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Archive for the ‘Grenadine’ Category

*previously posted in DigBoston

 

Recent LUPEC inductee Heather Mojer turned a year older Wednesday! We raise a glass to this lovely bartending lady and to her chosen cocktail moniker, a tipple that was until recently extinct: Swedish Punsch.

Not to be confused with “punch,” the liqueur evolved from Batavia Arrack, a red rice-and-sugar cane based spirit native to Southeast Asia. The Swedish East India Company is responsible for importing the stuff, which eventually became beloved by Swedes far and wide. “To mollify the sailors on board the ships, they let them dive into the Batavia Arrack that they brought back from the East Indies,” Eric Seed told theNew York Times last spring. “They would mix that with sugar and maybe a touch of the spice, and that grog they called their punch.”

Swedish Punsch began to be bottled sometime in the 19th century and was classically enjoyed warm with pea soup as a Thursday night tradition. By the early 20th century Americans were putting it in—you guessed it—cocktails. As the story so often goes, Prohibition killed any momentum the category had and it was obsolete stateside until very recently.

Could selecting a nearly extinct tipple as her LUPEC name be more in keeping with our mission to breed, raise, and release endangered cocktails into the wild? We think not. For that we salute you, Heather—happy birthday!

Raise a glass and go pay Heather a visit at Hungry Mother, where she’ll surely mix you up something fancy with the stuff.

 

MAY BLOSSON FIZZ
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz grenadine
2 oz Swedish Punsch
Shake in iced cocktail shaker and strain into a highball glass. Fill with ice & top with soda.

 

CIN-CIN!


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*previously posted on March 9, 2012 in DigBoston

 

International Women’s Day is upon us, dear readers! The March 8th holiday isn’t something we celebrate with much gusto here in the states, but it’s celebrated heartily in other corners of the world. We first learned about Women’s Day from an ex-pat friend who lives in Italy, where Italian regazzi give their ladies yellow mimosas as they gather for women-only dinners and parties. Anyone who’s seen an episode of Sex and the City finds this commonplace, but in Italy, ladies night is not so. In Poland Women’s Day is similar to American Mother’s Day; in Pakistan it’s a day to commemorate the struggle for women’s rights.

Women’s Day arose after an important protest on March 8, 1908, when 15,000 women took to the streets of New York, marching for voting rights, shorter hours, and better pay. The Socialist Party of America declared National Women’s Day to be February 28 the following year.

The first International Women’s Day was celebrated on March 19, 1911, with more than a million men and women attending rallies around the globe, campaigning for women’s rights to vote, work, and hold public office. The holiday was moved to March 8 two years later and has been celebrated then ever since. In 1975 the holiday received official sanction from the U.N. and has been an officially sponsored holiday ever since.

This International Women’s Day, why not celebrate with a cocktail from the “Lady” category?

White Lady, Chorus Lady, Creole Lady—there are several but a Pink Lady will always be my go to.

Pink Lady

1.5 oz Plymouth gin
.5 oz applejack
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
.5 oz grenadine
1 egg white

Combine ingredients without ice in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Fill the shaker with ice and shake shake shake until frothy and delicious.

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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180px-elsiejanisAs you well know, LUPEC will celebrate lady veterans of all stripes at the LUPEC Boston “USO Show” on November 21, a 1940s themed cocktail party and retro-variety show. Before the USO even existed, there was trailblazing entertainer Elsie Janis “the sweetheart of the A.E.F.”, for whom we raise a in this week’s Dig column. Elsie Janis was a lifetime performer: she debuted on the stage at age 2, and made a name for herself in the vaudeville circuit as child star “Little Elsie”. As an adult, Janis became a headline act on Broadway and in London, and spent her later years working as a screenwriter, songwriter, and actor in Hollywood.

Elsie Janis’s self-proclaimed “high point” came when she took her song and dance comedy show on the road to entertain American troops during World War I. Janis’ involvement with the war effort began in 1914, when she began incorporating patriotic songs into her vaudeville act, and using her shows as a stateside recruiting tool. After the US entered into the war, Janis traveled to France to entertain troops on the front lines.

A New York Times article published on June 17, 1918 describes the effect she had on the troops:

And at last…a locomotive trundled in out of the night, in its cab a pair of proud and grinning engineers, on its cowcatcher, Elsie Janis.

A moment later and the engine was near enough to the stage for her to clear the space at a single jump and there she was, with her black velvet tam pushed back on her tossing hair, with her eyes alight and her hands uplifted, her whole voice thrown into the question which is the beginning and end of morale, which is the most important question in the army:

‘Are we downhearted?’

You can only faintly imagine the thunderous ‘No’ with which the train shed echoed till the peaceful French households in the neighborhood wondered what those epatants Americans would be up to next. And it is the whole point of Elsie Janis…that whatever the spirit of the boys before her coming they really meant that “No” with all there was in them, that any who might have been just a little downhearted before felt better about it after seeing and hearing her.

show3sm

Performing as the “Sweetheart of the American Expeditionary Forces ” was indeed the role of a lifetime. Janis remained committed to the fighting men she entertained after the war, and even created a revue featuring some of the out of work soldiers she’d entertained, called

Elsie Janis and Her Gang which hit the stage in the fall of 1919. Critics predicted that no one would want to hear about the war after it ended, but Janis considered the show a success. Janis also wrote a memoir of her experiences entertaining the troops which was published in 1919, titled The Big Show: My Six Months with the American Expeditionary Forces.

The period after the war was tough on Janis, as fewer and fewer people wanted to hear about the war and her work entertaining troops in Europe, a period that she considered “her high point.” As she later wrote in her autobiography, “[T]he war was my high spot and I think there is only one real peak in each life!”

But, as the New York Times argued, the positive impact Janis and performers like her had on the troops could not be overlooked:

When she leads a leather-lunged regiment in the strains of “God Save Kaiser Bill” the future of that uneasy monarch really seems more insecure than it did, and it is not fanciful to say that more than one company has marched off to its first night in the trenches with brighter eyes, squarer shoulders, and a more gallant swing because, at the very threshold of safety, this lanky and lovely lady from Columbus, Ohio, waved and sang and cheered them on their way.”

We’ll drink to that!

THE ATTA BOY COCKTAILapreslaguerresm
2 oz gin
1/2 oz dry vermouth
2 dashes grenadine
Stir in mixing glass with ice & strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

* Images borrowed from the Ohio State University Libaries Exhibitions website & wikipedia***

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Welcome to the Endangered Cocktail of the Month, a new feature on the LUPEC Boston online home. To help us achieve our goals of “breeding, raising, and releasing nearly extinct drinks into the wild”, LUPEC Boston will select a new classic cocktail to revive at local bars and restaurants each month. We’ll write about the drink here and in our newsletter, and supply explicit instructions for how to make one at home – or how to instruct your local barkeep in making one. We encourage you to print (or write down) this recipe and bring it to your favorite local bar while you’re out and about this month, thus spread the gospel of the Endangered Cocktail and enriching the collective knowledge base of our city’s bartenders.

THE SCOFF LAW COCKTAIL
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add:
1.5 oz Old Overholt Rye Whiskey
1 oz. dry vermouth
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz. fresh grenadine

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

The Scoff Law Cocktail originated during prohibition and was named in honor of those who refused to recognize the 18th amendment. For more history of the cocktail, check out this post.

There are also several variations on this cocktail, many of which substitute grenadine with Green Chartreuse. If your local bar only carries bottled grenadine, opt for the Chartreuse version instead. We wholeheartedly support (and enjoy) these variations!

Please drop us a note to let us know about your experiences in the field, reviving The Scoff Law.

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by Pink Lady

While putting together this week’s Weekly Dig column on syrups I became intrigued about the origins of grenadine. This delicious pomegranate syrup is a key ingredient in both my namesake cocktail AND my favorite kiddie cocktail (the Shirley Temple). But when, exactly, did this delicious syrup become a fashionable mixer?

While writing about the Daisy in Imbibe, David Wondrich refers to the cocktail circa the 1870s as “something of a dude’s drink, a little bit of fanciness that came empinkened with grenadine.” Maybe it started then-ish?

Who knows. The I could find little data on who innovated the use of grenadine in cocktails, but a few of the following, totally unrelated facts popped up repeatedly as I searched:

  • There is a chain of Islands located in the Caribbean that share the same name as the delicious syrup. Nary a pomegranate grows on these islands, though. Nor to they grow on the adjacent island of Grenada.
  • The French word for pomegranate? La grenade. The Spanish word? La Granada. There is some speculation that these islands got their name from early settlers who thought the island’s shape resembled that of the fruit. I mean, maybe that happened…
  • There is an odd/fascinating legal situation a-brew wherein Grenada and/or the Grenadine islands are looking to claim rights to the name of the ruby red syrup, thus profiting from the sales of Grenadine with a capital “G”. Read more about it here.

Irrelevant facts aside, some more recipes for the stuff can be found at the end of this post.

I also learned that “Simple Syrup” is pretty much anything but, thanks to an illuminating article chemist-turned-mixologist Darcy O’Neil contributed to the first edition of Mixologist: The Journal of the American Cocktail.

The task at hand will always involve dissolving sugar in water, of course. But the method by which you do so — over heat, or hot process, vs. cold process — will have a dramatic effect on the flavor & consistency of your syrup. Heated syrup will be thinner, due to a higher presence of fructose, whereas syrup dissolved at room temperature will be nice and thick, and 100% sucrose. Rather than butchering Mr. O’Neil’s eloquent explanation, I suggest you purchase a copy of the book and check out his excellent blog. In the interim, here are simple syrup recipes for you to play around with.

As with all things cocktail, make a few batches, try ‘em in a few cocktails, and use whichever suits you best.

Simple Syrup:

A cold-process shakey-shakey method from King Cocktail, Dale Degroff
from the Craft of the Cocktail

Fill a cork bottle halfway with superfine sugar, the other half with water. Shake vigorously until most of the sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. It will remain cloudy for 5 minutes; after it clears, shake again briefly and it is ready to use. Stored in the refrigerator between uses, Simple Syrup will last for several weeks.

Darcy O’Neil’s Simple Syrup
from Mixologist: the Journal of the American Cocktail

Ingredients: 2 cups sugar 2 cups water, 1/4- cup corn syrup, 1000 ML bottle (with milliliters marks on the side)

Add 2 – cups of water to a pan and bring it to a simmer, 122 – 140 degrees Fahrenheit, or ’til it’s just slightly too hot to put your finger in for more than a few seconds. Add 2 cups of table sugar and 1/4 cup of corn syrup and leave on heat for 30 seconds. Remove pan from heat, stir until all is dissolved. Let solution cool then add to a bottle. Fill the bottle up to 1000 ML and shake.

NOTE: To try this recipe cold process, add sugar, water, and corn syrup to a 1000 ML bottle and shake ’til all is dissolved. Top off with water.

Grenadine:

A cold process shakey-shakey method from David Wondrich’s Killer Cocktails
borrowed from Paul Clarke’s Cocktail Chronicles

Take one cup of pomegranate juice, and place it in a jar with one cup of granulated sugar. Seal tightly and shake like hell until all of the sugar is dissolved. Add another ounce or two of sugar and repeat.

Clarke suggests: Adding an ounce of high-proof vodka or grain alcohol as a preservative, and storing in a plastic container in the freezer: “the high volume of sugar keeps it from freezing, and you can just tip out a little frigid syrup each time you need it.” Thanks, Paul!

Cin-cin!

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by Pink Lady

Hopefully you all caught the debut of the LUPEC Boston column in this week’s issue of The Weekly Dig. As promised, here’s a little more info on our favorite recipe for the Pink Lady, and a few notes on why I thought it an appropriate choice as the very first cocktail for our very first Dig column.

At first glance The Pink Lady appears to bear all the trappings of a “girly” drink – a feminine name, an approachable frothiness, a pastel hue. But the Pink Lady is no drink for the faint of heart: its tart-dry flavor is a far cry from the cloyingly sweet “girly” cocktails we’re wary of in this modern era of drinking. And its boozy gin & apple brandy base packs a whallop. As Eric Felten wrote in his Wall Street Journal column on the topic, “though a tasty drink worthy of inclusion in the cocktail canon, the Pink Lady has found its reputation dogged by association with a dubious aesthetic.” It is a cocktail that is easily underestimated. After enjoying one or two of these, though, I’m sure you’ll agree: ladylike as she is, the Pink Lady kicks ass and takes names. She’s a LUPEC kind of gal. Our favorite recipe is below:

PINK LADY COCKTAIL
1.5 oz gin
.5 oz applejack
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
.5 oz grenadine (preferably homemade)
1 egg white
Combine ingredients in a shaker and shake vigorously without ice.

Add ice; shake continue vigorous shaking. Strain into your favorite vintage cocktail glass. There are two classic cocktail lessons inherent in the making of a Pink Lady:

Lesson #1: Quality of ingredients: your drinks will only taste as good as the stuff you use to make them. Most of the cocktails the ladies of LUPEC Boston are intent on reviving were invented in the days before preservatives kept juices intact for weeks on end. When trying them out at home, you too should use the freshest ingredients you can find. For the Pink Lady you’ll need fresh lemons and we highly recommend using homemade grenadine: the flavor is leaps and bounds beyond the stuff you can buy in a bottle, and it’s really simple to make. Hanky Panky’s recipe is below.

Grenadine

Combine equal parts pomegranate juice (Pom, par example) and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 7 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1 tsp orange flower water for every 1/2 cup pomegranate juice used. Cool.

Lesson #2: Eggs in cocktails: We know, we know. The whole “egg thing” is a really weird concept for many classic cocktail novices, but I promise you, your trip down classic cocktail lane won’t be nearly as fulfilling if you can’t get over it. As you cozy up to the raw-egg-in-a-drink idea, ask yourself: when is the last time you ever heard of someone in America actually getting salmonella? And if I offered you a taste of delicious raw batter from the cookies I’ve just whipped up, would you decline? I thought not. If you’re still having doubts, check out this recent article in the New York Times: see, eggs are HUGE in New York.

Once you’re ready to take the egg plunge, get your biceps ready. For egg cocktails to reach the delicious, frothy state that is their hallmark, you’ve got to shake the bejesus out of them. First, however, the egg white must be emulsified, hence the instruction to combine all ingredients in your shaker and give ‘em a good shake BEFORE adding ice. A very insightful post on the topic can be found on the Robert Huegel’s Explore the Pour blog: the author advocates shaking ingredients ten times, then add just slightly more ice than the amount of standing liquid in your shaker.

After adding ice, shake…and shake…and shake…and shake your Pink Lady, remembering all the while that egg cocktails take time — a LONG time — but once they are perfect and complete in your cocktail glass, just seconds from slipping down your throat, they are oh so worth the labor and the wait.

Like anything worth doing, really.

Cin-cin!

Pink Lady photo borrowed from the Thinking of Drinking blog.

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texas1

by Pinky Gonzales

…This was the standard greeting you’d likely receive from the jovial, peroxide blonde manning the house at one of several Manhattan speakeasies during Prohibition. Of course, this would foreshadow the spending of all your dough, on illegal hooch and tips for the showgirls. You’d happily fork over $25 (back then no chump change) for a fifth of Scotch, or $2 for a pitcher of water if you brought your own “booster”, and whatever else followed. texasclubsignThe place would probably be packed, open a few hours later than all the rest, and the wisecracking, witty pal of Mae West named Texas Guinan would be seeing to it you were having a darned good time.

Before being seduced into the world of club ownership through bartending and guest emceeing, Texas started out in Vaudville, then in Westerns as an actress and producer. 1917′s The Wildcat introduced America’s first movie cowgirl.
1926_burlesque_drena_beach
Her nite club career included “the grandaddy of speakeasies,” the El Fey Club, opened in 1924 with gangster Larry Fey. Later came Club Intime, a Dorothy Parker hangout and subterranean spot near Times Square where entry would involve a steep staircase, two bouncers and a peephole. There was also the Rendezvous, the 300 Club, the Argonaut, the Century, the Salon Royal, and Tex Guinan’s. Infamous for being hauled off to the pokey on a regular basis and having her joints shut down by Feds, Texas enjoyed having the band strikeup “The Prisoner’s Song” on her way out the door. And always would she deny selling anything but “mixers” to at her clubs, noting “a man could get hurt falling off a bar stool!” Re-opening after raids, she would sometimes wear a necklace of gold padlocks just to show the cops there were no hard feelings. guntex1_1She worked tirelessly until age 49, when she was stricken by illness and passed away. 12,000 attended her 1933 funeral procession in Manhattan, and a month later to the day of her death, Prohibition was repealed. Looks like a Women’s History Month toast is in store for this gal!

SCOFF LAW COCKTAIL (what else?)
1 oz rye whiskey
1 oz dry vermouth
.75 oz fresh lemon juice
.75 oz green Chartreuse (or pomegranate grenadine according to some recipes – also excellent)
2 dashes orange bitters
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Cheers!

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It’s the romantic day of the year…according to Hallmark, anyway.

Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day gives us all good reason to kick back a few. Here are some LUPEC approved vaguely pink concoctions to get you through:

Bourbon Belle suggests…

The French Velvet

In a champagne flute add equal parts

Guinness
Champagne or Sparkling Wine
.25 oz Chambord

Sounds like a delightfully butch take on V-Day, n’est-ce pas? Thanks, BB!

Moscow Mule didn’t think Sex on the Beach sounded dreamy & romantic enough. Instead, try…

Bachelor’s Bait

1 1/2 oz gin

1 egg white
1 dash orange bitters
1/4 grenadine

Shake in iced cocktail shaker & strain. Serve in a cocktail glass.

Is it bait for the bachelor or bait for the objet d’amour? Thanks, MM!

Now let’s all raise a glass to love and the color pink!

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