Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bar Exam: The Derby Cocktail

With the paucity of posts going on here you might think I've been getting my drink on a bit too much. Such is not the case. Just the usual amount of drinkable...and edible...indulgences going on. Whether that is too much or not I'll leave to my doctor. Like he knows anything! Someone who does know a thing or two is the author of perhaps the most inspirational guide to better living I've read in a long time.

Why he hasn't been on Oprah I have no idea, but Ted Haigh, author of "Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails" certainly should get the call. Haigh, also known as Dr. Cocktail (his parents must be SO proud!) has written a cheeky, clever, very well researched, and all too useful guide to home improvement with his adult beverage-filled bible. The book was given to me by my compadre and kindred spirit K, who is known around here as "Mr. Manhattan" (and frankly whether his mother is proud of that or not I could care less as long as he keeps mixing them up), and is a man with a keen insight into why this subject is so important.

Considering the amount of temptation contained within the liquor stained pages of "VS & FC" the fact that I have remained relatively sober...and that is a very relative term...since receiving this book is remarkable. Especially since so many recipes, like the following for a fabulously delicious summer cocktail called The Derby, are just begging to be tried. The Derby was interesting to me because of its mixing of bourbon and lime. I usually relegate most of my bourbon and other brown liquor consumption to cooler months, but something about this one called to me after a hard slog at the wine shack on an early July evening. I mixed it up, after a run to the, liquor grab some orange curaçao, the one ingredient I was missing. I poured, mixed, and strained and immediately was rewarded with one of the most enlightening drinks I've had in a long time. The lime juice provides just the right "lift" to the bourbon and a sharp counterpoint to the sweet vermouth, making this nothing less than an exceptional summer sipper. See for yourself, and maybe enjoy one or two while reading "VS & FC" and finding your own inspiration!
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The Derby

makes 1 cocktail
1 ounce bourbon (or rye)
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
1/2 ounce orange curaçao
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice

Add al ingredients to an iced cocktail shaker, shake vigorously for 20 or 30 seconds, strain into cocktail glass and garnish with lime...perhaps a bit smaller piece than the one pictured!


Suzanne said...

I love a Derby, and Mr. Haigh! I'm trying my hand at house made orange curaçao in the next few weeks. Hopefully there will be a nice day or two in late September for Derbys.

bb said...

suzanne....if you make your own curaçao, you HAVE to let me know. that is awesome of you. I think The Derby might even brighten up some October days, too!

Neil A said...

I have heard of food porn. That Derby photo is perhaps the start of a new genre: Drink Porn!