Doesn’t this cold-weather spell that 2018 has ushered across much of the country present a great opportunity to plan a few fun nights in? We’re thinking curling up on the couch with yummy food, a fantastical film, and some delectable cocktails, of course! We’ve been obsessed with Hercule Poirot and Murder on the Orient Express since it came out in theaters a few months ago, and you could say that our Death by Gin Box is inspired by the film (just in time for its home release in February)! We hope it’ll make you feel transported to a journey through the Carpathian Mountains on a luxurious train with a gussied-up bartender handing you each next delicious libation.
The cocktail truly came into its own in the years following Prohibition (when Hercule Poirot was off adventuring and solving salacious murders) during the aptly named “Cocktail Age.” Drinks got a lot more fun and innovative—this era giving birth to many cocktails we now know as classics.
We’re keeping that spirit of invention going and bringing you three modern spins on pre-Prohibition classic drinks, all made with the quintessential spirit of the cocktail age: gin! Subscribe now through February 2nd to get yours! It’ll ship the week of February 5th.
For our spin on the sour, we’re bringing back one of our most popular drinks, the Above a Persimmon! This winner by Tyler Hudgens uses the amazing flavor of what the ancient Greeks called either “divine fruit” or “wheat of Zeus” to bring you this delicious winter-spiced cocktail. Made with our persimmon cordial and topped with freshly grated nutmeg, this drink is a can’t-miss!
Before joining Liquid Productions, Tyler ran a variety of beverage programs along the East Coast and overseas, most recently at DC’s The Dabney (Michelin star). She’s a Bar Ready BAR 5-Day graduate, active member of both the USBG and the DC Craft Bartenders Guild, and travels to work and teach with BAR 5-day, Ultimate Beverage Challenge, Barsmarts, Diageo World Class, Life is Beautiful, Tales of the Cocktail, Food and Wine Festival, and The Washington Cup.
Check out last year’s interview with Tyler, where you can get more persimmon history and lore, and the story behind her cocktail (plus her recommendations for food and music to pair with it!).
Named after the Taurus Express, which took Hercule Poirot from Aleppo to Istanbul (and still carries passengers to this day), the Taurus Tea Gimlet by Trevor Frye is made with spiced chai syrup and cherry bark vanilla bitters to elicit hints of Eastern flavors while keeping the structure of the gimlets that no doubt would’ve been served on the train in its heyday.
Trevor, an award-winning bartender and DC-area native, is a fifteen-year veteran of the restaurant and bar industry, having worked in every facet of the scene. He’s now the proprietor of Wash Line LLC, which opened Marble Alley and Five to One in Washington, DC.
Russell Davis and Danny Ronen of Unlimited Liabilities collaborated on the recipe for The Valet while opening up their new bar—Academia—in Austin, TX. With the bold flavors of bergamot, black tea, and demerara with pearl onion brine (of course) and a hint of serrano, we like to think this modern take on the classic Gibson might be one that Mr. Ratchett’s valet would bring him to keep him relaxed during a perilous night’s journey through the mountains.
As one of the most well-known and influential nightlife professionals, Russell is paving the way for the new era of the celebrity mixologist. He was co-star of and expert on Spike TV’s Bar Rescue and, in addition to having been named Nightclub & Bar’s 2012 Bartender of the Year, is also president of Unlimited Liabilities, an elite bar/spirits industry company comprising some of the world’s best bar talent, and Shaker & Spoon’s CCO (Chief Cocktail Officer).
Danny founded DC Spirits—DC’s premiere food, wine, and spirits educational organization—in 2001. His writing and recipes/creations can be found in Vanity Fair, SF Chronicle, The New York Times, and Imbibe Magazine.
So get ready to snuggle up and enjoy some great drinks—just in time for Valentine’s Day!
Happy New Year!
The Shaker & Spoon Team