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Archive for the ‘Mixology Monday’ 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!

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by Pink Lady

mxmologoHere ye, here ye! LUPEC Boston is proud to announce that the March edition of Mixology Monday will be hosted right here, at our virtual home.

Mixology Monday is a monthly online cocktail party that unites cocktail enthusiasts from around the globe. Drinkers come together to share cocktail recipes and related information in this friendly online environment, focusing thinking and drinking on a different theme each month. Previous MxMo’s have included Hard Drinks for Hard Times, Broaden Your Horizons, Spice, and Guilty Pleasures. Our party’s theme is “First Time”.

This event was inspired by a chance encounter I had with an almost-famous Christian rock musician who, at age 32, had never had a cocktail. “I’d like to try one sometime,” he said, “What do you think I should have?”

It’s an excellent question, and one I though best vetted by wide audience of experts: What drink do you suggest for the delicate palate of the cocktail neophyte? Something boozy and balanced, sure – but one wrong suggestion could relegate the newbie to a beer-drinker’s life. To which go-to cocktails do you turn to when faced with the challenge?

Here’s how to play:

  1. By Monday, March 9 mix, drink, and write about a good gateway drink for the cocktail virgin.
  2. Let us know your homework is done by sending a note to pinklady@lupecboston.com or lupec@lupecboston.com. Or leave a comment here with the link to your post.
  3. No blog? No problem! Thanks to our good friends at eGullet’s Spirits & Cocktails Forum, every month non-bloggers are invited to chip in their post in a designated thread on the forum. You’ll need to be signed up with eGullet; head on over there for details.
  4. Link back to LUPEC Boston as well as the Mixology Monday site,  so as to help spread the gospel of MxMo. Please include the MxMo logo in your post, too, for consistency’s sake.

We’ll post a round-up as soon as possible after MxMo, so you can compare notes. The ladies of LUPEC aspire to try as many of your drinks as possible, but you may have to check back for coverage of that experiment.

We’ll also compile both a Master List and a Short List of gateway cocktails to send to the Cocktail Virgin who inspired this whole mess. You can check back for that story as it unfolds, too.

Go forth and mix! We can’t wait to taste your beautiful cocktails.

Cin-cin!

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It’s Mixology Monday again! This month we are, with our host Jimmy’s Cocktail Hour, exploring Variations.

Here in Boston the ladies of LUPEC have been very excited with the recent availability of the Rothman and Winter Creme de Violette. It’s always thrilling to have a new product available, but in this case this is a new old product which opens up yet another window into cocktail past. In honor of our new favorite spirit we are going to take a look at three cocktails featuring gin, creme de violette, absinthe and french vermouth.

Within my modest collection of cocktail tomes I found the first recipe for the Atty Cocktail in The Savoy Cocktail Book.
ATTY COCKTAIL
1/4 French Vermouth
3 dashes Absinthe
3/4 Dry Gin
3 dashes Creme de Violette
Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.
Now we adore all of the ingredients in this cocktail and think it is delicious. However when looking for a cocktail to showcase the Creme de Violette this would not be our first choice so let’s continue on to some other variations…

Thumbing through Patrick Gavin Duffy’s Official Mixer’s Manual we find the Attention Cocktail.
ATTENTION COCKTAIL
1/4 French Vermouth
1/4 Absinthe
1/4 Gin
1/4 Creme de Violette
2 Dashes Orange Bitters
Stir well with cracked ice and strain.
Once again, all things we love, but equal parts doesn’t really work for us. The strength of the Absinthe overpowers the other ingredients.

Jones’ Complete Bar Guide has the following recipe:
ATTENTION
1 oz gin
1/2 oz Pernod
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1/2 oz creme de violette
2 dashes orange bitters
Ah…we’re getting closer. The increase in the base spirit created a nice platform for the other flavors. Truth be told, we used Ricard instead of Pernod…desperate times call for desperate measures. The Ricard still was a bit powerful, but seemed to complement the Creme de Violette rather than battle it as was the case with Absinthe.

Sticking with Mr Jones we find the Arsenic and Old Lace. From the name alone we have very high hopes!
ARSENIC AND OLD LACE
1-1/2 oz Gin
1/2 oz Absinthe or substitute
1/4 oz dry vermouth
1/2 oz creme de violette
Once again we used Ricard and it was good, but we miss the bitters.

So in conclusion, there is no conclusion. As women dedicated to our cause we will happily continue our research!

Cheers!

Oh my goodness! I almost forgot two very important things!

A huge shout out to Eric Seed, the man behind the availability of Creme de Violette. Besides having the cutest daughter in the world who claps when she eats head cheese, through Haus Alpenz he is making amazing products available to us! Please check out his website and encourage your local retailers and bars to carry his products.

For an updated variation on the Arsenic and Old Lace head over to this post on Cocktail Chronicles where Paul Clarke checks out Simon Difford’s Flower Power Martini.

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