The Delicious Sour

Continuing with my apparent recent theme of cocktails with silly names comes this little ditty with a very matter-of-fact name.

As a quick aside, there's a bar in Chicago whose name escapes me where the drinks have oddly literal names. One of their house cocktails is called The Refreshing Drink. I wonder what the other cocktails on the menu are called. Maybe they have drinks such as The Pink Drink, or The Drink With Too Many Garnishes, or The Fall On Your Ass, I'll Call You A Cab Drink.

In any case, when a drink is named something like The Delicious Sour, my first reaction is something along the lines of, "Oh yeah, well I'll be the judge of that, thank you very much." Well, in this case it happens to fit, as my customers always point out. "How your cocktail?" "Oh, well, it's (wait for it) delicious, tee hee hee".


This one comes from Ted Haigh's Vintage Cocktails and Forgotten Spirits. Dr. Cocktail got the recipe from an 1891 cocktail book called The Flowing Bowl by William "The Only William" Schmidt. In the Jan/Feb edition of Imbibe, Haigh goes on to point out that "The Only William" seemed to favor cocktails meant for the ladies. And yes, in my own experience, ladies have been the primary audience for The Delicious Sour, which is kinda bad, kinda good. Kinda bad that the guys aren't curious, kinda good because the ladies are ordering something other than Cosmopolitans and Lemon Drops, even better that someone is ordering an egg white drink.

The Delicious Sour
1 1/4 oz Applejack
1 1/4 oz peach liquer
3/4 oz lime juice
small dash of simple syrup
1/2 egg white

Shake shake shake, then shake some more. Strain without ice into a sour glass.

Given the ingredients, I'd have thought this would have been on the sweet side, but that just isn't the case. The flavors blend well and has the silky texture the egg white provides. The only thing missing might be a dash of bitters of some nature, and part of me believes it's probably just fine without it, though I may experiment.

In any case, it is delicious (see, I can't help myself either, tee hee hee), and I'm happy to have it on the menu at Union.

MXMO: The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch

Death is upon the land and all those who tend it's soil. For thou hath summoned thine secret detonative device, The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch. Within it's casing liest a potion so fierce thou shalt not consume another, for if thouest request a second, thou will be blown up into tiny bits.


i can only keep up that prose for so long. Let's get right into the history of this deadly weapon.

Once upon a time, Union held a beer party. One of those beers was a potent bottle of Eku 28, a German Eisbock. I'll let Dr. Beer Love give you the full background if you're curious. If you're not, let me just tell you that the beer clocks in at 11% ABV (!). On our shelves, we always have on hand a bottle of Stroh 80, an Austrian rum proofed at 160 (!). We keep it exclusively for initiating new cooks (they do a shot, we all laugh, they fall down). Being bored one night, I came up with the idea of a boilermaker comprised of both, and called it The One and Done. I call up Rocky Yeh and he drops what he's doing and speeds down the interstate to try one. We wrangled on of the cooks to join him and the cook immediately, ahem, lost his cookies.....

Some time later, Rocky challenged me to come up with a cocktail using this ultimate demon rum. I put it together like an absinthe drip, combining it with lime juice, orange juice, simple syrup and Pernod. Ended up being not too shabby. Every now and then I'd drag it up as a shooter for daring party-goers wandering up First Avenue on their way to Pioneer Square or Belltown. Rocky again challenged me to come up with a shooter that could match a hilarious name, The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, killer of ferocious bunnies. I just dredged up the Stroh shot and, well, there was much rejoicing.

Finally, Rick has the idea of a Limit One MXMO, and I figured I'd haul this one up, but try and make it better. Having just visited Vessel and being enamored with Jamie Boudreau's Rubicon, I thought I'd try my hand at a little molecular mixology to add another layer of flavor. I bruleed some cherries on the bottom of the glass, mashed them and carmelized the syrup as well. Then came the shot of Stroh, a little orange and lime juice, some simple syrup and then, just to see what'd happen, I floated a 1/4 oz of absinthe. Then I handed it to the cooks, master tasters of cocktails. The cooks have a justifiable fear of Stroh, so I kept the ingredients a secret.

What started out as a joke has now ended up being a fantastically tasty cocktail, something I'd never have believed possible. Does it have a silly name? Yes, of course it does. But if you're a Monty Python fan, as I am, you can't help but laugh a little...

Behold...The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch. Introduction here by Monty Python, from The Holy Grail, one of the great comedies of our time....

We have the Holy Hand Grenade.
Yes, of course! The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch! 'Tis one of the sacred relics Brother Maynard carries with him! Brother Maynard! Bring up the Holy Hand Grenade!
[chanting] Pie Iesu domine, dona eis requiem. Pie Iesu domine, dona eis requiem. Pie Iesu domine, dona eis requiem. Pie Iesu domine, dona eis requiem.
How does it, um-- how does it work?
I know not, my liege.
Consult the Book of Armaments!
Armaments, chapter two, verses nine to twenty-one.
And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, 'O Lord, bless this Thy hand grenade that, with it, Thou mayest blow Thine enemies to tiny bits in Thy mercy.' And the Lord did grin, and the people
did feast upon the lambs and sloths and carp and anchovies and orangutans and breakfast cereals and fruit bats and large chu--
Skip a bit, Brother.
And the Lord spake, saying, 'First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then, shalt thou count to three. No more. No less. Three shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, nor either count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then, lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it.'

The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch

Brulee 3 cherries on the bottom of a double rocks glass.
In an ice-filled cocktail shaker combine:
1 oz Stroh 80
1 oz fresh orange juice
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
healthy dash of simple syrup
Shake, dump contents into aforementioned rocks glass. Stir, float a dash of absinthe on top.

Ye Gods!!! Have one, and thou shalt be smitten. Two, thou shalt be smote.
Want to see the scene from The Holy Grail? Darn right you do!!


Silver Lining

I have a new favorite cocktail, just in time for my birthday. I got this one from the 2006 edition of Food and Wine Cocktails, an annual roundup of new cocktails from top bartenders and bars from around the U.S. The bar and bartender? Joseph Schwartz of Little Branch. The combination of rye, Licor 43 and egg white appealed to me, and in this case, it tasted even better than I thought it would.

Silver Lining

1 1/2 oz rye (I used Rittenhouse 100 proof)
3/4 oz Licor 43
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1 egg white
2 oz club soda

Shake the bejeezus out of everything, aside from the soda, and strain into an ice-filled collins glass. Top with soda water a little bit at a time as the foam rises quickly.

Hooo boy, this is tasty, one of the better new cocktails I've had in some time, and it's going on the menu as soon as possible. Think lemonade, meringue and custard without being sweet. Think rye along with that....

Ah, about Licor 43... this is a Spanish liquer composed of 43 different herbs and spices. Vanilla comes out most prominently. If you happen to have Licor 43 gathering dust in your liquor cabinet for whatever reason, give this one a shot.