907.

In celebration of her birthday, I say we should all have a Sazerac.

It’s the second time in a week that I’ve recommended this cocktail. And I’m sure I’ll find a dozen more reasons to do so again as time goes on, but today is about Katharine Hepburn.

I don’t know if she has a cocktail named after her at all, but she did drink a Sazerac or two in the film State of the Union, which was made in 1948.

 

The film stars Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn as political campaigners, and at one point, a Southern guest of Hepburn’s character introduces her to the Sazerac cocktail.

The website The Hooch Life drscribes the scenario as follows:

In the classic political comedy, State of the Union, Katharine Hepburn’s character passes out after two of these cocktails while her drinking companion shouts, “Honey, make me another Sazerac!”

This official cocktail of New Orleans is as boozy as you’d expect, and, if it’s cool enough for Katharine, it’s more than cool enough for me.

Read the full list of 10 classic cocktails and who drank them in this 2011 piece on The Hooch Life.

INGREDIENTS

  • Sugar (or simple syrup)
  • 2 oz rye whiskey
  • 3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Absinthe rinse

PREPARATION

Chill a rocks glass. Give it an absinthe rinse, using only a small amount of absinthe (or Herbsaint)band then discard the excess liquid.

Stir all the ingredients except the absinthe over ice and strain into the absinthe-rinsed glass.

Rub a lemon peel around the rim of the glass and discard. The drink does not get a garnish.

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Filed under BIRTHDAYS, BITTERS & TINCTURES, BITTERS BRANDS, COCKTAIL CALENDAR, COCKTAIL HISTORY, COCKTAIL RECIPES, OLD HOLLYWOOD, RYE WHISKEY, WHISKEY

Happy Birthday, Hemingway!

Today is Ernest Hemingway’s birthday.

Talk of the man tends to go hand-in-hand with talk of cocktails and libations.

There have been a great number of articles and cocktail lists written regarding Hemingway in the last few years, due in part to the publication of Philip Greene’s book “To Have And Have Another.”

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I’m not an expert on Hemingway, but I am more than passingly familiar with some of the drinks that get associated with his name:

Cocktails associated with Hemingway:
•Daiquiri
•Death In The Afternoon
•Dripped Absinthe
•Dry Martini
•Jack Rose

I’ve written about Death in the Afternoon before! Click the link and check out the cocktail in all it’s glory:
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Hemingway’s recipe for the drink:

“Pour 1 jigger of absinthe into a champagne glass. Add iced champagne until it attains the proper opalescent milkiness. Drink three to five of these slowly.”

As I said earlier, I’m not a Hemingway expert, but today’s a perfect day for learning a little about the man and all the cocktails he’s associated with.

Below you’ll find resources with info about absinthe and daiquiris and details debunking Hemingway mojito and Bloody Mary lore.

Links worth reading::
•A Liquor.com piece from 2013.
•A Food Republic piece from 2012.
•The Wondrich write-up on “Death in the Afternoon.”

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The Man Behind The “Monkey Gland”

Today is the birthday of Serge Voronoff.

Voronoff has very little to do with cocktails. He was a doctor, a French surgeon of Russian extraction.

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He is best known (and really only remembered today) for one thing — a surgery he performed which now has a cocktail named after it.

Voronoff pioneered “the technique of grafting monkey testicle tissue onto the testicles of men for purportedly therapeutic purposes while working in France in the 1920s and 1930s.”

“As his work fell out of favor, he went from being highly respected to a subject of ridicule. Other doctors, and the public at large, quickly distanced themselves from Voronoff, pretending they had never had any interest in the grafting techniques.”

You can read more about him here.

It is from his life’s work that today we have a cocktail named the “Monkey Gland” — a gin and absinthe delight with orange and grenadine flavors.

Monkey Gland:
The Monkey Gland was created in the 1920s by Harry MacElhone, owner of Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, France.

Here we have Imbibe Magazine‘s recipe:
•1 1/2 oz. gin
•1 1/2 oz. fresh orange juice
•1 tsp. grenadine
•1 tsp. simple syrup
•1 tsp. absinthe

Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled glass.

[Adapted from Barflies and Cocktails by Harry MacElhone (1927)]

I’ve also read that the Monkey Gland was created in April 1923 by Frank Meier, at the Ritz Hotel, Paris.

More About The Monkey Gland:
About.com Cocktails
Voronoff.Wordpress.Com
Art Of Drink

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