So as I watched the 3 Sheets blog languish, dreaming of how much awesome content we could be posting to it, I had an idea. I get regular emails from Trey, often detailing an exacting process he's undertaking, like A-B testing three frankenstein amaros and trying to come up with the perfect drink to showcase each. I usually read these emails as I lazily stir my 4,158th manhattan or sip a short glass of Fernet, thinking, "This is why Trey is a working bartender, and I'm just a pain in the ass at the bar." The idea I had, as I sipped my well-made-but-never-groundbreaking manhattan, was that I should start publishing the crazy emails that I get from Trey. Maybe a little editing. Maybe a little commentary. But mostly untouched... so you can get a taste of the excitement, energy, and sense of wonder that Trey often brings to cocktails. As I explained it to him the other day, "You're always doing it right... I'm generally a little sloppier, more slipshod, sub kijafa for heering and call it good kind of guy..." (Kijafa is pretty rank, by the way)

So, without further ado, what follows is a perfect example of a Trey email. In which he perfects a long-tested ice-orb experiment, writes a short account of a 90-day Amaro experiment in the style of Jamie Boudreau, and throws his hat back into the Boozy Cherry ring.

hey sean,

after several attempts i think i got that drink i was telling you and meghan about. Picture is attached.

ice - the ice sphere is chamomile tea. there's a long thick swatch of lemon studded with rosemary needles that wraps around the circumference of the sphere. getting the ice just right was tricky but using the rosemary in this manner accomplishes two things - it looks pretty cool and pushes the peel inside the sphere so that it stays in there for a while as the ice melts.

the drink - gin, st germain, lillet, lemon juice

garnish - about 10 drops of peychaud's bitters dropped on the ice so that a thin ring of red hugs the sphere and spreads around the edge of the glass.

also, picture number 2 is an amaro liqueur experiment using boudreu's recipe as a framework. instead of naval orange peels the vodka was steeped in a ton of seville orange peels and some meyer lemon ones as well for sweetness. i actually let them infuse for over three months this time so the citrus contributions are intense. which is good because the vodka i used was cheap. mixing that base with several amari/herbal liqueurs that are available in maine* in the hopes that should the experiment yield something tasty it can be replicated in the restaurant.

on the three sheets front i was explaining the whole thing to sarah at home grown tea who was adamant that we shouldn't let this thing fall by the wayside. her suggestion was to just do cherries. which, i think we both agree would be the easiest to sell. maybe a topic worth revisiting whenever we get together.

hope you're well,


*while looking on the maine state liquor site i was excited to see averna on the list of available products. at rsvp however they said they couldn't get it and that it needs to be removed from the list. bummer.

UPDATE! News on the Amaro test:

i know i'm loading up your inbox. my bad.

update on the seville orange amaro experiment: almost every one of them is awesome! some, like averna, worked best with others. the complete surprise though was the one with zwack. i thought zwack wouldn't want to play with this sort of thing. totally wrong though. that version is delicious. the sweetness of the zwack completely disappears so you're left with herbal notes playing just behind this intense sour orange/lemon thing.

i poured some of each and mixed them in various ways but pretty much left the zwack alone. the montenegro was also a pleasant surprise. the orange infusion is intense and wreaks havoc on sugar - or at least i think that's what's going on. either way, it's good and can be a nice way to spin these things in different but not too different directions. i need to make a big old batch of this orange infusion to have on hand.

anyway, you should come up sometime and try this stuff out.

Look for more Emails from Trey® in the future. There's some awesome recipes out there in email land, and I have years worth to sort through with new stuff coming all the time.

Authorsean wilkinson