Cocktail Whisperer Warren Bobrow created the Azariah Crane Cocktail as both a gift to Taste of Montclair and a tribute to one of the first white settlers of “the Mountain” when the area was still a Crown Colony in the early 18th Century.
Being a Royal Subject, and being of the first generation of this family born in the New World, he probably carried gin and rum. Gin was a widely popular drink of the period. Rum, the drink of seafarers, was available throughout the American colonies it was produced using sugarcane grown in the West Indies. Ships bound for England would stop along the coast in places like New Brunswick and New York, offloading barrels of rum before picking up manufactured goods. As scurvy was prevalent at the time Azariah most likely had access to citrus. Lime was often carried aboard ships hence the derogatory term “limeys” to described British sailors.
Molasses was a popular sweetener through the early 20th century. It is a byproduct of sugarcane refining (from the Rum industry) and one of the reasons why traditional gingerbread cookies taste so much better than modern versions made with table sugar.
Bobrow crafted the Azariah Crane cocktail using Busted Barrel Rum which is distilled from molasses. Jersey Artisan Distillers, makers of Busted Barrel, is the first legal still to open in the Garden State since Prohibition. 2015 will mark Jersey Artisan’s second appearance at Taste of Montclair. The base of the cocktail is all features Barr Hill Gin which is distilled from raw honey. As this is a formal affair, the cocktail will be topped off with sparkling water and cardamom bitters.
The Azariah Crane cocktail created exclusively for Taste of Montclair 2015:
.50 oz. Barr Hill Gin
1 oz. Citrus simple syrup
Top with seltzer and cardamom bitters
Warren Bobrow created this special cocktail for the annual fundraiser “Taste of Montclair.” Taste of Montclair is a unique event as 100% of ticket sales go to the charities supported by the Montclair Rotary Club. The March 9 event raised more than $31,000 for charity.
Warren Bobrow is a mixologist, chef, and writer known as the Cocktail Whisperer. He studied culinary arts at Johnson & Wales University and opened Olde Charleston Pasta in Charleston, South Carolina. The company served as the state’s first manufacturer of fresh pasta until Hurricane Hugo devastated its plant.
Returning to school, Bobrow studied food writing at New School University and the French Culinary Institute between 2009 and 2010. Bobrow has published two books on mixology and written articles for Saveur magazine, Voda magazine, and other periodicals.
He writes the “On Cocktail” column for Okra Magazine at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum and restaurant reviews for New Jersey Monthly. In 2012, Bobrow traveled to Burgundy, France to attend La Fête de la Gastronomie, France’s national food festival. He was the only food journalist from the United States to participate in the festival. His third book “Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails” was just released.