Thursday, February 16, 2012
Blackened Out recently celebrated its 4th birthday. To celebrate, Peter and I threw it a superhero themed party complete with a Spider Man cake. You may not know that this here spot on the www got its start because of Ojen Frappes. I would back link to the article, but like hearing your own voice on an answering machine, it is painful to read.
Ojen was once made by a small family distillery in Spain. It is an anise flavored, sweet liquor, that over time became the official drink of Rex. The Ojen Frappe is nothing more than Ojen, a few dashes of Peychaud's bitters, and crushed ice. It is a delicious, refreshing drink. The legend goes, a member of Rex was entitled to one, and only one, Ojen Frappe before his ride to ensure a good ride.
Unfortunately, the family in Spain who distilled the potion, decided to get out of the liquor business as sales of Ojen had stalled to all but one market. As an aside, had the fmaily held on for the resulting cocktail and spirits boom, Ojen would likely be on the menu of every cocktail club from Brooklyn to Portland. Here is where the story gets interesting. Either Cedric Martin or Bill Goldring (have heard it attributed to both), flew over to Spain and asked the family to push out one more run of bottles. Cases of the stuff arrived and was squired away at the den of Rex, select restaurants, and Martin's wine cellar.
"Nope, all out. Out. But I have a clone, that is pretty close," the waiter said, "called Anis del Mono."
The Ojen Frappe arrived with finely, chipped ice and the correct color. The candied fennel aroma jumped out of the glass. A sip. Texturally, perhaps a bit thinner than Ojen, which always had a high viscosity. I love the way an Ojen Frappe reminds me of the last quarter of a snowball. The way the ice and liquid turn into a seductive adult slush. The cold tempers the heat of the alcohol and the bitters cut the sweetness of the elixir. This had all of that.
Until and if Ojen returns, an Anis de Mono Frappe will do for my Mardi Gras drink of choice. But just one, of course.
"Ojen Frappe" at Hermes Bar - Yep.