Hungry Mother

This isn’t cocktail related, but a decent story. Tomorrow, Hungry Mother closes.

Back in 2006, I lived in Bay Village… used to frequent a place called Rachel’s Kitchen. SMALLEST restaurant in Boston by a long shot… anyways, one day I go into buy a breakfast sandwich

The girl working (presumably Rachel) says “hey guy, will you donate to my future restaurant? I’ll put your name on the wall.”

I gave her $10 and wrote my name on the bill.

I guess that also means that there’s a Hamilton out there with my full name sharpie’d on it

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“Honolulu’s Cocktail Savant”

“Wong peregrinates through the local craft cocktail scene as a sort of bodhisattva of booze, a wise teacher, constructive critic, and staunch advocate for complex, well-balanced beverages.”—Hana Hou magazine, Aug-Sept. 2014

Last Fall, I was featured in an Hana Hou magazine article on Honolulu’s craft cocktail scene. Hana Hou is the inflight periodical for Hawaiian Airlines—I never had any idea how many people read that thing, until the story came out. Basically, the author (a self-proclaimed beer guy not too into cocktails) was seeking a cocktail he could identify with, and visited a bunch of cocktail bars and restaurants to figure out what he liked. Each spot gave him different insight into that bar’s program and into Honolulu’s cocktail renaissance. At the end of the article, he’s introduced to me, and it’s me who ends up putting together a cocktail for him.

In real life, I actually coordinated / connected him with the six establishments on his journey, introduced him to the bar managers, and was there every step of the way. Anyway, it was a fun project to be involved with, and the writer’s published piece was very nice. Read PDF!

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An oldie but goodie: The Nannie Dee

It’s been over 3 years since I posted. Lots has happened, but that’s news for later! I went to a single malt presentation the other day and have been thinking of scotch cocktails ever since.

I’m flattered that Mix Drink Repeat found (and enjoyed) my original cocktail, the Nannie Dee, enough to blog about it! The Nannie Dee was one of the first drinks I came up with when I started making allspice dram. I guess this was back in late 2009 or early 2010 (or so), when I was making allspice dram for Drink in Boston. I was inspired by John Gertsen’s 2 ingredient drinks, and I wanted one to play up my allspice dram—but in a way that wasn’t really “tiki.” Going along with that, I was experimenting with the inherent sweetness of Cutty Sark… hence the name. (“Cutty Sark” is the nickname of a ship, whose real name is “Nannie Dee.” There’s a longer history to it, involving a poem and a witch, but I won’t get into that right now.)

Anyways, after introducing the Nannie Dee to one of my buddies at Drink, I guess enough people started trying it, and I later was able to overhear it being served/ordered elsewhere in Boston. Maybe I need to start introducing it here in Hawaii… though not many housemade allspice drams exist here.

Eventually (in 2011) I posted the Nannie Dee to Kindred Cocktails. I wonder if that’s where MDR learned of it?

2.5 oz blended scotch (Cutty Sark)
0.5 oz housemade allspice dram
lemon twist

Stir slowly w/ ice, strain into a chilled glass, and express lemon oils.

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Holiday & New Years Cocktails

The Professah was interviewed by Hawaii Public Radio today for a feature on holiday cocktails. The piece should be airing Friday, 12/18/12 on 89.3 FM.

1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz dry curacao or triple sec
1 oz lilikoi bitters

Shake with ice; strain into a champagne flute. Top with ~2 oz bubbles. Garnish: ohai petals or lime twist.

Makes a great “opener” drink — easy to enjoy, use as a toast, etc. Also a nice opening line if you have two in your hands — “Oh, hi, nice to meet you!”

1/2 tsp. dry spice mix (1:1:1 whole coffee, cloves, whole allspice; ground fresh in a spice grinder)
2 oz aged Jamaican rum (e.g. Appleton)
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz creme de peche (e.g. Merlet)
1/2 oz cinnamon simple syrup (3:2 sugar:water, crushed cinnamon sticks; steeped & strained)
1 egg white

Dry Shake all ingredients. Add lots of ice to tin and shake hard. Double strain (hawthorne + tea strainer) into a coupe glass.

A drink that encourages reflection on the year’s activities. We forget to slow down and thank our friends for keeping us in good health and spirits!

2 L light rum (e.g. Matsualem or Cruzan)
20 g crushed allspice
20 g cacao
20 g minced fresh ginger
10 g torched orange peels

Let above ingredients infuse in large plastic container for at least 1 week.

8 oz fresh pressed ginger juice
8 oz burnt orange juice
8 oz fresh lemon juice
8 oz rich simple syrup (2:1 demerara sugar:water)

Add juices & syrup to container and stir well. Then add:

16 oz scalded milk (heat to 180 degrees — just below boiling)

Mix well and let curdle. Curdling will happen immediately but you want it to sit for a while. At least 2 hours, if not 2+ days.

Clarify using a chinois and coffee filters. You might have to do a few passes. The final product should be clear (albeit not colorless) with no curds or residue. Keep the curds in the filter so that they can help to constrict the flow of the liquid.

Bottle and serve chilled or on the rocks. Garnish with grated nutmeg.

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Cocktail-Toa was a Success… TOOOAHH

Here’s the drink menu in case you missed out last night.  We had about 125 guests and were recognized as an official Yelp! event. Many thanks to Bryan at Beam for helping us out with amazing products.

Also a huge mahalo to Tim & Suzanne for their help with garnishes/decor; Greg & Suzanne for help with milk punch clarification; Eric and his amazing MELE interns; Laurien & Terrina at Lemongrass; WAITIKI for the music; and Chandra, Mike, Tanner, Justin, and Nick for everything else.

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Announcing: Cocktail-Toa!

We’re excited to be helping out with Cocktail-Toa, a pop-up tiki party being produced by The Professah, Kyle Reutner (TOWN restaurant) and others in Honolulu. Should be a good time. Poster is below.

Check out the website for more info:

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Donn Beach’s Plantation Punch

We’ve been drinking a ton of Plantation Punches over at the Royale Lanai lately. Need one? Here’s how we make ours:

2 oz Appleton 12
1 oz Rhum Clement
1/2 oz Pampero Aniversario Reserva
2 oz fresh pineapple juice (clarified)
1 oz fresh lime juice (clarified)
1/2 oz house falernum
1 long draw Bittermens Tiki Bitters
8 drops St. George Absinthe

Shake, double strain into a Rum Barrel filled with crushed ice; top with < 2 oz Fentimans Ginger Beer.

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Peach Mai Tai

So… say you’ve got some awesome MERLET Liqueurs & Spirits Creme de Peche. And you want to make a killer tiki drink. Easiest way? Sub out the curacao for Creme de Peche.

Like this:

1 oz Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum
1 oz El Dorado 8 Year Rum
1 oz fresh lime
1/2 oz Merlet Creme de Peche
1/2 oz Macadamia Orgeat

Shake with crushed ice; roll into a DOF or tiki mug & garnish with a lime twist.

Congratulations, you’ve got a winner. Hope you’re staying cool this summer, WAITIKI fans!

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Royale Lanai Cosmo

This one doesn’t photograph well (or, at least, I can’t seem to photograph it well)… but in person it’s a work of art!

The Royale Lanai Cosmo is inspired by Todd Maul’s Van Gogh Gimlet, a drink that uses ‘citrus paint’ to introduce those flavors to the glass, and partially by the Spring in the Afternoon he and I made at Clio that used fava leaf-infused white rum.

I flash-infused Boomsma Jonge Genever with green peppercorns and Sumida Farms’ fresh watercress. Interestingly, while the genever definitely takes on peppery, high notes, the infusion also brings out some of the natural sweetness of the genever. The infused spirit gains a bit of yellowish tinge, not unlike Old Raj 110.

In terms of ‘paint,’ I made a cranberry-clove reduction and thickened it with Ultratex 8.

The rest of the ingredients are what you’d normally expect from a Pegu Club: fresh lime juice, triple-sec, orange bitters. In other words, this drink starts off as a somewhat peppery Pegu Club, and as the cranberry-clove paint slides into the drink, it transforms into a complex interpretation of the Cosmopolitan. If you let it sit long enough, the paint will turn the drink from its initial color to a marvelous off-crimson, like what a “normal” Cosmo looks like.

2 oz peppercorn/watercress-infused Boomsa Jonge Genever
3/4 oz fresh (clarified) lime
1/2 oz house Ka’u orange triple sec
1 dash orange bitters
3-4 stripes of cranberry-clove ‘paint’

Prepare the glass (coupe or martini) by painting stripes up the sides.
Shake other ingredients with ice and double strain.

Describe this drink to your guests!

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Nor’Eastah Mai Tai

We picked up a bottle recently of Virginia Lightning Corn Whiskey, a white whiskey made in Culpeper, VA by the folks over at Belmont Farms. SWAM Wine & Spirits carries it. It’s a good basic whiskey, made in an antique copper pot still, less than 30 days old when bottled. There is a touch of sweetness … actually I think it makes a good white rum substitute. It also pairs well with Wray & Nephew Overproof. Hence this drink.

As for the name… Yes, I was facing Southwest when making & drinking this, but after a couple of them, it feels like a Nor’Eastah hit ya. (If anyone reading this doesn’t know what a Nor’Eastah is, find your local Masshole.)

Anyways, who doesn’t want (or need) a Mai Tai on Easter Sunday?

1 oz Virginia Lightning Corn Whiskey
1 oz Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum
1 oz clarified lime juice
1/2 oz house triple-sec
1/2 oz macadamia orgeat
1/4 oz Elemakule Tiki Bitters (float)

I made so many of these I was out of Virginia Lightning in like a weekend. Have to go back to SWAM and get a few more bottles for sure.

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