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
The Gentlemen of Elegant Leisure
A great selection of Absinthe for purchase.