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Wednesday Movie Night: A Two-fer Special

How do we get a two-fer out of this rather small (small by my writing) post?  Simple, we do a little house cleaning and we offer up a new creation by yours truly.

House cleaning first:  while not all that important to the thousands of readers who tune in each day to read my sage advice, it is important to me.  We are streamlining the blog roll just a bit, removing several older links and adding in a few new ones.  In particular we are adding in a link to Doug’s uber wonderful site; I’m ashamed to admit that I have long been a reader but had not seen fit to add the Pegu Blog to my roll. Forgive me Doug. That ends today!   We are also adding in a link to the 12 Bottle Bar blog; a fantastic site devoted to fine drink creation utilizing only 12 pre-determined bottles of spirits/wine/etc.  If you thought creativity and/or re-creating classic drinks was difficult with your fully stocked shelf of goodies, think how challenging it is with only 12 bottles and the guys there do it perfectly.  Next up, we add a link to Dagreb’s site Nihil Utopia … irreverent and fun, Dagreb has a great approach to what he cares about.  You need to tune in to his site to see what emerges.  Thanks Dagreb!

Recipes:  As it is Wednesday Movie Night, it is only fit that we offer up a drink prior to tonight’s movie R&R.  As I am a kind and generous individual I offer not one, but two interesting drinks that are similar in nature but provide for different experiences.

The Un bel di is an entry of mine in a forthcoming new cocktail competition.  Thrown together a bit on the fly and in the face of what will be very stiff, professional competition, we have no pretense about even coming close to placing in the finals.  Still, it was fun.  The inspiration for both variations stems from a recent experiment involving infusing dried lavender into gin (more on this in a soon to be posted post … patience) for a fantastic riff on the classic Martini.  I was struck by the amazing qualities created post the infusion — fresh, floral and all-together calming — that I set out to use it more in different constructs.

With lavender in hand I wanted to think through possible flavor combinations.  As lavender evokes in me a sense of tranquility and of being in a garden, we seemed to have a built in inspiration.  Honey is nature’s sweetener and would be a perfect compliment to lavender … check.  Fresh fruit and a garden or orchard?  How about apples?  Check!  What spirit to select?  Wanting something with character and that would serve as a good base for infusion, we selected Old Overholt rye as our infusion base for the lavender and we were just this close to completing.

Un bel di
Recipe created by theSpeakista  

•    2 1/2 oz Lavender-infused Old Overholt rye whiskey
•    3/4 oz honey syrup
•    3/4 oz Laird’s Bonded Applejack
•    1/2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
Garnish: dried lavender petals and Lavender Bitters
Glass: ice cold rocks or old fashioned glass
Tools: barspoon

Assembly: Combine all of the ingredients in the serving glass and fill half full with crushed ice; swizzle the mixture for about 30 seconds.  Top the glass with additional crushed ice and garnish with several dashes of the bitters and the lavender petals.

After making the above and submitting it for review, I realized that there was something else that could be had with the above starting combination of flavors and yours truly set out to tweak his formula a bit into a stirred drink.  The below drink is in my humble opinion, quite good.  Fresh in flavor, the palate seems awakened by the myriad of tastes present.  The lavender seems both strong and demure at various points of drinking … and is oh so calming.  You will not believe the aroma of this little beauty.

I am sticking to the same name as I lack the creativity to come up with a better one …

Un bel di
Recipe created by theSpeakista  

•    2 oz Lavender-infused Old Overholt rye whiskey
•    3/4 oz Laird’s Bonded Applejack
•    1/2 oz honey syrup
•    Grapefruit twist
•    Several dried cumin, coriander and cardamom seeds (or pods)
Garnish: none
Glass: ice cold rocks or old fashioned glass
Tools: mixing glass, bar-spoon, julep strainer and muddler

Assembly: Add the seeds to the mixing glass and muddle until ground; next add in the twist and muddle again releasing the essential oils.  Add ice and stir the mixture for 30 seconds or so.  Double-strain the mixture into the serving glass that includes a large cubed ice cube.  Sip, and enjoy!

We hope that you enjoy the above two offerings and here’s to new links and a good movie.

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{ 4 comments… add one }

  • DavidS August 5, 2011, 11:28 pm

    Thanks for the kind words and the addition to the blogroll — I’m reciprocating asap. – David

  • KeithP August 6, 2011, 5:00 pm

    Thanks guys … you got a great site!

  • Dagreb August 7, 2011, 9:43 pm

    [I]reverent and fun? Thanks Keith.


  • KeithP August 9, 2011, 8:07 pm

    A little self projection on my part i guess … None the less, still enjoy your site!

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