As I mentioned below, a few of us visited Death & Co. recently for a couple rounds, and while the "Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" fit nicely into the post on sloe gin, the other drinks we had deserve a little showcasing of their own. Damon, who coincidentally took care of us on our first visit, was behind the stick again, and proceeded to wow us yet again.
Exhaustive descriptions and more pictures after the jump:
I started things off with a Palermo Gentleman, which was made up of Gosling's Rum, Hine VSOP Cognac, egg white, demerara sugar, Bittermens Mole Bitters, and Averna. This cocktail was exceptional: spicy, complex, dark, and rich -- co-author Chico Bangs called it "basically a liquid cigar." (I've only smoked cigars two or three times and didn't really enjoy them, but if they tasted like this...)
Chico's first drink was the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, which is a crummy name for a good drink. (Photo and description below, at the bottom of the sloe gin post.)
And my friend Patty ordered a French Sheets from Damon, who invented the recipe for her back in March. Damon consulted his notes and produced another great drink. As an aside, I make this drink sometimes at home, following his recipe, and they're good. But Damon's are better than mine. Shaker technique? Longer shake time? Some secret elite bartender mojo? I dunno, but that doesn't stop me chasing perfection (or going out to cocktail bars, evidently.) Damon served this one on crushed ice this time, but after tasting it Patty decided she preferred it up, in a coupe glass. (She managed to hold back her objections and drink it all down, though. She's a trouper.)
My second drink was the Miss Behavin': Champagne, Clear Creek Pear Brandy (this stuff is good), Laird's applejack, and fresh lemon juice. A nice summer drink, but maybe a little sweet for my taste. (Perhaps some bitters, or a little less applejack, or some regular brandy mixed with the pear brandy?) It went down fast, though, and I can see how this drink'd be a crowd-pleaser.
Chico's second cocktail was the Sentimental Journey: Tanqueray Ten, Morro Bay Chardonnay, cinnamon bark syrup, all served up with a twist. This was another real winner, deep and crisp, with a long finish. Aside from Champagne cocktails and your vermouth kingdom, I'd never had wine in a cocktail (see also: my experiments with the New Yorker cocktail), but this was great -- a cinnamon nose giving way to the buttery Chardonnay. The kind of cocktail that makes you (or at least me, anyway) stare off into the middle distance and lick your lips and think about what you're tasting. (And it's got me wanting to make some flavored syrups, too -- the cinnamon syrup was fantastic.)
And Patty rounded it out with a Maple Julep. I'd never had a good mint julep before -- the few times I've ordered them before, I've gotten what tasted like drinking lighter fluid through a roll of Certs -- but oh, what a difference good whiskey, fresh mint, and good technique can make. This was Rittenhouse Rye, maple syrup, and a whole lot of fresh mint over crushed ice in a silver julep cup, and was straight-out delectable. "It's a bit active", as Chico observed. And the spiciness of the rye and the deep flavor of the maple syrup (tasted like Grade B) were an inspired pairing.
So....when can I go back?