The Washington Post on the trend towards making bitters, mixers, etc. from scratch
In an article titled “Be A Bold Mixmaster“, they talk in length about making everything from martini onions, cherries, and tonic water. They even mention infused rums.
Falernum is another story. No one, it seems, can obtain the infused rum unless they make it themselves. Yet a half-century ago, falernum was a tiki-bar staple in drinks such as the zombie, the mai tai and the rum swizzle.
I soaked lime peels, cloves and almonds in sugar and white rum, which I let sit in a covered glass pitcher in the sun for three days. When I opened the container again, the aroma was heavenly. Mixed in a rum swizzle with dark rum and lime and pineapple juices, my homemade falernum added a mysterious tanginess and notes of clove that balanced any syrupy sweetness.
In my opinion Portland is a great cocktail town. We have Lucy Brennan of 820/Mint, who made a name for herself inventing new types of cocktails with herbs, Kevin Ludwig, voted best bartender in Portland by PFD readers (who seems to have vanished), and the folks at Teardrop Lounge who make their own mixers, bitters, and infusions – including falernum – also mentioned in the Washington Post article, which is a rum infusion used in mai tais. Their version is… really… good. Hmm… After a week with nothing but wine to drink, I need to make the rounds again.
That being said, from my experience, bitters seems to be tricky to make. I’ve had some awful ones.
Whole Foods Cleared to Buy Wild Oats Chain
The FTC was trying to block Whole Foods bid for Wild Oats, but today a Federal Appeals Court cleared the way for the sale. From MSNBC, “They claimed that if the two companies combine, it would mean less competition and higher prices for premium and organic food.” Maybe everywhere else, but here they have a healthy competitor in New Seasons:
[Judge] Friedman made no mention in his ruling of several notorious e-mails and other documents written by Whole Foods chief executive John Mackey that the FTC cited in its effort to block the deal.
For example, Mackey said in a February e-mail to a company board member that the acquisition would enable Whole Foods to “avoid nasty price wars” with Wild Oats in several cities.