What's in your 12 bottle case?: Bartholomew Broadbent

 by: Hoke Harden

It's a fascinating question, one that is often asked---right behind the unanswerable “What’s your favorite spirit?”---and one that requires a little thinking: If you had to limit your available spirits to one case, 12 bottles, which 12 would you choose?
The answers, it turns out, are always different.  And the choices reveal much about the people making them. 

The ‘rules’ were simple: Only 12 bottles, any spirits you wish, and they don’t have to include bitters (they’re small, so they’ll fit in to your case anyway, and we didn’t want to make it too difficult).  You
can think of it as your “marooned on a desert island” or “basic home bar” or simply the spirits that are most essential to you personally.

Bartholomew Broadbent 
Bartholomew Broadbent is so eloquent and detailed in the comments regarding his 12 bottle case, we’ll let him speak for himself.  (His long and illustrious bio follows.)

1.       Pimm’s
As I was growing up, I was drinking wine with dinner from the age of 7. My parents put me off spirits, by saying that it would stunt my growth, but when I tasted Pimm’s, it was so delicious that I decided the risk worth taking. In England, there are two drinks which would be considered quintessentially British, in the winter, G&T [gin and tonic] in the summer, Pimm’s. Pimm’s is only served one way: Pimm’s No1, lemonade, cucumber, mint, orange, apple, lemon and ice. In America, referred to as Pimm’s Cup, in the UK it is simply
 A bit of spiritual history here:  At one time there were several Pimm’s Cup Recipes available, each with a different spirit and each with a different number.  Over the years, however, the offerings dwindled and now only the gin-based Pimm’s Cup #1 survives commercially. The sole unvarying companion to Pimm’s Cup #1 in the U.S. seems to be the ubiquitous cucumber slice.

2.       Grand Marnier
Mostly when on holiday but, for instance, last night settled down in front of Downton Abbey, Grand Marnier is my perfect night cap,

3.       Gin
Gin, the ubiquitous English spirit, not just for a G&T but also my preference as a substitute to vodka in a Bloody Mary. Not too worried about the brand as long as it is high octane, at least 43% alcohol by volume. It happens that I currently have The Original Bombay on my butler’s tray but I am a fan of Beefeater because my mother had a close friendship with the owner until he sold it to a big company. More important than the brand of gin, the brand of tonic; if it is isn’t Schweppes, I can always tell.

4.       Pisco
 Pisco Sour, when made properly with egg white and all, is delicious, perhaps pulling on my cultural subconscious because both my maternal grandparents were born in Chile. More often referred to as Peruvian, a traditional recipe would include 2 oz. pisco, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice,1 teaspoon pasteurized egg whites, beaten.

5.       L’Arack de Musar
Aniseed macerated traditional Lebanese digestive made at my favorite winery, Chateau Musar. L’Arack de Musar will be made available in the US later in 2012. It drinks well neat and acts as a fantastic mixer for the avant-garde mixologists.

6.       Broadbent 10 year Malmsey Madeira
I was asked to list a case to take to a desert island… there is only one wine which is indestructible enough to survive the heat, assuming we were stranded on a warm island, that wine is: Madeira. Since I produce my own, why not take one that I know to be perfect. It is the most versatile wine, brilliant with cigars, goes with any dessert and is fine on its own, after dinner, or watching the ships sail by.

7.       Ferreira Duque de Braganca 20 year Tawny Port
Port is an essential after dinner drink. The Ferreira Duque de Braganca 20 year tawny is the benchmark of all tawny Ports and no self respecting bar would be without it. On its own, with nuts, with cigars, with coffee, with most desserts, always great.

8.       Rum
I’m a huge fan of rum drinks, white or brown, depending on the mix. Before lunch or dinner, in any city, a Mojito! Any number of tropical rum drinks in the heat of the summer or tropics. I’m not so concerned about the brand as long as it is full strength and mixed with good ingredients.

9.       Lillet
As an aperitif, Lillet is one of the more satisfying, made in the Bordeaux district by a winemaking family, it is classic, timeless and elegant. Add a twist of lime and ice.

10.   Hennessy Cognac
I worked for Hennessy, my first job after high school, so I have a soft spot for this Cognac house. There, I was an interpreter and tour guide. With the VIPs, we’d mix all Hennessy, with the exception of Paradis and XO, to orange juice. It is especially beneficial to drink when nursing a cold. As a VIP tour guide, aged 18, Hennessy training should have included “how to entertain clients with Cognac and still make it home on the Solex [company supplied moped] navigating ancient cobbled streets”.

11.   Tequila
Margaritas, of course. I like to support wines and spirits from producers with whom I’ve been acquainted, so Cabo Wabo would be my choice.

12.   My last bottle?
Vintage Port, Elixir Végétal de la Grande Chartreuse, Scotch, Calvados … too many choices!
I can only take one, so it would have to be a mature Vintage Port. Any brand works fine for me, as young as Quinta do Crasto 1995 or as old as Ferreira 1815. Served, always, with Stilton cheese.
Bartholomew Broadbent apprenticed with The Worshipful Company of Distillers and worked for Hennessy Cognac and Schenley Canada but his career is mostly in wine. In June 1997 Decanter magazine named him one of the “fifty most influential in the wine world…the faces to watch in the new millennium”, reaffirmed by Wine&Spirits magazine [2008], who polled leaders throughout the industry, naming him one of ten in the world to be “driving the most revolutionary changes in wine”. Today, he has expanded from his pivotal role in the breathtaking growth of Port and Madeira to “exert a profound influence on the US wine market” says Decanter. He was profiled by Wine Spectator in 1986, Market Watch “The Pioneer of Port” in May 2008 and Forbes.com [2009]. Bartholomew, son of legendary Michael Broadbent, is now one of America’s leading national wine importers,  Broadbent Selections, Inc., based in San Francisco, [www.broadbent.com], representing such famous brands as Chateau Musar. His speaking circuit includes major cruise lines, wine festivals, including Food&Wine’s Classic in Aspen [for 25 years]. He is KFOG’s “Wine Guy” and hosts a webtv show atwww.IntoWine.com. He makes Port, Madeira and Vinho Verde in Portugal under the Broadbent name, as well as Malbec in Argentina and Gruner Veltliner in Austria. He was a 50% partner in Dragon's Hollow, a pioneering winery in China, and launched the first nationally available Chinese wine to the US market. He can be followed on www.facebook.com/broadbentselections .

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