Posts Tagged ‘Cocktail’

coastal blackouts

Call me old fashioned, but I only trust surf rock from sunny places. Melbourne is sunny enough eh?

Paste magazine posted their “20 Best Songs of the Year (so far)” listicle…. A bunch of favourites made their cut, a reminder of a few I maybe skipped, a few new to me jammers….like Sub Pop’s Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever.

The song Paste featured is called “French Press.” They said, “at it’s core, “French Press” is a surf rock jam, but vastly different from what we’ve accepted as such on the American mainland.”

I like how Australia is an Island to America. But wouldn’t it be the mainland to like Tasmania? I dunno…maps, how do they even work?

Paste also said they were “stand outs” at SXSW back in March. I’m not cool enough to go to those things, so I have to take their word.


Hey it’s Tuesday, let me share a cocktail with you.

It was a drink I first had in Victoria when I DJ’d at Veneto made by Simon Ogden. It’s a gin based cocktail called the 20th Century.  The drink is named after an express train they chugged between New York City and Chicago during the first half of the 20th Century. It was a red-eye from NYC and could get you to Chicago in 16 hours!

You’re classic recipe says,

  • 112 ounces (1/3 gill, 4.5 cl) gin
  • 3/4 ounce (1/6 gill, 2 cl) Kina Lillet
  • 1/2 (or less, depending on taste) ounce (1/8 gill, 1.5 cl) light creme de cacao
  • 3/4 ounce (1/6 gill, 2 cl) fresh lemon juice

Shake in an iced cocktail shaker, and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist

Simon makes it…. equal parts (an ounce)

Shake shake shake with ice, strain…. and no twist? Simon you’re crazy! You could screw around with a garnish or presentation. Don’t be shy.

Go with yourself.

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The other day I had a good talk on the internet with Hecker’s Bar & Grill bartender Smokey Hell Nelson about the Old Fashioned Cocktail.

We were talking bourbon and he told me about his favourite, Buffalo Trace Bourbon.

The distillery where Buffalo Trace is made in Kentucky is one of the oldest in America dating back to the late 1700s!  mmm history that I put in my mouth.

Last night, I braved the rain and hit Cascade Liquor store in the Quadra Village to buy a bottle.  Beside it in the store was a bourbon called Baker’s 7!  SWA?  I should have bought that, but I was on a mission and decided to stay focused.  Next bourbon will be Baker’s.

I am trying to learn to make better media at home so I thought it would be fun to try and make a “How To” video for one of my favourite cocktails from the Veneto, The Old Fashioned!

The Old Fashioned is a bourbon based concoction with bitters, sugar, water and fruit. This recipe is loosely based on what was taught to me by Simon Ogden at the Veneto Lounge in Victoria. The cocktail is fun and easy to make, will impress your friends and lovers… and get you drunk. Enjoy.

Thank you for watching my video.  One day I’ll buy one of those fancy HD SLR things… for now… hit play.

Go with yourself.  CUT!

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Just got back from a quick holiday to scenic and historic Coquitlam to visit my folks.

And like any good journey to the distant east, I come bearing alcohol.

The last time I visited my parents we settled on an evening of Old Fashions.  This past weekend almost became more of the same.  As I was heading out the door of the Veneto Lounge after a DJ set, head bartender Simon Ogden, asked if I wanted another Bulleit Bourbon Cocktail to add to my skill-set.

The Manhattan is considered one of the 6 basic cocktails.  If maybe.,.. you’re my wife for example, and say… maybe have every episode of Sex and the City on DVD, then you know about the Manhattan because that is what the girls drank. (also Frank mutha fucking Sinatra)

The Manhattan is basically 2 parts whiskey; 1 part sweet vermouth; a couple dashes of Angostura Bitter; stirred in ice; strained; with a maraschino cherry for garnish.

Like any great cocktail, the Manhattan is a place for the truly creative bartender to flex their brain and excel at dazzling your senses while remaining true to custom.

I don’t know if this is Simon’s “Manhattan” or just a recipe he threw together for me knowing what I can do and with ingredients that anyone can muster.

Simon’s Quick Manhattan

2 ounces of Bulleit Bourbon
1 ounce Cinzano Sweet Vermouth
2 dashes of Angostura Bitters

Combine and stir in ice until very cold.  Strain into an ice cold martini glass (or you know, plastic cup as case may be).

Slice off a hunk of orange peel… some spinnster may try and give you a Christmas orange.  Slap this person in the mouth, unless its your mother, then politely decline.  It should be a real orange.

Flame the peel and spritz the essence onto the cocktail.

Garnish with a Griottines cherry (this might be the challenging product to track down.  Historically you can use a Maraschino cherry.  Simon says; no cherry is better than anything radioactively red or use a real cherry.)

If you are throwing an “oh wow” party, splurge on the cherry.  Both my folks loved the cherries.  And the orange peel trick is a crowd pleaser too.

Questions, comments, concerns?  Making a cocktail is an easy and fun thing to do but you can always visit the Veneto and ask Simon.  He’ll answer your questions and show you how to do it.

And remember:  “(David A.) Embury stresses frequently that the drink will never be any better than the quality of the cheapest ingredient in it, and hence he stresses constantly the need for the highest quality spirits, liqueurs, cordials, and modifiers (fresh squeezed lemons, etc.)”

Go with yourself.

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On the weekend I DJ at a lounge in Victoria called the Veneto Tapas Lounge.

They make up their cocktails using premium liquor and ingredients. Something I never really cared or thought too much about before unless I was drinking with Dave Sawchuk or my buddy Bob.

I’ve been playing Motown and chillwave records there since December/January of last year and I’ve slowly been learning about the bartender craft.

Right now Solomon Siegel and and Simon Odgen quarterback the drink menu in the lounge and Simon shared with me the art of the Old Fashioned.

The Old Fashioned is often considered to be the first “cocktail” and was invented in Kentucky in the mid-to-late 1800s.  It was the drink of civil war veterans! Basically the cocktail is spirits, bitters, sweetener, water.  Yum.

At the Veneto I learned to add some orange and lemon zest to the equation and delicious.

On the weekend I tried to track down some Bulleit Bourbon which is Simon’s pick for the Old Fashioned.

Sadly, the backwoods of Coquitlam could not provide and seeing as my old man was out of real Kentucky Bourbon I grabbed a bottle of Maker’s Mark (another good Kentucky Bourbon that is popular at Veneto: I paid $42 for a bottle).

The bitters for a Veneto Old Fashioned is easy as they use the mainstream Angostura Bitters. You’ll remember I found this bitters at Save-On Foods.

Start your glass with a sugar cube and a few dashes of bitters with an easy splash of bourbon.  Let that sit there while you slice off two pieces of orange peel and one of lemon.

Get the knife in there and shave or cut away all the pith as its not delicious.

What you do next is what separates all the Old Fashioned makers as they have their way of adding the orange and lemon which I can’t really explain.  You’ll have to watch Simon or Josh or Katie do it sometime.  I tried to copy them as best I could at a dinner party and my Old Fashioned served… but they were no Veneto.

Muddle the the first orange peel in the glass with the sugar and bitters.

In a tumbler, pour two ounces of bourbon and stir with ice then strain into your Old Fashioned glass with your sugar/bitters/orange.  Add two ice cubes (or however many you want).

Then you release some of the lemon zest in the drink and drop the lemon peel in.  Finally you take your last orange peel, heat it with a lighter over the glass for a few moments and squeeze it into the glass.  A cool little fireball should happen. Don’t be scared, be brave! That is the fun part.  Then twist the orange peel and drop it in.

Your drink should smell yummy, like a fruit punch.

Then sip and get ready to get rose cheeked!  This beverage packs a smooth but deliberate punch.

Go with yourself.

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