In less than a year of turning twenty one, the current legal age of buying and consuming alcohol in America, I created my very first cocktail the 24th of July, 2004. It was called Pairaidies (Pronounced pair-o-deez), a play on several words such as "parody" as I've always been a fan of comedy and music reinvention. What it really meant was "paradise". In Russian it translates RAI. In German/Italian it's spelled PARADIES (Par-Ah-Deece). Beyond the pairing of words it's also a play on a PAIR of cordials from Germany and Italy. The final cocktail was a blend of Stolichnaya Vanilla, German Barenjager, Tuaca Italiano Liqueur and Pineapple Juice. HOW SWEET DOES THAT SOUND????
Of course, now that I've had a chance to expand my palate, I've acquired a far sharper tongue, acknowledging the fact that my very first cocktail is nothing but four very sweet things put together. The garnish was two store jarred maraschino cherries to play off the "pair" thing (regardless of the fact that it's yet ANOTHER sweet thing that had nothing to do with the drink).
After that I had a drink too creamy, next too spicy. then too 'never should belong together so what was I thinking' and all of that stuff before I started show casing some serious taste buds. Then I began working at a restaurant that encouraged pairing food with drink in a seasonal celebration. From their I started emulating food to the drink as far as pairing flavors. Then I was offered an opportunity at Food Matters to make a "Cocktail for the Month". Something that represented the flavors of the season, as I showed interest in cocktail making. Even in this moment I was still amaturing a concept, however, it was tasty and people enjoyed it and were excited to pay the 7 dollars asked for it. I printed a copy of the menu and gave it to my parents.
That cocktail, the Fall Harvest Cider was a combination of vodka, cranberry simple syrup, organic cider and a hard cider with candied "syruped" cranberries. It tasted so much like juice, I could barely keep up with this flavored syrup. It was the beginnings of a great year. And another!