Frederick Wildman Spirits

Our philosophy towards our spirits is to keep our portfolio small and filled with craft spirits of only the most outstanding quality. These spirits have garnered awards, as well as being embraced by both bartenders and consumers alike. Whether it be at your favorite watering hole, restaurant, or even at home, these spirits fill a void necessary for any spirit portfolio. Read More

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Maybe it’s the drama of popping a cork. Or the belief that bubbles bring booze straight to your head. Whatever the reason, when it’s time to celebrate – especially around the holidays – we don’t reach for plain old wine, whiskey, or beer: We raise a glass of bubbly. “Champagne is an optimist’s drink,” says François Morisson, bartender at New York’s Minetta Tavern. “Bubbles just make people feel happy – they’re always rising to the top.” But there’s more to do with champagne than simply pouring it into a flute. With one of the Minetta team’s easy, sophisticated recipes, you can create a memorable cocktail that’ll have you buzzing into next year. 1. Cole Fizz (pictured, above, left) Morisson says: “This is a light, refreshing, easygoing drink. You could easily have five of them.” • 1.5 oz cane juice–based rum, like Rhum J.M Blanc • .25 oz yellow Chartreuse • .25 oz agave syrup • .5 oz fresh lime juice • 1 egg white • Dash of grapefruit bitters • Champagne

"The allure of an intact antique liquor sample lies in the fact it can provide a clear snapshot into an earlier time," says Ted Breaux, whose research into vintage, pre-ban absinthes from the early 20th century helped create the modern brand Lucid, and make the whole absinthe category legal again. "Certain spirits, like absinthe and Chartreuse, continue to age in the bottle. What we’re tasting today is a little different than what it was a century ago." Besides Lucid, Breaux has created several absinthes through his company, Jade Liqueurs, including the elegant Nouvelle Orleans. More recently, he has set about duplicating some of the dozen originals in his collection, and has produced three reverse-engineered recreations, including a reproduction of the 1890s original Edouard Pernod, a 1901 Absinthe Superieure and a C.F. Berger original Swiss absinthe recipe.

Bars are also getting in on the vintage spirits act, and not only with whisky and cognac. Pouring Ribbons, a new bar in New York’s East Village, boasts an entire page of vintage Chartreuse bottles (both yellow and green) dating back to the 1950s. A single ounce of the strong, funky liqueur can set you back as much as $125. Salvatore Calabrese, a noted London bartender and co-owner of the bar at the Playboy Club London, has made a specialty of crafting cocktails from old booze. He made the news at the beginning of 2012, when a patron accidentally broke a 224-year-old bottle of cognac worth about $77,000.

Ask Men: Old Alcohols- Featuring Chartreuse

The Crippler (for two)


3⁄4 ounce rye whiskey

3⁄4 ounce Rhum JM Gold 3

⁄4 ounce mezcal

3⁄4 ounce Stroh Jagertee (Austrian liqueur made with tea and spices)

1 dash yellow Chartreuse

2 dashes Bitter End Memphis BBQ bitters


Stir ingredients well with ice and strain into two small cocktail glasses.

—From Tad Carducci of the Tippler, New York.

Widow’s Kiss


1 1⁄2 ounces calvados

1⁄2 ounce yellow Chartreuse

1⁄2 ounce Benedictine

Lemon twist


Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon twist.

—Adapted from George J. Kap- peler’s “Modern American Drinks” (1895)

In right-size volumes, drinks can be bolder. A spirit-forward classic such as the Widow’s Kiss, made with apple brandy, Chartreuse and Benedictine, is fascinating in small quantities but overpowering when supersized. Tristan Willey, bar manager at Booker & Dax, a nexus of innovative cocktail making that is part of the Manhattan-based Momofuku restaurant group, applies the same principle in his newly minted cocktails. “We have found ourselves working with extremely potent flavors,” he said, “flavors we love, but which we would never want a whole cocktail’s worth of.” One such drink is the Debbie, made with gin, dry vermouth, red-onion-infused gin and a pinch of salt. The combination is so intense, Mr. Willey said, “You only need a few sips before wishing to move on.”

Garden Room Pousse Café


1⁄2 ounce crème de cassis

1⁄2 ounce yellow Chartreuse

1⁄2 ounce Cognac


Pour cassis into the bottom of a small cordial glass. Place the tip of a spoon against the inside of the glass and gently pour over the spoon a layer of Chartreuse. Then, using the same technique, add a layer of Cognac. The layers should be equal and unmixed.

—Adapted from the Garden Room at L.A.’s Town House hotel, circa 1944

If Paula Deen opened a bartending school in the French mountains, the result might be something like this: Hot Buttered Chartreuse. Decadent? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely.

A few years ago my friend Lance Mayhew introduced me to Hot Buttered Rum, which is exactly what it sounds like. Take rum, add butter, sugar, and spices, mix it with hot water, and you have Hot Buttered Rum. Butter is not a typical cocktail ingredient but don’t be put off by it. Melting butter into a steaming hot drink makes it rich and delicious.

There are countless recipes for Hot Buttered Rum batter and you can buy it pre-mixed in stores, but it’s so easy to make at home that there is no reason to do that. Lance’s “World’s Best Hot Buttered Rum Recipe” lives up to the name and I’ve enjoyed it every year since moving to Portland. Go over to Lance’s site and make a batch.

Lance has made Hot Buttered Rum a Thanksgiving tradition for me, so last weekend I whipped some up at work. A few lines of advice from Lance’s post stood out to me:


- Use a quality rum. I like one with some age on it. I’ll be using Bacardi 8 this Thanksgiving, I don’t think there is a better rum for a Hot Buttered Rum.


- Use cheap rum. Cheap rum is going to taste even cheaper when you warm it up. You can’t hide poor quality ingredients in this drink.

If it’s important to use good spirits, why not go all out and use one of the best spirits in the world? Why not use Chartreuse? Though I’ve mixed Chartreuse in hot chocolate many times, I had no idea if this would be a hot mess or a mug of pure awesomeness. The concept was so tantalizing — Hot. Buttered. Chartreuse. — that I needed to try it out. And after a long shift, I did. Happily, the drink is every bit as good as it sounds.

Making Hot Buttered Chartreuse is simple. All you need is:

1 1/2 oz Chartreuse (green)
1 big dollop Hot Buttered Rum batter, to taste
hot water

Add the batter and some of the hot water to a mug, stirring to dissolve. Then add the Chartreuse and top off with more hot water, giving everything one final stir to combine.

Now, about that dollop. This is no time for moderation. You left moderation behind the moment you decided to drink butter and Chartreuse. Compensate later if you have to, but get the most of out of this experience and don’t hold back on the batter.

About the mug: Be sure to pre-heat it. The mug, the batter, and the spirit are going to lower the temperature of the water. The drink is Hot Buttered Chartreuse, not Tepid Buttered Chartreuse. A mug pre-heated with hot water will keep your drink warmer longer.

Sharing a couple mugs of this with someone you care about it is a great way to warm up on a cold winter night.

via Liquidity Preference

ZZ Top perform Chartreuse live in Montreal.

Green Chartreuse. I call for this sometimes in cocktails, but green Chartreuse is amazing by itself as a digestif, intense and herbaceous. It’s like the Old World in a glass. Expect to pay $48 for a 750-milliliter bottle or $33 for 375 milliliters.
-Deb Lindsey | Washington Post 

Some Bars Offer a Taste of Papa’s Gin

At Pouring Ribbons, in the East Village, it is possible to taste a 1950s Chartreuse and compare it with the current version. Vintry Wine & Whiskey, in the financial district, can help customers understand what attracted Depression-era drinkers to Grant’s blended Scotch. At the Experimental Cocktail Club, on the Lower East Side, you can have that 1950s Gordon’s gin mixed into a martini and get a notion of how it might have tasted to Ernest Hemingway, a devoted Gordon’s man.

And at Salvatore at Playboy, in the Playboy Club London, the head bartender, Salvatore Calabrese, uses his own collection of antique liquors to make old-fashioneds with pre-Prohibition American whiskey and 1915 Angostura bitters.

“People from around the world come to my bar to taste history,” he said. “You can see history, read about it, touch it, so why not taste it?”

So, are they, in fact, tasting history? Does liquor (the juice or its formulas) change over time, or is it the same as it ever was?

The standard line at most spirits companies is that they have made an immutable product throughout the decades, if not centuries. (One even turned it into a slogan: “Dewar’s never varies.”)

Certainly, an effort to be consistent may be there. But the quality of grains used varies over time, as does the access that Scotch blenders have to particular single malts. If botanicals are in play, they may not be identical from season to season. Other changes are more deliberate. Certain liquors, it has widely been acknowledged, have altered their recipes in response to shifting consumer tastes. Perhaps most significant, alcohol levels fluctuate.

All this makes attempts to create cocktails using old recipes and new liquors a crapshoot at best. When Nicolas de Soto, the head bartender at the Experimental Cocktail Club, sees bartenders pore over the 1930 “Savoy Cocktail Book” as if it were the Bible, he shakes his head. “The ingredients aren’t the same anymore,” he said. “You can’t use the same recipe.”

The vintage stinger made at the club, however, may come closer to the target. It combines a 1960s-era Hennessy Cognac and a crème de menthe from the 1940s. Both are noticeably less sweet that their contemporary counterparts. The resulting drink is restrained and elegant. As for the Gordon’s gin, the club’s 1950s specimen is rounder and maltier than the product sold today. (Though only vintage cocktails are listed on the menu, individual spirits can be ordered on their own.)

All the same, making cocktails with older ingredients doesn’t necessarily mean getting exactly what your forebears drank. There’s the matter of what happens when that old spirit sits in a bottle for a generation or two.

“If there’s a primary thread to these old spirits and cocktails,” said Jacob Briars, director of trade advocacy for Bacardi, who has sampled his share of aged libations, “it’s that each of them has become more round. There is a softness. The sharp, bright notes have faded over time, and instead you have this wonderful integration of all the flavors.”

Troy Sidle, the partner at Pouring Ribbons who oversees the Chartreuse collection, has grown philosophical about the differing flavor profiles he finds in various bottles of the classic liqueur. “Chartreuse is always the same,” he said. “What changes is the expression of it. Chartreuse is really the collection of 130 herbs and spices, not so much the product sold that is the combination of all those flavors.”

These bars acquire their bottles, for the most part, through private collectors. The Experimental Cocktail Club drew its stock from two or three collections. Vintry’s whiskered whiskeys come from Harry Poulakakos, who used to own Harry’s at Hanover Square and began buying old whiskeys and brandies in the 1960s. “Once in a while Harry invites me to his cellar and says, ‘Maybe you see something else you like,’ ” said Ivan Mitankin, a partner at Vintry.

The private collector Pouring Ribbons tapped was Mr. Sidle himself, who has an abiding interest in Chartreuse. He came upon a few of his acquisitions in curious ways. He spotted bottles of 1980s yellow and green Chartreuse in a liquor store on Avenue C, where they had been gathering dust. “They clearly didn’t know what they had,” Mr. Sidle said.

These liquid history lessons cost. The most expensive Chartreuse at Pouring Ribbons, from the 1940s, is $125 an ounce. The vintage cocktails at the Experimental Cocktail Club run from $150 to $200. Most of Mr. Calabrese’s vintage cocktails go for a few hundred pounds.

“The demand is not super high,” Mr. de Soto said. “There are people who are very interested in spirits and want to try it. And then there are people who see it’s expensive and say, ‘I’ll take it.’ ”

But to him, sales are not the whole point. “It’s more like an experience,” he said. “If you can give something different to people, it makes me happy.”


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