Local Wine Co's Blog

Little Flower, The Fiorello Cocktail by cdbakunas
October 24, 2011, 12:59 pm
Filed under: Making Cocktails | Tags: , , ,

Fiorello is an uncommon surname and an even more uncommon name for a mayor. But Fiorello La Guardia was a short man (no more than five feet tall) who served as mayor of New York from 1934 till 1945. The word Fiorello means “Little Flower” in Italian and has been served up as a delicious petit imbiber at La Tavola in Atlanta, Georgia by the great Alli Soble.

Fiorello “Little Flower”

Smalls Gin 1 ¼ oz
Cocchi Apertivo 1 oz
Elderflower Syrup ¼ oz

Shaken and served up in a martini glass
Orange Peel Garnish


To Make a Cocktail – Day 2 – Punch by cdbakunas
December 15, 2010, 12:31 pm
Filed under: Making Cocktails | Tags: , , , , , , ,

So I went out last night to gather ingredients for our first day of cocktails, Brandy Punch session (page 70 Imbibe, David Wondrich) and discovered a few things about myself. When out of my comfort zone I stand still like a deer in headlights.  Still, I’m so glad I’ve decided to make every cocktail in this book. It is such a different point of view when you read something and say, “ya, that’s a great idea,” then to actually go out and do it is another story.

I went to our largest retailer of wines and spirits here in Chicago and headed directly for the Brandy section. It never dawned on me that unless you are buying Cognac or Armagnac the brandy selection in the United States is pretty lame. Okay, extremely lame. Christian Brothers or E&J (E&J’s selling point is that it is a “classic” and in a shatter proof plastic bottle…hmmm).  And I really didn’t want to spend $85 on a bottle of Cognac that was being made into a punch.

I love me some good food and interesting ingredients, but where in the world go you find guava jelly if you don’t live in the tropics. A tough bill to fill in winter in Chicago. Whole Foods seemed like the obvious outlet, they did after all have tamarind jelly, but I’ll be damned if I can find some guava here in the winter.

And when your recipe says Jamaican rum what level of rum should I get? Aged, clear, pricey, moderate? Fuck, so many questions I didn’t think to ask. It’s like I needed a life line telephone call to help sort this all out.

So I have the ingredients and a few friends are on their way over right now and punch time commences within the hour.

How to make a Martinez Cocktail by cdbakunas
November 4, 2010, 4:35 pm
Filed under: Libations, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , ,

I just visited Boston and met two great bartenders at a new restaurant/bar/speakeasy, Foundry on Elm, in Somerville, Mass.

Ethan and Andy were kind enough to make a few  Martinez cocktails with me. FYI, the lemon rind absolutely makes the drink. No lemon rind and oil, 50% less good, truly. But what is the Martinez? Well, I’m glad you asked. This is the grandfather, the papi, the old guy that spawned the ubiquitous martini and manhattan.

Great and scintillating debate surrounds the origins of the Martinez. We are certain that the cocktail was born in the 19th century. Much credit flows towards bartender extraordinaire Jerry Thomas that this gin and sweet vermouth cocktail was first made at the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco for a miner that was headed to Martinez, California (a town about 35 north and east of San Francisco – just north of Walnut Creek). Whatever the truth may be I do know that this is one helluva tasty cocktail when done well. Here’s the video recipe. Enjoy – Sante!

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