Thursday, September 27, 2012

Two New Cocktails for a Headmaster and His Pupil

aka the Marriage of Bulleit Rye with Fernet-Branca

A few months backs when we visited Providence, Rhode Island, we were chatting with artists Matthew Lawrence and Jason Tranchida over some strong Bulleit rye cocktails. When they asked us to come up with a signature cocktail for their art and literary magazine Headmaster, we jumped at the opportunity. We love creating new drinks for events, but this one was special. Matthew declared his love for Bulleit rye, which we also adore, so we started to experiment with drinks we thought would unite the spiciness of Bulleit rye—with hints of ginger, cinnamon, and tobacco—with the themes of avuncular strength that a Headmaster evokes.

Since the New York launch would be held at Tender Trap in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (how perfect is that!), we decided to check out their stash and see what we could come up with on the fly. We espied a bottle of the bitterest of bitter liqueurs Fernet-Branca on Tender Trap’s wee shelf, and decided to start with a Manhattan variation, substituting the traditional Angostura bitters with the Fernet-Branca. What sealed the deal occurred when the lovely bartender Rebecca pulled out a bottle of Carpano Antica sweet vermouth from the fridge. If you know us, you know how much we love love love this exceptional vermouth. Serendipitously, it’s made by the same geniuses who put out the Fernet-Branca. The Fernet-Branca brings out the subtle smokiness of the Bulleit rye extremely well. The Carpano smooths and sweetens the ride, but not too smooth or sweet. This is the Headmaster after all, and the drink should be strong like a Headmaster.

But we couldn’t just create one cocktail for the Headmaster 4 party; a companion was needed, something a little lighter, for those imbibers who like some fizz and ice in their drink. That’s where The Pupil comes into play. It is definitely lighter than the Headmaster 4, but has the same Bulleit Rye/Fernet-Branca taste combo. The ginger ale, which adds the fizz, smooths it out in the way the Carpano Antica does in the Headmaster 4. Both will make you feel that little click we all seek when we bring a cocktail to our lips, ironing out any bumpy ride the day may bring. 

Headmaster 4
(created by Cocktail Buzz)

2 ounces Bulleit rye
1 ounce Carpano Antica sweet vermouth
1 dash/drizzle Fernet-Branca

Stir in ice for 30 seconds and strain into chilled cocktail glass.

The Pupil
(created by Cocktail Buzz)

1 1/2 ounces Bulleit rye
1 dash/drizzle Fernet-Branca
3 ounces ginger ale

Add ingredients one at a time in double-rocks or highball glass the order above. Stir until chilled.

❤ ❤ ❤

Special Thanks
The cocktails would not be possible without the generosity of Bulleit rye’s World Ambassador Hollis Bulleit. She hooked us up with Jim Ruane at Diageo so the partygoer’s could delight in the Headmaster 4 and Pupil.

The Headmaster 4 launch party is 10 p.m. tonight, Sept. 27, 2012, at Tender Trap, 245 S. 1st Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY. The Providence, R.I. launch party is Oct. 7, 2012, at Dark Lady, 17 Snow Street. 

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