Tag - pegu

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More Pegu Blogging!
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More Pegu Blogging!
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Pegus Round the Web
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“The Best Bar in the World”
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Pegus on the Web
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Square One Botanical

More Pegu Blogging!

Plenty of folks are writing about the Pegu on the Intarwebs these days!
Yes, everything is proceeding as I have forseen…
The latest mention I’ve seen is from Jim Mathews, who has perhaps the most difficult cocktail blogging job on the planet: Covering the vibrant Salt Lake City, Utah cocktail scene! Here’s his bio, as it shows on the examiner.com website:

Amateur mixologist Jim Mathews has lived in Utah for 25 years and has sometimes had trouble finding a good (or any) cocktail. Jim will help you navigate the Utah cocktail scene and make your own cocktails

He works his way into the Pegu straight from the Savoy Cocktail Book, which is not the easiest route. His resulting modification is an improvement, if still a little sweet.
Jim, the Pegu is supposed to be a tart, stinging drink! Back off the Cointreau even more and see how it pops! Or just settle on the Holy Ratio of 3-1-1 and say, “you’re welcome”!
Finally, his picture illustrates the biggest problem I see with the one dash of Orange bitters, and one dash of Angostura school of Pegu thought. The drink should be a light orange-pink, not looking like a Daiquiri.

More Pegu Blogging!

Wow, two Pegu posts in a week! I think you should all take this as a sign that you need to drink more Pegus.

At any rate, I clearly am making a difference, even if only among my own family….

Pegus Round the Web

It is always nice when I get to go back to the original mission of this little circus, noting appearances of the Pegu around the web, and promoting it madly. The latest post I’ve found on the Greatest of Cocktails comes from David Lansing’s eponymous travel blog.
Lansing discusses the Pegu in the context of Pegu Club impresario Audrey Saunders’ perambulations out west in and out of Tar Pit. He also gives a bit of history of the drink and its land of origin, Burma. (David, it still is Burma. Calling it Myanmar only serves to prop up one of the most oppressive communist military dictatorships on Earth.)
Regardless, he gives the recipe in the form of a scan of a hand-written note from Saunders of her version of the Savoy Cocktail Book recipe. I recently wrote about the Modern vs. Classic recipes when it comes to the Aviation, and I’ll just re-iterate my strong preference for the modern, Harrigan version of the Pegu. I’ve had a Pegu at Pegu Club, and I’ve done this recipe myself at home. Saunders’ classic is just too smooth. I suspect this may be due to how much gins have changed improved in today’s market from whatever stuff they were pouring in Burma back in the day. Back when I was getting going on this blog, either Martin Doudoroff or Ted Haigh pointed out to me that whatever they would have had at the original Pegu Club would have had little resemblance to Bombay Sapphire. (Lansing is spot on the whole Sapphire issue) Since I think the Pegu should have a more robust kick, I like the more vigorous recipe.
By the way, in addition to some snappy travel writing, Lansing has some nice photography on his blog as well. I’ll just steal a low-resolution, but still gorgeous, version of his Pegu portrait to encourage you to visit and look around.
david lansing pegu cocktail davidlansing.com

“The Best Bar in the World”

Merchant's-BarI have no reason to travel to Belfast, and that is a damn shame. If any of my readers in Northern Ireland want to do a murder mystery party, I’m willing to do it for travel expenses alone, just so I can stay at the Merchant Hotel. I stumbled across its bar menu via a Google alert for “Pegu”. You can read it for yourself here (PDF).
The basic personality of the bar is revealed through the menu, and I am in love. First off, the drinks are sorted into three sections: The evening, the afternoon, and the morning. Sure, some bars will place a few meager selections of pick-me-ups on the menu; A Mimosa here, and Bloody Mary there. But the Merchant Hotel Bar has thirty-seven cocktails it classifies as Corpse Revivers & Picker Uppers (including the Pegu). I have a desire to visit a bar where the valiant patrons are beating back the morning hangover with Absinthe Drips and White Ladies! I am obviously not alone, as the bar proudly proclaims on the hotel website that it was named “World’s Best Hotel Bar” (as well as having the “World’s Best Drink Selection” and “World’s Best Drinks Selection”) at Tales of the Cocktail.
The menu is supplied with some wonderful, evocative quotations about cocktails that make it worth the read. It also includes a truly comprehensive array of towering drink classics to tickle every fancy, and warm a cocktailian’s heart.
Finally, they have a selection of cocktails that may benefit from a truly premium base, which they refer to as offerings from their Connoisseurs’ Club. For instance, Daiquiri’s at the Merchant range from £6.50 with Santiago de Cuba Anejo, to £195.00 with Bacardi Gold 1950s.
But the piece de resistance is the Mai Tai for £750.00….

I always had an inkling that I’d sell the first one and something told me it could be that night. I watched as a regular customer entered the room with another gentleman and two female companions. They were in high spirits, dressed for the occasion and as I approaced their table, I heard the ladies discussing cocktails. They asked me what I would recommend.
This was exactly how I hoped it would happen. I had rehearsed the scene a hundred times in my head.
“This cocktail was invented for discerning people like you — it’s an original Trader Vic’s Mai Tai. The key ingredient is extremely rare Wray and Nephew 17 year old rum from Jamaica. It has been reproduced to the exact original formula and we are theonly bar in the world that actually has a bottle to sell.”
Four sets of eyebrows raised and glances exchanged. I could see they were impressed.
“You’ll be making history by being the first person to buy this cocktail,” I continued.

Read the menu yourself to see how the story turns out.

Pegus on the Web

One of my very first aims in starting this blog was to chronicle where you could find information on Pegus around the web, and by linking to those sources, raise their Google profile, and thus the Pegu’s profile.
Of course, along the way I instead created this magnificent edifice of a website, which contains in its pages the definitive sum of all Pegu knowledge.

I bow to the Buddah nature of your soul,
oh illustrious one….

Better close your [snark] tag there, Guy. It’s dripping.
logo_wondrich_largeAnyway, in so doing, I have sadly neglected my original charge of late. I ran across a mention on Saveur’s website of an excellently written little piece from Esquire’s Cocktail Historian, David Wondrich. It tells the tale of the Pegu Club (the original, British one) whence sprang the greatest of all cocktails. Wondrich spins a good tale in a short space, so you should read it in its entirety, and when you are done, wander through the rest of Esquire’s drink database for a lot more wisdom in the same vein..

Square One Botanical

The Liquor Fairy has struck again, this time bringing to my door a bottle of a most interesting spirit, Square One Botanical, from Square One Organic Spirits. I’ve hit this bottle pretty hard since it arrived, finding lots of great ways to use it. Which is a shame, since it’s not available in Ohio as of this writing (though Square One’s vodka and cucumber-infused vodka are).
I’ll start off by saying Square One gets a win with the bottle, with its crisp square shape, sparse labeling, and nifty indented logo. That’s it below, accompanied by a bowl of the botanicals that make it what it is.
Square-One-Botanical
I call it an interesting spirit since Square One Botanical doesn’t really fall into any standard category of liquor. It is most like a gin, since gin is a botanically infused neutral spirit. But any real gin has to have juniper out in front, and Botanical has none. For this product to become as big as it otherwise might, I think that Square One will need to come up with a category name more evocative than that contained in its full and complete name: Square One Botanical Organic Specialty Spirit.
As for what’s in Botanical, it’s all pictured in the bottle shot. You botanists can skip ahead, but for the rest of us, let’s have a list: Pear, Rose, Chamomile, Lemon Verbena, Lavender, Rosemary, Coriander, and Citrus Peel. The resulting spirit has much of the wonderful fragrant complexity of a good gin, while omitting the evergreen punch in the face that puts off many casual drinkers about gin.
All of what I’ve written so far, I gleaned from the materials that Square One sent along with with the bottle, combined with a little sipping and smelling. Since this blog isn’t about rewriting press-releases, I began all that experimenting I alluded to at the start of this review. Since this is at least a gin-like spirit, I of course tried it out in a Pegu. Frankly, I had my doubts as to how it would taste, and I wasn’t disappointed. As in, I wasn’t disappointed by the taste. In fact, this is a seriously delicious cocktail! It is not quite so bracing as a standard Pegu, but it is lighter and more food friendly. In fact, I like it so much, I’ll use the excuse to retype the recipe, for the umpteenth time, here:

SQUARE ONE BOTANICAL PEGU

  • 3 parts Square One Botanical
  • 1 part Cointreau
  • 1 part fresh lime juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Shake to combine and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a wheel of lime.

Frankly, a success like this with a Pegu-like cocktail could have been enough for me, and the temptation was strong just to set this bottle on the featured shelf and enjoy. But the differences between gin Pegu and Botanical Pegu tweaked something in the back of my mind about another project that had been lying dormant in my bar’s project folder.
I routinely make affectionate fun of Cosmopolitans. I like them, but as a card-carrying cocktailian, I feel obligated to find a way to make them with a spirit other than vodka. The obvious solution is the gin-based Metropolitan. But I’ve tried more of those than I can count, and I’ve yet to encounter or concoct for myself a recipe that isn’t, well, mediocre. Essentially, using gin in a Cosmo is like inviting the brassy broad with the hideous, loud laugh to your party: She takes over things, and not for the better.
But hey now… Here we have a spirit that provides interest and character to a cocktail, yet is minus the in-your-face quality that makes gin so beloved and reviled. That brassy broad is actually pretty funny, you know, if she just didn’t have that laugh….
It only took me two tries to get a very delicious Cosmo With Character. I heartily recommend you try one of these.

Square-One-Metro-SquareTHE METRO SQUARE

  • 2 oz. Square One Botanical
  • .75 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
  • .25 oz. Cointreau
  • 1 oz. Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail

Combine in a shaker with plenty of ice and shake well. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a wheel of lime.

This is a more tart ratio than I use for a straight Cosmopolitan. You can shift the lime and Cointreau back to a half ounce each, but I don’t think it shows off the Square One Botanical’s contribution quite as well. Also, this recipe is balanced for Ocean Spray. If you use another brand, or straight cranberry juice, you’ll need to adjust that as well.
If you are interested in lots of other new ways to use Square One Botanical, I direct you first to the wrap-up of the October 8, TDN, which Square One sponsored. I could not make it myself, which is why you don’t see my Metro Square among the finalists, I’m sure. Square One’s website also has a wealth of recipes on offer. They also have lots of info on their other products, some nice pics, and a collection of Square Trivia(pdf), with stuff about Square Pegs, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Times Square.
I’ll leave you with my own Square trivia. My great, great uncle was a young American diplomat at the Moscow Consulate during the First World War. His bachelor pad overlooked a plaza in Moscow where a rather famous mass shooting took place, a plaza later to be known as Red Square. (He was forced to flee in the ensuing revolution, and was hidden by White Russian peasants for three months. They had nothing to feed him the entire time but brussels sprouts. Upon his eventual return home, his mother hosted a party in his honor at which she served what had always been his favorite food….)

The-Liquor-Fairy-ThumbThe Liquor Fairy Was Here!
The following product, Square One Botanical, was recently provided to me as promotional consideration to encourage me to discuss it.
For a complete disclosure of my policies regarding promotional items and all other financial interests, please click this link, or follow the Liquor Fairy link in the header of this page.

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