When I was younger, my dad and I used to “liberate” nectarines from a tree in one of the houses from the “rich” neighborhood near our house. I remember the incredibly unique flavor of that fruit, something altogether different from oranges, peaches, or apricots. At Proof this weekend, I found the spirit version of that sweet-tart flavor in the nectarine liqueur from Salish Sea Organic Liqueurs (I really love their logo as well). I decided to use this in an Angel Face (from the Savoy Cocktail Book) variant. The drink is deceptively sweet, but it definitely packs a punch. I think I’d tweak it more in favor of the liqueur just to get even more of that great nectarine flavor.
While at Proof this weekend, we attended a great session on aperitifs and amari presented by Amanda Reed from Heartwood Provisions and Paul Clarke from Imbibe Magazine. I enjoyed the talk so much that we were inspired to head to Heartwood Provisions where we indulged in delicious food (duck confit poutine, anyone?) and great drinks from our bartender, Matt. I particularly enjoyed my La Rêve, and so I decided to try to recreate it with my new Kur gin from Wildwood Spirits Company. I started with equal parts of everything (Corpse Reviver #2 model), but it’s definitely too much Calvados — it overwhelms the drink with apple-y sweetness. Guess I’ll have to try again… oh darn.
I spent this weekend in Seattle at Proof Washington, a festival for local distillers. In other words, I was a kid in a candy shop. We splurged for the VIP tickets and got early access to the floor, and considering the quantity of people who were there by the time we left at 7, it was worth it. Not only did we get to sample some great local spirits, but we also had plenty of delicious food to balance out the liquor. There’s so much creativity in the craft spirits world right now, and I’m proud to see so much in the state where I live. I did manage to pick up a few treats, which I’ll be trying out at home and sharing in the coming weeks. I’m starting with Jammy, a delicious sweet vermouth from broVo. I’ve seen broVo products in my local liquor store, and was excited to get a chance to try them out and learn more. This vermouth definitely delivers on the sweet, but in a rich way that balances well with rye. Although I have become one of the vermouth-faithful, I feel like this vermouth could be a great entry-level product for someone interested in knowing more about what can go into their Manhattan.