November 28, 2014

What I’m Drinking: Pliny’s Hand Warmer

Way, way back when, (in the double digits AD), Pliny the Elder wrote the Naturalis Historia, and in that wrote about peppermint, and how it was not only used in sauces and drinks, but only in sweet-scented sprays and worn about the head. I like that! I wanna wear peppermint like a hat. Can I do that? Anyway, with all that connection between good ol’ Pliny and peppermint, I don’t believe anyone has every named a peppermint-y drink for Pliny. Please correct me if I’m wrong here, and you have, actually, come up with said drink. Hopefully this is different than yours if that’s the case. I used peppermint tea for my peppermint-y-ness, and to go along with all the Ps, I used Plantation’s Original Dark rum. No, no, I used this rum from Trinidad & Tobago because its hints of smoke, citrus, banana, and spice mingle smoothly with the tea. And then I used Averna amaro for no other reason than I thought it would taste good. Guess what? I was right! This is a swell drink for the winter months – keep warm out there.

pliny

Pliny’s Hand Warmer

1-1/2 ounce Plantation Original Dark rum
1 ounce Averna amaro
5 ounces hot peppermint tea
Wide orange twist, for garnish

1. Add the rum and the Averna to a mug that’s been warmed with hot water. Stir briefly.

2. Add the tea, stir again, and warm up. Garnish with the orange twist.

A Note: If you feel this needs an extra garnish, and have fresh peppermint available, well, you know what to do.

November 25, 2014

Cocktail Talk: My Friend Maigret

my-friend-maigretEarlier this month, I admitted to having only a tenuous relationship (until recently) with Edmund Crispin and his fictional English detective Gervase Fen. Since I’m in the admitting mood (hah, no, I’m not admitting that, yet), I should also say that until recently I hadn’t read any books featuring an even more famous detective, Inspector Maigret of the Paris PD, as written by George Simenon in 74 novels and 28 short stories. Whoa! I don’t even have the cat vs. dog excuse in this case. But recently I picked up three Maigret novels to see what I was missing, and completely dug them – a bit dark, a bit French, a bit rainy for some reason, but full of murder, mysteriousness, and a lot of food and drink. They do take place in France, after all. And I can’t wait to read more, especially when they contain Cocktail Talk like the below:

He had drunk only one glass of Champagne. Then rest of time he had drunk mostly wine, then, God knows why, anisette.

 

Who had ordered anisette? Oh yes, it was the dentist. A retired dentist to be precise, whose name escaped him. Another phenomenon. There was nothing but phenomenon on the island.

My Friend Maigret, George Simenon

November 21, 2014

What I’m Drinking: The Owl’s Wink

This bubbly beaut is ideal all through the fall holidays – a time which is, also, surprise, surprise, owl time. But the drink (as opposed to the feathered friend) is also bursting with some fall flavors: cranberries, bubbly, juniper, and, cherries. Okay, the latter may be pushing it, but as someone with a cherry tree, I tend to have them more in the fall after the harvest in the summer. Here, too, the cherry is represented by the Old Ballard Liquor Co.’s amazing Cherry Bounce, which is good anytime. The cranberries come in thanks to the Fee Brothers bright cranberry bitters, the juniper from our old friend gin (here, I went with Voyager gin), and the bubbly from Valle Calda Prosecco DOC (Prosecco being the wonderful Italian sparkling wine). The Valle Calda DOC is slightly fruity with a dandy effervescence, like an owl with a really serious hoo, hoo. It all adds up to a wonderful drink.

owls-wink
The Owl’s Wink

Cracked ice
1 ounce Voyager gin
3/4 ounce Cherry Bounce
3 dashed Fee Brothers Cranberry bitters
3 ounces chilled Valle Calda Prosecco DOC

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with cracked ice. Add the gin, Cherry Bounce, and bitters. Stir well.

2. Strain into a flute glass or any glass with an owl on it. Add the Prosecco. Stir, carefully, working to combine all ingredients.

A Note: If your Prosecco isn’t chilled enough, feel free to add an ice cube or frozen cranberries at the end.

November 18, 2014

Come Support My Awesome Mom and Have Drinks with Me on 11/22

momHello! You, yes you, are invited to a very special event celebrating my mom and her upcoming film, Speaking of Dying. The film is a documentary showcasing community-based end-of-life planning as pioneered by Trudy James, my mom that is, chaplain and facilitator. You’ll be able to watch the film trailer, meet filmmaker Jennifer Jones and editor Catherine Wadley, connect with people featured in the film, see old friends, and make new ones! Plus, have delicious alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks by me, including the Last Word, the Desert Healer, and the Sparkling Sunset, using products from local distilleries Seattle Distilling Company and Sidetrack Distillery. It’s Saturday, November 22 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Spring Street Center, 1101 15th Ave, here in Seattle, WA. Hope to see you there!

November 14, 2014

What I’m Drinking: The Midshipman Burns

This seaworthy cocktail is an on-board twist on one of my all-time favs, the Bobby Burns. The Bobby Burns is one of those strong classics that doesn’t sacrifice flavor for umph, or get try to sub in tricksy-ness for good taste (not that many classic cocktails do). In this variant, I’ve subbed in the new 3 Howls Navy Strength rum, for the Scotch, which is a seriously strong rum, following up on their award-winning Navy Strength gin. The rum goes well with the sweet vermouth (Carpano Antica is the way to go here) and the Bénédictine, too, delivering a memorable mix, and one with a nice warm kick. I’ve upped the Bénédictine a little, because the herbalness was playing well.

midshipman-burns
The Midshipman Burns

Cracked ice
2-1/2 ounces 3 Howls Navy Strength rum
1/2 ounce Carpano Antica
1/2 ounce Bénédictine
Lemon twist, for garnish.

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with cracked ice. Add the rum, Carpano, and Bénédictine. Stir well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the lemon twist.

November 11, 2014

Seattle Magazine Cocktail Catch Up

Hey, lucky people! It’s your turn to browse a few fine pieces I wrote recently for the fine Seattle magazine. If you happened to miss them the first time around, well, now’s your chance for a fun first read. If you read them once already, well, the second time is usually even better. And don’t let me get started about the third.

•     5 Horrifically Tasty Halloween Drinks

•     5 Cocktails to Drink While Playing Video Games

•     Local Spirit Spotlight: Sidetrack Blueberry Liqueur

•     4 Appleicious Drinks for Fall

*See all Seattle magazine pieces by me

November 7, 2014

What I’m Drinking: Royal Cocktail #4

royal-4Many say 3 is a magic number. Then there’s the rule of 3. 3 rings to bind them. Etc. Etc. 3 must have an awfully big head. Even in Patrick Gavin Duffy’s Official Mixer’s Manual (1940 edition) there are 3 Royal Cocktails. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for 3s. But c’mon! Doesn’t anyone feel bad for 4? I did, and so I concocted the Royal Cocktail #4. And if that wasn’t enough, I used the lovely Sidetrack Blueberry Liqueur to do it. Deliciously 4.

Royal Cocktail #4

Cracked ice
1 ounce Sidetrack Blueberry Liqueur
1 ounce Voyager gin
1 ounce Dolin dry vermouth

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with cracked ice. Add everything. Stir well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Drink royally.

November 4, 2014

Cocktail Talk: The Case of the Gilded Fly

gilded-flyThere are far too many detectabulous fictional detectives to begin to name even my favorites here (just scroll through the Cocktail Talk posts and you’ll see many of them). But one that I haven’t been too closely acquainted with is literary mystery-unraveler Gervase Fen, created by English writer Edmund Crispin. It’s not surprising in a way, because Crispin was a cat person, and I’m a dog person. But I overlooked that when reading The Case of the Gilded Fly lately – which was the first of I believe nine Gervase Fen books. And I think I’ll read more, even if the dogs look at me sidewise when I’m reading them. Mr. Fen is an Oxford don, and I tend to like Oxford, and pretty witty besides, and the murder was nicely raveled and then unraveled. Not to mention that the book contained the below quote, ideal for Cocktail Talking.

There followed the ceremony of mumblings, apologies, and recognitions which always occurs when a group of people only partially acquainted are brought together, and a great and complicated maneuvering of chairs. Nigel, about to go off once again to the bar, was forestalled by Nicolas, who as he ordered pink gins contemplated with unconcealed glee the extremely uncomfortable relationships which were likely to be established within the next few minutes.

The Case of the Gilded Fly, Edmund Crispin

Rathbun on Film

Cocktail to Cocktail Hour Series Four, Episode Five, The GizmoNovember 04, 2013
A special Cocktail to Cocktail Hour holiday episode hosted by A.J. Rathbun where very special guest Jeremy Holt stops by to teach us how to make the Gizmo, a...
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Cocktail to Cocktail Hour Series Four, Episode Four, The TrilbyNovember 03, 2013
The Cocktail to Cocktail Hour hosted by A.J. Rathbun has a very special guest in this episode; Alastair Edwards stops by with a drinking problem, solved by t...
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Cocktail to Cocktail Hour, V4, Three, Horse's NeckOctober 06, 2013
In this Cocktail to Cocktail Hour, you'll learn to make the refreshing Horse's Neck from special guest star Mark Butler, and hear host A.J. Rathbun and Mark ...
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Cocktail to Cocktail Hour V4, Two, Aperol SpritzSeptember 24, 2013
The Cocktail to Cocktail Hour hosted by A.J. Rathbun has a very special guest in this episode, who teaches you how to make the Aperol Spritz, with Aperol and...
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