Where to begin…Posted: June 12, 2013
Where to begin this SMcG post? It’s my first post since December of last year, and a lot’s happened and changed since then. Most significantly, I’m a dad now! My wife and I had our first baby on May 23rd, and his name’s Elliott. If you do the math, he’s not even 3 weeks old yet, and I’ve been off on leave of absence from work this whole time (I go back to work this Friday).
So although I’ve got numerous new cocktails I’ve tried since December 2012 to write about, I guess it’s only fitting that I start with an original one I created specifically to mark the occasion of our little man Elliott’s birth… It’s called “The Little Man”. In addition to this drink (the most important one to me), I’ve got 19 other new drinks I’ve mixed up for the first time, and one delicious punch on top of that, since my last entry. There’s no way though that I’d want to even write about that many all in one post, nor could I even do so if I wanted to, what with the 3-week old baby in the house and all. So I’m going to keep this post really short and sweet, in hopes that by doing so, I’ll be more inclined to write more frequently than I’ve been doing recently.
So for sake of brevity, I’ll keep this post to two drinks – two cocktails that I invented in fact… “The Little Man” and “The Billiken”. Although the Little Man is the drink closest to my heart, the Billiken is the original creation that I’m most proud of simply because it’s a damn good drink (if I do say so myself). The Billiken was created back in March during the NCAA March Madness college basketball tournament in tribute to my hometown school and alma mater college basketball team of Saint Louis University.
1.5 oz Still 630 rye whiskey
3/4 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz Meletti amaro
2-3 dashes of simple syrup
1 dash orange bitters
1 dash lavender bitters
Shake well with ice and then strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with an orange twist
Many of these ingredients play a specific role in the characteristics of a drink created in homage to my baby boy Elliott…
The Still 630 rye whiskey because his dad loves rye whiskey and this particular rye because it’s a great St. Louis whiskey. I love my hometown of St. Louis, and I’m excited to share my love for this town with little Elliott. The lemon and amaro because when Elliott’s throwing a fuss, he can be a bit sour and bitter. But then you add the simple syrup and lavender bitters because in the end, he’s just a sweet little baby who happens to smell like flowers (at least to his parents). (The orange bitters and garnish don’t have any special meaning.)
But above all cheesy symbolism, the drink’s a fun one to drink. It’s a refreshing drink that I think would appeal to many different folks… it’s a sour while still being a mellow, smooth drink. I think that the variety of ingredients, from the amaro to the simple syrup to the lavender bitters to the lemon create a few different layers of subtleties, and offer a little bit of something for everyone’s tastes. A good drink for a great time in my life. Cheers to Elliott!
1 1/2 oz Plymouth gin
3/4 oz Lillet Blanc
1/4 oz St. Germain
1 dash of Boker’s bitters
Stir well with ice and then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lemon peel hugging 3 blueberries
Of all the spirits to choose from, I figured gin spoke to me most when it came to basketball. (Whiskey just doesn’t seem like a basketball liquor.) The particular ingredients in this drink are fitting because, like SLU, none of them are particularly cheap (inexpensive). Also, these specific ingredients (ie. Lillet, St. Germain) tend towards the fancier and “less rugged” persuasion, I guess you might say… also similar to SLU and its student body. Lastly, the blueberries fit the school colors and may serve as a loose reference to basketballs. But most importantly, it’s a well built and tasty drink. I think of it as sort of an “elegant Corpse Reviver”… light, fancily delightful and delicious… like a ballet or a good game of college basketball.
Why not throw one more drink in to this post for good measure, now that I’m on a roll (and the kid’s being good and napping)! (kind of like a bonus hidden track on a ’90’s cd, eh?)
I don’t want this post to be only drinks I made up, so here’s a good one as we hit our summer stride… the “Summer Relief” from Matt Seiter’s book “Sanctuaria: The Dive Bar of Cocktail Bars”. This drink is downright delicious! It’s one of the heartiest gin drinks I’ve ever had. The grapefruit, honey syrup and surprisingly the St. Germain all add up to provide a substantial body for the drink. It’s a substantial and hearty drink, but also kind of a “girly” drink. But I don’t use the adjective “girly” to mean anything but awesome. I mean it in the highest form of praise that I can… like a fashion model with great style and amazing perfume. (I know that that is probably the absolute weirdest description of a drink that you’ll find in this entire Scientist McGee blog, but it’s in my notes and I trust my notes and my seemingly tipsy self from February, and it does ring a bell and I remember feeling strongly about this, so there you go! ha! ha!)
1 1/2 oz gin
1 oz grapefruit juice
1/2 oz honey syrup (1:1 water:honey)
1/4 oz St. Germain
Shake well with ice and then strain in to a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with grapefruit
(“Sanctuaria: The Dive Bar of Cocktail Bars”)