What's New in February

2010 Concoction Contest: Cider

Cider, sidra, sagardo, or whatever you want to call it; this is your ingredient for our 2010 concoction contest. But this year we're adding a little twist. Since we find cider to be a wonderful cooking ingredient, we're looking for not just cocktails but also foods.

We're calling 2010 the year of the apple. Last year we introduced our first cider project, a traditional cider from the Basque Country: Isastegi Sagardo Naturala. Although it's not what most people expect when sipping a glass of cider, it definitely gathered a following, so we decided to expand our cider selection into neighboring Asturias. After long and tiring hours André found Trabanco, and after many longer and more tiring hours we've finally gotten some past the Catalan pirates. So this year we're celebrating our newfound love for cider by making it the featured ingredient for our 2010 Concoction Contest. 

The rules are the same as usual: the concoction must be an original creation, and you're free to use any of our ciders from Isastegi or Trabanco. We will be taking submissions through November for our tasting in December. Each month we will post the latest submissions until the winning concoctions are announced in January of 2011.

The three winners will each win a hand-painted porron by our 2010 guest artist: Beatrice Agullo. A native of Spain who is currently residing in Montreal, she is a graduate of the Escola Eina Barcelona with a specialization in photography and printmaking. We can’t wait to see what kind of porrons she’ll have in store for us.

To enter our Cider Concoction Contest please send your recipes to Chris at chris@theporron.com. Please include a detailed ingredient list and specify which cider you used.

Submissions

Interested in all of the recipes? Well, here they are.

FIRST PLACE
To Your Health

by Mindy C. of Toro Bravo in Portland, OR

2 oz Isastegi Sagardo
2 oz Pimms No. 1
2 oz Apple Cordial*
Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
Simple Syrup
Combine Pimms No. 1, apple cordial, splash of lemon juice, and splash of simple syrup. Shake and pour into a 16 oz glass. Top with Isastegi Sagardo and garnish with an apple twist.

SECOND PLACE
Spero's Meditation

by Alan M. of Blue Ribbon Downing St Bar, in New York

3.5oz Poma Áurea
0.75oz Poli Traminer Grappa
0.5oz Raw Honey Simple Syrup*
0.5oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
Combine ingredients in shaker, top with ice and stir lightly to combine. Pour and serve in a champagne flute.

THIRD PLACE
Cider N' Spice

by Charles S. of Bocado Tapas Wine Bar in Worcester, MA

2.5oz Isastegi Cider
0.5oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
A dash of Bittermens Xocoltl Mole Bitter
Combine ingredients and shake. Strain into a chilled, cinnamon and sugar rimmed glass and garnish with an apple slice.

Dandy
by Fernando A. from CT

1 Icecube
1 Half-bottle Isastegi Sagardo Naturala
1 Bottle (12oz) Miller Highlife
1 Thin Lime Slice
Place icecube and lime slice in a highball glass. Serve with a bottle each of Isastegi Sagardo Naturala and Miller Highlife. Allow drinker to combine ingredients at desired ratio and stir gently.

Isastegi Gelée
by Anthony C. of Tabla Mediterranean Bistro in Portland, OR

3 cups Isastegi Sagardo
6 grams Agar Agar
106 grams Sugar
Combine all 3 ingredients in a sauce pan and bring it to a low simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, allowing the agar agar to dissolve. Pour into a 9.5 inch baking pan sprayed with a little oil and then allow it to set for 30 minutes.

Clams with Cider-Braised Slab Bacon (serves 4-6)
by Kevin H. of The Spanish Table in Berkeley, CA

1 750ml bottle of Isastegi Sagardo Naturala
1 lb skin-on slab bacon (in one piece)
1.5 lbs fresh manila clams in the shell
2 cloves of garlic
1 small dried chile
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Rinse the clams under running water to remove any dirt. Score the skin side of the slab bacon in 1/2 inch cross cuts, cutting just through the skin. Place the slab bacon skin side up in a 10 inch lidded cazuela. Pour the entire bottle of Sidra over the bacon and add one small dried pepper and two garlic cloves whole but slightly crushed. Heat the covered cazuela on the stove over medium heat, Simmer for 1.5 hours, turning the bacon over every 20 minutes. When the bacon is fall apart tender remove it from the cazuela and slice thickly.
Add the washed clams to the simmering cazuela. Add the bacon back to the cazuela and stir through. Turn the heat up to medium high, cover the cazuela and cook until the clams open completely. Sprinkle the chopped parsley over the clams and serve.

Winners of the 2009 Cocktail Contest: Sherry

In case you missed them last month, here are the winners of our 2009 Cocktail Contest.

Peace of the Pyrenees
By Alan M. of Blue Ribbon Downing Street Bar in New York, NY

1.75 oz Cerbois Bas Armagnac
0.6 oz Mathilde Black Currant Liqueur
0.7 oz El Maestro Sierra Oloroso
Combine all ingredients with ice and stir. Pour into a martini glass with luxardo maraschino cherry in the bottom. Flame an orange twist on top and wipe the rim of the glass, discard the twist.

Elkano
By Alexandra R. of Txikito in New York, NY

2 oz Celery Syrup
2 oz Fino Elcano
Club Soda
Celery Seed Sugar
Rim a rocks glass or similar tumbler with celery seed sugar and fill with ice. Add chilled celery syrup and chilled Fino Elcano. Finish with club soda and garnish with a large twist.

Sherry Charleston
by Stephen S. of Boston Apothecary

1/2 oz La Cigarrera Manzanilla
1/2 oz Cinzano Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz Plymouth Sloe Gin
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz Del Maguey "Chichicapa" Mezcal
1/2 oz Kirschwasser Cherry Eau de Vie
Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and shake. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Each winner received one of our limited edition 2009 hand-painted porrons by Mike Jakob of the Elliot Street Deli & Pub in Atlanta, Georgia.