Category Archives: Tales of the Cocktail

Tales of the Cocktail (TOTC) is a five day bartender and mixology event dedicated to the celebration of the craft of the cocktail. This event is based in New Orleans, famous for cocktails such as the Sazerac and Hurricane. Tales of the Cocktail promotes bartender education, networking and preservation of the cocktail.

Cabana Kiss

Cabana Kiss is the perfect salacious cocktail accompaniment for those lusting for something flavorful. Easy, flirty and sexy; this cocktail is a winner for any late night rendezvous. Originally tasted at Tales of the Cocktail ’09 at the Seven Deadly Sins tasting party. Cocktail mixed and served by Duggan McDonnell.

Seven Deadly Sins - Cabana Cachaca - Duggan McDonnell

Cabana Kiss – Featured at Seven Deadly Sins “Lust”

1 measure Cabana Cachaca

1/2 measure Fresh Lemon Juice

1/2 measure Simple Syrup

2 Strawberries

2 measures Prosecco

Strawberry Slice Garnish

Muddle strawberries, lemon juice and simple syrup in mixing glass. Add cachaca and ice. Shake to blend and chill. Strain into champagne glass. Top with Prosecco. Garnish with strawberry slice.

Cheri Loughlin is a leading cocktail and photography resource for beverage companies, event planners, businesses and individuals. High resolution cocktail and beverage stock photography images are available in downloadable digital format in the newly redesigned Stock Photography Gallery at www.cheriloughlin.com.

Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon – str8upcocktails @ gmail.com – ©2012 Cheri Loughlin-The Intoxicologist, All Rights Reserved. All opinions, reviews and spirits’ coverage are the personal opinion and decision of Cheri Loughlin.

21st Century Gin Q&A

21st Century Gin 104 photo copyright Cheri Loughlin

What can you attribute this recent tinkering of gin to?

  • The resurgence in classic cocktail culture.  Gin was used often.  It’s natural 21st Century Gin 101 photo copyright Cheri Loughlinwe turn to it again.  The other factor is the American palate has an aversion to juniper because it tastes like pine trees so the subtle amount of juniper newer gin spirits.
  • 7 out of 10 bartenders will choose gin to mix with today.  Magazines are featuring bartenders as they do celebrity chefs.  The American palate is growing more complex.  Gin is freaking cool and sexy.  People get excited about gin. 
  • Your mother never drank Bombay Sapphire.  You get a lot of bang for your buck with gin.  Many people are making it.  More spirits are coming out on the market.  More great flavors to work with.  More botanicals.
  • Gin is alive, plucked from the ground.  Just like a painter paints from a colorful palate.

Tell us about the Lady Danger cocktail.

  • We needed to dedicate more time to cocktails to present. We wanted to showcase the spirit.  Hendrick’s Gin, Parfait Amour, Lavendercello, Fresh Lemon Juice.  Simple, sour style cocktail.  Nothing new under the sun, working within the classic base of cocktails. 

Is it appropriate to call new gins ‘new’?

  • Aviation Gin was created to define the 21st Century Gin 102 photo copyright Cheri Loughlinarea it comes from.  Let’s just be obnoxious.  They wanted to make a gin to be affective, damp, savory, full, organic, like Oregon, dry gin that can be sipped neat.  We wanted to take the classics we love and then we had to train bartenders to use it.  Two styles of gin – distilled and compounded gin.  There is also character or flavor designations.  These are focused on flavors.  New western is how Aviation defines itself.  They’ll stick with that until someone else comes up with something that sounds better than that.  Fun and sexy! 

Intoxicologist Note: Aviation Gin tastes wonderful neat! Minty, not too juniper-ish, minty, possibly some anise, vanilla notes

21st Century Gin 103 photo copyright Cheri Loughlin

There are 26 legally defined classifications of whiskey.  There are spirits defined as tequila that don’t taste like tequila.  The same can be said for gin.  There are gins that do not taste like gin.  Tanqueray definitely tastes like juniper.  But there are gins that only taste like citrus or floral defined as ‘gin’.    There are styles of gin and geographically defined gins such as Plymouth Gin.  Gin does not need more laws and regulations ruling more categorization.  The industry does a fine job itself.  Bartenders should be educating consumers at the bar as well.  Everyone doesn’t need to drink gin anyway or it would be boring. 

21st Century Gin 105 photo copyright Cheri LoughlinIntoxicologist Note: Tanqueray 10 neat – sweet, juniper, lime to citrus with essence of peel.  Very nice. 

Empower bartenders; yes.  But there are more consumers.  Classifying correctly may end up confusing consumers more.  It may confuse bartenders even.  Talk about what makes the spirit unique rather than classify and categorize.

Intoxicologist Note: Hendrick’s Gin neat tastes a bit perfume-ish at the start, sweet at the tip of the tongue, light, ironically the larger than life cucumber tone reputation isn’t coming through at the moment, but there is quite a bit of botanical, light herbal.

Intoxicologist Note: Bols 1820 Genever aroma comes across very Cachaca like.  Deep, round, smooth. 

Cheri Loughlin is a leading cocktail and photography resource for beverage companies, event planners, businesses and individuals. High resolution cocktail and beverage stock photography images are available in downloadable digital format in the newly redesigned Stock Photography Gallery at www.cheriloughlin.com.

Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon – str8upcocktails @ gmail.com – ©2011 Cheri Loughlin-The Intoxicologist, All Rights Reserved. All opinions, reviews and spirits’ coverage are the personal opinion and decision of Cheri Loughlin.

 

Paul Pacult: How Good Is Your Palate

Paul Pacult entertains and educates with his seven steps of tasting in the “How Good Is Your Palate” seminar at Tales of the Cocktail ’09. From what the nose knows to what the taste buds pick up in flavor is all packed into this hour and a half session with six clear to brown spirits to sample.

Paul Pacult Seminar 2 photo copyright Cheri Loughlin

The session began by learning about the Pernod Ricard BarSmarts program that teaches about tasting spirits and then mixology. Learning the spirits first is the most basic step to creating cocktails. First one needs to know what base spirits taste like before beginning to marry other ingredients to each other.

Paul created quite a chuckle in the crowd when he mentioned that women are better tasters than men, most likely due to the fact that women have a better sense of smell. He also talked about his year of headaches created through tasting cured through a sit down session with Booker Noe. Helpful hint while sampling learned from Booker Noe: Leave your lips parted while inhaling the spirits to help ventilate the spirits. It cuts the alcohol burn on the nose.

There are seven steps to tasting spirits according to Paul Pacult. When he tastes it is always for enjoyment even though this is his profession as well. He takes 20 minutes per spirit with 15 minutes focused on the smell alone. Smell and taste work hand in hand. When tasting, take two sips. One to clear the palate and the second to actually taste. Soak the spirit into the tongue to decipher the flavor and feel of the spirit.

Paul Pacult Seminar 1 photo copyright Cheri Loughlin

Seven Steps of Tasting:

Don’t think too much. This isn’t rocket science. This is just tasting. Enjoy.

Follow a format to tasting every time. 

Build a reference library in your head. 

Taste blind whenever you can. Don’t allow labels or price sway your basis of taste. It isn’t about price, label or pedigree. Tasting blind keeps your senses sharper. Keep things simplistic.

What does the spirit NOT have in it.

Do not overtax your palate. Paul tastes a max of 10.

Taste as much as you can responsibly as often as you can. Taste flights at bars whenever available. Taste the spirits at a pace that is healthy and consistent.

Cheri Loughlin is a leading cocktail and photography resource for beverage companies, event planners, businesses and individuals. High resolution cocktail and beverage stock photography images are available in downloadable digital format in the newly redesigned Stock Photography Gallery at www.cheriloughlin.com.

Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon – str8upcocktails @ gmail.com – ©2011 Cheri Loughlin-The Intoxicologist, All Rights Reserved. All opinions, reviews and spirits’ coverage are the personal opinion and decision of Cheri Loughlin.

 

Modernizing Classic Cocktails with Chairman’s Reserve Rum

Chairman's Reserve Rum at Tales of the Cocktail 2010

Chairman’s Reserve Rum at Tales of the Cocktail 2010

Robert Ortenzio and Paul Sevigny of SlashCocktail certainly have a way with Chairman’s Reserve Rum, a mixing glass and various delicious ingredients. They mix fabulously ‘ordinary’ and marvelously grand cocktails for one of the many tasting rooms at Tales of the Cocktail 2010. It just so happens they also do this sort of thing year round in their beverage consulting business by way of designing cocktails for brands, bars and restaurants.

Chairman’s Reserve Rum Tasting Notes

Chairman's Reserve Caribbean Old Fashioned Cocktail

Chairman’s Reserve Caribbean Old Fashioned Cocktail

Tasted Neat: Burn on the tongue to the back of the throat. A little thin. Slight molasses with some bitterness. Mocha flavors.

The chocolate, coffee ad slight bitter notes that combine throughout the Chairman’s Reserve Rum are perhaps the inspiration for Paul Sevigny’s original creation drink recipe, the Caribbean Old Fashioned. This cocktail consists of cigar bitters, Chairman’s Reserve Rum and brown sugar topped with cigar leaf. The Caribbean Old Fashioned contains Paul’s special touch of course since the proportions are not quite outlined here. The cocktail lingers long on the palate with spice, clove and cinnamon. It is balanced perfectly with subtly sweet undercurrent barely hinting beneath the rum spice. Just lovely!

Robert Ortenzio and Paul Sevigny of SlashCocktail

Robert Ortenzio and Paul Sevigny of SlashCocktail

Daiquiris are among summer’s must have cocktails. Robert Ortenzio didn’t miss a beat with the perfectly balanced classic Chairman’s Reserve Rum Daiquiri. This rum provided an excellent base with just enough flavor shine through between sweet and sour. But Robert’s cocktail glory really made a splash with the Chairman’s Reserve Spicy Rum. His Creole Julep cocktail took center stage for depth, flavor and spice.

The Creole Julep contains mint, Chairman’s Reserve Spicy Rum, Simple Syrup or Brown Sugar depending on preference. While the cocktail displayed sweeter notes than something I would usually sip its bountiful flavor was contagious to the taste buds. The Creole Julep displayed deep flavor, spicy kick without becoming overbearing and remained nicely balanced even with the sweeter edge. Well done!

Find more information about Tales of the Cocktail online or follow the hashtag #TOTC on Twitter where many writers and attending are tweeting live from the event.

All content ©2010 Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist. All Rights Reserved. Chat with Cheri @Intoxicologist on Twitter and facebook.com/Intoxicologist or str8upcocktails@gmail.com

Made in Scotland Makes Mixing at Home a Cinch

Christmas Cake Martini Ingredients - Made in Scotland room Tales of the Cocktail 2009

Christmas Cake Martini Ingredients – Made in Scotland room Tales of the Cocktail 2009

I almost missed the Made in Scotland tasting room at Tales of the Cocktail while sitting through a seminar about cocktail photography.  Luckily my partner slipped into the tasting room early to taste and photograph and I ducked out of my seminar early to do the same.  What a delicious treat!  Charlotte Voisey must have been the hardest working spirits personality at all of Tales of the cocktail from a few bystanders point of view.  She shook up fresh cocktails using The Balvenie.  It seems this busy lady could be found just about everywhere lively debate or Hendrick’s Gin needed a fresh smile.

Charlotte Voisey - Balvenie and Glenfiddich Tasting Room - Tales of the Cocktail

Charlotte Voisey

While I did not have the pleasure of tasting the Glenfiddich offering of the Scottish Pair cocktail my impressions remained solid.  First off many Scotch enthusiasts would cringe at the thought of placing Glenfiddich 12 Year Old in a cocktail rather than consuming it neat or on the rocks.  However the representative on duty at the table assured me this cocktail tasted wonderful.  Since there was nothing left to sample, I assume it went over quite well.  My other observation happened to be the number of ingredients contained within the recipe, ease of obtaining the ingredients and degree of difficulty in building the cocktail.  All measured an overwhelming ‘trouble-free’ on the ‘simple’ scale.  Glenfiddich is relatively easy to find across the nation rather than one of the harder to find Scotches available only in selected markets.  The ingredients may be found in nearly any moderately stocked grocers shelves.  The Scottish Pair is a simple shake and strain variety that can be prepared with a cocktail shaker or mixing glass and strainer.  Straight forward.  When I mentioned how much I appreciated the detail of uncomplicated recipe for the average home bartender, the Glenfiddich representative said that is exactly what the brand was going for with this particular recipe.  Nice to know that while there are thousands of fabulous recipes swirling about that tempt our taste buds with more ingredients than we can juggle and names we can’t pronounce there are also offerings of a more simple nature to choose from.

Scottish Pair Martini Recipe

Scottish Pair Ingredients Balvenie and Glenfiddich Tasting Room - Tales of the Cocktail

Scottish Pair

3/4 ounce Glenfiddich 12 Year Old

3/4 ounce Hendrick’s Gin

2 ounces Pear Juice

1/2 ounce Agave Nectar

1/2 ounce Fresh Lemon Juice

Combine ingredients and shake well.  Serve up in a martini glass.  Garnish with a lemon wheel.

Christmas Cake Martini Recipe

Something more along the lines of wintry and warm to set our sights on the days ahead comes from The Balvenie.  This marvelous cocktail surprised me a bit with its beautiful color and flavor.  The cinnamon notes revealed in lovely form with The Balvenie remaining intact throughout the cocktail.  It would be a pity to cover up the delightful flavor personality of The Balvenie with over the top additions.  The Christmas Cake Martini harmonized the essence of all the flavors perfectly.  This would be an excellent cocktail to serve at your next Christmas party or family gathering this winter.

Mixing Christmas Cake Martini Balvenie and Glenfiddich Tasting Room - Tales of the Cocktail

Mixing Christmas Cake Martini

Christmas Cake Martini

1-1/2 ounce The Balvenie Portwood

1/4 ounce Raynal VSOP

1/4 ounce Cherry Brandy

1/4 ounce Orgeat

1/4 ounce Fresh Lime Juice

Pinch of Cinnamon Sugar

Combine ingredients and shake well.  Serve up in a martini glass.  Garnish with a fresh cherry.

Apple Bellini Drink Recipe

Apple Bellini Ingredients Balvenie and Glenfiddich Tasting Room - Tales of the Cocktail

Apple Bellini Ingredients

Tired of the usual champagne topped cocktail for Sunday brunch?  The Balvenie offered the Apple Bellini for something just a little unique and more than a little divine at the Made in Scotland tasting room.  This cocktail is so easy to prepare you won’t have to wait for a visit to Scotland.  You can make it in your own home to enjoy for Sunday brunch, Saturday afternoon on the deck or anytime something refreshing suits your mood.

Apple Bellini

1 ounce The Balvenie Doublewood

1-1/2 ounce Fresh & Cloudy Fiji Apple Juice

2 ounces Brut Champagne

Combine ingredients in a champagne flute.  Stir gently before serving.

Glenfiddich Tasting Dropper

There are other cocktails offered by The Balvenie, Glenfiddich and Hendrick’s Gin that should be sampled as well.  These recipes are taken from the Stir Your Soul drink recipe book offered at Tales of the Cocktail.

Balvenie Smash – created by Charlotte Voisey

Balvenie Signature Cocktail

2 ounces Balvenie Doublewood

3/4 ounce Fresh Lemon Juice

3/4 ounce Agave Nectar

2 dashes Angostura Bitters

4-6 Mint Leaves

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker.  Shake well.  Serve over fresh ice in a Double Old-Fashioned glass.  Garnish with a fresh spanked, mint sprig.

Sweet Solera – created by Charlotte Voisey

Glenfiddich Signature Cocktail

1-1/2 ounce Glenfiddich 15 Year Old

3/4 ounce Lillet Rouge

1/2 ounce Caramel Syrup

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker.  Shake well.  Strain into a martini/cocktail glass.  Garnish with a fresh cherry complete with stem.

Abandoned Rocket Ship – created by Jim Ryan

Hendrick’s Signature Cocktail

1-1/2 ounces Hendrick’s Gin

1 ounce Yellow Chartreuse

1/2 ounce Honey

3 Medium Hulled & Sliced Strawberries

1/2 ounce Lemon Juice

Fist full of Arugula (rocket)

Murray River Australian Sea Salt to rim glass

In mixing glass present in this order: fist full of arugula, strawberries, lemon and honey.  Muddle with a spring in your stick.  Add Hendrick’s Gin and Yellow Chartreuse.  Ice.  Shake and fine strain into a salt rimmed double rocks glass.  Smile.

Blood & Sanguinello – created by Charlotte Voisey

Featured at: Wolfe’s of New Orleans Spirited Dinner

3/4 ounce Glenfiddich

3/4 ounce Sandeman 10 Year Old Tawny Port

4 Muddled Luxardo Cherries

3/4 ounce Solerno Blood Orange Bitters

1/2 ounce Pink Grapefruit Juice

1/4 ounce Lemon Juice

1 dash of Orange Bitters

1 Egg White

Shake ingredients vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with an orange zest.

All content ©2009 Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist. All Rights Reserved. Chat with Cheri @Intoxicologist on Twitter and facebook.com/Intoxicologist or str8upcocktails@gmail.com