Guide to Man’s Drinks: The Fitzgerald

Spring is here, somewhat… the temperatures are still cool but the days are sunny and reach tepid plateaus of warmth cajoling flowers to unfurl to take in every gram of heated sunshine.

IT is not, however, warm enough for an Aperol or a crisp Gin Tonic, instead the shy warmth of a Spring afternoon necessitates something inbetween; an elixir that is at once refreshing and yet with enough depth to take off the errant chill brought on by the still lingering crispness in the air

So the gentleman is left wondering; what shall I drink? This is not Scotch weather and while a light Rye may suffice, and truthfully it is always Bourbon weather, one needs something a little different to sip on in the late afternoon when the gentlemen has perhaps finished working in the yard or maintaining his home. These times require something altogether different.

It is with this in mind we would like to introduce The Fitzgerald.

The Drink

The Drink

 

Quite simply it is a “Gin sour” [see here for our whiskey sour], made with sugar syrup, gin, and Angostura bitters (skip the egg-whites). At first glance this may seem like a Gimlet, except that a Gimlet must be made with lime-juice, and for purists Lime cordial (as in Rose’s Lime) and no bitters.

We like it because it’s refreshing and the bitters keep it from being to unsubstancive adding a nice layer of mystery and vim.

Gin_sour_rect540

The Fitzgeraldmakes 1 cocktail

            • 2 oz gin
            • .75 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
            • .75 oz simple syrup
            • 2 dashes angostura bitters

 

Combine all ingredients into a shaker, add ice, shake; strain into a cocktail glass. Enjoy. No fuss, no nonsense, and a grown-ass-man drink to boot.

 

TGG Primer on The Fitzgerald:

–      Always use a chilled shaker, fill with ice and discard.

–      Build drink in an empty shaker; i.e. one without ice or the gentleman will risk watering down his drink.

–      Many great bitters exist; try cinnamon bitters, orange bitters, or even some that may echo the flavors of the gin (citrus, anise, et al.)

–      We love Hendricks but it proves to be to floral; stick with what we dub ‘Decanter Standards’ –i.e. those ‘standby’s’ kept in an undecorated decanter on top of the bar: Beefeater, Tanqueray, or Brokers.

 

For more classic Gin drinks visit our friends at TheKitchn here.

Guide to Man’s Drinks: Hirsch Selection “Small Batch Reserve”

Guide to Men’s Drinks brings you our newest feature : “What We’re Drinking Now” (WDN)…

FROM the folks at Anchor Distilling this Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a mellow and beautiful rendition of America’s quintessential spirit.

 

The critics, ever so quick to want notoriety for their cleverness seem non-plussed but we here at TGG happen to love it.  According to their own assessment this little whiskey is chock-full of “bakery shop tastes (prune Danish, raspberry-filled cookie, strawberry)…” and while all that may seem precious they couldn’t be, well, righter. Sweet and mellow this is a good Bourbon to leisurely sip before the sunset…

The Drink

 

What to drink it with? Big ole chunk of ice and our favorite glasses here

http://www.anchordistilling.com/spirits/hirsch-small-batch-reserve-kentucky-straight-bourbon-whiskey

Bespoke Life: 1983 Brandy by Domaine Charbay

There is nothing like the “art and lore” of brandy distilling and more you pay, the more refined & honest the spirit… one would hope. And that brandy should have a story.

The Perfect Drink

THERE’Sbrandy‘ and then there’s Brandy. Made from the distillate of wine and then aged in oak (where it gets its amber color), Brandy (and it’s cousins, Cognac and Armagnac, made in region of the same name in France)  is all to often overly-processed, artificially colored and drastically underwheling.

Enter the Karakasevic family, from a long line of master distillers, who settled in the ‘highlands’ of Spring Mountain in Northern California to churn out some of America’s most unique and cherished spirits.

This brandy was hand-distilled by Miles Karakasevic (Madter Distiller) andfrom a base wine of ‘Folle Blance” then aged in Oak Barrels from Limousin France for an unfettered clarity and an almost incomprehensivble complexity.

Top notes of mulling spices with caramael and a tlight floral toast with a dollop of blood orange marmaled. In essence: this stuff is good!

Distiller’s Notes: “Launching the Brandy program in 1983 with a 1,000 gallon Pruhlo Alambic was a long term commitment to distilling in California. I wanted our brandy to reflect my heritage of hand distilling.  Little did I know that we would distill so many spirits in between but I was determined that the premiere would be how I envisioned it should be: full bodied and elegant.  That my son apprenticed by my side and learned to distill whiskey, rum, pastis, flavored vodkas and more while the brandy aged…well, that’s how my people carry on. For me, distilling isn’t a business; it’s a way of life.

— Miles Karakasevic

 

About Charbay Brandy N0. 83:

“The most interesting thing I tried at WhiskyFest was a brandy of all things. Tasted like what I imagine a Christmas rum raisin cake tastes like; juicy allspice…” Camper English/SF /WhiskeyFest

100 cases made of 750ml and 95 cases of 375ml. Get it at www.charbay.com

Index of Superfluous Necessities: The Spirits Decanter

The mark of a true gentleman is best illustrated in the details of how he carries himself, dresses himself and adorns his surroundings (and/or chooses to do away with frivolity while doing so).

TAKING a cue from this we shall visit the gentleman’s private bar, the place where he chooses to store a small but carefully curated selection of spirits for the Gentleman to enjoy at his leisure.

It is important that the gentleman carries a selection of spirits that suit his tastes (not a message or image he wants to convey) as well as those friends, colleagues and individuals whom imbibe with him in the pleasures of a Scotch or cocktail.

The Drink...

[TGG Hint; for more on re-stocking you bar see The Spirit’s “6 Upgrades to your Bar”]

In keeping with this notion (of doing away with unnecessary frivolity) a gentleman must eschew any possible show of pretension, unfortunately such avoidance is at times difficult as spirits producers have worked diligently in developing eye-catching labels which are as self-announcing as the shape of the bottles themselves.

 

Enter the Spirits Decanter.

The Decanter

Unlike a wine decanter which primarily serves to air a wine (in addition to separating sediment from the w2ine in older bottling) the spirits decanter hails from an era where a gentleman may have had his favorite local distiller bottle the spirit, straight from cask, into an often ornate decanter from his collection. These decanters were often made by the lead craftsmen of the day, many still recognized today: Christofle, Baccarat and in the Americans, Tiffany’s.

The crystal decanter

Today the spirits decanter, although made somewhat irrelevant by the lighter and more transportable bottle, serves as an elegant touch to a gentlemen’s bar an does away with the unnecessary affectations of recreating a gaudy tavern, with rows of labels, in what should be an elegant pursuit of pleasure… one sip at a time.

 

What to look for:

 

Look for a decanter which suits your tastes and sorroindings; cut glass is not a taste all enjoy equally. Should a Gentleman’s personal style lean more towards minimalist, then find a decanter which expressese the same kind of lean simplicity.

The most important part of a decanter is the stopper: it must create and air-tight seal, otherwise its contents will evaporate. Although plastic is popular, sanded glass, which requires a slight twist once inserted, is far superior.

 

Where to keep them:

The Setup

Keep decanters in an elegant setting on a bureau or in a corner table on a tray. Otherwise in the confines of a cupboard.

 

What to keep in them:

 

You’re go to spirits: Scotch, whiskey, gin, rum, etcetera. Cream-based liqueurs are best

The letter should reflect the spirit therein

in their bottles. Other items such as triple-sec or vermouth could also be kept in a decanter; but these are better-off kept stored in their own bottles.

While monogramming with one’s initials is a silly affectation having a single letter, that of the spirit  enclosed, is useful if all the decanters are the same style so that a “G” would denote Gin while a “S” is Scotch.

 

 

[All the decanters pictures in this post can be found at www.potterybarn.com or at www.ralphlauren.com as part of his “Home Collection” the ‘modern’ decanters can be found at Crate & Barrell]

 

 

 

Guide to Man’s Drink (Summer 2010): The (Charbay) Screwdriver

Get screwed…

The world first heard of the ‘screwdriver’ in a 1949 Times article claiming Turkish and American engineers would concoct orange juice and vodka cocktails in their office with only their screwdrivers to stir the drink. Todays rendition hasn’t changed much it is, in effect, and will always be vodka and orange juice; but we suggest you step it up a bit. Ditch the Stoli and the overpriced Vodkas and reach for some hand-crafted Vodkas: TGG Recommends Tito’s Handmade Vodka (here) and our friends at Charbay (here); their clear Vodka is superb but here we take the screwdriver and give it a bit of an upgrade.

The Drink

The Equipment:

  • Highball Glass
  • Orange Wedge/ Slice

The Stuff:

  • Charbay Blood Orange Vodka (or any clear vodka- forget the artificially flavored Stoli…)
  • Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice

The Drink:

  • Fill highball glass with ice pour one part vodka, two parts juice, stir.
  • Garnish with orange slice.
  • Lay back and enjoy.

Natural Fruit-extracted and hand-crafted vodkas...