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RECENT COCKTAILS: DECEMBER 13, 2014
Islay Scotch, Cynar, BroVo Amaro #14, Whole egg, Simple syrup, Nutmeg
JULY 1, 2014
Batavia Arrack, Maraschino Liqueur, Campari, Aperol, Lime juice
MARCH 7, 2014
Champagne, Cognac, Curaçao, Lemon juice, Demerara syrup, Lemon peel
FEBRUARY 14, 2014
Gin, Dry vermouth, Genepy, Orange bitters, Lemon peel
JANUARY 18, 2014
Ramazzotti, Applejack, Cider, Butter, Orange peel
OCTOBER 24, 2013
Rye, Amer Picon, Bénédictine, Maraschino Liqueur, Orange peel
AUGUST 1, 2013
Blanco tequila, Swedish Punsch, Aromatized wine, Lime juice, Simple syrup, Orange peel
JULY 23, 2013
Rye, Fernet Branca, Sweet vermouth, Orange bitters, Cherry
JUNE 26, 2013
Cynar, Jamaican rum, Lemon juice
MAY 29, 2013
Blanco tequila, Campari, Lime juice, Grapefruit juice, Simple syrup

A Spontaneous Libation for your Consideration

From the Knowledge Vault

On the ‘Rack

The Curious History of an Early Spirit

It went like this, but wasn’t. Some four thousand years ago in Mespotamia, the perfumers at the court of King Zimrilim created a technique to separate the essential oils of precious woods and flowers from the woods and flowers themselves in order to embalm their dead. Originally, this probably involved soaking flower petals in warm water and capturing the fragrant oils that rose to the surface. What they called this method is lost, but other cultures refined their work into the art and science now known as distillation.

Many ancient scientists ran up against this phenomenon. In the fourth century BCE, Aristotle realized that seawater could be made drinkable by distillation, and that the process could be applied to wine and other liquids, though there is no record of his actually distilling wine. To the ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks, distillation must have seemed like magic, and their knowledge was guarded from unknowing eyes.

A major advancement in distilling came between the 3rd and 4th century CE with the invention of the alembic (from the Greek ambix – a cup, typically made of glass) by Zosimos of Panopolis, an Egyptian. Having two vessels, one with the liquid to be distilled and one to catch condensed vapors with a tube running between them gave much more control and finesse to this delicate process. With a few modifications, this device is now known as a pot still.

Recent Additions

  • Chuckwagon Clive — Rum, Crème de Violette, Pavan, Aromatized wine, Lemon bitters
  • Cubi Point — Mezcal, Sake, Ancho Reyes chile liqueur, Crème de Violette, Lemon bitters, Dragonfruit, Egg yolk
  • Campbeltown — Campbeltown Scotch, Cherry Liqueur, Herbal liqueur, Lemon peel
  • Red Nose Clive — Pisco, Sweet vermouth, Campari, Cranberry bitters, Dragonfruit, Lime juice
  • Gator Love — Dry sherry, Cognac, Herbal liqueur, Half-and-half, Egg white

Recent Discussion

  • Re Crux, 5 hours 54 minutes ago Asphodel commented:

    I made this today, using Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognac, Dubbonet, and Pierre Ferrand dry Curacao. I poured a little heavy with the cognac, but didn't need to. The end result was on the dry side, very bright, with underlaying complexity from the aromatics in the Dubbonet. Delicious. I will definitely make again! ****

  • Re Rope Burn, 6 hours 52 minutes ago yarm commented:

    Allan when I tagged him on Instagram attributed this to Ron Dollete. The reference link is dead, so I couldn't see what the article stated.

  • Re Pliny's Tonic, 1 day 10 hours ago Zachary Pearson commented:

    Curated this - Imbibe just put the recipe up and the version we had was a recollection of it - it now conforms with the cited link. Thanks, Zachary

  • Re Frenchman Street, 2 days 1 hour ago Zachary Pearson commented:

    Ok, quick question - so you're chilling an OF, rinsing it, lightly muddling mint and sugar (a pinch, not a dash perhaps) in the bottom. Then you're stirring everything else and straining it over the mint/sugar? I'd imagine this will lead to undissolved sugar in the bottom of the glass. If so, can I clarify the instructions to reflect this? Thanks, Zachary

  • Re Camparipolitan, 2 days 5 hours ago noksagt commented:

    Made w/ Meehan Cosmo spec ratios so I can use 100% cranberry juice (60 mL Campari; 22.5 mL orange liqueur (killed the bottle of shrub + finished off with cointreau); 22.5 mL lime; 15 mL cranberry; 7.5 mL simple; pinch salt).