Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘brandy’ Category

mxmologoLUPEC Boston is honored to be hosting today’s Mixology Monday at our humble abode.  Inspired by a chance encounter that Pink Lady had with a cocktail novice, we’ve decided to consider those cocktails that would be suitably delicious for the first timer.

Obviously there are a couple things to consider when offering up advice to the amateur cocktailian.  First off your suggestions need to be balanced.  Something too bitter, too sweet or too boozey results in our possible convert spending an eternity in vodka/soda purgatory.

And secondly we should consider accessibility.  Folks are afraid of words they don’t know or understand.  And rather than ask for guidance and clarification they will often just turn and run.  Cocktails for the first timer should be relatively simple and incorporate common ingredients.  Not only do we want the cocktail newcomer to enjoy and understand what they’ve just imbibed, we want to be able to write down the recipe and make it clear that it is something they can easily create for themselves at home!

Let’s hear from some of lovely ladies of LUPEC Boston.  How would they pave thelupec_logo72 way to cocktail glory for an amateur?

Pink Lady is a firm believer in the power of the Jack Rose.  “I think in sweeter incarnations and made with a little Peychaud’s, it could easily trick booze-fearing drinkers into swilling back something made with a brown liquor.”

Bourbon Belle chimed in with the Sidecar.  She describes “the combination of the bold and interesting flavor of brandy that is juxtaposed with the sour kick of fresh lemon juice and balanced with the sweet orange flavor of Cointreau” as a great well-balanced cocktail that goes down easy for the novice drinker.

Pink Gin agrees that the brown spirits tend to be an easier sell to the cocktail beginner.  She suggests a Mint Julep (hopefully served in the proper vessel) or perhaps her father’s favorite, a Bourbon Manhattan.  If Pink Gin gets her charm from her father I’m sure he could successfully put a Manhattan in the hands of any teetotaler!

Pinky Gonzalez pipes in with some options to help a newbie recover from any previous gincidents.  She’s used the Left Bank (Gin, St Germain and Sauvignon Blanc) to make “gin-drinkers out of many an unwitting soul.”  She also recommends the Vesper, saying “it’s good for vodka drinkers/gin fearers; the idea that there is vodka in there is enough for some to ‘go there.’  The Lillet offers the vermouth-fearer an alternative and the James Bond reference is a good hook for some folks.”

As someone who spends a big chunk of my life behind the stick making drinks for the general public I’m constantly considering gateway cocktails.  There is nothing more gratifying than introducing someone whose “usual” is a vodka and soda to the wonderful world of flavorful, balanced cocktails.  For this reason I’ve taken to calling them my greatway cocktails.  For our purposes today we will be focusing on gin and whiskey, the two base spirits that seem to be most misunderstood by the masses.

Let’s start with gin.  There is an erroneous fear of gin running rampant through our society that LUPEC is attempting to quell.  Gin is delicious and according to our good friend Patrick Sullivan it makes you smarter.  Armed with this fact and a few cocktails conversion is imminent.

Fine and Dandy Cocktail (from the Savoy Cocktail Book)

1/2 Plymouth Gin

1/4 Cointreau

1/4 Lemon Juice

1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.

The Fine and Dandy is a greatway cocktail for many reasons.  Like Bourbon Belle’s suggestion of the Sidecar, the sweet and sour aspects of this cocktail are wonderfully balanced but do not overwhelm the nuances of the gin.  In addition this cocktail gently introduces bitters, a cocktail ingredient that unnecessarily frightens the cocktail neophyte.

imagesThe Stork Club Cocktail

1.5 oz Gin

.5 Cointreau

1 oz Orange Juice

.25 oz Lime Juice

1 Dash Angostura Bitters

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Orange juice equals breakfast, the start to one’s day.  Why not start one’s cocktail journey with the juicy house cocktail of one of Manhattan’s most historic hot spots.

As a lover of all brown spirits I can’t imagine not enjoying a perfectly made Manhattan.  But as I know this is not the case for all let’s consider a couple of whiskey based greatway cocktails.

The Scofflaw Cocktail

1 oz Rye Whiskey

1 oz French Vermouth

.5 oz Grenadine

.5 oz Lemon Juice

1 dash Orange Bitters

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

This delicious cocktail is perfect for introducing someone to the joys of whiskey and vermouth.   It’s sure to make a newbie ooo and ah.

The Algonquinothers_46780_8

1.5 oz Rye Whiskey

.75 oz Dry Vermouth

.75 oz Fresh Pineapple Juice

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Another juicy option for introducing folks to the joys of marrying whiskey and vermouth.  Encourage the newbie to raise her or his glass to Ms Dorothy Parker, one of our favorite forebroads and member of the Algonquin’s famed round table.

Thank you to all who have participated in our Mixology Monday saluting First Timers.  Check back in the next couple of days for our round up!

Cin Cin!

Read Full Post »

The ladies of LUPEC Boston are thrilled to honor the hundreds of thousands of forebroads who’ve served this country as volunteers during times of war. We’ve written about the Hello Girls of World War I and the Clubmobile girls of World War II, and later this week we’ll talk about the entertainers who traveled to to war torn Europe bring hope to American troops before the USO even existed. We hope you’ll raise a glass to these and all women who’ve served courageously today, and join us in just ten days for the “LUPEC Boston USO SHOW”, an event designed to commemorate these fabulous broads.

The LUPEC Boston “USO SHOW” will be a 1940’s-themed cocktail party featuring retro-libations, live music, dancing, delicious canapés, a prize raffle, and a USO-style variety show. It’s a coed event, and all are welcome.

This is our second annual large-scale fundraising event and was created to benefit women at The New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans (NESHV). Tickets are $35 in advance/ $45 at the door, and can be purchased at Toro and Tremont 647 in the South End, Grand in Somerville, or online at grandthestore.com.

In addition to sipping delicious, ’40s era cocktails and watching fabulous live acts, you’ll also have a chance to win big in our prize raffle! We’ve recently added some great items to our raffle prize list, including gift certificates from Vee Vee, Flour Bakery + Cafe, A Brix Six Gift Pack from Brix Wine Shop, tickets to the Improv Asylum and Swing City!

Hope to see you there Friday, Nov 21st! In the meantime, you can raise one of these to celebrate veterans world wide today.

KISS THE BOYS GOODBYE COCKTAIL
1 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz sloe gin
3/4 oz brandy
1/2 egg white
Shake in iced cocktail shaker and strain into your favorite vintage cocktail glass.

Cin-cin!

Read Full Post »

The 2008 election has come and gone, and wasn’t it enough to drive anyone to drink? In this week’s Dig column, we suggested whipping up a batch of Martha Washington’s Rum Punch to muddle through that post-election hangover. (You can read more about the punch here.) Here’s a list of some other Presidential favorites from administrations past and some fun facts on Presidential partying, culled from Sarah Hood Solomon’s book of Presidential fare and trivia Politics and Pot Roast. Imagine yourself in period garb, washing down any of these concoctions before, during, or after a White House dinner, and see how fun history and politics can be.

From the First administration…

MOUNT VERNON’S MINT JULEPS
Recipe from the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association
Handful of fresh mint
1 to 4 tablespoons sugar
1/8 to 1/2 cup water
Crushed ice (about 1 cup)
1/2 to 1 cup bourbon
Powdered sugar

Reserve one mint sprig for garnish. Put remaining mint in the bottom of a (tall) glass, and crush with a mortar. Put in simple syrup (made from the sugar and water). Fill with crushed ice. Pour bourbon on top. Dip mint sprig in powdered sugar as garnish. Quantities of the ingredients may be adjusted for individual tastes.

From the Madison Administration, President #4…

President Madison’s Favorite WHISKEY SOUR
Recipe supplied for Montpelier, the Madison home in Virginia by a family descendant. It is supposed to produce the same whiskey sours served at the White House during Madison’s tenure.
4 lemons
1/2 pint water
1/3 cup sugar (more to taste)
1 pint aged bourbon whiskey (100 proof)

Squeeze juice from the lemons and set aside. Boil water, sugar and lemon rinds for 3 minutes. Cool. Add lemon juice and bourbon. Taste, adding a little more sugar if needed, and refrigerate at least 12 hours. Remove rinds and squeeze dry. Strain and bottle.

From James K. Polk’s Administration, President #11

RASPBERRY SHRUB
President James K. Polk occasionally sipped these poured over crushed ice; adapted from The American Frugal Housewife by Lydia Marie Child, 1844
4 cups fresh raspberries
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cups sugar
2 cups brandy

Place raspberries in a bowl and pour in vinegar and lemon juice. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Crush the berries to a pulp with a spoon or potato masher. Cover the bowl with a cloth and let the mixture sit for 5 hours at room temperature.

Remove the cloth and strain the juice to remove all seeds and pulp. Mix brandy with the juice. Pour into sterilized jars and seal. This dinner drink can be served at room temperature as an after dinner drink, or served over crushed ice on a hot summer day.

From Ulysses S. Grant, President # 18

ROMAN PUNCH
1 quart lemon sherbet
1 cup rum
1/4 cup Cointreau
1 split champagne

Put lemon sherbet into a chilled bowl. Slowly mix in rum and Cointreau. Quickly add champagne and stir until it is a mushy texture. Ladle into sherbet dishes. Serves 10.

Presidential Tipplin’ Trivia

  • In later years the Mount Vernon distillery became a commercial operation, making Washington the first and only founding father to own and operate a commercial distillery. It enjoyed two good years of robust whiskey production before Washington’s death in 1799.
  • Though Polk occasionally partook in the aforementioned Raspberry Shrub, he and his wife Sarah took their roles in the White House very seriously (and solemnly). Food & drink were not served at most receptions and dancing was forbidden.
  • Grant’s Army quartermaster served as White House chef for a brief time, preparing basic and unimaginative menus for the first family. Eventually Grant’s wife rebelled and hired an Italian to chef replace him. State dinners became extravagant affairs where the new Italian chef Melah served Roman Punch as a post-entree digestivo. It was also served at daughter Nellie Grant’s White House wedding.
  • The simple ceremony planned to celebrate Andrew Jackson’s inauguration went horribly awry when 20,000 people invaded the White House mansion. The celebrants caused a ruckus of epic proportions, breaking windows, china, furniture and causing several fires. The place was so packed that people who came in the door had to crawl out the windows. Clever cooks eventually lured revelers out of the Presidential mansion by putting out tubs of whiskey on the lawn.
  • President James Buchanan had a legendary tolerance for alcohol & once reprimanded a liquor merchant for sending pint bottles of champagne to fulfill orders of bubbly because they were too small. On his way to church, he liked to stop at the Jacob Baer distillery to purchase a 10-gallon cask of “Old J.B.” whiskey, tickled that he and the whiskey shared the same initials.
  • Alice Roosevelt, Theodore’s oldest daughter, was an independent woman after our own hearts: “She smoked on the White House roof, wore pants, and was known to have a cocktail.” To Alice!
  • Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt were fond of informal Sunday dinners consisting of eggs scrambled by the First Lady in a tableside chafing dish (allegedly the only recipe in her repertoire) and martinis poured by self-appointed bartender, FDR.
  • While Governer of NY, FDR never let a guest’s glass go empty, often pressing his company to have a second and third cocktail. “How about another little sippy?” he’d ask and pour another of his favorite drink, a ‘Haitian Libation’ (made with orange juice, rum, and grenadine.) Over-served guests dumped the excess in the houseplants.
  • President and First Lady Truman were fond of Old Fashioneds, which their butler never seemed to make correctly. They were finally satisfied the day he tried the following recipe: pour bourbon over ice; serve. Truman was prescribed 2 shots of bourbon a day by his doctor, which he took each morning with a glass of orange juice.
  • John F. Kennedy’s favorite drink was beer; Jackie Kennedy liked daiquiris.

And as we look ahead and drink in a new administration, we offer you this advice, taken from the sage “Etiquette Rules for State Dinners” in The White House Cook Book, circe 1887.

“Don’t, when you drink, elevate your glass as if you were going to stand it inverted on your nose…Drink gently, and not pour it down your throat like water turned out of a pitcher.”

Cin-cin!

Read Full Post »

We also tried the Salty Dog straight up.  Drinks, photos, and original editions courtesy of k. montuori.

We also tried the Salty Dog straight up. Drinks, photos, and original editions courtesy of k. montuori.

by Pink Gin

The thing that we at LUPEC Boston have to love about Kingsley Amis is that he wrote a regular drinks column just like we do. His compilation of his articles are included in Everyday Drinking, published anew this year. We saw it on the shelves at Porter Square Books.

Older books are fun because they give you an insight into the culture of the time. In this case, the books were written rather in the “dead zone” of cocktail culture of the 70s and 80s. So, some of the drinks in the book are good and others are truly ghastly. (It will make cocktail enthusiasts appreciate how far we’ve come, especially with availability of ingredients.)

We featured the Salty Dog {LINK} in our Weekly Dig column this week, and you can find versions of the Pink Gin and the Normandy in our Little Black Book of Cocktails. So here I’d like to feature a punch that is really much better than it sounds:

JO BARTLEY’S CHRISTMAS PUNCH
3 bottles dry or medium-dry white wine
2 bottles gin
1 bottle brandy
1 bottle sherry
1 bottle dry vermouth
5 quarts medium-sweet hard cider
Ice cubes

Mix everything together and serve on ice. Go for the cheapest reliable ingredients – don’t waste the good stuff. And as Kingsley points out, if you toss in leftover drinks from last night, no one will notice.

Also, for those of you who haven’t read Lucky Jim you can try this version of a Vodka Gibson:

The LUCKY JIM
12 to 15 parts vodka
1 part dry vermouth (Martina e Rossi)
2 parts cucumber juice
cucumber slices (with peel)

Make as a martini; stir with ice and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes before serving straight up in chilled stemmed glasses.

I’d say try this with a home infusion of vermouth and hot peppers and you’ll have a vodka drink worth drinking. Cheers!

Read Full Post »

We’re always sad to say goodbye to summer, but happy to welcome a new season of drinking and all that that entails. If you read this week’s column in the Dig you know we are all about the fall-tastic flavors you can create with a little Allspice Dram. Since this also happens to be National Bourbon Heritage Month (more on that later) we recommend a segue into fall that combines the two:

LION’S TAIL
2 ounces bourbon
.5 ounce St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
.5 ounce fresh lime juice
1 dash Angostura bitters
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Or show ‘em what you’re made of with one of these:
NONE BUT THE BRAVE
1.5 oz brandy
.5 oz pimento dram
.25 oz fresh lemon juice
.25 oz Jamaican rum
.25 tsp sugar
Shake with ice in a cocktail shaker; strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

And if all you’re really after is cuddling up to something a little more spicy and complex, here are some great cocktails to try as the leaves start to turn.

WIDOW’S KISS
1.5 oz Calvados
.75 oz Benedictine
.75 oz Yellow Chartreuse
Dash Angostura Bitters
Shake in an iced cocktail shaker; strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

BRANDY SCAFFA
1.5 oz brandy
.75 oz Green Chatreuse
.5 oz maraschino liqueur
Stir in a mixing glass with ice; strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Cin-cin!

Read Full Post »

by Barbara West

“Mary S.” of St. Louis, Missouri (c. 1851-1880) was an inventor who led a life of genius and poverty. Lacking finances and confidence, she sold the rights to her mechanical inventions to various male agents, for as little as $5 each. These men received 53 patents, and a great deal of wealth. Mary S. herself died impoverished at roughly age 30.

The tragic story of Mary S. spurred one of her acquaintances, Charlotte Smith, to seek justice and recognition for women inventors. A businesswoman and former intelligence agent for the Union Army during the Civil War, Smith was known for empathizing with the struggles of self-supporting women. She wrote about Mary S. in The Woman Inventor, a magazine she founded in 1891. She also pushed for the publication of an official List of Women Patentees. Feminists used the list to argue for women’s suffrage. Today, the list remains the major source of information on 19th-century female inventors. These women were patronizingly dubbed “Lady Edisons.”
knightpaperbagfolder
Thanks to the list, we know that nearly 4,000 women received U.S. patents between 1809 and 1895—more than 5,000 if design patents are counted. One of the era’s most prolific female inventors was Margaret Knight of Boston (1838-1914). She is credited with about 90 inventions and 22 patents, the most famous of which was the first machine to make the square-bottomed paper bags that are still used in grocery stores today.

In the late 1890s, Smith moved to Boston, where she founded a Women’s Rescue League to provide shelter, food, and training for poor working girls, homeless or battered women, and prostitutes wanting to leave the trade. In 1907, she organized a Woman’s Board of Trade. After spending thousands of dollars on projects to help women become self-supporting, and years of direct charity to homeless and desperate women, Smith died alone in Boston in 1917. She was seventy-seven.

Here’s a cocktail with which to toast our industrious forebroads known as “Lady Edisons.”

EDISONIAN COCKTAIL
2 ounces brandy
1 ounce Campari
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
Shake brandy, Campari and lemon juice with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Sources:
http://www.americanheritage.com/articles/magazine/it/1992/1/1992_1_22.shtml
http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/whm2.html

Read Full Post »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,317 other followers