Alright folks, welcome to part 5 of 7 of the “Drinks We Drank at Drink” series that’s been in progress since I returned from the glorious city of Boston some weeks ago. The subject of this post was a cocktail that was prepared for another of my dear friends – a man who is both a talented chef and a freelance Joaquin Phoenix stunt-double. Our bartender whipped up a Bohemian based on his request for a cocktail that featured gin and used citrus that “wasn’t lemon or lime”.
The Bohemian was created by Misty Kalkofen in 2008 during her time at the Green Street Grill, located in nearby Cambridge. Apparently Green Street is the oldest continually operating bar in all of Cambridge and a place where bartenders and others in the industry go to get a good drink. It would seem that shortly after inventing the Bohemian, Ms. Kalkofen left Green Street to join the staff of Drink. We didn’t actually interact with our bartender directly during our visit to Drink, so who knows – maybe Misty herself mixed my friend’s Bohemian. Let’s say she did. That’s special.
So where did the name of this cocktail come from? Is it in reference to the impoverished artists, writers, musicians, and actors that hang out in Cambridge? Probably not – I don’t think anyone in Cambridge can be classified as “impoverished”; seems more like a neighborhood wrought with nerds and trust-funders given the presence of MIT and Harvard. So maybe she was thinking of the mythical beret-clad French bohemians tasked with the back-breaking job of picking thousands of the wee elderflowers necessary for the production of St-Germain, one of the key ingredients in the cocktail? Perhaps so. Or, maybe it’s a homage to her gypsy/Czech heritage! Kalkofen – that’s a Czech name, right? … German, you say? Scheisse. Well, then. Okay, how about this: she’s a massive Queen fan and can belt out the words to Bohemian Rhapsody at any given moment? That last theory sounds very promising. Very promising, indeed. When I asked her about the name on the Twitter, she responded thusly:
@PaternalDrunk Hmmmm. I named that a long time ago and I’m old so it may take me a bit to remember…
— Misty Kalkofen (@hankyp) April 10, 2014
I can’t tell if she’s being tight lipped or if she genuinely can’t remember the person, place or thing that inspired the name of this delightful cocktail. If it is the latter, the accumulated effects of too many late nights and debilitating hangovers may be catching up with her. Warning signs, Misty… warning signs. As for the “I’m so old” bit – nonsense! I, of course, don’t know her actual age, but this fine lady can’t yet be 40. Besides “old” is always 15 years from your current age. Right? Right?
Alright, time to mix and shake:
Add it all to your shaker along with a pile of ice. Shake it as furiously as you would headbang to that part in Bohemian Rhapsody (you know the part), whilst singing the following:
So you think you can stone me and spit in my eyyyye?!
So you think you can love me and leave me to diiiiiie?!
Ooooooh, baaaby, can’t do this to me, baby!
Just gotta get out, just gotta get right outta heeere!
You and your drink should now be tremendously pumped up and chilled, respectively. Strain into a chilled coupe. No garnish.
With respect to notes on ingredients: Misty specifically calls for Beefeater – I think a London Dry having lots of junipery bite, like Beefeater, is necessary if it is to overcome the potent elderflower and grapefruit flavours of this drink. St-Germain itself has some lovely grapefruit aromas on the nose, so one would imagine it’s a natural partner for grapefruit juice. Peychaud’s is a bit sweeter than the ubiquitous Angostura, with some slightly fruity, cherry notes to it, so I suspect it will also play well with the others.
The nose exhibits some grapefruitiness, but is primarily dominated by aromas of elderflower. With regards to taste, the intermingling flavours of grapefruit and elderflower liqueur arrive upfront, but then give way to juniper through the midpalate. The finish continues with juniper along with a slight balancing bitterness, presumably from the Peychaud’s. Really good. In fact, this drink inexplicably awakens an urge to do the fandango. As I sip, notions of thunderbolt and lightning flit through my mind, which I find somewhat frightening. Magnifico.