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Archive for April, 2013

What I’m Drinking Now: Where the Buffalo Roam

Posted by Reese On April - 7 - 2013

Tonight’s cocktail comes to us from Vesta Dipping Grilling in Denver, CO.  Elisabeth found the recipe in their email newsletter and we decided to give it a go.  Very, very good call.  The drink strikes a great balance between sweet and sour with the flavor of the sage giving a really cool earthy quality to the cocktail.  The bitters add complexity without getting in the way of the core flavors and the applejack adds just a touch of apple essence.  Overall it’s a very refreshing cocktail for the coming summer.  A word of warning, they can go down quite quickly if you’re not careful.

Where the Buffalo Roam

Where the Buffalo Roam
1 1/2 oz Bourbon
1/2 oz Applejack
1/2 oz Grenadine
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
2-3 oz Ginger Beer
Peychauds Bitters
4-5 leaves of Fresh Sage
1) Muddle the sage leaves and bitters
2) Add the spirits and juice
3) Shake with ice and strain into a highball glass with ice
4) Top with Ginger Beer
5) Garnish with sage leaves
*Note: We opted to muddle directly in our highball glass, add the spirits, juice and ice, stir well and top with ginger beer.  The result was very tasty and a bit simpler.

Review – Pisco Chile

Posted by Reese On April - 1 - 2013

If you looked at my Pisco selection up until about 6 months ago, you’d notice something striking.  I only had Peruvian Piscos.  And that’s unfortunately par for the course.  Chilean Piscos, while available, were hard to come by, not as well marketed and generally harder to find.  Not so any more.  Recently there has been a marketing and distribution surge for Chilean Piscos and that’s a very good thing.  I’ve received three bottles for review and David Wondrich’s comment from the PR video sums it up excellently “For not a huge number of brands they have a huge range of styles and types.”

Mistal PiscoMistral (40% ABV) – With a light amber color, Mistral is clearly a barrel aged Pisco.  That aging comes through in the aroma, with notes of vanilla, caramel and a subtle sweetness.  In addition there is a touch of dried fruit/fruitcake aromas that you find in some brandies.  Which, honestly, makes perfect sense since Pisco is really a form of brandy at its heart.  The sweetness doesn’t follow through to the flavor though there is still a touch of the caramel flowing through.  The vanilla and spice are joined by a distinct vegetal quality.Alto Del Carmen Pisco

 

Alto del Carmen (40% ABV) – My favorite of the bunch has a young brandy aroma with subtle grapiness (I’m coining that term, I’m certain it’ll be huge).  Vegetal aromas and flavors are king in this Pisco.  You get a true sense of the earth with this one and that quality adds depth to cocktails that I really enjoy.  On top of those vegetal notes you get spice, buttery qualities, some melony fruitiness and subtle sweetness.  Overall, a very tasty Pisco that mixes up very well.

Capel PiscoCapel (40% ABV) – This is the most neutral of the Chilean Piscos that I sampled and the most vodka-like.  I think this “blank pallet” quality lends itself to a lot of cocktail applications in the same manner that vodka does.  But with that come the same down sides of vodka, namely that same “blank pallet”.  This is a clean and pure Pisco.  If you’re looking for one to broaden a vodka drinkers horizons, this is definitely the choice.

So, what do you make with them?  The sky is truly the limit.  As you can see from this small sampling, the range of flavors spans from clean and vodka-like all the way to barrel aged with caramel, vanilla and spice and in between are vegetal notes similar to cachaca and tequila.  For me, I went fairly simple.  I whipped up a Chilean Sidecar that was super tasty with a rim of Chilean Merken (a smoky spice blend).  But, where these Piscos truly shine is in the classic Pisco Sour.  It’s simple and in that simplicity lies a subtle depth of flavor.  You get to taste each flavor on its own and harmoniously combined.  If you haven’t had one yet, you’re really missing out.

Salud, Amigos!


† The product reviewed here was provided to me as a free sample. If you’re wondering what that means check out my sample policy.