Category Archives: Vermouth

Scent-sory Perception

By Lesley Jacobs Solmonson

“Odors have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions, or will. The persuasive power of an odor cannot be fended off, it enters into us like breath into our lungs, it fills us up, imbues us totally. There is no remedy for it.” – Patrick Suskind, Perfume

In the Bay of Bengal lies an archipelago of islands known as the Andamans. The sea breeze flows across the warm, tropical sands and rainfall come heavily during monsoon season. The islands are home to the aboriginal Ongee people, whose lives are structured not by what they see or feel or hear, but by what they smell: the shifting odors of the various flowers as they bloom create a literal “calendar of scents” that chart the year. Each season is named for a specific odor; each season has a unique “aroma-force”. Moreover, the Ongee don’t ask “How are you?”, but rather, “How is your nose?” as a form of greeting. Their world is defined by how it smells.

This past week, for Mixology Monday, we challenged colleagues to create a drink around the theme “Come to Your Senses”. And, while visual presentation played a major role, it’s no surprise that many of the drinks relied on our sense of smell with smoke-filled glassware, aromatic herbs like mint and basil, and potent ingredients like orange flower water and hops. There’s no question that a cocktail that smells good tastes even better.
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Bloodhound Cocktail

1.5 oz Leopold’s Gin
0.75 oz Dry Vermouth
0.75 oz Sweet Vermouth
2-3 Crushed Strawberries

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass
Shake with ice and double strain into a coupe
Garnish with a fresh strawberry

* * *

If we had let today go by without posting the Bloodhound, I might have called for a 12BB inquisition myself.  After all, not only are we currently featuring garden fresh ingredients, but this past weekend was the California Strawberry Festival – right in our own backyard.  Say what you will about Southern California, but our strawberries are as good as they get, especially those grown by our friends at Harry’s Berries (but we’ll get to that).

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Mixology Monday: The Rosemond

a 12 Bottle Bar original

2 oz Leopold’s Gin
1 oz Hibiscus-infused Dry Vermouth (recipe below)
0.5 oz Rose Syrup (recipe below)
2-3 drops of Fresh Lemon Juice

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled coupe
Garnish with a rose petal

 * * *

There’s an online cocktail party called Mixology Monday.  It’s a great idea; once a month, a participating cocktail blog picks the theme and hosts the event.  Anyone can participate by submitting a link to their applicable post, which should go up on the Monday of the event.  Then, the hosting site puts up links to everyone else’s drinks.  As we said, it’s a great idea – participating in a common theme with your peers, generating some traffic, being discovered by new readers.  Unfortunately, there is one absolutely unforgivable element to Mixology Monday (MxMo to friends) that has always kept us from participating:  we always seem to miss it.  The events aren’t  consistently “the second week of the month” or the like, and even though I’ve gone so far as to put a reoccurring reminder in our calendars, every month we find ourselves arriving, cocktail equipment in hand, just as the event train recedes in the distance.  Until this week, that is.

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Cooperstown Cocktail

By Lesley Jacobs Solmonson

1.5 oz Leopold’s Gin
0.75 oz Dry Vermouth
0.75 oz Sweet Vermouth
2 dashes Orange Bitters
2-3 Mint Leaves

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass
Gently shake with ice and strain into a coupe
Garnish with a sprig of mint

* * *

I must confess, baseball as a sport does not rank high on my “important” list.  I have never watched the World Series.  I do not have a favorite team.  In fact, the only way I generally know that the season is upon us is when Baskin-Robbins features my favorite ice cream flavor “Baseball Nut” on its menu.   Now, before you shun, shun the nonbeliever, let me offer this to save myself – I may not be a lover of the sport of baseball, but I am a die-hard believer in its mythology.

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