Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Episkey! takes 2nd prize at Louis 649's mixology competition

Those of you who are familiar with the New York City cocktail scene, I am sure, are aware of Louis 649, which has been one of my absolute favorite bars in the city ever since I discovered it 5 or so years ago. If you aren't familiar, may I suggest that you acquaint yourself. It's a great bar run by great guys who actually care about the trade they are plying. A real success story for a small business trying to make it in a city increasingly filled by corporate chains.

Anyway, the guys at Louis had the great idea of holding an amateur mixology competition, with the prizes being, among other things, the top three drinks making the spring/summer menu at Louis. With that on offer, I decided to put myself in the running with a modified version of my Episkey! cocktail (using half cognac and half applejack as the base, and stirring).

Out of 60+ recipe submissions, I was humbled by their selection of Episkey! as one of ten finalists.

Last night was the finals. All ten finalists were invited behind the bar to make their cocktails for a panel of four judges and for the eager and thirsty crowd of onlookers and friends. The drinks created were extremely well made and well thought out, so the competition was stiff. Congrats to Fredo Ceraso (of Loungerati renown) taking the big trophy of the $100 Louis 649 gift certificate.

As for me, I was extremely pleased to accept the honor of second prize in the competition, so you can now enjoy a slightly modified version of my Episkey! cocktail at Louis 649!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


This cocktail was the product of a "moment of clarity" in which, directly in the midst of an evening of merrymaking and imbibing of fine firewhiskey, it finally struck me how that most strange and wonderful of elixers, Amaro Meletti, could be put to good use.


Meletti has always stumped me a bit. I find its floral + saffron qualities to be extremely interesting, though also somewhat odd, and not exactly amenable to sipping solo. But every time I tried mixing it up in my cauldron, I found that it lost that special quality that really sets it apart from some of the other amaros.

Try this to help it open up:

("episkeyazo" Gr. to repair)

2oz Applejack (I used Lairds)
1oz Carpano Antica
2/3 - 3/4oz Amaro Meletti
2-3 dashes Regan's Orange Bitters

Shake vigorously with ice an
d serve in the glass of your choice. Top with a dash of Angostura bitters. Place on the counter in front of you and clearly speak the incantation "Episkey!" while gesturing your hand forward, as with a magic wand.

Imbibe, and enjoy the curative effects.