The guys discuss the seminal Aviation cocktail, made with London dry gin, fresh lemon juice, Luxardo maraschino liqueur, creme de violet (possibly), a cherry to garnish. Your tools will include a shaker, a Hawthorne strainer, a fine strainer if you like, and all of this goes in a beautiful classic cocktail coupe. Ben talks about the fun process of making a new cocktail menu. Kim discusses the upcoming whiskey dinner at Providence Restaurant with the renown Michter’s whiskey, featuring Michter’s 20 year bourbon. And . . . the guys got engaged. Not to each other, but to their longtime girlfriends, wonderful gals. Lucky guys, lucky girls, things are happening, we are flying. Which brings us back to the Aviation! Often a gateway cocktail into craft cocktail making, a touchstone of sorts, because it’s well branded, it has a great name, it is timeless. Goes beyond the fundamentals of classic sour cocktails, this is essentially a gin sour with the funky Marascino liqueur that makes the Aviation so unique. Created by Hugo Enslin, head bartender at the Hotel Wallach in New York City, in the early twentieth century, first published in Enslin’s “Recipes for Mixed Drinks.” The recipe consisted of 1.5 ounces of gin, 3 quarters ounce of lemon juice, two dashes of maraschino liqueur and two dashes of creme de violet, giving it a pale, purple color. Harry Craddock, writer of the influential Savoy cocktail book, but omitting the creme violet. Meehan’s, Death & Co., suggest using almost no creme de violet, because it can have a soapy quality. Both the guys use the creme de violet ands that the name of the cocktail, the Aviation, is in reference to the color resembling the sky. Enjoy your own as the guys discuss the differences between their personal recipes and the Aviation has impacted their careers in the spirits industry. All that and more on Equal Parts: A Bartending Podcast about Cocktails.
The guys discuss the Rusty Nail, one of the lost cocktails. This is a scotch cocktail, blended, not single malt, one of the few scotch cocktails. And . . . Drambuie, a scotch liqueur, like Cointreau, sweetened with honey and other herbs and spices, but their recipe is a secret! And beyond those ingredients, two ingredients, you will need ice. You could build it in the glass or use a mixing glass and a mixing spoon. Not much of a background for this old, old cocktail with one of the best cocktail names around. Lore goes that Humphrey Bogart ordered a Rusty Nail, but we think the cocktail originated prior to World War II. It is a tasty drink, but seems to have fallen out of vogue. Maybe it’s the name. Who wants to drink a rusty nail? We do! Follow along as the Ben and Kim travel through the wonderful world of the Rusty Nail!
The guys talk about the Gold Rush, made of bourbon, lemon juice and honey syrup, or “Runny Honey,” honey mixed with hot water to loosen that amazing sweetener right up! It’s a necessary step, otherwise your honey hides in the jigger. Try a 2:1 ratio water to honey and see if you like the consistency of it. Ben talks over his first Gold Rush after a lifetime of being a vodka soda drinker. He credits it as a gateway into the fantastic world of cocktails. It’s a simple drink and isn’t simple always exceptional! It’s creation is relatively new, invented at the legendary Milk and Honey bar on the lower east side of Manhattan in 2001 by a gentleman named T.J. Siegel. Milk and Honey was responsible for the revival of craft cocktails in this century, the drinks coming out that bar were extraordinary. Sasha Petraske, rest in peace, a titan of the bartending world, was the visionary behind Milk and Honey. Kim talks about his mentor reflecting on the impact of phenomenon Sasha Petraske on the world of craft cocktails and learned from the man himself, so the legend grew and the reality matched it. His wife Georgette Moger-Petraske, wrote a cocktail book, “Regarding Cocktails,” to honor her late husband. And before Sasha it was Dale DeGroff and the Rainbow Room, blazing the trail for cocktails. Honey, lemon, bourbon, please! A modern timeless cocktail.
The guys talk the ubiquitous, oft misunderstood, oft mismade but endlessly lovable Mojito! Made using silver rum(or a slightly aged rum), fresh mint sprigs, fresh lime juice, simple syrup (or sugar in the drink) and soda water will be all of your key ingredients. Depending on the style you make, you may need a Hawthorne strainer, a fine strainer, a jigger, a muddler and a Tom Collins glass. Like the drink can be, the history of the Mojito is muddled. We think it originated in Cuba, from Sloppy Joe’s Bar Manual, in the 1930’s or possibly the Libro De Cocktail cocktail guide that came into being in the 1920’s. Cuba being a home for rum, ingredients native to Cuba, mint, lime, sugar. There could be a through line all the way back to Sir Francis Drake, but that could be lore. The guys talk their first mojitos, bastardized versions of the elegant, fun cocktail they make today. All that on more on this episode of Equal Parts: A Bartending Podcast About Cocktails.
The guys talk about the Brandy Crusta, a cocktail neither of them had ever made. Read about in Jerry Thomas’s book and Imbibe. The crusta launched a lot of cocktails, but it is a simple drink. Created as a blend of two worlds: punches, which are a combination of spirit, sweet, spice, water, served in a big bowl; and cocktails: spirit, bitter and water. Adding the lemon juice into the cocktail was the innovation. Created out of New Orleans, an amazing cocktail town. It is a brandy cocktail from the mid 19th century, a guy called Joseph Santini, was managing the bar at the New Orleans City Exchange, was responsible for adding the citrus to the cocktail. When you shake it up it really highlights the drink. The spirit becomes zesty, bright and fun. A few dashes of bitters, little gum syrup/simpler syrup, a dash of orange curacao, triple sec and some lemon juice. Taking the lemon from the juice, rubbing it on the glass and giving it a sugar rim probably is responsible for the name, the Brandy Crusta. Take the lemon peel and wrap it inside the glass. It’s got visual pizzazz, sweet and dynamic. You can use brandy or cognac. The professor Jerry Thomas went there, tried it and he put it in his first cocktail book, Bon Vivant’s Companion. The crusta made drinking more fun. Margarita came from that, the most obvious is the Side Car, minus the bitters. Some versions use Luxardo. Comes with a horse’s neck garnish, which is so much fun, you cut the lemon peel off in a circular motion and give the drink some pop. So many drinks were inspired by the Crusta! Join us for the recipe and make yourselves one for your friends, your customers, your lovers and of course for yourself.
The guys talk about Lost Spirits Distillery in downtown Los Angeles after Ben toured the facility. Surprisingly clear minded, Ben discusses how Lost Spirits recreates forgotten and of course, lost, spirits. Sometimes making a what tastes like a twenty year old rye and produced in one week, using flash aging, essentially using light and sound to rapidly age spirits, utilizing scientific equipment to mimic traditional spirits. It sounds like a gimmick, but it’s also really good. What do you think? For today, we discuss the Trinidad Sour. You’ll need Angostura bitters, orgeat, fresh lemon juice and your favorite rye whiskey! A modern classic! It has a unique identity because there is nothing like it. Invented by Guiseppe Gonzalez, a well traveled modern legend in the bar world, from Clover Club, and now in Las Vegas at Herbs and Rye. It’s a different take on cocktails, taking an essential ingredient for cocktails and making it the base of there drink, the star of the show is Angostura bitters. It’s high proof and can carry a drink! Blind taste it with amaro and you might not know the difference at first. Typically a catalyst for blending flavors, bitters are like salt and pepper, the seasoning of drinks. For our home bartenders, the source for the recipe comes from Difford’s guide: an ounce and a half of angostura bitters, half ounce of your favorite rye, maybe Rittenhouse Rye, wink wink, a full ounce of orgeat, an almond syrup, and three quarter ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice. Don’t forget your ice, shake it up, then pour it into a coup. You’ll drink this up, with no ice. Kim learned to use one ounce instead of Ben’s ounce and a half, so maybe to taste is the best way to go. The spiciness of the bitters with the rye, contrasted with the bold orgeat flavor, the juxtaposition is a perfect pairing. This is a disruptor type of cocktail. The name is in reference to the bitters, made in Trinidad & Topango, the Angostura bitters is a classic ingredient. A four ingredient cocktail, simple and beautiful.
At Art Beyond the Glass at the world famous Los Globos in Silver Lake, Kim and Ben are joined by guests Zahra Bates, Daniel Djang, Clare Ward, the people behind Art Beyond the Glass. We’re talking the Old Pal today. If you’re at home you’ll need a mixing glass, a mixing spoon, ice, equal parts rye whiskey, dry vermouth, campari. One ounce of each, throw it in the mixing glass with ice, stir it up and strain over a chunk of ice, or if you prefer, drink it straight up! With ice, as the ice melts, the flavors, the dilution of the drink will change. Pay attention the the proof of the base spirit. Last week was Negroni week, and we want to keep the party going. The Old Pal, originated by Harry Craddock, it is a Negroni variation, the same man who made the Boulevardier, different aged bourbon, so it will hit different parts of your palette. Zara Bates, who used to be the bar manager Providence. Daniel Djang, who works for Discover LA. LA Bartender Clare Ward, works over at Hippo says about Negroni variations, “They whet your appetite, open up your palette and lubricate your conversation. Art Beyond the Glass is in its eighth year with some of the biggest brands in the industry taking part. Chris Day, Julian Cox, former LA bartenders were in the house and the organization of the event was superb. Super cool bars with super cool themes showed up at Art Beyond the Glass this year, putting up pop up bars, very experiential, to support Beautify Earth, a charity that supports improvements to Los Angeles to create murals all over the city, Pete Jones from ERB will design a mural with a team and the money raised from Art Beyond the Glass will go to the supplies and the education behind Beautify Earth. Listen to the origin of how Art Beyond the Glass and the complexities of Cognac from Zara, an ambassador for Courvoisier Cognac came to be on Equal Parts: A Bartending Podcast About Cocktails.
The guys catch up first to learn about Ford’s gin being purchased by Brown Forman. The background of Ford’s gin stems from the 86 Spirits company, co-founded by Simon Ford, a bartender forward spirits company. After starting with a variety of spirits, Ford’s gin stood above the rest and is now a part of the Brown Forman family. But let’s move onto the fantastic Paloma! Made from Jarritos grapefruit soda (or Squirt) and your favorite tequila, whether reposado or blanco, but not an anejo. But don’t forget the limes, because you need limejuice. And a grapefruit to use as a garnish. This cocktail is built in the glass. No tools necessary. A lovely tall glass, add ice, and you’re good to go! Ben talks of his first Paloma, a few years back, when he had heard of it while bartending at Cinco. So he grabbed a case of Jarritos grapefruit and tried it himself. Fast forward to today, there is a house version on draft at Cinco! Ben’s spin consists of a grapefruit liqueur, Giffard’s, a vanilla bean syrup, lime juice, spicy salt on the rim of your Collins glass, and topped with club soda. Kim on the other hand, hasn’t had many Palomas in his life, he’s more of a margarita man. Maybe he thought it was too simple, but after years of experience, simple is better. It is an old drink, but isn’t everywhere. If you look at old cocktail books, like Savoy or Jerry Thomas, there are virtually no tequila cocktails. The apocryphal version says there’s a pap, from Meehan’s, popular Cocktails of the Rio Grande by famous bartender Don Javier Corona of La Capilla in the town of Tequila. Ben went and had a famous La Botaña, a derivative of the Paloma, tequila, lime and coca cola and stirred with the same knife used to cut the lime. Don Javier has denied authorship of the pamphlet. but David Wondrich put out an artsy flip book called Killer Cocktails. He traces the origin back to a Squirt advertisement in Mexico suggested combining Squirt and Tequila. You want a tall glass and for the bubbles to travel north. For Ben’s Cinco Paloma, an ounce and a half of blanco tequila, quarter ounce of vanilla bean syrup, three quarter ounce of grapefruit liqueur and a half ounce of lime juice, topped with soda and good to go. If you’re going traditional, at home, two ounces of tequila, half an ounce of lime juice and Squirt to taste! And a salt rim. Which enhances the flavor of tequila. When you’re sipping tequila in Mexico, you’re enjoying it with Sangrita, a salty tomato-based drink. A drink that may be hard to find unless you make it yourself! Paloma means dove, a great name for a drink. Maybe do a purple Paloma and called it “When Doves Cry.” And to get the drink purple, you can buy butterfly pea blossom, dried, steep them in the tequila and will color the spirit without any additional odor or flavor. Check out Kim’s @kimstodel instagram for pictures. Some background to know about tequila, you’ll want a 100% agave tequila, from one of the two regions in Jalisco, the lowlands and the highlands, and will take on complexities similar to the terroir of wine. Because it’s a plant based spirit, it should be the only ingredient. In the lowlands the soil is volcanic, drier, arid and the agave are working harder to build their agave sugars until maturity, where the flavor will be drier, more peppery, briny like olives. The highland tequilas have mineral rich red clay soil, where the climate is cooler, more moisture and precipitation. The plants build their sugars under relatively little stress, causing the tequila to become sweeter, green as in fresher, vegetal, lemon citrus quality. David Suro did a presentation for Ben and the guys at Cinco, who describes the highlands tequilas are feminine and the lowlands tequilas masculine. Find tequilas that aren’t using additives. Product labels often misinform customers, so be sure to read 100% agave on your label. If not, chances are you’re actually drinking a Mixto, which means it has to be at least 51% of the distillate is 100% agave, you can call it Tequila. You can’t say 100% agave, but you can say tequila, which deceives a lot of the general public. 100% agave is a mark of purity. But it doesn’t end there. Back in the old days, before transparency in production, many taquilleros, were using additives. Some of them used it to distinguish their tequila from someone else, but others were using residual sugars, agave sugar, vanilla, agave nectar. There are a lot of companies still doing this, cutting corners in production. Because they’re making money they have clout with there CRT and so forth, so many producers got grandfathered in and are allowed to utilize one percent of additives in the tequila. Home bartenders out there, look for 100% agave AND tequila on the label. Learn about rimming the glass with salt! Learn about making vanilla syrup!
Kim talks about his zero waste focus using items that are often discarded from the kitchen or using ingredients more than once. He talks about making garnish out of citrus pulp, called Pulp Confection. Ben talks about the process of creating a cocktail menu for his newest establishment, The Manchester. Trick Dog has a great cocktail menu, what makes the experience fun is going there because they have so much fun making a cocktail menu. Folklore about the Ward 8, named after a district in Boston, famous but not super famous, reminds Kim of Ben. When Ben came into the Bar Chloe when Kim worked there asked for a Ward 8 and he didn’t know what it was. It’s a fun drink with roots in classic cocktail making. Discovered it in Imbibe, the famous Jerry Thomas cocktail book. It’s a rye cocktail with fresh orange, fresh lemon and grenadine. An exciting cocktail because of its history. Ward 8 comes out of Boston, where local politicians wanted people to consume more vitamins. In 1898, where the Ward 8 was created at a bar called Lock Ober, in honor of the election of a local politician. The drink was also theorized to have been created at the Quincy House. As well as other legends of its origin. The Ward 8 is categorically a sour, a cocktail with citrus in it. And in this case, it’s orange and lemon. The orange makes it less of a citrus bomb. And then there’s grenadine, classically known to most of us as the key ingredient in Shirley Temples, but grenadine is actually made from pomegranate, not cherries. As a kid, we were all rock stars with our Shirley Temples. This drink covers a lot of different types of cocktails. It has classic cocktail roots, it’s a sour and it’s a fun drink. Made from rye whiskey. Recipe out of Imbibe: 3 ounces of rye, 3/4 oz fresh lemon, 3/4 ounces fresh orange, 3/4 ounce fresh pomegranate. Always served on ice, want to keep it balanced. Maraschino cherry, sprig of mint and an orange slice to garnish, for Ben. For Kim’s recipe, 3/4 ounce orange, 1/4 ounce lemon, 3/4 syrup or 1/2 syrup, splash of grenadine, 2 ounces rye, and up, not on the rocks. Up means chilled, diluted and then strained into a glass of your choosing. The guys talk the history of rye, killed during Prohibition, and reborn in the last few decades. Check out Nomad or Varnish for a great Ward 8! And Triforium and the Streamliner!
On this week’s show we are talking about the Negroni. Easy to make, stands the test of time, nothing quite like the Negroni, it’s bitter and sweet, just like life. First experienced back at the Yard with Blake who put out Grandpa Bud’s Negroni. It’s boozy, it’s strong, for men and women. It has food possibilities, following a gastronomical tradition as far as Campari and vermouth. That category of Italian bitters, apparetif was designed to open the palate. The best Negroni in the world comes from Dante’s in New York, in the west village. They have a display case with vintage Campari bottles. They have great Garibaldis too. Campari was birthed in another cocktail, the Americano. The Americano came about because of the American expats during and after World War One. Then the Negroni apparently is named after bibulus, globetrotting Florentine count who liked his drinks strong. Go to theginfoundry.com for a more detailed version of the story. Equal parts, just like this show. One of the four or five prototype cocktails, one one one. If you’re a home bartender, try the Negroni. Campari is the bitter, vermouth and gin. The Negroni made in the glass is disappointing. You want to stir the Negroni for the dilution, just like Old Fashioned made in a mixing glass. “The bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you, they balance each other” Orson Welles. On the rocks or up? Depends on thirst and temperature, if it’s up it should be confused quickly, but on the rocks you can take your time, turns into a longer drink. If you follow the equal parts recipe, it’s a little sweet, a little extra dilution. Carpano Antica vermouth, a great, heavy vermouth was the first one the guys used, but now the lighter Italian or French vermouths are a nice variation. What is Vermouth? It is fortified wine. Infused with botanicals, herbs and spices, but also fortified, made stronger, like brandy, port, Madera, but vermouth is aromatized, typically a secret Monastery recipe. Good for you in the way Campari is a bitter, with medicinal qualities, good for you before or after a meal. Style of gin, London Dry for Ki, but there is so much variety that it’s fun to explore and experiment with local American, New World gins. Old Tom gin, with a woody taste. An aperitif is great for after a meal. Campari is an alcoholic liqueur, an aperitif, with different spirit strengths, depending on the country to which it is sold. Made of fruits and alcohol and water, produced by the Campari Group, invented in 1860 in Italy, colored with Carmine dye, made of beetles. First plant opened in 1904, and we love Campari! Kim remembers his dad drinking Campari and soda. There are several red bitters depending on your region. liquor.com has a list of more aperitifs, Peychaud’s, Luxado, Capaletti, Martini, Select, Contrato, Luna Amara and more. Ben prefers London dry gin as well, likes the botanical heavy more so than the citrusy American gins. Ben likes an orange twist. The Negroni has become so famous it has a Negroni Week, which is coming up! For those at home, familiarize yourself with the jigger and the ounce, not mL. Generally its an ounce of each, in a mixing glass, stirred with ice, then strained up in a coup or into a rocks glass, strained with ice and garnished with an orange zest and twist.
Kim Stodel and Ben Molina explore the history and construction of the Old Fashioned cocktail. The ultimate cocktail, a progenitor. After Cinco de Mayo, top two cocktails of all time. A simple, elegant, perfect cocktail. A boozy cocktail, nowhere to hide. Mad Men season 2, old fashioned was social currency, someone ordered an old fashioned manhattan, sheepishly not knowing what they were. Kim talks Ben's old fashioned back in his Yard days, with bunny ear garnishes. Had a bartending moment, making four at a time, assembly line style, using Fee Brothers bitters instead of Angostura. Imbibe book by David Wondrich tells us the history of the old fashioned. Even though the stories are convoluted, Wondrich's story tells of the 1860's in New York City, passing by word of mouth, printed in the New York Times in an article talking about bartenders making drinks "the old fashioned way." A response to the rise of cocktail culture, turning up their noses to whisky sours and brandy crustas and wanting cocktails with booze, bitters and a lump of sugar. Lumpy's Sugar presents Equal Parts. The old fashioned was a reaction to what was happening of the day. The whiskey sours and brandy crustas were the disruptors of the day. An infinitely adaptable cocktail, and that's what making cocktails is all about.