While Part 1 took place at another’s home, this one happened in our own kitchen over the Christmas holidays. Our liquor cabinet was bulging with brimming bottles clamped close together clamoring to relieve themselves. But they’ll have to hold it a little longer; historic context makes a difference. So, we’ll wander back to the late 1890’s, give or take a half a decade.
In those days when you bought some hooch, you couldn’t be sure what you were really buying. There could be almost anything in there to stretch the contents. Such shenanigans were giving the spirits business a bad name. To reassure consumers of the day, the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897 served to guarantee that what was on the label was, indeed, in the bottle, but only if the label said “Bottled in Bond” or “Bonded”.
Just to stay close to my weekly schedule, I’ve broken this down into two parts. Part 2 should be just around the corner … I left it somewhere, here. Maybe under that pile of books? Well, anyway, here’s Part 1. (You know, as I think about it, my homebound Guerrilla experiments could become a regular tangent to my on-the-spot, off-the-cuff, let’s-try-this public escapades.
There are times when I just feel like something different. I’ll open our over-stocked liquor cabinet and just stare at it until volunteers step up for a session of exploration and experimentation.
Now, granted, compared to the mainstream, I have some pretty esoteric ingredients, but I get the same sense of adventure when I open someone else’s liquor cabinet, too. What new drink is hiding amongst those bottles, waiting, even hoping for discovery?
There’s nothing like a few bars of Auld Lang Syne to stir the image of bubbles rising from the bottom point of a Champagne-filled flute. It is truly stuff that should be loved by all, but I seem not to have a bubbly itch to scratch. Even the venerable Mimosa generally leaves my bubbles flat. Despite what must be a genetic defect, over the past several months I was still able to create three bubbly drinks in Guerrilla Cocktail style.
First, as always, we need a splash of historical context. Right about smack dab in the middle of the 19th century someone had the idea to tone down the archetypal cocktail by substituting refined and subdued Champagne for the usual high-octane spirit of choice. The simple process of sugar soaked with bitters gleefully showered by some fine Champagne became all the rage. To this day, the classic Champagne Cocktail is still made pretty much the same way: place a ½ teaspoon sugar cube on the bottom of whatever style of glass you prefer (I like a basic wine glass instead of a flute), dowse it with 3 or 4 dashes of Angostura bitters (one report has lauded using Peychaud’s as a change of pace), and fill with chilled Champagne.
Now we’ll move on to my Guerrilla variants beginning with a drink I created while at a pre-wedding celebration in Vermont over the Labor Day weekend.
A late post is better than no post. No need to blame the holidays; I have a better excuse. This past Wednesday I was transformed into a grandfather.
The day began with an early morning call from our son-in-law, Tim. He and Maggie had gone into the hospital about midnight. All was well; no rush; delivery would be at least a couple hours or more away. Ann and I rolled over to go back to sleep ... Yeh, right.