Saturday, March 3, 2012

What's in your 12 bottle case? Miguel Figueredo Lancha of Spain

Miguel Figueredo Lancha is a charismatic, talented, and industrious entrepreneur of the spirits world located in Madrid, Spain, a multinational (Spain and Venezuela) son of a Spanish father and a Cuban mother.  

Miguel is one of those guys so filled with energy and passionate about his knowledge that he fills the room with his presence; he describes himself with some understatement as “kind of extroverted and communicative.”  

He has a wealth of knowledge of spirits and mixology, deals every day with some of the most exceptional spirits in the world, and trains other people about them.  When he’s not teaching he is out in various places---Cognac, Amsterdam, London, New York, the Caribbean---learning more about his profession.

Currently he co-directs the Bar Concept and The Cocktail Room in Madrid, which covers the entire Spanish bartending community, delivering training on spirits, bartending and cocktails; writes for a bilingual blog on the bar industry; and operates a bartending school, bartenders library and store, tasting room and product marketing company.

On top of all that, Miguel is also a very active musician on multiple instruments. Whew.

When asked what his 12 bottle case would consist of, he graciously agreed to take a break from his very hectic schedule and think about it.

This is Miguel’s list:

"This would be my list of the 12 bottles to pick if I were limited to only those ones. As you can see I don't need them all to be the ultimate, most antique, collector bottles, although some nice stuff is appreciated. I thought it was going be a lot easier to pick them, but, wow, it seems I love many other ones... Anyway, I think that with these I could cover a nice session at a party, with cocktails, coolers or neat spirits."

       El Dorado 15, demerara rum
       Fighting Spirit, agricole rum
       Pierre Ferrand Ancestrale Cognac
       Del Maguey Tobala, mezcal
       Gran Centenario reposado, tequila
       Pierre Ferrand dry orange curaçao
       Tanqueray Nº Ten, gin

       Port wine: any ruby or tawny
       Yellow Chartreuse
       Perucchi or Carpano Antica Formula sweet vermouth
       1 liter of bottled cold beer

Summing it up, Miguel decides on two rums, a cognac, two agave spirits, a gin, three essential liqueurs often used for cocktails, a bottle of sweet vermouth, a bottle of Port---which could be consumed individually or in a cocktail---and a bottle of cold beer.

A closer look would show that Miguel appreciates intense aromatic complexity in his spirit choices.  The omission of anything in the whiskey group is intriguing---although perhaps the wood-aged/grain-based spirit category is simply not one that made the final cut here.  (Miguel later appended that whisky was close, but didn't quite make the cut in preference to other spirits he loved.)

There is wood aging evident in the rum and cognac choices, however…indeed, with the Pierre Ferrand Ancestrale Cognac you have approximately 70 years of aging in barrel and glass demijohns.

In any case, should you end up on a desert island with Miguel, he’d be able to step behind a bar and serve up some tasty libations in short order with his 12 bottle case.

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