Yesterday the Good Wife and I visited the Dutch city of Haarlem. It was our first time in the city and we were not disappointed. In fact we have both decided that so far it is our favorite Dutch city. Characterized by narrow twisty streets, numerous canals and beautiful girls, the best thing about it is the multitude of small specialist shops.
We purchased an interior design book in a lovely bookstore where we had to wait for several minutes as the cashiers attempted to deal with the multitudes of customers throwing money at them. As such I was more than happy to wait. Bookshops, amongst other small commercial enterprises, were supposed to have died long ago. But people do everything on the internet; they don’t want to have to shop on the internet as well. They want to go out, to browse, and to mingle with other people. To have human contact.
After the bookshop we happened upon a tobacco establishment, the oldest one of its kind in the city. Havana House Haarlem has been in the same family since 1832. It is a beautiful shop, and I immediately inquired if they stocked the Padron 3000 cigar which one of my readers kindly suggested to me a few months ago as a cigar worthy of my attention. They did indeed have the cigar and so I purchased all that they had.
Moving on we chanced upon a simply outstanding whiskey establishment. I treated myself to a bottle of Plantation extra old 20th anniversary rum and a bottle of Noah’s Mill small batch bourbon. Afterwards we had lunch in a lovely little bar that brought us a succession of tapas plates.
Today I sat down to enjoy my Sunday with some of the fruits of my labor.
The cigar was very good indeed. I know that proper cigar reviewers come out with multitudes of flavors that they taste in cigars. Things like caramel, and coffee, and nutmeg, and the smell of freshly minted virgins. I never really get any of these. I just know if the cigar is good or not and this one was great. A perfect draw, a smooth yet strong taste, and an excellent length of ash.
I enjoyed it with a mint julep that I made with the bourbon. Now, some of you may find this sacrilegious, but if I’m going to make a great cocktail then I want to make it with the best ingredients that I can:
Adam’s Mint Julep.
Get a bunch of mint sprigs and place into a glass after slapping them on your palm so as to release the flavor. Pour over a teaspoon of white sugar and then add a dash of sparkling mineral water. Stir so as to dissolve the sugar and then fill the glass with crushed ice. Add 45ml of the bourbon and stir well so as to mix all the ingredients. Top with mineral water and add a straw. Yes, a straw. So sue me.
The smoke and the drink were a wonderful combination sitting down by the river. Meanwhile on the BBQ dinner was cooking away. A lovely piece of pork neck that I had subjected to Meathead’s pulled pork recipe. It will be ready in another hour so I’m looking forward to the deliciousness of porky fat globules.
The digestive will be a neat glass of the rum. Some things are not meant to be in a cocktail.
Happy Sunday, my good readers.