Mixology Monday LX: The GT-5

a 12 Bottle Bar original

3 oz Gin-Key Lime Sorbet
2-3 dozen Micro Melon Balls
2 oz Leopold’s Gin
4 oz Tonic
1 large stalk Mint
Boba Straw

Make the sorbet per the Hot-Frozen Gin Fizz recipe, substituting key lime juice for the lemon
Scoop out the melon balls, making them small enough to fit through the boba straw
When the sorbet is ready, add approximately 3 ounces of it to the bottom of a large glass
Return the glass to the freezer, allowing the sorbet to set and the glass to thoroughly chill
Just before serving, add the melon balls to the glass
When serving, pre-mix the gin and tonic, then add to the glass
Add the mint and boba straw

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If there’s one thing I can tell you, having run through a number of drinks for today’s Mixology Monday post, it’s that if you’re dead set on serving your drink in a scientific beaker or flask, don’t make the drink yellow. It’s a small point but one which I quickly realized as I poured a pineapple syrup-based cocktail into my vessel of choice. As this month’s theme is “Come to Your Senses” – chosen by us, given that Paul Clarke was kind enough to allow us to host the August mixer – and the goal is to create a drink which inspires a sense beyond just taste, a beaker full of frothy golden liquid arouses reactions best left unspoken.

Fortunately for everyone involved, we ditched the pineapple and went in a different direction. As the ones who set the theme, we of course figured that we should challenge ourselves to incorporate as many of the five senses – sight, smell, touch, taste, hearing – as possible into our entry. This meant breaking out the molecular mixology playbook and working our way through gels, foams, mists, solids, cotton candy, deconstruction, reconstruction, and many other big words. After several false starts and abandoned recipes (the pineapple concoction), we decided to think outside the science kit.
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Brunelle Cocktail

2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1 oz Rich Demerara Syrup
0.5 oz Kübler Absinthe

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled coupe

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It easily goes without saying that the greatest reward of doing this site is the people we get to meet.  Not only have we formed some lasting real-world friendships with the kind of folk who otherwise wouldn’t be caught dead in public with the likes of us (it’s all quite Breakfast Clubby at times), but we have assembled a cadre of loyal readers who keep us sharp with probing questions like “Hey, why is there only one Absinthe drink on the Drinks page?”  Readers like Dominic. Continue reading

Of Punch and Biscuits

Admittedly, I may have missed the episode, but I don’t believe that Leonard Nimoy ever went “In Search of… The Toasted Punch Biscuit”.  But he should have, because the toasted biscuit has been at the center of one of my greatest cocktail mysteries, and I for one, would have watched the show, copied it, and bought the deluxe edition DVD when it hit the street.  And, he would have saved me a good deal of research – not to mention several dozen eggs.  On the other hand, I’m glad that Nimoy never went down that road because he would have denied me the joy of hunting down a singularly elusive bit of drink history.

The first question I’m sure you have is “What is a toasted punch biscuit?”  As luck would have it, I shall tell you.  During the 16th and 17th centuries, things were changing on a global level, as merchant-focused companies from most of the sea-faring European powers set off in all directions.  They brought all manner of wonders back to the continent – furs, cocoa, spices, as well as new beverages like coffee, tea, and punch.  In his seminal book Punch, David Wondrich tells us that the first written reference to punch was made on September 28, 1632, in a letter from one Robert Addams to his colleague, Thomas Colley, both Englishmen stationed in India.  Over the next two hundred years, punch would become ingrained in the culture – specifically in English culture, and as the English had long enjoyed dunking toast in their ale drinks, it should come as little surprise that they soon started adding toast and toasted biscuits to their punch (as well as, to be fair, to their coffee and tea). Continue reading

Of Toast and Toasting

Like so many key moments throughout history, it all happened because of a pretty lady and some damned fool hitting on her.  Actually, there were two men, but one of them was a little more chivalrous about his intent.  The moment in question is the proclaimed origin of the term “to toast” – as in the thing you do to a bride and groom – and how it derived from the breakfast item of the same name.  Here’s how the story was recounted in the June 4, 1709 edition of The Tatler:

“But many of the wits of the last age will assert, that the word, in its present sense, was known among them in their youth, and had its rise from an accident at the town of Bath, in the reign of King Charles II.  It happened, that on a public day a celebrated beauty of those times was in the Cross Bath, and one of the crowd of her admirers took a glass of the water in which the fair one stood, and drank her health to the company.  There was in the place a gay fellow, half fuddled, who offered to jump in, and swore, though he liked not the liquor, he would have the toast.”

This cad, half fuddled though he may have been, possessed enough wit to be credited with the invention of a bit of civility that, in fact, predated him by more than a millennium.    No, to find the true origins of toasting, we’ll have to go back to the Romans. Continue reading