Tuesday, November 18, 2008

100 Drinks You Must Try Before You Expire

Recently, Darcy over at Art of Drink posted a list of 100 Drinks You Must Try Before You Expire. Like Rick at Kaiser Penguin, I'd likely put different things on my list. But it's not my list, so here goes nuthin'!

Here's where I stand on the list so far (items I've tried are bolded) - where are you?
  1. Manhattan Cocktail
  2. Kopi Luwak (Weasle Coffee)
  3. French / Swiss Absinthe
  4. Rootbeer
  5. Gin Martini
  6. Sauternes
  7. Whole Milk
  8. Tequila (100% Agave)
  9. XO Cognac
  10. Espresso
  11. Spring Water (directly from the spring)
  12. Gin & Tonic
  13. Mead
  14. Westvleteren 12 (Yellow Cap) Trappist Ale
  15. Chateau d’Yquem
  16. Budweiser
  17. Maraschino Liqueur
  18. Mojito
  19. Orgeat
  20. Grand Marnier
  21. Mai Tai (original)
  22. Ice Wine (Canadian)
  23. Red Bull
  24. Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
  25. Bubble Tea
  26. Tokaji
  27. Chicory
  28. Islay Scotch
  29. Pusser’s Navy Rum
  30. Fernet Branca
  31. Fresh Pressed Apple Cider
  32. Bourbon
  33. Australian Shiraz
  34. Buckley’s Cough Syrup
  35. Orange Bitters
  36. Margarita (classic recipe)
  37. Molasses & Milk
  38. Chimay Blue
  39. Wine of Pines (Tepache)
  40. Green Tea
  41. Daiginjo Sake
  42. Chai Tea
  43. Vodka (chilled, straight)
  44. Coca-Cola
  45. Zombie (Beachcomber recipe)
  46. Barley Wine
  47. Brewed Choclate (Xocolatl)
  48. Pisco Sour
  49. Lemonade
  50. Speyside Single Malt
  51. Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
  52. Champagne (Vintage)
  53. Rosé (French)
  54. Bellini
  55. Caipirinha
  56. White Zinfandel (Blush)
  57. Coconut Water
  58. Cerveza
  59. Cafe au Lait
  60. Ice Tea
  61. Pedro Ximenez Sherry
  62. Vintage Port
  63. Hot Chocolate
  64. German Riesling
  65. Pina Colada
  66. El Dorado 15 Year Rum
  67. Chartreuse
  68. Greek Wine
  69. Negroni
  70. Jägermeister
  71. Chicha
  72. Guiness
  73. Rhum Agricole
  74. Palm Wine
  75. Soju
  76. Ceylon Tea (High Grown)
  77. Belgian Lambic
  78. Mongolian Airag
  79. Doogh, Lassi or Ayran
  80. Sugarcane Juice
  81. Ramos Gin Fizz
  82. Singapore Sling
  83. Mint Julep
  84. Old Fashioned
  85. Perique
  86. Jenever (Holland Gin)
  87. Chocolate Milkshake
  88. Traditional Italian Barolo
  89. Pulque
  90. Natural Sparkling Water
  91. Cuban Rum
  92. Asti Spumante
  93. Irish Whiskey
  94. Château Margaux
  95. Two Buck Chuck
  96. Screech
  97. Akvavit
  98. Rye Whisky
  99. German Weissbier
  100. Daiquiri (classic)
I was fortunate to be able to cross off #91 just last night - I was at an event where someone had contraband Havana Club rum - both the Anejo Reserve and the 7 Year. I'll look forward to someday trying more Cuban rums, but I was delighted to try my first two.

What a fun idea - thanks Darcy! And I see I've got some drinking to do... anyone know what Screech is?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Absinthe Ice Cream & More

I've been traveling a lot lately, and somehow my blogging has gone by the wayside again. I even missed the last Mixology Monday, which was a good one and I had lots of ideas for it.
In the spirit of getting back into it, I bring you some highlights from my recent road trip. I traversed the middle of Illinois, and a good chunk of Indiana. I know you're jealous!

Most interesting Food: Absinthe Ice Cream
My friends at Radio Maria in Champaign, Illinois worked up a series of small plates that paired with pre-Prohibition cocktails for an event we planned together. And they surprised me with absinthe ice cream for dessert, made with our Sirène. It was fantastic, really kind of like eating your absinthe instead of drinking it. Sweet, but not overly so, creamy and oh so complex. If you find yourself in Champaign, stop by and ask if they still have any, or if they've made more - it was a big hit. In any event, their chef Matt is a genius and I highly recommend the food there.

Best Food & Cocktail Pairing: Ginger Gimlet & Scallop Ceviche
I helped organize four cocktail and food pairing dinners in the last month or so. The award for best pairing goes to Seven Saints in Champaign (sorry, no website), where we paired a Ginger Gimlet (gin, fresh lime, ginger syrup) with a Scallop Ceviche (ginger-cilantro oil, green onion and tomato). It was the most popular of the evening by far among the guests, and stands out in my memory as one of the best I've ever had.

Most Interesting Drink: (ri)1 Whiskey
I only give this award to ri because it was the only thing I drank that I had never had before. I've tasted so many things anymore, it's very hard to find something new that I actually want to try. Thanks to Dennis Cheng at the Irish Lion in Bloomington, Indiana (another great restaurant) for sharing a taste of his new bottle of ri with me. It had a wonderful nose (and a great package), but was a bit lighter on the palate than I expected (especially for a rye). Not sure I'd pay $50+ for it, but it was definitely sippable. Interesting to note that there doesn't appear to be an age statement on the bottle.

Now that I'm back in Chicago, I'll soon be out and about looking for cocktail adventures. Stay tuned!