Album Review | Joell Ortiz - Monday

There is something incredibly beautiful about watching Hip-Hop mature and grow. Over the years we have seen the maturation of Jay-Z, owning his dirt on 4:44, Bun B become a man and kanye do whatever it is that Kanye does.But for the most part artists don’t always embrace their longevity in the same way. Mainstream is a young man’s game, and for some looking to stay relevant, it’s tempting to attempt to keep up.

Musique | 5 chansons à écouter au Liban

Beyrouth. Le nom fait rêver les amoureux du Proche-Orient et des voyages. Comme en témoignent les bâtiments criblés de balle de la capitale de ce minuscule pays bordé à l’ouest par la Méditerranée et niché entre la Syrie, et l’Israël, le Liban est encore fortement marqué par une guerre civile (1975-1990) et un conflit armé de 36 jours avec Israël (2006).  

Food & Drink | The Daiquiri - Cocktail Hour - Apéritif Time

Tart, slightly sweet, boozy and refreshingly delicious - no, not Lily Allen, the Daiquiri. Last week we looked at the Cuba Libre and this week we're staying in Caribbean rum & lime territory - but for an altogether more potent mix. The Daiquiri (pronounced Dackery) is one of the most misunderstood, messed-about-with classic cocktails made today, with bartenders bludgeoning the simple, bright, citrus-rich cocktail into all sorts of saccharine blender-slush. (I blame TGI Fridays, hen parties and Ibiza). The important thing to remember is a real daiquiri has just three ingredients: rum, lime and sugarcane syrup, and then it is shaken. No strawberries, no ice cream, no whisked egg white and no blender are required. Keep it simple.

The recipe

  • 2 pts Light rum. I'm going with HSE from the northern tip of Martinique.

  • 1 pt Lime juice, freshly squeezed

  • ½ pt Simple sugar syrup

  • Ice

  • Slice of lime for the garnish

Method:

Couldn't be simpler: pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well, and serve in a coupe or a Martini glass garnished with a slice of lime.

Music | The Carnaval Novelty Song: Scourge of Brazil

Every year some idiot-savant comes up with the feelgood hit of the Brazilian summer, a cartoonish earworm with the subtlety and nuance of a vuvuzela, which is blasted out of every car window and soundsystem, covered, spoofed and memed to death until Carnaval ends - at which point it is immediately consigned to the graveyard of history, as everyone sobers up.

Food & Drink | The Old Fashioned - Cocktail Hour - Apéritif Time

By the 1860’s it was common in the US for a spirit to be mixed with bitters and sugar to form a simple primeval cocktail. When whiskey was used as the spirit and a few drops of other tinctures like orange bitters were added they had a concoction referred to as "old-fashioned", with no capital letters or definite article. According to a Chicago barman quoted in the Chicago Daily Tribune in 1882, Rye whiskey was more popular than Bourbon in this mixture, but nevertheless the combination of spirit, bitters and sugar he describes was very similar to what had been mixed in the 1860’s and before.

The classic recipe:


Method: Put the sugar into an Old-Fashioned glass, i.e. a whisk(e)y tumbler, and douse with the Bitters. Muddle (*see below) the sugar and bitters. Add the ice and then the whiskey and stir. Serve garnished with a twist of orange peel.

*Muddle is a mixology term, meaning to blend by gently squashing ingredients - e.g. sugar, pieces of fruit or leaves like mint - against the bottom of the glass to release flavours, using a tool called a muddler which has a blunt bottom end.

I'm practicing what I preach regarding using top quality ingredient liquors: going with “Eagle Rare” Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey from the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. It is smooth and classy and a bit smokey ...and 20€ a bottle more than Jim Beam but you can't make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. With so few ingredients in this cocktail you've got to go with quality.