Rum is a distillate of sugarcane by-products like molasses and sugar cane juice, through fermentation and distillation. Unlike some other spirits, such as cognac and scotch, rum has no defined production methods. Instead, rum production is based on traditional styles that vary between locations and distillers. Rum and beer have been mixed together for hundreds of years in a classic cocktail known as The Grog. Personally, I am not a fan, so when building this drink I prefer to be on the opposite spectrum of taste. Sailor Jerry is one of my favorite rums and blends very well in many different cocktails. The subtle cinnamon notes and lightly toasted toffee dance across your palate when enjoying this spirit straight.
Genever (also know as junever, genievre, jenever or jeniever), or in the English-speaking world as Holland gin or Dutch gin, is the juniper-flavored and alcoholic traditional spirit of the Netherlands and Belgium, from which gin eventually evolved. Genever has been a protected spirit since 2008, which puts it in the same category as champagne, cognac, and Scottish single malts. Genever can only be made in Holland and a few surrounding areas. The triple distillate of Bols Genever – corn, rye, and wheat – give the mash-bill a whiskey like characteristic that the Dutch call maltwine. Bols (founded in 1575) is one of the oldest distilleries still making the same fantastic product today.
When I first started constructing this cocktail, I had no idea it would be the first in a libation line up dedicated to my friends and their x-rated alter egos. If you aren’t familiar with this fun and hilarious game, this is how you name your character or alter ego: combine your first pet’s name and the name of the street where you grew up. Giving credit where credit is due, my comedian friend Garet Webb came up with the idea for the line up while helping me name this particular cocktail.
I chose Nolet’s Silver gin because of its incredible floral notes, and it is one of my personal favorite gins currently on the market. Nolet’s Silver has been distilled in The Netherlands for over 300 years. Historically, the Nolet family became famous for their distillate known as Ketel One.
When tasting this beautiful gin you will perceive Turkish rose, peaches, and berries, not only on your tongue, but also in your olfactory. There are also several other background botanicals that you will encounter, such as coriander and citrus peel.
Adding blackberries to this libation was a no brainer, but the rosemary was the particular ingredient that sealed the deal. Going against the grain of traditional gin cocktails, I chose lemon juice. Agave is the sweetener because of the binding abilities that this natural substance posses. The beer in this cocktail is a Belgian white called Blanche de Bruxelles. This is my favorite Belgian white, hands down. Since the beer and the spirit have similar ingredients, this cocktail goes down super smoothly and pairs well with spicy charcuterie or a shellfish dish. Continue Reading
Belgian White beers are by far my favorite beer. I love the way they taste and are quite refreshing on a warm February day here in Southern California. Traditionally these beers are made with wheat and barley. So when constructing this cocktail I wanted to be able to highlight the flavor profile of not only the beer but the whiskey as well. Enter Makers Mark. The mash bill for Makers Mark has no rye in it; instead, they use red winter wheat and, of course corn. This combination gives the bourbon a different flavor that pairs exquisitely with Belgian White beers. I chose Blanche de Chambly as my Belgian White beer. It has spicy notes that blend quite well with the agave nectar in the cocktail.
We all know that Rittenhouse is arguably one of the best rye whiskies. So when I was informed that some intelligent individuals decided to age their fantastic stout in used Rittenhouse barrels, I jumped at the chance to use this beer in a cocktail. Since FiftyFifty Brewery Co. is up in Truckee, CA, getting the marvelous product down in L.A. is pretty hard. Thanks to a good friend and fellow beer advocate, I was introduced to Amy Burns Barr. She is the Director of Marketing for FiftyFifty Brewing Co. and was able to score me an extra bottle of their delicious elixir. Continue Reading