Little Italy

Has it really been that long since I lasted posted? Boo! Well, shoot, let me throw in a cocktail I've been making at Union which is getting some curious looks and satisfied grins.

This one is another in the long line of Audrey Saunders classics, and is on my list of favorite cocktail recipes listed below the Lebowski picture, part of a series I'll be doing here writing about those recipes. Like the Silver Lining, the Little Italy comes from the Food & Wine cocktail book series, this time from the 2007 edition (the '08 edition is now on sale and I'm looking forward to snapping one up soon. It's just a terrific series).

When I flip through a cocktail book or even a website, the recipes that usually catch my interest either have a new homemade ingredient I don't know about or combine a curious mix of ingredients I hadn't thought of. Cynar, being a hyper-bitter artichoke liquor, always gets me interested. Rye generally does as well. Put 'em together and yeah, I can't resist.

Here, the elements converge very nicely. The sweet vermouth knocks some of the edge off the Cynar, but not all of it, making this a Manhattan with a distinct bitter flavor that doesn't compare with anything I've had before. I've taken the liberty of flaming an orange twist in the drink and that addition seems to get favorable nods at the bar.

Little Italy

2 oz rye
1/2 oz Cynar
3/4 oz sweet vermouth
2 brandied cherries skewered on a stick
flamed orange twist

Stir the liquors together in an ice-filled mixing glass until cold, then strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the skewered cherries and flame and orange twist on the top.

Announcements and Such

First, I'm happy and honored to announce that I'll be participating on an all-star blog site, called Tales Blog, or Blogging Tales Of The Cocktail 2008. There are a few of us contributing, and on it we'll be previewing the events and participants of this spectacular event.

Now, if you read this site, I don't have to tell you, honestly, how awe inspiring Tales Of The Cocktail is. I missed it last year and have been regretting it. I'm telling you, I won't be missing another. Don't make the same mistake I did. Learn from my errors.

Still not sold? Let's play some word association, see if that doesn't amp you up. Okay, New Orleans. Cocktails. Spirits. History. Beachbum Berry. David Wondrich. Paul Clarke. Audrey Saunders. Jamie Boudreau. Gary Regan. Robert Hess. Julie Reiner. Simon Difford. Booze. Hooch. Giggle water.

Ahem. Tickets are on sale now. July 16-20, New Orleans. Clear your calendar. I'll see you there.

Now, more news, this one more personal to this site. As you can see, I've been messing around with the layout. New template, new pics, a listing of notable bars, Union's cocktail menu and a longer listing of blogs (you are reading through this list most days, right?). The upper right corner features something new, my recipes corner. Eventually this will include recipes for syrups, tinctures, infusions, bitters and such, so you can find quick access to these questions without having to dig through the blog. Right now, the recipe list contains my favorite cocktails as of right now, whether they've been featured on my site or not. This list will obviously expand greatly, and quickly. Each link will take you to the blog site I first heard of or discovered said cocktail, and acts as a personal repository where I can quickly find the cocktail I'm looking for, rather than trying to remember then digging through the blog. Hope this helps you as much as it will help me.

I think that's it for today. I've got to go apartment hunting now, plus plan for the wedding and finally spend time with my lovely lady.