Friday, April 19, 2013

A Cocktail for Baudelaire

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer

The Aylesbury Duck is an intriguing vodka from The 86 Company. They also produce a white rum, a gorgeous blanco tequila, and a lush, aromatic and refreshing London gin. From the very first sip poured with ease from the bartender-designed neck, (it has two lines extruding from the glass for added security) to the gradations on the side (for the measurement of a punch, no doubt) I know that this product is carefully made. The size and shape of the bottle is equally important. It's circular in dimension and is a bartender-pleasing one liter in volume. It would fit easily into a speed rack or grace the shelf of the back bar with its handsome labeling.


The label looks like handmade paper with Victorian-esque fonts with the depiction of the Aylesbury Duck and curious writing about the duck and hunting, as well as what it is made of, in this case wheat and water.  But you don't drink writing, nor do you drink fancy bottle styles. What you do drink is a carefully made vodka unlike any other on the market. But what does this mean?

This is what I would call an ultra-luxury product. This vodka is of such high quality that there is very little of it to be attained. But you my friends are in luck. Not only do you have the good fortune to read my words of wisdom attesting to the quality of this product, but also you are able to find this ultra-luxury vodka at DrinkUpNY!

This is your lucky day!

It's also your lucky day that you cooked some sweet, golden beets last night to accompany your roasted chicken. But instead of tossing them into a salad with a tangle of Mache lettuce and goat cheese like you usually do, this time you've pureed them with a touch of freshly squeezed lime juice and simple syrup. This gives the pureed beets a bright and citrus driven flavor when mixed with this pristine wheat based vodka. 

Then, as if by magic a frosty Martini glass appears in front of you.  And trailing down the sides of the Martini glass is the most elegant of bitters. In this case, I've used the historic Jerry Thomas Bitters, comprised of cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and dreams. They smear down the side of your cocktail glass and lend plausible amusement for your taste buds.

The Aylesbury Duck is indeed a real duck. I'd say it is quite a bit larger than a normal duck and is usually hunted for sport, although it's not really a sport when this large breed of duck is the size of a golden retriever. It's hard to miss. There's a phrase that says: "like a sitting duck"...

I do hope drinking this imaginative vodka is more amusing than hunting the Aylesbury Duck! 


Tasting notes for the Aylesbury Duck Vodka:

A nose of sweet vanilla and candy sugar melts away into a vaguely floral scent of the grains. Notes of white chocolates melted around freshly cut French herbs and hints of Asian spices caress the palate. This iconic vodka finishes warm and lush with a mouth coating sweetness that goes on and on.

Quite mixable or perfect served over a hand cut ice cube made with water filtered through a Mavea "Inspired Water" Filter pitcher. (ESSENTIAL!!!)

I love to make infused ice cubes for this drink.

A Cocktail for Baudelaire


(Each recipe makes one drink)

Ingredients:
• 3 oz. Aylesbury Duck vodka
• 2 tablespoons roasted and pureed golden beets
• ½ oz. simple syrup
• ½ oz. fresh lime juice
• A few shakes of The Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas Bitters
• One large chunk of hand cut Mavea and Jerry Thomas infused ice

Ice Preparation: 
1. In a gallon Tupperware container, add at least twenty shakes of the Jerry Thomas Bitters.
2. Cover with Mavea filtered water and mix together.
3. Freeze overnight.
4. Cut ice to your desired shape and serve with your Aylesbury Duck Vodka in the cocktail of your choice, such as the vividly amusing Cocktail for Baudelaire.

Cocktail Preparation:
1. Fill a Boston Shaker ¾ with bar-ice (Do not use the infused ice here.)
2. Add the vodka and the pureed golden (or red if you wish) beets, lime juice and simple syrup.
3. Shake for 10-15 seconds.
4. Strain into your Martini glass and sip to getting drunk… (While reading Baudelaire's infamous poem about drinking to inebriation and beyond.)

Of course you should always practice mindful drinking…

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

Article by Warren Bobrow, a nationally published food and spirits columnist who writes for Williams-Sonoma, Foodista and the Beekman Boys.

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