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Archive for June, 2011

*Recently featured in the Weekly Dig.

by Pinky Gonzales + Pink Lady

Count Louis Philippe Joseph de Roffignac fought alongside the British in the Battle for New Orleans, then in the 1820’s became its Mayor. Among many things, he was credited for bringing cobblestone and city lighting to the streets of the French Quarter. He escaped the guillotine and fled his native France for the swampy shores of the Ponchartrain. And like any good Frenchman, Joseph also drank his share of Cognac, which he was known to mix with seltzer, ice, and rich raspberry syrup in a tall glass.

Little did he know this early highball-of-sorts would forevermore bear his name, alongside the classics Sazerac, Ramos Fizz, and Vieux Carré. As with (what many consider to be) the first cocktail, the Sazerac, imbibers grew to swap the more readily available and popular rye whiskey for the Cognac over time. We find Cognac or Brandy still makes for the best Roffignac, while a rye Sazerac is a match made in heaven.

Sip one of these as you prep your liver for Tales of the Cocktail this July.

Cin-cin!

Roffignac Cocktail

2 ounces Cognac, Brandy, or good rye whiskey

1 ounce raspberry syrup

Soda water or seltzer

Fill a highball glass with ice. Add the first two ingredients, then top off with soda or seltzer. Swizzle and serve.

(Various raspberry syrups can be found in specialty stores, or make your own: muddle fresh raspberries with simple syrup, double-straining out the seeds.)

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*As recently published in the Weekly Dig.

by Bourbon Belle + Pink Lady

At last we’ve reached that stretch of several months with warm temperatures and deliciously seasonal fruits filling the tables at our local farmer’s market. Cherries are in season now which means you’ve got precious little time to preserve them to use in cocktails. After sampling these, you’ll never want to drop an artificial, borderline florescent “maraschino” cherry into your Last Word again.

Maraschino cherries were named as such because their earliest recipes included the use of the marasca cherry, preserved in a liqueur made from the same fruit, Maraschino liqueur. Over the years, Americans began experimenting with different types of cherries as well as with different flavors, eventually substituting the marasca cherry with the Queen Anne cherry (among others), and adding other flavors to the mix and like natural almond extract. A 1912 USDA regulation stipulates that the maraschino cherry is defined as “marasca cherries preserved in maraschino liqueur” meaning these new adapted cherry recipes had to be labeled as “imitation maraschino cherries”.

Maraschino cherries suffered further insult when Maraschino liqueur was substituted with—then replaced altogether by a—non-alcoholic brine solution for use as a preservative.  There is much dispute whether this brine substitution occurred before or during Prohibition, but regardless, the end result is the same. What was at one time a natural, liqueur preserved, delicious delicacy, became a bleached, brined and artificially colored excuse for a piece of fruit.

There are many different ways to go about making sweetened preserved cherries. Here’s a recipe we enjoy, courtesy of “King Cocktail” Dale DeGroff.

Homemade Maraschino Cherries

Wash, de-stem and pit cherries.  Pack them into a jar filled with sugar. Allow them to sit for a day, then pour Luxardo Maraschino liqueur over the cherries, filling the jar with liquid. Marinate for a week then taste.

CIN-CIN!

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*As recently published in the Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

In a little over a month the ladies of LUPEC Boston will be heading down to New Orleans for one of our favorite events of the year, Tales of the Cocktail. LUPEC Boston will join over 10,000 bartenders, cocktail geeks, and spirits professionals for five days of seminars, tastings, and events all in celebration of that great American invention, the Cocktail.

The ladies of LUPEC Boston will be involved in two great events at Tales of the Cocktail this summer. On Thursday, July 21 from 1pm-2:30pm we’ll team up with LUPEC broads from New York for “Ladies’ Choice: Women Behind Bars,” a seminar saluting our spirited forebroads, much as we do in this here column. From mold-breaking saloon owners to current day cocktail mavens, women have had a vital, though often overlooked, impact on the evolution of bars and cocktails. We’ll present an inspiring history of ladies like Ada Coleman, former Head Bartender of the Savoy Hotel and Helen David, who opened the Brass Rail Bar in the midst of the Great Depression.

Then, on Friday July 22 from 12:30pm-2pm, LUPEC will host “Ladies Who Lunch” as part of the Spirited Lunch series to celebrate women in the spirits industry, from bartenders to marketers to distillers. Interested women are invited to come and raise a glass as we commiserate and discuss our unique role in this male-dominated business. All cocktails will feature spirits from companies that have women at the helm; including Macchu Pisco, Ron Zacapa, Cat Daddy Moonshine, Bulleit Bourbon, Pueblo Viejo tequila and Laird’s Applejack. As with all LUPEC events, vintage creative luncheon attire (fabulous hats, gloves, vintage dress, etc.) is encouraged (but not required).

We hope those of you trekking down to NOLA can pop in to one or both of these events. If you’re Boston-bound this summer, mix up one of the cocktails we’ll be serving at our luncheon, courtesy of Meaghan Dorman, LUPEC NYC.

SLEEPYHEAD

.5 oz lime
.5 oz lemon
.75 oz ginger syrup
2 oz Laird’s Bonded Applejack

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into Collins glass. Top with soda and garnish with lime wheel and ginger candy.

CIN-CIN!

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*As recently published in the Weekly Dig

by Pink Lady

Could there be a more appropriate cocktail to sip at the dawn of summer than the Daisy, a cool and refreshing drink named for the hardy, innocent flower?

Two versions of this drink were in wide circulation by the time Prohibition rolled around in 1919. The early version appears in the 1876 edition of Jerry Thomas’ The Bon Vivant’s Companion, and is made with spirit (brandy, whisky, gin, rum) lemon, gum syrup, orange cordial and finished with a splash of soda. As cocktail historian David Wondrich chronicles in his book Imbibe, over time that drink evolved into “something of a dude’s drink, a little bit of fanciness em-pinkened with grenadine … and tricked out with fruit.”

Shortly after Prohibition ended recipes for a “Tequila Daisy” started popping up from Mexico to New York State. The drink may have been the earliest incarnation of a popular modern cocktail whose name translates to “Daisy” in Spanish: the Margarita.

The “dude’s drink” is what we suggest sippin’ with gin this month, but please note: all incarnations of the Daisy are delicious. Sip any one you like while soaking up the sun on a patio, stoop, or porch as you toast to summer finally arriving.

GIN DAISY
Recipe from GOOD SPIRITS by A.J. Rathbun

1.5 oz gin
.5 oz lemon
.25 oz simple syrup
.25 oz grenadine
Club soda

Fill a highball glass with crushed ice. Add gin, lemon, simple and grenadine and stir twice. Top off with soda water. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and orange slice.

CIN-CIN!

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