Grappa balsamica

Ok, hiatus over.

I had to go back to New York in April to (finally !) finalize the process for a French work visa. I came back to Paris on a Sunday only to start working the following morning at 9am. Breaks this month have been few and far between, but I've racked up A LOT of new info on spirits and a bunch of new cocktail recipes. My posts are probably going to be a lot more bar oriented from here and contain information about spirits and cocktails as I learn it -- a refined notebook, if you like.

Though, lots of work means little time to spend on complicated cooking projects. Moreover, use of the kitchen has been compromised by (1) lack of motivation for doing dishes and (2) the subsequent return of unwanted vistors. As negotiations with the ant population continue, I'm going to keep to cocktails and try to catch up on a couple old projects not yet posted.

Unfortunately, today I have no grand thoughts outside of this -- though I might update this post to talk more about grappa at a later date.

Grappa Balsamica
Dr. Adam's Spanish bitters are a real treat -- lightly spicy, infused with saffron, delicate and delicious -- but they're hard to get a hold of. If you can substitute with something from the Bob's or Bitterman's lines that might work. The bitters tie the other flavors together -- though the cocktail still works without it.

2 1/2 oz Grappa
1 oz Bonal
1-2 heavy dashes Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Spanish Bitters
Lemon zest
Balsamic honey reduction (recipe below)

Add grappa, Bonal and bitters to a shaker filled with large ice cubes and stir until cold and the ice has lightly diluted the drink (45 seconds to a minute). Strain into a cocktail glass rimmed with honey balsamic reduction and garnish with lemon twist.

Balsamic Reduction :
1 cup (edible, i.e. decent quality) balsamic vinegar
3 Tbl honey

Simmer honey and balsamic over med-low heat for 20-30 minutes or until mixture is of a molasses-like consistency. The syrup should be slightly warm to be fluid enough to coat the rim of the glass. (You'll probably have to do one or two practice tries to get the right consistency of drip.)

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