Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Lovin’ the New Spirits That Haunt Our Home

We’ve been loving the new sweet vermouth we picked up recently. It’s called Carpano Antica by mixologists and bartenders alike, and changes the flavor profiles of the cocktails that call for this slightly sweet, red/amber–hued fortified wine.

Last night we made ourselves one of our favorite cocktails, The Oriental (click to see our video on Cocktail Buzz in which we pair it with sweet potato crisps). We used one of our favorite ryes, Rittenhouse, and a 60-proof triple sec. The lime was oh so fresh (don’t ever use limes that have started to turn golden near the middle and edges when you cut one open—it won’t have the powder-fresh sweet lime aroma and taste). Man, what a difference. Although we love the Orientals that use your average sweet vermouth, the Carpano Antica brings out the inherent rye flavor and smell characteristics to the fore. It’s the Montgomery Clift of vermouths (Clift, a supremely gifted and generous actor always made his other actors shine). So check out our Oriental page for the recipe and make one tonight. If you want to get a bottle of the Carpano Antica, Sherry-Lehmann Wine and Spirits in Manhattan on 505 Park Avenue at 60th Street. { UPDATE: Carpano Antica is now available at many spirits shops, including Astor Wine & Spirits. Ask your local shopkeeper to stock it if he or she currently does not. }

The other spirit that has been haunting us is Rubi Rey White Rum (spanish for “king of gems,” an apt moniker). The lovely Jenna at Truth Be Told PR sent us a bottle, so when it arrived on our doorstep like an orphaned child, we immediately took it into our loving arms and made a few cocktails (after sipping it of course, with just a skosh of water to open up its rich profile). Rubi Rey is smooth and has a beguiling finish. Compare it with a cheaper common, rum and you’ll experience the difference. (You might have an epiphany and never use the cheap stuff again.)

So what did we make with the Rubi Rey? Well, Paul was craving the taste of absinthe the other night, so Steve found a recipe for a Third Rail (probably named so because it packs a high-voltage charge):

Third Rail
(adapted by Cocktail Buzz)

1 ounce Rubi Rey White Rum (or another quality light rum)
1 ounce calvados (French apple brandy)
1 ounce brandy (or cognac)
dash of absinthe

Stir for 30 seconds in mixing glass half-filled with ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Kapow!
❤ ❤ ❤

Steve was so inspired by this that he created a mule-type highball (recipe to be divulged once we perfect the ratio and come up with a great name, so stay tuned). { UPDATE: The drink is called Lancaster's Mule. Click here and scroll for the recipe. }

photo © Steve Schul, Cocktail Buzz


  1. Thanks for great recipe with Rubi Rey White Rum. I'm going to try it in a daquiri next. Hemingway would have approved.

  2. I am a huge fan of both rum and absinthe, and can't wait to try this one out. Perhaps you should devote a new drink to Marilyn Manson's new absinthe!

  3. Third Rail!!!! That is the best name ever. I luckily happen to have a bottle of absinthe that has been waiting for just this opportunity. Off to get some Ruby Rei. Thanks for turning me on to so many great new liquors. :)


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