Cocktails & Spirits

Albert Trummer's The Drawing Room: Fire, Elixirs, and Prescription Potables

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Trummer is behind the bar, busily pouring liquids from bottles marked only by numbers. These are the bartender's magical elixirs, made from European and Asian herbs and florals like vanilla, elderflower, and wormwood. Yes. The very same wormwood that was banned for decades because of hallucination scares. Trummer explains that while at some castle in the South of France with David Bouley, he met "a very old man who looked like a wizard. He called himself the absinthe doctor and he made his own from wormwood. I never tasted anything like it. It wasn't like the fake absinthe most people sell. I was inspired."

In fact, Trummer has a story to pair with every cocktail, every bitter, every garnish. When doling out a rum-soaked cherry for his Hemingway Special, made with Zacapa rum, his elixir #5, fresh lime juice, and Israeli mint, he recalls when, growing up, he watched his aunt make fruit brandies at her distillery. "She made these wonderful pear and apple brandies from fresh fruit. Then, she would soak cherries in rum to preserve them. As children, we would get a little drunk from these cherries."

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss