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Archive for September, 2009

*LUPEC Boston’s latest ruminations, in case you missed ‘em in this week’s issue of the Dig.

By Pink Lady and Hanky Panky

As we discussed last week, our recent involvement in the Boston Center for Adult Education’s “From Jackie to Michelle – Celebrating the First Ladies of Fashion” fundraiser prompted us to ask ourselves “What Would Jackie/Michelle Drink?” Jackie Kennedy’s love for Daiquiris in Camelot is well documented. But what does Michelle Obama drink? Our inquiries to White House Social Secretary Desirée Rogers’ office went un-answered, so we improvised at the event, serving the Southside Cocktail to represent Ms. Obama, who grew up and raised her family in the Chicago neighborhood that bears the name.

We linked the drink to Chi-town for our event, but the Southside was well known as the house cocktail at the 21 Club in New York.  Owners Jack Kriendler and Charles E. Berns got into the Speakeasy business to help pay for night -school during Prohibition. They owned various joints around Manhattan, but once their operations moved uptown, they attracted ritzier clientele, including many Yale graduates and some classy broads, like Dorothy Parker and Edna Ferber.

The 21 Club’s secret Wine Cellar was once an elaborate system for hiding Prohibition-era hooch and was built to be virtually invisible. The entrance was shielded from fuzz’s watchful eyes by several smoked hams hanging from the ceiling and a shelf full of canned goods. The 2.5-ton door was built to look like part of the cement wall, and entry required sliding a slender 18″ meat skewer through one of the wall’s many cracks. Nowadays, the secret room is one of the most coveted private dining venues in the city.

There are lots of great tales about the 21 Club. One finds Clare Booth Luce stepping aside to allow Dorothy Parker entrance to the Club muttering, “Age before beauty,” to which Parker replied “Pearls before swine.” In another, Robert Benchley shrugs off his raincoat saying, “Get me out of this wet coat and into a dry Martini.”

Who created the cocktail?  Who knows.  But Dale DeGroff proudly and rightfully places it in the world of sours, which by definition are sweet, sour and strong: a simple combination that can be absolutely terrible if it is out of balance.

Boston Fashion Week starts in a few short days. Celebrate with one of these – we’re not sure if Michelle Obama has ever had one, but we’re sure she’d enjoy this decidedly fashionable beverage.

SOUTHSIDE COCKTAIL

1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
2 mint sprigs, muddle with lemon & sugar
1 1/2 oz gin

Muddle lemon, mint, and sugar in bottom of mixing glass. Add gin & ice and shake. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.

CIN-CIN!

FOR MORE GREAT COCKTAIL RECIPES, VISIT LUPECBOSTON.COM.


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*LUPEC Boston’s latest ruminations, in case you missed ‘em in this week’s issue of The Weekly Dig.

Jackie Kennedy-Onassis and Michelle Obama are two of LUPEC Boston’s favorite First Ladies, so we jumped at the chance to participate in a recent fundraiser at the Boston Center for Adult Education, celebrating these ladies as style icons. What’s a good fundraiser without a good cocktail? LUPEC stepped in to supply the drinks, prompting us to ask: What would Jackie/Michelle drink?

Answering that question for Michelle Obama proved a bit more difficult (which we’ll address next week), but we know that during her White House years, Jackie Kennedy famously enjoyed daiquiris. If images of hot pink frozen concoctions come to mind when you hear the word daiquiri, think again. In its original incarnation, this classic is a far cry from the Ultimate Mango Berry variety found at T. G. I. Friday’s. A simple mixture of rum, fresh lime juice and sugar, the daiquiri is both classy and accessible, much like the late Jackie Kennedy.

There are many legends about the history of the daiquiri cocktail, all of which link the drink to a region of Cuba that was a strategic landing point for American troops during the Spanish American War. One story has American engineer Jennings S. Cox inventing the drink for a colleague with the few resources he had in his storeroom (lemon, sugar and lime) while working in an iron mine called Daiquiri in 1896. In another, an American general named William Shafter discovers the regional specialty while deployed in the town of Daiquiri, Cuba, in 1898. A third blames Havana-based barman Constantino Ribalaigua Vert for popularizing the drink at his El Floridita bar, albeit in a slightly different incarnation—with crushed ice and maraschino. Ernest Hemingway famously took a shine to a variation of this version, requesting his as a double with no sugar and calling it “Papa Dobles.”

None of these legends can be proven, of course, but the simple marriage of rum, lime and sugar made this pre-Prohibition classic an excellent solution for the rum that flowed into the US post-Noble Experiment. The version we served with Cruzan Aged Light Rum (from nearby St. Croix) were a hit with the fashionable ladies who attended the BCAE event. Pop on a pillbox hat and mix up one of these at home

DAIQUIRI

2 oz Cruzan Aged Light Rum

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz simple syrup

Shake and strain into a coupe.

CIN-CIN!

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*LUPEC Boston’s latest ruminations, in case you missed ‘em in this week’s Dig.

by Pink Lady

Nothing excites the ladies of LUPEC Boston more than when endangered spirits once again become available. The latest of these to catch our fancy is Bols Genever.

We’ve discussed Genever in our little corner of the Dig before, but to refresh your memory, it is a Dutch spirit distilled from maltwine flavored with juniper and other botanicals that flowed abundantly into Holland during the heyday of the Dutch spice trade. Order a gin drink in a mid-nineteenth century barroom and this is what the barman would use as the base, an earthy, malty, backdrop softened by citrus, cordials, syrups, etc., into an elegant cocktail. Dry gin (the style we most commonly drink today) didn’t come into vogue until the late 19th century.

Genever was considered one of four main spirits categories in the pre-Prohibition Golden Age of Cocktails, holding forth on the back bar alongside whiskey, brandy, and rum. Excavating certain classic recipes without it has been clumsy business, earning the spirit a designation as “the missing ingredient in the bartender’s palate” by cocktail historian David Wondrich.

While the Dutch have continued to consume Genever abundantly, we’ve been unable to get Holland-distilled product in the states for some time (though the good folks at Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco turn out a robust take on the category called Genevieve.) In 2007, the Lucas Bols brand revived the1820 recipe for their premium Genever, and just last month, the spirit flowed liberally into Boston with a classy, genever-soaked launch party at Drink.

Now that you can get your hot little hands on a bottle, why not taste some of those drinks as they were meant to be enjoyed? Mix up one of these for the full experience.

THE IMPROVED HOLLAND GIN COCK-TAIL

2 oz Bols Genever
1.5 bar spoons sugar syrup (2:1)
2 bar spoons Maraschino liqueur
.5 bar spoon Absinthe
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin filled with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist a lemon peel over the cocktail, then rub remaining lemon oil around rim of glass. Drop in the peel, and enjoy!

Cin cin!


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Cocktails 101*

*LUPEC Boston’s latest ruminations, in case you missed ‘em in the “Back to School” issue of The Weekly Dig.

by LUPEC Boston (compiled by Pink Lady)

Please take your seats, everyone, class is now in session! This may be a 101-level seminar, but LUPEC Boston will waste no time in this classroom. We’re preparing your livers for a lifetime of imbibing—consider the coursework graduate level!

Today’s topic: “How to Behave Like a Sophisticated Cocktailian in the Bar.” We’ve compiled these pointers with newly of-age drinkers in mind, but many bar veterans could use the refresher. Plus, you never know when there will be a pop quiz.

Rule #1: Shed the impulse to drink everything you see in front of you because who knows when you’ll drink again? You’re 21. You can get your hands on alcohol whenever you want.

Rule #2: Expect to be carded, don’t give attitude (e.g., “Are you serious?” and “Oh, please! You must be trying to flatter me!”), and do not try to trick bar staff into serving you without ID. You will only look stupid, which they will remember when you return to drink there legally.

Rule #3: Mind your manners! Don’t forget to say “please” and “thank you.” Waving hands or money, or whistling and screaming, “Hey, chief!” at the bartender will solidify your place at the end of the line. Make eye contact, be patient and be rewarded with speedy service in subsequent rounds.

Rule #4: Tip well, tip often and follow these guidelines: $1/drink for drinks $5 or less, 20 percent for anything more, including shots. The real world is expensive. Get used to it.

Rule #5: Booze has a taste, and it is delicious. Flavored vodka doesn’t count. Discover gin, whiskey and tequila. You may think you don’t like these spirits, but you will if you learn to make an Aviation, a real margarita or any one of countless options. And your friends will think you’re a genius. Start today by mixing up one of these.

FRISCO

2 oz rye whiskey

0.25 oz Benedictine

0.75 oz lemon juice

Shake with cracked ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon slice.

CIN-CIN!

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