Monday, 24 January 2011

Marian Beke of Nightjar creates an "Absinthe Orgy" for La Maison Fontaine.

Apologies for the bad photography but hey, Nightjar is discreet and uber cool, glaring lights would just not work. This has been a favourite bar of mine for quite a while now and I'm not alone, every review I've read has been positively glowing!

I recently asked Marian to come up with a La Maison Fontaine cocktail which he kindly obliged, the deal was - he'd come up with the drink, and I had to come up with the name. Now you'll have to forgive me but when looking at the ingredients the first two things were Absinthe and Orgeat, so "Absinthe Orgy" popped into my mind and wouldn't leave.... Marian liked the name, so Absinthe Orgy it became.

Absinthe Orgy by Marian Beke

37.5ml La Maison Fontaine Absinthe

17.5ml Orgeat (homemade at Nightjar

Half Fresh Lime Juice

Dash Orange Bitters

Egg White

Shake all the ingredients hard over ice and strain into glass, garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

The drink is amazingly smooth, complex and very well balanced. We joked with Edmund that there should be a minimum purchase of 4 to be true to the cocktail name!

Another of my favourite Nightjar drinks, thanks to Dan Priseman for putting me onto this one!

Remember the Maine

Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon
Sweet Vermouth
La Maison Fontaine Absinthe
Cherry Brandy

Stir slowly for good dilution and strain, garnish with cherries.

The drinks name refers to the USS Maine that was sunk off the shores of Havana in 1898, which ultimately sparked the Spanish - American War of the same year. It was however, in 1933 that the global imbiber and author of "The Gentleman's Companion: An Exotic Drinking Book," Charles H. Baker Jr. created the drink off the shores of Cuba during a night of intense bombing. What's interesting and left unexplained is Baker actually specified the drink had to be stirred clockwise....

Next up Marian got creative at the bar with eggs, Wray and Nephew Overproof, sugar and a blow torch... take my word for it, it was delicious!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Alessandro Paludet from 22 Below and his La Maison Fontaine Absinthe Old Fashioned

22 Below, just off Carnaby Street, is a real hidden gem with a very cosy atmosphere. Alessandro and Emelie run a tight ship and have developed a pretty comprehensive cocktail list. They have a gentleman's corner section with real classics such as a Sazerac and a Martinez. There's also a tiki page and on Thursdays - all tiki jars are only £5! Of course it was the absinthe section that I wanted to check out and above Alessandro is beginning to make the La Maison Fontaine Old Fashioned. The first ever Absinthe Old Fashioned as far as I'm concerned!

Now as you probably know Old Fashioneds take a while to make with the slow building and gradual dilution so while Alessandro cracked on with it I noticed the above contraptions. Test tubes with their own holders which are to be filled with iced water for an unsual perfect serve drip with your 'dose' of absinthe - novel indeed!

La Maison Fontaine Old Fashioned

35ml La Maison Fontaine
15 ml cold mineral water
few dashes mint bitters
fresh mint garnish

Quite simply make in the same way as a traditional old fashioned, by slowly building all the ingredients into a rocks glass stirring all the time while gradually adding ice. Not only is this quite original I'm certain it's the first LMF "white" absinthe cocktail to be green!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

John Leese of McQueen mixes a "Le Lapin de la Maison" for Chinese New Year

I've known John Leese for some time now and he has quite a track record - Match W1, Mahiki and Viajante are just some that spring to mind. He is now the bar manager at McQueen in Shoreditch - a favourite venue of mine that has appeared on these pages several times before with Theo (who incidentally, is still at McQueen).

I asked John to make a La Maison Fontaine cocktail for Chinese New Year (the year of the rabbit - 3rd February) and this is what he came up with:

"Le Lapin de la Maison"

Google hilariously translates as "The House Bunny"

35ml La Maison Fontaine Absinthe

10ml lime juice

15ml elderflower cordial

20ml apple juice

40ml Sauvignon Blanc

Shake all the ingredients over ice, strain into a high ball and serve with an apple garnish - simples!