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Aperitif article in Pittsburgh Quarterly


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#1 Mat B.

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 05:15 AM

Caught this little bit on aperitifs in the Spring 2010 issue of Pittsburgh Quarterly. I was reading this at school while waiting to meet with one of my professors. All in all, its ink, but after reading it I was slightly disappointed. He didn't nail it, but he also didn't totally miss either. None the less, a good read considering absinthe is starting to be found in more digs around Pittsburgh.
Attached File  pghq1.jpg   254.63KB   19 downloads

Don't worry though, I sent Mr. Sebastian a courteous email in regards to his notion of the "ritual young cocktail enthusiasts insist on" and why we 'insist' on it. At least he didn't mention fire... ;)

Edit: to try and reduce image size yet again.
Edit Edit: I guess this belongs in the media section... I haven't had my coffee yet :)

Edited by Gwydion Stone, 26 March 2010 - 10:40 AM.

"I will show you something different from either Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you; I will show you fear in a handful of dust."
-The Waste Land

“…and it’s appropriate to serve them, as long as you serve them appropriately.”
-Jules

#2 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 10:36 AM

Thanks Mat. I resized your image for you.

And because that image may not be there 5 years from now...

Aperitif!
NEARLY FORGOTTEN COCKTAILS TO WHET YOUR APPETITE


IT'S ALWAYS BEEN A NICE break for me to get out of the hot kitchen and spend some time tending bar. And 40 years ago when I started in the restaurant business, making drinks before dinner was easy. A martini, a glass of sherry or an imported aperitif- that was all a sophisticated diner wanted before a meal. When I cast my eye over the endless cocktail ingredients required today ... well, who ever would have thought pomegranates would be a standard item behind the bar? So here's my plea for simplicity in complicated times. Let me suggest, instead of a trendy cocktail or a glass of overly dry wine, some classic aperitifs. These mostly wine-based drinks are perfect to have before you sit down for dinner and a bottle of fine wine. A good aperitif, with a balance of bitter and sweet, wakes up the taste buds and whets the appetite, making the meal to follow that much more delicious.

Vermouth. During Prohibition, a big splash of vermouth drowned out the nasty taste of bathtub gin in martinis. Today, cocktail snobs give vermouth a bad name-apparently no drink can ever be too dry for some people. But a short glass of vermouth, a wine fortified with additional alcohol (typically port or brandy), made aromatic with herbs and spices, is really a wonderful cocktail all by itself. Look for red (not white, too bitter to drink straight) vermouth such as Stock Rosso ($9.99 at PA Wine & Spirits Stores) or my favorite, Carpano Antica, at better-stocked bars. Serve over ice with a lemon twist; splash of seltzer optional. Now; if you don't believe me, even some California winemakers, like Andrew Quady, have taken a renewed interest in this old-fashioned drink- try his lovely Vya vermouth ($18.99).

Lillet. This French aperitif has been served as a prelude to boeuf bourguignon and poulet roti since 1872. It's a blend of Bordeaux wines infused with fruit and woodsy aromatics. Available in white and red versions, I prefer the white, which has the honeyed aromas of a perfect Vidal ice wine, but bright orange and piney flavors ($15.99). Served on the rocks with a small orange slice, it's ideal for kicking off a springtime dinner.

Dubonnet. Here's another French aperitif with roots in the 19th century, said to have been favored by soldiers of the French Foreign Legion. That's because a key ingredient of this fortified wine is quinine-helpful for staving off malaria in warmer climes. Hopefully you won't need to drink Dubonnet for its medicinal qualities but will enjoy its unusual mix of rich wine and bracing kick, as I do, over ice ($9·99)·

Sherry. Folks in Spain know what's what- they'll sip sherry while nibbling through an entire meal of tapas. So naturally the right sherry is a perfect accompaniment to hors d'oeuvres or little bar snacks. As sherries run from the gamut from bone-dry to sweet, choose a dry version-one marked fino or manzanilla-foryour aperitif. These, made with wine and a bit of neutral spirit, are lighter and drier than the cream sherry, a lovely after-dinner drink, which you probably thought of the moment I said "sherry." Look for the rich, nutty Lustau Solera Reserva Papirusa Manzanilla ($16.99), or Pedro Romero Fino ($10.99).

Anise-flavored spirits. These aren't wines, obviously, but they have the same herbal, slightly bitter qualities that get your taste buds hopping. Don't worry about the whole absinthe ritual young cocktail enthusiasts insist on (special spoons, water drips, sugar cubes, etc.)- absinthe over ice, with a splash of soda water, is a unique and easy aperitif. It's not the licorice-and-sugar bomb of a Sambuca digestivo, but grown-up and refreshing. Try Vieux Carre absinthe ($54.99), distilled right here in Pennsylvania. The slightly sweeter, lower-alcohol Pernod liqueur, which filled the gap in the years the French government banned absinthe, makes a less expensive ($29.99) cocktail. Like all my favorite aperitifs, it has its origins in long-ago history, but will set you up nicely for tonight's dinner. Cheers!

Alex Sebastian is proprietor of The Wooden Angel, Beaver.
PITTSBURGH QUARTERLY - SPRING 2010


Maker of Marteau Absinthe
Master Distiller, Gnostalgic Spirits Distillery
www.absinthemarteau.com
Confessions of an Absinthiste


#3 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 10:45 AM

Today, cocktail snobs give vermouth a bad name-apparently no drink can ever be too dry for some people.

Cocktail snobs—i.e. poseurs—maybe, but every true cocktail aficionado will know that vermouth plays a necessary part in many great cocktails. Even in martinis, which were around long before prohibition.

Maker of Marteau Absinthe
Master Distiller, Gnostalgic Spirits Distillery
www.absinthemarteau.com
Confessions of an Absinthiste


#4 Ron

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 10:47 AM

Did you really sit there and transcribe that?! Kudos.
Every hour is green hour. -Hedonmonkey

Sometimes bad just gets so bad that it breaks thru to the other side and becomes good. - Phoenix

#5 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 10:49 AM

Did you really sit there and transcribe that?!

Behold the wonders of OCR. ;)

Maker of Marteau Absinthe
Master Distiller, Gnostalgic Spirits Distillery
www.absinthemarteau.com
Confessions of an Absinthiste


#6 Ron

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 10:59 AM

That makes more sense. I've never seen OCR used without a scanner involved. I assume you don't subscribe to the Pittsburgh Quarterly.
Every hour is green hour. -Hedonmonkey

Sometimes bad just gets so bad that it breaks thru to the other side and becomes good. - Phoenix

#7 Joe Legate

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 12:37 PM

Don't worry about the whole absinthe ritual young cocktail enthusiasts insist on

I love this writer! How subtly he plays with words to entice a perfect visual image in the reader's mind.




Ah shucks, he called me young! :blush:

#8 baubel

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 12:50 PM

Play hard to get. ;)

A little technological fix to a spiritual problem.


#9 Joe Legate

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 12:55 PM

I'm from the theatre.
No one will buy that.

#10 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 01:29 PM

Don't worry about the whole absinthe ritual young cocktail enthusiasts insist on

I love this writer! How subtly he plays with words to entice a perfect visual image in the reader's mind.


Yeah, what will these kooky youngsters come up with next??

Attached File  CPA_Coq_Fountain_Closeup_II.jpg   34.56KB   16 downloads

Maker of Marteau Absinthe
Master Distiller, Gnostalgic Spirits Distillery
www.absinthemarteau.com
Confessions of an Absinthiste


#11 Green Baron

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 01:50 PM

They look suspiciously like the "cool kids" that Micheal Savage was so worried about. I bet they're wearing pointy shoes.
This post has been edited over and over again by Green Baron

Chasing the green fairy in my triplane!

"A decorous absinthe will persuade your whisper away with its hooch essence..."

#12 Absomphe

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 02:24 PM

Yup, those outfits would go perfectly with Fluevogs™.

Yes, I'm Krinkles the Clown on an absinthe a beer bender.

You got a problem with that?


#13 Mat B.

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 06:13 PM

Thanks Mat. I resized your image for you.

And thank you good Sir! If it gets obtrusive, any mod can move this thread into the media area, too.
"I will show you something different from either Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you; I will show you fear in a handful of dust."
-The Waste Land

“…and it’s appropriate to serve them, as long as you serve them appropriately.”
-Jules

#14 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 09:48 AM

Did that yesterday too. ;)

Maker of Marteau Absinthe
Master Distiller, Gnostalgic Spirits Distillery
www.absinthemarteau.com
Confessions of an Absinthiste



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