As I mentioned, a bunch of local and visiting bartender friends in the U.S. Bartenders’ Guild organized a benefit for the Red Cross in Japan at the Burritt Room on St. Patrick’s Day. Thanks to all of you who showed up and for the rest of you, here’s what you missed:

We took over the vast back room at the Burritt, where bars were set up around the room, a DJ kept the large and energetic crowd moving, and there was a silent auction with some great items.  I even picked up a rare bottle of St. George de Profundis, a pear brandy with a great story.  According to one of the distillers, they misplaced the barrel, and so it sat in oak for 20 years before it was rediscovered and bottled.

There were a bunch of excellent Irish whiskey cocktails being served at each of the four bars, but by far my favorite – and it’s impolitic to say so when so many of those great bartenders are friends – was the Academic Review, stirred up by Hal Wolin (pictured), from El Cobre in Manhattan, who was kind enough to share the recipe. It was remarkably well balanced and showed great care in preparation, even at the end of the night when Hal had cranked out several dozen. It’s totally tuned to my palate, but a half dozen of my friends who lean toward the lighter, sweeter, more effervescent cocktails tasted it and were surprised how much they loved this dark, strong, stirred libation.


Academic Review

1 1/2 oz Redbreast 12 Year Irish Whiskey
1/2 oz Laird’s Bonded Applejack
1/2 oz Amaro Nonino
1/2 oz Rittenhouse Rye
1/4 oz Demerara Syrup
2 Dashes Bittermen’s Mole Bitters
1 Dash Regan’s Orange Bitters
Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a rocks glass with one large cube of ice and garnish with an orange peel.

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