st george

Pins & Needles

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Here’s to the end of these damn holidays and to the bright beginning of a new year.

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I love the holidays. Especially new year’s. I have a questionable amount of red and green pants to prove it but in all honesty, I’m just happy that its over. I got real fat just grazing on chocolate, cookies & random seasonal beer this past month and no matter how much I heard that fucking Michael Bublé Christmas album, things just felt a bit off. So here’s to this new year and all the awesome things it may bring to you (but really, to me).

You may or may not know this but our petite Christmas tree, like way-too-many things in our life, had a name: Christopher. And I got the idea for this cocktail while picking it (him?) out with my equally petite wife in a sea of pine needles and sap. He (it?) was crooked-as-shit and had a horrible color but damn it if it wasn’t the best friend $23 (AMERICAN!) can buy, and not a day goes by that I dont…hmmm….that I dont…I miss that little rascal so much. Sorry. I got emotional there and it got ugly. Not as ugly as watching Jennifer Lawrence cry but very similar.

The idea here was to make something tiki-ish, for the cold-ass weather with spirits that reminded me of “being left for dead in a prickly pine forrest in the dead of winter”. Warm thoughts indeed. The pineapple gomme made sense to me as those edible grenades are just as prickly but finding the balance took a few tries. In fact it took me so long to get it right that it’s now mid-January -__-  fml.

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  • St. George Terroir Gin
  • Braulio
  • Zirbenz
  • Pineapple gomme
  • Lime juice

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I don’t make tall drinks like these often but anytime I get to whip out some straws and fancy ice cubes (which I am working on getting perfectly clear), it’s always a fun time. I wanted to garnish these with a little branch of a pine tree but I read somewhere that can be toxic? So yeah, garnishing with poison would be a bad call.

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This is one of those cocktails that you REALLY smell while you’re making it.  In the best of ways; Braulio has a great pine smell to it that is reinforced by the Zirbenz without losing any of its inviting aroma and without it smelling like you just wrestled a christmas tree. Though that.would.be.awesome.

2 oz St. George Terroir gin
1 oz Braulio amaro
1/2 oz Zirbenz stone pine liqueur
3/4 oz Small Hand Foods pineapple gomme
1/2 oz fresh lime juice

Add all ingredients in your shaker, but trying to look real cool when you do it.
Add ice and shake hard and fast.
Take a collins glass and top up with cubed ice.
Strain into the glass, garnishing with a lime wheel, rosemary sprig & straw.

[ Enjoy ]

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Braulio [ 'amaro alpino', not the artist ] is the star here but it can be subbed for Fernet Branca if needed, as it has similar qualities to it and should be easier to find (I had to travel to NY to get it). But for those amaro lovers that perhaps don't care much for the minty-ness of Fernet, then Braulio may be a great alternative.

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The Architect

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This one’s for you, Tony. You classy ol’ fox.

I struggled making this cocktail at first. Which brings me to my first point: don’t force a drink. Sometimes they just need to be unceremoniously discarded and forgotten; Much like Lindsay Lohan. I got the idea for this one a little while back while getting some refreshments @ Drink (yes. I know I’ve talked about this place before but you wouldn’t shut up about that place either if you had a drink blog). I was alone that day, putting out the vibe*; Which is when I met the most regal 70 year old man. In the 2 hours that followed, we talked about 2 things: architecture & absinthe. He was even kind enough to draw me a diagram. Class act, that Tony.

So none of that info, or “a story of forbidden love” as I like to think of it, was pertinent to the actual drink except for the fact that it’s where it gets its name, along with its inclusion of absinthe. I would like to end this post saying that if he were to taste this, he would love it but that’s bullshit. In fact, I’m sure he would hate it and go back to Drink, only to burn it to the ground.

*the vibe: Raul standing uncomfortably in a room, sweating profusely and giving the distinct impression that he just strangled someone in the men's room.

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Absinthe
Ramazzotti
Fernet Branca
Bitters
salt

For the salt, I used Elana’s recipe from Stir and Strain for ‘vanilla salt‘. That site deserves way better than just a side note here (it’s been on my ‘Read‘ list since day 1) and you NEED to check it out (now) but I’ll have a full post dedicated to her site shortly.

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This is a stirred drink, served over ice.

1 1/2 oz Sweet vermouth  [ Cocchi Vermouth di Torino ]
1/4 oz Absinthe  [ St. George Absinthe Verte]
1/2 oz Ramazzotti amaro
1/4 oz Fernet Branca
8 drops Brooklyn Hemispherical Black Mission Fig bitters

Add all these guys into a mixing glass with ice and stir.

Add a large ice cube into a rocks glass and pour the cocktail around the cube.
Take a pinch (what’s less than a pinch? well that) and place it on top of the ice.
[ Enjoy ]

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