Flaming Zests

I’ve been casually trying to understand cocktails these past few months. It’s a bit of a guilty pleasure as I don’t want to support this fucking mixologist non-sense that seems to be inhabiting mustaches all around our fair city. But, let’s not throw the baby out with the gray water. A good drink is paramount to a good life and the ability to build a well-balanced cocktail should be in every self-respecting alcoholics quiver along with the ability to brew delicious beer and make good food.

I haven’t strayed too far down this path, but I do have a few favorites I like to make. The Old Fashioned goes with out saying. But more than an Old Fashioned, I prefer a good serving of rye with a dash of orange bitters and a single cube. That’s really about as much as you need to fuck with whiskey. But, if I do need some extra sugar in my diet, the Old Fashioned provides quite well.

In the summer I’ve been loving the Boulvardier: 1.5 shots of bourbon, 1 shot of Campari, .5 shot of St. Germain, garnish with an orange. I think historically this calls for sweet vermouth instead of St. Germain, but let’s be serious for a minute here.

If I want to impress someone staying at our house in the heat of a ruthless drought, I’ll serve them a couple Clover Clubs. That’s about as fancy as I can get with a drink right now, but it’s always amazing how the gin, grenadine, egg white, and lemon really become greater than the sum of their parts. And the sugar is not cloying.

I’m also partial to a Fizz or even a White Lady.

A Biff was great last weekend during football after a 48 hour bender. Bailey’s, bourbon, Couintreau. It’s a more than stable replacement for a Caucasion when you’ve run out of Vokda.

My wife is gay for the Elk’s Own at the Barrelhouse Flat. Rye, port, lemon, simple syrup, bitters & egg white. It’s really a remarkable drink. For that matter, I think just about any drink with Port in it is off the charts. Port gives an earthy, musky, grounding foundation where other liquors can be a little too Luciferic in that Steinerian/Anthroposophy kind of way. Know what I mean?

But all this is to lead up to this video posted above on how to flame your zests. It’s a simple technique that adds a complexity to your citric component that can otherwise be a bit too thin. I was compelled to post this after seeing Michael Ruhlman’s post on the Brandie Blazer this morning. Enjoy.

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