Ingredient Highlight: the Jewel of Winter

From the Promised Land to the epics of Greek and Persian myth, history and romance settle around this sweet-tart fruit like a fragrance. It’s been painted by Raphael and Cezanne and mused upon by Shakespeare and Ferdosi. With a legendary status that dates as far back as agriculture itself, the pomegranate has seemingly found a way to be indispensable all the way into the present.

Of course, our favorite handling of the pomegranate’s botanical powers stems from the moment a time-forgotten genius peered under the berry’s leathery skin and found inspiration. After scooping out hundreds of ruby-like seeds glossed in a juicy pulp, this craftsman began crushing those seeds into a mash of their own juice and dissolved sugar. Thus, the creation of the modern bartender’s classic syrup we call Grenadine.

First showing up in cocktails in the 1890’s, the word Grenadine originated from the French word Grenade and Spanish word Grenada (both meaning pomegranate). Best used when mixed with alcohol and a few other ingredients, this richly flavored syrup spikes any drink with its tropical essence and red flare. It’s a key element in classic cocktails like the Jack Rose, Singapore Sling, and Pink Lady. Here's a quick recipe to make your own grenadine with pomegranate juice or choose one of our recommended already bottled brands.  

In our Northern Hemisphere, the pomegranate season lasts from September to February. As fall edges closer to snowflakes, we celebrate a reminder of warmth and sun by highlighting the fruit nicknamed “the Jewel of Winter.”

It is well known that perfect cocktails are created when the elements are in balance. For Alice and the Magician, the magic emerges when seemingly opposing aromas harmonize. We've found that the light, citrusy top notes of pomegranate are enhanced when matched with a more savory, herbal base. For this reason, we love pairing our Sage and Exotic Citrus Aromatic with pomegranate. The aromatic's soft, herbaceous elements of sage round out any of the fruit's acidic edge and highlights the sweeter side of each sip. 

Check out this A&M twist to a classic fizz recipe:

Pink Sage Gin Fizz

toa-heftiba-243296 (1).jpg

Ingredients

Instructions:

  1. Add a handful of ice cubes to a cocktail shaker and pour in the gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and grenadine. Shake for about 30 seconds.

  2. Strain into a tall glass over ice cubes. Top off with club soda and 1 mist of Sage and Exotic Citrus Aromatic. Garnish with sage leaf or lemon wheel and serve. 

 

FRESH 2017:

 

NEW INGREDIENTS, TECHNIQUES & RECIPES FROM VERMONT'S PREMIER BAR INNOVATORS

Mad River Distillers BurlingtonBarr Hill by Caledonia Spirits, and Alice & the Magician joined up to bring you Fresh: Ideas and Ingredients Behind the Bar for 2017! We have asked some of our best friends, favorite bartenders, and all around spirit savvy folks what they look forward to seeing more of in cocktail culture through the year of 2017. What methods, techniques, flavors and tricks currently make Vermont bartenders tick?

Using the inspiration of these bars and bartenders we have created a unique series of craft cocktails to give you a look at what you can expect to see throughout 2017! Think NYC Fashion Week meets Cocktails. A demonstration of exciting new styles and drinks that VT bars are working with.


Inspiration for these cocktails provided by Hen of the Wood - Burlington,Pizzeria VeritàThe Starry Night CafeMonarch & the MilkweedMule Bar,Guild Tavern and the Vermont Bartending Community.

 

 

MODERN TIKI

The resurgence of the Tiki cocktail has been strong in the green state.  This delicious, midnight colored interpretation utilizes activated charcoal for its deep color and creamy texture. Coconut, Raspberry & Strawberry Aromatics will transport you right to a pristine tropical beach

1.5 oz Mad River PX Rum

.5 oz Double Spiced Falernum from Tippleman's

.5 Fresh Lime

.5 oz Pineapple Juice

.5 oz Coconut Milk

1 Tsp Activated Charcoal 

1 Mist A&M Coconut Cocktail Aromatic (Custom limited release, contact for order)

1 Mist A&M Raspberry Cocktail Aromatic (Custom limited release, contact for order)

 

SIX BOROUGH MANHATTAN

The Manhattan is a classic, even iconic cocktail. The perfect balance of rye, sweet vermouth and herbal bitters.  We deconstructed the classic down to its flavor elements and built it back up using creative, local ingredients. The look and flavors are different but the soul is the same. Although there are only 5 boroughs in NYC, and we think of this addition as a play on the classic and lovingly thinking of Vermont as another Borough.

1 oz Barr Hill Tom Cat Gin

1 oz Mad River PX Rum

2 pinches Salt

.25 oz Black Tea Shrub (Custom Recipe-8 oz brewed Earl Gray Tea (4x Strength), 4 tbsp demerara sugar, 4 tbsp white vinegar, 1 oak stave)

3 drops A&M Citrus Elixir

1 Drop A&M Pink Peppercorn Elixir

 

VT SOUR

At its core, a Sour is spirits, acid and egg whites violently shaken until the individually harsh ingredients result in a silky smooth, well balanced aromatic classic.  We revisited those components and made them all ours.  Replacing citrus with alpine berry shrub, egg whites with aquafaba (yes it's vegan!) and fruity aromatics with the fresh, invigorating flavor of local pine forest.

2 oz  Mad River Revolution Rye

1 oz Alpine Berry Switchel from Dram Apothecary

1 oz Aquafaba

.25 oz Vermont Maple Syrup

.25 oz Fresh Lemon

3 drops Blueberry Phosphate

2 Mist Citrus Blossom Harvest Cocktail Aromatic

1 Mist Hiking the Long Trail Cocktail Aromatic

 

 

 

FARMER TOM's COLLIN

The Tom Collins is more than an iconic drink, it's spurred an entire category of refreshing cocktails composed of gin, citrus, sugar and bubbles.  Perfect for sipping after a long day on the farm.  We repurposed the classic using fermented ingredients to give it a sour edge and a fresh from the farm experience.

1.5 oz Barr Hill Vodka

.5 oz Jalapeno-Honey Dew Shrub from Element Shrubs

1.5 oz Turmeric Kombucha from Synergy

.25 oz Raw Fermented Carrots Juice (Recipe Here)

2 Mists Dirt Farmer Cocktail Aromatic (Special Order, Contact to Order)

"THE COLA DRINK"

Coca Cola is the most ubiquitous soda in history.  But it was never designed to be a mixer for drinks.  We reinvented cola to be the perfect mixer.  dry, tart, with a just enough natural sweetness and heaps of complex flavor.

Your Choice of Spirit

1.5 oz Mad River Revolution Rye

OR

1.5 oz Barr Hill Tom Cat Gin

2 oz Homemade Cola (Recipe Here) 

Fresh Lime

1 Mist Bulgarian Tobacco Leaf Cocktail Aromatic (Special Order, Contact Here)

aaron wisniewski
A magical evening of cocktails at the Boston Public Library

This weekend we were invited to the Boston Public Library to introduce our philosophy and Aromatics to the Leading Caterers of America.  Our time began with an engaging workshop about the connection between scent and memory. The ability to bring up memories and emotions through scent is an incredibly important and often overlooked aspect in the world of events and we loved sharing some of our experiences and the science behind aroma with a great group.

At the end of the day, everyone gathered for food and cocktails and we opened our Traveling Cocktail Apothecary to create aromatically enhanced beverages for everyone in one of the most beautiful, historic settings in Boston. Check out some of the highlights in the slideshow! 

aaron wisniewski
Cinnamon Uncovered

Cinnamon is harvested by giant birds in their nests on sheer cliffs that are inaccessible to people. The technique is to take large pieces of meat (especially ox meat) and place them near the nests and leave. The birds will bring the meat to their nests until they get so heavy, that the nest falls allowing the cinnamon to be harvested.

At least that is one of the stories the Arabian Spice Traders told to keep other's from attempting to find their own source for this amazing and aromatic spice as well as justify its price. 

Cinnamon has been a prominent and extremely valuable spice for nearly 4000 years.

Prized for its fantastic flavor as well as its ability to preserve food it has been used by the Ancient Egyptians, and became a prime spice for Arabian traders who dealt from China to Europe. Many European pilots set course West hoping to discover it and instead landing in the New World. It was finally found by the Western World when the Portuguese arrived in the area that is now Sri Lanka, where the highest quality 'Ceylon Cinnamon' originates.

This special Cinnamon is what Alice & the Magician uses in our Flavor Elixirs and you can try it in the:

Cinnamon Old Fashioned

 Cinnamon Old Fashion by Alice & the Magician

 Cinnamon Old Fashion by Alice & the Magician

INGREDIENTS

In a rocks glass, combine the sugar cube, bitters, Elixir and club soda. Muddle to a paste. Stir in the bourbon. Add ice and garnish with a two-inch strip of orange peel and two mists of Perfect Ginger Cocktail Aromatic

An Aromatic Tasting at Hen of the Wood

The Butcher Room at Hen of the Wood was an amazing place to create and serve an Aromatic meal! Our collaboration with Chef Jordan Ware and the Hen team allowed us to create a sensory journey like no other. 5 courses paired with cocktails and everything enhanced or transformed with Aromatics. Thank you to everyone who came and keep an eye out for more Aromatic food experiences soon!

The Hen of the Wood Butcher Room set for a specially designed dinner as the Alice & the Magician equipment bubbles.

The Hen of the Wood Butcher Room set for a specially designed dinner as the Alice & the Magician equipment bubbles.

Oysters with a pickled watermelon cucumber are the perfect way to start the evening. An amuse with scents of the ocean. Chef Jordan Ware works next to the guests to provide a wonderful connection with the food. 

Oysters with a pickled watermelon cucumber are the perfect way to start the evening. An amuse with scents of the ocean. Chef Jordan Ware works next to the guests to provide a wonderful connection with the food. 

A South East Asian Flavor Elixir starts the cocktails off with a bright, green aroma. A few drops to compliment cocktails and oysters

A South East Asian Flavor Elixir starts the cocktails off with a bright, green aroma. A few drops to compliment cocktails and oysters

To complement the green notes of South East Asia is a green tea cocktail with honey and dry sake. It bubbles and steams as if it is hot, yet it is served cold, starting the theme of the evening that nothing is quite what it seems!

To complement the green notes of South East Asia is a green tea cocktail with honey and dry sake. It bubbles and steams as if it is hot, yet it is served cold, starting the theme of the evening that nothing is quite what it seems!

"A Tale of Two Forks"- Jordan's amazing beet, whipped ricotta, cured egg yolk, and nasturtium powder salad is accompanied by 2 separate forks with scent pads. Each fork has a different Flavor Elixir on them. As you bring the fork to your mouth, your nose registers the a different aroma and you get a different flavor experience. The same salad 'served' two different ways

"A Tale of Two Forks"- Jordan's amazing beet, whipped ricotta, cured egg yolk, and nasturtium powder salad is accompanied by 2 separate forks with scent pads. Each fork has a different Flavor Elixir on them. As you bring the fork to your mouth, your nose registers the a different aroma and you get a different flavor experience. The same salad 'served' two different ways

The quail, apple, and sweet potato course with the A&M prototype for visible aroma. The smoke aromatics bringing out depth. This was paired with bourbon, lapsang souchon and lemon. This course is all about earthy smokiness.

The quail, apple, and sweet potato course with the A&M prototype for visible aroma. The smoke aromatics bringing out depth. This was paired with bourbon, lapsang souchon and lemon. This course is all about earthy smokiness.

The Saddlebag Boulvardier: Super chilled with dry ice and matched with Leather, Tobacco, Cocoa, Birch Tar and Pink Peppercorn Elixir. It takes a classic bourbon drink and makes it a rich cowboy drink. Poured table side and misted in stages

The Saddlebag Boulvardier: Super chilled with dry ice and matched with Leather, Tobacco, Cocoa, Birch Tar and Pink Peppercorn Elixir. It takes a classic bourbon drink and makes it a rich cowboy drink. Poured table side and misted in stages

Pairing with a cowboy Boulvardier required an amazing rabbit roulade with mustard greens, and celeriac puree.  

Pairing with a cowboy Boulvardier required an amazing rabbit roulade with mustard greens, and celeriac puree.  

Is it a cappucino?! The Jerry Thomas coffee cocktail has no coffee, but surprisingly tastes just like it. Especially with a few sprays of our Coffee Mist on top!

Is it a cappucino?! The Jerry Thomas coffee cocktail has no coffee, but surprisingly tastes just like it. Especially with a few sprays of our Coffee Mist on top!

The wonderful crew! Thank you for joining us

The wonderful crew! Thank you for joining us

A Holiday Cocktail Done Right

The cold of winter starts to press against the window as a fire roars in the house. Family surrounds you and a warm drink presses into your hand giving you the unmistakable feeling of 'December.' The scent emanating from your cup is the classic combination of cinnamon, ginger and spices.

It is the season of mulled wine! A traditional drink from Northern Europe designed to take the wine harvested in the Spring that has gone bad and make it palatable again in the winter. Very well known as a English staple variations exist throughout the North with Glühwein (15th Century Germany) and Glögg (17th Century Swedish and using Brandy and Port). The origins trace back to Rome where the soldiers would bring wine North and to keep themselves warm and enjoy a taste of home they would heat and spice their drinks.

Skip the too long open bottle of Shiraz this year and let Alice & the Magician create your cocktail!

Aromatics to bring you back to the memories and the tradition in a cocktail you will want to drink through the winter. 

Smoked Hot Toddy

Featured Fall Cocktail: Ginger Old Fashioned with Flavor Elixir!

Bourbon drinks and Autumn are a perfect match.  We took one of our favorite classic cocktails, the Bourbon Old Fashioned, and completely transformed it using Ginger, Honey and Cinnamon Flavor Elixirs instead of bitters.  Enjoy!

Alice & the Magician Ginger Old Fashioned

Alice & the Magician Ginger Old Fashioned

INGREDIENTS: 

1 1/2 oz Bourbon or Rye whiskey

3-5 drops African Ginger Flavor Elixir

1 drop Cinnamon Flavor Elixir

3 drops Wild honey Flavor Elixir

1 Sugar cube

Few dashes plain water

1 orange swath

PREPARATION:

Place sugar cube and orange swath in old fashioned glass and muddle until dissolved. Fill the glass with ice cubes and add whiskey, plain water and Flavor Elixirs. Garnish with orange slice.

The Secret Life of Cocktails: A Speakeasy Event at Pizzeria Verita

Aromatics have always been the secret behind great drinks. 16th century Carthusian monks infused their elixirs with delicious herbs and spices believing them to hold the key to longevity. The eponymous 'Grandfather of the Cocktail," Jerry Thomas added dashes of aromatic bitters from his ring-adorned hands to give depth and complexity to his renowned libations. And the Famous Stanislao Cobianchi of Bologna, Italy paid tribute to the marriage of the beautiful Princess Helen of Montenegro to Victor Emmanuel III by macerating rich red wine with the finest local botanicals and titling it "Amaro Montenegro."

Wednesday night was a celebration of Aromatics. We enjoyed the rich, delicious history of the speakeasy and peeked at the future of how our sense of smell holds the secret to the perfect cocktail.

 

The Trendsetter

Beefeater, Carpano Antica, Campari

Cocktail Aromatics : Grapefruit, Orange, Neroli

 

Magician’s Flight

Mad River Rye, Aperol, Averna, lemon

Cocktail Aromatics: Sage, Exotic Citrus

 

Pine Street Detour

Elijah Craig, Carpano Antica, Abano Amaro, Maraschino

Cocktail Aromatics : Leather, Tobacco, Cacao, Birch Tar

 

The Doctor Bird

Smith & Cross, Angostura, lemon, grapefruit, honey, pinch of salt

Cocktail Aromatics: Pink Peppercorn, Honey, Grapefruit

 

Regina del Giardino

Stonecutter, Varnelli Sibilia, honey, lemon, Scrappy’s Lavender bitters

Cocktail Aromatics: Thyme, Lemon

 

 

 

 

 

 

aaron wisniewski
Remember This St. Patrick's Day

A sea of green clad people line the city streets and pour in and out of pubs and  restaurants, cheering to a background of fiddles and flutes. Windows are decorated with bright shamrocks, the symbol of Ireland and the Holy Trinity. Whiskey, beer and an air of celebration linger with the familiar smell of corned beef and cabbage as people enjoy the warm spring air.

St. Patrick’s Day is a day of tradition to recall fond memories of past days and create new ones. Many of these memories may fade over years, but the surest way to be reminded of fantastic times and traditions is through aroma. Research has shown that smell is the sense most directly linked to both emotion and memory. Although it may not be conscious, scent is tied to how we experience and remember everything.

At Alice & the Magician, we bottle those scents of nostalgia. Cocktail Aromatics will not not only enhance the flavor of your favorite cocktails, but will help establish long-lasting memories that stand the test of time.

For St. Patrick’s Day, enhance the traditional Irish whiskey cocktails with A&M Cocktail Aromatics to make something special and create new memories.

Irish Whiskey Sour

PHOTO COURTESY OF MASHABLE.COM

PHOTO COURTESY OF MASHABLE.COM

Shake all ingredients with ice and pour over rocks glass. Drop in cherry, spray twice with Citrus Blossom Harvest and enjoy. 

Irish Old-Fashioned

PHOTO COURTESY OF LIQUOR.COM.

PHOTO COURTESY OF LIQUOR.COM.

Place the sugar cube in an Old-Fashioned glass and wet down with 4 dashes of Angostura Bitters and a splash of water. Crush the sugar cube with a muddler and twirl glass to give it an even lining. Place a large ice cube in the glass and pour whiskey on top. Garnish with an orange wheel and or maraschino cherry. Spray once with Rosemary & Wild Honey and enjoy. 

aaron wisniewskiComment
Yuzu: The Prized Citrus of Japan
PHOTO COURTESY OF DANIELFOODDIARY.COM A yuzu farm in Kochi, Japan. 

PHOTO COURTESY OF DANIELFOODDIARY.COM

A yuzu farm in Kochi, Japan. 

It is Touji (the first day of winter) in Kochi, a prefecture on the small island of Shikoku located in southern Japan. Among Kochi’s mountains in the humid, subtropical climate reside short, thorny trees yielding bright golden-yellow orbs that brighten the valleys. The powerful scent of citrus from the yuzu fruit carries over the rural villages of the Kochi farmers, who know it is time for harvest.

Two Japanese farmers selling their produce (including yuzu) at a farmer's market.

Two Japanese farmers selling their produce (including yuzu) at a farmer's market.

Like most citrus fruit, the yuzu first originated in the rocky foothills of central China. It was then introduced into Korea and Japan during the Tang Dynasty, where it became regularly cultivated. Today, the yuzu is primarily propagated in Japan where it is the nation’s favorite citrus. The Japanese revere the yuzu for its medicinal properties as well as its unique and exotic flavor.

The Japanese revere the yuzu for its medicinal properties as well as its unique and exotic flavor.”
Ponzu, a popular citrus sauce in Japanese cuisine. 

Ponzu, a popular citrus sauce in Japanese cuisine. 

The yuzu has found its way into washoku (traditional Japanese cuisine) and its juice is used for purposes similar to lemon juice in western cultures. Dried, powdered yuzu is tangy and sweet and is featured in different desserts. It is also an integral ingredient to the recipe of ponzu, a popular citrus Japanese sauce. 

Yuzu is often mixed with honey to create yuzuhachimitsu syrup, which is used in tea and cocktails such as the Yuzu Sour. Its one-of-a-kind flavor also makes it the ideal base of some famous alcoholic beverages such as Gekkeikan Yuzu Nigori Sake (nigori sake blended with yuzu liqueur) and Muromachi Shuzo Yuzu Citrus Wine (junmai sake blended with yuzu juice).

Ripe yuzu hands from a tree

Even when ripe, the yuzu is very seedy and yields little juice. It is rarely eaten raw but tastes like a combination of mandarin, lemon and grapefruit. The yuzu is less tart than the lemon which makes it’s juice highly coveted and commands a high price; however, it’s the rind that possesses the true soul of the yuzu.  The fragrant and distinct aroma holds a pungent, citrusy, spicy aroma and is the most prized and widely used part of this exotic fruit. Journalist for the Japan Times Mikiko Itoh writes, “The queen of bitter-sour Japanese citrus is yuzu….the bitter-citrus flavor of the peel is incredibly addictive.”

The queen of bitter-sour Japanese citrus is yuzu . . . the bitter-citrus flavor of the peel is incredibly addictive.”
Basket of yuzu fruit

Basket of yuzu fruit

The yuzu has been a staple in Japan for well over 1,200 years, but has just crept into western cuisines less than 20 years ago when the fruit became more accessible and affordable. A 2003 New York Times article by David Karp describes the yuzu as  “a fruit of mysterious provenance,” and ignited interest in some high-end restaurants across the United States, who are beginning to incorporate yuzu in their cocktails as well as savory dishes and desserts.

a fruit of mysterious provenance,”

“[Yuzu] has a very distinct flavor and aroma that you just can’t get from lemon and limes,” said Sharon Nahm, chef at San Francisco’s E&O Asian Kitchen in an interview with Food Republic. “It’s got great acidity and elements of other citrus fruits like grapefruit and tangerine...a flavor you don’t get.”

For Alice and the Magician, the exotic aroma of yuzu plays a critical role in Citrus Blossom Harvest.  By adding sharp green notes, warm yellow citrus and fragrant white blossoms, yuzu gives balance and depth to the big, bold flavor of wild orange and grapefruit.