Flavor's Good Book
Kara Newman / March 2011
The Flavor Bible contains not a single recipe. Instead, the 2008 release by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg includes lengthy listings of compatible flavors or "affinities," gleaned from feedback from chefs. Bartender fans say the book is a handy "cheater's guide" for formulating new drinks, or inspiration when writer's block strikes. "I believe in affinities, and knowing what your product is and what it tastes like," says Daniel Shoemaker, owner of cocktail haven Teardrop Lounge (Portland, OR). "In a well-crafted dish or cocktail, the flavors love each other so much, they should get a room."
Apple Orchard Punch
Castro began by leafing through the cinnamon section, which inspired the combination of apple cider and spices.
For 4 to 6 servings:
• 2 cups cinnamon apple tea–infused gin
• 1 1/2 cups spiced apple cider
• 3/4 cup lemon juice
• 3/4 cup simple syrup
• 1 cup soda water
• freshly grated cinnamon
• star anise
• lemon wheels
• sliced apples
• 1 dried ancho chile pepper
- In a punch bowl or pitcher, stir together the gin, cider, lemon juice, simple syrup, and soda water with large ice cubes. Garnish with cinnamon, star anise, lemon wheels, sliced apples, and dried ancho chile pepper.
Uses the book as a training tool.
For 1 serving:
• 2 oz. Reposado Tequila infused with chile peppers
• half an egg white
• juice of 1/2 lemon
• 2 dashes grapefruit bitters
• 1 tsp. agave syrup
• grapefruit peel
- In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients with ice. Shake vigorously for 20 to 30 seconds; double-strain into a Martini or coupe glass. Twist the grapefruit peel to add a spritz of oil on top of the drink; add the peel to the glass.
This unnamed cocktail, part of a lineup of six food-and-drink pairings, was served with Port-laced pasta, duck confit, and wild mushrooms.
For 1 serving
• 2 oz. Encanto Acholado pisco
• 3/4 oz. cherry digestif
• 1/2 oz. Late-Vintage Port reduction
• 10 drops Oregon truffle bitters
- Stir all ingredients together with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Cherry digestif: Macerate lightly cracked late-harvest Hood River cherry pits in neutral grain spirit for 3 months, add roasted dandelion root, toasted gentian, cinchona, dried blackberry leaf, and dong quai (Chinese Angelica).
Port reduction: Simmer Port, sugar, Indonesian cinnamon, and Madagascar vanilla bean until reduced by 2/3. Oregon Truffle bitters: Steep fresh black Oregon truffles in high-proof rye for 2 months; barrel age in new Oregon oak for another 3.
The Sadie Hawkins Fling
Brooklyn, New York
Littrell started with the concept of enhancing the natural vanilla-maple profile of Bourbon. That led to the addition of pear and apricot flavors.
For 1 drink to serve 2 people
• 1/2 oz. apricot brandy
• 1 oz. maple syrup
• 1 oz. pear brandy
• 1 1/2 oz. lemon juice
• 2 oz. fresh-pressed pineapple juice
• 3 oz. Buffalo Trace Bourbon
• 1 1/2 oz. soda water
- In a large cocktail shaker combine ice and all ingredients except soda water. Shake vigorously; strain into a large vessel (at least 20 oz.) filled with ice. Top with soda water. Serve with 2 straws.