Thursday, January 12, 2012

DLDGLG's Drink.Write Wrap-Up

In December of 2011 I attended the Cocktail and Spirits Online Writers Group's Drink.Write event series, which was a host of events held for booze bloggers and enthusiasts in Washington, DC. The events, conveniently, were bookends to the 2011 Repeal Day Ball, a grand event which celebrates the repeal of Prohibition many years ago.

Before saying more, I'll simply direct you to Done like Dundee, Gone like Gandhi, a humble blog run by an admirable young chap named Anthony who, in addition to a full time job, moonlights as a bartender at the bar of Last Exit in the District's Mount Pleasant. His writing reflects his love of drinking but also his ability to sling drinks from behind the bar.

Anthony attended Drink.Write and has splendidly documented the tale right here, and it includes great pictures of all of us!

If you'd like to be kept abreast of any future Drink.Write events, you can email SeanMike Whipkey at seanmike (at)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Infusion #5: Umeshu, Part II

Five months ago I let a few whole green pluots begin soaking in a bunch of soju. This was in a shoddy attempt to create my own version of umeshu, an East Asian plum "wine".

Because I'm on the other side of the earth, I settled for trying the recipe using an unripe version of some new-fangled cross-species instead of a traditional asian plum.

Much like seeing a movie before reading the book on which it was based, I can't tell you how faithful the final product is, but I can tell you how good it is.

It's good!

The infusion product ended up being a pale brown with almost a hue of green... ("before" and "after" pictured above) not bad considering that all this color was infused through the skin of the pluots.

The sweetness of the stuff is almost just right, between the initial sweetness of soju and the added sugar pulled from the fruit. Because of this, I only needed to add a bit of rich simple syrup in order to get it to my liking.

The final flavor is overwhelmingly of overripe plums... or even prunes, if you will. As someone who enjoys prune juice, I certainly enjoy this. A determined effort will reveal slight "green" flavors of sour plum and even perhaps the tannins that were once there. Sipping this umeshu certainly isn't a contemplative process where one strives to pick out flavors from a complex sip, but the process is, without a doubt, pleasant.

I would consider this umeshu infusion an overall success, though I have a feeling that my final brew is nothing like the real thing.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Guilty Pleasure

Even your average fan of fine film or fine food might occasionally enjoy a Kevin Smith flick or a Twinkie, no? Even a student of fine cocktails might occasionally enjoy a less-than-fine drink, am I right?

There's nothing wrong with a guilty pleasure, so long as you consciously recognize why it's guilty.

To make you feel better, here are five guilty pleasures of the legendary Jeffrey Morgenthaler.

Mine? It changes occasionally, but my go-to is the Blue Hawaiian cocktail. My preferred recipe has varied over the years, but here's my current one. Don't judge me, just drink.

Blue Hawaiian

1 oz cream of coconut
1 oz blue curacao
1.5 oz light rum
4 oz pineapple juice
1 dash lime juice

Shake everything in a shaker with ice cubes of any size, and strain into a tall glass with crushed or cubed ice. Garnish with anything as long as it's orange to contrast with the blue.