Friday, February 5, 2010

Hungarian Liqueur Tasting on The Intoxicologist

Each year, I trek up to Deep Creek Lake in far northwestern Maryland to the Wisp ski resort and rent a house with about 12 buddies to snowboard, drink, eat, drink, drink some more, and generally goof off (we call it Biohazard weekend - 12 guys, a house, a lot of beer - you get the picture). This year, I had asked a friend of mine (Joe Balintfy) to bring some Hungarian liqueurs he had brought back with him on a recent trip there - Unicum, Unicum Next, and Zwack. Zwack is available in the US, the other two are not readily available in the States. I just wanted to try them out, since I had really enjoyed trying some other bitter liqueurs I had used during my Anvil cocktail quest (such as Cynar, Aperol, and Fernet Branca).

I mentioned on Twitter that I was going to be trying these out, and The Intoxicologist, a great cocktail and cocktail industry blogger whom I had interacted with a little bit by entering a couple of her cocktail creation contests, asked if I could write up some tasting notes. Evidently she gets a lot of questions about these, but since they are hard to come by, had not had a chance to sample them herself. I quickly agreed - I knew the biggest challenge was going to be finding a 20 minute stretch during that weekend where I could put some coherent thoughts together and actually write legibly.

I did the tasting, scribbled my notes down ("legible" is probably a generous description of what those notes looked like), and sent them in. Amazingly, they were deemed coherent enough to publish, and they were put up on The Intoxicologist's website this afternoon. Pretty awesome - thanks to her, and to Joe and the Biohazard crew for supporting my drinking related efforts all these years.

I came up with a Zwack cocktail while I was up at Deep Creek in honor of the event - called the BH11 (Biohazard 11, as this is the 11th year running the group has done this), I used Zwack and Elemental Organic Vodka, a fantastic spirit made in Portland, OR by Highball Distillery, which is co-owned by one of the regular attendees of Biohazard weekend. Pretty yummy stuff.

The BH11 Cocktail

2oz Zwack
1oz Elemental Organic Vodka
.5oz orange juice
.25oz lemon juice
3 dashes Regan's Orange Bitters

Combine all in a cocktail shaker w/ ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass

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