Showing posts with label Chartreuse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chartreuse. Show all posts

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.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Nathan Gerdes at work and play

What's in your 12 bottle case?: 
Nathan Gerdes, Craft Bartender
It’s a fascinating question, one that is often asked---right behind the unanswerable “What’s your favorite spirit?”---and one that requires a little thinking: If you had to limit your available spirits to one case, 12 bottles, which 12 would you choose?
The answers, it turns out, are always different.  And the choices reveal much about the people making them. 
The ‘rules’ were simple: Only 12 bottles, any spirits you wish, and they don’t have to include bitters (they’re small, so they’ll fit in to your case anyway, and we didn’t want to make it too difficult).  You can think of it as your “marooned on a desert island” or “basic home bar” or simply the spirits that are most essential to you personally.
First one to answer the question was Nathan Gerdes, Bar Manager at H50 Bar & Bistro in Portland.  Nathan is a meticulous professional, thoughtful and precise and immensely knowledgeable about his craft. His approach to the question, and his thoughtful reply, is characteristic.  Nathan even goes one step further:  he gives you his 12 bottle case, then narrows it down to his Final Four for his desert island adventure!
Cadenhead's Old Raj GIn
“Tough one. Mainly because my “essentials bar” isn’t the same as my “stuck on a desert island bar”. For me, essentials means picking out the best representatives of each category and filling your space with the most versatile liqueurs to allow you to make the most quality drinks with such a limited supply of ingredients.
For that, my collection would include:
Vodka– Nope, sorry; I need the space for other bottles
Gin– Old Raj 55%
Caol Ila Single Malt
Fortaleza Tequila
Bitters– All of them (since they magically take up no space in my case in this situation)
Tesseron Lot. 53
So long as I had access to fresh fruits, juices and some basic syrups I should be able to make most any cocktail with that list (vodka excluded obviously).
There is little extra description for why I chose my selections other than they are all very high quality, they represent their category well, and they don’t repeat flavor profiles with other bottles, giving me the most versatility for my 12 bottle bar. This, for example, is why although I love Rhum JM’s VSOP, it is not on my list – it’s too similar to a tequila crossed with a cognac.
P.S.  My “stuck on a desert island bar” is nice and simple. It consists of 4 magical flasks that are never empty. One filled with Michters 10yr Rye, one  filled with Rhum J M VSOP, one filled with Gran Classico Bitters, and one filled with fresh lime juice (for scurvy).”
You can find Nathan most often at the H50 Bar & Bistro, and occasionally at the Thatch Tiki Bar, both in Portland OR; he’ll be the friendly guy behind the bar.
What would be in your 12 bottle case?  Feel free to join in with your recommendations.