Monday, February 23, 2015

Cocktail: The New Visionaries

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer

There’s a lot of great small-producer, craft bourbon on the market and I have my favorites.  Four Roses does some pretty amazing stuff with their single barrel offerings, Hudson Spirits was my first love in the rye category (as well as their bourbon) and I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for FEW SPIRITS, as well along with Catoctin Creek, Stranahan’s and Koval- just to name just a very small number of what I love to drink.  

I’ve written about each one and feel very strongly for their flavors and the people behind the brands. 

One in particular stands out as unique because each expression of the whiskey changes, completely!  Each batch is different and I think that’s what makes it truly authentic. 

Barrell Whiskey #001 is the whiskey that is not the same old thing from batch to batch.  Please don’t get too comfortable with each new release because they are constantly changing with each organic turn of the tides.  And with limited production, this sometimes creates certain disappointment if you cannot get what you desire.  So order up now before they are all gone. 

I’ve been playing around with Barrell Whiskey in my own way.  I’m not afraid of mixing it, nor should you be afraid of diluting it a bit.  You really cannot mess it up because I’m going to try to make things really simple for you to follow along. 

Barrell Whiskey has all the stuffing at 122.5 Proof. 

I think that bartenders and even home aficionados are experimenting more with whiskey cocktails.  They just know that whiskey, especially a fine-EXTREMELY mixable (hint, hint) whiskey like Barrell, just calls out for experimentation. 

But as in all good things in life there will be that one customer who will just dribble a touch of branch-water over the top of his Barrell Whiskey and call it a day.  For this person I commend you.  That’s how I like to drink my whiskey.  Sure I enjoy “mixing it up” and that’s a good thing because it’s all about the balance in these drinks.  Plus, I’m attracted to flavor and clarity.  If you use too many ingredients it becomes like a Long Island Iced Tea.  After two, I’d never be able to taste the top shelf ingredients.  Not that this is a bad cocktail, far from.  I just wouldn’t make one with Barrell Whiskey! (Unless you want to of course!)

They’d be like a lost sailor who’s been too long at sea.  Why? Because I don't have to explain why... you will just know.

Barrell Bourbon sits well with my experimentation and I hope you enjoy my art. 

I’m also really fond of a gorgeous, USDA Certified Organic product from another liquid driven visionary in the field of liquor crafting.  This Renaissance man reminds me in many ways of the fine folks who bring Barrell Whiskey to the market.  He is attracted to the loud, the profane, the explosive and the brilliant. 

I know that he can appreciate the value of time to discover the future, and his spirits show this commitment to quality, I know he has great dreams for creativity, just like the folks at Barrell Whiskey. 

The first thing I tasted from this man is named Root.  It’s brilliant and historic.  I’m a huge fan of root beer and while I gush on about just how mixable Root is, please allow me the honor of attempting for just a moment to discover how perfectly Root mixes with Barrell Whiskey.  Root rolls in at 80 Proof, and the Barrell Whiskey comes in at 122.5.  Take heed, they taste like much less mixed into my cocktails.

This unique spirit (Root) is the basis of what I’m trying to achieve with Barrell Whiskey.  Root and Barrell, they just work well together.  And a bit of the Bitter Truth Chocolate Bitters, melds them together along with the finish of a pinch of brightly aromatic, orange peel.  This citrus driven foundation makes the careful drinker seek his or her own vision of the future.  Each sip is enlightenment because the energy of these passionate blends shine through.  

You’re lucky.  This drink has never been tasted outside my lab.  Yet.  Enjoy and tell your friends. Or better yet, make them a drink. 

The New Visionaries
Ingredients: (for two thirsty explorers of the perimeter- where there are no stars…)
2 oz. Barrell Whiskey #001
1 oz. Root (USDA Certified Organic Root Tea)
4 oz. Plain seltzer (between the two glasses, roughly 2 oz. apiece)
2-4 shakes of Bitter Truth Chocolate Bitters
Hand cut orange zest, no peeler!

In a mixing glass, fill ¾ with ice
Add the Barrell Whiskey
Add the Root tea
Mix together until nicely chilled
Pour with a Hawthorne Strainer over one 2x2 rock of ice in two Old Fashioned glasses
Top with the seltzer
Garnish with a paring knife cut orange zest. 

Pinch the zest over the top and rub it on the lip of the glass
Dot with the Chocolate Bitters and serve, start another set, as they go down really easily. 

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!


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