For six years, I worked at a tiny Farm/Restaurant in Woodstock, Vermont called Pane e Salute. Among the many perks of my time there was the opportunity to taste a lot of different wines. During my last autumn with Pane, I got to taste the Bonny Doon Vineyards Verjus de Cigare, which is actually a non-alcoholic beverage made from grenache grapes. It’s pretty much the best grape juice you’ve ever tasted in your life.
Because Bonny Doon recommends using Verjus as a mixer for cocktails, I naturally set to work experimenting. The following two cocktails are what resulted from these experiments (with expert input, of course, from my bosses). They were very tasty, and I recommend checking out the Verjus. It is not terribly expensive and it offers a world of interesting possibilities. Use these two drinks as a jumping off point. Play around; have some fun. Recipe
Cool evenings send us to the dark liquor. However, being out of whiskey and cognac there was nothing for it but to go with rum. Not that I have anything against rum. Rum is great. It’s the closest I can get to recreating a tropical vacation here in the Mid-Atlantic. Anyway, I was thinking a dark and stormy might be tasty, but we didn’t have any ginger beer. We did, however, have fresh ginger. So I sliced some of that and pounded it in the mortar and pestle, poured lime juice over it, and let it sit for a few minutes. Strain it into a glass, add rum and top up with seltzer and tadaa! A gingery rum drink.
The weather has finally turned here in NJ, and we have been enjoying some Vermont style summer days. To celebrate the beautiful weather, after church this Sunday, we strolled around town for a bit. We thought about finding a restaurant with outdoor seating, but decided that our own porch and a bottle of bubbly with bakery treats would be just as pleasant and less expensive. So home we came bearing our precious bag of assorted croissants, and down I went to the fetch a bottle of sparkly. Then I thought, since we’re celebrating, why not French 75’s instead of plain sparkling wine? Turned out we were all thinking along the same lines. Great minds, right? But, to our dismay, we were practically out of lemons! <gasp>. We were, however, swimming in limes. Gin goes with limes, I thought. Champagne goes with limes. Gin goes with Champagne. St. Germain goes with all three. And thus, the Alpine Fizz was born. Alpine, because St. Germain is made with Alpine flowers. Fizz because sparkling wine is fizzy!
Three weeks of vacation has done a real number on my blog writing. I kept thinking, I’ll get around to it… suddenly a month has passed and I haven’t written anything. I do, however, have two new cocktails to share!
We’ve been finishing the dregs of bottles on our liquor shelf recently (gotta make room for the two HUGE bottles of New Amsterdam gin we just bought). Several of these bottles contained different rums. This called for the experimenting cap, and turned out a couple of tasty drinks. But it also reminded me of my love for a simple daiquiri, so I thought I’d share my version.