Monday, April 7, 2014

Tasting #2

In the wake of my first, wildly successful cocktail tasting, I was incredibly pleased to have the chance at another.  This wound up being a much rowdier time, with a surprising amount of yelling and karaoke.  It was also a shitload of fun!  A big thanks to Chris and Bridget for inviting me and hosting.

2 oz gin
½ oz maraschino liqueur
¾ oz lemon juice
To build: Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.
Other notes: The original recipe adds a dash of violet liqueur (crème de violette) for a pale, light blue color, hence the name. But this simpler version is just as tasty.

2 oz gin
½ oz Dolin blanc vermouth
¼ oz maraschino liqueur
2 dashes Regan's No. 6 orange bitters
2 dashes Bitter Truth celery bitters
To build: Rinse a cocktail glass with absinthe and place in the freezer. Stir with ice and strain into the prepared cocktail glass. Garnish with a strip of lemon peel.
Other notes: The Martinez is an early version of the Martini. This version uses an unusual style of sweetened white vermouth; regular red vermouth works too.

2 oz pisco
½ oz pineapple syrup
¾ oz lime juice
2 large sprigs mint
To build: Strip the mint leaves except for the top of one stalk.  Press the leaves in the bottom of a glass with the syrup; add the pisco, lime juice and ice.  Shake, strain over fresh ice, top with soda water, and insert the mint sprig as garnish.
Other notes: This Cuban classic would normally use white rum, but pisco makes an interesting substitution. If you get lazy and drink this out of the glass you mixed it in, nobody would blame you.

2 oz pisco
1 oz pineapple syrup
½ oz lemon juice
½ oz lime juice
½ egg white
2 dashes Bitter Truth celery bitters
3-4 pineapple cubes
To build: Muddle the pineapple in the pisco and syrup; add the remaining ingredients, shake very well and strain over fresh ice.
Other notes: Nobody quite knows the original recipe for this renowned San Francisco specialty; this is my own tricked-out version.  It’s hard to separate an egg into equal halves, so you’ll just have to make two!

Holy crap did that last one ever take off.  I wound up making at least a couple for everyone present, in addition to the tasting portions and a whole slew of off-the-cuff requests.  Like I said: rowdy.  In the words of one attendee: "You bring such joy to people with kids."  I'll take the compliment, but by the time I left they were doing just fine on their own.

My only problem is that now, I've got a whole bunch of research to do into the legal side of making this a real, grown-up business.  People seem to dig the concept, especially as I focus on the fact that it's really not that difficult, and that anybody can make a good cocktail.  This seems to be not only a viable niche, but something that I really enjoy; there are such incredibly fun moments of engagement and learning that I can't help but look forward to the next event.  But if I want to get paid for this, all the sudden I need to start thinking about contracts and liability and scheduling.  So maybe I'll pull up the reigns for now, do some serious investigation, and keep hosting preview parties at home in preparation.  Someday we'll get there.

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