While most of the cocktail bloggers seemed to be having a joyous ole time down in N’awlins for Tales of the Cocktail (note: I haven’t actually read any of the blog posts, so maybe everybody came down with salmonella or something, not that I’d actually hope that’d happen but if something did happen and I’m sounding like an incredible jerkwad, well, uh, I’ve been fairly incommunicado all week) I got stuck with my usual July assignment – going to E3 on behest of the other site I write for, GamersInfo.net.
If you want my thoughts on the 28+ games I saw at E3, check out that site. If you want my thoughts on Irish Coffee, a bitters-less Manhattan, and other travesties of the LA bar scene, I’ll post on that later.
And then there’s the theme for this month: New Orleans. Or N’awlins, as I am wont to put it all the time whenever I’m writing out the name. I blame my psuedo-Southern heritage.
But what to make? The easy choice is the obvious one – the Sazerac. I do love me a Sazerac. But I didn’t want to do one of those, and though I briefly toyed with the idea of making my own version of the Hand Grenade I didn’t get around to doing any of those until too late, so I whipped out what I got, in other words, a couple of books, and decided to try a couple of cocktails that I hadn’t had before.
Because, you know, this is the Scofflaw’s Den, and even if I’m having to hand key in the HTML (and teach Marshall a bit about HTML) until we figure out why WordPress’s visual editor isn’t working, we’re still going to be doing multiple cocktails for MxMo ’cause that’s the way we roll.
First I went to one of the tried-and-true boosk – Ted Haigh’s Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. There I read about the Vieux Carre’ (no, I can’t do the accent in HTML right yet), named after N’awlins’ famous French Quarter (i.e. “The Old Square”) and according to Dr. Cocktail, invented by Walter Bergeron in the soon-to-be (at the time) Carousel bar in the Monteleone Hotel. The drink reminded me a lot of the Cocktail a la Louisiane, for more than one reason.
Vieux Carre’ Cocktail
1 ounce rye whiskey (Wild Turkey Russell Reserve)
1 ounce cognac (Hennessy VS)
1 ounce sweet vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/2 teaspoon Benedictine
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Shake and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon.
This reminded me of the previously-mentioned cocktail for a couple of reasons. For one thing, look at the list of ingredients – take out the absinthe, add in cognac, and you’ve got this one. That also goes for the second thing, which is that it tastes very similar, but to me the sweet vermouth really cut through everything else. That might be my choice of vermouth, but as I gave my Cinzano to my mom (awwww!) and I didn’t think to try the Vya, and I know that the Carpano might be even stronger, that’s what I’ve got right now.
All that being said, it wasn’t a bad drink, but I’d probably go with the Louisiane when going with this style cocktail.
At this point in the evening, I was sans eggs, necessary for the next cocktail. I took my Vieux Carre’ cocktail outside with me for the first cigar I’ve had since E3, where I proceeded to read my copy of Future Washington from cover to cover while smoking a La Gloria Cubana Serie R and later a Cavalier Cigar while sipping Miller Lite after finishing the cocktail. I am, after all, on a diet. Supposedly.
My brother finally got home with the eggs (along with a steam cleaner and other things, thanks to – well, I’ll talk about that later) and so it was time for my next drink: the Coffee Cocktail.
Take 1 tea-spoonful powdered white sugar
1 fresh egg
1 large wine-glass [2 oz.] of port wine
1 pony [1 oz.] of brandy
2 or 3 lumps of ice
Break the egg in the glass, add the sugar, then the port, brandy, and ice. Shake thoroughly and strain into a glass. Grate a little nutmeg on top.
I initially chilled a cocktail glass for this and realized belatedly it was too small, so it was another Jack Daniels rocks glass for me.
This was definitely an interesting cocktail. I used a Horton Vineyards 2000 vintage port – one of my favorite vintage ports, especially for the price. You could quite tell the taste of the port over the armagnac that I ended up using and the rest, but it was still a tasty beverage.
If you couldn’t tell from the formatting of the ingredients, despite the fact that it’s on the next page of Vintage Cocktails and Forgotten Spirits from the Vieux Carre’ cocktail I had no idea about the N’awlins connection of this cocktail until I saw it in David Wondrich’s Imbibe!, with proper credit to Jerry Thomas, and David mentions that according to rumor it came from N’awlins. I can definitely see it.
Unlike Dr. Cocktail’s recipe, I used the whole egg in this recipe, and it was definitely lush and luxurious. Very tasty, but definitely perhaps maybe more appropriate as a digestif than a “post-dinner, post-cigars, post-beer” drink. It did lead very nicely into the brie, dry salami, and baguette that Matt brought home with the steam cleaner.
But that’ll do it for this month’s Mixology Monday. It was definitely good to try some random cocktails that I might not have had an impetus to try without this theme, so I’ve gotta give the shout out to Paul at Cocktail Chronicles for hosting this month. Tomorrow, once I’m safely back on the taxpayer’s dime, I’ll have to catch up on what I missed at Tales last week, and think fondly of next year when I’ll definitely be there!