Ok, so this is the first time I’ve been referred to as Yankee Dude-ly, but in this case I’ll consider it an honor. Modern Luxury Magazine penned a couple of lines in their most recent edition boasting the bodaciousness of our newest venture Church and State. Check out the full article here.
This month, the GINtender would like to celebrate the four year anniversary of absinthe becoming legal once again. After over 95 years of an absinthe ban here in the United States, on March 5, 2007, Lucid was finally given the “OK” by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. It was the first genuine absinthe to become available (legally) in the U.S. since 1912. So, in Lucid’s honor, we’ve dug up some authentic absinthe cocktails that are sure to bring out your green fairy wings, but first, we’ll touch on a little background.
First things first, absinthe has been demonized as a hallucinogen for well over a century because it contains an herbal ingredient called Grande Wormwood. True, real absinthe does indeed contain Wormwood but the popularly held belief that it produces “psychedelic” effects is absolutely 100% FALSE. Thujone is the drug in Wormwood…like THC to Marijuana. In large doses it can cause severe medical problems and even death, but the trace amounts found in a typical absinthe have been deemed completely harmless by modern science. Most of the negative myths surrounding absinthe were spread by temperance and prohibition enthusiasts in the early 20th century. The winemakers’ association of the time also helped spread false information about absinthe in an effort to eradicate one of wine’s closest competitors. Thanks to the likes of Viridian Spirits LLC (the producers of Lucid) and others, absinthe is once again recognized as a legitimate spirit.
The absinthes that are allowed into the United States today hold true historically to full measure recipes back in the 1900’s. In other words, today’s authentic absinthes are made with the exact same measurements of the exact same ingredients that were used when absinthe was at its peak.
Lucid, like all authentic absinthes, is distilled directly from a mixture of whole herbs in alcohol. This of course is where absinthe gets its naturally greenish tinge. Lucid also contains a standard dose of Grande Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), like all ‘true absinthes’ must. Depending on the recipe, absinthe can range in alcohol content from 120-140 proof. Lucid measures out at about 124 proof.
There are many cocktails and different styles in which absinthe has traditionally been consumed (the GINtender does NOT endorse shooting absinthe…it’s always a bad idea). Perhaps the most popular is the French method.
French absinthe preparation:
- Pour 1.5 oz into appropriate absinthe glass
- Place flat absinthe spoon on top of glass
- Place sugar cube on top of spoon
- Slowly drip chilled water over sugar until cube is completely dissolved into absinthe
So this month, the GINtender will work tirelessly to bring you some truly unique cocktails. We’ll start off with a few of the classics and work our way into more modern renditions of the absinthe cocktail. We even have a few of our own that we think the world may finally be ready for. And don’t be afraid to fire a few questions our way. There are no stupid questions…just stupid people . But seriously, we would like to get your comments, ideas and questions, so post them below!
HOW TO ORDER A MARTINI: A Simple Guide
1. Choose your favorite brand of gin or vodka (obviously we recommend gin).
2. Choose your gin/vodka to vermouth ratio:
- Bone Dry= No Vermouth
- Dry= 11/1
- Regular= 5/1
- Dirty= Add olive brine
- Perfect= Sweet and dry vermouth
- Lemon twist
Church & State Classes
(All classes start at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays. Limited to to 5 people per class)
See our new event calendar on the right for all the dates and classes at a glance.
Manhattan Class – April 5, 2011: SOLD OUT
Manhattan Class – April 12, 2011: SOLD OUT
Manhattan Class – April 19, 2011: SOLD OUT
Manhattan Class – April 26, 2011: SOLD OUT
(All classes start at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays. Limited to 9 people per class)
Manhattan Class – April 5, 2011: SOLD OUT
Manhattan Class – April 19, 2011: SOLD OUT
The Fruit Bat will participate in a H Street Art Walk and Dine Around on February 24th. The event, ARTventures on H, is the brain child of CHAMPS– Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce— and H Street Main Street.
Here’s how it works: From 5:30-8pm, enjoy local art galleries open along the H street corridor. With your ARTventures “passport”, collect punches at each gallery along the way. For every punch you have on your passport at the end of the day, you’ll receive a 2% discount at any of the participating bars or restaurants on H street (from 7-9:30pm).
Fruit Bat wants you to support your local artists!
The latest edition to the Wisdom/Fruit Bat family is gearing up for its first ever event.
Holding true to its all-American roots, Church & State will play host to a Catoctin Creek Cocktail tasting (thus the Triple C). Catoctin Creek, a small batch organic spirits distillery in Loudoun County, Virginia, will graciously supply three of its featured products for the evening.
Join us for an evening of expertly mixed Catoctin Creek cocktails, food, fun people and prizes at the sexy new Church & State, located above Fruit Bat from 6-10pm, Tuesday, March 1, 2011. Tickets are $20.00 until February 15, when they go up to $25.00.
This is a great value considering that your ticket gets you in the door, a guided tasting of three Catoctin Creek spirits, a complementary cocktail, hors d’œuvres and a raffle ticket (prizes include bottles of booze and certificates to Wisdom/Fruit Bat). No better way to spend a Tuesday night, right?
First on the docket is Mosby’s Spirit, an un-aged rye “white whisky” which earned itself a silver medal at the 2010 New York International Spirits Competition. Several respected taste buds have described this mixable whisky as “heavenly.” The GINtender flat-out agrees!
Next up is the Roundstone Rye, which is basically the aged version of Mosby’s Spirit. According to Catoctin Creek, it is one of the only organic whiskies in the nation. It too won a silver medal at the 2010 New York International Spirits Competition.
Last and certainly not least is the Watershed Gin. This ‘amazingly complex’ rye- based gin is achieved through a secret recipe of organic herbs and spices. Here at the GINtender, we really don’t care how it’s made as long as Catoctin Creek keeps on making it.
Special thanks to:
A friend of the GINtender is an aspiring animal trainer. He came across this pup at a shelter and is trying to raise enough money for her surgery. She was hit by a car and needs $6000 worth of surgery.
A local vet is offering to do it for $2500, but her family couldn’t afford it, so gave her up in the hopes that another family might be willing to take on the expense.
She’s very sweet and affectionate, and needs your HELP.
THEY ARE NOW ONLY $600 AWAY.
Here’s the website — http://dagnyfund.bbnow.org/events.php
The GINtender is happy to report that WISDOM (1432 Penn Ave., Washington D.C.) will be donating a bottle of Pernod Absinthe and FruitBat (1236 H St NE, Washington, D.C.) will donate a bottle of BlueCoat Gin for two raffles.
$5 per entry, all proceeds will go directly towards the surgery. You can pick up a ticket today at either bar and winners will be picked tomorrow (Thursday, FEB 3).
For every Abbey Ale purchased at Wisdom today and till 10pm tomorrow, the GINtender will donate $1 towards the cause. For every two Sols purchased at FruitBat, Roxanne will donate $1 towards the cause.
The top donator from Wisdom/FruitBat will get a dog clock (it actually barks).
Please swing by and do your part or contribute directly! Thanks and please forward to anyone who might be able to help!
Oh yes, that’s right. After berating so many vodka drinkers for their love of a bland, tasteless liquor that just doesn’t have what it take to become gin, the GINtender has selected Bison Grass vodka as the liquor ingredient of the month.
But before too much judgment is passed, we here at the GINtender implore you to give this Polish anomaly a chance.
Zubrowka (pronounced “Zhu-bruff-ka”) is a vodka that gets it unique flavoring from Hierochloe Odorata (Bison) grass, which is a naturally occurring herb found in Bialoweize (the last primeval forest in Europe and located in northeastern Poland). Vodka containing bison grass is thought to have first been distilled in the region some 600 years ago.
According to legend, this rare herb once served as an aphrodisiac and was thought to increase virility.
Today, the plant is painstakingly harvested by hand as it is notoriously difficult to cultivate. After the grass is dried, vodka (distilled from rye) is forced through the grass in a similar method that espresso coffee machines force water through ground coffee. The palate is herby, grassy with notes of citrus, vanilla, lavender, tobacco, cold jasmine and tea with a creamy mouth-feel.
In the United States, Zubrowka measures out at an even 40 proof (80% alcohol).
Like most vodkas, it is extremely easy to mix, but its delicate subtlety makes it ideal for martini concocting. Thus, the reason why Zubrowka is one of the only vodkas the GINtender has any respect for!
February promises to be an exciting month for mixing as we explore the possibilities of bison grass. Check back daily or subscribe to the GINtedner to get daily recipes featuring this respectable vodka.