Cocktail, In Memoriam

I hope you’re drinking these somewhere up there

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.

This one's for you, Pierre.

At home, Cocktail, In Memoriam

The Hot Cross

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.

At home, Cocktail

One more thing, sah, Rhubarb.


I’ve written before about how much I love Ron Zacapa 23 yr old. It was no small amount of delight that I welcomed a courier bearing a bottle to my door. The rum is made from the first pressing of sugar cane to produce a wonderfully smooth rum in the agricole style. It is aged using a Solera system, similar to that employed by Bacardi and then a mix of rums from 6 to 23 years old are blended by a magical woman to create this wonderful drink.

On my trip to the market, I noticed both the fresh rhubarb on the shelf and the latest shipment of blood oranges from the hills. the elements of a perfect cocktail. I know that their are people out there who would say that it’s a waste to use such a great product in a mixed drink, but much of drinking is subjective and sitting here, drink in hand, I think its ok.

Rhubarb Rum.

50 mls Ron Zacapa Centenario 23 yr old, 40 mls freshly squeezed blood orange juice, 15 mls rhubarb syrup. Shake over ice until very cold, strain into an iced old fashioned glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

I’m about to make another.

Rhubarb Syrup

Add 500 grams of sugar to 500 mls of hot water. Chop four stems of rhubarb into thin slices and add to the mixture. Heat the mixture and crush the rhubarb as it gets soft. Strain the mixture into a 750ml bottle. The pink liquid should keep in a fridge for a few weeks at least. Invite some friends round to polish it off before it turns.