What is it about Brooklyn?

January 26, 2012

What is it about Brooklyn, NY that suggests handcrafted?  I’m sure that the reality of Brooklyn is more than just handcrafted talent who live there.

New York City is a place of many neighborhoods.  One of these neighborhoods is named Brooklyn.  There just seems to be a joie de vivre that exists in this region of NYC when it comes to making things by hand and the funky people who seek enlightenment away from Manhattan.

My passion, as many of my readers know is the art of creating cocktails.  This evening I opened a package of Kings County Jerky Co. Korean BBQ Jerky.  Nearly immediately after opening the foil lined, handsome re-sealable package, the scent of a sizzling, Korean BBQ filled the room.  Over by where my cat is looking at me with longing eyes, there sits a package of their Classic Beef Jerky. 

I’m sure that they know that the customers of Kings County Jerky are not fond of the overly processed beef jerky sticks- that clogs the checkout lines at a supermarket or their local filling station.

One of the Kings County products in front of me is marked Sichuan Ginger.  When have I even thought about Sichuan and Ginger in a beef jerky?  Never!  When I looked at the ingredients it forced me to pause for a second.  Grass fed beef?  Huh?  With ingredients such as Beef, Tamari, Orange Juice, Water, Ginger, Brown Sugar, Sichuan Pepper and Star Anise- I knew this was a fine product.

There is a revolution going on in beef jerky.  I’m glad I’m able to create interesting cocktails to accompany them.

Also over in Brooklyn, the P&H Soda Company is handcrafting delicious Soda Syrups.  I normally don’t drink soda.  I find corn syrup soda too cloying and cane sugar soda too scarce in my part of New Jersey.  Not that they aren’t available- I prefer to make my own when drinking soda.  P&H has created a soda concentrate in a bottle.  I’ve just opened a bottle of Cream Soda syrup.  It’s a flavor revelation! 

A couple weeks ago I received a bottle of Siesta Key Spiced Rum.  It’s been very patient, sitting on my bar- waiting to be enjoyed in a punch or a simple mixed cocktail.  Now, with the fire of the Kings County Korean BBQ Jerky swirling in my head, it’s time to put the Spiced Rum to a taste test.  Not a scientific tasting against other spiced rums- but a highly unscientific creation involving the blending of couple of brand new cocktails.    

The bottle on the counter of Siesta Key Rum is made down in Florida using 100% Florida Sugarcane- but what does this has to do with Brooklyn? Maybe because there are a number of ex-New Yorkers who make their lives down on Siesta Key?

  I’m on a soda kick this afternoon and the Siesta Key Rum is finding a path to my soda mixing glass.  I’ve taken the Cream Soda syrup from P&H.  Then I added about 1.5 ounces of the cream soda syrup to a 15 oz glass.  I added some Siesta Key Spiced Rum and a healthy splash of freshly drawn seltzer water.  A cocktail is born!

To further draw in the Brooklyn theme of my cocktail creation, I’ve made another drink that includes Brooklyn Gin (actually distilled in Warwick, NY) and given it the wb treatment. 

So to recap, I have these fabulous soda syrups from Brooklyn.  Gin from Brooklyn Gin (via Warwick, NY) freshly drawn soda water and Siesta Key Spiced Rum.  What kind of man mixes Gin with Rum?  I do! 

The first drink is called the Player’s Rope burn.  It is so named for sailors who find themselves on a sailboat without gloves on to haul in the sails.  Players because they think that blisters only happen to those without good strong calluses on their fingers and their rope burn for all the Rum drinks they’ll have to drink to take away the pain of the salt water soaked- open blisters.   


2 Shots of Siesta Key Rum

1 Shot Brooklyn Gin

2 Shot P&H Cream Soda syrup

Coconut Water ice

Freshly drawn seltzer water

1 sugar seared orange slice (sprinkle an orange round with sugar, then sear- then muddle)


To your cocktail shaker muddle your orange slice, then add ½ with regular ice, then add the syrup.  Add your liquors and shake to combine.  Strain into a tall glass and top with freshly drawn seltzer water and a couple coconut water ice cubes.  Garnish with a slice of blood orange if available.

The second cocktail is made with Hibiscus Soda Syrup and Siesta Key Spiced Rum. 

My friend Adam Seger makes liquor woven of rum and hibiscus named HUM.  I don’t have a bottle.  I should, but do not.  In this case I have created the Siesta Key Spiced Rum version of the fabulous product named HUM. 

It will work in a pinch.

 This cocktail is the named the Harbinger of Spring.  It is going to be warm over the next few days.  I’ll need something to take my mind off of winter and place me firmly into the reality of spring in January. 


3 Shots of Siesta Key Spiced Rum

1 Shot of Tenneyson Absinthe

½  Shot of P&H Hibiscus Syrup

½  Shot of P&H Lime Syrup

Bitter End Curry Bitters 1-2 drops

½ Shot of Wood’s VT Bourbon Barrel Aged Small Batch Pure Maple Syrup  www.woodssyrup.com  aged in Tuthilltown Bourbon Oak (that’s the NY connection)

Coconut Water Ice

Seltzer Water


To a cocktail shaker fill ½ with ice, add the liquors and the maple syrup with the P&H Soda Syrup.  Shake and strain into a tall glass filled with Coconut Water ice.

Top with freshly drawn seltzer.  Garnish with a slice of Blood Orange.  Sip to an early thaw. 

Tasting notes: Siesta Key Spiced Rum – Toasted nuts on the nose give way to spices from the mystical pirate lairs of the old Caribbean.  Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Cloves and a bit of hot pepper heat come into view.  The sugarcane rum is different than the molasses based rums that clog the market.  This is sophisticated and fruit forward- but certainly not sweet.  It calls out for Rum on the Rocks or a very adult punch made with coconut milk, pineapple juice, lime- juice and orange juice.  I always finish my punches with a bit of seltzer water to give them an edge. If you are using syrups such as those from P&H or from my friends at Royal Rose (also in Brooklyn) you can cut back on any addition of sugar- there is enough sweetness here to sail your ship to the Caribbean and back.