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Spirits Spotlight: Dulce Vida Lone Star Edition Tequila

Spirits

Dulce Vida Lone Star Edition

Dulce Vida Spirits has recently announced the release of Dulce Vida Lone Star Edition Tequila, the world’s first USDA certified organic, 100 proof tequila. Dulce Vida, an Austin, Texas headquartered company, uses only 100% organic agave from the Los Altos region of Jalisco, Mexico. The unique characteristics of the climate, air and soil help produce larger, fruitier agave, ideal for tequila, which is then made into 100 proof tequila, a proof which founder and master distiller Carlos Jurado feels captures the purest form of tequila with minimal dilution.

The Lone Star Edition Tequila is an añejo tequila aged in once-used Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey barrels. According to Dan Garrison, proprietor and distiller at Garrison Brothers Distillery, “Our bourbon barrels are handmade to our specifications – extra thick staves, toasted first and then charred to our proprietary specifications, and then they soak in our rich bourbon under the Texas sun for years before we set them free.” The resulting tequila is exceptional, and the bourbon and barrel character comes through really nicely and is slightly more apparent than you would find in other tequilas.

Dulce Vida’s Lone Star Edition Tequila is limited to just 600 cases and available only in the Lone Star State. It costs $75 per bottle.



Anchor Distilling Company Launches Hophead Vodka

Spirits

Hophead Vodka

Anchor Distilling Company has just announced the launch of Hophead Vodka, the world’s first distilled hopped vodka. Anchor Distilling Company has been at the forefront of innovation for craft distilling in America since Fritz Maytag first released Old Potrero Whiskey in 1995, followed by Junipero Gin, and Genevieve Gin.

According to David King, President of Anchor Distilling Company, Anchor had been looking for a vodka to add to their portfolio for a while, but nothing caught their eye. With the incredible history of Anchor Brewing and Fritz Maytag, creating Hophead Vodka was a natural fit.

Hophead Vodka is pot-distilled from two types of hops from Washington’s Yakima Valley, where over 75% of the United States’ hops come from. The hops impart a very clean, assertive hop character, but without the bitterness that hops are known for. If you’ve ever walked into a hops room at a brewery, opening a bottle of Hophead smells exactly like that.

Try it in a West Coast Vesper, by Russell Davis:

  • 1 oz. Hophead Vodka
  • 1 oz. Junipero Gin
  • .5 oz. Maurin Quina
  • Garnish: orange peel

Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass and add ice. Stir until proper dilution and strain into a chilled champagne coupe. Garnish with an orange peel.

Hophead Vodka is 45% ABV. It is now available in San Francisco, New York City and other key markets. Suggested retail price is $29.95. For more information, visit www.AnchorDistilling.com.



VIDEO: The Goat Town Swizzle Cocktail with Clint Rogers

Spirits

Chicago’s Clint Rogers of Henri won our Luxardo Cocktail Competition held in October at San Francisco’s Anchor Distilling Company. Our friends at Tenzing Wine & Spirits got together with Clint to show you how to make his winning cocktail, the Goat Town Swizzle.

Goat Town Swizzle
by Clint Rogers, Henri

Cocktail Ingredients:

1 oz Old Portrero Straight Rye Whiskey

.5 oz Luxardo Apricot
.33 oz Luxardo Fernet
.75 oz lemon juice

.5 oz homemade orgeat*

“minted” crushed ice**

4 dashes Angostura Bitters

3 dashes Fee Bros. Orange Bitters

Garnish with wide spiraled lemon peel and sprig of fresh spearmint
 See the full post »



Mutineer Interview with Dale DeGroff

Dale DeGroff 1

Dale DeGroff at SF watering hole Elixir.

It is by no coincidence that Dale DeGroff has earned the street-title “King Cocktail”. His work at the legendary Rainbow Room in New York fueled a cocktail revolution in the United States in the 1980s that is still roaring today, and his books “The Essential Cocktail” and “The Craft of the Cocktail” have become standard-issue textbooks for aspiring mixologists and bartenders around the world. DeGroff has won an ambitious list of awards, including the prestigious 2009 James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional, and he is a partner of the “Beverage Alcohol Resource”, which offers spirits and mixology training worldwide. In an issue of Mutineer Magazine dedicated to the celebration of spirits and mixology culture, we are proud to bring you this conversation with King Cocktail himself.

HOW WERE YOU INTRODUCED TO SPIRITS AND MIXOLOGY?
I went to New York in 1969, and had been many times before. In that era, the drinking age was only 18, and I was 18 in 1966. I started going to New York and hanging out in the New York City Bar and Grill, which I was just totally enamored with because the bars in New York are like the redwoods in California, they’re a natural resource. There are so many different kinds of bars, everything from your neighborhood bar to the coolest, high-end restaurant bars, to these days and cutting-edge and geeky cocktail bars to clubby joints to after-hours joints where they only serve stuff in cans because they have to shut down shop and open up somewhere else two days later…there are all kinds of crazy and wonderful bars in New York.

I didn’t finish college, I walked away from a Dean’s List and a three and a half year education to become an actor in New York. I was studying at the University of Rhode Island, and quickly found myself drawn to these saloons and jazz clubs, and I caught the end of an era. In 1969, a little bit of swing street was still left, Jimmy Ryan’s club was still open along with Eddie Condon’s The Half Note, and I was a jazz fan from high school, so I hung around those places even though I had no money. We knew a couple of the musicians and could insinuate ourselves. For me, from day one, the bars are where you wanted to be. That was where life was.

“For me, from day one, the bars are where you wanted to be. That was where life was.”

HOW WERE YOU PROCESSING IT BACK THEN? WERE YOU TRYING TO EXPERIENCE AS MUCH AS YOU COULD OR FOLLOW A STRUCTURED APPROACH TO DEVELOPING YOURSELF AS A BARTENDER?
No. You’re walking around, and you’re looking at these massive buildings with thousands and thousands of windows with one thought in your mind: “What the hell is going on behind all these windows?” You’re just looking at it saying, “God, I gotta figure this out.” I just wanted to get into every one of them and figure it out and see what was happening. So we went to bar after bar after bar, to joint after joint, restaurants, whatever we could afford, and we were lucky because this friend of mine had a brother that owned an advertising agency in New York City, Ron Holland of Lois Holland Callaway, a very small but very creative agency which went a long way into getting me into the business because at that time they had the most prestigious restaurant client in the city called Restaurant Associates, actually in the world, because those early days of Restaurant Associates and one individual in particular who was the first President, Joseph Baum, is credited as being one of the visionaries who took us out of the fifties: steaks and chops, iceberg lettuce, unchanging menus, you know…

I later ended up working for this guy, Joseph Baum, who ran and opened all those places. He hired me solely because he knew I had been around in those places, because Ron [last name] took us, and that was another thing. I was dead broke, but here I am dining in the Four Seasons, a restaurant that had a meal ticket for a single dinner larger than my monthly rent, and here I am dining in this place. It was just incredible.

Flash forward, 1978. I’m working one of the most beautiful hotels in the world just by sheer force of my ability to lie. I had worked for three or four years as a bartender and a waiter and a dishwasher in New York at a very good place called Charlie O’s, and that name got me in the door at the Hotel Bel-Air. They had just fired a guy, and the head bartender Jim Kitchens was behind the bar working the day shift and he’s pissed. He hates to work the day shift, so he just wants a warm body behind that bar as soon as he can possibly get them, so when I mentioned Charlie O’s he recognized it, and Joe Baum, he recognized that name. He makes me pour a shot and says, “Come back tomorrow and we’ll try you out for a week and see how it works out.” So I came back and I stayed there.

“I was just totally out of my league. If I wanted to keep the job, I had to get my ass in gear.”

I realized very quickly that I didn’t recognize a lot of the products behind the bar. I didn’t know what Port was; I was just totally out of my league. If I wanted to keep the job, I had to get my ass in gear. I was in the bar business in a very cursory way. I was in the bar business because it was fun and I loved bars. I didn’t know anything about drinks; nobody knew anything about drinks in those days. The “that’s-how-we-make-it-here syndrome” days when bartenders could give a crap about recipes or fresh, all of the sodas and juices came out of a gun. There were certain things that would be good such as the Manhattan or Martini, ‘cause how can you screw that up? There’s no juice in it. There’s nothing artificial in it. It is what it is. So that was the environment I came into as a bartender, and then I worked at the Hotel Bel-Air and learned about the fine spirits at least, and I had some embarrassing moments.

Then when I got back to New York in 1985, Joe was opening this fine dining restaurant called Aurora, and I was going to be plugging for the Head Bartender there. Joe didn’t know what kind of bartender I was. He knew I’d worked at the Hotel Bel-Air. He came to me and said, “What I want you to do is tell the stories Dale. And here’s what else I want; I want a classic 19th century bar, and if you don’t know how to do it, find a book called, How to Mix Drinks by Jerry Thomas. It’ll teach you how to do it. I don’t want anything artificial. I don’t want any guns, nothing like that. Splits of soda, fresh everything.”

I “came up” with sour mix and guns, and I said, “Yup. Great, we’ll do that. But you know Joe, it might not be a bad idea to have a few bottles of sour mix in case we get really really busy.” Because I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to make all of these drinks. And Joe says, “Look. For 150 years, bartenders made these drinks without any of this crap, in the busiest places. And if you can’t figure out how to do it, then I’m going to find somebody that can.” And I said, “Oh no, I got it! I got it! Forget it, we won’t have any backup, I’ll just figure it out. Don’t worry.” That was what I walked into. I started to study. I first went to a bookstore asking them if they had Jerry Thomas’ How to Mix Drinks. [Joe] didn’t tell me it was published in1862! This was like 1985, I didn’t have a clue, but I finally found a 1929 edition that a guy lent me. Thank God it was a small, fine dining restaurant where Champagne and fine wine were the premier beverages. Over the period of two years at Aurora, I had the absolute luxury of figuring it all out in a place where there was not a lot of demand.

HOW RADICAL WAS THIS APPROACH TO MIXOLOGY?
It was radical in the sense that no bartender anywhere in America that I knew of, and certainly not in New York, was doing anything different than putting an ounce and a half of whiskey, pushing a button for the sour mix to come out, shaking it, and that was the drink. Nobody knew anything different. Nobody even squeezed a lemon. The only thing you ever did with a lemon was make those stupid peels. Nobody thought about fresh lemon and lime juice.

At the end of two years at this fine dining restaurant Aurora, Joe is busily at work, and I’m watching this every day. He’s bringing in all of these famous designers. He’s bringing in people like Milton Glazer, and all of these famous industrial and graphic designers. This is all happening, and I’m watching all of this go down like, “Damn man! I want to work at this place. This is where I want to be. This is going to be spectacular.”

So I went to Joe, and I said, “Here’s what I want to do Joe. This is working out pretty good now. We’ve got some really great drinks here, and we have the fresh juices and the whole thing, and I want to take this over there. Why don’t we get a menu that has drinks on it from some of the old supper clubs. Why don’t we grab a drink from each of these places and put it on the menu with some other classics.” “Ya ya, I’ve done it before but I like it. Show me a menu.” So I showed him a menu, and now I’m faced with taking that small, tiny program with four bartenders and extrapolating out into 28 bartenders and three permanent bars and the multitude of satellite bars on any given day on the two floors of the Rainbow Room. It was a massive job to try and figure out how to do it, and from opening day the bar was six deep. We had 125 seats in the lounge and we had a little service bar in the back, which ended up being busier than the front bar because all of the tables were serviced out of that bar. And I had this 28 drink menu: Ramos Gin Fizz, Sazerac, all of these old classics, and the bartenders are like, “Dale, it’s not possible. We’re turning over 700 guests in a few hours. We can’t do this.” And I start thinking, “Jesus Chris, what have I done? I messed up. It’s just not gonna work.” So I took the menu back, and this was a menu that we spent a ton of money to print. I cut it back to 16 drinks from 28. I cut out some of the Ramos Gin Fizz stuff to figure out later, and it went back on the menu eventually.

“And then the drinks became famous, and we were doing something no one else was doing.”

Then we figured out the whole system we ended up using in the back. For example, the Singapore Sling, which we did not want to take off the menu, it has Cherry Herring, Cointreau, Benedictine, and gin, and those four things are easily mixable, so we got gallon store-and-pours. The next three ingredients were pineapple juice, lime juice, and bitters. That’s what you put in at the moment of service. You put in two and a half ounces of this mixture, then you put the pineapple and the bitters and the lime juice and you shook it up, and that way we turned out drinks really fast. Everything that was non-volatile and wouldn’t spoil would go into the gallon jug, and within a year we were able to have really fast and really excellent service. And then the drinks became famous, and we were doing something no one else was doing.

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Luxardo Liqueurs: More Than Maraschino, Featuring Francesco Lafranconi and the Lady Whisper Cocktail

Spirits

Filmed and produced by our friends at Small Screen Network on location at Anchor Distilling Company, Luxardo Liqueurs: More Than Maraschino featuring Francesco Lafranconi discusses Luxardo Apricot Liqueur and teaches you how to make the Lady Whisper Cocktail.

Luxardo Apricot Liqueur won first prize during a competition for a new, innovative Italian liqueur, held in Rome in 1935. This is why the label states “Liquore della Lupa”, Lupa being the female of the wolf and the symbol of Rome. In the Lady Whisper Cocktail, the liqueur provides a well rounded and sweet flavor and a persistent fragrance that combines well with the richness of the rum and rye whiskey.



Chicago’s Clint Rogers Wins Luxardo Cocktail Cup

Spirits

Luxardo Cocktail Cup

Photo by Phil Jimcosky / Mutineer Magazine

The inaugural Luxardo Cocktail Cup was held this past Thursday at San Francisco’s Anchor Distilling Co., as bartenders flew in from around the country to compete. With bartending gear in hand and their recipes perfected using Luxardo’s vast line of liqueurs, the competitors one by one presented their cocktail creations to the all-star cast of judges which included Matteo Luxardo of Luxardo; Francesco LaFranconi, National Director of Mixology & Spirits Educator of Southern Wine & Spirits; David King, CEO of Anchor Distilling; David Nepove, President of the USBG; and Brian Kropf, Editor-in-Chief of Mutineer Magazine.

The winner of the Luxardo Cocktail Cup was Chicago’s Clint Rogers, Spirits Director of Henri, with his Goat Town Swizzle. His win has earned himself a trip to Italy to visit Luxardo.

Runners up were Seattle’s Andrew Friedman in second place and New York’s Aaron Polsky in third place.

Congratulations Clint!

Goat Town Swizzle
by Clint Rogers, Henri

Cocktail Ingredients:

1 oz Old Portrero Straight Rye Whiskey

.5 oz Luxardo Apricot
.33 oz Luxardo Fernet
.75 oz lemon juice

.5 oz homemade orgeat*

“minted” crushed ice**

4 dashes Angostura Bitters

3 dashes Fee Bros. Orange Bitters

Garnish with wide spiraled lemon peel and sprig of fresh spearmint


Preparation Instructions:
In a collins glass, add ingredients beginning with orgeat and ending with rye. Fill glass half full with “minted” crushed ice. Begin “swizzzling” cocktail with stick until cocktail is blended and ice forms on outside of glass. Top with more “minted” crushed ice and garnish with lemon and mint. Serve with a straw.



*Homemade Orgeat:
 Soak 30 oz. of blanched almonds in water for 30 minutes.
 Drain water and add 18 oz. of fresh water along with 2 oz. of Mandorlo almond infused grappa.
– Seal container and let rest over night.
– The next day add contents to blender and puree.
– Drain through a cheese cloth.
– Take the remaining liquid and add 2 cups of sugar.
– Bring just to a boil and then remove from heat.
– Add 5 dashes orange bitters and 1 tsp orange flower water.
– Once cool whisk in 1 tsp of xantham gum to stabilize.

**Minted” Ice:
 Blend mint with water and add to pot.
– Bring to a boil until chlorophyll separates from mint.
– Add mint Chlorophyll to water and freeze in a shallow pan.
– When ready to serve break ice away from pan and crush ice in a clean bar towel.



Mutineer Friday Cocktail: The Razercrac

Spirits

Swift's Attic - The Razercrac Cocktail

It’s Friday, and this Mutineer is looking forward to knocking off for the weekend and plans to kick off the weekend by mixing up a cocktail. If you are looking for something new to try, Swift’s Attic in Austin, TX makes a cocktail called The Razercrac, which is based upon that old New Orleans favorite the Sazerac.

“This was originally going to be a take on an old-school Sazerac, but I wanted to use the Chopin rye vodka because it makes for really smooth, easily drinkable drinks. This is a great alternative for people who don’t like the rye-whiskey taste of a Sazerac, and it’s a great pairing for the Martini & Rossi vermouth, since it’s on the sweeter side, to balance the bitter notes. Like the original, we still used an absinthe-dusted glass and a bit of Peychaud’s bitters. Zest the orange into the drink and stir with the zest to bring out all of the flavors.”
 – Jeff Hammett, Bar Manager of Jeff Swift’s Attic

The Razercrac
1 1/2 oz. Chopin Rye Vodka
1 oz. M&R Sweet Vermouth
2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
Absinthe dusted glass

Stirred and strained over ice with orange zest

Have a mutinous weekend!



Mutineer Magazine’s Luxardo Cocktail Cup Finalists Announced [Updated]

Spirits

Luxardo Cocktail Cup

After much anticipation, the finalists for Mutineer Magazine’s Luxardo Cocktail Cup are in! Congrats to all the finalists, and we’ll see you in San Francisco in October!

Chicago:

Goat Town Swizzle
by Clint Rogers, Henri

Cocktail Ingredients:

1 oz Old Portrero Straight Rye Whiskey

.5 oz Luxardo Apricot
.33 oz Luxardo Fernet
.75 oz lemon juice

.5 oz homemade orgeat*

“minted” crushed ice**

4 dashes Angostura Bitters

3 dashes Fee Bros. Orange Bitters

Garnish with wide spiraled lemon peel and sprig of fresh spearmint


Preparation Instructions:
In a collins glass, add ingredients beginning with orgeat and ending with rye. Fill glass half full with “minted” crushed ice. Begin “swizzzling” cocktail with stick until cocktail is blended and ice forms on outside of glass. Top with more “minted” crushed ice and garnish with lemon and mint. Serve with a straw.



*Homemade Orgeat:
 Soak 30 oz. of blanched almonds in water for 30 minutes.
 Drain water and add 18 oz. of fresh water along with 2 oz. of Mandorlo almond infused grappa.
– Seal container and let rest over night.
– The next day add contents to blender and puree.
– Drain through a cheese cloth.
– Take the remaining liquid and add 2 cups of sugar.
– Bring just to a boil and then remove from heat.
– Add 5 dashes orange bitters and 1 tsp orange flower water.
– Once cool whisk in 1 tsp of xantham gum to stabilize.

**Minted” Ice:
 Blend mint with water and add to pot.
– Bring to a boil until chlorophyll separates from mint.
– Add mint Chlorophyll to water and freeze in a shallow pan.
– When ready to serve break ice away from pan and crush ice in a clean bar towel.

Los Angeles:

Bourbon Bunny Maker
by Joel Black, Ford’s Filling Station

Cocktail Ingredients:

1.5 oz Hirsch Small Batch Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

.25 oz fresh lemon juice

.75 oz Luxardo Apricot
1 oz fresh carrot juice

1 oz chamomile tea


Preparation Instructions:
Build in a shaker. Add all ingredients and one scoop of cracked ice. Shake nice & easy. Dump into a highball glass. Add ice for proper wash line. Garnish with 2 – 1″ length x 1/4″ thick carrot sticks. Garnish with 1 chamomile flower (fresh when in season, dried when out of season).

Seattle:

Una Oportunidad
by Andrew Friedman, Liberty Bar

Cocktail Ingredients:

1.5 oz Chinaco Añejo
.5 oz Luxardo Apricot

.25 oz Luxardo Fernet
.25 oz fresh lemon juice

.25 oz simple syrup

dash Liberty House Lemon Bitters

dried apricot wheel


Preparation Instructions: 
Add all liquid ingredients into shaker tin, shake the hell out of it and pour into Glencairn Glass. Garnish with Apricot Wheel.

Portland:

Annegato al Luxardo
by Nathan Gerdes, Kask

Cocktail Ingredients:

1 oz Luxardo Amaro Abano
1.5 oz Oblique Cold Brew Coffee 

.5 oz Imbue Petal and Thorn

.5 oz half & half

.25 oz rich demerara syrup (2:1)

7 drops vanilla extract


Preparation Instructions:
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, shake, and double strain into a coupe glass. Serve up. Garnish with a piece of shaved dark chocolate.

Boston:

A Tale of Two Cities
by Sahil Mehta, Estragon Tapas Bar

Cocktail Ingredients:

.5 oz Luxardo Amaro Abano
.5 oz Luxardo Maraschino

.5 oz Luxardo Amaretto di Saschira
.5 oz fresh lemon juice

.5 oz egg white

Luxardo Original Maraschino Cherry for garnish
Lemon peel for garnish


Preparation Instructions: 
Add the first five ingredients to a mixing glass and shake for ten seconds. Add ice and shake for 30 seconds. Double strain into a vintage cocktail glass or an old fashioned glass. Garnish with cherry and lemon peel.

New York City:

Dirty Martinez
by Aaron Polsky, Neta & Amor y Amargo

Cocktail Ingredients:

1.5 oz Junipero Gin

.5 oz Cocchi Vermouth di Torino

.5 oz Luxardo Amaretto di Saschira

.25 oz Luxardo Fernet
3 dashes Luxardo Maraschino

6 drops Bittermens Burlesque Bitters

orange twist (garnish)


Preparation Instructions:
 Combine ingredients, stir. Strain neat into chilled single old-fashioned glass. Express Orange twist over cocktail.

San Francisco:

Canevari Cocktail
by Darren Crawford, Bourbon & Branch

Cocktail Ingredients:

2 oz Old Portrero Straight Rye Whiskey

1 barspoon Luxardo Fernet
1 barspoon Luxardo Amaretto di Saschira

1 barspoon Luxardo Maraschino
1 barspoon Gomme
1 dash Orange Bitters

1 dash Angostura Bitters

5 sprays Luxardo Anisette
lemon peel


Preparation Instructions:
 Chill an Old Fashioned Glass with ice and set aside. Place all ingredients except the Anisette and lemon peel in a mixing glass, add cracked ice, and stir until well chilled and diluted. Dump the ice from the glass and spray a fine mist of Anisette to completely coat the inside. Pour in the diluted cocktail from the mixing glass and garnish with a lemon peel, making sure to express the oils over the surface of the drink. Discard the peel. Smile! Enjoy!



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