Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Four C’s of Corrected Coffee.

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer


Coffee, Calvados. Carpano and Creole Bitters. 
The Four C’s of Corrected Coffee. 

I have an apology to make.  For all of you who get up and go directly into work in the morning, I’m sorry.  Why? Because day drinking, especially morning drinking is one of my favorite jobs and you cannot do this is you work in an office. 

With the responsibility of being a spirits, food and wine writer- comes the task of editorializing the myriad of spirits that arrive at my door.  Sometimes daily.  That means getting up early and sipping.  Certainly not drinking because that would make for a very short day.  I’d be asleep by noon!

But sipping a morning cocktail disguised as a cup of coffee is something else entirely.  Something supernatural… It’s something luscious and dare I say erotic. 

You see, if we were in France- that we are not- but you get the idea that I’m trying to extrapolate here, drinking something like Calvados in the morning is very much an integral part of their social thread.  The older the men in the village- you do live in a small village, don’t you? The more likely they are to drink Calvados in the morning.  What is wrong with that?  Nothing at all!

They call this correcting the coffee and I’m all for it.  There is nothing like it for making that evening buzz from the night prior, extending well into the next day.  You see the art of drinking is more than just drinking; it’s part of the cultural heritage of a place.  We’ve lost that in our country.  If you are correcting your coffee at dawn you’re part of a very small number of people left in the world who agree with this action. 

That’s why I have a plan for you.  It involves a series of ingredients.  Don’t worry, there really isn’t a whole lot of alcohol in this morning drink, but what there is will catch up with you in a hurry if you’re not careful so you must set aside at least a few hours in the morning to really enjoy what I’m sharing with you. 

You see, I’m a professional.  When you are running with the bulls first thing in the morning it’s essential to not worry about who or what you will bump into along the way.   I think life is like that too.  Something about sensuality and flavor of these ingredients that are fortunate to unlock the keys that wind Big Ben. 

Calvados has a rich history of flavor that goes back hundreds of years.  Calvados is not like Cognac.  Cognac is made from grapes and Calvados is made of apples.  These are not your usual apple pie, sweet variety of apples, but they are apples that are extremely tart and some are almost bitter in their unique approach to taste.  Their texture is crisp against the tooth and overall they lend themselves well to the art of distillation.  Daron Calvados Fine Pays d'Auge, available at DrinkupNY is just irresistible when mixed with Carpano Antica Vermouth and good, strong black coffee. 

Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth is one of my very favorite Vermouth on the market.  The thickly textured sweet flavor is tempered somewhat by deeper notes of candied fruits and spices.  There are notes of saddle leather, Belgian Chocolate and freshly crushed mountain herbs in every sip.  Carpano Antica was made for pleasure and drinking a slug of it along with your Calvados and coffee is a fine way to begin your day.  Plus there is enough sweetness in every sip to more than add enough sugar- you won’t need to add any simple syrup to the drink. 
There are a couple of thing you need to do first when combining flavors of this high quality.  The first is to pre-heat your coffee mug and make sure that it is a good heavy weight ceramic one.

Many of my fabulous drinks need a bit of bitter to offset the sweet.  Balance is essential in these concoctions.  The Bitter Truth Creole Bitters seem to set your sails into the correct direction.  I’m hoping the wind will be favorable for your flavor driven trip down memory lane.  Just make sure that the waves don’t crash into your face!

Might Have Been A Flight of Fancy

Ingredients:
2 oz. Daron Calvados Fine Pays d'Auge
1 oz. Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth
4 oz. Hot Black Coffee- extra strong please (no Dunkin’ Donuts quality please!)
4 shakes Bitter Truth Creole Bitters

Preparation:
Preheat your coffee mug with boiling hot water- set aside for a few minutes to heat
Pour out the boiling water
Add the Daron Calvados Fine Pays d'Auge
Add the Carpano Antica Formula
Add the Coffee
Adjust the sweetness if needed with sugar
Dot the Bitter Truth Bitters over the top for BALANCE… 

Sante’! 

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

About Warren Bobrow
Author of: Apothecary Cocktails-Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today- Fair Winds Press- Beverly, Massachusetts. Apothecary Cocktails was nominated for a Spirited Award, 2014 Tales of the Cocktail.  His forthcoming book, Whiskey Cocktails will be released October 14.  Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails follow with publication in spring ’15.  Warren is a master mixologist for several craft liquor companies.

Warren consults about mixology and spirits, travel, organic wine and food.  He’s written for web-blogs and magazines like: Williams-Sonoma, Whole Foods: Dark Rye, Distiller, Total Food Service Magazine, Beverage Media Group, DrinkupNY, Edible Publications, Foodista, Serious Eats, Mechanics of Style and Beekman1802.  He was in the Saveur-100 in 2010.

Warren is a former, mostly self, trained cook from the pot sink on up.  J&W and ACF were thrown in for good luck.  Warren was the former owner/co-founder of Olde Charleston Pasta in South Carolina: *Dissolved his business after Hurricane Hugo in 1989* - to a career in private banking, (nearly 20 years; “a very grand mistake”) to this reinvention in 2009 as the Warren he's finally become.

Warren is available to do highly personalized, interactive mixology events, local, national and international.
Contact: jockeyhollow@gmail.com

Monday, October 27, 2014

Wines for Halloween

By Liza B. Zimmerman


This classic American dress-up holiday is just around the corner. I would wager that it is as beloved by adults as it is by kids. During recent trips to costume stores—in preparation for a blow out wine country party—I saw as many grown-ups buying light sabers and sexy hamburger outfits as their kids were snapping up the princess dresses.

For those who are staying in for the evening, or heading back with sugar-hyper offspring in tow, I would say there are two ways to approach your wine pairings. Since the bulk of the scary/vampire wines that are released for the occasion haven’t usually been that high quality, I say you go the road of the toasty reds or wines to pair with whatever candy you can wrestle away from your kids. Even a little cider might be good to warm you up on a fall night. New York State makes some lovely ones that you could even serve warm or use as a component in a festive punch to put on the table to share.

Big, Hearty Reds
If I am sitting around a fire, or just want to enjoy something toasty and divine, nothing beats Nebbiolo-based wines from Piedmonte. They have that spice, complexity and kick. They are so easy to pair with food and so enjoyable without. I tend to like Barbarescos more as I find them a bit wilder in a sensuous way. Produttori del Barbaresco remains one of the top brands in the business and it is still so well priced! Conterno’s” Ceretta” Langhe Nebbiolo is also delicious.

Another favorite for easy sipping by fire—or space heater—is Zinfandel. The earthy,é dusty nature of many of these wines, combined with a lush fruit profile, make them great fall warmers. Some of the best, such as Sobon, are coming out of Amador Country and Paso Robles, respectively to the north and south of San Francisco. Bordeaux and Rhône blends also have a complexity that is perfect for easy sipping and pair so well with so many types of foods: a little beef stock, hot pepper or animal fat in your dishes will just make these wines soar.

Candied Wines for Those Sweets
Even if the kids can’t indulge, some sweet and fortified dessert wines will work well with a wide range of carmel- and nut-based desserts. An ice wine, such as Inniskillin’s from outside Toronto in Niagara-on-the-Lake, are perfect with ribbons of carmel or the crunch of walnuts and almonds (whether its Twix or crème brûlee just go for it). Mission Hill in the Okanagan Valley, a few hours outside of Vancouver, also makes some lovely ice wines.

Ports are going to work with chocolate-based treats, particularly somewhat austere Tawnies and the vintage Port if you want to indulge. Hungary’s intense and well-balanced Tokays are also desserts in an of themselves, as are Bordeaux’s Sauternes.

The biggest decision you should have to face on Halloween night is deciding which candies you want to pair wines with. Having a little flight in reserve of ice wines, Tokay, Port and Sauternes wouldn’t hurt your pairing potential.

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

Liza Zimmerman has been writing and consulting about wine and food for two decades. She is principal of the San Francisco-based Liza the Wine Chick wine writing, education and consulting firm. She has worked on staff and freelance at national magazines such as Wine Enthusiast, The Magazine of La Cucina Italiana, Wine Spectator, Where SF and the Examiner. She currently contributes to Cheers, Wine Business Monthly and the Examiner, among others.

Zimmerman focuses on demystifying wine and transforming it into a tool for business and networking for companies all over the country. Past clients include Genentech, Roche and IBM.

She has visited all the world’s major wine regions and is one of select few in the U.S. to hold the Diploma of Wine & Spirits (D.W.S.), the three-year precursor to the Master of Wine.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Have you no remorse for your crimes?

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer

This morning I had one of those experiences that made me crave a hot breakfast.   The air was still across the trees, unlike yesterday when the front came through.  The wind blew and blew, and the cold air streamed in from the north.  If I was on a sailboat, far out at sea, I’d reef the lines and put in for some heavy seas. 

One of the things that a cold morning says to me are three words.  Hot Buttered Rum.  Ok, four words.  Or maybe five.  Hot Buttered Rum, Sugar and Bitters- oops that’s six..  Six words. 

That’s because hot buttered rum is deeply ingrained into my personality.  It comes from spending time on sailboats with the vast ocean crashing over the bow of the boat.  Being helpless in the face of something bigger than myself or the 50 ton yacht I was in command of for the moment, the hot buttered rum is meant to do a very specific task.  It is meant to give courage and relaxation at the same time.

Thus my difficulty this morning.  So chilly was the air that all I could think of was hot Lapsang Souchong tea and Diplomatico Anejo Rum, some dark Moscovado sugar and a nice pat of salted butter.  Salted butter you say?  Yes.  This drink demands it. 

But do you need a yacht to be able to enjoy a hot buttered rum?  Probably not. You can have one right now.  Without being on a pitching sailboat.  Without seasickness.  Without every formerly dry piece of clothing icy cold and soaked.  You can have all the benefits without the trials of being out at sea. 

A large tumbler of Diplomatico Anejo Rum can provide all the sustenance an armchair sailor needs against lethargy and thirst.  Add to this mix a nice pat of salty butter to give the drink depth.  Then adjust the sugar to taste.  The base of course is good strong tea.  In this case I am using Lapsang Souchong tea.  It’s smoky and potent, the tea proves the point that base of this mug of courage is not the rum or the tea but both at the same time.  They require each other.  Fine rum like Diplomatico Anejo Rum requires only an open mind and a powerful thirst.  And some cold weather wouldn’t hurt.  See?  Rum isn’t only for the summer.  There are times that rum needs a bucket of ice cold salt water in the face of adversity to really bring out the qualities of the fun in your thick ceramic mug.

So what do you do to replicate the experience of being out at sea in an icy gale?  Well, you can employ the help of a friend who will douse you from head to toe in salt water while standing outside in the freezing weather, or you can just watch Moby Dick for the umpteenth time. 

Fetch me a hot buttered rum matey… yes.. I’ll make you one too should you desire. 

Tasting notes for the Diplomatico Anejo Rum:
Butterscotch and sweet charcoal give way to deeper notes of long cooked plum jam and toasted hazelnuts.  There is fire in there, enrobed in milk chocolate with a crisp finish of orange marmalade and salt slicked wet stones.  The finish is long and luxurious.  This is a fabulous rum and it begs your attention.  Even if you only use it for hot buttered rum!

I’ve been reading books on the sea lately and with good reason.  I love the sea and without living near it, my thoughts find themselves immersed into the waves, the salt and the fear. 

The fear of the unknown!

Have you no remorse for your crimes?
Ingredients:
2 oz. Diplomatico Anejo Rum
4 oz. Hot Lapsang Souchong Tea (really no exception for this)
1 tsp. Salted Butter
2-4 shakes Bitter Truth Spiced Chocolate Bitters
Moscovado (raw sugar) to Taste

Preparation: 
Preheat a stout mug with boiling hot water
Pour out water when the mug is very hot
Add the Diplomatico Anejo Rum to the mug
Add the Lapsang Souchong Tea
Add the sugar to taste
Top with the butter

YAR  PIRATES!!!! 

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

About Warren Bobrow
Author of: Apothecary Cocktails-Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today- Fair Winds Press- Beverly, Massachusetts. Apothecary Cocktails was nominated for a Spirited Award, 2014 Tales of the Cocktail.  His forthcoming book, Whiskey Cocktails will be released October 14.  Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails follow with publication in spring ’15.  Warren is a master mixologist for several craft liquor companies.

Warren consults about mixology and spirits, travel, organic wine and food.  He’s written for web-blogs and magazines like: Williams-Sonoma, Whole Foods: Dark Rye, Distiller, Total Food Service Magazine, Beverage Media Group, DrinkupNY, Edible Publications, Foodista, Serious Eats, Mechanics of Style and Beekman1802.  He was in the Saveur-100 in 2010.

Warren is a former, mostly self, trained cook from the pot sink on up.  J&W and ACF were thrown in for good luck.  Warren was the former owner/co-founder of Olde Charleston Pasta in South Carolina: *Dissolved his business after Hurricane Hugo in 1989* - to a career in private banking, (nearly 20 years; “a very grand mistake”) to this reinvention in 2009 as the Warren he's finally become.

Warren is available to do highly personalized, interactive mixology events, local, national and international.
Contact: jockeyhollow@gmail.com

Monday, October 20, 2014

Wines to Drink on Jury Duty

By Liza B. Zimmerman

My favorite part of doing my civic service has long been the great lunches I can have around courthouses. When I used to serve in Chinatown in Manhattan I loved popping out to Vietnamese food on Doyers Street and near Canal Street. Most of these places aren't known for their wines but you can bring whatever you like, generally for a minor BYOB fee.

The spicy and somewhat sweet flavors of Vietnamese food work so well with acidic and well-balanced white wines. Grüner Veltliner has long been a favorite of mine and Berger is a great value for a liter bottle (although you might want to invite friends to join you on your lunch break).

Fairly dry Rieslings are also divine with Asian flavors. I seek out wines from Alsace because it is easy to guess their sugar level: thankfully almost always pretty dry. In New York State, Dr. Konstantin Frank is a deserving icon, is making some beautiful versions, particularly from the Finger Lakes region. Washington State's wines, from both small and large producers, are also some great examples of the varietal.

Burmese Pairings
When I had to serve on jury duty in San Francisco I head to a little outpost of Vietnamese and Burmese places on Larkin Street. I had a great Chilean Sauvignon Blanc with my crunchy peanut- and garlic-inflected green tea leaf salad. The nuttiness of Burmese, often paired with less heat from peppers and sauces can call for wines with less sugar and greater and sometimes broader, quasi-oxidized flavors.

Chile and Bordeaux are great places to seek out these wines. Chile makes great single-varietal Sauvignon Blancs, while Bordeaux generally blends them with Sémillon. Neither area produces overly grassy wines, which I often find to be very unfriendly to food pairings.

Some of the Rhône blends: anything with Marsanne, Roussanne or Viognier can also work fantastically well with Burmese curries and sometimes Indian-influenced rice dishes. These are wines you can seek out from Eastern Washington, Paso Robles and even other regions close to the Rhône, such as the Languedoc.

If You Just Want a Hamburger
Not everyone wants a fancy meal during the middle of the day. Simple classics are also easy to eat at lunch, particularly if you want to catch up on email in a park and get some sun. So if you do just grab a delicious, charred and somewhat rare  burger and you can easily pair it with anything from spicy Cal-Ital to Iberian varietals. Cabernet Sauvignons work as do Zinfandels. Local bars are making better and better burgers--and even ribs north of the Mason-Dixon Line--so they are another great way to pass the time during that little reprieve that the judge gives you.

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

Liza Zimmerman has been writing and consulting about wine and food for two decades. She is principal of the San Francisco-based Liza the Wine Chick wine writing, education and consulting firm. She has worked on staff and freelance at national magazines such as Wine Enthusiast, The Magazine of La Cucina Italiana, Wine Spectator, Where SF and the Examiner. She currently contributes to Cheers, Wine Business Monthly and the Examiner, among others.

Zimmerman focuses on demystifying wine and transforming it into a tool for business and networking for companies all over the country. Past clients include Genentech, Roche and IBM.

She has visited all the world’s major wine regions and is one of select few in the U.S. to hold the Diploma of Wine & Spirits (D.W.S.), the three-year precursor to the Master of Wine.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cocktail: Sir Oliver Just Indicated

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer

I’ve been thinking about the classics of cocktaildom lately and one drink stands out as a virtual mind eraser.  It’s named the pink gin and probably for good reason.  The history of this drink dates back to the mid 19th Century.  Angostura Bitters, one of the original ingredients was being sold as a curative against seasickness.  Gin that had been aged in used whiskey and rum barrels found its way into the drinking class and something quite unexpected resulted.  Not only did the sweetness from the charred interiors of the cask drench the gin in soft textures, but also it made for a different type of cocktail altogether when mixed with the tropically scented bitters. 

Enter the Pink Gin. 
Was the first time that you heard of the pink gin in a James Bond movie?  If you said yes, then you’re late to the party.  The Pink Gin has been around for a long time.  Certainly before you were born!

The Pink Gin is certainly not a weak drink.  It is one part of barrel-aged gin to one part of aromatic bitters.  You can specify ‘in or out’ in means the bitters are inside the glass, out means the rim is moistened with the bitters.  Whichever way you choose, the Pink Gin is not for the meek.  It’s pretty strong and the tropical flavorings will make it “all too easy” to drink.

Barr Hill makes a barrel aged gin that I’m quite fond of.  They age their namesake gin, made from raw honey and grain in new American oak casks that have been charred on the inside to reveal the sweet flavors inherent to the wood.  I think that Todd Hardie makes some pretty righteous Tom Cat for this example of the Pink Gin.  What I’ve done to this version, the cocktail whisperer version is coat the inside of the glass with Shrub Drinks Prickly Pear Shrub. 

I love the pink color of the Prickly Pear.  It adds a certain dimension to the Barr Hill Tom Cat.  A Shrub, for those of you who do not know is made from sugar, fruit and some kind of vinegar.  The ingredients are combined and then aged for a period of time.  What results dates back to the Colonial Era, when refrigeration was unheard of and preserving food was necessary against foodborne illnesses. 

Shrubs like the Shrub Drinks Prickly Pear are just gorgeous, smacking of acidity and style.  They deserve your hard earned dollars.

I go crazy over the Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters.  The classic version of a Pink Gin includes some form of aromatic bitters and a lemon zest.  I love using the Bitter Truth Lemon because it injects lemony goodness deeply into my version of the Pink Gin. 

You need some citric spark against the sweet and potent strength of the Barr Hill Tom Cat Gin.  It’s just perfect.  Trust me on this.

The lemon bitters are just what the doctor ordered.  I’m departing from the norm with a wide orange zest.  And don’t use a peeler.  Please be sure to use a pairing knife.  It’s important and using a knife teaches you patience that is essential to building a craft cocktail. 

Patience is what we are lacking in life, so start right now with your Pink Gin.

Sir Oliver Just Indicated (for one drink)
Ingredients:
3 oz. Barr Hill Tom Cat Gin
½ oz. Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters
½ oz. Shrub Drinks Prickly Pear Syrup
Wide Orange Peel garnish- cut with a pairing knife, please!

Preparation:
To a mixing glass filled ¾ with large ice- to chill down/but not dilute!
Add the Barr Hill Tom Cat and the Shrub Drinks Prickly Pear Syrup and then stir to chill

To a pre-chilled Martini glass
(Is there really any other kind of martini- other than gin???)
Add the ½ oz. of the lemon bitters
Add the Barr Hill Tom Cat and the Shrub Drinks Prickly Pear Syrup to the pre-chilled glass

Give a quick finger stir…
Twist the orange zest over the top to release the volatile oils…
Serve.
(No, don’t finger stir if you are in a public place!)

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

About Warren Bobrow
Author of: Apothecary Cocktails-Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today- Fair Winds Press- Beverly, Massachusetts. Apothecary Cocktails was nominated for a Spirited Award, 2014 Tales of the Cocktail.  His forthcoming book, Whiskey Cocktails will be released October 14.  Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails follow with publication in spring ’15.  Warren is a master mixologist for several craft liquor companies.

Warren consults about mixology and spirits, travel, organic wine and food.  He’s written for web-blogs and magazines like: Williams-Sonoma, Whole Foods: Dark Rye, Distiller, Total Food Service Magazine, Beverage Media Group, DrinkupNY, Edible Publications, Foodista, Serious Eats, Mechanics of Style and Beekman1802.  He was in the Saveur-100 in 2010.

Warren is a former, mostly self, trained cook from the pot sink on up.  J&W and ACF were thrown in for good luck.  Warren was the former owner/co-founder of Olde Charleston Pasta in South Carolina: *Dissolved his business after Hurricane Hugo in 1989* - to a career in private banking, (nearly 20 years; “a very grand mistake”) to this reinvention in 2009 as the Warren he's finally become.

Warren is available to do highly personalized, interactive mixology events, local, national and international.
Contact: jockeyhollow@gmail.com

Monday, October 13, 2014

Cocktail: Rugged Fortitude

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer

I’ve got fall on my mind with luscious flavors of the season.  It’s got that snap in the air, the slight chill that deepens my thirst.  It happens every year at this time.  I just cannot help but want to stay warm.  Maybe this is because the weather has just been gorgeous outside.  Crisp, cool and quite refreshing.  Just like the types of cocktails that I like to drink. 

Last night however it was anything but cool.  It was downright cold, dipping into the upper 30’s!  And as much as I like a cool drink after being outside, ice just wasn’t on the menu for my chilled body!

I needed something warming and relaxing at the same time. 

It’s just after noon and this signals the perfect time for a day drink.  Hot chocolate is the perfect bet for warming me deeply, right down to my toes. 

In places like Germany, fruit liqueurs have warmed the bellies of their residents for hundreds of years.  When I drink fruit liqueurs, I like to dig deeply into the lexicon of my travels as a boy to places in Europe.  One of these places was Germany and I tasted many fruit laced liqueurs along the way.  In the fall months, pears come into view in the bars and restaurants.  Poire William or Williams Pear is popular as both a digestive and aperitif.  It’s also good just because you need a pick-me-up and a body warmer.  Pur Likor is such a product, woven from the finest fruits available along with spices and flavorings that speak to my boyhood.  When I opened the handsome, narrow bottle it was like breathing in my childhood.  This is so delicious and just what the doctor ordered when you are cold inside. 

I spent much time out sailing when I was in my twenties.  Invariably there would be circumstances when I got too much sun during the day, leading to a good case of seasickness and sun poisoning.  This was not a great combination for an aspiring sailor.  Usually my stepfather would pour me a large mug of hot tea.  Into this steaming mug he would add his homemade ginger liqueur and a healthy dose of rum.  He called it courage.  I called it fitness food.  Whatever it may have been the flavor profile stuck into my brain and filled me with deep inner warmth.

Ginger and alcohol do a couple of great things for me.  First of all the ginger cures seasickness and thealcohol makes it that I sleep better at night.  Barrow’s Intense is such a passionate product.  It is spicy ginger, combined with a secret combination of flavors that speak clearly to my stomach and my mind. 

When combined with the Pur pear liqueur and the final ingredient, a steaming mug of richly scented hot chocolate something otherworldly is born. 

Of course I cannot forget that bitters in the form of the Bitter Truth Spiced Chocolate bitters bring this entire mélange into balance.  Warming, spicy and sweet, the chocolate bitters manage to evoke the scents and flavors of fine German chocolate deeply into your hand-held body warmer.  You may not taste the alcohol, but it’s in there.  Trust me, it’s in there. 

These sumptuous flavors would form the basis for my cocktail.  I call it Rugged Fortitude.  The ingredients are very simple indeed but watch out.  There is booze in there, so no matter how easy they are to drink, there is a reason why you don’t have them for breakfast. 

Rugged Fortitude
(for two thirsty landlubbers)

Ingredients:
4 oz. steaming Hot Chocolate- sweetened to your taste
1 oz. Barrow’s Intense Ginger
2 oz. Pur Likor Pear Liqueur
2-4 shakes Bitter Truth Chocolate Bitters
Freshly whipped cream
Pinch of freshly scraped Nutmeg

Preparation:
Pre-heat a stout mug with boiling water- then pour out
Add the Pur Likor and the Barrow’s Intense
Top with Hot Chocolate
Dash the Bitter Truth Bitters over the top
Finish with freshly whipped cream (Mit Schlag) w/fresh nutmeg scraped on top

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

About Warren Bobrow
Author of: Apothecary Cocktails-Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today- Fair Winds Press- Beverly, Massachusetts. Apothecary Cocktails was nominated for a Spirited Award, 2014 Tales of the Cocktail.  His forthcoming book, Whiskey Cocktails will be released October 14.  Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails follow with publication in spring ’15.  Warren is a master mixologist for several craft liquor companies.

Warren consults about mixology and spirits, travel, organic wine and food.  He’s written for web-blogs and magazines like: Williams-Sonoma, Whole Foods: Dark Rye, Distiller, Total Food Service Magazine, Beverage Media Group, DrinkupNY, Edible Publications, Foodista, Serious Eats, Mechanics of Style and Beekman1802.  He was in the Saveur-100 in 2010.

Warren is a former, mostly self, trained cook from the pot sink on up.  J&W and ACF were thrown in for good luck.  Warren was the former owner/co-founder of Olde Charleston Pasta in South Carolina: *Dissolved his business after Hurricane Hugo in 1989* - to a career in private banking, (nearly 20 years; “a very grand mistake”) to this reinvention in 2009 as the Warren he's finally become.

Warren is available to do highly personalized, interactive mixology events, local, national and international.
Contact: jockeyhollow@gmail.com

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sicilian Spice

By Liza B. Zimmerman


This Mediterranean island is geographically closer to North Africa than mainland Italy. The climate can be scorching hot but is moderated by cooling breezes, high-altitude vineyards and mineral-rich volcanic soils in some cases. Great winemaking and serious investments have upped the ante on the area's overall wine quality enormously in the past decade.

The area is justifiably famous for its delicious Marsala, such as Intorcia, which is great as an aperitif and post-prandial pairing with caramel-based desserts. An added plus about this dessert wine is that it can stay open for weeks, like some Ports, without oxidizing. That makes it great to serve in restaurants, and at multiple dinner parties.

However, many other regions are producing some splendid, dry wines. Many of them are made from local grape varietals such as Inzolia, Greganico and Nero d'Avola. More and more delicious, and well-balanced, blends are ending up on the U.S. market. Many of them integrate local grapes with international ones like Syrah and Chardonnay with fantastic end results.

Food Pairings
What is so exciting about some of the latest Sicilian wines to enter the U.S. market is their fine balance of acidity and fruit and generally low alcohol levels. It makes them great partners with food, particularly all kinds of seafood and smoky dishes like long-simmered eggplant.

The bright minerality of the local whites mixes so well fresh octopus and hunks of lobster stirred into al dente bowl of pasta. I was lucky enough to have some of the best seafood in my life at the seaside restaurant and hotel Da Vittorio in Menfi, on the coast between Agrigento and Marsala.

The smokiness of the local Nero d'Avola also pairs beautifully with long-simmered eggplant dishes, often-flavored with salty and chewy local capers. The island's Nero d'Avilas have also become more interesting as we see more of them blended with other local grapes, such as Nerello Mascalese (which also produces some nice roses).

Here's my take on that delicious pasta:


Pasta allo Scoglio
Scoglio means rocky coast so this dish contains all the delicious fresh seafood that comes from it.
6 servings

Ingredients:
5 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 teaspoon dried, crushed peperoncino (red pepper)
12 ounces cleaned squid, bodies cut into 1/2-inch-wide rings, tentacles left whole
1 1/4 cups dry white wine
3 cups chopped, fresh tomatoes
2 pounds small littleneck clams, scrubbed
1 pound mussels, scrubbed, debearded
3 10-ounce uncooked lobster tail, shelled, meat cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
5  ounces scallops
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 pound linguine (only use real Italian pasta produced in Italy)

To make the dish:
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper; stir  for one to two minutes. Add the squid and sauté it for two to three minutes. Add wine; simmer until liquid is reduced by half. Add the tomatoes with their juices and bring the dish to a simmer over low heat for half an hour.
While the sauce is cooking, add the clams and mussels with a tablespoon of olive oil in another pan and cook them until they open, usually about five minutes. Set them aside in a colander and drain them.
Add the lobster, shrimp and scallops to the tomato sauce and simmer it for a minute. Add the clams and mussels from colander and simmer it for another minute. Add the parsley and a tablespoon of olive oil.
Meanwhile, cook the linguine in large pot of boiling salted water for two minutes less than is written on the package. Stir the pasta over a low flame into the seafood sauce and serve hot.

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

Liza Zimmerman has been writing and consulting about wine and food for two decades. She is principal of the San Francisco-based Liza the Wine Chick wine writing, education and consulting firm. She has worked on staff and freelance at national magazines such as Wine Enthusiast, The Magazine of La Cucina Italiana, Wine Spectator, Where SF and the Examiner. She currently contributes to Cheers, Wine Business Monthly and the Examiner, among others.

Zimmerman focuses on demystifying wine and transforming it into a tool for business and networking for companies all over the country. Past clients include Genentech, Roche and IBM.

She has visited all the world’s major wine regions and is one of select few in the U.S. to hold the Diploma of Wine & Spirits (D.W.S.), the three-year precursor to the Master of Wine.
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