Cobbler’s Dream

The winner of the Hotel Monteleone Cocktail Contest has been determined (click here to find out more), and I realized that while I was busy telling you what not to do to win the competition, I should have been telling you the first rule of cocktail contests: know your audience (or judges in this case).

New Orleans, as those of you who have visited surely already know, is notorious for its sweet cocktails. Even when ordering proper dry cocktails like the French 75 or Old Fashioned you need to specify that you want your refreshment to be extremely dry whilst partaking in the Big Easy (and even then your libation will probably be fairly sweet). If you clicked above to read about the winner and his creation, you might have noticed that his creation’s proportions had equal parts liqueurs to base spirit (2oz liqueurs to 2 oz of rye to be exact). This was then topped up with a splash of a sweet soda and a couple of dashes of Fee’s bitters (the most candied of the orange bitters varieties). Not only is this drink very sweet (by my standards), but it is also refreshing, thanks to the crushed ice and bubbles, a perfect combination for New Orleans, whose sweet tooth is perhaps secondary only to its cloying heat. For the creation of this astute recipe, I tip my hat to Brian Robinson of Arlington, VA, for creating an interesting cocktail perfectly tailored for the locale that it was going to be made in!

As for my thought process when coming up with a recipe for this contest, I wanted something that gave a nod to the hotel’s past as well as acknowledged the fact that it’s located in a city of great cocktail history: New Orleans.

I started off with rye as a base (not unlike Brian) for not only is it used in such New Orleans classics as the Sazerac, the Vieux Carré and the Cocktail à la Louisiane, but it also has a connection to New Orleans entrepreneur Thomas Handy who imported rye for the Sazerac house when that evil louse decimated France’s vineyards, drying up this country’s supply of wine and naturally, cognac. Besides, we all know that I’m a sucker for rye drinks.

Next up was to find an ingredient to pay homage to the Monteleone’s founder, Antonio Monteleone. As he was of Italian descent, I immediately went to sweet vermouth, but not wanting to be too boring, I switched it up a bit and threw in some Punt e Mes instead. A little more bitter and interesting than your average vermouth n’est-ce pas?

Peychaud’s bitters were a natural fit, seeing as they were created in NOLA (and without bitters it wouldn’t be a cocktail now, would it?), and a dash of St Germain added a touch of sweetness and honored the city’s French heritage.

The drink at this point was great, but needed a little something extra, and as any visit to New Orleans should include a visit to Jean Laffite’s Old Absinthe House I figured that the cocktail glass should also pay a brief visit with absinthe as well.

So enough jibber-jabber, let’s mix up the:

COBBLER’S DREAM

1 ¼ oz rye (I used Rittenhouse 100 proof)
¾ oz Punt e Mes
¼ oz St Germain
dash Peychaud’s bitters
stir, strain into absinthe rinsed cocktail glass
garnish with brandied cherry

This is such a tasty beverage that despite the fact that it didn’t win the competition, I feel like I’ve come ahead a winner. Guests at the bar who have tried this drink have all raved, with one describing it as complex without being complicated. I think that about sums it up. This will definitely go into my box of tricks to be pulled up with great frequency.

Why the name Cobbler’s Dream? Antonio Monteleone was a nobleman running a successful shoe factory when he was lured to NOLA by the American dream, and as it didn’t win the contest and therefore transform into the Monteleone Cocktail, the Cobbler’s Dream it will remain.

Cin Cin and Sante!

Cobblers Dream

Cobbler's Dream

Picture and drink by:
Jamie Boudreau
Cocktail Whisperer

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~ by Jamie Boudreau on May 24, 2009.

14 Responses to “Cobbler’s Dream”

  1. Jamie,

    Thanks for the nod! You hit the nail on the head regarding ‘knowing your audience’. My original idea was to go with what I like. However, I like my cocktails dry and sometimes semi-bitter. I like stout beers. I drink my absinthe sans sucre. I typically stay away from sweet drinks. I quickly realized that something that suits my palate wouldn’t work well when dealing with the masses.

    While constructing the cocktail, I initially started with straining into a cocktail glass. It ended up WAAAY to viscous. How do I solve that? Crushed ice! Things fell into place after foregoing my favored bitters (Bob’s Bitters from the UK) in favor of something more easily accessible.

    When I got the call that I won, I was totally taken by surprise. I’m a mild mannered Financial Advisor by day, and spirits enthusiast by night. I was truly humbled just to be able to say I was taking part in the same competition as people such as yourself.

    Your cocktail looks fantastic by the way. I think I’ll go make one now. :)

  2. Спасибо за пост. Позновательно.

  3. Great post and delicious looking drink, thank you! I also really love the glass you’ve poured it into, may I ask if it’s easily purchasable? Or was it a thrift/vintage store buy?

  4. Savory cocktail very well balanced (as always). I know your a fan of the rye as well as applejack. Try this out out sometime.

    The Brolin

    3/4 oz. bonded Rittenhouse rye

    3/4 oz. bonded Laird’s applejack

    1/4 oz. Cynar

    1/2 oz. gomme syrup

    dash Angosture orange bitters

    Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice.
    Strain into cocktail glass, flame orange zest
    over topand drop into drink.

  5. it is fun to read the thought processes of both the winner – congratulations, Brian! – and a very experienced and talented contender, Mr. Boudreau. i myself was one of the 5 finalists, and reading Jamie’s treatise on sweetness, it is less of a surprise i guess. while i like my drinks usually on the sweet side (but not always), my entry seems very sweet even by my standards now that i am looking at it from that perspective. since the hotel did not publish the 5 finalists, here is my cocktail for your perusal:

    Lady Shannon
    1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse Rye 100
    1/2 oz Benedictine
    1/2 oz Cherry Heering
    1 oz fresh-squeezed Grapefruit juice
    1/2 oz fresh-squeezed Lime juice
    1 Tbs Bitter Orange Marmalade (D’arbo or other without high-fructose corn syrup)
    2 dashes Angostura bitters

    Muddle marmalade and lime juice, add rest of ingredients, shake w/ ice & double strain into a chilled wine glass. Garnish w/ a wide swath of grapefruit zest.

    to me the biggest surprise is that so many of the winners in contests these days are including St. Germain. i personally feel that this product has jumped the shark – being as ubiquitous as it is. apparently many judges in these contests don’t feel that way – perhaps this liqueur is still quite new and exotic to them.

    note to self: use St. Germain in future contest submissions! ;-)

    as an aside, i have also noticed that many winners in NYC are including Carpano Antica. perhaps combining Antica and St. Germain in one Super Contender is the way to go… :)

    also interesting to note, seems that rye was the base they were looking for.

  6. “more bitter and interesting than your average vermouth n’est pas?”

    … n’est-ce pas?

  7. French Inspector:
    Thanks for the catch, it’s been way too long since I’ve had to write anything in French. Fixed above.

  8. Fun read, especially the follow up posts and additional recipes. Eric Felten created a drink quite similar to the new Monteleone cocktail that he published earlier this year in his article on the brothers who created St. Germaine and Domaine de Canton. Might be worth a try:

    Cooper Brothers Cocktail
    1 1/2 oz bourbon
    1/2 oz St-Germain elderflower liqueur
    1/4 oz Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur

    Stir, stir, stir with ice and then strain into a stemmed cocktail glass. Twist a piece of orange peel over the top of the drink. Garnish with a fresh orange twist.

    Less sweet and easy enough to substitute rye for the bourbon

  9. Jamie,

    This is a fantastic cocktail – not too sweet and simple complexity (is that an oxymoron?) I’d gladly order this one next time I’m at tini bigs.

  10. Hello Jamie:

    Where do you get your drink swords? I want them…

    Thanks.

  11. SC:
    eBay

  12. [...] chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cocktail cherry. Or if you’re me and feeling fancy and admire Jamie Boudreau’s blog… (it required TWO cocktail [...]

  13. This is a fantastic drink. Or rather is probably a fantastic drink. I only know that the variant I made, substituting Dolin sweet vermouth and Cointreau for the Punt e Mes and St. Germain, was incredibly tasty. I added a few dashes of Regan’s orange bitters in adition to the Peychaud’s in a probably feeble attempt to make up for some of the complexity missing due to the lack of Punt e Mes (I don’t presently own any). The Cointreau substitution was simply a matter of preference; while I love St. Germain, I was in the mood to make something with the bright orange flavor of triple sec. I also tried this with Benedictine in place of the St. Germain but I think the Cointreau was more successful. I think of this as a fortuitous collision of a Manhattan and a Sazerac, with the liqueur adding sweetness in place of the sugar cube. I’m a huge fan of rye as well as a sweet and/or herbal component in my drinks so this fits my tastes exactly. Many thanks!

    Next I’ll have to try the Lady Shannon as suggested by Alex Smith. I love the idea of bitter orange marmalade in a cocktail. Now if only I could locate a bottle of Rittenhouse–for some reason it’s almost nonexistent in Boston these days. I’ve been using Old Overholt and Russell’s Reserve but neither pack the equivalent punch of 100-proof Rittenhouse. Hopefully the latter will show up again soon.

    Cheers,
    Eric

  14. Hey, I can’t find any Punt e Mes up here in the Great White North. Any chance I can sub-in DuBonnet? I always hear it’s a more bitter drink. Tried it the other night, and it was pretty tasty that way.

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