Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

In 1912, several years before Prohibition, Absinthe was made illegal in the US. It was not until 2007 that the ban was removed. Many other European countries also banned the drink; although it was never so treated in the UK.

There seems to be little scientific basis for the claims of hallucinogenic effects of chemicals contained in Wormwood; one of the key ingredients of the drink.

Once the ban was removed, many US craft distillers started making Absinthe. I have a 250ml bottle from local distiller St George. The taste and odour are dominated by the anise; it needs to be used sparingly in cocktails or it becomes the overwhelming flavour. Most of the recipes that call for it use a couple of dashes, or even just a rinse of the glass.

On Thursday, I tried this drink from the San Francisco Chronicle:


Faro Dealer

3/4 ounce Cointreau
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 dashes absinthe
2 ounces Bulleitt rye whiskey

I made it incorrectly; using just a single dash of absinthe. Even with just half of the proscribed amount there was no doubting its presence in what was a fascinatingly complex set of flavours

Published in: on 30 May, 2013 at 19:53  Leave a Comment  

Pass the Buck

My interest in Presidential politics made me appreciate the slightly less than contemporary nature of this Republican bumper-sticker belief in better days of yore.


Published in: on 21 May, 2013 at 21:00  Leave a Comment  

Norwich in the Bay Area

As regular readers of my blog know,  I am a supporter of Norwich City; an English football team. Since moving to the US, I have only been able to see them play on TV – something that has happened more frequently in the last couple of seasons as they have been in the Premier League.

Today, I learnt that as part of the preparation for next season Norwich will play two games in the Bay Area. One against a new team in Sacramento (so new that the team will announce its name on the day that Norwich are in town). The second game is against the San Jose Earthquakes from the MLS, the top football league in North America.

Twice in one week in mid-July, I shall get to see Norwich City play in the flesh. On the Ball City.

Published in: on 7 May, 2013 at 20:19  Leave a Comment  

The M Word

I came across a cocktail recipe that used Cilantro (Coriander) infused Gin. I love the flavours of this herb and as the website suggested using Hendricks, a Gin that I have in my cupboard, I decided to give it a try.

The recipe had an entire bottle of Gin being used; I was somewhat more cautious and went for about 6oz (177ml). I soaked the Cilantro for three days in a small carafe.


The picture shows the results after removing the herb; a slightly off-colour liquid.

I made two drinks with this Gin. The first was the suggested recipe

3 oz. cilantro-infused gin
1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 oz. simple syrup
Splash of Triple Sec

The resulting drink was fresh and crisp with the cilantro flavour forward, but not overwhelming.

The picture below would have looked a little better if the Cilantro garnish had stayed central when I moved the glass to take the picture.


The pedant in me was not happy. The drink was excellent and the actuality of the Cilantro Infused Gin was every bit as good as the idea sounded, BUT the recipe has been described as a Cilantro-Infused Gin Martini with Lime. This drink is not a Martini; the mix of sharp fruit juice and sugar makes it a member of the Classic Sour family. Specifically, this looks a like a Gimlet, albeit with the addition of a splash of Triple-Sec.

It may be terribly bad form to rename someone else’s cocktail, but I shall make this again and call it a Cilantro Infused Gimlet.

I used the rest of the herbed-up Gin to make a traditional Martini, but that was somewhat disappointing. The taste of Cilantro that had been so well framed in the original, was lost in this drink. The wonderful nose of Cilantro did remain, but I shall stick to using any future batches of this in Gimlets.

Despite my unhappiness with the name, the original article and recipe were top-notch, so thanks to Radiogastronomy

Published in: on 5 May, 2013 at 7:14  Leave a Comment