Don't let the title of this episode fool you. These are very nice drinks. We were a little unsure about the second but it turned out to be the big winner for us. Along the way we talked about Jack Webb's acting, tablespoon equivalents, Little Pete and much much more! Come along won't you?
First up is an old classic. You're right, it's a Sour. A GIN sour to be exact. Following the proportions laid out by our old friend Jerry Thomas. We didn't just use regular gin though, we used Queensbourough Gin from Central City Brewers + DIstillers. This yummy stuff is made in Surrey, B.C. and has the usual botanicals plus a little pine, rosemary, jasmine and cassia. It's really, really good.
-Jerry Thomas, from Imbibe by David Wondrich
2 ounces gin
1 ounce water
I teaspoon granulated sugar
juice of 1/2 a lemon
Dissolve the sugar in the lemon juice in a cocktail shaker, Add the gin and water and shake with ice. Strain into a highball glass. Rub the rim of the glass with lemon.
It's not going to win any cocktail competitions in the near future, but it doesn't have to. This is a classically proportioned cocktail. Its got spirt. It's got sweet. It's got sour. It's got weak. You can make this with any kind of spirit you want. Grab the bourbon. Try it with scotch. Play around with it. You'll be glad you did.
Also, don't throw out those spend lemons. Instead go to the Trash Tiki website. These folks were at Science of Cocktails here in Vancouver and Fred said they were doing some neat things with stuff we normally throw out. Avocado Pit Orgeat anyone?
Next up was the tricky one. This one we were not sure about at all. The reason for our concern was a tricky little gin called Defender Island Gin. Gentleman Jason inherited the bottle from his boss, who inherited it from someone else. It is not your average gin. It's a smoked rosemary gin. Trickier too, is the fact that it's not available any more. It was made by Legend Distilling in Naramata, B.C. We'll put a link at the end of the blog. We think this is it's successor though, and certainly would be worth trying! It's called Black Moon Gin and is made by the same distillery. We chose a recipe called the Sour Defender that we nicked from the Rum Howler Blog. It looks like it's credited to Chip Dykstra, and that's good enough for us!
by Chip Dykstra, found on the Rum Howler Blog
1 1/2 ounces Defender Island Smoked Rosemary Gin
1 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 ounce orange liqueur (he calls for Legend's Manitou Orange Liqueur. We used Cointreau.)
1/2 ounce sugar syrup
Fresh Rosemary sprig for garnish
Add the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice.
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost.
Strain into a Cocktail Glass
Garnish with fresh rosemary sprig
We didn't think it would work. We thought it would be too smoky and "burned bush-y". We were wrong. It was magic. The citrus and the sweet combined to tame the smoky and draw more of the botanical niceness out of the smoked rosemary. It was greater than the sum of it's parts. It was chemistry. It was alchemy! It was like what fire did to a Flaming Moe (actually a Flaming Homer. Hopefully you're all fans of the Simpsons), and we were immediately sad that we would not be able to get anymore Defender Island Smoked Rosemary Gin. Hopefully we can try it with the Black Moon Gin and get similar results. Otherwise, you can probably find some sort of smoked rosemary recipe on the web. Let me look . . .
Yes. Here's something . . .
For Smoked-Rosemary Citrus Syrup: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, and zest and juices from 2 small limes and 2 medium lemons. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to just under a boil, then remove from heat and cover. Meanwhile, hold rosemary sprig over an open flame using heatproof tongs, turning continually, until it begins to smoke. As soon as it starts to smoke, uncover syrup and place rosemary in saucepan. Cover again and let steep 30 minutes. Strain solids out and reserve syrup for the punch in an airtight container. The syrup will keep for up to a month in the refrigerator, but flavors will be best if used within 2 days.
See if you can't make that into something. Leave us a comment if you do!
Oh and also . . .
Fred went to this - Science of Cocktails
and stayed here - The Sylvia Hotel
Dave drank here - Botanist at the Fairmont Pacific Rim
Jason drank here - Hjuz (the H Tasting Lounge) at the Bayshore Inn
and if you ever find yourself in Naramata B.C. visit Legend Distilling
What is this? Didn't the Gentlemen of Elegant Leisure already do an Episode 42? OF course they did, but it didn't take! There was a microphone "issue". It was a complete disaster, but then, fate stepped in. The timeline is as follows . . .
Jan 6 - Gentleman Jason is a guest on the Sneaky Dragon podcast, episode #318. While on the podcast, the hosts David Dedrick and Ian Boothby promote their "Personal Podcast" contest.
Jan 8 - Elvis Presley's birthday.
Jan 9 - The Gentlemen of Elegant Leisure record their episode #42, "Are You Thirsty Tonight?" The "theme" is Elvis Presley inspired cocktails. They record the entire show on the wrong microphone. They do not notice.
Jan 13 - The Gentlemen of Elegant Leisure's upload day! During the upload, the error in recording is discovered. At first there is sadness followed by anger, but then . . .INSPIRATION HITS! Jason records a super short, super quick version of Episode 42, and more importantly, ENTERS the "Personal Podcast" contest.
Feb 3 - The unthinkable happens. Jason wins the "Personal Podcast" contest! Dave is sad.
Feb 8 - The Sneaky Dragon podcast records a new G of EL episode #42.
The Gents will call it Episode 42b. The Sneaky Dragonistas will call it Episode 322b. You will call it whatever you like. Please listen to ALL of the Sneaky Dragon podcasts. Just click on that blue printing. Then leave comments everywhere! Scatter them willy nilly all over the World Wide Web!
Then buy this book. Ian Boothby wrote it! Nina Matsumoto illustrated it! David Dedrick coloured it!
If you would like the recipes for the drinks in this episode, read on MacDuff . . .
The Burnside Cocktail
1 ounce gin
1 ounce dry vermouth
1 ounce sweet vermouth
1/2 teaspoon cherry brandy
1 dash Angostura bitters
Shake with ice and strain over fresh ice in a high ball glass.
2 ounces bourbon
1 ounce Bénédictine
Shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice.
Oh! Finally, if you absolutely want to hear the original poorly recorded "lost" episode #42, "Are You Thirsty Tonight"?. It's tacked on to the end of the show!
Thank you Ian and Dave for a fantastic job!
Happy early Valentine’s Day! In this episode, the G of EL talk about everything from Ricky Gervais to Christopher Columbus, and from Charlie Chaplin to anaphylactic shock! All that AND it has a Valentine’s Day theme as well. Please read on.
Wouldn’t it be fun to surprise your significant other with a bright pink cocktail on Valentine’s Day, or just to have one for yourself? Sure it would. Well good luck. Turns out it’s a little trickier to find a truly pink drink without adding some kind of food colouring. The Gentlemen of Elegant Leisure got close though, and these two drinks will be sure to have your honey forgetting about that dinner reservation that you forgot to make in the first place. Let’s get started!
First up is a drink that was printed in the July/August 2016 issue of Imbibe Magazine. The recipe itself is attributed to Alex Smith from Whitechapel in San Francisco. It’s called the Italian Gin and Tonic.
Italian Gin and Tonic
by Alex Smith, Whitechapel, San Francisco. Printed in Imbibe Magazine, July/August 2016
2 ounces London Dry Gin
1/2 ounce Campari
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
Chilled tonic water (Whitechaple uses Lurisa brand. We used Canada Dry)
Rosemary sprig and orange peel
Combine the first three ingredients in an ice-filled highball glass and top with chilled tonic (to taste). Stir to combine then garnish with the Rosemary sprig and orange peel.
This tastes like a lighter and more refreshing Negroni. The Campari's bitter/sweet flavour and the vermouth seem to love hanging out with the tonic water and the gin likes hanging out with everybody in this drink. Perfectly balanced, this drink just begs you to have another one. Be forewarned though, it made us pepper our conversation with a lot of bad puns.
Next up is an old, old drink that dates back to 1932. This drink was served at the Queen’s Park Hotel in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. It’s printed in the extremely cool book, "Beachbum Berry’s Potions of the Caribbean - 500 Years of Tropical Drinks and the People Behind Them" by Jeff Berry. You can buy a copy for yourself right here. The drink is called the Queen’s Park Hotel Super Cocktail.
Queen’s Park Hotel Super Cocktail
circa 1932- printed in Beachbum Berry’s Potions of the Caribbean, 2014 Cocktail Kingdom.
1 1/2 ounce gold Trinidad rum
1/2 ounce Italian vermouth
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce grenadine
4 dashes Angostura bitters
Shake with ice cubes and strain into a cocktail glass.
It couldn’t be easier and it couldn’t be better! Sweet and tart and rummy. We loved this cocktail. The first sip grabs you by the lapels and says, “This is a rum drink!”. But don’t get scared. The grenadine and lime juice guide you over to the vermouth and everybody gets along. This drink is so good it would make you forget all about the bedbug infestation in your hotel bed (that collapsed the previous night) and that fact that you have to share your bathroom with 20 other guest rooms! Well, maybe two of these drinks would make you forget that.
We hope you make these drinks for whatever occasion you have going on. They are certainly "pinkish" which was what we set out to do, and they really would be a big hit on Valentine's Day!
Have a happy one! Cheers!
ps. You know what would make a great Valentine's gift for the cocktail person in your life? I'll give you a hint, it's in the picture below.
The Gentlemen of Elegant Leisure
A great selection of Absinthe for purchase.