Drink of the Month
The Good Knight
For the winter season, we've been experimenting with bourbon and rye, the new darlings of the mixology scene. These American whiskeys are made in a similar fashion, where the major difference is the preponderance of corn over rye in bourbon, which gives it a sweeter edge.
We've been sipping them straight during cold snaps, but fickle Austin weather sometimes calls for a cool drink. That's when we like the signature cocktail of The Good Knight, invented by Billy Hanky at his East Austin bar. Billy originally made the drink with bourbon, but occasionally we substitute rye.
highball glass with sweet vermouth (this means roll the liquid around in the glass then discard), fill with ice. Shake ingredients with in a shaker with ice and
strain into glass.
bourbon or rye
- ¾ oz.
Paula's Texas Lemon
- ¼ oz. fresh
- 1 dash
Hard Cider Punch
This recipe was created by Bill Norris of FINO for holiday parties, but it's great for any gathering. Here you use rye and bourbon together.
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peels from the lemons over your
punch bowl, being careful to avoid pith. Set aside fruit. Add cinnamon,
sugar, ginger, and bitters to bowl. Top with boiling water and stir to
dissolve sugar. Using a muddler lightly crush all ingredients and allow
to steep until water begins to cool.
2 cups rye whiskey
2 cups bourbon
1 cup Paula's Texas Orange
- 4 cups fresh apple cider
3 cinnamon sticks
½ cup light brown sugar
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced
10 dashes Fee Bros. Aromatic or Angostura Bitters
1 cup boiling water
While it's cooling, juice and strain the lemons. Stir in rye, bourbon, PTO, lemon juice, and cider. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an
hour and strain out solids. Serve on the rocks with a cinnamon stick for garnish.
Drink Local Cocktail ContestLast month, David Alan of the Tipsy Texan hosted a cocktail creation contest as part of Eat Local week, encouraging local mixologists to make use of local spirits and ingredients. Four out of the five final entries used a Paula's product. We had a warm glow throughout the event, and it wasn't just from sampling drinks.
Bobby Huegel ambled in from Houston to take the top prize with a razzle-dazzle performance creating a rum fizz. Local mixology hero Bill Norris of FINO was barely edged out to take second with a complex blend including PTO, Treaty Oak rum, and citrus flavors. Other finalists were Ben Craven of Starlite, Will Earls of Gypsy, and Billy Hanky of the Good Knight.
Read all about the results and get the drink recipes at the TipsyTexan.com.
|The Good Knight
|Real Mixology |
For Christmas, I got myself a copy of Dale DeGroff's The Essential Cocktail, The Art of Mixing Perfect Drinks. Dale is widely regarded to be the premier mixologist in the country and is credited with reestablishing a true cocktail culture here.
Dale's earlier book The Craft of the Cocktail is the encyclopedia of cocktails. The recent Essential Cocktail is not only a run-down of the basics and their history, but also a great educational tool for understanding the underlying structure of cocktails. This enables the reader to create variations that remain true to their roots but reflect regional and personal tastes.
This is a great model for us at Paula's Texas Spirits, as we are frequently called upon to invent new drink recipes. Of course, our primary objective is to showcase the great taste of our products, but we also strive to maintain tradition as well as provide our customers with tasty recipes they can make at home.
I'm working my way through the recipes in the book, substituting Paula's Texas Orange for Cointreau, Orange Curaçao, and any other orange liqueurs that might be mentioned. Dale might cringe at this idea; on the other hand, he might appreciate some of the results. Perhaps my New Year's resolution will be to have him try some PTO. Meanwhile, I'll be presenting recipes from the book in upcoming newsletters, starting with this one that seems appropriate for the New Year.
The Millennium Cocktail
Dale says in his book he created this drink to showcase the Millennium bottling of Courvoisier, but we suggest you use a decent everyday cognac.
Combine ingredients with ice and shake, strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg. (Dale also calls for a flamed orange peel; I'll leave that for the advanced class.)
1½ oz. cognac
- 1 oz. Paula's Texas Orange (substituted for orange curaçao)
- 1½ oz. unsweetened pineapple juice
- Dash of Angostura bitters