A Glass of Bourbon, Branch and History

bourbon

Back in the eighties I bartended a bit, drank a fair amount of good bourbon in carefully learned, hand-crafted mint juleps, and cooked the line in a fine, white tablecloth restaurant near the historic waterfront area known as Ansonborough in Charleston, South Carolina.

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A Late Summer Cocktail Party for Artie Shaw

Photo by Warren Borrow Just the other day I had the yen to listen to some Artie Shaw on his clarinet. Artie Shaw, for those who don’t recognize his name, was one of the most innovative bandleaders during the 1930′s, 40′s and 50′s. He was known professionally as the “grouchy genius.” For many decades his name was synonymous with avant -garde modern music, jazz, and Big Band. His use of layering and overdubs by using “found” recordings in conjunction with his Big Band sound took place decades before Phil Spector’s invention of “The Wall of Sound.”

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A Modern Day Absinthe Alchemist- Ted Breaux

bobrow-absinthe-circle-Renaud_Pot_Stills I was born in New Orleans and lived there as a child, until we relocated to Lafayette (LA), in the heart of Cajun country. It was a small, but surprisingly cosmopolitan city. I really enjoyed living there. I’ve always had a taste for adventure, especially if dome degree of scientific and engineering innovation were involved in pulling off an entertaining stunt. I became interested in absinthe toward the end of 1993.

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Andrew Bell American Sommelier – Five Questions

bobrow-andrew-bell-circle Recognized as one of the top wine educators in the country, Andrew Bell has nearly 25 years of industry experience that also includes winemaking in France, working alongside Michelin three-starred restaurant Guy Savoy as second sommelier and founding American Sommelier.

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Apothecary Cocktails: Mexican Sleep Cure

bobrow-apothecary-circle Apothecary cocktails have a rich and intriguing history. As their name suggests, these curative cocktails were originally created in early pharmacies or apothecaries, from ancient times until the beginning of the twentieth century. I’ve been interested in the history of patent medicines and apothecaries for as long as I can remember. My grandfather was in the patent pharmaceutical business and, even as a child, the world of patent medicines and quack cures were a part of my day-to-day life. In fact, they were impossible to ignore, because I was fed a teaspoon of spirit-based vitamin tonic along with my chewable vitamins and orange juice at breakfast every day.

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Billy Reid: Bourbon, Branch and a Splash of Southern Love

bobrow-billy-circle-bourbon I was reading a food article in the New York Times by the noted Southern cultural raconteur named John T. Edge. He wrote a piece on All-American, Mexican Hot Dogs. His web presence begins with these words: “Eater, Writer, Educator.” As one of the founders of the Southern Foodways Alliance and a contributing columnist of the Oxford American Magazine, John T. Edge has a passion for bbq, clothing and fine Bourbon whiskey. I admire his pen and have learned much from his unforced, open ended- writing style. He has championed the work of Billy Reid, the 2001 CFDA Award winning clothing designer in his unique style of prose and Billy Reid in turn has created a carefully constructed shirt in honor of his friend John T.

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Five Questions: Catherine Reynolds

Catherine Reynolds The first time I traveled to Spain I was with my family. I was about six years old. My father was the head of the tax division of a large international pharmaceutical company. With factories and distribution centers all over Europe, we did a lot of traveling there before I was even ten years old.

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Jack From Brooklyn…A Surprise Meeting at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic

Sorel

My friend Emily Cavalier wanted me to taste the new vibrant liqueur named Sorel- and meet the man behind the brand, Jack Summers. What exactly is Sorel? Sorel hails from the Caribbean. What is it? -- The brightness of Brazilian clove. The warmth of Indonesian cassia. The heat of Nigerian ginger. The woody bottom of Indonesian nutmeg. The full, aromatic body of Moroccan hibiscus. Pure cane sugar. The finest 100% organic NY grain alcohol.

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Ron de Jeremy Rum – What More Can I say? – Five Questions

bobrow-ron-circle I think it is the passion of Olli Hietalahti, the owner of the company that makes this section of my Five Questions project so interesting. WRR: 1. Where are you from?  How did you get into the liquor business?  Are you an entrepreneur? I’m from Finland. My path to liquor business was long and winding. My first career was in advertising. For the past 15 year I was copywriter in top ad agencies in Helsinki. In 2004 few others and myself founded King Helsinki. I’ve done my fair share of consuming alcohol and one of my largest clients was Finnish brewery and beverage company called Hartwall, nowadays owned by Heineken but basically I was in totally different business.

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Shane Inman of the Inman Company – Five Questions

Shane Inman

Located a few miles from historic Sturbridge, Massachusetts, Brimfield is the largest outdoor antiques fair in the world. Teeming with all sorts of ephemera, from kitsch to high fashion, the Brimfield show is a have to attend event of the year.It was here in the VIP tent that I became at first acquainted with- then friends with Shane. Shane is an intense man of the very highest standards. His sense of light, space and color showed clearly in his floral arrangements and furniture placement within the 80 x 20 foot tent.

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Tales of the Cocktail: New Orleans, Louisiana

bobrow-new-orleans-18-circle There is a secret language in New Orleans.  This language is only known by a select few, but never spoken or discussed.  Is there a dictionary for this tongue?  No.  But once a year, as if by osmosis, the language is shouted for all to hear.  What are they saying? The Tales of the Cocktail is that unspoken language. How do you know when it is spoken? In New Orleans, where it is said the modern cocktail was invented, if you listen it will become crystal-clear what they are speaking. Tales is a trade show, a competition, and a liquid-driven history lesson.

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The Cocktail Whisperer asks Anthony Bourdain Four Questions about Scotch

Bourdain and BorrowLe Bernadin, New York’s internationally acclaimed four star seafood restaurant, was the location for a luncheon to celebrate the American Craft Council, sponsored by Balvenie Scotch Whisky. You see Klaus, like American Crafts are a finite resource. Klaus was asked to drink whiskey during the day! Or was it that fact that I was asked, and Klaus came with me? I’m not sure. But the opportunity arose to ask five questions that suddenly became four questions, yet Klaus, the soused gnome was so interested in lunch, he forgot the last one. But that’s another story for another day.

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The Five Questions – Randall Grahm

bobrow-grahm-1-RGSanJuanBautista-circle I adore wines that speak clearly of the soil or rock that surrounds the vines.  Some winemakers like Randall Grahm have embraced the Rudolph Steiner methods of Biodynamics. Who was Rudolph Steiner? Rudolph Steiner was the founder of Theosophy and he attempted to find a synthesis between science and mysticism. What are Biodynamics?  Biodynamics are a practical method of Organic farming. Biodynamics go much further than just the use of organic methods.  Biodynamics takes into effect the entire cosmos.Some wine-geeks get pretty hot-headed when Biodynamics are discussed.

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The Five Questions: Lincoln Henderson (Master Distiller)

bobrow-lincoln-henderson-circle2 Angel’s Envy: Soft in the mouth- not rough in any way. This is part of the new style of Bourbon. The older style was rougher- rough and tumble- speaking of fire and burn. This “Expression” as Mr. Henderson describes his brand, is elegant and pure. The barrels were sourced in Portugal, used Port Casks – again, this Expression is a signature mark on the palate. Port casks give a unique and subtle sweetness to the finish- a long one at that!

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The Five Questions: Natalie West, Foppiano Wines

bobrow-natalie-west-circle Natalie West: My earliest memory of food goes back to when I was a kid. For as long as I can remember we were always very active with the grape harvest, we’d pick the grapes and would bring them to the winery. After a long hard day in the field, night  fall would come and we’d have a massive feast that had been prepared lovingly by my mom and aunts.

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Where Cocktail Creativity and Originality Meet Together

humberto-cocktail-8Every guy over time has wished for a miracle musk; a magical cologne that can ensnare the woman of his dreams.  No such secret formula exists, of course, but the right scents can put a woman in the mood. I create a cocktail based on this idea.

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