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Archive for the ‘Cocktails’ Category

SIPPING ON THE C

*As originally published in the Weekly Dig November 24, 2011

by Pink Lady

 

“Holidays Mean Family—We Sell Liquor” reads the sign on a packie in West Somerville, MA. It’s one of the most brilliants pieces of marketing we’ve seen, reminding us as we gather around the Thanksgiving table with family and friends that we’re probably going to want to have a cocktail in hand. Allow the LUPEC ladies to be your guide.

This Thanksgiving, we turn our attention to the humble cranberry.

We love it in cranberry sauce, both the delicious, homemade version and the weird kind that comes in a can … and actually LOOKS like a can. We also love it in cocktails. There’s more to cranberries than the sugar-filled juice that pinkens the Cosmopolitan, you see. (That said, I, for one, have been reviving the Cosmo lately. Ask for it “with Plymouth gin, please” and remember why this believed by many to be “the last classic.”)

At Toro, the Nantucket Mule is a delightful riff on the classic Moscow Mule made with cranberry compote, ginger and cranberry simple syrup, vodka, and ginger beer and served in a copper mug much like the original. It’s one of the most popular drinks on the list and sure to take the edge off as potential family drama begins to rear its head. Stop in for one tonight as you brace yourself for tomorrow’s meal.

Or mix one at home. The drink is a delight and a great way to stimulate the appetite as you prepare to stuff yourself with turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing tomorrow afternoon.

Happy Thanksgiving dear readers! Enjoy your cranberries and enjoy your cocktails.

 

NANTUCKET MULE
Heaping barspoon of cranberry compote
2 oz vodka
.5 oz ginger simple syrup
.5 oz cranberry simple syrup
.5 oz lime juice
Ginger beer
Combine all ingredients except ginger beer in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Pour into a copper mug or a double old fashioned glass. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with a lime wedge.

CIN-CIN!


 

 

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*The latest ruminations from LUPEC Boston, in case you missed ‘em in The Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

Fellow drinkers, cocktail enthusiasts and lovers of quality beverage: We are lucky. We’re enjoying a glorious era. The cocktail is queen, and finding a quality drink in Boston is as simple as sidling up to any of the great bars in a long list of local destinations. Many of us remember a different time, a darker time, before rye was present among the spirits on the back bar, before the B-Side was even born (may it now rest in peace).

On occasion, though, we Boston drinkers might find ourselves inexplicably outside our comfort zone. Your fratty cousin comes to visit, for example, and you end up drinking with him at the Boylston Street bars (one that is misleadingly named after a spirit, perhaps?), and no matter how hard you try to explain that “Eastern Standard is, like, RIGHT THERE,” no one will budge. What’s a bratty cocktail snob to do?

A Manhattan or a classic martini is a simple enough template, but proceed with caution here—you have no idea how long that vermouth has been open, unrefrigerated and gathering dust on the back bar. A margarita should also be avoided, unless you have an unspoken affection for from-the-gun sour mix. There is a time and a place for a beer and a shot, or a gin and tonic … and many would say that this is it. If that’s not quite your speed, fear not; there are cocktails out there that simply cannot be ruined, no matter how hard an inexperienced bartender may try. So we present a new LUPEC feature for situational ordering: “Bullet-Proof Cocktails,” or “Drinks You Can’t Mess Up.”

Proud among these is the Mamie Taylor, a great old highball named for a famous Broadway star. It was the drink-du-moment for a few fleeting years around the turn of the 20th century and consumed by the thousands in the hot summer of 1900. The drink figured prominently in popular culture, writes Ted “Dr. Cocktail” Haigh in Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails: “Poems were written about the drink, jokes were told, and articles were written using Mamie to illustrate au courant sophistication.”

The Mamie’s a simple beverage composed of inexpensive ingredients, yet bars were nevertheless able to charge exorbitant prices thanks to the drink’s popularity. According to Haigh, it became “synonymous with ‘swank refreshment’ until 1920—and Prohibition.” Mamie enjoyed a brief comeback in the ’40s and was a predecessor to vodka’s gateway cocktail, the Moscow Mule.

Let’s bring Mamie back! Just … maybe don’t ask for her by name, lest you risk feeling even more uncomfortable than you already do with your fratty cousin’s “bros.”

MAMIE TAYLOR

From Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh

2 oz Scotch
.75 oz spicy ginger ale or ginger beer

Build over ice in a highball glass. Stir and garnish with lime wedge.

Notes on situational ordering: If the bar has ginger beer, lucky you! If not, or if you’re afraid to ask, ginger ale will do. If said bar does not have a fresh juice program, ask for Scotch & ginger with extra lime wedges as “garnish”—three or four should do.

CIN-CIN!

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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!

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grand-finale-invite

by Pink Lady

We’re thrilled to announce that our very own Bourbon Belle is a finalist in the Marvelous Hendricks’s Limerick & Cocktail Competition taking place tonight at the Edison in Downtown Los Angeles!

Some of you may recall Bourbon Belle’s glorious victory at the Hendrick’s Gin Beantown Bartender Battle last August with her delicious drink, Nobody’s Darling. First prize was a complimentary trip anywhere in the US and an opportunity to compete in the Grand Finale this February 17th in Downtown Los Angeles.

Guests will be treated to a champagne punch and given a playbill for the evening. The playbill will outline the evening’s performances, that is to say, the competitors, their cocktails and their lovely limericks!

Bourbon Belle’s winning recipe is below, as well as the limerick that helped her take first place, and a brand new limerick that she’ll debut at the event. We’ll be mixing these up at home and toasting in Bourbon Belle’s honor as we await the results back home in Boston!

NOBODY’S DARLING
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add:

2 oz Hendrick’s Gin
.5 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1 oz Angelica Root infused Honey*
.75 oz fresh celery juice
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
Shake and strain into a chilled coup glass.

*ANGELICA ROOT INFUSED HONEY
Pour 6 oz boiling water over 2 oz dried angelica root (in a tea strainer) and let sit for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Remove angelica.  Add 4 oz Wildflower Honey to the Angelica “Tea” and pour into a saucepan. Simmer over low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Bourbon Belle mixes up the winning cocktail, Nobody's Darling

Bourbon Belle mixes up the winning cocktail, Nobody's Darling

LIMERICK No. 1

An elixir of cucumber and rose
With a scent that amuses the nose
Angelica-honey we’ll pair
Then some celery sounds fair
Yellow Chartreuse, lemon juice and there goes!

LIMERICK No 2
Ladies and Gentleman, I must confess
I’m quite nervous and in some distress
I’ve heard it helps to propose
Your observers unclothed
Please indulge me and just get undressed

Photo courtesy of C. Fernsebner.

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Thanks to everyone who stopped by the Local for Love Event at Poor Little Rich Girl last night! The event was sponsored by Somerville Local First and featured treats from Taza Chocolate, Ball Square Fine Wines & Liquors, Narragansett beer, and a few fun cocktails poured by the ladies of LUPEC Boston.

Our table was a popular one, but whose isn’t when you’re handing out free hooch? For those of you who are interested in sampling some of the delicious libations we poured last night at home, recipes are below. Two of them even feature vodka*** a base spirit we rarely mix with!

CAN-CAN variation
(adapted from St-Germain recipe book, with a twist)
2 oz. Rain Vodka
3/4 oz. Dry rose wine (instead of Chardonnay)
1/2 oz. St-Germain
1/4 oz fresh lemon

Shake ingredients well over ice; strain into a chilled vintage cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon oil.

THE HEARTBEAT
(adapted from Cocktail DB, with St-Germain instead of Galliano)
1 oz. Rain Vodka
3/4 oz. St-Germain
1 oz.  fresh lemon
1/4 oz Green Chartreuse

Shake ingredients well over ice; strain into a chilled vintage cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon peel.

ST-GERMAIN COCKTAIL
1.5 oz St-Germain
2 oz. Sparkling Wine
2 oz. Club Soda

Stir ingredients with ice in a Collins glass. Garnish with lemon peel.

***Gin-philes please note: we think these drinks will work just as well with Plymouth as a base.

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elit_midnight_millionaireValentine’s Day is just around the corner and folks are clamoring for reservations at romantic locales all about town.  With the state of the economy and the big event falling on a Saturday many, however, may be choosing to spend the night at home.  That would be my choice as nothing is dearer to me than cooking, cocktailing and enjoying with my sweetie at home sweet home. 

Now the ladies of LUPEC are no slouches in the  kitchen, but that it is not our expertise.  If you are deciding to spend a romantic night in with your honey there are a plethora of great ideas for delicious treats at blogs such as Married…with Dinner or in the lovely pages of Bon Appetit.  But if you need help with some lovely bubbly libations to start your amorous evening, we are the broads for you!

This week’s column in the Dig features the Champagne Cocktail.  To us this is the little black dress of sparkling cocktails.  Simple, elegant and fitting for almost every occasion.  If simplicity is what you are searching for you can also try a Kir Royale.  This French classic is named after former mayor of Dijon Count Felix Kir who enjoyed drinking the local Bordeaux wine with a touch of Cassis.  For a Kir Royale drizzle between 1/8 and 1/4 of an ounce of Cassis in a glass of Champagne and garnish with a lemon twist.  

One of our favorite women behind the stick, Audrey Saunders, is the source of the following delicious rum based bubbly cocktail.

shak184The Old Cuban

1.5 oz Bacardi 8

1 oz Simple Syrup (or less to taste)

.75 oz lime juice

1 dash angostura bitters (we like 2)

Mint

Champagne

Muddle mint, syrup and lime in a mixing glass.  Add rum and bitters and shake with ice.  Double strain into a larger cocktail glass and top with Champagne.  Garnish with a mint leaf.

If you’ve finished a dinner and still have some of the bubbly in the bottle the Seelbach is a bitter filled sparkling cocktail that’s perfect as a digestivo.  The Seelbach is named after the Seelbach Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.  According to Ted Haigh’s Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails the restaurant director found this forgotten pre-Prohibition recipe in 1995.  He began serving the cocktail in the hotel but kept the recipe a secret.  He finally divulged the full recipe in 1997 at the urging of Gary and Mardee Regan.

The Seelbach Cocktailsbhhotelgroup18851

1 oz Bourbon (Old Forrester was specified)

.5 oz Cointreau

7 dashes Angostura bitters

7 dashes Peychaud bitters

Champagne

Stir Bourbon, Cointreau and bitters briefly over ice.  Strain into a Champagne flute and top with bubbles.  Garnish with an orange twist.

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topFrom 7 pm-10 pm tonight we’ll be hosting another fabulous punch party at your new favorite boutique, GRAND [374 Somerville Ave, Union Square, Somerville]. The event will be a fabulous night of holiday shopping with the Ladies of LUPEC!

Enjoy some festive seasonal (and complimentary!) cocktails like Hot Toddies and Single Malt Sangaree as you search for the perfect present from Grand’s huge selection of contemporary furnishings, apparel, and gifts.

And if they didn’t have the coolest collection of merchandise already, Grand has teamed up with The Boston Shaker founder Adam Lantheaume, to offer one stop shopping to the cocktail and barware enthusiast. From hard to find bitters and syrups, to shakers, jiggers, glassware and vintage cocktail book reproductions. We haven’t seen this complete a collection of all the things we love, since……..well…….ever!

We’ll also be selling copies of our Little Black Book of Cocktails, of course, and have a special holiday offer! Purchase one book for $15, two for $25 or 3 books for $30!  And it wouldn’t be a LUPEC event if there weren’t some sort of charitable element, so for every Little Black Book of Cocktails sold, LUPEC will donate a canned good to those in need.

Grand will also offer a 20% discount on all merchandise to all attendees who bring a canned good with them!

We hope to see you there!

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