News filtering through that Don Julio Gonzalez Estrada, creator of the brand of tequila that bears his name, died Wednesday at his home in Atotonilco, Guadalajara.
More than a few glasses will be raised to Pierre Fajloun tonight, across Sydney and around the world. A motorbike accident last night ended Pierre’s life and sent a shockwave through the industry. I wrote a few words when I found out earlier in the day, but on getting home, and making a drink to share in the collective grief of today I remembered a drink Pierre made me at his great spot on level 6 at the Ivy and thought it a far more apt tribute than simple words.
A Ron Zacapa Old Fashioned might be considered decadent by most, excessive by some, a waste by still others. I thought it was a great way to remember a generous host and a lovely guy.
Lost in the Clouds.
Rinse the ice in an Old Fashioned glass filled with large cubes with 10mls of Amaro Montenegro, Coat the cubes and discard the excess. In a second glass add 60mls of Ron Zacapa Solera 23 and a small lick (5-10mls) of Cinnamon Syrup. Ice, stir briefly and strain over your Amaro coated cubes. Garnish with an orange peel, lemon peel and a stick of cinnamon.
If there’s a bar where you are Pierre, I hope someone’s making you one right now.
When I first met Pierre, I wrote that he was old beyond his years. It was with a bitter irony today, that I connected a spike in traffic and the heartfelt messages of Pierre’s friends with the news of his death.
He was a masterful and generous host, quick with a drink and even faster with a kind word and a flash of his boyish smile. He loved the work he had chosen, and loved the people it bought him into contact with.
He will be sorely missed.
After New Zealand Butter turned up in the mystery boxes for the Ready, Steady, Shake competition in Queenstown, I’ve been thinking about how I’d put it to use in a cocktail. This morning, eating Hot Cross Buns for breakfast, I came up with this variation on Jerry Thomas’s Hot Flip.
The Hot Cross
In a heated bar glass dissolve one teaspoon of sugar in a little hot water. Add a small knob of butter, a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice & the yolk of one egg. You could shake this, but I had more luck combining it using a barspoon as a whisk.
To this mixture add 45mls Alexander Grappa Moscato, 15mls Pedro Ximenez Sherry and 30mls boiling water. Shake thoroughly, serve in a flip glass. I’ve garnished mine with a cinnamon cross, a crown of thorns might be appropriate as well.
The Grappa is for the Romans, putting Jesus on the Cross, and then taking his message around the world from the seat of the Vatican, The PX is for the Inquisition, and because no one expects it,, the Egg because that is what easter is about these days and a bunny would have only left hair in the glass.
Ok, so I know it seems like everyone on earth must be writing a Michael Jackson post right now, and it’s my second in memoriam post in as many weeks, but I know Gregor was in favour of intoxication and by the looks of Michael’s autopsy, the King of Pop wasn’t shy when it came to mixing it up.
The legal ramifications of championing OxyContin and Demerol use in Australia seem a little dicey at best, so let’s go home tonight, mix up a Thriller and settle back on the couch to watch the prisoners in Cebu, Philippines perform their very special tribute.
45mls Laphroaig Scotch Whisky, 30 mls Stone’s Green Ginger Wine, 30 mls Orange Juice.
Combine the ingredients in a Boston glass, top with ice, slap on the tin and shake vigorously with a sparkly white gloved hand.
Strain into a martini glass, collapse on the couch and marvel at the life of a man who may have touched kids, and not in a good way but who inspired the likes of this:
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It is proper, when a person steps up to the bar, for a bartender to set before him a glass of ice water, and, then, in a courteous manner, find out what he may desire.
The Ideal Bartender, 1917, Tom Bullock.
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A Schooner Darkly
Schooner of beer with a jolt of Aperol or Amer Picon in its bottom.
Schooner of beer with a shot – we recommend:
Tequila con Sangrita
This is how the Mexicans drink their Tequila, with a spicy non-alcoholic shot on the side. It’s how we drink ours.
Feel the history in action as the spoon hits the glass, the tap opens and the water drips down to the Absinthe. Watch in awe as the potent brew ‘louches’ (clouds up) as the wormwood opens its arms to you. Drink the green fairy deep down… and let her in to heal your twisted soul.
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Depression, Prohibition & Echoes
A drink to rival the Margarita. Young Tequila with peach bitters, apricot liqueur and freshly squeezed lime juice.
The drink, legally available during the Great Depression, from which sprang the Milano-Torino, the Americano, the Negroni, the Bicycletta, the Spagliato… the list goes on. Homemade sweet vermouth with Campari and soda.
London Dry Gin with fresh coriander and lime, kaffir lime syrup and soda.
Between the Sheets
This was as risque as it got in the 1930s. So we pimped it some. Rhum Agricole, VSOP Cognac and citrus in a sugar rimmed glass.
The first four? Not so great. This one’s lovely. Jamaican Rum, Sloe Gin, Apricot Liqueur, fresh citrus.
Vodka, citrus, and this week’s fruit preserve, lengthened with soda. This is our tall fruity pink vodka drink: there’s quite a lot of vodka and fruit in here, but it’s not too sweet.
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King’s Cross Tributes (with thanks to William Oxenham)
An Absinthe-laden sugar cube with Calvados and peach liqueur, topped with Prosecco.
Man on Fire∫
A Malt and Mescal – Talisker 12 year old with fresh lime with twin licks of agave syrup and honey. Served on the rocks, rocking a smoked chilli salt rim.
Rye, Calvados and Sloe Gin with fresh lime and sugar. A rediscovered classic, pimped!
Vodka, Cognac, Bourbon, passionfruit, orange blossom and a big sac of sexy goodness prevail here. A filthy disco drink.
(Eastern Suburbs High Maintenance) Lady Sour
London Dry Gin shaken vigorously with peach liqueur, fresh lemon juice and egg white. Crowned decadently with a lovely Côte de Rhone.
5 Buck Back Alley Quick Buck
Single malt and sweet vermouth, lime juice and sprigs of fresh mint, topped off with ginger ale.
Three tequilas, Mescal, Chartreuse Juane, Falernum, grapefruit, pineapple and lime juices shaken up into a ridiculous glass with fire and stuff. For two.
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Refreshed and Restyled
Cuffs & Button
M.W. Heron based his famous ‘Southern Comfort’ liqueur on this awesome drink. Woodford Reserve Bourbon with puréed peach and orange and lemon pieces.
Bayswater Cup no. 32
James Pimm created his cup to complement the seafood in his Covent Garden restaurant. Ours works great with everything. London dry gin with Amaro, Dubonnet, Chambord and lemonade, garnished with seasonal fruit.
Baileys is a mix of chocolate, coffee, cream and crappy Irish whisky. Our version is fresh and vibrant with Kahlúa, Crème de Cacao, cream and great Scottish malt whisky. You can have it with or without extra milk¤.
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We don’t want to dumbfound anyone with a ridiculous long list. If you’re reading this far, your date’s probably late or dull, in which case we recommend naked Twister. Failing that:
Ask your bartender for different odes to the Collins family (capsicum, hibiscus etc) or a Grapefruit Rickey. Test him on Martinis and Manhattans. Enquire about Russians, Cold Wars, Bucks, Blinkers, Bulldogs, Breezes, Drakes, Marys, Juleps, about Fixes, Flips, Fizzes, Spritzes & Spagliatos. Luscious Highballs from all over – 7 & 7s, G&Ts, C.C. & Cs, Presbyterians, Horse’s Necks, Piscolas, the Dark ‘n’ Stormy, the Cuba Libre, the Fudpucker, the Greyhound, the Fernet Cola, the Kir, the 75, the Peg, the Suicide Blazer, the horrors of sunrise and the glory of the last light before dawn…
…and of course, the humble Cocktail.
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Cazadores Blanco Tequila
Havana Club Light Rum
Appleton V/X Dark Rum
Maker’s Maker Bourbon
Chivas Regal 12yr Scotch
Hennessy VS Brandy
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† Based on Harry Craddock’s ‘Millionaire Cocktail’, The Savoy Cocktail Book, 1930.
‡ ‘Got tight last night on absinthe and did knife tricks. Great success shooting the knife into the piano’. Ernest Hemingway.
∫ Based on an original drink made by our mate Rich Hunt.
º Based on the ‘Avenue Cocktail’, Cafe Royal Cocktail Book, 1931.
¤ Fellas, If this looks a little bit girly, think of it as whisy & milk. Like quiche is fried egg pie, yeah?
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Gregor was one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. Quick with a joke and even faster with a drink, he was known and loved by many of the people I know from the industry around the world. The last few days on Facebook have seen an outpouring of love and stories for this remarkable young man.
Gregor was a fantastic entertainer, host and a magician of liquor. I’ll miss his welcome, his smile and his hospitality.
Gregor, wherever you are, I wish you a willing crowd and a good supply of Jager.
There couldn’t be a more perfect excuse to sample some of the fruits of the Demerara River.
buys yourself a few bottles here.