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The Barrel and Branch Cocktail from The Bent Brick

The Barrel and Branch Cocktail

Looking for something herbaceous to quench your summer thirst? Look no further than The Bent Brick's latest cocktail addition- The Barrel and Branch Cocktail. This unique blend of flavors yields a cocktail that is both savory and thirst-quenching. The well-balanced blend gin, fir tip ice cube, house lavender cordial, and Sweedish herb bitters let's each ingredient shine without any one flavor overpowering the others. Hello summertime. 
 

The Barrel and Branch

4 fir tips muddled

Add 1 oz heather cordial

1 1/2 oz gin

1/2 oz whiskey

I dropper full white pepper cordial

2 drops Swedish Herb Bitters (Adam Seger's Barcode)

Shake vigorously. Double strain into single old fashioned glass over fir tea cube. 

 

Sunset Recession

sunsetrecession

Rosemary is a great match for the botanicals of No. 3 London Dry Gin and the Peychaud's helps to ramp up the anise flavors brightened with a bit of lemon juice. Simple, herbaceous and refreshing. 

Sunset Recession:

1.5 oz No. 3 London Dry Gin

.5 oz Rosemary Simple Syrup (1:1)

.75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice

2 dashes Peychaud's Bitter

Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for 15-30 seconds. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with rosemary and lemon zest.

Stone Sour

Stone Sour:

1.5 oz. Old Tom Gin (Ransom) 
.75 oz. lemon juice 
.75 oz. orange juice (Cara Cara) 
2 dashes Rock Candy Syrup (Small Hand Foods Gum Syrup)

Leave in ice. Stir well and serve.

This cocktail is from a small book of great recipes from 1917 called The Ideal Bartender by Tom Bullock of the St. Louis Country Club. The book is dedicated to "Those who enjoy snug club rooms, that they may learn the art of preparing for themselves what is good." Over a quarter century of work went into the 50 page book, and the cocktails that result are worthy of the effort. The Stone Sour is an excellent example of a cocktail showcasing Old Tom Gin. Old Tom Gin is a style of gin that was in favor in 18th century England, and it's popularity waned over time. It is a slightly sweetened gin, with a heady blend of botanicals, Ransom using cardamom for their dominant flavor profile as well as notes of vanilla, citrus, and malt. The recipe was developed with the collaboration of cocktail historian, David Wondrich. 

The Stone Sour is a refreshing blend of botanicals and bright citrus, and goes particulary well with spicy Indian food. The gum syrup can be replaced with rich simple syrup (2:1) and may be adjusted per preference. The drink quite good with other gins, but this is one cocktail where the Ransom Old Tom Gin really shines. 

Pink Baby Cocktail

Pink Baby:

2 oz gin (Plymouth)

1 oz Sirop de Citron (homemade)

1 oz pomegranate grenadine (Stirrings)

1 egg white

Shake all ingredients over ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with top with Bittercube Jamaica #1 bitters (opt.)

One of the major benefits of making candied citron for cocktail garnishes and other cooking purposes is the leftover syrup, a slightly obscure classic cocktail ingredient, "sirop de citron". We found our recipe for both from the always entertaining David Lebovitz here. This prompted a quick search in our files for classic recipes utilizing the citrus syrup and we came across the Pink Baby cocktail. The result is a wildly sweet and creamy cocktail reminiscent of a lemon-gin Creamsicle. It was appealing in a way, and a nice desert cocktail but needed some tinkering. The sirop de citron carries the pleasant bitterness of the fruit, but the sweetness is too concentrated to be desired by most at these proportions. We took a tip from DrinkGal who swapped the syrup for limoncello in her version of the Pink Baby. We took things one step further and came up with our favorite iteration that still nods it's hat to the Pink Baby, but is different enough that we'll call it the Pink Baby Improved.

 Pink Baby Improved:

2 oz. gin (Plymouth) 
.75 oz. limoncello (Ventura Limoncello) 
.5 oz grenadine (Stirrings)
.5 oz lemon juice 
1 egg white

Shake over ice. Double strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with *Rhubarb Bitters (opt.).

The lemon juice really helps to cut through the sweetness that is now toned down from the replacement of limoncello with the sirop de citron. It also assists in highlighting the brightness of the limoncello and allows it to pop through the mix, a greatly desired result as Ventura Limoncello is one of, if not the tastiest limoncello's currently on the market. Their limoncello is an example of a hand-crafted product and carries the true sign of an all natural Limoncello, “Il Collarino” (the little collar). This is formed by the citrus oils that gather at the top of the bottle. A quick shake before serving mixes everything back together in the bottle. A family run operation following a recipe handed down from the maker's Italian grandmother ensures her contribution to drinking culture will not be lost to history. Thanks Nonna!

*The Rhubarb bitters was a bit of an afterthought and can be substituted with a favorite bitters of your choosing.

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