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Archive for the ‘Cocktails’ Category

texas-guinan-photo-post-cardWith the 75th Anniversary of Prohibition’s Repeal upon us, the ladies of LUPEC turn our thoughts to late, great Prohibition-era forebroads like Texas Guinan. We wrote a brief bio of the little devil in this week’s Dig; to read more about this actress-turned-Speakeasy-owner, check out Pinky Gonzales’ Women’s History Month toast on Tex.

Here are a few more fun facts* on the ol’ gal, for your reading pleasure:

  • When the Depression hit, Texas and the 40 chorus girls who worked her Speakeasy took the show on the road with plans to open in Paris. She was denied the permits necessary to open and entry to France. Ever the savvy marketer, Texas simply dubbed the show “Too Hot for Paris” and took the U.S. by storm.
  • “Miss Guinan was one of the finest and most grateful patients I have ever attended,” Dr. J. A. Machlachlan, who attended to Tex on her deathbed, told the New York Times. “She told me she had never touched alcohol in her life.”
  • Though she was infamous for having her joints raided and even padlocked by the fuzz, Tex never admitted to serving alcohol in her clubs.
  • Guinan has been credited with adding such gems to the vernacular as “butter and egg men” (to describe her well-heeled patrons) and for asking club goers to “give the little ladies a great, big hand.”
  • Texas closely studied contemporaries Lillian Russell and Mae West, and “while all three women could sing and act, only Texas could ride a horse (named Pieface) and shoot.”

*By facts we mean items we dredged up on her from old New York Times clippings and the Web. Tex wastexas_guinan-b larger than life and was commonly remembered that way; we invite you to take these anecdotes with a grain of salt.

Boston kicks off celebrations for the 75th Anniversary of Repeal Day TONIGHT at Eastern Standard! The staff will transform the restaurant into a Jazz Age Speakeasy, complete with barricaded entrance and guys and dolls dressed to the nines. Entrance to this party will cost ‘ya – $120 gets you pre-dinner canapes and cocktails (at 6:30 p.m.), dinner and cocktails (at 7:30 p.m.), dancing and more cocktails, with a late-night breakfast served for the last ones still standing circa-1 a.m. If you can’t make the scene ’til later, $40 gets you in for drinks, dancing, and mayhem at 10 p.m. Rumor has it Texas Guinan herself might be there – will you?

The actual anniversary of Prohibition’s Repeal is tomorrow, so you can keep the party going all night/day/night if you like. Why not stop toast Prohibition’s Repeal at a venue that occupies a former speakeasy’s space? The Marliave downtown fits this bill, as does Stanza dei Sigari in the North End. And remember, it’s always more fun if you dress up.

Cin cin!

Web

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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!

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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!

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In the context of the infinite cyber-sphere, the Internet cocktail community seems comparatively home-y. Thus we were thrilled to hear that Seattle-based cocktail blogger and author AJ Rathbun would be in Boston promoting his recently released titles, LUSCIOUS LIQUEURS and PARTY SNACKS, this week. We’d only ever met AJ through blog cross posts and track backs – could he possibly be that cool in person? Could we? LUPEC shared some communal cocktails with Rathbun over at DRINK this evening and I’m pleased to report, the answer (to the former question) is yes. (Jury’s still out on #2.)

We were subsequently disappointed to learn that AJ’s liqueur tasting/book signing at Brix Wine Shop in the South End conflicts with the Relaunch Party for the Little Black Book of Cocktails, but wanted to alert you to this great opportunity to meet the award-winning West Coast cocktail author from 6 – 8 p.m. at Brix in the South End tomorrow. Head on over before or after the LUPEC event at GRAND to purchase signed copies of the books and sample liqueurs and snacks from the new titles.

An don’t forget to ask the author what his favorite liqueur is – the first LUPEC Boston blog reader to report back with the correct answer (post it right in the comments section) receives a prize!

Cin-cin!

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The Second Edition of the Little Black Book of Cocktails is hot off the presses. We’ll be celebrating in style on October 21st from 6:00pm-9:00pm at the coolest boutique north of the Mason Dixon line, GRAND [374 Somerville Ave, Union Square, Somerville] for our Little Black Book of Cocktails “Relaunch Party”! Sip on some delicious (and complimentary!) LUPEC-approved punches, snag a copy of the book, and shop ’til you drop! (Complimentary nibbles will also be served!)

Handsomely designed by LUPEC Boston’s own Pinky Gonzales, this smart little book contains recipes for the “namesake cocktails” of the founding members of LUPEC Boston, plus recipes for some of our favorite classics and vintage-inspired originals. The updated second edition also includes the namesake & favorites of our newest member, Saucy Sureau, as well as new recipes and updates to the original.

The book costs $15 and all proceeds from book sales benefit the New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans’ Women’s Unit, the chosen beneficiary for our fall fundraising efforts, including the This Ones for the Ladies Promotion and The LUPEC Boston USO Show.

LUPEC partnered with Cambridge-based photographer Matt Demers in 2007 to participate in his “Women in Pearls” series. Modeled after a striking black and white photograph of 1920s It-girl Louise Brooks (right), the “Pearls” project is Demers‘ study on body image and beauty for modern women. In the artists’ own words,

“Thanks to the photographic magic of Eugene Robert Richee the starlet [Brooks] was stripped of culturally-defined trappings. No make-up, high-fashion or salon treatments. Black on black, her physical body shape disappeared into the abyss. Over-exposed skin tones erased any skin flaws. The authentic Louise Brooks emerged, bold and exquisite.”

In Demers‘ mind, LUPEC + Pearls = a match made in heaven: “Passionate about their craft, bucking stereotypes with gusto, champions for social causes: the LUPEC ladies were a natural fit for my evolving project. Channeling the spirit of the Pandora’s Box muse, the ladies stepped in front of the camera with fearless zest to become the cornerstone of the series.”

And his images, in turn, became the cornerstone of The Little Black Book of Cocktails by LUPEC Boston.

We hope you’ll join us this Tuesday for punch, snacks, and celebration of the latest edition of LUPEC’s Little Black Book!

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Join the ladies of LUPEC Boston as we raise our glasses to raise awareness!

Starting November 1, LUPEC Boston will partner will select Boston-area bars and restaurants to offer our Second Annual “This One’s for the Ladies” drink promotion. Participating establishments will be donating the proceeds from one broad-related beverage for the month of November to women at the The New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans, the chosen beneficiary for our fall fundraisers and events.

The New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans is a private, non-profit organization with a mission to extend a helping hand to homeless men and women veterans who are addressing the challenges of addiction, trauma, severe and persistent mental illness, and/or unemployment, and who will commit themselves to sobriety, non-violence, and working for personal change. They are recognized as one of the most effective private veteran’s transition programs in the country. Learn more at http://www.neshv.org <http://www.neshv.org/&gt; .

We will keep an updated list of links to participating restaurants here on our blog. Check back often to see where you can go to have one for the ladies!

If you work at a bar or restaurant and are interested in participating please e-mail us at lupec@lupecboston.com!

Cin-cin!

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This week in the Dig I wrote a brief history of the cult favorite Fernet Branca.  If you are new to the world of Fernet having an entire bottle sitting on your shelf can seem a bit daunting, to say the least.  You’ve choked down a few shots in an attempt to be part of the club, but the appreciation for this bitter elixir isn’t quite there yet.  It seems as though the eagle with the Fernet in his talons is taunting you as you’re thinking there must be an easier way to get to the bottom of that green bottle.

Fear not my friends!  Here are a few more cocktails to help open your palate to the complex and ultimately rewarding world of Fernet Branca.

FERNET AND COLA

An entire country can’t be wrong.  In Argentina one million cases of Fernet Branca are consumed annually in this fashion.  Fernet and Cola is a delicious, symbiotic relationship in which the bitterness of the Fernet and the sweetness of the cola temper one another perfectly.  It’s a balanced boozie bear hug in a glass.

TORONTO
2 oz Rye 
.5 oz Fernet Branca
Dash of Simple Syrup
Dash of Angostura Bitters

Stir ingredients with ice for 30 seconds.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  

I have frequently described this drink as my savior as it is equally adept at “setting me straight” the day after a night of overindulgence or soothing a very full belly after a deliciously large meal.  I prefer to use a rye of higher proof when making this cocktail, such as Rittenhouse Rye or Sazerac 6 Yr Rye.  

The ROOT OF ALL EVIL
This recipe comes to us courtesy of Jeff Grdinich, White Mountain Cider Company, Bartlett NH.  He describes it as his irreverent tribute to Chuck Taggart and Chuck’s cocktail, the Hoskins.
2 oz Bulleit Bourbon
.75 oz Grand Marnier
.5 oz Luxardo Maraschino
.5 oz Fernet Branca

Stir ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  If you are using LUPEC approved vintage glassware, chill down a second stem and invite over a friend because this is a pretty big cocktail!  

PORTENO
This one come to us courtesy of Murray Stenson at the Zig Zag Cafe in Seattle.
.75 oz Bourbon
.5 oz Cherry Brandy
.5 oz Fernet Branca
.5 oz Velvet Falernum
.5 oz Fresh Lime Juice

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  

 
INVERNO
1 oz Aperol
.5 oz Fernet Branca
1 oz Tonic Water

Build over ice in a low ball.  Garnish with an orange slice and enjoy

QUATRO PUNTI
1 oz Punt e Mes
.5 oz Fernet Branca
Soda Water

Build over ice in a highball, adding soda to taste.  Garnish with an orange slice.

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