Wednesday Movie Night … a little additional R&D and an apocalyptic tale

by KeithP on July 1, 2010

Fresh off some much needed R&R south of the border and me thinks that a little WMN is in order.  The natural progression of things would have me follow up said trip with a tequila-based theme for this WMN … alas, theSpeakista is still in R&D mode for our little barrel aging experiment (yes, the leaky boat is leaking but still on course …) and as such I want to try out two possible candidates for round 2.

WMN Movie Selection: Book of Eli, the 2010 movie starring Denzel Washington.

WMN Movie Review: This movie sorta grew on me. It was slow to start in terms of getting started and it definitely dragged a bit in the middle but I really enjoy the underlying theme in this movie (no worries, no spoilers here) … focus on a goal, set your mind to achieving it and never waiver from your purpose.  There is an interesting twist in the end, which I was aware of prior to watching, so I was looking for signs throughout and they hid the twist well.

In addition I’m a huge Gary Oldman fan so this was an added bonus in that he played the bad guy with equal focus and determination as Denzel played his part.

WMN Drink Theme: Barrel aging R&D 2.0.1

WMN Drinks: the Deshler and the El Presidente

First up …

El Presidente
Recipe sourced from Paul’s wonderful blog

•    1 1/2 oz white rum (10 Cane Rum … thanks to a little swag from a while back)
•    3/4oz dry vermouth (Noilly Prat was used)
•    3/4oz orange curacao (Senior brand)
•    1 dash of grenadine (the good, home made stuff …)
Garnish: no garnish
Glass: martini glass
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon and a julep strainer

Assembly: Add all ingredients to the mixing glass and stir with vigor for 30 seconds until very well chilled.  Strain the mix into the serving glass and sip it up.

The verdict: My rationale for making this drink was two-fold – one, if Jeffrey was making it for his barrel aging project, even if he made a slightly different version, then it had to be worth considering for my little project. Second, after selecting the Chocolate Martica as our first test subject, a candidate which as Frederic rightly noted in his comments to my post, contains several already aged spirits I want to see if the second candidate for this experiment can be comprised of spirits that are not aged (we’ll try …).

The El Presidente will likely not be new to most of you but it was for the most part new to me.  On paper this recipe looks a little intriguing – white rum mixed with a herbaceous vermouth and then combined with a citrus backdrop.  Competing flavors, competing interests I thought before I tried it … well, yes.  The aroma is definitely floral with a faint hint of citrus.  Interestingly enough on first tasting there is a rather strong “boozy” hit to this mixture.  After the initial heat clears you are struck by a one-two punch of the same herbaceous and citrus notes which are very strong and yet seem to pair rather nicely.  Some what lost in the mix, aside from that aforementioned “boozy” feel, is the rum.  Maybe it was the selection of rum used. Note sure but it doesn’t really seem to add anything here and makes this seem like something more akin to a really interesting Martini riff.

Note: as has been the case with many drinks I have sampled this drink improved as it warmed slightly.  That “boozy” feeling went away and gave way to a nice additional flavor from the rum which blended well with the smoother profile of both the vermouth and curacao.

theSpeakista’s Rating: 3 ¼ (after warming slightly) stars (out of 5)

Well, that wasn’t too bad.  My next candidate again seems to be a selection that others are experimenting with – the some what obscure, rye-based drink called the Deshler.

The Deshler
Recipe sourced and slightly adapted from Chuck’s insightful blog and sourced by Cocktail DB

•    1 1/2 oz rye (Rittenhouse bonded)
•    1 oz Dubonnet rouge (Lillet Rouge was substituted)
•   1/4 oz Cointreau
•    2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
•    2 orange peels plus one lemon peel for the mixing glass
Garnish: orange twist
Glass: champagne coupe or other cocktail glass
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon and a julep strainer

Assembly: Add all ingredients to the mixing glass and stir with vigor for at least 30 seconds until the mixture is very well chilled.  Strain the resulting drink into the serving glass, garnish and consume.

The verdict: Sorry to say but theSpeakista is not a fan of this drink.  I am not sure if the Lillet rouge was a suitable substitute for Dubonnet but I gave it a shot.  This drink had a very strong red wine type taste profile that didn’t seem to mellow or serve to enhance the other ingredients, in fact it down right masked them.  Would using the Dubonnet as called for really change this? I’m not sure.  If anything I think it would have made it a sweeter drink versus something with more of an herbal, bitterness funk to it and maybe that would have helped it out?

theSpeakista’s Rating: 2 1/4 stars (out of 5)

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