Friday, December 30, 2005

A "Bartending Atrocity"?

Dave Schuler of The Glittering Eye laments upon the closure of The Berghoff Restaurant in Chicago. "In honor of" its passing, he posted a few of their recipes, including one for a "Bergoff Sour Cocktail". I commented that this creation

reads like a bartending atrocity: it abuses both good beer and good bourbon in a single drink.

As a lark, last night I decided to try it anyway. Using a tablespoon for precision, I measured out the correct amounts of Old Setter bourbon and Sam Adams Hefeweizen (a malty wheat beer). Add lemon, sugar, ice, shake & strain...

Results? Wow, it's GREAT! All the ingredients blend together perfectly: A malty, bubbly start, a lemony, spicy body, and a sweet finish. The truly evil thing about this drink is that it doesn't seem alcoholic at all. After the first sip, I quickly downed the rest.

For about twenty seconds I had hiccups. I then decided - at eight-thirty at night, long after dinner - to celebrate by engaging in another first-time cooking attempt: creating a pareve (no milk) Yorkshire Pudding!

No, I wasn't drunk. Perhaps a bit of alcohol just set my creative juices flowing. As Winston Churchill once said: "I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me."

Update, 1/4/05

I tried to make this again last night but the result was undrinkable! Apparently I shook the ingredients too much and the sugar completely dissolved. Sugar-sweetness pervaded the cocktail, submerging both the spicyness of the bourbon and the hoppiness of the beer.

A very tricky drink to master. I was lucky to get it right the first time.

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