Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Continuing Alchemy

Earlier this week I finally made it to the herb shop in Pike Place market. Inspired by Morgenthaler at Clyde Common in Portland, I decided sometime ago that I wanted to make tonic from scratch. The problem is that the majority of the ingredients are not readily available in Tacoma. Hence, my excitement when I was finally able to make it to Tenzig Momo. I had my shopping list for scratch tonic in addition to a few other items. After discussing with the gentlemen from Notre (who provide our 1022 absinthe), I decided that we would try that as well...

I work happy hour Tuesdays, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to get some of this done. Feeling exceptionally ambitious, I went in early with the intention of making tonic, cola (inspired by...something, I decided that we are going to try to make house sodas and move away from the canned, high fructose corn syrup nonsense that we currently use), ginger beer, and absinthe. Suffice it to say, I only accomplished a small portion of my goals yesterday.

As I was working on refining the cola recipe, I realized that the infusions on the apothecary shelf were ready. Last week I infused Everclear 151 with raspberries and strawberries. I only had enough strawberries to make 750ml, but I had a little over a half flat of raspberries, so there was some room to experiment. I made a couple of 750mls of straight raspberry infusion using two pints to one 750ml. In another bottle, I added about a cup of ginger to the mixture. In the last, which was 375ml, I added one roughly chopped serrano pepper. All in all, the infusions are very good. The raspberry/serrano infusion, however, is going to be difficult to work with given its heat...

Straining off the pulp and bottling the infusions, making cocktails for the ladies who joined me for happy hour, and trying to dial in my cola recipe quickly consumed my afternoon. I was very happy with my first try at cola. Given that it was wine night, we ran a special on Marcels:
1 oz cola syrup (recipe listed later)
4 oz red wine (we started with tempranillo, then moved on to pinot noir after it was gone)
.5 amaro
seltzer water
Shake and strain into collins glass (minus seltzer water), top with seltzer and finish with a cherry and an orange twist. I think that, while this cocktail is really nice, it could really use a shot of rum.

Here is the fabulous Corey making Marcels, Chartreuse and Spruce gin cocktails.

The game plan for today is to get started on the absinthe and to make our first batch of house tonic. We'll see how it goes...Drop by if you want to be experimented on. Cheers.

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