The problem with writing so much is that it is hard to remember exactly what you’ve written. I’m just about two weeks away from my 400th post, and post number 300 seems like just yesterday.
Or maybe it’s just that I’m getting old.
Either way, today I’m going to do something that I don’t think I’ve ever done before on the FUSSYlittleBLOG. Those of you with better memory or who have more time to search the archive can tell me if that’s definitively true or not. But today, I’m going to dedicate this post entirely to highlighting somebody else’s blog.
One of the best parts of writing the FLB is stumbling upon people with whom I feel a strong and instant connection. If Mr. Sunshine wasn’t older than me, I would swear we had been separated at birth. Well there is another fellow I recently came across named David Solmonson, and he writes about cocktails and spirits. But he does it in a way that I wholeheartedly support. Let me explain.
I believe in classic cocktails. I believe in maintaining a simple home bar. I believe in bitters. I believe in absinthe. I believe in rye. I believe in craft spirits. I believe in stirring Manhattans.
So does David.
But he takes it one step further. He advocates not just for a simple home bar, but rather the simple home bar that is best equipped to crank out delicious classic cocktails. In fact, he has twelve very specific bottles of booze in mind and recipes that build off those bottles. Aptly, he named the blog 12 Bottle Bar.
Would I have chosen a different list of bottles? Absolutely.
But it is a very good list. It may even be great. Dare I say brilliant?
Do I think it is shear folly to include Genever in a list of spirits intended to be accessible and welcoming to classic cocktail neophytes? Delicious, malty folly.
I would actually argue that David has room to add a few more bottles to his list, since two of the twelve selections are bitters and another two of the twelve are vermouth. At least in the great state of New York, bitters are considered mixers and not spirits. Thus they cannot even be legally purchased at a liquor store. And vermouth is aromatized wine. Sure, it’s fortified, but at the end of the day, wine is wine.
Of the bottles that don’t make the cut, the ones that I find to be indispensable to a good home bar are orange bitters and scotch. In the heat of summer I also really want a bottle of white rum around. To be fair, I mentioned this to David, and he explained that this was the basic 12-bottle set-up. It sounds like in the future it may be adjusted to accommodate for changes in seasonal drinking preferences. After all, this project is only eight months old.
Ultimately where he and I diverge is that I am more simple-minded than David. I prefer drinks with three or four ingredients, where ice counts as an ingredient. I enjoy sitting down with a small, stemmed glass of a spirit, and experiencing it on its own terms unadulterated by any additional accompaniments.
All the same, this blog is a fascinating project, and David writes passionately about spirits, their history, and their best uses in well-made drinks. His recent post might just get me to dedicate the soon-to-be-empty spot in my own liquor cabinet to a bottle of Genever.
Part of me thinks that, living in this historical Dutch settlement, I owe it to myself and my community to take up a Genever habit. Honestly, I haven’t even looked to see if it’s available locally. But one thing we do have in upstate New York is good liquor stores.
If I do, David is to blame. I’ve found him to be really inspiring.