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RECENT COCKTAILS: SEPTEMBER 14, 2012
Bourbon, Bonal Gentiane Quina, Aromatized wine, Orange bitters, Maraschino cherry
JULY 22, 2012
Demerara Rum, Bitters, Lime juice, Simple syrup, Mint
JUNE 10, 2012
Grappa, Bianco Vermouth, Campari, Grapefruit peel
MAY 29, 2012
Gin, Elderflower liqueur, Orgeat, Lime juice
MAY 13, 2012
Prosecco, Campari, Dry vermouth, Licor 43, Lime juice, Cucumber
MAY 4, 2012
Gin, Aromatized wine, Eau de vie of Douglas Fir
MAY 2, 2012
Gin, Pineau des Charentes
APRIL 11, 2012
Rum, Campari, Sherry, Orange peel
FEBRUARY 11, 2012
Genever, Amontillado Sherry, Cardamaro, Elderflower liqueur, Orange peel
JANUARY 28, 2012
Gin, Sweet vermouth, Amaro Meletti, Orange peel

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

  • Veneto Negroni — Gin, Sweet vermouth, Amaro, Aperol, Grapefruit peel
  • The Drive — Mezcal, Sweet vermouth, Pastis, Cherry Bitters, Lime juice
  • Its Getting Dark Early — Applejack, Bitters, Tea, Orange juice, Cinnamon syrup
  • Molly's Fine — Brandy, Cassis, Framboise, Nocino, Grapefruit bitters
  • BataBing — Overproof bourbon, Dry vermouth, Bitters, Grenadine

Recent Discussion

  • Re Rudy Ray, 6 days ago noksagt commented:

    Your one posted drink does not use Pasubio, but I'd be open to recommendations you have. This is the only Pasubio+lemon cocktail in kindred at the moment & other tasty Pasubio cocktails in general would be great. I also like the Rhapsody in Blue. Surprised there are only two cocktails on here that use this great ingredient.

  • Re Black Betty, 1 week ago Shawn C commented:

    Okay, but less than the sum of the parts. Even at 1/8 oz, the Pastis dominates, and much moreso than with a rinse for a Sazerac which I enjoy. As a result, the Braulio and Cynar are muted.

  • Re Rudy Ray, 1 week ago Shawn C commented:

    Good, balanced (sweet/sour) and probably a go-to if one is looking for a citrus modified Pasubio drink, but I have half a dozen Pasubio cocktails I prefer to this one, including at least one of my own. The lemon juice somewhat subdues the character of the Pasubio.

  • Re Pins & Needles, 1 week ago Shawn C commented:

    An alpine flavored Tiki drink that surprisingly works. A solid 3.5, but I can't quite go 4 so I am rating it a 3. To be fair, I used 1/2 oz of pineapple juice and 1/2 oz of simple syrup (should have used my gomme syrup instead) to simulate the "pineapple gum syrup" flavors while balancing sugar vs. the lime from my tree, so mouthfeel could be a little off. The pine and alpine herbal notes provide playful contrast to the pineapple/citrus. If you have Braulio and Zirbenz, try it.

  • Re The Shah Sleeps, 1 week ago drinkingandthinking commented:

    nice and smooth with a full body if just a bit sweet. I swapped Calvados/Montenegro proportions and liked it more.