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Archive for May, 2011

*As recently published in the Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady + Hanky Panky

Memorial Day is nearly upon us, marking the beginning of summer (even if we’ve been having lousy, rainy weather). For the ladies of LUPEC that means its time to turn to light, refreshing cocktails. As the days become longer and warmer we like to focus on those spirits that are a bit lower in alcohol, making them perfect for the social occasions of summer that can sometimes span an entire day … such as that barbeque you’ll be hitting this Monday. Here’s a primer on some of our favorites.

Campari is a bitter Italian aperitivo. The full recipe is a closely guarded secret, but we do know that it is flavored with, among other things, rhubarb, bergamot and orange peel. When the temperature rises, pour it over ice and top with soda. If you find this too bitter, split the Campari half and half with sweet vermouth and enjoy your Americano.
Widely known for its role in James Bond’s cocktail of choice, the Vesper, Lillet Blanc is a refreshing French aperitif from Podensac in Bordeaux. It’s a blend of Bordeaux wines, fruit liqueur and quinine. At only 17% alcohol by volume, Lillet is the perfect fit for afternoon drinking on the porch. Serve Lillet on the rocks with a twist of orange. Or try the recently available Kina Lillet.

We usually associate vermouths with Martinis and Manhattans, but in the summer these fortified, aromatized wines are the perfect sip for a warm afternoon. A good choice with which to begin is Martini Bianco, a blend of dry white Italian wines flavored with vanilla and aromatic herbs.

Salut—here’s to summer!

HALF SINNER, HALF SAINT
2 oz French Vermouth
2 oz Dry Vermouth
.5 oz Herbsaint
Lemon twist
In a rocks glass, combine the vermouths over ice. Float the Herbsaint. Garnish with the lemon twist.

CIN-CIN!

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*As recently published in Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

We LUPEC ladies consider ourselves classy broads, and in our opinion, that includes being able to hang in a dive bar. As egalitarian imbibers, we believe that there is a time and place for every sort of cocktail and every sort of bar/bartender. Sometimes there’s just nothing better than a beer and a shot, knocked back as far away as you can get from a cocktail den.

That’s why we’re thrilled to give a shout out to local cocktail writer Luke O’Neil whose new book Boston’s Best Dive Bars: Drinking and Diving in Beantown debuted this spring. The book highlights 90 of Boston’s finest and we are sure it will become essential reading material for visitors looking to tie one on the cozy corner of a favored local dive.

Haven’t you ever wished for such a tome? We certainly have. Luck has led us to some amazing divey watering holes while traveling, such as Max’s Club Deuce in Miami, Zeitgeist in San Francisco, or Von’s in New Orleans. But what’s a lonely traveler to do without the recommendations of wizened locals? Beers & shots of Jamo just aren’t the same when swilled at the bar at Holiday Inn.

O’Neil’s modern classic is a nostalgic nod to the long gone days when dive bars were the only bars in Boston, the backbone of the city’s drinking culture, emblematic of our image in the country at large. We may have classed things up in the past decade, but we shall never forget our humble roots. We salute them—and Luke—with an old B-Side favorite.

WINDSOR HIGH LOW
Jack Daniels neat with a baby Bud can.
Serve with the can perched atop the rocks glass.

CIN-CIN!

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*As recently published in the Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

Later this week, yours truly will team up with Holistic Health Coach Kendra Strasburg of Crave Health to present a seminar at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic called Beyond the Hangover Cure: What to Eat, Drink, and Do to Combat Your Boozy Lifestyle.

Do healthy cocktails really exist? Kind of. Alcohol dehydrates the body and stresses the liver and we know we shouldn’t drink if we want to be health nuts. But would you be reading this column if that was your jam? No. The good news is there are strategies for developing cocktails that will ultimately be healthier for you than others.

When building your cocktail, reach for a natural sweetener such as honey or maple syrup over a sugar-based one, such as the ubiquitous simple syrup. You can’t always swap out honey simple for regular since it has a unique flavor profile of its own that will ultimately affect your drink. But it sure is fun to play around with.

Coconut water might not be a wise choice for churning out bar volume cocktails given the price, but when drinking at home, this mild, super hydrating, potassium-filled nectar can make for a lovely way to top off your cocktail.

Love ginger? Put it in your glass. This root has been said to have many therapeutic properties, including antioxidant effects. “And, it strengthens and tones the immune system as well—keeps us from getting sick after all the boozing!” says Strasburg. We’ll drink to that. Muddle some ginger, combine with a little gin or vodka, some honey simple syrup and lemon or lime juice and voila! A lovely gingery sour.

See how easy that was? Now, if you’re all about drinking healthy out in the field but hesitant to annoy your bartender or your friends with your quest, just ask for a Bee’s Knees. It’s a classic you can sip proudly, and no one ever has to know.

BEE’S KNEES
2 oz Plymouth gin
.75 oz honey syrup
.5 oz fresh lemon juice

Shake with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and serve.

CIN-CIN!

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

by Pink Lady

In a few short weeks several of the ladies of LUPEC Boston will take Manhattan by storm at the Second Annual Manhattan Cocktail Classic. Part festival, part fête, part conference, part cocktail party – the Manhattan Cocktail Classic (MCC) is an annual celebration of the myriad points of intersection between cocktails and culture.

From May 13-17, thousands of bartenders, brand ambassadors, cocktail lovers and nerds will convene in New York to learn and party. The MCC features over one hundred events two of which are fantastic seminars offered by ladies of LUPEC.

On Saturday, May 14 at 7 p.m. LUPEC Boston will team up with Holistic Health Coach Kendra Strasberg of Crave Health to offer Beyond the Hangover Cure, a seminar on what to eat, drink, and do to combat your boozy lifestyle. Studies have shown that simply going to bed later than 10 p.m. each night takes a serious toll on the liver. What does that mean for the bartender, whose shift ends 2, 4, even 6 hours after optimal bedtime has come and gone? Between 12-hour shifts greasy, carby staff meals and copious consumption of alcohol, the odds seem stacked against the bartender who seeks a balanced, healthy life. We’ll discuss how to find balance through nutrition and movement, despite drinking four cocktails (or more) a night, while drinking healthy cocktails. Yes, they exist.

On Tuesday, May 17 at 2:30 p.m., LUPEC will bring the Science of Taste Through Cocktails, a seminar originally presented here in Boston with the Science Club for Girls, to the Big Apple. Why does Campari taste delicious to some and make others gag? How can a sweet liqueur taste divine to one palate and cloying to another? Taste is very personal and the way people experience it seems a bit magic but can be decoded through science. We’ll explore the scientific aspects of taste and flavor through cocktails from LUPEC Boston, NYC, and Seattle representing the 5 facets of taste (sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami.) Don Katz, a Professor specializing in Chemosensation from Brandeis, will speak about the science of taste and flavor, and Chemist Graham Wright will explain how these concepts are applied in the glass.

Sound interesting? Manhattan is just a short train/Megabus ride away. Mix up a Punch Fantastique at home as you ponder making the trip.

LE PUNCH FANTASTIQUE

Developed by Lynnette Marerro, LUPEC NYC to represent SWEET for Science of Taste Through Cocktails

1oz club soda

4 sugar cubes

1/2 oz Carpano Antica vermouth

1/2 oz lemon Juice

1/2 oz Cherry Heering

1/4 oz Fresh ginger syrup (pressed ginger juice 1:1 sugar)

2oz Hine cognac VSOP

1/4 oz all spice dram

2 dash Angostura bitters

1oz Champagne

In a mixing glass dissolve the sugar cubes in 10z club soda.  Add all ingredients except Champagne. Stir with ice to bring to temp.  Strain into a highball over ice and add Champagne.

Cin-cin!

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