Saturday, May 16, 2009


Eastside Road, Healdsburg, May 16, 2009—

WELL, IF ANYTHING was ever an old standby, it's the hamburger. We bought some ground beef today at the Farmers' Market, grass-fed, raised in Potter Valley, hormone-free of course. A couple of buns from the Downtown Bakery. Mustard, sliced raw onion, dill pickle, lettuce. Way to go. Green salad, of course.

LastWord.jpgThe other news is a New Cocktail. Somehow I ran across a new (to me) one, the Last Word: equal proportions gin, green Chartreuse, Maraschino, and lime juice. We've had that bottle of Maraschino for decades. The green Chartreuse doesn't last anywhere near that long. I measured things out tonight and, you know, it's a delicious drink — deep, subtle, well balanced, each ingredient present in itself yet contributing to an integrated total effect. No reason not to keep this in the repertory.
Côtes du Ventoux rouge, "La Ferme Julien," 2007


Curtis Faville said...


I've tried the gin/chartreuse/lime juice thing, but never added the Maraschino.

Maraschino liqueur is a neglected mixer. It's a potent taste, and must be used sparingly. A famous ingredient of one of the variants of The Hemingway.

I think there are only two internationally marketed brands of it--one of which comes in a rattan sheath, from (I think) the former Czechosolvakia-- (the other, Luxardo, from Italy).

Have to be careful with the Chartreuse, too. It can make a drink taste bubble-gum-y.

Have you ever tried mixing with Aquavit? Has a lovely dryness which is quite unlike either vodka or dry gin.

I've probably mixed something like 1600 different cocktails. I started out with Anthony Dias Blue, and then branched out from there. It's almost a lost art, now, with the "exotic Kool-Aid specials" you see almost everywhere these days.

Re: Hamburgers. John McPhee has a nice essay in Giving Good Weight about his favorite restaurant in New Jersey a couple of decades ago. "Brigade de Cuisine." His hero chops up a sirloin and proceeds to bun it up with brio. Oh well.

How about deep fried sweet potato chips? Mmmm.

Charles Shere said...

Not the former Czechoslovakia, the former Yugoslavia. Our bottle is the Maraska brand, made by Zadar, and the label says Yugoslavia, so it's been around for a while. I've never used it as a mixer before; we have the bottle because Lindsey used it to flavor various desserts. I think the equal proportions worked out fine; no bubble gum. But then, I like Chartreuse (the green). In the 1989 earthquake we lost a bottle of ancient green Chartreuse; it was about our only damage, but it was very painful.