Friday, August 20, 2010

Essential Liquor #21

#21) Brandy - If you are a Wisconsinite and brandy does not make the 30 Essentials list, they should run you out of the state on a rail. Korbel is what we drink in the state and it is about as ubiquitous as Miller Lite. While I have no problem with Korbel (we have three bottles of various sizes here), we have a number of others in the Lounge.
For Common Joe's budget we would suggest a pairing of Korbel and Paul Masson. If you plan on dong some courtin' and you have the potential father-in-law coming over, go get yourself a bottle of Christian Brothers, but skip the E&J. If Joe wants to go with a bit more pizazz, an Armagnac can be had in the $20 range, but I'd suggest the German Asbach Uralt. The Asbach has a beautiful color, can be enjoyed neat in a snifter, and can be bought for $25 in Wisconsin.

Our drink this week is a classic cousin of the immortal brandy Sidecar called the Filmograph. Lost until lately because of its strange ingredients, it is a sweet yet classic drink from bygone era. One of those ingredients is lemon syrup. You can buy it, but it isn't as good as making it and you can taste the difference in this drink. To make lemon syrup, juice 2 medium lemons in a small pan (about 1/2 cup of juice) and add 1/2 cup of sugar. Heat over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Heat for about 2 to 3 minutes. For other drinks that call for lemon syrup, you can boil it down to make the syrup sweeter, not for the Filmograph though, unless you like drinking molasses.

The other strange ingredient is Kola Tonic. Principally its cola syrup and it may be a challenge to find. We got ours at the local Williams-Sonoma (under cola soda syrup), but Rose's makes it too, so you have a few options. Williams-Sonoma also makes a lemon syrup under the same label, so if you're lazy...

Filmograph Cocktail

2 ounces brandy
3/4 ounce lemon syrup
1/2 ounce kola tonic

Shake and drink. If you don't want it that sweet, use fresh squeezed lemon juice for the lemon syrup.

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