Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A good dose of open road California rambling

Am I contemplating the next cocktail in that photo? Definitely. Even in an abandoned military site on top of a bluff in the Marin Headlands, I couldn't forget about the fact that St. George Absinthe was waiting nicely and patiently for me back home at The Pad, to celebrate National Absinthe Day. I worked up a good thirst hiking around in the intense wind, and getting home to a few cozy cocktails was a treat. I can never pass up a Death in the Afternoon (a favorite of mine at the Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans - how could anyone argue with Champagne and Absinthe?), and would have a hard time ever saying no to a beautiful glass of the St. George Absinthe Verte beautifully louched (I guess I'm just that kind of girl). So after seeing a windy and glorious Marin sunset, that's what we did back at The Pad.

Any time I find myself talking about the wonder of absinthe (especially the glory of St George's exquisite product), I can't help but want to share this amazing cocktail, created in Black Orchid Sessions for a Sessions regular and dear friend, Dave Hildebrandt. In Dave's Sessions experiences we created a cocktail for each of the planets in our solar system. This cocktail, Uranus, is a gem.

URANUS (By Suzanne Long, for David Hildebrandt, in Black Orchid Sessions)

1/4 oz St. George Absinthe
1 oz Exotica Syrup (see below)
1 oz Gordon's London Dry Gin
1 oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
1 dash Xocolatl Mole Bitters by Bittermens
1 dash Tabasco brand hot sauce

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish (as indicated by Dave himself): "Anything with a 90 degree axial tilt." (I recommend a tiny bit of lime peel orbiting a marasca cherry.)

The Exotica is a blood orange syrup with chocolate. Boil the zest of three blood oranges in 4 cups water. Remove peels and add 8 cups cane sugar. Boil until clear. Add 2 TBSPS chocolate extract and 1 tsp of the juice of one of the oranges. You may also want to try this with Seville oranges if you have them at hand - a different syrup, but also delicious.

The last month has been a wonderful universe of adventure, with road trips making my way all the way to the wildness of the desert near Joshua Tree, CA to the madness of the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo. Cocktails were had, dreamed of, and created all along the way. From fitting shots of Knob Creek and draft beers at Pappy and Harriet's, to a right-before-closing and straight-off-the-road Hendrick's martini in a bar drenched in pink in SLO, I couldn't have wished for better. On the horizon: a sea of delicious new inventions with those gins that are taking over the world - the new St. George line; a Bloody Mary variation with more pep, vim and verve than should even be legal; a recap of the 3rd Annual Black Tie Champagne Gala; some new photos of the updated Pad, thanks to the magical skills of Xander Hudson and Digital Ambiance, and a more news about my next mixing adventure. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, enjoy a few choice photos of my roadside adventures.

I'll see YOU there! Everywhere! --Suzanne

On Route 66 in Barstow

Through the door of an abandoned gun turret in Marin

Road sign in the desert

A blurry night time desert road

Photo credits: yours truly, and the intrepid Christopher Guiao. Check him out at

1 comment:

  1. I can finally spend the $5 bill I have the Uranus recipe written on :)