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Featured Artsit Chris Arndt Blog Takeover: #1

Hello out there! Chris Arndt here. I’ll be taking over the Breedlove blog a few times during my tenure as Featured Artist. I’m the guitar-playing half of Jocelyn & Chris, which, as you might guess, features me alongside my sister Jocelyn on lead vocals. Along with our band, we play original blues-inspired rock music. If that sounds up your alley, check us out on Spotify or read more about us on the Featured Artist page here!

A huge thank you to Breedlove both for making me Featured Artist again, and also for humoring my various takeover shenanigans—not only do I get to write blog posts for them this month, but Jocelyn and I are taking over their FB page for a livestream every Monday at 9pm EDT/6pm PDT throughout the month of August! It’s a darn good time and we give out homemade snickerdoodles to somebody new each week (no, I’m not joking, it’s our grandma’s recipe), so you won’t want to miss it. But anyway, introduction time is over, so let’s get to the blog!

Last time I was lucky enough to be Breedlove’s Featured Artist, I did a series of blog posts in which I paired an instrument from Breedlove’s Organic Collection with a bread recipe and a beer. I’m an amateur baker and obsessive beer drinker (give me all the carbs, please), so it was a lot of fun to put that together. Plus it gave me an excuse to say that my beer drinking was ‘for work’.

This time around, I wanted to keep the pairing theme, but doing the same exact series again seemed a little hackneyed. Beer and bread are so last January anyway; after 2020, I figure we could all use a little more of the strong stuff. So throughout the month of August, I’ll be pairing a number of Breedlove instruments with cocktails which I think capture some of their essential qualities. First instrument up? The Pursuit Exotic S Concert Tiger’s Eye CE from the new (and awesome) Eco Collection.

Let me start off by saying that this guitar is an absolute banger. I’ve never used that word to describe an instrument before, but honestly, it just feels right. Top to bottom, acoustics to appearance to electronics, everything about this thing is just top-friggin-notch. It’s got just the right amount of weight to feel really satisfying to hold, but it’s not heavy; its Concert body shape is super ergonomic (even if you have terrible posture, like me); it’s myrtlewood- and mahogany-constructed body give it a really rich tone with great definition on the top end, and vibrate your chest as you play it in a really satisfying way; the list goes on and on. It’s also the only acoustic guitar I’ve played with passive electronics (a Fishman Presys I, for all the gearheads out there), which seems like a small thing right up until it’s 5 minutes to showtime and you don’t have any spare batteries around. And as great as it looks in photos, they can’t compare to how beautiful the Tiger’s Eye finish is in person. I’ve been playing my Pursuit Exotic S Concert for 6 weeks now and I can’t get enough of the thing. On tour across the country, in the studio recording our next album, or at midnight in my apartment bedroom writing a new song, it just works great in every setting.

If you can’t tell, I’m a fan of this guitar.

Now comes the tricky part: what cocktail should I pair it with?

After a few minutes of careful consideration and liquor sampling (for work purposes), I’ve decided that the best cocktail to pair with the Pursuit Exotic S Concert Tiger’s Eye CE is… a rum sour! It seems a little strange, I know, but hear me out. Using a dark rum should give me a woodsy, rich flavor, but the citrus will balance it out nicely with brightness, just like the tone of the guitar is both rich and bright. It’s a drink that’s as suited for weathering a winter storm around a wooden fireplace as it is for partying on the beach in the Bahamas, matching the guitar’s versatility. And, because of the layer of foam on top, I should be able to garnish the drink with something akin to a wood-grain pattern using some aromatic bitters, a dropper, and a toothpick. It definitely won’t look as good as the guitar, but all we can do is our best, right?

Find the cocktail recipe below, and keep an eye out for another Breedlove and booze pairing next week!

Rum Sour Recipe

Tools: 

  • cocktail shaker (and hawthorne strainer, if necessary)
  • a jigger (to measure ingredients)
  • small sifter (optional; removes large bubbles from foam, ensuring a satiny texture)
  • dropper and toothpick or other small pointy thing (for garnish)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glassware: 

  • any 4-6oz glass. Must be chilled. (I’ll be using a tiny mason jar.)

Ingredients: 

  • 2oz nice dark rum (ideally barrel-aged for woody flavor, but at the very least it should taste good on its own)
  • .75oz simple syrup
    • Add roughly equal volumes water and sugar to a bottle and shake until the sugar is dissolved. Keeps for 1 month sealed in the fridge.
    • To bring this drink to the next level, sub ginger lime simple syrup: combine roughly equal volumes water and sugar in a saucepan. Add a few inches of ginger root chunked up and some juiced lime halves. Simmer until it tastes ginger-y enough for your taste, strain, and chill. Keeps for 1 month sealed in the fridge. Is awesome in lemonade too.
  • 1oz lime juice
  • 1 egg white (optional; for foam)
  • Angostura bitters, or other aromatic bitters (for garnish)

 

Method:

  • Place your glass in the freezer for at least 5 minutes to chill through; this drink is served without ice, so having a cold glass is important.
  • Add all ingredients but bitters to your cocktail shaker. Add 3-4 of the largest ice cubes you have. (If you have small ice cubes, add more; your drink just won’t have as much foam). Shake for 20 seconds, well beyond when your shaker becomes uncomfortably cold.
  • Strain, remove ice, and add back to shaker. Shake for another 20 seconds. (This is called a ‘reverse dry shake’ and ensures you get as much foam as possible.)
  • Pour (through sifter, if possible) into chilled glass.
  • Use dropper to add 4-8 drops of bitters and swirl the toothpick through them to make a pretty design.
  • Take a sip, play your Pursuit Exotic S Concert CE, and smile.