Sunday, February 10, 2008
MxMo Variations and the OBG
Ok, I admit, I'm not the most technical person you'll ever meet. For the life of me, I still can't figure out how to save that MixMo logo and embed it into my posts, al la Jeff Morgenthaler. For now, please bear with me (someday I'll figure out how to get the pics into the body of my post too, but thats for another day). Anyway, as you probably know, the immensely talented Jimmy Patrick is the host of Mixology Monday this month and the theme is variations. In addition to my own variation (pic 1 above), I'm also going to offer up some interesting variations on cocktails by some of my fellow members of the Oregon Bartenders Guild. Before I get into the cocktails, let me say that I am proud to be a member of the only independent bartenders guild in the United States. We're doing some exciting things and if you are interested in some of our discussions and such, you can access our forum here. But I digress, lets move on to the cocktails shall we?
The first picture above is my creation, the Spagnuolo, one of three variations on the Negroni that I'm sharing in this post. For my variation, I substituted Aperol for the Campari, being sister products I thought it would be interesting to note the differences that occured in the cocktail. While Campari has quite a bit of bitterness, I knew that I'd be losing some of that bitterness with the substitution of Aperol. To try to maintain the balance of the cocktail, I used Punt E Mes, which I find very bitter, and Aviation Gin by House Spirits, mainly because I love their gin and didn't want to drink anything else. I also added three dashes of Fee's Lemon Bitters as a small variation. While it just isn't fair to compare the Spagnuolo to a classic Negroni, the resulting cocktail was quite pleasant, with very pronounced notes of bitter orange. The Punt E Mes was the right call to maintain the balance in the cocktail and the Aviation mixed, as usual, like a champ. Who knows, I might just throw the Spagnuolo cocktail on the menu as a special soon, it would be particularly nice during the spring. One note, the cocktail was made with a 1-1-1 ratio and 3 dashes of lemon bitters.
Next up, we have an entirely different variation on the Negroni from my friend and fellow Oregon Bartenders Guild board member, David Shenaut of the TearDrop Lounge. While David didn't give a name to his variation (his is the second pic above), lets call it the OBG #2. While the Spagnuolo really explored the fruit nuances available in a Negroni variation, David's OBG #2 traveled down a much more savory path. Composed of 1.5 oz Aviation gin, 1.25 oz Carpano Antica, 1.25 oz Campari and 20 drops of the TearDrop's notorious Chipotle- Chocolate bitters and finished with a twist of lemon. I was lucky enough to have David make this for me on my last trip to the TearDrop and I was thoroughly impressed by the spicy, savory notes that he was able to bring out in this cocktail.
Moving on, and not pictured above, but definitely worth mentioning is another variation on the Negroni created by yet one more Oregon Bartenders Guild board member, Kevin Ludwig. Kevin makes a Norwegian Negroni with Krogstad Aquavit, Cynar and Carpano Antica. I didn't have time to whip one up, but if you are a fan of Robert Hess' Trident cocktail, then the Norwegian Negroni should be right what you've been looking for.
3 variation on the Negroni from the Oregon Bartenders Guild? What, do we have some sort of a groupthink mentality? Actually, its just a bit of a strange coincidence (although I am praying that Jeff Morgenthaler's post isn't a variation on the Negroni). Thank goodness we're finishing up this post with Daniel Shoemaker. Owner and creative force behind Portland's best cocktail lounge, the TearDrop Lounge with his partner Ted Charnak, Daniel offers us his variation on the classic Japanese cocktail, aptly named, "The Cyclone Ranger" (last pic above). 2 oz of Barsol Quebranta Pisco are mixed with 3/4 oz of the TearDrop's own filbert orgeat, a dash of angostura bitters and 4 drops of their house Chipotle-Chocolate bitters. Daniel serves this up in a coupe garnished with catlike dexterity (I know, catlike dexterity? Daniel was recently written up as catlike in a recent review, so I've got to continue teasing him) with shaved Scharfenberger chocolate.
In the future, you may continue to see drinks and ideas here from my fellow OBG members. I think its a great exercise to do collectively, and as you can see, 4 bartenders came up with 4 completely different variations this time. Perhaps our next project should be creating punches for Tales. Too bad Old New Orleans Rum isn't exactly easy to come by in Oregon. But thats a subject for another post. Thanks for reading and giving me the opportunity to share some of the talents of my fellow members of the OBG.
Follow the rest of the variations here at Mixology Monday.