Project Recreate – my “2 Cents” on the year past and what lies ahead on our little journey …

by KeithP on January 1, 2011

What a way to end the year!  Blizzard in NYC? Check!  Unable to return from our left coast vacation for four days as a result?  Check!  Several missed posts leading up to New Years Day?  Big Check-o!  Well, we finally made it back home to the Big Apple Friday morning (four days late) at 2 am and as such, I had little appetite or strength to finish up on a series of posts.

Needless to say I’m combining a few into this one which will lead off the new year …

Reflections on a year gone by: I had drafted an elaborate post trying to summarize my thoughts on the year gone by … as a newbie blogger that is.  In the end I’m junking it for something a little less profound.  We started our little adventure almost nine months ago and truth be told, I wasn’t really sure of what I was doing or where I had planned to take it all.  I start this year off in pretty much in the same boat.  I write because it is fun for me on a specific subject which I also find to be fun. I have tried to give the writing a bit of structure but essentially we go with the drink making flow of things.  At the end of the day I hope those that read the site also find the subject matter, and my writing to be of interest.  While the format and scope of the site have changed a little bit I hope that my sincerity and honest opinions, haven’t changed.

The year ahead: wow … as the best laid plans always end up being over turned we’ll try to set a broad course for a our little ship and hope we don’t run aground.  Experiments? Oh heck yeah … I have several potential ideas on paper ready to try.  More drinks? Duh … this is a booze blog after all.  On this front, I want to aim to better develop my drink making skill set in order to do a better effort at creating my own new drinks.  As the best knowledge comes from actually standing on the shoulders of others hard work, I am quite confident that we will sample and test plenty – of course reporting back to you – before embarking too far on the creative front.

Relationships: nothing is more important to me in my personal and professional life and I see no reason why this should be any different in my blogging/writing life.  On this front, I have plenty of individuals to thank (and will try to adequately show my thanks in the coming year) for their direct and indirect help in my efforts, either because of their encouragement, comments or simply because I read their work and take inspiration. It is this third category of reflection that I will work hardest to cultivate this year.

Okay, that blather is out of the way.  Now it is time for a drink!  It seems fitting that we should start the year off with a Project Recreate as this little project has been the most fun to do.  As you are aware, we were unable to complete the Manhattan Cocktail Challenge due to a SNAFU of my own making.  On the night that we had planned to run the finals I had checked to see if one of the two finalists was open but not the second and it was this second candidate who set us back.  In the end though this scheduling issue ended up being a mixed blessing as we wound up at Mayahuel (now a big fav of mine) sipping drinks.  On this night I was presented several down right fantastic drinks but it was the 2 Cents which grabbed my attention.

Note: for those of you just joining our little show already in progress, Project Recreate is our attempt at remaking the best drinks sampled while away from the home base.  Unless otherwise noted and for the “2 Cents” this is the case, the recipes shown in a Project Recreate are my best guess (based of course on my highly trained and refined palate) as to what I tasted when served the drink at a given bar and they do not, and may not, reflect the actual recipe used by said bar. I highly encourage you to go to a given venue and try the actual, real drink.

2 Cents (variation)
Recipe 100% formulated, as best as can be accomplished, from my recollection of the menu at Mayahuel and from my first hand taste experience.

•    1 1/2 oz reposado tequila (Milagro Barrica Selection was used)
•    1/2 oz mezcal (Sombra was used)
•    1 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth
•    1/2 oz Lairds Bonded Applejack
•    1/4 oz white crème de cacao (Marie Brizard)
•    2 dashes of Bitter Truth mole bitters
Garnish: none
Glass: champagne coupe
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon and a julep strainer

Assembly: Combine all of the ingredients in the mixing glass with cracked  ice and stir for at least 30 seconds until well chilled, strain the mixture into the serving glass and garnish … Ah … Happy New Year!

Note: technical difficulties prevented my including a pic of the drink.

The verdict: Mayahuel makes downright awesome drinks!  No, really, they are fantastic!  Tequilas and mezcals blended in so many different ways.  Go there, try them and you will come away a fan not only of tequila and mezcal but also of this fantastic place.

The 2 Cents is awesome.  Herbally, sweet and bitter all in one little glass.  As with all well made drinks no one component dominates over the others and all are in balance.  This drink is no different presenting interesting waves of flavors in perfect harmony with one another. The herbal notes of the tequila and the floral qualities of the vermouth combine to hit your tongue first followed immediately by an interesting wave of bitterness.  Next, you get a dose of sweetness and a lingering smoky bitterness.  I also really enjoy the fruity character of the drink that then gets balanced out by the faintest hint of chocolate.  This is pure fantasy in a glass!

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

So, in the immortal words of Henry V … “once more unto the breach, dear friends …” … we kick off the new year with high expectations on our journey of exploration into cocktail bliss

Stay tuned, we have plenty lined up for the next two months.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

The Godfather January 5, 2011 at 9:29 pm

If only I wasnt short most of these ingredients I could certainly go for one of these because it sounds delicious! Looking forward to finishing of the challenge and will be reporting on Franklin Mortgage really soon.

KeithP January 5, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Slacker … build at that booze cabinet, finally. Looking forward on the update of FM soon.

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