A New Year’s Toast

Hey all.

I would just like to wish everyone a joyous, profitable, and otherwise happy new year. I hope it is better than this and any other. To toast this sentiment, might I suggest a…

Seelbach Cocktail

  • .75 oz. – Bourbon Whiskey (Maker’s Mark)
  • .5 oz. – Curacao (Gran Gala)
  • 7-8 dashes – Aromatic Bitters (Angostura)
  • 7-8 dashes – Aromatic Bitters (Peychoud’s)
  • Top (4-5 oz.) – Sparkling Wine (Cava)

Stir whiskey, liqueur, and bitters with ice to cool, then top with chilled bubbly. I recomend Cava or Prosecco over the more traditional Champagne or California sparkling as the fruitier elements of Cava or Prosecco will tie it better to the orange cordial and Peychoud’s.

I would generalize that advice to all cocktails, as I find, unless you are simply mixing Champagne with crisp spirits, the fruitiness of some other European sparkling offerings works better.

Happy new year, and an easy morning after,
The Scribe

Advertisements

And We’re Live!

Hello, Hello!

I am writing to you from the new Dram of Brine, also known as A Mixed Dram. Yeah, I know, name changes, and everything. If you are on the old Dram of Brine site on Blogger, you should be looking at the new blog on WordPress. If you would rather have the URL, it’s:

https://mixeddram.wordpress.com

The site is not 100% live yet. I am still getting the indexes linked up and I need to also get the graphic up for the main page, which should be up by this weekend. In addition, as I make the move, I am also going through old posts and updating them with photos where I have them. So, what is new at the Dram? Things should be continuing more or less as planned, though I am starting a new little tradition of a monthly project, which I’ll get into on Thursday when I announce the first one. Otherwise, I have put up a few new features with the move:

  1. Comprehensive ingredient index. In the categories to the right, you will find a list of ingredients. You can find any drink I have published based on what is in it.
  2. Alphabetical indexes of both cocktails I have published here and also all the products that I have reviewed to date.
  3. List of ingredients I have on hand so you can see what I am playing with.

In addition, I will try to commit to making a cocktail of some kind at least four times a month, if not every week.

In other, slightly less exciting news, I also got both David Wondrich’s Inbibe as well as Dale deGroff’s The Craft of the Cocktail today, and I have a bunch of other wonderful books coming in the mail. As a little celebration, it seems appropriate that we make a cocktail to restart things, as it were:

The Manhattan from The Craft of the Cocktail

  • 2 oz – American Whisky (Old Overholt Rye)
  • 1 oz – Italian Vermouth (Martini & Rossi)
  • 2 dashes – Aromatic Bitters (Angostura)

Stir with ice until chilled and serve in a cocktail class or champagne coupé.

My only complaint is that I cannot get anything other than my username to show up as the post author. I would prefer to use a nickname (“The Scribe”) if anyone knows how to do this, please let me know.

Welcome to my new home,

The Scribe

Again With the Lateness

Hello everyone. Today I did the review I meant to do last week: Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey. I found it to be quite yummy. On a related note, I’m leaving Friday night for Chicago. I will be making an appearance at Ed Hamilton’s Chicago Rum Festival for the tasting Saturday afternoon as well as the Windy City Series, where I am sure the White Sox will tackle that other team they are facing quite handily. Of course, I will also be able to see lots of friends and family. I will be back in Boston on the following Monday, but in the meantime, I will be posting from Chicago. But anyway, onto the review:

Bulleit Distilling Co.: Frontier Bourbon Whiskey

Tasting Conditions: I enjoyed the Bulleit as a nightcap after a day of leisure. As per usual with spirits, I enjoyed it first neat, then with water, and finally a cube of ice in a brandy snifter of approximately eight ounces.

Eye: The most striking thing about Bulleit is its packaging. The packaging is clearly inspired by images of the old West. The form is vaguely reminiscent of an over sized hip flask. The cork fits well. The glass is embossed with the words “Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey” and then a label below repeats that information as well as all the other information that is needed. The spirit is a pleasant amber with slender legs. It is bottled at 90 proof and I could not find an age statement, though I would appreciate an idea of its age if anyone knows.

Nose: The first sniff really burned my nose. Again, a snifter might not have been the best idea, and I would generally drink this in a rocks glass anyway. The aroma is not the most pleasant with turpentine being the dominant note. Beyond that there are strong apple notes and a lot of nuttiness, with peanut especially strong.

Mouth: On the mouth this is gorgeous. Despite the aroma, it is silky smooth. It tastes almost like a Whatchamacallit bar with toffee and peanut tastes quite strongly. the peanut dominates the front with toffee and honey coming in on the middle and a vanilla notes finishing it out. A second sip leaves me nothing else, though I should note that the strength is quite evident with just a little numbness in the palate necessitating a brief wait between sips. Next up, the addition of water. I added just a dribble diluting it by no more than one part water to three parts whiskey. The water really doesn’t change too much perhaps bringing out the vanilla just a bit more. Next up, the addition of a cube of ice. A swirl to cool and a sip… The ice really tones back the peanut flavors, which is to the good. It reveals more fruitiness which could be the apple I smelled. It also really brings the toffee notes to the fore, and adding them to the finish. For me, I think a cube of ice is the way to go with this spirit.

Conclusion: I really like the Bulleit. It is wonderful. It’s like drinking candy from a first class confectioner. It is not overly sweet, and I found it a bit nutty until I added the ice, but with a cube of ice, this began to sing. It also works great in an old fashioned, especially when I used maple syrup or a vanilla syrup. This could well become a staple of my liquor cabinet.

Wishing you green pastures,
The Scribe

Picture to follow.

It’s A Peach!

For me, two fruit have always signified the height of summer: The peach and the cherry. Today, I am tackling peaches, and cherries will have to wait for another day. The peach, along with it’s half sister, the nectarine, were always around in our house during the summer. I picked up a half dozen peaches the other day at the grocery, and, naturally, I felt a need to make stewed peaches. The recipe is very simple. Take a syrup of two parts water to one part sugar, and add one other flavour element that plays well with peaches, in this case a healthy splash of vanilla extract (yes, yes, the bean is better, but being a poor college student, I have extract). Bring the syrup to a simmer and toss in halved or quartered peaches, and let them cook in the syrup until somewhat softened. Pull out the peaches, and reduce the syrup by half to a quarter (giving you 1-1 or 2-1 syrup). Serve the peaches with vanilla ice cream and a splash of syrup. Store the remaining peaches in syrup.

But what to do with the syrup? Well, peaches are a southern thing. What else is a s’uth’n thing? Bourbon. What takes syrup and bourbon? An old fashioned! Sooo….

Scrivenal Peach Old Fashioned

  • 2 oz. – Bourbon (A smooth bourbon with nice vanilla notes would work great, but all I had was Boulleit.)
  • .5 oz – Vanilla Peach Syrup (described above)
  • 2-3 dashes – Bitters (I used Angustura Aromatic, but Fee’s Peach might be nice.)

Build in a tumbler as you would a normal old fashioned. If you can think of an appropriate garnish, let me know, but maybe a peach wedge.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get an opportunity to photograph the drink, but it was darn tasty. And yes, I don’t really garnish drinks for my own personal consumption. I make them how I like them, so I don’t need the ability to customize the drink.

Pleasant drinking,
The Scribe

Better Late Than Never

I meant to go with the whole MxMo Bourbon thing and whip out a review of the Bulleit which was enjoyed in so many concoctions recently, including my own. Unfortunately, Wednesday rather snook up on me, and I did not recall that I owed you all a review until about three minutes ago. Unfortunately, with almost five minutes until midnight, I cannot really review a new product in the detail it deserves. Luckily, in addition to dozens of beer reviews stocked away, I also have a single spirit review as well. While I was really trying to keep the third Wednesday to sippers, I guess I will have to make an exception this week. I present you:

Old Bushmills Distillery: Original Irish Whiskey

Tasting Conditions:
I was at a party where we were each supposed to bring some nips (50 mL bottles) of different spirits to try. Since my liquor store gets the same price for Bushmills and vodka, the choice was easy. At the end of the night, I brought this spare bottle home. I decided to pop this one open since it was a glass bottle and I was moving. It was stored in indifferent conditions for under a week, and tasted in a snifter of approximately eight ounces.

Eye: In the bottle, Bushmills is a yellowish flaxen color. In the glass, the color doesn’t change at all. A swirl reveals legs that start thick, but get quite narrow as they slide down the class. The whiskey comes in a square bottle that tapers as it gets to the top. Certainly compared to the other nips I bought, it was the nicest. Having seen the full size bottle, it is quite similar to the nip.

Nose: There is a nice aroma with just a hint of smoke. The aroma is fairly smooth without too much alcoholic kick. Otherwise the aroma is slightly bready and quite nutty, though the two are fairly similar. There was also a hint of vanilla and a lot of peanut.

Mouth: I started, as I always do, with neat spirit. The taste was quite rich, and surprisingly smooth for such an inexpensive spirit. The front was buttery and smooth with a bit of honey and caramel, and perhaps a touch of vanilla. As it moved towards the back, the caramel became almost more like a nut brittle, and I got a lot of peanut butter on the finish. There was also a somewhat spicy element there as well. I moved on to the second stage: dilution with still ice water. The water did not change the flavor noticeably, though it became even smoother with less bite. The spiciness was also a touch more noticeable. The texture became slightly more buttery, but not much. For the final taste, I added a cube of ice. The ice really brought out the nuttiness on the front, while it became less noticeable on the finish. It also brought vanilla notes to the fore.

Conclusion: This is a wonderful whiskey, certainly for a beginner, which I undoubtedly am. It was smooth and yummy and creamy, and, most important, extremely cheap. At $15 for a bottle (buying nips), this is almost the same price as drinkable vodka or decent white rum, and yet it’s completely sipable neat even by palates that aren’t so used to straight spirits. I would be interested in using this as a mixing spirit. This is definitely staying on the shelf. How you drink it is up to you. I am not sure how I will, because it’s quite good however you enjoy it.

I should add that I enjoyed this spirit a week or so later. I didn’t find it quite as nice. Perhaps it was the choice of glassware…or lack there of. While it faired nicely in a snifter, when moved to a plastic keg cup, it didn’t do nearly as well.

I meant to have a picture to post, but unfortunately I forgot to take one. Next time!

Best of health,
The Scribe