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Dispatch from Paris

Zaya Rum, Q-Kola, Bitter Sling Suius Cherry Bitters and Mavea Water Ice Cubes

To say that Paris lives in a cocktail would be a gross misstatement. It wouldn’t just be one cocktail. Would it be a Martini? Icy cold, served with olives threaded on a sterling silver stirrer? Or would it be a Ti Punch woven from Rhum originating on Martinique? Perhaps in the damp, rainy winter would a Chocolat Chaud with a heavy hand of Chartreuse and Calvados?

Or might it be a classic American cocktail like the famous Old Fashioned?

This is where it gets foggy.  There is much wine… I’m losing control.  Time for a stroll.

I don’t think it’s supposed to be any one cocktail. In the South of France Pastis is the aperitif of choice. In the coastal north, I’d say a glass of Calvados. In the wine country, Armagnac cuts the morning chill. I hope to experience this at least twice in my life. The first time was when I was a boy. About twelve or thirteen. We started our day with short glasses of Calvados. It has been imprinted into my brain.
Paris in many ways is a magical place of glistening light. I’m here for the Fête de la Gastronomie, courtesy of Atout, France and Air France. They have asked me to represent the USA on a press trip, starting in Paris and moving on to Burgundy. I trust there is much wine in my future and maybe some cocktails.  I’m more inclined to ask for a bottle of Fernet Branca to keep me company after dinner!

I wonder if the cocktail bars in Paris have cocktail bitters as delicious as ones I’ve tasted recently from Vancouver, BC?

Bittered Sling is one such discovery that I made while down in New Orleans. The personalities behind the brand are infectious. We became fast friends and once I tasted their bitters in my home, using my own ingredients- I was immediately taken by the concentration of flavor and the depth of the aromatics.

Chef Jonathan Chovancek and Lauren Mote are the personalities behind the brand named Bittered Sling Extracts.

If you can get some, they are certainly worth the trouble.

I invented a cocktail for the seasonal Cherry Bitters.  It uses what I think is the best Kola in the world.  Q-Kola from my friend Jordan Silbert in Brooklyn.  I like it because he utilizes Cane Sugar for Corn Syrup.  That is enough reason for me.

It also uses ice made from water from my Mavea “Inspired Water” Pitcher.  Zaya makes the gorgeous 12-year-old Rum that graces the carefully frozen ice, in this case large 2 inch by 2 inch cubes from the King Cube Tray- available at Williams-Sonoma.  Come to think of it you can buy a Mavea at a Williams-Sonoma store as well as the silicone ice cube trays.

Zaya Rum and Q-Kola blended with a few drops of the Suius Cherry make this cocktail that I call the Lost Generation Cocktail


Zaya Rum

Q Kola

Ice from your Mavea water pitcher frozen in Williams-Sonoma King Cube trays

Bittered Sling Suius Cherry Bitters


Chill down a tumbler glass with ice and water until frosty

Toss out ice and water

Drop a couple of those 2×2 cubes into your rocks glass

Add 2 oz. Zaya 12 year old Rum from Trinidad

Add 4 oz. Q-Kola

Add 3-4 drops of the Suius Cherry Bitters from Bittered Sling

Add a couple of home cured cocktail cherries- DO NOT USE THOSE THINGS IN A JAR DYED RED.

Make your own.

Recipe for cocktail cherries:

Pit out a pound or two of Washington State Cherries

Pack into sterilized Mason Jars

Cover with Brandy or Spiced Rum or Bourbon- what have you…

Don’t touch for three weeks in the fridge

Use on Vanilla Gelato or in cocktails of your choosing!



Artisanal small batch bitters and extracts by @kalenori @laurenmote @chefjonathanc.

A Vancouver, BC – based company!

Vancouver, Canada · http://www.kaleandnori.com/bittered-sling-extracts

Florence von Pelet

Florence is a senior editor at Modenus.com. Aside from her natural passion for interiors, kitchens and baths Florence also leads the way on Modenus’ BlogTours around the world so please follow her on Twitter to get the latest information and inspiration about design trends from around the world.


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