Sunday, January 13, 2008

Mixology Monday- The Plagiarism Cocktail

This is my first attempt at the internet sensation known as Mixology Monday. This session is hosted by Marleigh over at Sloshed and the theme this time is brandy. We're lucky enough here in Portland Oregon to have the premier distiller of eau de vie ("water of life") style artisan brandies in the United States, Clear Creek Distillery which is a mere 2 blocks from the restaurant that I bartend at, Meriwethers . While I definitely enjoy the breadth and depth of brandies, a quick perusal of my liquor cabinet revealed a bottle of 1982 vintage armangac, some Remy Martin VSOP and a bottle of Clear Creek's Pear Brandy. I didn't want to sacrifice the armangac and the Remy just didn't appeal to me for some reason, so I went with the pear brandy. Additionally, my friend JT has developed a recent fascination with chartreuse, so I wanted to incorporate some chartreuse into my cocktail and the pear seemed like a good match for the herbal notes in the chartreuse. A little tinkering around in the bar, adding some fresh squeezed Meyer lemon juice (I love Meyer lemons) and some St Germain Elderflower Liqueur, and a few dashes of grapefruit bitters and I had a delicious, complex and well balanced cocktail. Without further ado, here is the Plagiarism Cocktail

2 oz Clear Creek Brandy
1 oz St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1 oz Meyer Lemon Juice
2 dashes grapfruit bitters

Chill and serve up, garnished with one lightly bruised sprig of thyme to release some of the essential oils.

So why would I name a cocktail after plagiarism? One of the great things about food and cocktails is that there are no copyrights on a particular dish or recipe. This is a good thing, it encourages people to recreate and improve upon recipes and allows talents and techniques to be shared. I can make Jeff Morgenthaler's Richmond Gimlet behind my bar without worries about a lawsuit, and while some bartenders may try to lay claim to others creations, I always try to give credit where credit is due, attempting to educate my guests about the history behind the cocktails they are enjoying.

While food and cooking are one thing, plagiarism in the world of writing is anathema. It is a sign of intellectual laziness and dishonesty. I've recently had my first magazine article published in the January/February Issue of Imbibe Magazine (yep, thats me on the Elements page), and I understand the hard work it takes to craft an article for publication, or even how hard it can be to craft a coherent blog (which, in the interests of full disclosure, I write without revisions). Unfortunately, here in Portland, there is a chef at one of the newer restaurants in town who has just been caught plagiarizing from others works on a scale that I've never seen before. Since this is the hot topic du jour on Portland restaurant boards, I thought I'd name my cocktail after this scandal. Oh, and if the chef in question (or anyone else for that matter) happens to read this little posting, I'm giving up all copyrights on this particular posting in perpetuity. Feel free to plagiarize this all you'd like. After all, it was Pablo Picasso who said, "Bad artists copy, good artists steal".

And the journey continues... Enjoy the cocktail, its a true original and delicious to boot.


JT said...

This looks awesome!!!

Jeffrey Morgenthaler said...

Agreed, this looks lovely. The bar I just inherited carries both colors of Chartreuse, so I can actually try this one.

See you Sunday ;)

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