Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Cocktail: A Mere Pillar of Darkness

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer

Ireland is the country of all that green, bursting with emotion and sadness that wells up in your mind- even before you get off the plane.  I like flying into the West instead of directly into Dublin.  You see Dublin is a great city, but when I go to Ireland, I seek the hidden and the forgotten.  The places where all the great artists and musicians come from before they make their way into the city.  Sure Dublin has the best of everything, the best whiskey, the best food and certainly the best pubs.  But after living on and off in New York City over the years I’m well accustomed to the best of everything.  That doesn’t make me jaded, far from!  But what it makes me is thirsty for the people, places and things that haven’t gotten to the big city yet.  The places where time moves slower and flavor reveals itself through patience and fortitude.  You see my friends, in Ireland what is over the next hill is a discovery in itself and that for me is what travel is all about.  It’s that perfect wisp of sea air sensed just before you sip that carefully crafted Irish coffee, creating balance in your mind and in your thirst.

Irish whiskey is spelled with an e, just like American whiskey.  I wish I could tell you why, but I cannot.  It’s just one of those things I suppose.  And Irish whiskey tastes in many ways as sweet and sensuous as Straight Bourbon whiskey, the droplets flow down my throat, warming me along the way.  Not all whiskey can say that to me.   Traditionally I eschew most Scotch (too smoky for me!) and Canadian just doesn’t have enough oomph for my palate.  Yet Irish whiskey is the right interplay between sweet, savory and potent.

Teeling Irish Whiskey is something new in a field well populated with the big names in Irish whiskies.  This whiskey takes the lesser-known path of least resistance.  It drinks like the hidden Ireland is undiscovered.  It evokes emotions of the song and the smiles of Ireland’s residents.  Each sip takes a road yet undiscovered, each cocktail crafted connects that country to the flavor inherent to the less mechanization, more passion method of distillation. 

Teeling’s label says a bit about this new Irish whiskey that catches my eye.  The words no chill filtering means much to me, as do the words 6 Months in Rum Casks.  Now even the Irish are sharing in the used cask world.  In this case they use Flor de Cana casks.  Which probably began their life as casks for Bourbon whiskey.  Again the Rhumb line travels the world and with it casks with a noble heritage.  It’s become a bit of a pet project for the casks, their venerable history and me.   Also on the label it reads Small Batch.  I’m not sure what a small batch constitutes, but it does sound authentic. 

Tasting Notes:  A sweet molasses based rum nose breaks away immediately into sharply delineated grains and sweet/salty caramel.  There are a plethora of stone fruits coming into view, each enrobed in more of that salted caramel and finely cut pipe tobacco.  Late Fall flower oils across the back of my tongue gives way to a long and luxurious finish that drips down my throat in sweet rivulets.  There is sweet honey in there too, plus freshly cut grass and toasted breakfast cereal that marches down to the bottom of my belly warming me deeply!

It’s magical stuff!  If you like your whiskey on the sweeter side, you’re going to just adore Teeling.  I can tell you that it mixes like a dream and in an Irish Coffee, well- I’ll bet you can make one as fine as the ones enjoyed at the Shannon Airport on the Western reaches of Ireland.  Where time is slower and the fogs hang low over the cliffs.

Get yourself to this hidden Ireland, and don’t forget to drink your fill of Irish Whiskey- and make it Teeling if you please. 

My friend Josh Morton makes Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur in Brooklyn.  It’s authentic in every way. 

I was feeling cold inside the other night and wanted to make a hot toddy that spoke of the West Coast of Ireland from a fishermen’s perspective.  Traditionally Irish whiskey would be combined with hot tea and this cocktail for your mug is no exception, except that it will hold dark coffee instead of tea and Josh’s ginger liqueur is an augmentation to the brilliant Irish whiskey that says Teeling on the label. 

You must use a hand crafted stoneware mug to house this marvelous concoction of stomach warming (and healing) ingredients and force you into relaxation.

A Mere Pillar of Darkness

(Preheat your stoneware mug with hot water, and then pour out)
Whip your cream by hand to the liquid/soft stage.
You MUST NOT use that stuff from a can!

Very dark coffee- steaming hot
2 oz. Teeling Whiskey
1 oz. Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur
1 tablespoon of raw sugar (Demerara works)
3 oz. Softly whipped cream
Scraping of fresh nutmeg
Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas Bitters

Pre-heat your mug with boiling water, pour out
Add the raw sugar
Add a good splash of the Teeling Whiskey
Ignite with a match so the sugar and the whiskey caramelize in the heavy sided mug
Spoon the heavy cream over to extinguish
Add the Barrow’s Intense
Add the remainder of the whiskey
Pour in the hot coffee
Spoon another tablespoon of the whipped cream over the top
Scrape some nutmeg
Dot with the Jerry Thomas Bitters


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.
PS: Warren's second book, Whiskey Cocktails is on the market now!
Contact: jockeyhollow@gmail.com

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