Thursday, April 1, 2010

The New-Fangled

Dipping back into the realm of the "classics", Joe pulls out an Old Fashioned recipe and dares to tweak it. Of course, purists would decry any changes to an Old Fashioned as "not an Old Fashioned!" So, we here at The Greatest Drink in the World... This Week respectfully defer, and cheekily naming this variation, The New Fangled.

The Recipe:

Muddle together in the glass:

- a slice of orange, a maraschino cherry, 3 dashes of Angostura Bitters, and 1/2 a packet of sugar,

- add ice,

- add a 3 count of Jack Daniel’s,

- add a 2 count of cherry brandy,

- Top with soda,

- Stir,

- Garnish with a slice of orange and/or a maraschino cherry.

Original Recipe by Joe the Bartender, Passage to India Restaurant, Salem, MA

Joe's Notes: As you can see I have changed the classic Old Fashioned cocktail to the New Fangled. The functional word being changed, i.e .altered. I have not invented or even reinvented, (is this even possible? How can anyone invent something that has already been invented?) Anyway, I digress. The point being that although the ingredients may have changed, the overall experience of the drink has stayed the same. The Old Fashioned has always been one of the few drinks that not only stimulates the taste buds but is also an auditory and tactile experience.

What, you may be asking yourself, am I talking about? Let me explain.

When you order either the Old Fashioned or the New Fangled from your bartender, ask him not to muddle the ingredients too much. The drink should be served with a small spoon. This allows you to dissolve the sugar to the perfect sweetness. Stirring the ice around the glass will give you the desired watering-down of the drink. Use the back of the spoon to squeeze out how much of the orange flavor you prefer.

Stirring the drink with a metal spoon will produce that wonderful clinking sound allowing your thoughts to fade into oblivion or stimulate your mind to the brink of genius.

Chris's Notes: As you can probably see from the photo, I got to enjoy this drink with a full meal of fine Indian cuisine, so my senses were pretty much satisfied. I approached this drink with a single-sense agenda; Taste! (Not to mention, when surrounded by my fellow "enthusiasts," the brink of genius is a parcel of real estate not frequently explored!)

Regardless, (or "irregardless," if you're one of THOSE people!) with flavor as my primary criteria, I zealously seconded this as this week's "Greatest Drink." The Jack Daniel's is a very strong flavored whiskey, true, but Joe's inclusion of cherry brandy added a sweetness that truly complimented it. A caveat; my fellow researches this evening, Cheryl and Johanna, found the drink to be a little on the strong side for their tastes, (whereas it scratched me right where I itched.) So make certain that yours comes with it's spoon to temper the tastes to your specific liking!

Joe's Soap Box; (A.K.A. Additional Bar Chatter.)

Change can come in many forms: good, bad or indifferent. Unfortunately, I see change happening in the service industry that I am not entirely pleased with. For example, During this past week, I went into one of these new trendy sandwich shops springing up all over town. The young lady behind the counter had obviously got her days mixed up and had dressed for an audition in the Rocky Horror Picture Show. The addition of a hair net and transparent plastic gloves only added to the absurdity of the overall look. Patiently waiting my turn to be served, I looked up at the near hieroglyphic scribblings on the menu board. I had no idea what most of the offerings were.

(I still don't know what “khmeli suneli crusted chicken” is, or even if it is legal.) During my wait, I did manage to count fourteen different types of breads, as well as various flavored wraps, soup in bread bowls and the ever present oxymoron, no carb sandwich roll.

When it was my turn at the counter I asked for a BLT on wheat. this is the conversation that followed.

Sever: " Sorry, no tomato"

Me: "You must have a tomato somewhere, this is a sandwich shop."

"Sorry, no tomato."

"Cucumber then, I'll have bacon, lettuce and cucumber."

"No cucumber."

"Yes, you have. I can see some over there."

"That's pickled cucumber infused with mustard seed and fenugreek. Would you like that in your sandwich?"

"Good God, no! Just some mayo then."

"We have a homemade mayonnaise with a hint of rosemary, or garlic and dill infused mayonnaise. Which one would you like?"

"Neither really, just regular mayo."

“Sir," (letting out a heavy sigh,) “your choices are homemade mayonnaise with..."

"You know what, I think I would like to change my order. Are you sure you don't have any tomato?”

No response, just a glacial stare.

The line behind me continues to text, tweet, and Twitter at a furious speed, looking up from time to time to monitor my progress. At this point I am tempted to order a PB&J on Wonder-bread, but I think this may send the poor girl into a murderous frenzy, so instead I say " I'll have the tilapia, papaya and roasted walnut on a sun-dried tomato and basil low-carb wrap"

This she can do!

Leaving the sandwich shop I surreptitiously dump my obscene purchase in the trash barrel outside and head into the establishment next door. I am pleased to see that their menu doesn't have the words "A hint of" or "infused with" and their soup comes in ceramic bowls. I order a slice of pizza and a coke.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for the introduction of new and adventurous items on the menu. But somewhere along the way, many have lost sight of the fact that we are here to serve the public. Lets give them what they want, and please lose the attitude, (and the nose ring.)

Cheers, Joe

(Vaguely related token video: 'Changes.' )

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