Off Topic: The Cocktail Trend

Thursday December 29, 2011 // By Kari Guddeck

Manhattan makingMartinis and Manhattans and Old Fashioneds….oh my!  With New Year’s celebrations right around the corner, I decided to digress a bit from the usual coffee talk and slip in a little cocktail musing.  My travels (locally and nationally) this year have led me (and my hubby) into a new hobby…mixology.    It all started with a trip to the Bitter Bar in Boulder.  A waiter at The Kitchen recommended the place and we were immediately enthralled as they gave us directions:  walk down this alley and look for the building with a red door, there won’t be a sign, but just go through the red door.  Um, ok?!?!  The red door turned out to be the back entrance and we had to pass through heavy curtains to get in.  What we met inside was something straight out of the 1920’s.  Bartenders dressed in bowties, suspenders, and trendy hats.  An absinthe fountain was ornately displayed in the center of the bar.  The lights were dim, candles were lit, and the vibe was chill.  The menu was a mix of classic cocktails and bartender specialties.  The bitters and syrups were house made with fresh herbs and fruits/fruit juices (my do it yourself nature was immediately piqued!). 


After much debate and general awe at my options, I chose a Sazerac.  It was served in an old fashioned decorative glass and the bartender asked if I’d like more information about the drink.  What was that?  A bartender wanted to give me detailed info about the drink?  Sure!  He told us that the Sazerac is thought to be the oldest known American cocktail.  It consists of some combination of cognac, rye whiskey, absinthe or Herbsaint, and Peychaud's Bitters.  It is distinguished by its preparation method':   


One Old Fashioned glass is packed with ice. In a second Old Fashioned glass, a sugar cube and 3 dashes of Peychaud's Bitters are muddled. The rye whiskey is then added to the sugar/bitters mixture. The ice is emptied from the first Old Fashioned glass and the absinthe/Herbsaint is poured into the glass and swirled to coat the sides of the glass. Any excess absinthe/Herbsaint is discarded. The rye/sugar/bitters mixture is then poured into the absinthe/Herbsaint coated glass and the glass is garnished with a lemon peel.  (wikipedia)


I was in love...with the drink, the ambiance, the total experience.  We seek out cocktail joints when we’re on the road now, and have had some marvelous (and not so marvelous) beverages.  The speakeasy trend is rapidly growing on the coasts and in bigger cities.  I highly recommend trying one out if you have the chance, but keep in mind that you’ll be paying for your experience. 


On that note, I’d like to offer up a cocktail perfect for ringing in the New Year.  A friend of ours made a version of this for Thanksgiving.  It was perfect with the cheese course…yum!


The 2012

In a shaker combine and stir:

½ oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

½ oz Honey

2 oz Bourbon

½ oz Green Chartreuse


Strain into 6 oz champagne flute and top to the rim with champagne, prosecco, or other sparkling wine.


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