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In search of something refreshing … the Burke’s Cup and more

Ok, ok, ok … so far it’s been a hot, muggy summer and I know that I have waxed un-poetically about this for the better part of month.  When that bear hug of a blanket of heat takes hold of you it is just about all that you can think of and you tend to repeat yourself.  As if this heat wasn’t bad enough we had a bit of an issue with the main A/C unit in  our “modest” NYC apartment …

“I am sorry your Honor, on advice of counsel I have been instructed to use the phrase “bit of an issue …” to describe the total #$%! problem we discovered with that unit, a severe leak in the unit in question and the massive damaged caused to our wood floor as a result of said leak …”

… we have been trying to cool ourselves down by a combination of rotating A/C units (boy to I miss central air conditioning), fans and plenty of Warm Weather Drink Challenge type drinks.  As if this wasn’t bad enough and I am sure that many of you have the same feeling about the mass confusion that will be caused by huge home repairs but theSpeakista had an even bigger tragedy befall him.  Despite valiant attempts at resuscitation we recently lost our beloved Blu-ray player – although given the problems experienced with said device, call me crazy but I think that a Blu-ray player should actually be able to play Blu-ray discs, I think that this little guy has moved on to a better place.  After several weeks of going with out a player and finding the “on demand” option pretty lacking our new baby arrived this week and the Boss and I decided to hunker down for some good old movie watching … and this included some mixology efforts on my part.

Voice of announcer: “We cut into our regularly scheduled programming for a news update.”

Voice of author:  a bit off the subject of this post, the Godfather and I recently paid a visit to two places here in NYC for a little imbibing down time.  This was our second trip to Rye House and it was part hit and part miss.  Mediocre rum and bourbon Old Fashioned’s started the night, a very interesting chorizo infused Daiquiri came second followed by a pretty decent rye Manhattan (only complaint is I prefer Carpano to Chinzano).  We left Rye House for a quick walk up to the Flatiron Lounge (I am a big fan of this place during the week but on the weekends the clubby kids use this as an overflow place) took a seat at the bar and let KJ do his magic.  The Godfather had two fantastic Zacapa 23 Old Fashioneds while I had two drinks made with Genever – a nice play on the Aviation (could have been double strained) and an Old Fashioned made with the Genever and a Laphroaig rinse.

Voice of announcer: “We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming already in progress.”

Burke’s Cup
Recipe sourced from Jamie Boudreau’s Spirits and Cocktails blog and adapted by theSpeakista

•    1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin (Bombay Sapphire)
•    3/4 oz fresh grapefruit juice
•    1/2 oz Pernod absinthe (Kubler)
•    1/2 oz simple syrup
•    1/4 oz anisette (Pernod was used as a poor sub)
•    3 cucumber slices
•    several mint leaves
Garnish: cucumber wheel
Glass: rocks glass
Tools: mixing glass and tin, Hawthorne strainer and fine mesh strainer

Assembly: Muddle the mint, cucumber and simple syrup together in the cocktail shaker.  Add the remaining ingredients to the shaker, add ice, shake well for at least 15 seconds until well chilled and double strain into the serving glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish and enjoy.

The verdict: for inspiration I turned to an old friend (ok, old friend is used to describe how I feel about reading Jamie’s fine site) and in re-reading his post on Jim Meehan I came across the Burke’s Cup a drink that read like a really interesting concoction.  The first thing you notice is the aroma – fresh, fresh, fresh with a wave of herbs and a wonderful calm from the cucumber.  The taste is very much the same with a slight tartness and funk from the double anise flavors.  It is an interesting cocktail, refreshing and if you are looking for something a little different but not too out there then give this one a try.

theSpeakista’s Rating: 3 1/2 stars (out of 5)

For my second drink I thought a little rum was in order … a frequent thought for me.  Giving David Wondrich’s Killer Cocktails a perusal is always a good thing and in this case I stumbled upon a drink that looked really familiar – the When Rome Burns.  I scratched my head for several minutes until realized why it was so familiar; it is essentially the same drink as one I tried many moons ago and it was created by Joaquin Simo at Death & Company called the New England Daiquiri.  As both drinks are essentially the same save a dash of mole bitters in the New England Daiquiri I opted this time to make the Doctor’s version.

When Rome Burns
Recipe adapted from the version printed in “Killer Cocktails” by David Wondrich

•    2 oz dark, heavy rum (Zacapa 23 was used)
•    1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
•    2 tsp maple syrup (Highland Sugarworks Grade B Maple Syrup was used)
Garnish: none
Glass: coupe or other cocktail glass
Tools: mixing glass and tin, Hawthorne strainer and fine mesh strainer

Assembly: Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, add ice, shake well until well chilled and double strain into the serving glass filled.

The verdict: Very tart, more then expected and more then I anticipated based on my tasting notes from Joaqin’s version.  As of late I feel as though my citrus sourcing is yielding very tart specimens – could have adjusted the sweetness slightly but opted to go with what came out of the shaker.  The tartness eventually yielded to very nice balance of rich sweetness, boy the Zacapa is a beauty of a rum and is already sweet and rich on the palate but it seems to be accentuated, nicely, by a little maple.  All-in-all a good drink that is worth another attempt — initially I thought the lemons were too tart but I think in retrospect that tartness works nicely with the sweetness of the maple and the rum.

theSpeakista’s Rating: 3 1/2 stars (out of 5)

For the Boss I made this drink from Bar Pleiades – a nice blend of vodka, fresh muddled raspberries, citrus and thyme.  I’m assuming the Boss liked it as I made it four times for her over the weekend.

theSpeakista asks:

1. Any cool Daiquiri like riffs in your history?

2. Killer Cocktails is treasure trove of great recipes – what’s your fav recipe?

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