apricot

MxMo: Branches In A River

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“You have no idea where I came from
We have no idea where we’re going
Lodged in life
Like two branches in a river
flowing downstream
caught in the current
I’ll carry you. You’ll carry me
That’s how it could be
Don’t you know me?
Don’t you know me by now?”

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After sitting a couple rounds of MxMO out, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity of playing around with resin and liquor, the same way the people from Jurassic Park did. That movie still scares the crap out of me. Just sayin’. This month, it’s the ever sexy duo known as the Booze Nerds leading us into the woods:

From savory rosemary in a stuffing, to a delicious juniper-y gin in a martini, to a fragrant fir ornament or garnish, our friends the evergreens have a lot to offer.

The challenge: come up with an ingenious creation using the resin-y ingredient of your choice. Zirbenz, retsina, hoppy IPA, pine-nut puree, even? Sure! Spirit, garnish, aroma, all are fair game.  Whatever resin means to you, we want to hear it.

This cocktail worked out beautifully with this month’s theme in that I was working on a drink with Zirbenz and either rosemary or thyme or lavender inspired by Linklater’s Before Sunrise?!? So when I read Zirbenz on the announcement post I knew now was the right time. I settled on thyme in the end to dance around with the Alpine liqueur and tossed in a European mix of ingredients that I’m very happy with in the end, that met my original concept for the drink.

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  • Bols Genever
  • Zirbenz
  • Apricot Eau de Vie
  • Lillet rose
  • bitters
  • muddled thyme

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Before Sunrise holds up. It is 90’s-as-fuck and slightly creepy but damn did Ethan Hawke have great hair. I watched it recently with my wife (her first time) with hopes of it culminating in a marathon screening of all 3 with the best wine $8 can buy…but after her losing any and all interest in it after about 10 minutes or so, it ended with me watching them alone. But she didn’t get any of my fancy wine.

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For this to work best, I’d advise you buy some German rock sugar from Teavana. Make a 1 to 1 syrup with it and you will instantly fall in love with the flavor; Not as cloyingly sweet as regular sugar or honey, with a quality that I can really just describe as “soft”. It works great in this one to just give a bit of sweetness and balance.

1 1/2 oz Bols Genever
3/4 oz Lillet Rose
3/4 oz Zirbenz Stone Pine liqueur
1/2 oz Blume Marillen Apricot Eau de Vie
1 dash Bittercube Bolivar bitters
1 dash black mission fig bitters
1/4 oz German beet syrup*
1 small sprig of thyme for muddling

Add the sprig of thyme and the syrup in the shaker and muddle for a bit. Pour in the rest and shake it fast (But watch ya self). Double strain into a rocks glass with some ice. It helps to extract the oil from a lemon peel onto the drink in the end. Garnish with the peel and a small sprig of thyme.

[ Enjoy ]

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Zirbenz is a stone pine liqueur from Austria. Known by some as “the agave of the Alps”, it is pine-y as hell but in the form of a very pleasant finish. I can see it going great with a nice gin.

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Lost in Translation

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The purpose of a great craft cocktail, one made with thought, skill and care, is to delight.

 

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Holy crap did this post take FOREVER! I was planning on posting this at least 2 weeks ago and then I may have been abducted by aliens (the non-butt-probing kind) or something ’cause I never got around to sharing this delightful post with all of you wonderful alcoholics humans.

I have an upcoming “educational” (say what?!) post on sake where I lie to you all with non-confirmed facts (mainly because I was too lazy to “bing it”) about that deliciousness from Japan. It’ll basically be a “rule of thumb” type of post if you’re interested in sake to sip it instead of boring wine (if you’re feeling sexy) or to mix it with other spirits (if you’re feeling adventurous). In that post I go over soju (used here) which is not a sake but if you can keep a secret, I’ll have you know that this stuff makes for a fantastic vermouth sub. Yup.

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  • Soju/Shochu
  • Vodka
  • Apricot Eau De Vie
  • Triple-Sec
  • Bitters
  • Simple syrup

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Soju or Shochu? At this point its the same thing. Soju is traditionally from Korea, while Shochu is of Japan. This Kaikouzo Soju is actually Shochu marketed as soju. Usually they are all under 25% ABV and are distilled very much like a neutral grain spirit (potatoes used quite often), with the master distiller infusing flavor throughout the process or at the very end.

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I wanted to make it easier to start remembering hot to make my drinks. This is a simple stirred drink in a 4,3,2,1 method where you start with one spirit and from there you add 1/4 less of the next. Yeah that was confusing:

1 oz Kaikouzo Soju
3/4 oz Imperia Vodka
1/2 oz Metté apricot Eau De Vie
1/4 oz Cointreau
2 dashes of Dr. Adam Elmegiram’s Teapot Bitters
1 dash of simple syrup (just a dash)

Add all into a chilled mixing glass full of ice and stir. With every drink you make you’ll start refining your stirring technique. When I started, I was a subtle as a blender on max. It was ugly.

Strain into a smaller martini glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

[ Enjoy ]

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This drink plays close to a vodka martini, what with its crystal clear appearance and velvet flavors. The soju itself could potentially be used as a blanc vermouth of sorts, but there is definitely a broader flavor profile in it making you want to sip it slow to let those flavors do their work. 

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