Ice Aged Whisky And The Foreigner - Lightly Toasted: Chronicles of the Friday Night Cocktail Club Blog at - 155522

Lightly Toasted: Chronicles of the Friday Night Cocktail Club

ice aged whisky and the foreigner 
Feb. 5, 2010 5:22 pm 
Updated: Mar. 16, 2010 6:17 pm
When insomnia drags me rudely up out of sleep, I flip on the radio to the BBC. The BBC relaxes me, more or less, depending on how horrific the news is. I listen to the reassuring English voices, and for the rest of the night, I'm drifting in and out. The effect is that I wake up with a head full of potentially fantastical news stories.

So it was that around 4 a.m. this morning, I thought I heard a story about five cases of Scotch cut free (after 100 years) from a hunk of ice at Ernest Schackleton’s long-abandoned Antarctic shack. So far so good, but it sounded suspiciously like the BBC story I thought I’d heard a while back, in which 700 cases of Chateau Petrus were uncovered from a shipwreck in the deep end of my backyard swimming pool. Next morning, when I mentioned the Petrus story over morning coffee, SLS was rightly dubious, gently pointing out that we live in an apartment with no yard.

This story about the explorer’s abandoned Scotch, though, it had the ring of truth. Mostly because it’s a 100-percent actually-happened true story! The whisky bottles were found frozen in ice under floorboards in Schackleton’s hut.  They also found a couple crates of brandy.

The Shackleton expedition of 1907-1909 apparently came to an abrupt end when non-booze-related supplies started running dangerously low. Before the winter ice could lock them in, they jumped in a boat and hauled themselves away, with Shackleton no doubt asking his first mate as they drifted out to sea, “So you got all the booze then, right?”

“Oh yes sir. All the Scotch, all the brandy. Got it!”

“Even the stuff under the floorboards?”

“Under the where?”

In other whiskey news -- that's whiskey-with-an-"e"-related news -- I had a delicious rye whiskey cocktail last night, which I will try to recreate as soon as I can track down a couple of the ingredients. SLS and I were having dinner at a place called Spur in Seattle. We met up after work and unwound our workdays over a cocktail, as an old black-and-white western movie played (quietly, with the sound down) against the white wall.

My rye cocktail was called The Foreigner, and it was unusual in that the two kinds of bitters in it (blood orange and peach) gave the drink deep, delicious fruit flavors without making it taste sickly, sweetly fruity. It was all essence of fruit, I guess, not sticky sweet mess of fruit. It was dry and boozy, not juicy sweet. Delicious.

I haven’t experimented with the measurements yet, but here’s my guesstimate at the recipe, with many thanks to Anne Magoon (Spur’s manager and wine buyer) for such wonderful service, delicious food, and friendly conversation.

The Foreigner.
2 ounces rye
.75 ounce amaro
.75 ounce strega  (both Strega and amaro are Italian herbal liqueurs)
Several dashes of blood orange bitters
Several dashes of peach bitters
A nice wide slice of lemon peel to twist into the glass

Serve up, shaken or stirred.

"do you wanna make tea at the BBC?"
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Feb. 5, 2010 9:38 pm
:x I love your blogs. You must be a treat to talk to, if your storytelling here is any indication. (PS- I have much the same problem, only it is streaming CBC radio that gives me my odd recollections in the morning.)
Feb. 5, 2010 10:50 pm
Sounds delicious. Shaken though for me...
Mar. 16, 2010 6:17 pm
One of my all time favorite cocktails to drink and turn people on to. This epic drink was created by one of Seattle's best David Nelson of Spur and Tavern Law. Think of it as a Manhattan that went on an Italian holiday and can back slightly more sophisticated and complex. Forieigner: 2 oz. Rye Whiskey 3/4 oz. Ramazotti Amaro 1 bar spoon blood orange bitters(stirrings) 2 dashes peach bitters(fee bros.) rinse the glass with Strega Flamed orange peel to garnish Stir all ingredients. Strain into Strega rinsed champagne coupe. Garnish with peel. Thanks for the Props!! Hope to see you soon!! F
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About Me
My wife and I and our two devilish kittens live on Capitol Hill in Seattle. A few years ago, I got a masters in gastronomy. I'm a food/wine writer. I’m also blogging about cocktails.
My favorite things to cook
We cook fairly simple dishes using fresh local ingredients that we pick up at the Seattle farmers market. My favorite thing is making a nice slow-braised or long-roasted something on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I like cooking with wine (in the dish and in the glass...and in the cook).
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mom never liked to cook, but she did well despite herself. Her mother, my omi, was from Munich and made delicious rouladen, sauerbraten and other traditional German and American dishes. Always bins and bins of home-baked cookies at Christmas. Wonderful rye bread. And beer. Opa would say, "Brotzeit ist die beste zeit."
My cooking triumphs
We’ve made the signature timpano dish from The Big Night a couple times. And for Thanksgiving 2007, we made Turducken. My wife and I are always volunteering to cook the big holiday meals with the family. We mix a signature cocktail, and get down to it.
My cooking tragedies
I made Thanksgiving Dinner for myself once when I was snowed-in in Denver. I nearly burned down the neighborhood.
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