December 12, 2012

Obscure Holiday Cocktail Tasting, Vol. 4

We had our 4th Annual (!!!) Obscure Holiday Cocktail Tasting last Friday. The cocktails we served are obscure in that they're original and unique, rather than obscure as in lost to history. We're embracing this evolution and even floated the idea that next year all cocktails should be original.

After reviewing past cocktail party write-ups, I realized that I needed to pull my weight this year. So I worked hard to make a delicious cocktail that used as many local ingredients as possible.

My cocktail, the Stone Rose, was a spiced, fizzy apple cider-esque cocktail. It paired well with the creamy Lady Laurier cheese, a Triple Creme Brie.

(Note: You'll notice that, since our cocktail party fell on Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, all of our cocktail names have a WWII theme. This resulted in me drunk hollering, No wait, you'll tell me if any of this is racist, right?!?) 

Stone Rose aka 'Tokyo' Rose
Adapted from Food & Wine

Do ahead: Dice 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger. Wrap 1/2 a cinnamon stick, 2 cardamom pods in a kitchen towel, and smash them with a heavy pan. In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup honey and 1/2 cup water. Add ginger and spices. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until syrup is dark and spices are fragrant. Remove from heat; let stand for 4 hours. Strain.  

1 ounce pear or apple brandy (I used Barlett's Apple Brandy) 
3/4 ounce rosé vermouth 
3/4 ounce Spiced Honey Syrup 
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice 
Dash of Peychaud’s bitters 
1 ounce chilled cava or other dry sparkling wine 

Combine all ingredients, except sparkling wine, in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into glasses. Add sparkling wine. 

Makes one 4 oz. drink

Next, Dawn of Appetite Portland made the Admiral Yamamoto, a smoky, sweet/bitter cocktail that she had on a recent trip to San Francisco. 

The cheese pairing was a Robiola de capra, a goat's milk cheese aged in chestnut leaves. The presentation is beautiful, and the cheese emphasized the sweet notes of the drink. 

Admiral Yamamoto 

2 ounces of Bulleit Rye 
1/2 ounce of Cherry Heering
1/2 ounce of Carpano Antica 
1/2 ounces of Campari
2 dashes of orange bitters

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker full of ice. Shake. "Wash" a martini glass with a splash of Laphroig single-malt scotch.  Pour cocktail into martini glass. Then, put flame to an orange peel to slight smoke. Add to drink. 

Anestes of Portland Food Map told the epic tale of building his cocktail around Speckled Ax's ice brewed coffee extract. After trying many liquors and consulting Hugo's bartenders, he settled on a blend of Single Barrel Jack Daniels, Eden Ice Cider, coffee extract, and walnut bitters. The result was warm, sweet, and nutty. 

Cider House Rules

3 oz ice cider, Eden single varietal barrel aged
1 oz single barrel Jack Daniels
.5 oz tower shot from Speckled Ax
2 dashes walnut bitters

Shake, strain, and serve with an orange twist. 

This drink was paired with Tarentaise from Spring Brook Farm in Vermont. This raw milk's cow cheese was so spicy that many of us silently debated whether we were having an allergic reaction before someone spoke up. 

Adam did what I had tried to do for two years past - make a decent egg nog. He, of course, turned it up to 11 by infusing his own pine nut and spruce vodkas. 

Pearl Arbor ingredients: cream, egg, vodka, spruce needles, pine nuts, frangelico, nutmeg

Hm, seems we're short on the exact details, but you get the idea.

The cheese pairing of Winnimere, a washed-rind, aged cow's milk cheese wrapped in birch bark was great, with some fudge to cut the richness of the dairy.

I'd be remiss if I didn't also mention that Vrylena and Dave brought an awesome pomegranate seed, walnut, scallion, and parsley salad. 

Many thanks to Shannon of Edible Obsessions for bringing the delicious cheese, crackers, and fudge delights. 

This cocktail party gets better and better every year, and I'm so glad to have shared another year with the fantastic friends that I've met through this blog!