[William M. Dowd photo]• For this month's collection of cocktail recipes, I've chosen to start with one of my own devising, then jump to the West Coast and up to Canada for the others. Enjoy.
THE UPSTATE MANHATTAN
The borough of Manhattan, on Manhattan island, is the center of the universe for most people. So, they like to think of that area when they drink their Manhattans. However, after attending a recent trade-only seminar on New York State's emerging craft-distilling scene, it occurred to me to jump on the "Pride of New York" bandwagon that promotes state-produced food and drink to come up with my own cocktail using only Upstate ingredients.
3 parts McKenzie Rye Whiskey or Tuthilltown Baby Bourbon
1 part Warwick Valley Sour Cherry Cordial
2 dashes Fee Brothers Old Fashioned Aromatic Bitters
1 Montmorency cherry
Put whiskey, sour cherry cordial and fresh ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Stir several times, then add bitters. Stir vigorously to chill the mixture, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with Montmorency cherry. If not in season, you may use a traditional maraschino cherry. (For a tangier cocktail, substitute Fee Brothers Rhubarb Bitters.)
One of the nicest new spirits to come on the market in the past few years is G'Vine, the French grape gin distilled in the Cognac region. (See my Tasting Notes here.) Michael McDonagh, beverage director at Fisherman's Wharf-adjacent bar/club The Parlor in San Francisco has come up with a cocktail featuring it.
2 ounces G'Vine Gin
½ ounce Dimmi Italian liqueur
4 lemon slices
¼ ounce simple syrup
5 drops La tourment Vert Absinthe
Muddle lemon slices with simple syrup in a mixing glass. Add gin & Dimmi. Fill with ice. Shake and fine strain into cocktail glass. Drop absinthe over the cocktail. Garnish with lemon twist.
BACON RYE OLD FASHIONED
No, this is not a sandwich. It's a drink created at the Hoot Café in Toronto in response to the current craze for infusing spirits with bacon. It uses Canadian bacon, which Americans will argue isn't really bacon,, resembling ham instead. Your choice on what to use.
2 ounces bacon rye (recipe below)
5 milliliters Black Hoof bitters (or Angostura bitters diluted with 3 parts rye)
1 teaspoon cherry syrup
Generous length orange zest (cut with knife, not zester)
Preserved cherry for garnish
Add syrup from a jar of preserved cherries and a small piece of orange zest to a rocks glass and muddle. Add ice to fill the glass half way, then bacon rye. Stir with a bar spoon until very cold. Add ice to fill. Splash in bitters and give a final stir. Rub rest of orange zest around rim of glass and twist to extract oils. Drop zest in to drink. Garnish with skewered cherry.
Makin' Bacon Rye
Fry 2 slices high-quality smoked bacon. Let cool slightly. Put in jar along with 24 ounces high-quality rye. Let sit at room temperature for 3 days. Then put in refrigerator until completely chilled. Strain through a coffee filter. Discard bacon.
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