Klaus has been the Soused Gnome for as long as he can remember. With his little ceramic brain ensconced deeply inside his little terracotta body all he thinks about surrounds finding a new and lovely spirit to taste. He also finds pretty girls who like kissing him, but that’s another story for another day…
It can be a problem with that little ceramic flask tied ever so carefully to his little ceramic chest. Whatever is in his flask, Klaus is not sharing.
Klaus was out rooting in the garden this morning with a bottle of gin in his little ceramic hand. I called out to him but he didn’t hear me evidently because he ignored my plaintive calls. He found some basil and mint just behind the daylilies that had escaped from being eaten by the hungry rabbits that sometimes make their way into the garden. Klaus is very fond of the rabbits. They are tender and sweet but they also have an evil streak. They have been known to eat all the basil leaving Klaus only with the spicy mint to prepare his cocktails. But in deference to the rabbits, this morning there were a few nice fat leaves of basil available for Klaus’s little ceramic fingers. Klaus picked some and put them in his little ceramic basket for safe keeping away from the tiny, sharp teeth of the sweet little bunny rabbits. You see Klaus started the day very thirsty. He was at the grocery store last night and picked out some beautiful Meyer Lemons. Along with the Meyer Lemons he saw and grasped some teeny, tiny Key Limes.
What did Klaus have on his little ceramic mind?
When he got home, Klaus set out to juice these small morsels of sunshine into his Boston shaker along with the freshly picked mint and basil. But what did Klaus have on his mind this morning. And why was Klaus thinking of drinking this early?
I’m really not sure what was going through his little ceramic head because like all things unknowable, Klaus never says what is on his mind. He just does. See and do, see and do. It’s his mantra, his Tao, his way. Klaus is very enlightened in the Eastern philosophies and they influence his cocktailian pleasures because of the simplicity of motion.
“Add an egg-white”
And so it goes… Klaus is out in the garden mouthing this mantra, over and over, until enlightenment takes place. Of course there are a few more steps but Klaus is not saying what they are. That is why I’m here, to help him with his practice!
What are cocktail bitters, Klaus? Klaus received some beautiful cocktail bitters yesterday from Abbott’s in Canada. Cocktail bitters, if you are not familiar with them are potent and concentrated flavoring and healing elements that add depth and balance to a mixed drink. They are as essential as good ice and freshly squeezed juices if your cocktail calls for juices. Back in the early days, around the time of Klaus’s birth in the mid-1800’s, pharmacists used bitters in their Apothecaries for healing. They were prescribed for everything from a stomach ailment to a headache to a cold. Most cocktail bitters are concentrated healing in a drop-by-drop form. You don’t have to use much because of their concentration. Only a couple of drops in each cocktail works wonders- like a spice drawer works for a chef, the bitters work for a mixed drink. Many bitters come from Germany where coincidently Klaus is from!
Ah, gin. Is gin Klaus’s favorite spirit? Certainly the flavor of gin brings goose bumps to Klaus’s little ceramic flesh. Klaus loves a specific gin from Vermont named Barr Hill. There is raw honey in Barr Hill that reminds Klaus of the old country back in Germany. The German method of distillation sometimes uses honey instead of just grain to exemplify and augment the already potent spirit. Klaus loves rum and he also loves bourbon. He sometimes drinks punch made from all these things and then all hell breaks loose!!!! Oh look… Klaus just wandered off again! Klaus? Klaus?
Nevermind. I just saw a pretty girl run off with Klaus and now she’s kissing him on his cheek… All the pretty girls kiss Klaus on the cheek..
I’m not sure why!
Maybe it’s his pointy red little hat?
The Pointy Red Hat Cocktail (for two lovely little cocktails)
4 oz. Barr Hill Gin (from Raw Honey)
A few sprigs of both basil and mint, torn or slapped (I prefer slapping)
.50 each freshly squeezed Meyer Lemon and Key Lime juices
.50 Royal Rose Simple Syrup of Tamarind
.50 Perrier Sparkling Natural Spring Water (plain)
Several shakes of the Abbott’s Bitters. Or Angostura if you cannot find Abbott’s.
Luxardo or home cured cherry
To a Boston Shaker filled ¾ with ice add the juices, the syrup, and the Barr Hill Gin
Add an egg white
Shake like crazy for 10-15 seconds.
Pour into two Coupe Glasses (they look like old fashioned champagne glasses)
Dot the top with the Abbott’s Bitters and .25 in each glass of the Perrier Sparkling Water
Garnish with a sprig of basil and one of the mint and a Luxardo cherry for the top! (the red pointy hat!)
*To slap mint, place in your hand and slap the other one over it like clapping your hands! This releases the oils. Do the same with the basil.