As we run toward to the end of the year with gatherings laden with bountiful foods, it’s very important that we give thanks to many delightful beverages that lubricate stressful interactions or enhance the festival’s good cheer. Three cheers for good libations!
Bartender’s Cabinet is dedicated to educating bartenders and enthusiasts about great spirits and quality ingredients. We also focus on having a good time through interacting with those who share an enthusiasm for tasty beverages that come from fine spirits and fresh ingredients.
Bartender’s Cabinet meets monthly at 320 Main in Seal Beach.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org regarding membership.
Forrest guided us through the treacherous waters of liquors almost too numerable to count. He expertly discussed new tequilas, botanical vodkas, flavored rums, cachaca, bourbon and even liqueurs currently only available in France – making the members of Bartender’s Cabinet the first such group in the US to taste them on this side of the Atlantic. Everything from production methods to the philosophical differences over whether cachaca is rum or if rhum agricole can be made anywhere other than Martinique was discussed.
After dinner, our contestants all took their turns behind the stick to make their entries for our mix-off. In the end the judges (Forrest, Matt from RumDood.com and Jason from 320 Main) huddled together and made what they called “a very hard decision” to name Erik Trickett, bartender from 320 Main, the winner. His sister, Lauren, came in third place, with board member Jeremy Stark coming in second place. All three winners were able to take home a bottle of their choice from the evening’s sponsor.
Here is what Forrest has to say about some the products.
SQUARE ONE ORGANIC VODKA
This Vodka distilled from organic American Rye fermented with a certified organic process developed especially for Square One. This is a terrific spirit– from the soft grains in the nose, the fugacious or fleeting clarity on the palate, to the slight vegetal limpidity in the lingering finish. This company sets a great example: bamboo and soy ink label, they’ve implemented wind-power initiatives, carbon-offset programs, and even the rye left over from making vodka is sold as feed to an organic dairy farm. Great ideas that show off a great vodka.
SQUARE ONE CUCUMBER VODKA
A fantastically flavored organic vodka! On top of their great base spirit Square One added essence of organic cucumber. To get the best cucumber aromas they used proprietary techniques usually reserved to rendering fragrances, and in so doing created a delectably aromatic spirit that also displays the fine-spun and lively taste of from-the-garden-cucumber. So many drinks, so little time.
SQUARE ONE BOTANICAL SPIRIT
Starting with their great base vodka they naturally infuse eight different organic botanicals (rose, chamomile, lemon verbena, lavender, coriander, citrus peel, pear and rosemary) resulting in a spirit that is deeply floral, with lingering complexity in the background. A beguiling and effulgent mixture of organic fruit, flowers and herbs choreographed to demonstrate enamoring aromatics and extend tantalizing flavors. It accomplishes that.
FOUR ROSES SMALL BATCH
Four original and limited Bourbons have been hand selected by Jim Rutledge, the Master Distiller, at their peak to create an intricately balanced small batch bourbon that fêtes you with harmonious honeyed fruit aromas and rich savory flavors. Four Roses Small Batch was introduced in 2006 and only available in Kentucky until recently. The gorgeous nose is full with pillowed, elegantly subdued and inviting aromas of banana, over ripe yellow pear, treacle, taffy, caramel and sweet fresh creamed corn. The palate follows that lead, but introduces softly displayed spices– hinting at grated nutmeg, vanilla, dusting’s of cinnamon, lightly toasted caraway all seamlessly integrated with the flavors implied in the nosing and carried to an graceful lingering fade for a finish emphasizing the vanilla, the sweet corn and the baking spices. An integrated, gentle toothsome dance all around.
Brinely rums are blended by a small producer on St Kitts founded by Robert and Zachary Brinley, and called the St Kitts Rum Company. They blend and market a whole line of Brinley Gold rums on St Kitts. These rums are in certain parts of the United States and on a tropical island somewhere and they are said to be coming to California–soon.
The Tasty Beverages:
Here are the Mix-off Winners:
“Cucumber Crush” – Lauren Trickett
2 oz Square One Cucumber Vodka
1 oz pineapple juice
3/4 oz Pear Merlet Liquor
Big squeeze lemon.
Garnish with a mint leaf
Shake it like you know what you’re doing! That’s key!
“Son of a Pêche” – Jeremy Stark
2 oz Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon
1 oz Merlet Creme de Peche
2 dashes lemon bitters
Stir with ice
Strain into glass
Squeeze burnt lemon peel over drink
Garnish with lemon peel.
“Cachaca Swizzle” – Erik Trickett
2 oz Boca Loca
3/4 oz Green Chartreuse
3/4 oz fresh lime
1/4 oz pineapple juice
1/4 oz Depaz Cane syrup
1 good dash of Jerry Thomas bitters
Add to chilled Collins glass, fill 3/4 with crushed ice and swizzle until combined. Top with more crushed ice and garnish with fresh nutmeg and a mint sprig.