Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Henry Clay Cocktail

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer

Henry Clay was the U.S. Senator from Kentucky who introduced the Mint Julep to Washington, DC drinkers.I thought it appropriate to twist up this cocktail a bit in my unique fashion.

Please don’t get me wrong.  I adore a frosty Mint Julep in the purest form.  Mint kissed by the morning dew, glistening in the young sunshine.  The most perfect granules of spring water ice emulating rainbows as they capture the light deeply within.  The Bourbon, sweet and charming like the first time you spoke melodious words of love.  Finally you have the sugar, at first rough against your tongue, yet memorably sweet on the finish.

All of these things make the historic, Mint Julep part of our collective memories.

Unfortunately Henry Clay had a dark side.  Like many outspoken men of his era, when strong drink was introduced into gentile conversations between men, arguments would eventually erupt. One of the things that a heated argument would lead to was a duel. A duel between men, wildly smashed on explosively powerful Bourbon cocktails in the heat of a Washington, DC summer? I see all bad things. It’s ironic that the Henry Clay, a mint-based cocktail would emulate the power and grace of a perfectly crafted Mint Julep.

The secret ingredient in my cocktail is the addition of dark coffee.  Coffee is one of the hidden elements that add depth and character to a drink with brown liquors.  I love the spice element of good dark coffee in drinks that include Bourbon Whiskey.  The addition of dark brown sugar to coffee-based cocktails give drinks character and finesse.  Iced, they take on entirely different direction.  I can think of nothing more satisfying on a hot day than an iced coffee… “Corrected” of course!

Bitters are also a hidden element to my cocktail.  The Jerry Thomas Bitters from the Bitter Truth in Germany fit the historic component to this drink perfectly.

I love the deep aromatics and the spice finish of the Jerry Thomas Bitters.

The Henry Clay Cocktail. 
(Serves two persons of sound mind and body but beware....No dueling is allowed!)
3 oz. Four Roses Bourbon Whiskey (you don't have the use the single barrel offerings, therefore expensive stuff, but it wouldn't hurt)
2 oz. very strong coffee from yesterday
2 oz. Mint Simple Syrup (infuse fresh mint in simple syrup overnight, then remove)
2-3 shakes Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas Bitters
Freshly whipped heavy cream (not optional)

Brew a pot of extra strong coffee, let cool and refrigerate overnight well covered with plastic wrap
To a mixing glass add a good splash of the mint simple syrup
Add the Bourbon Whiskey
Add the Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas Bitters
Fill 3/4 a Boston Shaker 3/4 with ice and ....Shake, Shake, Shake…
Taste for sweetness and serve in a long glass packed with ice.
Top with the whipped cream

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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