Posted by: Matt Hamlin | October 25, 2008

The Bonded Conference

The first bar I enjoyed real, crafted cocktails at was Death & Company. The first cocktail that expressed the perfection and possibility of that style of bartending, for me, was called The Conference. Pretty much every time I’ve gone back to Death & Company since then, I’ve had The Conference at least once. It is IT for me – the best cocktail I’ve ever had, the one that I’ve most enjoyed every time I’ve had it.

Here’s the recipe for The Conference by Brian Miller of Death & Company, courtesy of Bittermens Bitters:

The Conference
A play on the Old Fashioned by Brian Miller at Death and Company, 2007. It’s one of those drinks that evolves as the ice slowly melts into the cocktail.
1/4 oz Demerara Sugar Syrup
1/2 oz Rittenhouse Bonded Rye (100 Proof)
1/2 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon
1/2 oz Cognac
1/2 oz Calvados
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
1 Dash Xocolatl Mole Bitters

Garnish
Orange Twist (wide)
Lemon Twist (wide)

Stir all the ingredients aside from the twists in an ice filled shaker glass. Strain into a double old fashioned glass over ice. Add orange and lemon twists.

Since I just moved to DC, I thought a good way for me to get back into practice of making my own cocktails would be to try to make my favorite drink for myself. Hey, while I doubt I can make as good as Brian Miller, there’s no reason I should deprive myself of my favorite drink just because I’m usually not in NYC at Death & Co.

Today I made a trip to Ace Beverage (more on that later) and got the supplies to make The Conference. The biggest hurdle I have to deal with is that Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters is not available for public sale. I’ve gotten some times from Marshall and SeanMike of Scofflaw’s Den and down the road I’ll be working to find a close substitute for the chocolate bitters. In the mean time I’m going to try an alternative: since the cocktail is based off of an Old Fashioned and it has orange and lemon peel in it anyway, I’m trying Fee’s Brothers Orange Bitters as a substitute for the Bittermens. I also was limited by not being able to get 100 proof Rittenhouse (I’ll be using 80 instead). Lastly, on the advice of Marshall I got Laird’s Straight Apple Brandy. I don’t regularly drink anything else with calvados in it and Marshall thinks the bonded Laird’s has a lot of other great uses.

Here’s the recipe I made*:

The Bonded Conference

1/4 oz Demerara Sugar Syrup
1/2 oz Rittenhouse Bonded Rye (80 Proof)
1/2 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon
1/2 oz Courvoisier VSOP
1/2 oz Laird’s Straight Apple Brandy
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
1 Dash Fee’s Brothers Orange Bitters

Garnish
Orange Twist (wide)
Lemon Twist (wide)

Stir all the ingredients aside from the twists in an ice filled shaker glass. Strain into a double old fashioned glass over ice. Add orange and lemon twists.

The Bonded Conference, v1.0

The Bonded Conference, v1.0

Without the chocolate bitters and 100 proof rye, the cocktail is a bit sweeter and with stronger citrus tones (obviously the Fee’s Brothers helps in that department). The missing strength in the rye takes off some of the bite and spice. It’s not the same drink, but it’s still danged good.

Considering I’m putting my little modified version up against my favorite cocktail in the world, I’m pretty happy with the results. It’s still a delicious drink, reminiscent of the original. It’s strong, yet light…just the sort of drink I’m happy to have on a rainy fall night with a good book.

In the future I’ll track down 100 proof Rittenhouse and try this again to see how different it is. I’ll also try to get some cocktail wonks’ input on how to make a stand-in for the chocolate bitters. Marshall seemed to have some interesting, if complex, ideas for what to do. We’ll see…

*I gave this drink a new name, thinking that three changes to the original ingredients was enough of a modification that I couldn’t call it The Conference in good faith. That said, I didn’t make huge changes, so your mileage may vary.

About these ads

Responses

  1. [...] cocktails. I’ve written a number of times about the main drink that did it for me — The Conference by Brian Miller of Death & Company.  I had it on my first visit to Death & Co and it knocked my socks off. But there’s [...]

  2. [...] with were drinks with Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters made by bartenders at Death & Company. The Conference by Brian Miller was the drink that got me hooked, but St. Columb’s Rill and the Oaxaca Old [...]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 47 other followers

%d bloggers like this: