One of the best things about starting this blog again is the help that I get from you, my loyal readers.
A commenter with a wonderful name, Adam, chimed in on my last post about cocktail-making (see: “The Time I Made A Lime-Leaf Infused Daiquiri But Couldn’t Open The Cocktail Shaker”) and suggested I try a Boston shaker. I read up on it, and the concept made sense to me: instead of a vertical, tightly-sealed bullet, the Boston shaker works at an angle. At least that’s how it seemed. Then I got confirmation of that yesterday when I popped into Barkeep in Silverlake to ask all about it…
I’m a big fan of Simply Ming on PBS (in fact, I’m just a big fan of cooking shows on PBS in general).
But Simply Ming seems to be one of the only platforms on TV where real, heavyweight chefs can come and showcase a dish (Daniel Boulud and Shaun Hergatt were recent guests). And he always starts the show with a cocktail, usually something simple and elegantly-made, which he offers to the guest before they get cooking. When pastry chef extraordinaire Johnny Iuzzini was on the show recently, Ming made him one of his favorite cocktails–a cocktail that Johnny said he always orders at a new bar to see if they make it right–a simple daiquiri with white rum, lime juice, and simple syrup.
Something about that combo really intrigued me (and also the fact that it’s a classic cocktail) so the next time I was at Barkeep in Silverlake, I picked up a bottle of white rum, the one you see at the top of this post. I had the limes, I had the sugar and water, I also had (foreboding music) the cocktail shaker.
You can taste great food in your head long after you first experience it. That’s the case for me and the rhubarb cocktail I drank at Franny’s in 2009. Most rhubarb drinks have a cooked quality to them; the rhubarb is generally poached in a sugar syrup. The Franny’s rhubarb drink (which, apparently, is made with Aperol) is nothing like that. The rhubarb flavor (which comes from juicing rhubarb raw) is intense and sharp and the cocktail, as a whole, is incredibly bracing. It’s the kind of drink that makes you sit up in your seat, alert and ready for dinner.
The best drink I’ve drunk in recent memory was the basil lime daiquiri I drank at ABC Kitchen, Jean-George’s highly praised farm-to-table restaurant attached to ABC Carpet. The drink positively glowed with its fluorescent green color and intense basil-y aroma. Here, let me show you a picture….