What would you say if I recommended adding three flavors together that may not necessarily be known to you? First the Simple Syrup of Roses. When was the last time that you tasted roses in a cocktail? Pretty darned long I'd imagine, unless you've been to Turkey lately.
Now what would you say if I told you that I just get weak in the knees thinking about Rhum and Gin mixed together with the Rose syrup?
Would you think that I lost my mind?
Well, if you did, then you'd be partially correct.
To write about spirits on a full time basis takes guts, brains and a bit of mindlessness! I have all three!
That's not to say that I only write about spirits. I also write about food, wine and travel. My first work published was in Saveur Magazine on Tuna Melts. This is pretty far from writing about cocktails, don't you think?
Are you still listening?
Sure you are. Because you are thirsty for knowledge and for flavor.
Tuthilltown Distillery makes a marvelous new Gin named Half Moon Bay. This Gin is unlike any other on the market. I'd hasten to say that there aren't too many Gins on the market that are made with apples and wheat.
Have you ever heard of it?
The Half Moon Bay Gin tastes like a dreamboat flowing up the river against the current. Slow and low. The boat belonged to Henry Hudson. It was named the Half Moon Bay.
But what does flowing up river have to do with Gin?
Much leaf-hopper. It has much to do with this Gin.
This Gin is 80% wheat and 20% apples! Half Moon is like drinking Calvados on steroids!
The fine folks at Tuthilltown have, according to their label "liberated Gin from its medicinal tendencies."
I love this Gin!
It has crisp aromatics, faintly apple in the nose and crystalline notes of caramel covered granola from the wheat in the mouth feel. This is magical stuff. More akin to moonshine than Gin I'd say. I call this stuff Apple Medicine!
Next on the taste trip is the Simple Syrup of Roses made by hand from Royal Rose. I'll tell you why I like Royal Rose. They use only the best ingredients!
The slightly unctuous, sweet simple syrup calls out to your palate in love poems from Turkey. It sings out to cocktails that include Gin and by Gin, I mean Half Moon Bay.
There is a Calvados nose and a finish of pure fire, even though the alcohol level is only 92 proof, it's still plenty hot in the mouth.
Rhum J.M. is produced in the Agricole style. The aromatics of freshly cut cane, lightly aged in used oak is stimulating to say the least. I'm very lucky to be the recipient of a few bottles of this magic elixir.
When you mix Rhum J.M. and Royal Rose Simple Syrup with Half Moon Bay Gin, magic occurs.
I can consider myself very lucky to have all three in front of me. Begging for release! A veritable gush of apple goodness tempered to dryness by the brooding alcohol. It's really good stuff with some Q-Tonic Water
The Rhum J.M. hails from Martinique in the French West Indies. This is not molasses rum made of corn syrup or sugar beets. It's the real thing, woven from freshly cut sugar cane and aged for a twelve months in oak barrels. Rhum Agricole is unlike anything you have ever sipped and for good reason. It only comes from Martinique.
I named a little cocktail for the new year the Sous Bois Cocktail for the coopers who shape wood into barrels to age this venerable spirit.
The Sous (or under) and Bois (for wood) is exactly what the Rhum does. It ages under wood!
The Sous Bois Cocktail
Rhum J. M. Agricole Gold
Half Moon Bay Orchard Gin
Royal Rose Simple Syrup of Roses
Fresh Lime juice
Apple Slices for garnish
To a Boston Shaker, add:
3 oz. Rhum Agricole from Rhum J.M.
2 oz. Half Moon Orchard Gin
3 tablespoons Royal Rose Simple Syrup of Roses
2 tablespoons of lime juice for spark and balance
Fill the Boston Shaker 3/4 with ice
Close and shake for twenty seconds, no fewer
Strain into coupe' glasses with a sprig of Tarragon and a few apple slices added
Cheers and Happy New Year!
Warren Bobrow is the Food and Drink Editor of the 501c3 non profit Wild Table on Wild River Review located in Princeton, New Jersey.
He is one of 12 journalists world-wide, and the only one from the USA to participate in the Fête de la Gastronomie- the weekend of September 22nd. 2012 in Burgundy.
He attended Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans in 2011/2012.
Warren presented freestyle mixology at the International Food Bloggers Conference in Portland, Oregon. (2012)
Warren judged the Iron Mixology competition at the Charleston Wine and Food Festival (2012)
Warren has published over three hundred articles on everything from cocktail mixology to restaurant reviews to travel articles.
You may also find him on the web at: http://www.cocktailwhisperer.com
Warren is a published food writer and former cook.
He's written food and cocktail articles and news for Edible Jersey, Chutzpah Magazine, Voda Magazine, Tasting Table, Serious Eats and Total Food Service Magazine.
Warren attended the Kentucky Derby and the Oaks Day Races this year while on assignment for Voda Magazine.
He writes for the "Fabulous Beekman 1802 Boys" as their cocktail writer. (The Soused Gnome)
He writes for Williams-Sonoma on their Blender Blog.