Hau'oli Makahiki Hou!
And here we are, in 2010. Hard to believe, as it all comes so quickly, but 2009 set in motion some wonderful things, and I'm looking forward to this year, and all the good it will bring.
I'd like to take a moment and extend my thanks to all of you. Thank you for reading along with my blog; thank you for watching the stream at Black Orchid Live; thank you for playing along with the Black Orchid Club, both in person and on Twitter; thank you for having such a good time with my puzzles and riddles; thank you for all of your wonderful compliments and encouragements; and most of all, thank you for the honor of allowing me to share my cocktails with you, and thank you for drinking them. Working at Forbidden Island is truly a dream come true for me, and getting to share with all of you is truly a highlight in my life. I'm honored to have the chance.
2010 is already looking to be a very exciting year. The Black Orchid Club will reach the end of these first 13 weeks at the end of January, followed by the Reconking Party on the 1st Wednesday of Feb, where we'll give out all of the prizes to our Black Orchid Club members, and basically have a great big bash. Afterward, I'll be moving into the commencement of the Black Orchid Sessions, where each week, on Wednesday, we'll have a focus ingredient - usually one of my homemade specialty syrups or liqueurs, but also sometimes focusing on a specific spirit - and a short menu of about three cocktails featuring that ingredient will be available. In addition, should you wish to, I will custom build a cocktail for you based on the focus ingredient and any other direction you give me... basically you'll tell me what you want, and I make it on the spot, using all of the premium fresh ingredients available at Forbidden Island. I guarantee you won't have an experience like this anywhere else!
It has been a few weeks since I've posted about cocktails from the Black Orchid Club, and so I'll recap the last few weeks of cocktails and cards:
Last week was the Cape Verde Collins. My inspiration for this cocktail came while I was living in Boston. I was throwing around the idea of using St. Germain in a Collins, because of how floral and delicate it is, while still being very present. It matches well with herbal gin notes. Around the same time, I had a great conversation with a friend about one of his recent trips to Cape Verde (one of many, for him) and how lemons there are intense and very sour, because of the volcanic soil. The image of a lemon tree growing inside the very fertile crater of a volcano never left me, and the two were put together into a delightful effervescent cocktail. The snow cone of crushed ice with Peychaud's and Angostura bitters lends depth of flavor... and of course, makes the drink look like a volcano with its branch of greenery!
Legend has it that Spanish Missionaries brought the almond to California, and almond trees are known to have flourished in the gardens of California missions. This cocktail is made with my own homemade orgeat, creme de cacao, and heavy cream, with a shake of cocoa on top and rimmed with sugar and crushed almonds.
Kiss of the Tiki
A less complex cocktail, The Kiss of the Tiki is made with the clean flavors of peach and ginger, and Rhum Barbancourt from Haiti, with the sparkle of champagne on top and a candied ginger garnish. The inspiration for this cocktail came as I was telling a friend about the wonderful Ft. Lauderdale festival the Hukilau, and how in the tropical Florida night, tiki puts a spell on you. He was eating candied ginger as we talked.
In addition to these cocktails, several people have already solved the fortune cookie riddle, and earned their second wild card, along with the accompanying cocktail. Last week, I even had someone earn their wildcards by proxy - that is, they happened to be sitting next to someone who solved the riddle at the bar, and the person who solved it said the answer loudly enough to be heard by the people sitting next to him. When the new group heard the answer and saw the new wild card cocktail, they asked, "Is it okay for us to order it? We don't want to cheat! We overheard the answer just now, but didn't solve the riddle!" I told them, "All's fair in love, war, and cocktails."
If you're still working on the fortune cookie riddles, here are the three clues so far:
Love is Kewpie at Neptune
Four Score and Seven Years
Launching Clipper, China Bound (for easy use chopstick)
Come on in tomorrow for week 10 of the Black Orchid Club, another fortune cookie riddle, and Otto's Grotto (Otto Von Stroheim's DJ night). This month, Otto spins Bond style spy tunes. If you haven't solved the fortune cookie riddle yet, maybe you'll be lucky enough to sit next to someone else who does.
I'll see YOU at the Island!