Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Woman on a Mission

Tap, tap, tap... is this thing still on? Seems to be.

I've been sadly neglecting this blog, but since I was still getting a few dozen hits a day and people seemed to find some of my old content useful, I decided that I should leave it up. Just in case anyone needed ideas for things to do with duck fat, or how to cook jambalaya for a crowd.

But I'm on my summer hiatus from scheduled chocolate making for the business side of Tammy's Tastings (special orders still accepted), so I've got a little more time to devote to blogging.

And something to blog about.

I'm a big fan of the classic cocktail list at Zingerman's Roadhouse. With all freshly squeezed juices and good bitters and other specialty ingredients, Zingerman's has the best cocktails in town, I think. It's a serious list, not just a bunch of overly sweet "something-tinis."

But I quickly got into a rut once I discovered the Scofflaw (Jim Beam rye, Vya dry vermouth, lemon, pomegranate grenadine, orange bitters). It's my favorite cocktail ever, and whenever I'd go to the Roadhouse I'd look fondly at the rest of the list, then order my usual.

A few weeks ago, I decided it was time to break out of my rut, so I set myself a mission - try every cocktail on the list. There are 35, and since I set the goal I've tried 7, a different one on each visit. I was already starting to lose track of which ones I'd had, and what I thought about them, so I thought this was a mission worthy of dusting off this old blog.

I'll fill in the first 6 in separate posts, but for now I'll talk about last night's cocktail - The Jupiter.

This is quite a dry cocktail, especially in contrast to the Jack Rose that I'd had on my last cocktail outing. Zingerman's version has Plymouth Gin, Vya Dry Vermouth, Parfait Amour, and freshly squeezed orange juice. But the orange juice is more of a garnish than anything else - the drink is almost clear, with only a bit of floating pulp to make you believe there's juice in there (future posts will have pictures). I wasn't familiar with Parfait Amour, so James brought me some on its own to taste. It's a very sweet liqueur, with a slightly bubble-gum like aroma and flavor. It's hard to put your finger on exactly what it tastes like, but there were definitely vanilla and floral bits in the taste I had. It adds a really subtle note to the cocktail, but I'm sure I'd have missed it if it wasn't there.

I'm used to slightly sweeter and tarter cocktails, so my first sip of this was a bit of a surprise. But I figure it's training wheels for when I work up to having a martini. It was definitely a sipping drink, and as I sipped it really grew on me, and it was a nice drink to relax over while listening to jazz and talking to my neighbors seated at the bar.

7 down, 28 to go...