one hundred cocktails
drinking with a purpose
Don the Beachcomber's Zombie
20 Aug 2012
This is the last cocktail in the book. My work here is done. The project is finished. This blog is no more. I’ll get to the drink in a bit, but I want to rant a bit before I close things out.
“One Hundred Cocktails?” More like 87, by my count, if we’re being generous. It turns out the only way to get 100 is to make all of the “extra credit” cocktails which aren’t particularly classic or vintage. I didn’t realize this until I finished the book, and the cocktail count was still at … 87. The front cover says “100 rediscovered recipes and the stories behind them.” The extra credit recipes, which would bring the total to 100, include things like the Old Fashioned, Negroni, Manhattan, Martini, … you get the point. Are you kidding me?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to not be procuring yet another absurdly esoteric and expensive ingredient to finish this book. Ignoring the cost of the base spirits, I’ve spent at least two grand on this project. Base spirits included, we can probably add at least another grand in the process. Wow. It took a bit under two years to get through the book.
The toughest things to procure were:
- Creme de Violette. Good news here; in less than two years, this has become trivial to acquire. This isn’t even a specialty ingredient anymore, it’s at any liquor store you can think of. Cool.
- Kümmel. It’s German Akvavit, at the end of the day. I’m not going to stress out over it too much, since one can find Akvavit, and it’s good enough for cocktail purposes.
- Peach Brandy. There are now at least four fantastic distillers in the country making peach brandy, and it’s no longer impossible to acquire a bottle of the stuff. Sadly, I don’t know that it’s really worth it.
- Apricot Brandy. It’s still impossible to get one’s hands on real apricot brandy, and so we’re stuck with Marie Brizard’s Apry. It’s not great, but whatever. This is a point of failure.
- Amaro Cora. The only people in the country that might have had a line on this stuff decided to move to Mexico and start a brothel/bed and breakfast/bar. That’s pretty cool, but there’s virtually zero chance of getting this stuff, full stop.
- Torani Amer/Amer Picon; while the closest thing to the original is still made in California, it’s not exported from the state, and it’s horrible. I tracked some down and flew with it, but it wasn’t worth it. Oh well.
- Kola Tonic. I had to import this crap from Canada from South Africa. It was horrible and not worth it.
- Creme de Noyeaux. Ugh. Enough said.
All said and done, in the timeframe of this blog, access to ingredients I’ve needed has gotten markedly easier as the craft cocktail thing has taken off. That’s pretty cool.
Was it all worth it? Not really. Most of the cocktails in this book are outright terrible. On the other hand, I’ve gotten into cocktails pretty hardcore, and have discovered a bunch of fantastic drinks not included in the book. So, the book may be full of a lot of sentimental and seminal junk, but it still pushed me in a pretty interesting direction, so that’s cool.
Anyway, the last drink in the book is another damn rum punch. It calls for three specific rums, but whatever, who the hell cares?
Seriously, Another punch with a lot of rum and not really anything to make it special?
Too much passion fruit. Crazy, right? But it’s sort of an acid-rum bomb, and just … eh. There are better tiki drinks.
And we’re done. It’s been fun, folks. Time for a new project.
Copyright © 2011 - 2012 Aaron N. Tubbs