The Galician Rendezvous is not what you’re thinking, although the circumstances for this decision to write about a cocktail did take many turns. by Warren Bobrow
The Rendezvous in this case is a new release from Barrell Whiskey. It’s called Batch #001 and there really isn’t much of it out there- so get going and find some. I just cannot wait for the next time to meet up with a glass of this really authentic whiskey.
Rendezvous in flavor profile is not for the meek. If you drink Maker’s Mark, you are probably not going to like this, but maybe you should drink it just for your sociological edification. At 122.5 Proof, Barrell Whiskey is not wimpy, watered down whiskey. This is not for beginners, unless you are coming from the school of thought involving nostalgia and authenticity. If so, kudos to you!
Barrell Whiskey will put some bristle in your throat and that’s not from swallowing this gorgeous elixir, it’s from the aromatics. I would compare Barrell Whiskey with enjoying a Ruben Sandwich made on really good rye bread. All that I’m saying is that Barrell Whiskey reminds me of a trip to the Old West, without the pesky saddle sores. This is how whiskey used to be made before it got all merlot-like with sweet vanilla finish and port barrel opulence. Brimming with juicy notes of corn sugar.
I like my whiskey to be robust in the glass, yet kind as it goes down my throat. Does that make sense?
You could say I like whiskey as a genre and you’d be correct. But I must stress right up front. There is a rye component in this whiskey that is just not for everyone.
With that said I could free up my pen and get down to the next ingredient in this drink, the Galician Rendezvous gets Stroh Rum for a potent 80% (abv) float at the end. In the right context, Stroh Rum is stylish, like an Armani suit on a handsome gentleman.
It’s a stretch but the Galician Rendezvous is a most elegant beast and you must use both Barrell Whiskey and Stroh Rum to make it. Otherwise it just won’t be the same. With all my cocktails, if you don’t have the base spirits, try it with what you have on hand. I think you may be surprised. Experimentation is ok, but I must stress that you always used freshly squeezed juices. This is essential to my drinks and your drinks will know it.
In fact your friends know it too, so if you have been using bottled juices- they’re just being nice to you. So please, don’t use frozen or powdered, concentrated juices with your expensive liquors.
Get on an ice program as well. If you are using high-end spirits, why ruin your perfectly good drink by using that ice that tastes like last week’s garlic pasta, or that salmon filet that went slimy a few days ago. Doesn’t it make sense to treat your ice like the basis of your cocktail? I think so and you should too!
Not enough is said about the quality of the ice in a drink. That is too bad because the more I drink out, the more I see that just isn’t pretty. There is nothing exemplary about making a drink with a quarter cube ice. I’m not impressed.
Get yourself a silicone ice tray. Skip the ones that feature miniature ducks or lobsters- although if you lived up in Maine, this could be fun. And please don’t throw it in the dishwasher. It will be ruined! Hand wash only!
You’ll need one that makes 2-inch squares or 1-inch squares. The large ones seem to work the best and dilute your drink the slowest. Double boil some spring water or better yet, distilled water.
Freeze overnight. Sure you can infuse your ice with your choice of bitters or even juices or minced herbs. I utilize this culinary technique and you can too.
Finally, make yourself a Reuben sandwich to go with your Barrell Whiskey and Stroh Rum. If you are in the NY/Metro area, get yourself down to Hobby’s Delicatessen in Newark on Branford Place, and make sure that you let them know I sent you.
This is not a candy sweet cocktail. It requires careful examination and deliberate gratitude. I suggest for you to have at least two and make sure that you drink plenty of water.
The Galician Rendezvous Cocktail
- 1 oz. Barrell Whiskey
- ½ oz. Stroh Rum (for the float)
- ¼ oz. Freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 oz. Freshly squeezed orange juice
- 3 drops Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters
- 1 large cube of handmade ice
- On a bamboo pick, place a green olive (stuffed with an anchovy) and a ½ round of orange (just like they do in Spain!)
- Fill a Boston Shaker ¾ with ice
- Pour over the Barrell Whiskey
- Add the freshly squeezed juices and cap…
- Shake hard for 20 seconds
- Place large ice in your pre-chilled old-fashioned glass (ice and water work)
- Strain into an old-fashioned glass
- Float the Stroh Rum on top with a bar spoon
- Dot with the Jerry Thomas Bitters
- Garnish of the ½ orange round and anchovy stuffed olive on the side of the glass