Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Back in the Day, a Special Spirit was Enjoyed

As I was waiting for my turn on the hockey treadmill,

my coach who incidentally is one of the founders of The American Gin Co. was telling me that he was resurrecting a spirit that had been all the rage in the late 1800's. "It's like sloe gin", he said, "but damson plums are used instead of sloe berries". "Damsons", he continued, "are tart, little plums that historically were used in making jams because of their tartness". He told me the gin liqueur was to be called Averell.

I blurted, "O. M. G., I totally know or rather knew a descendent of Averell Harriman"! and, "That drink sounds amazing! When can I get it"?

Got my Hands on It

A couple of months ago, I finally got to try AVERELL, a key ingredient in fresh and fabulous cocktails. The damsons are grown by Red Jacket Orchards in Geneva, New York and then the tart and spicy juice of the plums is extracted and mixed with small-batch gin from the Finger Lakes region.

Kromology 101

To enjoy AVERELL as I do, round up supplies, and execute the plan:

Click Ingredients for Details or Procurement

1. Fill the glass with ice.
2. Pour the Averell over the ice until the glass is a third full.
3. Pour Fever-Tree ginger ale until the glass is full then squeeze a wedge of lime in the cocktail.
4. Stir and drink!

While we're on the subject of excellent cocktails, here's another to try (I like to call it the Krom Collins) with D.H. Krahn gin:

1. Fill the glass with ice.
2. Pour the D.H. Krahn over the ice until the glass is a third full.
3. Pour San Pellegrino Limonata until the glass is almost full then add a splash of Gus Cranberry Lime Soda.
4. Stir and enjoy!

Those American Gin guys sure know what they're doing. They make me look good while I'm wearing my kromologist's hat (which, of course, would be a Stephen Jones).

Don't know... kind of torn... I'm thinking both is the way to go

After my own cocktails turned out so tasty, I wondered, "What does Scott do with the AVERELL"?

I decided to get to the bottom of the cocktail, and go over to his place to find out.

The Place

The Bar

Scott's Krahncoction
Averell Damson Gin (ADG) Fizz

To enjoy AVERELL as Scott does, round up more supplies, and execute the plan:

1. Add 2 ounces of Averell, 3/4 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 egg white into the shaker.
2. Shake the shaker for a few minutes, until the liquid is frothy throughout.
3. Add ice to the shaker, and shake again to cool the drink.
4. Strain the contents away from ice into the other side of the shaker.
5. Add a splash of club soda.
6. Pour into the final glass.

I was always intimidated by the thought of using a shaker to make cocktails. Watching Scott prepare this drink and tasting it got me way over my fear. The drink was amazing, both in taste and consistency. It was foamy perfection.

The ADG Fizz Vintage, Fall 2010

Upon further investigation of Scott's bar, I noticed there were three bottles of Averell. I thought this most curious unless he just can't get enough of the stuff, but I didn't think that likely. It turns out each has a story...

The first bottle on the left side of the bar is the Vintage Fall, 2010 (of which there were 1, 200 bottles produced) that was used in my drink. The second bottle [right photo] is the first bottle of production from the second batch of Averell that came out this spring.

More plummy and juicier characterize the flavor of the second batch when compared with the first batch from fall, 2010 which was ginnier. Changes in the plummy gin's flavor among the batches is intentional. The American gin guys thought the gin liqueur needed to be richer. The third batch of Averell will be very similar to the second batch. As more batches are produced, changes in flavor are dictated by the ever-changing taste of the plums and adjustments the American gin guys think will improve the Averell Damson Gin.

The third bottle of Averell (well actually, the first bottle ever, in a Cocchi Americano bottle) was Scott's first effort, made at home. It turned out a bit syrupy and biting because the plums were soaked in the gin, more like a traditional sloe gin. Now the juice from the plums is extracted and then combined with small-batch gin.

To follow Scott and his adventures with Averell, the plummy gin, click the bottle of Averell Damson Gin

Get out of your comfort zone to really Live Large.

2007, The Secret Garden, finding the door. Su Blackwell

U r 24K!


No comments: