Mixology Monday cocktail: North of 7 Rhubarbian

 
I have been on vacation and neglecting this blog, but it is Mixology Monday time again,  and the theme this month has inspired me to get out and about in my own city. The theme is “hometown hooch” and was set by Stuart Putney of the Putney Farm blog:

One of the best recent developments in the world of cocktails and spirits is the reemergence of regional, craft distillers. And we say “reemergence” because 100+ years ago, before the twin scourges of Prohibition and virtual monopolization “industrialization,” distilling was often a truly local endeavor. Not so long ago, if you wanted some booze, it was often made in your neighborhood and for the tastes of the locals. Sadly, for a few generations, that wasn’t the case… But, quite happily, those days are back… There are literally hundreds of local and regional distillers making some seriously tasty spirits… and now is the time for our monthly online cocktail party to send them some love.

Your quest is simple. Create a new cocktail, or refashion a classic, using your favorite “hometown hooch” (and we can expand the definition of “hooch” to include spirits, liqueurs, aperitifs and beer)… A little local flavor or history on your “hometown hooch” is very welcome.

Now, not very long ago this would have consigned me to a beer-based drink, but luckily, a distillery opened in Ottawa in 2013. Thanks to MXMO I paid a visit to North of 7 this week. Located in a very unprepossessing strip mall, North of 7 may be a no nonsense enterprise but is no industrial hooch factory. Co-owner and head distiller Greg Lipin explained that they wanted to create some good local spirits, affordably and without hype. Inspired by rock-climbing trips to Kentucky, he and partner Jody Miall make vodka, gin, rum, and have a bourbon-profile Canadian whisky in cask that they expect to be ready in 1 1/2 years. The name of the distillery is inspired by where Greg’s cottage in located, near Calabogie north of highway 7, west of Ottawa. I asked about the name of their Illuminati vodka, which is the basis of their juniper-forward gin, and he revealed that it is popular with local “secret” societies. But my interest was mainly with their Triple-Beam gin, named after the scale they use to weight the botanicals, which are locally sourced to the extent possible (we are sadly short of local black pepper!)

  
And so to the cocktail. Even more local than the hooch is my back garden, where I have a bumper crop of rhubarb. I made a rhubarb syrup this week as well, and decided to do a gin-based cocktail to celebrate late spring. The intense botanicals of the Triple Beam work well here; since the only place this gin is currently available is at the distillery, you can substitute another juniper-heavy gin.

  • 1 1/2 oz Triple Beam gin
  • 1 oz rhubarb syrup (recipe here)
  • 1/2 oz Lillet Blanc
  • 1/2 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice

Shake ingredients well over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Here is the round-up of local hootch cocktails!

Mixology Monday
 
 

Advertisements

Death and Taxes Cocktail

  

In Canada the tax deadline is April 30, and I did mine today. Thus this drink, which is a variation on a cocktail called The Taxman. I added the other “certainty” in the form of Death’s Door gin.

  • 2 oz Death’s Door gin
  • 2 oz sour cherry juice (jus de griottes)
  • 1/4 oz dry vermouth
  • 1/4 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1/8 oz blood orange bitters

Kiwi Ghost cocktail



I choose to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by avoiding green beer and enjoying a decidedly green cocktail. This is a variation on a Green Ghost, incorporating kiwi fruit. 

  • Kiwi fruit
  • 1/4 oz lime juice
  • 2 oz gin
  • 1/4 oz green chartreuse 
  • 1/4 oz Cointreau

Muddle the pulp and juice of a kiwi fruit with 1/4 oz lime juice. Add ice to the shaker and then add the gin, chartreuse and Cointreau. Shake until the tin is frosty. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with kiwi berries, if you can find them. They are delicious!

Mortal Coil Cocktail

IMG_0593
The LCBO is stocking Death’s Door gin at the moment, and it is blood orange season. What else can I say?

2 oz blood orange juice, fine strained
1 1/2 oz Death’s Door gin
Generous splash of Peychaud’s bitters

Shake well with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Watch a really gory episode of Being Human or other macabre show of your choice.

Oranje Boven cocktail

2015/01/img_0381.jpg

The name means “Netherlands on top” and is the rallying cry of Dutch football (soccer) fans, as well as an old song that occasionally gets a humorous treatment. Orange is very much on top in this grown-up, less sweet treatment of a creamsicle.

1 1/2 oz freshly squeezed orange juice
1 1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz Lillet Blanc
1/4 oz Cointreau
1/4 oz clear vanilla syrup

Plum Clementine Shrub

IMG_0197.JPG

One of my favourite bartenders, Bethann McLaren at The Harbord Room in Toronto, turned me on to shrubs awhile back. A shrub is a beverage made from fruit, sugar, and vinegar. You make the shrub first and then use it as a cocktail ingredient. I have been meaning to make my own shrubs since then but, somehow, it has never happened. But today in our local Asian supermarket I discovered packaged fruit vinegar drinks, and I realized they were basically cheater shrubs! I assume they must be widely available in Asian grocery stores. I bought the plum variety and it is pleasantly sour and subtly plummy. I decided to pair it with clementine, since I had some around.

Muddle half a clementine in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add ice and

2 oz plum vinegar drink
1 1/2 oz gin

Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel.