Many thanks to Cameo for writing this month's blog post. And congratulations to her and her new gig as Chef of re-opening bar Vessel! -WM
Sometimes a drink is just a drink; spirits, ice, glass. Those of us who appreciate the craft, appreciate properly measured spirits, cold clear ice, and delicately etched glass expertly chosen. Sometimes all that is rubbish.
A margarita poolside under a palm palapa, an absinthe slushy on bourbon street, a glass of bubbly in Paris. Sometimes, memory is the secret ingredient. Nevermind the jigger, or the tincture the hand pressed juice, the moment is in the memory. That feeling of being lifted from your barstool and delivered back to that moment in time where your toes dangled in the water or the rain locked you indoors in a foreign place.
“Memories in a Glass”, the theme of Swig Well, the newest collaboration of Seattle's top shelf bartender started by Rob Roy's lovely owner Anu Apte along with the effervescent, Hallie McGee. Swig Well will hold classes for the cocktail curious and the cocktail elite by-weekly or so in a ‘belly up to the bar’ atmosphere at Rob Roy.
The first of many classes to come, “Memories in a glass” served as this months LUPEC meeting. The course outline is loose and comfortable, just the way it's intended. Designed to be one to two hour classes for those of us with 'short attention spans' and truth be told in the discussion of spirits how much do we really remember after a couple?
Inspired by her recent, well deserved, vacation, 'Memories in a Glass' unveiled the distinction between a recipe and a the palpable memory of flavor, and how sometimes it’s the salt air or even the exhaust from a passing bus that can change the way you remember what you eat or drink.
We started the evening with a little bubbly, what I believe is universal in capturing memories in it’s tiny bubbles only to remind us latter of how sweet life is. Next tried two versions of the sweetest, sourest, and often tragic of memory makers, the Margarita, Rob Roy’s version, and a version closest to Anu’s memory from the beach. The differences were subtle but significant, Rob Roy opts for a reposado tequila which has a little deeper flavor, perfect for a grey Seattle mental escape south of the border. The 'memory' margarita was made with Plata, tequila giving it more of a straight from the sun flavor. We experienced perfectly the idea that if you free yourselves from believing perfection is in the recipe, that something so simple as a ½ ounce of lime can differ in taste so significantly, it holds the key to a portal of time travel, where a lime is not simply a lime, and a drink is not simply a drink, that a memory is often the perfect garnish.
Swig Well’s inaugural class was a perfect introduction to the ‘feel’ of what is to come. An informal discussion over the subtleties of citrus, or the smell of scotch and leather, a well stocked bar at home or a well filled flask in the woods.
|Mexican version of Angostura was the magic ingredient to the Platino Fresco
Thank you for the introduction and cheers to your success!!