American Trilogy

American TrilogyThe American Trilogy is decidedly not a classic cocktail. Created in 2007 at New York’s Little Branch bar, it’s a relatively new drink with a name that is a bit of a conundrum. While it’s primary ingredients, Rye and Laird’s Apple Brandy are truly all-’merican, the only other ingredients are orange bitters and sugar. If you choose Regan’s orange bitters, which are made in America, I suppose that counts for the third leg of the trilogy, so I’m goin’ with that explanation.

The American Trilogy is a great drink. It’s similar to an Old Fashioned, using the classic cocktail recipe of sprits, sugar, water and bitters. In the case of the American Trilogy, two spirits are used as the base of the drink instead of one.

A word on Apple Brandy. Laird’s Apple Brandy is America’s oldest distilled spirit and truly deserves a place in this cocktail (or almost any other). It comes in a couple of varieties. Laird’s Applejack, which is available almost everywhere, only has 40% apple brandy, the rest is, basically, vodka. It tastes great and when used in this cocktail, makes a tasty drink. Not nearly as good, though, as the drink with 100% variety. If you can find it, the stuff you really want for the American Trilogy (or any other drink calling for Apple Brandy, including Calvados) is Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy. It’s 100% brandy and outstanding. It’s harder to find though and you shouldn’t be shy about making the drink with Applejack if that’s all you have. You’ll still find the American Trilogy delicious.

 Laird's Apple BrandyLaird's Applejack

  • 1 oz Rye (I used Rittenhouse 100 Bonded Rye – a higher proof Rye stands up better to the Apple Brandy)
  • 1 oz Laird’s Apple Brandy
  • 1/4-1/3 oz Simple Syrup (the recipe calls for a muddled sugar cube, but simple syrup mixes so much easier)
  • 4 dashes of Orange Bitters (I used Regan’s)
  • Orange Peel for garnish

Pour all ingredients in a shaker or mixing glass with ice and chill well. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with an orange peel. As always, make sure you cut your peel over the serving glass to express the zest from the orange over the drink.

Sit back, consider the Constitution and the Founding Fathers and enjoy your freedom to consume great cocktails.

Consumatorium Reviews: Craft Bars in Copenhagen, Denmark

1105 Cocktail Bar in CopenhagenFollowing up on our Stockholm bar review last week, the Consumatorium team continued our Northern European tour and headed to Copenhagen, Denmark. There, we found two things that threw us for a loop. One, everything was shockingly expensive and, two, craft cocktails were available everywhere we turned. Or, should I say, really expensive craft cocktails were available everywhere we turned? We decided that if we were going to spend wads of Danish Kroner, we were going to do it at only the best bars in town. Like we say here at the Consumatorium, life is short, don’t waste time on the cheap stuff. Actually, we don’t say that, but it sounds appropriate in this case.

Old Fashioned at 1105

After doing some checking, it appeared that the in crowd was visiting 1105, a small cocktail bar tucked away in what is little more than an alley. We were a bit skeptical because there was almost no one there when we arrived. It turned out that this was great because we got to have a conversation with the very cool bartender about the craft cocktail scene in the City. He made drinks for two of the team using herbs and leaves from plants at the bar, allowing us to try the green foliage while he made the drinks. Since the menu had an Old Fashioned as the first drink listed, I asked for one and it was terrific.

I followed that up with a Sazerac, also prominently listed on the bar menu. I felt a bit strange ordering quintessentially American cocktails in a Danish bar, but the bartender offered that my choices were the basis of most drinks and that’s why he considered them specialties of the house. I like the way they thinks.

We asked the bartender what other bars he would recommend we try. He told us that while his bar was clearly the best, the number two bar in town was Ruby. What he didn’t tell us was that Ruby is, essentially, a speakeasy. We walked by it a couple of times before we even realized it was there.

Ruby Door

You enter Ruby through a door that appears to be the Embassy of some third world country. There is an inner door with  all of the advertising that exists for the place – four inch letters glued to a painted door. We sheepishly poked our heads in and found a terrific space for sitting, talking and consuming great cocktails.

We tried a variety of drinks from their menu, but my favorite was the Rapscallion. The bartender called it their take on a Manhattan, although I found nothing like a Manhattan about it. It combined Talisker Single Malt Scotch Whisky and Pedro Ximenez Sweet Sherry with a Pastis (licorice rinse). The peaty, smokey taste of the Scotch overwhelms the senses at first, which I didn’t like. I also thought the pastis was completely drowned out, which was disappointing to me. After a few sips though, the drink came alive and was fabulous. Very different and totally enjoyable. I didn’t ask the bartender for the specific proportions, so I’ll work o this more and report back with a recipe.

Rapscallion at RubyWhile Ruby and 1105 were outstanding bars, even average bars in Copenhagen were familiar with classic, craft cocktails. Almost all the bars and restaurants we visited knew what a Sazerac was and understood that 7-Up was not an ingredient in an Old Fashioned. It’s too bad that’s not true for most American establishments.


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