Klaus is feeling a bit edgy today. No, it is not from the sun nor from his trip last week in New Orleans, but from the plethora of vegetables, suddenly ripe. With all the rain that has been falling, the garden is in rare form. This year there is a fine crop of both tomatoes and cucumbers just bursting with their sweet juices ready to be picked for Klaus’s favorite activity. And what would that be Klaus? Listening to Hawaiian music on the chaise in the backyard? Perhaps Klaus wants to pick some nice fat cucumbers for a lovely cocktail? Let’s not forget the chervil – just bursting with the herbal essence that screams late summer in the garden.
Klaus has been known to weave cocktailian marvels from the simplest of ingredients. A few days ago Klaus received some marvelously aromatic tequila from his friend Pep Katcher. Klaus met Pep down in New Orleans during Tales of the Cocktail. Pep was showing his new and highly expressive Tequilas to the news media and Klaus was invited to taste some. An hour turned into several as Pep and Klaus exchanged stories of their family and the foods they like to eat. Klaus is still talking about the Tequila. Cruz Tequila is up there on the shelf in a growing collection of highly expressive, made with love- organic Tequilas. Klaus never imagined himself. A German Drinking Gnome to enjoy Tequila, but he does!
Cruz Tequila is made exclusively from Blue Weber Agave plants in the highlands of the Los Altos region of Jalisco in Mexico. It is Norma Oficiale Mexicana or NOM certified for the origin of the product and purity of the production. Klaus usually is not concerned with such information, but he is interested in the products that he pours into his little terracotta belly from his even smaller terracotta flask. He is healthy that way and has been enjoying organic and small producer liquors since his “birth” in the 1800’s.
Klaus loves the Blanco Tequila from Cruz, perhaps because of the light character of the distillate. It doesn’t burn his little terracotta throat like some of the cheaper (read: nastier) versions of Tequila. In keeping with the garden and Klaus’s desire to be not only a drinking gnome, but also the SOUSED gnome at that, Klaus has picked some lovely, fat cucumbers. Klaus doesn’t have thumbs so he required me to slice the thick skin off the sides of the cucumbers. You see, Klaus told me in his broken English that these cucumbers will be muddled. Muddled? What is that? Well you first need to peel the tough skin off the sides of the cucumbers so the sweet flesh hiding patiently below will be revealed to the new moon. Oh Klaus, you are so metaphysical with your Biodynamic talk of the new moon and seeing it over your shoulder? You muddle the cucumbers by cutting them (peeled of course) into thick coins about ½ inch in thickness. Then you add them to a mixing container where you mash them up with a muddling stick. This stick can be made of wood or even stainless steel. Whatever the stick you choose, make sure you groove with it because you are going to be mashing up all kinds of things in your glass with it!
Why don’t you write Klaus and tell him what you think of his cocktails, especially this one with chervil and cucumbers picked fresh from the garden… They are mashed together with a bit of fresh lime juice… Oh, wait Klaus what do you have in mind for us? Tequila? So, now do you see the progression? Klaus is truly the soused gnome for a reason. The Cruz Tequila in a cocktail with freshly squeezed lime juice, muddled cucumbers and chervil? What about a touch of Millicent’s Lime Mint Simple Syrup from my friends at Wilks & Wilson in Indianapolis to finish this highly inspirational cocktail? I think so, rabbit. I think so.
When Klaus was in New Orleans last week, he made his way over to his new love. Bar Tonique. It was here at the bar that Klaus was finally held, carefully by his new friend and imbibing companion, Chris Mac. You see, the back story is- one night I heard some sounds coming from the computer room. It was Klaus, poking the keys in Twitter where Chris has something like 42,000 fans. Klaus is famous mind you, but not that famous. When Klaus knew he was coming back down to New Orleans for a post Tales trip, he contacted Chris and asked him for a photo opportunity! Of course Chris said yes, but that’s another story. How did Klaus use the keyboard without thumbs or even fingers? That my friends we will never know. But the proof is in the putting. And sitting at Bar Tonique, during the afternoon in New Orleans was none other than Chris Mac, with Klaus in his arms. Listening to the sound of Klaus’s German voice, telling Chris all his secrets. How all the pretty girls want to kiss him and all the men hold him pensively. (What is that gnome doing in my hands???) Ah Klaus.
You hold many secrets within your little terracotta heart.
Chris was such a good sport.
In honor of Chris’s kindness to Klaus and his willing to be photographed with the little guy- and for having such a good sense of humor- I’ll be naming this drink after you, Chris. Thank you for being my (and Klaus’s) friend.
The Chris Mac Fizz
(to be served at Bar Tonique with their marvelous soda fountain!)
Ingredients for one cocktail offering certain mind-expanding characteristics if the one cocktail rule is exceeded!
3 oz. Cruz Blanco Tequila
6 coins (about ½ inch rounds, each) of peeled cucumber (to be muddled, make sure it is well peeled, no skin)
½ oz. Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
1 oz. Lime/Mint Simple Syrup from Wilks & Wilson-
You can also make your own 2:1 ratio-sugar to water w/lime and mint added for one day prior
1 oz. Freshly made seltzer water or Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water
1 teaspoon Chervil (well washed and torn, not chopped)
To a cocktail shaker, muddle the freshly squeezed lime juice, lime-mint simple syrup, Cruz Tequila, and cucumber coins with the Chervil to make a nice slushy mix
Fill the shaker ¾ with ice
Put top on the shaker and shake for 15 seconds or so
Double strain into a coupe glass and top with an ounce or so of the seltzer water and garnish with a sprig of chervil
Klaus approves and he had two. Klaus!!!!!!!