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Archive for February, 2008

Raiders of the Lost Cocktail, anyone? This event, hosted by The Spirit World, was designed to:

“…re-examine some of the slightly more obscure products which might be gathering dust on the shelves of bars across America (if not the world), and to see if our intrepid little band of explorers can uncover some forgotten gems of recipes which might breathe new life into those products.”

We’ll drink to that!

This month’s theme is Apricot Brandy, and it just so happens that the namesake cocktail of one of our founding broads features this nearly forgotten ingredient. On behalf of the ladies of LUPEC Boston, I present to you: The MiMi! It’s most delicious.

MiMi
Courtesy, Hotel Georges V, Paris

1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 dashes grenadine

1/5 apricot brandy

3/5 gin

2 drops cognac

1 egg white

Rub rim of small wine glass with slice of lemon. Dip edge into powdered sugar. Shake ingredients with ice, and strain into glass.

From Ted Saucier’s Bottom’s Up, copyright 1951.

Cin-cin, all!

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It’s Mixology Monday again! This month we are, with our host Jimmy’s Cocktail Hour, exploring Variations.

Here in Boston the ladies of LUPEC have been very excited with the recent availability of the Rothman and Winter Creme de Violette. It’s always thrilling to have a new product available, but in this case this is a new old product which opens up yet another window into cocktail past. In honor of our new favorite spirit we are going to take a look at three cocktails featuring gin, creme de violette, absinthe and french vermouth.

Within my modest collection of cocktail tomes I found the first recipe for the Atty Cocktail in The Savoy Cocktail Book.
ATTY COCKTAIL
1/4 French Vermouth
3 dashes Absinthe
3/4 Dry Gin
3 dashes Creme de Violette
Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.
Now we adore all of the ingredients in this cocktail and think it is delicious. However when looking for a cocktail to showcase the Creme de Violette this would not be our first choice so let’s continue on to some other variations…

Thumbing through Patrick Gavin Duffy’s Official Mixer’s Manual we find the Attention Cocktail.
ATTENTION COCKTAIL
1/4 French Vermouth
1/4 Absinthe
1/4 Gin
1/4 Creme de Violette
2 Dashes Orange Bitters
Stir well with cracked ice and strain.
Once again, all things we love, but equal parts doesn’t really work for us. The strength of the Absinthe overpowers the other ingredients.

Jones’ Complete Bar Guide has the following recipe:
ATTENTION
1 oz gin
1/2 oz Pernod
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1/2 oz creme de violette
2 dashes orange bitters
Ah…we’re getting closer. The increase in the base spirit created a nice platform for the other flavors. Truth be told, we used Ricard instead of Pernod…desperate times call for desperate measures. The Ricard still was a bit powerful, but seemed to complement the Creme de Violette rather than battle it as was the case with Absinthe.

Sticking with Mr Jones we find the Arsenic and Old Lace. From the name alone we have very high hopes!
ARSENIC AND OLD LACE
1-1/2 oz Gin
1/2 oz Absinthe or substitute
1/4 oz dry vermouth
1/2 oz creme de violette
Once again we used Ricard and it was good, but we miss the bitters.

So in conclusion, there is no conclusion. As women dedicated to our cause we will happily continue our research!

Cheers!

Oh my goodness! I almost forgot two very important things!

A huge shout out to Eric Seed, the man behind the availability of Creme de Violette. Besides having the cutest daughter in the world who claps when she eats head cheese, through Haus Alpenz he is making amazing products available to us! Please check out his website and encourage your local retailers and bars to carry his products.

For an updated variation on the Arsenic and Old Lace head over to this post on Cocktail Chronicles where Paul Clarke checks out Simon Difford’s Flower Power Martini.

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You’re Not Alone


Just a quick one here to fill you in on a fun, music-filled way in which to help Al “Carnival Time” Johnson! On Mardi Gras the New Orleans based brass funk outfit Bonerama released an EP in collaboration with OK Go entitled You’re Not Alone. The EP is available on iTunes and will benefit Al “Carnival Time” Johnson (who joins in on one track) and Sweet Home New Orleans.

For a taste of the EP check out Bonerama and Damian Kulash of OK Go on Letterman this Monday, February 11th!

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Today the streets of New Orleans are flooded with revelers for the culmination of Carnival, Mardi Gras. The city ‘s population has doubled as tourists have flooded in to scurry for beads and doubloons thrown from floats as krewes snake through the city. We, the ladies of LUPEC, would like to raise our glasses to the Krewe of Muses, the only all female krewe.

Formed in 2000, the Krewe of Muses has over 1100 members. The Krewe was created to celebrate the nine muses, the Greek goddesses who presided over the arts and sciences. The daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, they are believed to inspire artists, especially poets, philosophers, and musicians.

Each year the Krewe of Muses selects one of the nine muses for the season. The Krewe then selects an honorary muse, a woman who embodies the spirit of that muse by having made a significant contribution to New Orleans in the area that muse represents. This year the Krewe celebrated Polymnia, the muse of sacred song, and honored Marva Wright, Louisiana’s Blues Queen.

On January 31, the Krewe of Muses presented a 26 float procession entitled Muses Night Fever. Sporting their famous hand-deocrated glitter shoes, the ladies discoed their way through the garden district pleasing the crowd with unique throws, including Rubik’s Cube beads and disco balls.

Let us raise our glasses to the Krewe of Muses!

New Orleans
1.5 oz Bourbon
1 dash Orange Bitters
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
.25 oz Anisette
.25 oz Pastis
Sugar to taste
Stir ingredients with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist

Cheers!

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From Amazon.com’s description of Eric Felten’s How’s Your Drink?

Based on the popular feature in the Saturday Wall Street Journal, How’s Your Drink illuminates the culture of the cocktail. Cocktails are back after decades of decline, but the literature and lore of the classics has been missing. John F. Kennedy played nuclear brinksmanship with a gin and tonic in his hand. Teddy Roosevelt took the witness stand to testify that six mint juleps over the course of his presidency did not make him a drunk. Ernest Hemingway and Raymond Chandler both did their part to promote the gimlet. Fighting men mixed drinks with whatever liquor could be scavenged between barrages, raising glasses to celebrate victory and to ease the pain of defeat. Eric Felten tells all of these stories and many more, and also offers exhaustively researched cocktail recipes. How’s Your Drink is an essential addition to the literature of spirits and a fantastic holiday gift for husbands and fathers.

Husbands and fathers? What about sisters, mothers and wives? I’d have LOVED to have received a copy of this wonderful book in my Christmas stocking, (with any luck, my sweetie will read this post and consider getting it for me for Valentine’s Day) but after reading this little blurb of copy, I’m not sure I’m allowed!

Eric Felten’s How’s Your Drink pubbed this fall and I had the good fortune to page through Contessa’s copy shortly after it came out. It’s a great little book, but I’m shocked to see how blatantly excluded I and my fellow drinking broads have been from the publishing company’s marketing campaign.

I used to work in-house at a publishing house and I realize that Amazon uploads book description copy written impossibly early in the publishing process. I also know that Amazon is notoriously slow about making changes to said copy: so even if the publisher did want to broaden the scope of this marketing blurb, it might take them six to eight months to do it. But, come on, people! Last time I checked women aged 18-35 represented one of the most powerful purchasing demographics in the marketplace. Why so blatantly exclude us from your marketing campaign?

Fortunately, I know the book rocks, and plan to buy it anyway, thanks to the all-women’s cocktail society to which I happily belong.

Cin-cin!

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From Amazon.com’s description of Eric Felten’s How’s Your Drink?

Based on the popular feature in the Saturday Wall Street Journal, How’s Your Drink illuminates the culture of the cocktail. Cocktails are back after decades of decline, but the literature and lore of the classics has been missing. John F. Kennedy played nuclear brinksmanship with a gin and tonic in his hand. Teddy Roosevelt took the witness stand to testify that six mint juleps over the course of his presidency did not make him a drunk. Ernest Hemingway and Raymond Chandler both did their part to promote the gimlet. Fighting men mixed drinks with whatever liquor could be scavenged between barrages, raising glasses to celebrate victory and to ease the pain of defeat. Eric Felten tells all of these stories and many more, and also offers exhaustively researched cocktail recipes. How’s Your Drink is an essential addition to the literature of spirits and a fantastic holiday gift for husbands and fathers.

Husbands and fathers? What about sisters, mothers and wives? I’d have LOVED to have received a copy of this wonderful book in my Christmas stocking, (with any luck, my sweetie will read this post and consider getting it for me for Valentine’s Day) but after reading this little blurb of copy, I’m not sure I’m allowed!

Eric Felten’s How’s Your Drink pubbed this fall and I had the good fortune to page through Contessa’s copy shortly after it came out. It’s a great little book, but I’m shocked to see how blatantly excluded I and my fellow drinking broads have been from the publishing company’s marketing campaign.

I used to work in-house at a publishing house and I realize that Amazon uploads book description copy written impossibly early in the publishing process. I also know that Amazon is notoriously slow about making changes to said copy: so even if the publisher did want to broaden the scope of this marketing blurb, it might take them six to eight months to do it. But, come on, people! Last time I checked women aged 18-35 represented one of the most powerful purchasing demographics in the marketplace. Why so blatantly exclude us from your marketing campaign?

Fortunately, I know the book rocks, and plan to buy it anyway, thanks to the all-women’s cocktail society to which I happily belong.

Cin-cin!

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It’s that time of year when one of our favorite cities becomes a hot bed of fun! All over New Orleans tourists are swarming, costumes are being donned and krewes are lining up as Mardi Gras arrives! In honor of this annual celebration we want to introduce you to one of our favorite NOLA broads and a cause dear to her heart that will be instrumental in keeping the sounds of New Orleans alive.

Last summer during my annual New Orleans pilgrimage I had the pleasure of meeting Elisa Speranza. A native Bostonian, Elisa fell in love with NOLA during her annual trips to Jazz Fest. She describes the city as “not like anyplace else on earth.” Approximately five and a half years ago she made the move and relocated.

For the last seven years Elisa has worked for CH2M Hill, a full-service engineering, consulting, construction and operations company. Working in both the governmental and industrial sectors, CH2M Hill handles everything from transportation and infrastructure projects to the construction of power generation facilities to disaster relief. Elisa, as a Vice President in the Water Business Group, is head of the management consulting team and does work for municipal water/wastewater facilities domestically and abroad.

Elisa is dedicated to community service both locally and globally. She serves as Vice President of Water for People, a non-profit organization that facilitates water, sanitation, and hygiene projects in developing countries and is active with Save the Wetlands and the Arabi Wrecking Krewe.

The Arabi Wrecking Krewe, Inc is a not for profit organization dedicated to preserving the music and culture of New Orleans. The Krewe is assisting musicians with all post-Katrina needs in order that they can return to New Orleans. Currently they are raising funds to build Al “Carnival Time” Johnson a new home.

Al “Carnival Time” Johnson penned one of New Orleans most popular anthems. “Carnival Time” became synonymous with Mardi Gras and the spirit of NOLA. Unfortunately, for the first thirty years of it’s existence, Al received no royalties for his famous hit. After Katrina destroyed his home in the Lower Ninth Ward, Al left for Houston. The Arabi Wrecking Krewe, realizing the importance of music in the history and soul of New Orleans, is raising funds to build a new home for Al in the Musician’s Village.

So during this Carnival we raise our glasses and hopefully some funds. Here’s to you Elisa and Al!

Vieux Carre
1 oz Rye
1 oz Brandy
1 oz Italian Vermouth
1 tsp Benedictine
2 dashes Peychaud Bitters
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Stir all ingredients with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Cheers!

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