And so this is Christmas, and what have I done? Back at the start of the year, I set out to post an original cocktail recipe here on the internet every week throughout 2009, and - a couple of missed weeks here and a couple of double posts there aside - so here we are. If I'm honest, the main idea behind the entire project was to force me to create content for the site. I've let blogs die before, usually through a lack of focus and discipline, so I thought that operating to a consistent framework would see what I started at ednbrg into something more substantial, something other than a half-finished idea gathering dust in the blind alleyways of the internet. When I started, I certainly didn't see myself registering a domain and moving the entire operation into paid hosting. Then again, when I started, I didn't see myself moving jobs halfway through the year.
2009 has probably been my most productive year as a bartender. I don't have well-defined goals, but a first appearance at a national final of a cocktail competition is definitely progress and also makes a great response to everyone who tells me to get a proper job. This project has been an education. It's forced me to broaden my thinking about mixed drinks and look further for inspiration. Throughout the year, I've gained that from the massed ranks of cocktail enthusiasts that can be found online - if there's a link in the sidebar over there, then you're in my RSS reader and I thank you for the good work you're doing. I should also share some love with Liqurious for letting drinkgeeks show off the wonderful things they've found online (and driving 75% of my referred traffic...). While I'm not sure if the FDA care that much about me, I should point out that a decent amount of the products I've used during the course of the project was provided free of charge, either through sympathetic bar managers or from the brands themselves. Particular thanks are due to Abelha Cachaca, Maxxium UK, Diageo, and Bacardi Brown-Forman.
This year in drinks has thrown up some interesting numbers - the most commonly used base spirit across the 52 recipes was vodka which featured in 20 drinks, though I've not made a distinction between flavoured and unflavoured vodkas. Next most popular was rum (10/52) ahead of brandy and gin (6/52 each) and a surprise top five slot for cachaca (5/52). Products also tended to bunch together - four of the five cachaca recipes came over a five week period in the summer and the effect was even more pronounced with liqueurs and modifying ingredients. I would often use a newly discovered ingredient with a variety of base spirits in a short space of time, hence there are clumps of recipes involving Edmond Briottet Creme de Mure, Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters and Fernet Branca at various times of the year. The slight majority of drinks were of Embury's Aromatic Type (27:25), with lemon juice just shading the Sour Type drinks over lime (12:9; one drink had both).
Of course, I'm writing this like it's all over. It's not, not yet. I'm not planning on stopping posting original recipes here through 2010, but I'm going to take some time to decide how I'm going to approach the coming year. Until then, however, I still owe one more drink.
45ml Bols Genever
30ml apple juice
5ml absinthe (in an atomiser, I used La Fée Parisienne)
Using a lighter, flame the absinthe into a chilled martini glass. Stir the other ingredients with ice and strain into the chilled, absinthe-flamed glass. Garnish with a lemon zest twist.