14 January 2022

From the bartender’s corner – it is like magic!

From an earlier post, you might remember how I had run into an old bartender friend – Tathagata – in Westin hotel in Kolkata last month. If you carefully notice the picture in that post, you will see a small jar of some black stuff on the right bottom corner.

That is one of the tricks I learnt from Tathagata that day. Those are butterfly pea flowers. He infuses them into gins which renders the gin a dark blue color. Here is the cool thing… as you pour tonic water into the gin, it changes its color to pink!!

Instead of getting butterfly pea flowers, I found a gin – Empress 1908 – made in Canada that actually uses these flowers in the latter stages of the distillation process. The result is a dark blue gin. Since gins usually do not have color, you might mistakenly think that the bottle is blue in color.

I was making the usual gin and tonic for Sharmila last evening when I decided to try out the trick. You can see how the bright blue gin slowly becomes lavender in color and then becomes bright pink. Pretty awesome!

Incidentally, it is a great gin too!!

BTW, I should have used white background for these pictures and not black.

26 December 2021

From the bartender’s corner – Sazerac

Yesterday, Sharmila and I had gone to one of the very few bars open on Christmas day (Taffer’s Tavern). I had asked for a Sazerac. The cocktail was served without any ice on it. Which I found to be strange. This evening I made one the traditional way – with the ice and all that.

I have to admit I liked the non-ice version!! This might go against the traditionalist in mixology but the consistency stayed much better without the ice and I preferred that. I will have to try one with a King ice to see if slower melting helps in keeping the drink cold while maintaining the consistency…

11 December 2021

From the bartender’s corner – Part-time Lover

Difford’s Guide credits the recipe to an adaptation from one created in 2016 by Jon Weimorts (bartender at The Idle Hour in Los Angeles – on Vineland Ave near the intersection with Camarillo St).

I am not big fan of tequila (prefer mezcal) but tried this with Tequila (reposado variety), Elderflower liqueur, Aperol, bitters and lime juice.

The confusion of summery citrusy nose and the bitter palate of the Aperol with the length of a tequila matched perfectly the confusing weather in Atlanta today. After a few days of cold days, it was unusually springy today.

28 November 2021

From the bartender’s corner – The Swiss Martinez

Continuing to experiment with Mount Rigi liqueur, I took the original Martinez recipe and switched up the gin with Mount Rigi. The cocktail further haas Maraschino liqueur, Sweet Vermouth and Orange Bitters. This should be stirred vigorously instead of shaking hard.

Somehow, I liked this more than the traditional Martinez. I even gave it a name – The Swiss Martinez!

27 November 2021

From the bartender’s corner – Rigitonic

Well, that is a made up name. Recently, I saw this bottle in a liquor shop and I did what I would normally do if I did not recognize a bottle – I bought it! I had never heard of this liqueur – or for that matter any other liqueur from Switzerland, save the kirsch.

After some research, I found that this is a relatively new liqueur. Started in 2015 by two brothers who moved back to Switzerland from America, the inspiration of the liqueur is kirsch. The base is fermented cherries. But then it is distilled in copper pots with various berries native to Switzerland. And then proofed down to 20% with water. (The distillery claims Swiss Alps pristine lake water). Mount Riga in central Switzerland is surrounded by three beautiful Alpine lakes.

The drink closest to this is gin, as I could reckon. So, I had the first one with tonic water.

The nose is very floral and soft. Reminded my of elderflower and lichee. The palate alternated between the sweet of the liqueur and the bitter from the tonic water. The length was moderate.

I will give it a thumbs up. Nice to sip thru the evening. Plus you can have more since it is only half ABV that of gin!

(I made up the name – do not try to Google it)