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Archive for the ‘Cointreau’ Category

According to a recent Zagat Survey article, “Bostonians are very aware of the nutritional and environmental impacts of the food they eat… 78% of surveyors like their food to be locally grown or raised..”  — Zagat is referring to your entree, but it follows that we Bostonian/Cantabrigians appreciate environmentally-friendly cocktails as well. With that we high-five Hungry Mother, who won the 2008 “Champions in Recycling” Award from waste management company, Save That Stuff. The award “recognizes clients and partners who consistently demonstrate outstanding recycling practices and innovative approaches to waste management. Hungry Mother… uses sustainable and local ingredients whenever possible. They are committed to recycling as much as they possibly can—recycling over 80% of their waste with us, including organics, bottles and cans, paper and cardboard!”

Even better?  Alon from Hungry Mother reinforces what we’ve read on SaveThatStuff.comrecycling is cheaper than trash pick-up.  From Day 1 HM has been recycling, composting, using non-toxic cleaning supplies, buying organic/sustainably raised produce and using straws and stirrers that are made of corn and are compostable.  HM, we’ll be in shortly to toast you with a No. 49. (See the full list of SaveThatStuff’s recyclers/composters!)

top_backyard_greenAnd finally, we googled the shit out of researched “spirit” + “sustainable” and asked bar managers around the city to name the organic/sustainable spirits on their bars.  To name a few:
GIN: Bluecoat Gin, Juniper Green Organic London Dry Gin

VODKA: 360 Vodka, Rain Organic Vodkas, Crop Organic Tomato Vodka, 888 Organic Vodka, Tru Organic Vodka, 360 Organic Vodka, Reyka Vodka (geothermal production facility), Square One Vodka, Orange V Vodka, Prairie Organic Vodka

ASSORTED: 4 Copas Tequila, Del Maguey Mezcal, Papagayo organic rums, Sparkling Brut (Gruet), VeeV Acai Spirit, Loft Organic Liqueurs, Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whiskey.

The Samurai
From H Ehrmann of Elixir, SF
2 oz. Square One Cucumber
1/2 oz. Sake
1/2 oz. lemongrass syrup*
Shake well with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
* Lemongrass Syrup – Trim the stalk at the bottom and just past the heart of the stalk (4-5 inches). Cut the heart lengthwise down the middle and with a mallet pound the lemongrass to break it up.  Boil lemongrass in one cup of water for 2-3 minutes then add one cup of sugar slowly, stirring constantly to dissolve.  Bring to a boil then simmer for 3-5 minutes until syrupy.  Remove from heat and cool completely.  Pour through a strainer into a storage bottle.  Refrigerate.

Lawn Mower
from Nicole Aloni of The Backyard Bartender
1 cup diced, ripe honeydew, cantaloupe or seedless watermelon
1 oz vanilla vodka
1/2 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
1 tbsp roughly chopped fresh mint
About 1/2 cup cold brut Champagne or dry sparking wine
Puree the melon and strain into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Add vodka, Cointreau, lime juice and mint. Shake vigorously to infuse. Strain the mixture into chilled glass, top with champagne float.

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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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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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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by Bourbon Belle

Wishing for a drink that you just haven’t been able to find at your beloved watering hole? Or dreaming about making the perfect cocktail to suit a specific taste? It’s surprisingly easy to concoct a well-balanced cocktail in the classic style, so long as you keep a few basic rules of thumb in mind.

One of the earliest known definitions of the term “cocktail” comes from the May 1806 issue of The Balance, and Columbian Repository, a Hudson, N.Y.-based weekly newspaper of yore: “Cocktail is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters …”

So let’s start with the spirit of your choice—Bourbon’s as good as any. Next, you’ll want to sweeten it up for balance. Let’s go traditional and throw in some sweet vermouth. Following the cocktail “definition,” we’re going to add some bitters; Angostura bitters make for a traditional Manhattan. Now, let’s make an original by including a flavor you’d like to impart into your drink. What goes well with Bourbon? How about … peaches! Let’s add a touch of peach liqueur—Mathilde Peches is my personal choice. And now you have your own twist on a traditional cocktail, made to suit your own flavor preferences.

Just remember: a spirit, a sweetener, a bitter (fresh citrus juice is also great for balancing out the sweetness) and water (in most cases, just consider the melting ice sufficient).

Cin-cin!

BOURBON BELLE
3 ounces Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
1/2 ounce Mathilde Peches Liqueur
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth (Martini & Rossi or Cinzano preferred)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Fill a shaker with ice and add all ingredients. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

More fun and easy ways to create your own cocktail follows this same concept. Take a drink you like, and just put a little spin on it! Maybe you LOVE a classic Negroni, but sometimes prefer something a touch more smooth. Try another original created by one of our LUPEC ladies called the Contessa. Change up the Campari for Aperol, Campari’s less bitter cousin-as quoted from Hanky Panky the Weekly Dig 7.2.08-7.9.08) and even out the portions of all three ingredients.

The CONTESSA
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add:
1.5 oz Beefeater Gin
1.5 oz Aperol
1.5 oz Cinzano sweet vermouth
Stir and strain in a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with an orange twist

How about a classic Sidecar variation? Swap out the traditional brandy for Belle Brillet, a pear flavored Cognac, for a smooth and delicious Pear flavored Sidecar.

BELLE de BRILLET SIDECAR
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add:
2 oz Belle Brillet
.5 oz Cointreau
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
Shake gently and strain into a chilled cocktail glass that has been rimmed with raw sugar.
Garnish with an orange wheel

The sky’s the limit. After all, as Imbibe! author David Wondrich writes, “the small, idiomatic differences…are the mixographer’s delight!”

Cin cin!

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I never thought I would become attached to a kitchen tool. That is, until I met the Oxo angled measuring cup. The 2 oz measuring cup, shown on the right, allows one to accurately measure amounts as small as one quarter ounce. In addition to ounces, their are interior markings for tablespoons and the more traditional exterior markings for milliliters and cups. Mr. Jigger you have served me well, but from now on this detail oriented cocktail lover will be angling for Oxo. Let’s put that quarter ounce line to use.

The HOSKINS COCKTAIL
2 oz Plymouth Gin
.75 oz Torani Amer (or Amer Picon)
.5 oz Maraschino Liqueur
.25 oz Cointreau
1 dash orange bitters

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a flamed orange peel.

Cheers!

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After 95 years of being a big no no, absinthe is once again legal in the United States. Here in Boston we are fortunate to have wonderful liquor retailers such as Brix and Downtown Wine and Spirits so finding the two available absinthes, Lucid and Kubler, is a simple enough task. But what do you do once you’ve made that purchase?

Traditionally the consumption of absinthe was highly ritualized. At the end of a long, arduous day folks would meet for the green hour. With a glass of absinthe in hand, people would gather around an absinthe fountain. From multiple spigots ice water would slowly drip over sugar cube laden slotted absinthe spoons. As the glasses of absinthe slowly clouded over from the bottom up those waiting to imbibe would catch up on the day’s news and local gossip. Once the liquid was a uniform, pearly color the absinthe was ready to drink. Obviously not many of us today have an absinthe fountain hanging around, but you can easily replicate this process at home with a small pitcher of ice water, spoons and your good friends.
Of course as lovers of all things cocktail, the ladies of LUPEC love to use our absinthe to mix up something tasty during our green hour! Here are a few recipes to get you started.

CHRYSANTHEMUM COCKTAIL
2 oz French Vermouth
1 oz Benedictine
3 dashes Absinthe
Stir ingredients with ice. Strain into your favorite chilled vintage cocktail glass. Squeeze orange peel on top.

CORPSE REVIVER NO. 2*
.75 oz Dry Gin
.75 oz Lillet
.75 oz Cointreau
.75 oz Lemon Juice
1 dash Absinthe
Shake ingredients well with ice. Strain into your favorite chilled vintage cocktail glass.

* In The Savoy Cocktail Book author Harry Craddock noted “Four of these taken in quick succession will unrevive the corpse again.”

FASCINATOR COCKTAIL
2 oz Dry Gin
1 oz French Vermouth
2 dashes Absinthe
1 mint sprig
Shake ingredients well with ice. Strain cocktail through a tea strainer into your favorite chilled vintage cocktail glass.

Are you still thirsty and feeling a bit adventurous? Pull out your favorite recipes that call for pastis and substitute absinthe. Remember that absinthe can be kind of a bully, so start by using small quantities and then adjust to taste.

Cheers!

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