The Eulogy: Equal parts Batavia Arrack, Strega, Velvet Falernum, and Lime. One of the most powerful and remarkable cocktails I've ever had -- courtesy Bobby Heugel's Anvil Bar and Refuge in Houston.
At a fancy iconic hotel bar next to Rocky Mountain national park with a 700 whiskey selection. Everything extremely overpriced (FR 2014 LE for $75? Uigeadail for $35? Please). Ordered whiskeys that were somewhat ok priced. Noticed they had that ice sphere mold machine. Asked for an old fashioned with an ice sphere. They just left it there for so long it came out football shaped. Dumped the ice in a glass. Bartender brings over an old fashioned shaken with orange and a maraschino cherry and just dumps them in the glass. Can't even cut the orange slice straight.
Really? Whiskey bar and can't even make an old fashioned?
Thousand plus dollar ice mold and the ice was just tap water frozen in a Tovalo mold. Not clear even after pressing
Those damnable ice molds. I hate them. Sure sign that you are in a crappy bar, regardless of the selection - selection is just cash. I was at the 'W' in DC once with my boss, and we were having a round of whisky. I forget what I ordered, but they didn't know what it was and couldn't find it (despite its being on the menu). So, I went with Doublewood because that is un-messup-able. Our quite remarkably attractive, really disaffected, "trendy" looking waitress then pushed this cart over with the ice ball machine on it -- I had never seen one before, so I was really curious. She proceeded to pour off my Balvenie into a Glencairn glass (good sign, or so I thought), and then loaded up the ice machine and started pumping its 'Macallan' emblazoned handle in a way that seemed to me both vaguely sexual and also really bored and uninterested. She certainly wasn't interested in the performance. A few minutes later she took this really white ball out and stuck it in a tumbler. Then she took the rather perfect Glencairn glass of whisky and poured it over the ball and handed it to me with disaffected lack of flourish. I was rather scratching my head at it all until I saw my whisky. It was doing something whisky should not do. Ever. It was bubbling. Whisky should not bubble. But, apparently all the entrained air in this ball thing was coming out all over the place and being annoying and bubbling in my Balvenie. It was really bizarre. So, I am not surprised they could not make an old-fashioned -- so much in the U.S. is about the appurtenances of authenticity and not about the depth of any experience.
When I had that Balvenie, I'd just come back from Japan where a bartender carved a ball of ice (really, it was a dodecahedron) and placed it in a perfectly sized tapered crystal tumbler, and then poured a measured dram of sherried Karuizawa in over the ice. While she measured the whisky, the ice ball went frosted as humidity in the air condensed on it, then, when she poured the whisky in, it absorbed that frost and the ice ball went completely transparent -- you could only see that portion of it which rose above the surface of the whisky. It was so beautiful.
Speaking of which, more Negronis with Botanist gin and Martinini Gran Lusso. Prolly the best Negronis I've had so far. I also enjoy them with grapefruit peel, @indesertum.
Well, if I could ship into my state, I'd have some. It seems wonderful!
Haha, you are too kind. I don't really have that many cocktails of my own -- maybe three or four.