ARRIVING IN NEW ORLEANS

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Finally here!

I arrived on the midnight of july 4th and saw some fireworks on my way into the city, so it has been a kick start to the DrinkWrite 2009 and the Tales. Flying in over New Orleans in a beautiful sunset was quite awesome.

Next morning we went to The Museum of the American Cocktail (which i strongly recommend) before hitting the Mixoloseum house on N Rampart which is going to be my home this following week and where some of us CSOWG members are staying. Meeting up with all my fellow cocktail bloggers was amazing and we kicked off with a Sunday Drink Night – a live version of the usual TDN – right at our Mixoloseum bar.

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If you look into the mirror you`ll see three cocktailnerds photographing Stan and the bar.

But don’t think we are lazy here, next morning up at 8 am and the first sessions of the DrinkWrite 2009 held in the French Annex within a comfortable 5 min walk on the other side of Rampart street. The first one was called Community Building as a Cocktail blogger with panelists Jay Hepburn (Oh Gosh!) SeanMike Whipkey (Scofflaws den) Paul Clarke (Cocktail Chronicles) and Camper English (Alcademics)

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One of the topics was why we are blogging – from hobby to a higher level. Anyone can start a cocktail blog which isn´t the same as being an expert on the topic but you`re on the way if you are willing to work hard.

Further topics was how to build the value of your writing/blog in the community among others and to support your local bartender which is one of the best things you can do and to respect their time and their way to do their work. Then we discussed how a blogger can get info about a brand and how to use your blog to bring value to the topic/brand/bar etc..

Other things adviced by Camper for us cocktail bloggers is to consider the importance of using original photos and material as well as not being too wordy, do original experiments and show helpful hints. All good advices.

There were in all four sessions which lasted t 2-2.5 hours heavily focused on practical application of skills and an intimate educational experience for the attendees. The sessions focused on skills and techniques that can be used to improve online writing, self-publishing, and blogging.

The session was very educational and the ambiance and cocktails wonderful. After the seeions were over we all left the house for a while to have lunch. We drove through the quarter to Iris restaurant ay Bienville House hotel which was a very beautiful location for an awesome lunch with fantastic food sponsored by Aperol and and we had some really great and inventive cocktails made by Alan Walter.

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One of the nicest cocktails i ever had containing aperol, cucumber, clementine, brandy, limoncello, pineapple beer aka tepache, and house made strawberry-oak bitters made with oak chips from Old New Orleans Rum distillery and local strawberries.

The next session was led by Darcy O’ Neill (Art of Drink) , Paul Clarke, Matthew Rowley (Rowley’s Whiskey Forge) and Chuck Taggart (Gumbopages) adressing how to improve a cocktail blog’s reach, readability and appeal to a broader audience.

The session lasted for about 2 hrs as well and was just as educational as the first.

The posts here will be fairly short and hopefully frequently updated (i’ll do my best) and probably updated later as well – i’m soon off to the CSOWG member dinner at La Rambla restaurant. Tomorrow i’ll do a cocktail garnish session with Rick Stutz (Kaiserpenguin) and Martin Cate (Smuggler’s Cove)

See you tomorrow.

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NEW BLOG POST ON MIXOLOSEUM – MEZCAL

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Check out my new blog post on the Mixoloseum blog – and read about mezcal and sample a refreshing summer cocktail..

The nose of the mezcal reaches me, its earhty…and smoky…but not overwelmingly so, in a  pleasant way that invites you to take a sip.

EARTH, HERBS AND SMOKE

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The mezcal and chartreuse has a herbal-earthy and pleasantly smoky love-affair. The fresh pink grapfruit and lime sings their praises. Its definetily a summer drink, the hotter the summer the better is this drink, well chilled with lots of ice

Sample the recipe here:

http://blog.mixoloseum.com

MARTIN MILLER`S GIN & SPONSORED TDN

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When i first tasted Martin Miller´s gin i found it had a special flavor and i really like it, it has a smooth and a bit earthy-bitter juniper flavour paired with an overall pleasant spicinress and slightly bright citrus and herbal flavours in between.

There´s one thing i specifically like with good gins and its that you can make such refreshing cocktails as gin contains both fruity, citrusy, earthy and spicy elements.

Actually gin is flavored alcohol – but it isn`t that simple.The alchol must be re-distilled and made from grains of the highest quality, there´s a lot of herbs, spices, roots and citrus peels involved which are picked from all over the globe and individually treated. All done by recipes kept secret to only a few of the makers.

And then you have the distillation which is a whole process of its own.Martin Miller`s gin is distilled by a single pot still (as opposed to most gin`s using three pots) using only the heart of the distillate, discarding the rest which isn`t re-distilled.This single pot still which seems to make the flavours more concentrated is called Angela and was made in 1904.

This is the gin that uses pure soft glacier water from Iceland because this water is said to be cleaner, softer and full of life force. I find that pretty amazing that they actually ship the gin all the way to Iceland! There its blended with more neutral spirit and glacier water, then its shipped away again.

There´s no doubt that this is very soft and i wouldn`t mind trying that glacier water sometimes just to see how it tastes by itself, i just don´t know how a bottle of pure glacier water from island would reach me unless i go there myself.

As for steeping the herbs and spices the old traditional methods are used where the botanicals are steeped overnight in spirit and hot water and this gentle maceration is what is needed to create a premium gin.The dried citrus peels are also separately distilled in order to achieve a brighter citrus flavour.

The dried bitter seville orange rind is the most important botanical after juniper in gin making and personally i love the bright seville orange flavour – it has such a refreshing aromatic aroma, and my homemade seville orange syrup always goes fast.In Martin Miller`s gin lemon and lime rinds are also used.

These are the botanicals used as far as i know, surely there are some secrets too:

Juniper, seville orange, lime, lemon, coriander, angelica, liqorice root, cassia bark and to bind it all together and impart a floral aromatic flavour – Florentine iris.

I try sometimes to make just one cocktail in my posts but mostly it doesn´t work, and that is simply because i enjoy making them so much! So here are four, at least its not ten! three of them was submitted to the TDN. Unfortunately they are all quite similar, that is because i like the light and fresh style of drinks with gin, like gin&tonic.

GRAIN OF PARADISE  G&T (GOP)

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1.5 oz Martin Miller`s gin
0.5 oz GOP syrup
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
Top with a good quality tonic water

Build in glass over ice and garnish with lime wedge or if you can find it – Grain of Paradise leaves.

This is a very fresh G&T with a slight peppery note, the flavor of Martin Miller´s gin shines through just perfectly – serve it with the glass loaded with large ice cubes!  This is for the moment my favorite cocktail.

GRAIN OF PARADISE  SYRUP

Make a simple syrup using 1:1 water and raw sugar, add a handful lightly toasted grains of paradise seeds and boil lightly for 2 minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer for another 5 minutes, cool and strain into a clean bottle.

The grains of paradise seeds adds a slight earthy hot peppery aromatic flavour.The plant is related to cardamom and surely looks very similar but with thinner leaves, also reminding very much of the ginger plant. Its also called Guinea pepper or Melegueta pepper.

GOP`s are found (at least here) in speciality stores and by health or herbal medecine suppliers.To substitute GOP you may use a mixture of pepper and a little ginger.

GIN CHILI

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2oz Martin Miller`s gin
Juice of ½ lime
piece of red chili
0.5oz simple syrup
1 stalk fresh mint
Tonic.

Muddle chili, lime, mint and simple. Add gin, shake and strain and pour into ice filled glass.Top with tonic.Garnish one large red chili and mint or other green leaf.

MARTIN MILLER´S SPONSORED TDN

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As a grand finale after much gin in the mixoloseum chat room we were sponsored by Martin Miller´s gin this last thursday and there were many drinks parading. Part of the crew were doing TDN live from Bourbon and Branch in San Francisco.

This was the announcement:

TDN – Martin Miller’s Gin  Thursday Drink Night has had a love affair with gin lately, and I’m pleased to say it’s ending on a sultry note. Martin Miller’s gin is like the triple cream offering on the cheeseboard. You save that last cracker and dot of kumquat-vanilla jam for the final remaining sliver of goopy heaven.

This week, Martin Miller’s gin is that morsel of yum. Join us on TDN  where we’ll be mixing an endless onslaught of original ginny libations.  A contingent of freaky mixologists will be live at Bourbon and Branch in San Francisco, mixing up MM potions live.

There will be a webcam and Camper in the same location. Saying more would be pointless.

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As far as i could see from the webcam Bourbon and Branch is a real interesting and nice looking place.

It has an intersting history taking you back to the era of Prohibition when the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverage was outlawed.Its  an actual speakeasy that operated illegally at this location from 1921 to 1933. During prohibition it was a “cigar shop” – The JJ Russell Cigar Shop –  and operated from 1923-1935 during the height of prohibition at the very same address that today is Bourbon & Branch.

This speakeasy featured five secret exit tunnels which are still there today and the exit tunnels allowed for a quick underground getaway from the basement speakeasy.The most obscure was specifically made for the ladies exit leading a safe passage a whole block away.The speakeasy actually managed to escape the the governments prohibition agents attention for the remainding time of the prohibition.

I find this fascinating, hope to be able to visit some day.

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Its really fun to see your own and the other drinks being mixed up live and commented on in addition to the global mixing in the chat room that is TDN.

The prize for the best cocktail of the evening will be voted by a poll at mixoloseum blog and the winner will receive a bottle of Bitter Truth orange bitters courtesy of Mud Puddle Books.

Usually its about 30 cocktails per night that is made when its TDN and of course you cannot try them all, but of all the drinks that were submitted, here are a few of mine plus one whimsical late-night volcano fire drink and one tasty cocktail from cocktailnerd. Many thanks to the bartender Jon Santer for mixing up our drinks at Bourbon & Branch. He was one of the bartenders who was there when B&B opened.

All the drink recipes can be seen at http://twitter.com/mixoloseum

MEDITERRANIAN SUN

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2  oz Martin Miller´s Gin
0.5 oz seville orange syrup
1 oz Aperol
Bitter lemon soda to top

Shake all ingredients except the soda, strain and pour into a hiball filled with large chunky ice. Garnish with a orange slice and fresh mint (also in the glass)

Very similar to the GOP but with a slighly orangey-bitter flavor of both the seville syrup and Aperol instead.

DANCING ELF

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2 oz Martin Miller´s gin
0.5 oz simple syrup
1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
1-2 thin slices fresh ginger
Dash Bob`s cardamom bitters (or muddle a few green cardamoms with the ginger and syrup)
Prosecco to top

Muddle ginger and simple syrup in shaker. Add gin and grapefruit juice, shake hard and strain into a highball and garnish with a ginger slice or cardamom leaf.

VOLCANO QUEEN  (by Tiare and Rick)

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1 oz Martin Miller´s  gin
1 oz rhum agricole blanc
0.5 ox fresh lime
0.5 oz orgeat.

Top with bitter lemon soda or other soda. Float Jwray. Garnish: Pour Jwray in a passionfruit shell, set alight and dust cinnamon on top to get those flames alive and sparkling.

This is an example of the kind of drinks that are most spontaniously invented on the spot during the late TDN hours.

And here is a original concoction from no other than Cocktailnerd – the  King of Word Replacements in the Mixoloseum chat room – the recipe calls for Creme de Framboise which i didn´t have, so i made mine with Creme de Cassis, it was also tasty but i`ll have to re-make it later as i want to mix it the way its supposed to.

LONDON BRIAR (By Cocktailnerd)

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2oz Martin Miller’s Gin
0.5oz Creme de Framboise
0.5oz Lime Juice
0.25oz Maraschino liqueur
0.25oz green chartreuse

Shake togehter the whole thing and strain into a ice-filled glass. Enjoy!

Every week cocktail bloggers, bartenders, enthusiasts, experts, and novices get together for a virtual cocktail party mixing drinks in real time, tweaking, rearranging etc until the night is gone and well into the morning. Join us every thursday at the TDN!

http://blog.mixoloseum.com/

MIXOLOSEUM IS A CREATIVE PLACE!

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NEW BLOG POST AT THE MIXOLOSEUM BLOG – KAMEHAMEHA RUM PUNCH

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As a part of the montly topics that the members of the CSOWG are writing at the mixoloseum blog i choosed to write about the Kamehameha Rum Punch.This interesting drink recipe is from Sippin`Safari and originates from the Hotel King Kamehameha in Kona, Hawaii, as the origin of the drink around 1960.

But there´s more to the name than that.

I also found a very interesting version called The Kamehameha Mighty Punch.

Kamehameha Punch – an exotic blend of dark and light rums, fresh juices, blackberry brandy and more..

The Mighty Punch is a tasty mix of tropical juices, mango pure, Tahitian limeade and cayenne pepper!

So head over to the Mixoloseum blog to read more about this Royal Punch and the Mighty Punch and sample the recipes and the story about this punch!

There´s something very special and relaxing about a tall tiki drink that once you really feel it – you know it and when the tiki has got that magical grip on you you`re probably hooked for life which isn´t a bad thing.

These are two exotic and tasty tiki drinks you shouldn´t miss.

TDN SWIZZLE!

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SWIZZLES GALORE! That´s what this post is all about.

“TDN: The Swizzle Pouring high-proof rum over the bed of crushed ice brings me joy and happiness. But what about gin and Chartreuse? Or vermouth and Peychaud bitters? This coming Thursday we’ll be making more swizzles than you can twirl a stick at. And as voted on by the participants, the best cocktail of the evening will win a bottle of Lemon Hart 151. The ice crushing begins at 7pm EST”

So the swizzle TDN was announced –  and this topic i really liked a lot as i do like swizzles, they both incorporate my beloved crushed ice and really make up some tasty drinks. And never before have i had so many swizzles during on and the same night and many were tasty.

All the swizzlish recipes can be sampled at twitter: http://twitter.com/mixoloseum

The first swizzle that came up, sent in by CraigH over at Colonel Tiki was no joke, the recipe is as follows:

NAVY SWIZZLE

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0 .5 each Lemonhart 151 and Goslings 151,
Cruzan 151 (or Bacardi or Jwray)
0 .5 lime and 0 .5 grapefruit juices
0 .5 honey mix/syrup
Dash bitters
Dash allspice dram

Add to well crushed ice and swizzle till you can’t swizzle no more.

That sturdy rum swizzle to get the TDN take off (and “kill” us in the process) was followed by another very interesting recipe by Angus Winchester, a beautifully subtly spicy creation – the Thai Stick:

THAI STICK

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1.5oz Appleton extra
0.5oz licor 43
0.25oz ginger syrup
0.25oz simple syrup
05oz lime juice

Swizzled in double old fashioned glass with loads of crushed ice and then rub the rim with a kaffir lime leaf

I really like the touch with the kaffir lime leaf rubbed on the rim. As kaffir lime leaves are so strongly flavoured, this is just the right amount of flavour to use. Unfortunately i have saved those i have left from Anita over at Married with Dinner in my freezer for later use in cooking  so first defrosting them for rubbing isn´t be the same thing as using a fresh leaf, but i decided to use it still to get at least some kaffir lime flavour on the glass.

Rick from Kaiserpenguin.com made 2 glorious Cheater`s and Applejack swizzles, both very flavourful which together with other amazing swizzles i`m sure will be featured over at Kaiserpenguin with the usual amazing photos and breathtaking garnishes:

CHEATER´S SWIZZLE

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1oz LH151
1oz Jwray
1oz Grapefruit juice
3/4oz cinnamon syrup
Top with ginger beer, float 1/2oz blackstrap

APPLEJACK SWIZZLE

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2oz applejack
1/2oz Domain de Canton
1/4oz Fernet Branca
3/4oz vanilla syrup syrup
1oz lemon juice

Swizzle with crushed ice, garnish with vanilla. I also dusted a little vanilla powder on top of the ice.

Another swizzle i found refreshing was one of Rumdoods swizzles – the”Wives of Windsor swizzle” it was simple and refreshing, here it is:

WIVES OF WINDSOR SWIZZLE

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2 oz London dry gin
0.5 oz falernum
1 oz grapefruit juice
0.5 simple. syrup

Swizzle in a double-old fashioned glass filled with crushed ice and garnish with mint. This one is fresh and light, a nice change with some gin and citrus, and the Falernum is just right in this drink.

From DJ HawaiianShirt we got the Black Flag Swizzle, another rummy creation using molasses which adds depth, body and a very nice flavour that pairs perfectly with dark and gold rums:

BLACK FLAG SWIZZLE

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0.75 oz dark rum (the drier the better)
0.75 gold rum (heavier body the better)
0.5 oz lime juice
2 tsp molasses
1 dash grenadine

Swizzle with lots of crushed ice in tall glass and garnish with fresh mint.

And finally three of my own swizzles:

BIRD SWIZZLE

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1 oz cachaca
1 oz campari
0.5 lime
¼ oz simple
1.5 oz pineapple juice

Crushed ice, swizzle. Garnish speared pineapple cube with mint and a cherry.

PUNCH SWIZZLE

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1.5 oz Appleton Extra
0.5 oz Lemon Hart 151
0.5 oz simple syrup
Sprinkle of fresh lime
Top with grapefruit juice

Add lots of crushed ice, swizzle and float a little fernet, top with more crushed ice. Garnish mint and lime slices.

LIMONCELLO SWIZZLE

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2 oz gin
Sprinkle of fresh lime
0.5 oz lemoncello
Fresh mint teared
Fill up with crushed ice, top with bitter lemon soda, swizze. Garnish lime.

That`s it folks! a range of swizzles to make us all happy! don`t forget to join again the next thursday, april 30 for the sponsored TDN Beefeater 24!

http://blog.mixoloseum.com/

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Every week cocktail bloggers, bartenders, enthusiasts, experts, and novices get together for a virtual cocktail party mixing drinks in real time, tweaking, rearranging etc until the night is gone and well into the morning. Join us every thursday at the TDN!

ABSINTHE TDN

The theme for last week’s Thursday Drink Night was absinthe and sure there were both nano-drops and death pours made with our favorite louching spirit. As voted on by the participants at the Mixoloseum blog,the best cocktail of the evening will win a bottle of Marteau absinthe courtesy of Gwydion Stone.

Its was amazingly quiet the last 2 hours before the TDN started – only to be followed by an eruption of activity which went on until the morning. And as usual there were many fine drinks created as well as more or less imaginative concotions where i think i`m guilty of a few. All the drink recipes are to be found on twitter – http://twitter.com/mixoloseum

Lots of merry discussions along the night and many good laughs, we also had a few newcombers and that is always welcome! And no need to feel shy to join us in the chat room, its a fun and friendly crowd.

Here are a few of the drinks for that night and after trying them out in the TDN i got to the conclusion that “Bitter Fairy” and “Streets of London” are better off with a little bit lower absinthe level than they first had, as the anise easily can become a bit overpowering as its such a strong flavour – so here are the recipes:

BITTER FAIRY

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1 oz campari
1 oz gin
0.5 oz honey-syrup
¼  oz absinthe
¼  oz peach brandy
1 egg white.

Top with bitter lemon soda.Shake, strain,serve up in chilled cocktailglass.Garnish mint and liqorice stick.

STREETS OF LONDON

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¼  oz absinthe
1 oz beefeater gin
1 tsp grenadine
Top with Indian Tonic.

Stir with ice, serve up in cocktail glass. Garnish mint.

LA BELLE EPOQUE-ALYPSE (Drink made by Dr Bamboo –) here is another blog that is a must to check out, if you haven´t yet GO!

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1.5 London dry gin,
0.75 Averna amaro
0.75 Berentzen apfelkorn
0.25 Kubler absinthe
Green cherry if ya got one.
1 good dash Angostura.

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish green cherry.

Every week cocktail bloggers, bartenders, enthusiasts, experts, and novices get together for a virtual cocktail party mixing drinks in real time, tweaking, rearranging etc until the night is gone and well into the morning. Join us every thursday at the TDN!

http://blog.mixoloseum.com/

Mixoloseum is a creative place!

Join us tonight for the next TDN which is swizzle!