Saturday, December 15, 2012

No Yquem for you!

Pouring Chateau d'Yquem for a tasting. 2006 photo.
There will be no 2012 Chateau d'Yquem, says the property's general manager, Pierre Lurton. According to Bordeaux Wine News, the hand was dealt by Mother Nature but it fell to Lurton to make the call. Foregone revenue: 25 million euros.

The last time Yquem failed to release a wine was 20 vintages ago. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tatoosh Bourbon Debuts at F.X. McRory's

Tatoosh founders at F.X. McRory's
F.X. McRory is a saloon well-known to anyone who's ever hoisted a pint or sipped a wee dram in Pioneer Square. The expansive bar features a mural by the late Leroy Neiman (commissioned for $100,000 three decades ago), and over a thousand bottles of booze.

And on 12/12/12, four Seattle guys came in with the first bottles of their new bourbon, named Tatoosh. No, not Paul Allen's mega-yacht. The Tatoosh mountains, the Tatoosh wilderness.

The bourbons and whiskeys are distilled under contract in Bend, Oregon (where there's plenty of golden grain and prisine waters from the Cascades), but it's a departure from the recent explosion of micro-distilleries that have set up shop in and around Seattle. On the other hand, after stocking well over a hundred bourbons, this marks the first time that a bourbon has actually launched at McRory's.

So it was a pleasure for owner Mick McHugh to be on hand as the first bottle of Tatoosh was slotted into its center spot between Tangle Ridge (a rye from Alberta) and Templeton (Prohibition-era rye from Iowa).

The Tatoosh is sweeter than most bourbons, which makes it a natural for the Manhattan (or "Tathattan," as they called it on opening night). 

Tomorrow, the Tatoosh team roll out their brand at a dozen more eating and drinking establishments (Seastar, Sport, Roanoke Inn, 5 Point Cafe) and retailers (Wine World, Emerald City Spirits).

FX McRory's, 419 Occidental Ave. S, Seattle 206-623-4800

Monday, December 10, 2012

Concocting Cocktail Infusions

Mi-Suk Ahn, bar manager at BOKA.Photo courtesy of Hotel 1000.
Gracious and charming, BOKA's bar manager Mi-Suk Ahn reminds the three dozen women (and three gents) attending a class on "Holiday Infusions" at Hotel 1000 that this should be as easy as flipping an egg.

The ingredients are at hand: herbs and flowers (hibiscus, thyme, rosemary, basil); fresh fruit (kumquat, pomegranate), frozen fruit (blueberries), dried fruit (figs); spices (vanilla, cinnamon, cloves). An array of not-quite premium liquor (because it would be a waste to use the very best stuff): vodka, bourbon, gin, rye.

It's not rocket science. Put ingredients in a jar, add booze, stir, cover and wait. How long depends on what's in the jar. Herbs only take a few days. Spices and fruit take longer.

You might need a bit of simple syrup to sweeten things up, a bit of citrus for acidity; that's your personal choice, if you've got the palate. For my palate, the danger was the overpowering flavor of cinnamon.

Can you infuse something that tastes like a Negroni (normally gin + sweet vermouth + Campari)? Mi-Suk says sure: hibiscus, kumquat, figs, and plain Gordon's gin. Wait two weeks. We'll report back.