Abrakadabra, Alabazam!

December 1st, 2008

I’m often asked how I keep track of cocktail recipes I want to try, or have enjoyed and want to remember. I have a notebook in which I sometimes scribble down recipes, my recipe books are full of pages with the corner turned over, and I have a few hundred bookmarks scattered between various computers I use, but truth is I’m not really very good at keeping track of them. I regularly try great drinks and promptly forget about them, and don’t try nearly as many new cocktails as I wish I could.

Probably the only decent method to remember drinks which really works for me is writing about them here. Sitting down and thinking up a few hundred words about a drink really helps to get a recipe cemented in my oft too forgetful head. This in itself brings problems, however, with helpful readers suggesting many other great drinks most of which, in all honesty, I probably won’t ever get around to trying. Not until I win the lottery and can spend all day every day drinking tasty libations anyway.

I’m always glad of the suggestions though, and of the ones I do manage to mix up most are great recommendations indeed. Sadly tonight’s cocktail, suggested by regular reader Niels, is one I deeply regret trying. Not because it is bad, quite the contrary, but because it is certain to empty my bottle of The Bitter Truth Repeal Bitters far sooner than I would like…

Alabazam cocktail

Alabazam

View in: oz | ml | shots

The recipe Niels provided weighed in at nearly 5oz so I instead went for Jamie’s smaller recipe which is fairly similar in proportion but a bit more appropriate for a Monday night. I’ve already tried several bitters-heavy cocktails so was looking forward to seeing how they worked in this recipe, however I was wary of using the limited-edition Repeal Bitters in such large quantity so first gave them a go with the ubiquitous Angostura bitters.

The result was a delicious mixture that at first reminded me of a slightly sweet Sidecar, but soon delivered a hefty dose of cinnamon and clove led spice which was absolutely delicious. I quickly followed up with one made with Repeal Bitters, any hesitation over using them now removed, and the result was a marvellously aromatic cocktail. The Bitter Truth bitters were far more dominant than the Angostura, their heavy cardamom bitterness creating a deep drink that really opens up on the finish and showcases Stephan and Alex’s new bitters perfectly.

Whichever bottle of aromatic bitters you happen to have though be sure to give the Alabazam a try, and witness the great disappearing bitters trick as you drink Alabazam after Alabazam after Alabazam…

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Posted in Aromatic Bitters, Cognac, Curaçao & Triple Sec, Lemon, Recipes

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6 responses to “Abrakadabra, Alabazam!”

  1. Chris Chris says:

    Which cognac did you use?

  2. ND ND says:

    I tried this a few months ago after reading about it on Jamie Boudreau’s site (I was quite astounded to find a drink there that I actually had all the ingredients for). In any case, man oh man, what a great cocktail! You like Pegu Clubs, so I’d suggest you try substituting lime juice in place of lemon… it makes for a surprising difference from the original (you’d think all those bitters would tend to mask the other flavours), and an equally awesome cocktail.

  3. DJ Dubonnet DJ Dubonnet says:

    “…witness the great disappearing bitters trick as you drink Alabazam after Alabazam after Alabazam…”

    It seems to me not as impressive a trick as draining your cognac supply at that rate…

  4. Jay Jay says:

    Chris – I used Rémy Martin VSOP, which is the only Cognac I tend to keep in for mixing. It’s a little pricey, but it’s often on offer in the supermarkets and I find it mixes really nicely.

    ND – I’l have to give that a go. On the subject of lots of bitters and Pegu Clubs, be sure to check out Gonçalo’s Juniper Club Cocktail if you haven’t already. It’s a very tasty play on the Pegu Club.

    DJ – True, though as a fan of Sidecars I’m used to my Cognac supply draining pretty fast. Not so comfortable with my bitters bottles emptying as quickly… ;-)

  5. The Cocktail Chronicles » Don’t Be Bitter says:

    [...] got this rolling is that on at least three occasions in the past year, I’ve been on the edge of shaking off my laziness long [...]

  6. Looka!» Blog Archive » HAPPY REPEAL DAY!!! says:

    [...] got this drink via Jay, who adapted it from Jamie, who got it from an 1878 tome called American and Other Drinks. Use [...]

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