Johnny Cocktail has been VERY busy!

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Kiss Me! I'm Irish! (For Today)

In a Shot:  Working on next month's cocktail, I looked into all things Irish while searching for inspiration to create an Irish Whiskey based drink and found out a lot of stuff.

As we reach the horizon of massive changes in seasonal fruits, herbs and vegitables, the month of March brings very little to the local bar top for inventive cocktail creation.  We have Grapefruit, which I just did in January with The Resolution.  Oranges are in season and last year's Whiskey Ginger Fizz was a big hit with it's ginger and orange base (So check oranges).  Rhubarb is starting to come into play but not serious as of just yet.  Quite a few vegitables are starting to walk out of the garden but I am not ready to start investing in an artichoke, chicory or chive based cocktail (Though I am not opposed to creating a twist on the classic Gibson).

So what else is in March?  I created the Secret Ad-Meyer-er to make a nod to Valentine's Day and the big one in March is obviously St. Patrick's Day.  A religious holiday which celebrate's the most recognized patron Saint Patrick (circa AD 385-461) who converted the island to Christianity.  It is a day of feasts, parades and celebration.  The Irish flag is divided up into three colors, green representing Catholic Ireland, Orange representing Protestant Ireland and White representing the unity and peace between the two, supposedly.  The green, in a traditionalist fashion, represents many organizations and essentially all things Irish also known as the "Emerald Isle".  Parades outside of speaking out Irish rights and recognition was designed to sort of praise Irish culture, focusing the market on food, drink, music, clothes and lore. 

In America, the celebration of St. Patrick's gives us a chance to all be Irish for a day and celebrate into the wee hours with tipple after tipple of stout and whiskey.  Turning everything green (Which originated from the 3 leaf clover which represented the religious trinity and support for the relgious movement) and pinching people for failing to wear green are strictly American traditions.  The green is now a days, purely association.  Rumor is that if you wear green however, it makes you invisible to Leprechauns and if they see you they may harshley pinch you so in good faith a person my affectionately pinch you to warn you of the Leprechauns.  The four leaf clover is huge in Ireland and the three leaf is believed to bring you luck o' the Irish.  A lot of Irish brides will have a bouqet of clovers to bring luck to the marriage.  Usually the husband brings stout, sausage and mashed potatoes (just kidding!)

Food Matters is a restaurant that focuses on local and seasonal products.  They also go above and beyond to avoid any and all things artificial or unnatural.  So there will be no green beer there, but traditional Irish fair will be available without doubt.  So the first thing I want to base my cocktail on is Irish Whiskey (the only other country besides America to add the extra 'E' to the name, to differenciate it's spirit as a better quality product)  However, Irish whiskey in America has received the bad representation as being harsh and fiery whiskies.  This is a misconception Americans label the whiskey with claiming the spirit is good for nothing but drinking with coffee and not neat or in cocktails.  There are many ranges of Irish Whiskies, however, out side of single grain and blended whiskies.  Irish whiskey distillers also produce vintaged/aged single malts and exclusive to Irish Whiskies, Pure Pot Still whiskies which one distillery will produce a fine single malt through a pure pot still (See Redbreast, Jameson 15 year old and Green Spot).

So the plan to re-introduce Irish whiskey to our clientele is the first step, proving great drink can come from this mythologically harsh dram.

A nod to the malted barely and classic irish coffee was my next inspiring direction.  At Food Matters, I have yet to create a solid chocolate based drink and I do have a recipe for what I consider an adult milkshake, my loved by the ladies Chocolate Smoovie.  Vanilla Vodka blended with Starbucks Coffee Liqour and Godiva Chocolate Liqour sinfully fluffed with heavy whipping cream, half and half served in a martini glass that's been swirled by a chocolate syrup and garnished further with a always changing chocolate candy, it is as good as it sounds.

Now the plan here is to make it Irish whiskey based and use products that are available from Food Matters, mainly my eyes are on this local small family made cream Chef gets.  I also thought about taking the milkshake plan and malted barley concept to creating a malted milkshake.  Malted powder is something I can easily obtain at any grocery store or order online.  The only other hint I'm offering is Chef has suggested and offered the use of one of his Great Falls products to be used in the cocktail, something I very willingly am interested in experimenting with.  Just wait and see, the Chocolate Smoovie may make a resurgance with an Irish twist here really soon.

Top o' the mornin' to ya!

Of!  And of course,


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