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The Fine Art of Rimming

March 19, 2010

A sloppy sticky rim job really gets me hot and bothered, but not in a good way.

Take two minutes—actually 2:09—and click through to this video and watch the bartender demonstrate the wrong way and the right way to rim a glass.

He is spot on about the importance of rimming only the outside of the glass.  However, the bartender uses a very heavy hand when rubbing the citrus against the edge of the glass and creates a thick, inelegant rim.  If you look carefully (at about 1:05) you can even see some lime juice dripping from the glass.

The edge just needs to be dampened for your rim to stick.

All too often bartenders get this wrong, and they are getting it wrong more often as many are now using fanciful rims to produce new cocktails.  There was the promising Buzz Aldrin cocktail that cleverly was served with a Tang rim at a local bar.  Except the rim job was so bad that the Tang dripped down the stem of the cocktail glass, making it a sticky mess.

Two things happened recently that gave me the inspiration to create a cocktail.   As you may know, I rarely do this.  I think of myself as more of a promoter and less of a creator, but that’s another story.

Thing number one: I received a solicitation from a lovely man named Graham Watts who wanted to send me a product to review.  The product is called Honibe, which he described as honey drops.  Here is an official blurb on the product:

Our Honey Drops are an individual serving (one teaspoon / 5 g.) of 100% pure dried honey without any additives. Our Honey Drop is the first of its kind in the world.  It is ideal for sweetening tea or coffee. Simply drop into a hot beverage and stir.  You have all of the natural honey flavor without the usual honey mess.  Our Honey Drops are also perfect as an energy booster as a natural hard candy for any time of the day.

Reviewing honey drops, as you might imagine, isn’t exactly a perfect fit for what I do here at the FLB.  But I had an idea.  I thought that these could be used as a shortcut for some cheap and easy molecular gastronomy at home.  All I would need to do is break out the Cuisinart and grind them into a dust.

And then it occurred to me that if I had a honey dust, it would probably be delightful on the rim of a cocktail glass.  Properly applied that is.

But which cocktail?

That brings us to thing number two: Officially the results of the San Francisco World Spirits Competition not being officially posted until March 26, a little birdie told me that Harvest Spirits did quite well.  I cannot verify the claim right now, but if my source is correct Cornelius Applejack has been awarded a double gold medal, which is huge.

So, I’m hitting up my cocktail books looking for inspiration and I find a classic from the 1930s that can serve as the launching point for this drink.  It’s the Deauville cocktail, and it is made from equal parts apple brandy, California brandy, triple sec and lemon juice.

But as I have always said the Core vodka is more like an eau de vie than a traditional vodka, I’m going to use that in place of the brandy.  Cornelius will play the role of the apple brandy, and Cointreau will replace the generic triple sec.  A muddled apple slice will be added to punch up the fruit component, a dash of Angostura bitters adds complexity, and to celebrate the gold medal a ring of golden dried honey dust will elegantly adorn the rim of the glass.

I was very pleased with the drink.  It was aromatic from all of the apple components and nicely tart.  The honey dust on the rim worked beautifully to bring the whole thing into balance.  Working with the honey was a bit trickier than I expected, as it was prone to clumping, and difficult to apply neatly to the rim as per my high standards.  Regardless of its appearance, it did not make the cocktail glass a sticky mess, and I would deep the experiment a success.  But in the future, blending the honey dust with sugar may help to give this rim a neater appearance.

Just muddle the apple slice like a madman (I went for a Fuji).  Pour in ¾ oz each of Cornelius, Core, Cointreau freshly squeezed lemon juice (about half of a lemon) and a dash of bitters.  Fill with ice, SHAKE and strain into a Honibe honey-dust rimmed glass.  And toast the good people in Valatie who made this all possible.

Now comes the question of what to name it.  The golden apple cocktail?
Maybe you all can do better.  Ready.  Set.  Go.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 19, 2010 12:30 pm

    Way to be provocative, fussy man.

    I had a hard time getting past your title because I kept periodically breaking into giggle through the post. I’m not sure what that says about you but about me it may mean that I am immature. That’s okay, I never claimed to be a paragon or maturity anyway.

    Now about that cocktail…it sounds fabulous. Right up my alley…sweet, tart and a little bit local. Love it.

    Why did you have to go and use so many things that I do not have??

  2. March 19, 2010 12:31 pm

    Goodness, I do need to start proofreading.

  3. March 19, 2010 12:48 pm

    Dan us a real blogger now! Next we will get titles like “6 5 minute gourmet meals” or “7 ways to get free gourmet products”. Lists are digg bait!

  4. maltnsmoke permalink
    March 19, 2010 2:11 pm

    Although the “golden apple cocktail” sounds a tad anticlimactic given the initial tone of this post, in mixed company it might be prudent to start with a few of those before offering a concoction known as the “Jack Liquor Bitter Honey Rim”.

  5. March 19, 2010 6:25 pm

    I support rimming, especially when it involves honey. Sometimes clumps are inevitable.

  6. March 19, 2010 9:30 pm

    Daniel – :) Albany Jane – :D

    Meanwhile, the cocktail sounds good. I think traditionally cocktails such as this are called ‘martinis’ [ducks to avoid inevitable response]. Just kidding.

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