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Archive for April, 2011

*Recent ruminations from LUPEC Boston, as originally published in The Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

In a few short days, HRH Prince William will marry Kate Middleton, making royal history as can only be done once a generation. What better way to toast this occasion than with a cocktail with a royal pedigree of its own? This Friday, the ladies of LUPEC will be sipping The Prince of Wales’s Cocktail.

The current Prince of Wales is Charles, the longest serving heir apparent in history (he was only nine when he became as such). Prince Albert Edward was once in Prince Charles’ shoes, during which time his Queen Mum Victoria pretty much excluded him from political activity. With all that free time on his hands Edward did “what anybody else would have,” writes David Wondrich in Imbibe: “He got grumpy and he got loose. Mistresses and mischief ensued.”

Prince Albert Edward was something of a playboy, to be sure, and came to exemplify the leisured elite in his day. His accession to the throne ushered in the Edwardian era, the exact opposite of the buttoned up Victorian period: a time of increased social mobility, loosened bodices for women, and scientific and technological innovation. Leisure sports became all the rage with the upper classes, and let’s not forget that ultimate game-changer—the automobile.

In his many years as Prince of Wales, Albert Edward had many occasions to imbibe. We’re thrilled he came up with this, his namesake take on the newly evolving genre of libation: The Cocktail.

The Prince of Wales Cocktail
Adapted from Imbibe! By David Wondrich

1.5 oz rye whiskey
Crushed ice
A small square of pineapple
Dash Angostura bitters
Lemon peel
.25 tsp maraschino
1 oz Champagne
1 tsp sugar

Put the sugar in the bottom of a mixing glass with bitters and .5 tsp water. Stir to dissolve. Add rye, maraschino, and pineapple chunk, fill 2/3 with cracked ice, and shake brutally to crush pineapple. “Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, add the cold Champagne, and deploy the twist. And smile.”

CIN-CIN!

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*Recent ruminations from LUPEC Boston, as originally published in the Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

Welcome to Boston, spring! We look forward to raising a glass in your honor, inspired by a winter jaunt this LUPEC lady took to San Francisco in March.

San Francisco is the land of eternal spring, it seems. Consistently crisp, rainy and damp, even on a bad weather day, the visit was a refreshing and reviving respite from our frozen home. My internal clock still said “hibernate” but it only felt right to drink according to our environment. A trip to the legendary Bourbon & Branch speakeasy in the Tenderloin district resulting in some delightful seasonal sipping at the hands of mixologist Darren Crawford.

The spot now occupied by Bourbon & Branch was a legit speakeasy from 1921 to 1933. First listed in the San Francisco Telephone Directory as “The Ipswitch — A Beverage Parlor,” it was purchased by industrious businessman John J. Russell in 1923, and operated from then on as “JJ Russell’s Cigar Shop.” His connections to notorious Vancouver bootleggers kept the alcohol flowing and snooping Prohibition Agents at bay. Vestiges of the venue’s sordid past still remain, including five secret tunnels. One of which, dubbed the “Ladies Exit,” granted safe passage to an exit a whole block away.

Next time you find yourself in the City by the Bay, you must pay this spot a visit—even if you’re over the Speakeasy thing and are tempted to order an illegal Cosmo just to be a pain in the ass. Don’t do that. Do be a polite guest and allow your arm-garter-clad bartender to make you a delightful concoction.

Bourbon & Branch and San Francisco’s eternal spring days are 3,000 miles away. Fortunately we can relive the moment here, with real spring and this refreshing, herbaceous libation.

BLACK ROSE
Created by Darren Crawford, Bourbon & Branch

A few sprigs rosemary
2 oz. gin
.75 oz. Lemon Juice
.5 oz. Honey Syrup
1 dash Black Pepper Tincture

Gently muddled rosemary with honey in a mixing glass. Add other ingredients and shake. Serve on the rocks in an Old Fashioned Glass. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

To make Black Pepper Tincture: macerate black peppercorns in grain alcohol until desired spiciness is achieved.

Cin-cin!

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Ruminations from the ladies of LUPEC Boston, as originally published in The Weekly Dig

by Pink Lady

The ladies of LUPEC understand the importance of matching a stylish outfit to your stylish cocktail. We spend a good deal of time educating about the bygone era. Cocktail Culture, a new exhibit at the Rhode Island School of Design’s Museum of Art will explore the rest: the clothing, accessories, trends and culture that developed around these delicious libations.

From the Flapper to the “little black dress” to the spangled pantsuit of the disco era, Cocktail Culture will trace the influence of the cocktail hour on fashion and design in the 20th century. The exhibition includes more than 220 objects in all: clothing, textiles, decorative and fine art. Cocktail attire by major designers will be featured, including Chanel, Dior, Oscar, Givenchy, Pucci, Elsa Schiaparelli and more. We’re just as excited the see the sleek Art Deco celluloid barware and 1940s Tiki bar from Japan that will accent this exhibit.

For the serious cocktail enthusiast, Cocktail Culture will give context to the drinks we casually order. Modern ladies can order a Bee’s Knees at their whimsy, but “Urban Nightlife (1920-1930s)” illuminates the experience of sipping one in a Harlem jazz club while wearing a beaded French evening dress, designed to free the body for movement and dance. We’ve all sipped dry martinis in skinny jeans, but “The Rules (1950s)” allows us to imagine sampling one while sporting the newest post-war trend combining the elegance of evening wear with the informality of the day dress, the cocktail dress.

It is well worth a day trip to Rhode Island for a look. After all, without cocktails, there would be no cocktail dress. Sip on one of these as you plan your trip.

NEW FASHION
Created by Victor Broggi
1 small dash Angostura bitters
1/6 Grand Marnier
1/6 pale brandy
2/3 brown (Amontillado or Oloroso) sherry

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled vintage cocktail glass. Garnish with a small piece of pineapple.

[Cocktail Culture at Museum of Art at Rhode Island School of Design. Opens Fri 4.15.11. 224 Benefit St., Providence, RI. 401.454.6500. Until 7.31.11. risdmuseum.org]

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by Pink Lady

Who doesn’t love a good head-to-head battle, especially when it comes to cocktails? This spring the Woodward at Ames will resurrect Cocktail Wars, one of our favorite industry events, back again after a long, cold winter’s break.

Cocktail Wars is an Iron Chef-style bartending competition that will take place every Sunday from now until May 15. Two of Boston’s best mixologists will go head-to-head to create the best cocktail using a series of secret ingredients (typically a spirit, a fruit, an herb, or a vegetable) in the allotted time. The creations will then be judged by some of Boston’s biggest industry experts (which on one magical upcoming Sunday will include a LUPEC lady).

Thirty-two bartenders from Boston’s different neighborhoods will compete during this seven-week tournament for an amazing grand prize: a weekend in New York including roundtrip airfare, swanky hotel accommodations at one of the Morgan’s Hotel Group properties and some cold, hard cash. The stakes are high for these bar stars. For the rest of us, the event means a killer party featuring snacks, a DJ and inexpensive cocktails with some of our favorite beverage industry folks.

Next up on the docket: Asher Karnes – KO Prime (Beacon Hill)
Domingo Barreras – Market at W Hotel (Theatre District)
Chris Majka – The Citizen (Worchester)
Mark Vandeusen – Tico (Back Bay)

Loryn Taplin – Coppa (South End)
Eric Smith – Mezcal Cantina (Worchester)
Jon Parsons – Sam’s at Louis Boston (Waterfront)
Don Wahl – Deuxave (Back Bay)

And mix up one of these, created by New York’s John Pomeroy when the US Bartender’s Guild of New York went head-to-head with Boston as you wait with baited breath.

LA PAROLA ULTIMA
by John S. Pomeroy, Jr.
Omnibibulous.com

1 oz dry gin
1 oz Galliano L’Autentico
1 oz Maraschino liqueur
1 oz fresh lime juice
Fresh basil

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a flamed lime disc.

[Cocktail Wars. Sundays at Woodward at Ames. 1 Court St., Boston. 617.979.8200. 5:30pm/21+/free. woodwardatames.com]

CIN-CIN!

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