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)

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

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.

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