lillet

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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Hey That’s My Bike

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So…Easter happened. Yeah. That was fun? It’s a weird holiday; Especially if you don’t have kids and aren’t (“and arent?” what fucking language is this blog in?) religious (unless you count religiously day drinking on Easter Sunday). So for me it was making brunch-y egg drinks for my fiance and me while hearing our neighbor’s kids scream their lungs out looking for Easter eggs while high on chocolate bunnies and Cadbury eggs.

Fun fact: When I was a kid, the only egg hunts I was involved in during Easter involved hard boiled eggs EXCLUSIVELY. After finding these motherf*ckers, I was then expected to eat them. So many eggs. So many. WHY WAS I SO GOOD AT FINDING THEM?! Back to the booze…

This drink is a mix between a pisco sour and a Ramos gin fizz. I don’t have it in me to ever add cream into a cocktail, as delicious as it may sound, so instead I’ll add any other random shit I can throw at it. I reused some of my leftover lemongrass / palm sugar syrup which was really nice here but it probably tastes the same with regular simple to be fair. Just be warned, we were surprised at how easy we were downing these. Way past brunch. Unless brunch is still going on @ around 10pm…

 

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Gin
Lillet Blanc
Bitters
Lime juice
Cucumber juice
Simple syrup
Egg white

In this case, I used Bitterman’s Boston Bittahs because the chamomile and citrus in it compliments the rest of the flavors, but I’m certain a 1 to 1 of orange and angostura bitters would work nice too.

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2 parts Hendrick’s gin
1/2 part Lillet Blanc
1/2 part blended/muddled cucumber juice
1/2 part lime juice
1/2 part lemongrass / palm sugar syrup (remnants from last week’s post)
2 eye droppers of Bitterman’s Boston Bittahs
1 egg white

Add the gin, lillet, bitters, juices and syrup to one part of your shaker.
Crack the egg and pour the egg white in the other half, so that you can clear out any shell if needed or in case you were to dump the yolk.
Pour one into the other and give it a dry shake for about 15-20 seconds (What’s a dry shake? It’s the best way to homogenize that egg and start getting that aerated, silky texture that you’re gonna want. All without diluting with water).
Pop the seal, add your ice and go to town on it again as usual.

strain into a coupe or rocks glass*.
*Honestly I did this drink a few times on Easter and I poured it into a different type of glass each time. So just do whatever feels right to you.

No need to double strain here. You’d be robbing yourself of that frothy egg mixture.
Garnish with a dehydrated lime wheel and some thin slices of English cucumber.
[ Enjoy ]

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Vesper

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Bond, James Bond. Unfortunately, in the real world, saying your own name like that to someone you just met wont ever sound as cool. In fact, I’m pretty sure you’ll sound like an asshole; More so if you follow it up with some awkward, clammy handshake. Just don’t.

I don’t have the balls to ever order this drink @ a bar. It just feels wrong. Maybe its because it has a connotation of making you feel like a ‘wannabe’, and the only wannabe that I want to be is your lover. But first I gotta get with your friends. Wait. What?

Regardless of my mental breakdown above, this cocktail is actually balanced, sexy and my god is it strong [full disclosure: I made myself one right before going to watch Skyfall last night. Yeah. That was fun]. All things that 007 evokes.  I mean, all it needs is to be served in a l’il tuxedo.

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3 parts gin
1 part vodka
1/2 part lillet
lemon twist

Gin is the prominent ingredient here, and given the crisp qualities that we’re aiming for, it’s best served with a more balanced dry gin, such as No.3 (used here), Greenhook or even Tanqueray.

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The original Vesper called for Gordon’s gin. Yeah, some things just don’t hold up with time and I cant in good faith have you destroy this cocktail with that shit. There’s better gin out there so no tears were shed; The same cant be said for the Kina Lillet, which hasn’t been produced in years.

Take the gin, vodka, Lillet and basically beat the shit out of them, really.
In the words of James Bond in Casino Royal when asked ‘shaken or stirred?':
“Do I look like a give a damn?”
Take a lemon twist, squeeze some of the oils onto the cocktail and dip it in.
[Enjoy]

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