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*LUPEC Boston’s latest ruminations, in case you missed ‘em in this week’s Dig.

by Pink Lady

Regular readers of our column or blog are well aware of LUPEC’s mission to “breed, raise and release endangered cocktails into the wild,” spreading great stories, lore and cocktail history whenever we can. But another main initiative of this group is to give back to our community. Fabulous as we may be, most members of our little club will never be in a position to donate a wing to a local hospital or community center. Instead, we fundraise in the best way we know how: by throwing dress-up cocktail parties. We’ve raised over $20,000 for local women’s charities this way since our group’s inception in 2007.

Our first event was a 1920s-themed speakeasy held on a clandestine riverboat permanently docked in the Boston Harbor, and it benefited Jane Done Inc., the Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. Last year, we threw a 1940s-themed USO-style variety show with swing dancing, burlesque and live comedy to benefit women at the New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans. This year, we’re planning a tiki bash of epic proportions.

On November 14th, we will transform the Villa Victoria Center for the Arts into a 1950s-themed tiki party featuring retro libations and canapés provided by Toro, Green Street, the Franklin Café and more. Island Creek Oysters will be on-hand shucking delicious “Duxbury pearls” and the Boston Derby Dames will skate around with sweets provided by Taza Chocolate. Through the Keyhole Burlesque, ukulele master Uke Springsteen, DJ Brother Cleve and other live acts will entertain. Tickets, a wallet-friendly $35 in advance/$45 at the door, are on sale now.

Why tiki in November? Why not? With exotic décor and whimsical cocktails, a night at Trader Vic’s or Don the Beachcomber’s offered un-ironic escapism in its heyday, a flavor-packed counterpoint in the era of vodkatinis and The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. As tiki expert Jeff “Beach Bum” Berry told the Washington Post earlier this year, “A tiki bar was where the mid-century Organization Man went to escape his white-collar job, his big mortgage and the threat of nuclear annihilation.”

With a long cold winter on the horizon, we Bostonians could use a little escapism, too.

THE HAWAIIAN ROOM

FROM THE HAWAIIAN ROOM OF THE HOTEL LEXINGTON, NYC, CIRCA 1940S

ADAPTED FROM JEFF BERRY & ANNENE KAYE’S BEACHBUM BERRY’S GROG LOG

0.5 oz fresh lemon juice

0.5 oz unsweetened pineapple juice

0.5 oz Applejack

0.5 oz triple sec

1 oz light Puerto Rican rum

Shake well with plenty of ice cubes. Strain into a cocktail glass.

CIN-CIN!

PURCHASE TICKETS TO THE LUPEC BOSTON TIKI BASH ONLINE AT THEBOSTONSHAKER.COM, GRAND IN SOMERVILLE, TORO IN THE SOUTH END, DRINK IN FORT POINT, TRINA’S STARLITE LOUNGE IN SOMERVILLE, OR BUCKAROO’S MERCANTILE IN CAMBRIDGE. CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS.

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by Pink Lady

Thanks to everyone who came out for our spectacular Sip & Shop at Grand yesterday! LUPEC was thrilled to team up with the Boston Shaker store to welcome special guests Dale & Jill DeGroff, who signed many books and shook many hands as we manned the Absinthe fountain and doled out delicious, spooky punch (recipes below.)

Special props to all who attended in costume, as well. We had a tough time deciding on the best one, with Wonder Woman, Quailman, and Jackie Kennedy, and more all strong contenders. The final winner was the Beekeeper, whose attention to detail (real bee carcasses attached to his jumpsuit and his very own bee) put his costume over the top. The Beekeeper was awarded a free ticket to the LUPEC Boston Tiki Bash. We can’t wait to see what he dreams up for that dress-up party.

Relive the moment at home with an individual-sized version of the cocktails we served as punch :

CORPSE REVIVER NO. 2
.75 oz Hendricks
.75 oz Lillet
.75 oz Cointreau
.75 oz lemon
dash of absinthe

Shake with ice & strain into a chilled vintage cocktail glass. Originally a hangover helped designed to help moisten the clay on any given Tuesday.
BLOODBATH PUNCH
1 oz Bourbon
1 oz Dubonnet Rouge
.5 oz Cherry Heering
.5 oz Orange Juice
Angostura Orange Bitters

Shake with ice & strain into a chilled cocktail glass. A riff on the Blood & Sand, only far more ghoulish.

Cin-cin!

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photo

by Bourbon Belle

In Parts I and II, we discussed how to make your own fresh syrups to substitute those artificially flavored and colored store brands products like grenadine, and/or to create a syrup flavor that isn’t commercially available.

Today we’ll be discussing how to make some simple and delicious sweetened preserved cherries for garnishing cocktails, in place of those artificial, borderline florescent cherries we know of today as the “maraschino” cherry.

Maraschino cherries were originally named as such because their earliest recipes included the use of the marasca cherry, preserved in a liqueur made from this cherry, called Maraschino liqueur.

Over the years, Americans began experimenting with different types of cherries as well as with different flavors, leading eventually to the substitution of the marasca cherry with the Queen Anne cherry, (among others) and the addition of flavors like natural almond extract.  Because of a 1912 USDA regulation stating that the maraschino cherry is defined as “marasca cherries preserved in maraschino liqueur” under the Food and Drugs act of 1906, these new adapted cherry recipes had to be labeled as “imitation maraschino cherries”.  Over time these cherries continued to suffer further insult when Maraschino liqueur was substituted with, and then replaced altogether by, a non-alcoholic brine solution for use as a preservative.  There is much dispute whether this brine substitution occurred before or during Prohibition in the United States, but regardless, the end result is the same; what was at one time a natural liquor preserved and deliciously flavored delicacy, became a bleached, brined and artificially colored excuse for a piece of fruit.

Back to basics, I say!  There are many different ways to go about making sweetened preserved cherries, with the most popular being the Brandied Cherry. The following recipe is an adaptation from several different recipes I’ve researched.

BRANDIED CHERRIES

4 lbs dark sweet cherries
2 cups water
1.5 cups sugar
2.5 cups “good” Brandy (something you’d actually consider sipping is a good start)
juice of 1 lemon

Wash, de-stem and pit cherries.  In a large saucepan heat water, sugar, and lemon juice, stirring frequently, until boiling.  Add cherries and brandy and reduce heat. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Let cool and place in an airtight glass jar. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Other ways to preserve cherries can be even simpler! I’ve preserved cherries in Yellow Chartreuse, and even in St Germain, by simply pitting the cherries and pouring the straight booze over top, making sure the cherries are completely submerged. These cherries need to soak for a minimum of 1-2 weeks, but can last up to several months, as long as the cherries stay beneath the surface of the booze.  Try using your favorite liqueur, but keep in mind, liqueurs on the sweeter side, (as long as the alcohol content is at least 25%) tend to work best.

And here’s a recipe we’re happy to sip through cherry season and beyond:

CHERRY COBBLER
1.25 plymouth
.75 St-Germain
.5 oz fresh lemon
.25 fresh grenadine

Build over ice in a highball glass. Top with soda. Garnish with 2 or more brandied cherries

Cin-cin!

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Mint Juleps at GRAND

“I’m from the South, you know…my mother served these at her fifth wedding.”
-Mint-juelp sampling guest at the GRAND yesterday

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the Shop & Sip at GRAND (the store) yesterday! Especially those who turned out in seersucker, sundresses and “say something” hats.

For those who missed the event but would like to mix some of these up at home, here’s the recipe. Sip one of these while you ruminate over which pony to put your money on next Saturday. For authentic julep cups to help make your Derby Day festivities as authentic as can be, stop by the Boston Shaker store at GRAND.

CLASSIC MINT JULEP

2 springs of mint
1 oz simple syrup
2 oz Eagle Rare Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Crushed Ice

Pour simple syrup into a glass. Gently muddle one sprig of mint into the simple syrup, then remove mint.

Fill glass with crushed ice, then add Bourbon, top with more crushed ice, and stir.

Garnish with the fresh sprig of mint and enjoy!

Cin cin!

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We LUPEC broads love to cocktail for a cause, so whenever we’re out and about and know our bar is doing their part to go green we feel pretty good stumbling home.

the perfect cocktail garnish plucked from your windowsil.

the perfect cocktail garnish plucked from your windowsil.

Kudos to some of our favorites (as mentioned in this week’s Dig), who have been doing it so long it’s old hat by now — yet still awesome. The staff at Toro in the South End has their bases covered, actively reducing their carbon footprint every day. Our favorite angle? They source locally grown and sustainably raised ingredients whenever possible, reducing the “food miles” ingredients must travel from the farm to our kitchen to your plate, and use virtually all parts of the animal being served whenever possible, harking back to rural traditions of reduced waste and delicious thrift. Additionally, all take-out products are made from biodegradable materials, all glass is recycled, biodegradable waste is composted, and an in-house water filtration system supplies guests who yearn for “Sparkling or Still.”

Christopher’s, Cambridge Common, Lizard Lounge, Toad and West Side Lounge in Cambridge use Save That Stuff for recycling and send compost to Brick Ends Farm in Hamilton. How did they get started? Owner Holly Helsop told us “It was one of our goals when we opened Christopher’s in 1981, and it’s grown from there. So we began recycling, installed an in-house water purification system (eliminating the need for bottled water)… from the very beginning.” Are patrons surprised/curious/delighted when they find out about the initiatives? Yes, however, since they “never intended to use our commitment as a ‘draw’ we haven’t really done too much in the way of publicizing what we do. We would do it anyway.” *swoon!*

Owners Bob & Mary Jo Sargent of Flora have been committed to supporting local/organic farmers for nearly two decades. Their wine list contains several biodynamic and organic wines. They even save wine corks for crafts people and local home-based wine makers — resourceful, no?

The Independent in Union Square hosts organic wines and local & craft beers, serves organic food, and recycles. Done and done!

Get your garnishes fresh and local: grow’em or find a farmer’s market at www.massfarmersmarkets.org.

More tips for your home bar can be found here, here and here.

Know of a bar worth a mention? Comment away! Know of a bar that you wish was on board? Let them know it’s important, easy, and cheap to go green.

HOME ON THE RANGE
1 oz bourbon
1 oz Red Dubonnet
1/2 oz Cointreau
1 dash Angostura bitters
Add orange & lemon peels, stir in mixing glass with ice & strain

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Ladylike Imbibers, All

In the annals of literature on “how to be a proper lady,” there is no volume that instructs how to have a well-mannered bar crawl. We borrowed a page from history to see how a recent night out in search of female bartenders fits the “rules of decorum.” You can check that out in this Week’s Dig, though we don’t suggest setting foot on the path without a cocktail in hand.

Recipes for some of the drinks we tried that night are below…recipes for the ones we sheepishly admit to enjoying when no one’s looking…well, those will have to wait until we’ve had a few of these.

ALASKA

Stir in mixing glass with ice & strain:
2 1/4 oz. Junipero gin
3/4 oz. Y. Chartreuse
generous dash Orange #9 bitters (made for Drink by Bitterman’s)
wimpy dash Angostura Orange bitters

Serve in a cocktail glass.

PEGU CLUB

Shake in iced cocktail shaker & strain:
1 3/4 oz. Beefeater gin
3/4 oz. Senior Orange Curacao
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1 + dashes Angostura bitters
Serve in a cocktail glass.

VIEUX CARRE

1 oz. cognac
1 oz. rye
1 oz. sweet vermouth
1/8 oz. Benedictine
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Mix all ingredients in a glass over ice; stir.

EL GITANO

Shake in iced cocktail shaker & strain:

2 parts Hendricks gin

1 part Meyer lemon simple syrup

.5 part Green Chartreuse

Garnish with a lemon wheel.

SAICAR

Shake in iced cocktail shaker & strain:

1 part Corzo Reposado tequila

1 part Brandy

1 part sour mix (home made, with juice of lemons & limes)

.75 oz Cointeau

Serve in a cocktail glass rimmed with Demerera sugar and salt.


VERDAD Y AMOR

Shake in iced cocktail shaker:

2 parts hibiscus infused tequila

1 part ginger simple syrup

1 part lime

Serve over ice in a glass half-rimmed with ginger powder-salt mixture.

CAVA COCKTAIL

Soak a sugar cube in grapefruit bitters. Place in the bottom of a champagne flute and cover with yellow Chartreuse. Top with cava, garnish with a lime twist.

Check out this post for notes on the SAZERAC.

FRISCO

Shake with cracked ice and strain:
2 oz rye whiskey
1/4 oz Benedictine
3/4 oz lemon juice
Serve in a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon slice.

LAST WORD

Shake well with ice and strain:

3/4 ounce gin
3/4 ounce lime juice
3/4 ounce green Chartreuse
3/4 ounce maraschino liqueur

Serve in a chilled cocktail glass.

AMPERSAND

Stir with ice and strain.

1 part Old Tom gin
1 part cognac
1 part sweet vermouth

Serve up in an old fashioned glass.

NEGRONI

Stir in mixing glass with ice & strain.
1 oz gin
1 oz sweet vermouth
1 oz Campari
Serve in a cocktail glass.

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by Pink Lady and Hanky Pankymxmologo

At long last, the ladies of LUPEC Boston present: MxMo XXXVII, THE ROUND-UP.

We thank you all for contributing your witty, funny, expertise on the topic of “First Time”. This was no “desert island cocktail conversation” – as we mentioned in our intro, these cocktails will be culled, vetted, and sent off to the real, live Cocktail Virgin who got us into this mess. (He thanks you in advance, too.) He’s in for a real treat: since none of you seem to agree, the cocktail list is going to be wicked long.

While some suggested cocktails came up time and again, there was great variety in your suggested gateway drinks. In some cases, your viewpoints on flavor profile were so diamterically opposed, we only wished we were hashing this out together publicly in some bar. Here’s a little glimpse of MxMo BY THE NUMBERS:

  1. of “first time” contributors: 5
  2. of posts disparaging the Cosmo: 1
  3. of posts recommending the Cosmo: 2

# of posts both disparaging AND recommending the Cosmo: 1

  1. of posts recommending the Mojito: 2
  2. of posts recommending the Corpse Reviver: 4
  3. of posts that say the Corpse Reviver is the LAST cocktail you should give your cocktail virgin: 3
  4. of posts recommending the Tom Collins: 4
  5. of posts recommending the Sidecar: 5

Without further ado, here’s the synthesis. And don’t forget to skip over to eGullet, where the lively thread on the topic favored the Sidecar and a darling little drink from PDT called the Vieux Mot.

PayStyle over at Umami Mart was a first-time contributor  to MxMo and gets special awesome points for being the first to post on the topic. We enjoyed reading his thoughts on his own cocktail awakening: Although I’ve been drinking for quite a long time, and am thankful and somewhat surprised that I haven’t yet developed a problem, I feel that in the past few years I’ve started to drink for the first time all over again.” To help shepherd others through the same experience, he suggests the L’Amant, a drink named after a Margeurite Duras novel about the awakening of passion and “the transformational journey that life beholds for those willing to take on new experiences, which ultimately enable us to view our world in an entirely new way.” Welcome aboard, cocktail neophytes.


Samantha over at Drinks for the House was also a first-time MxMo contrib – we’re delighted to note that our newbie focused theme inspired her to play. This “cocktail moderate” was looking for a drink with “a bit of the cocktailian touch, without being too intimidating.” Her exotically garnished Spring Blossom cocktail is as approachable as it sounds, which she blames largely on the St-Germain: “If one ingredient could bring the cocktail enthusiasts and cocktail masses of the world together this one would be it.”


One the exact opposite end of the spectrum, fellow Bostonian Frederic from Cocktail Virgin Slut breaks in newbies with the brandy-based Hoop-La. Frederic lists the brandy base as a great place to start because “Brandy, unlike vodka, has a flavor; however, it is not as initially objectionable to a novice drinker as gin, tequila, or whiskey, so it is a good way to teach someone that boozes themselves can taste good and are not something that they should try to mask with various mixers.” Good call, Frederic. Additionally, the addition of Lillet Blanc “can teach drinkers that similar products, namely vermouths, can make drinks taste better and not worse.” Getting people to drink vermouth is a constant battle, and we’ll take whatever help we can get. Frederic also suggests an Elephants Sometimes Forget, which features gin and Cherry Heering in a pleasing tart cherry combination that could easily seduce a vodka drinker.

Two at the Most‘s Stevi Deter thinks the best gateway cocktail for the cocktail virgin is “the simple, elegant, and oft-abused daiquiri.” As Deter explains, the drink is easy to make (lime, rum, sugar), easy to drink (and hard to screw up), easy to play with (she subs whatever her rum du moment happens to be), and a great introduction to cocktail geekery (thanks to the many competing stories of how the daiquiri got its name, and the great variations that lurk just yonder, like the Hemingway Daiquiri and the Papa Doble.) The ladies of LUPEC sampled these at a meeting in honor of Jackie Kennedy, as it was allegedly her favorite drink during her years in the White House.

Jay at Oh Gosh! can name a gateway cocktail for every spirit – and reasons why they might put off the virgin drinker. His final prognosis is that the “fresh, tasty and very easily approachable” Oh Gosh cocktail lands well every time. He happily notes that, “It’s been a while since I drank an Oh Gosh!, but trying it again tonight reminds me why I like them so much. I could have named this site after plenty of other cocktails I liked at the time, some of which I wouldn’t be so pleased about now, but happily the Oh Gosh! still tastes pretty decent to me.”

Max Watman of The Ocean of Intemperance invokes the cautionary tale of Robet Benchley, a contemporary of Dorothy Parker and founder of the Algonquin Round Table. He was a teetotaler ’til his 30s, much like the Cocktail Virgin that inspired this month’s MxMo. Benchley’s gateway cocktail was an Orange Blossom: one night, seemingly out of nowhere, he had another and another and another of these, and eventual;y drank his way to death’s doorstep. As Watman reminds us, “there is a certain amount of responsibility called for when introducing a neophyte to the drinking life.”

Coming to us live from Sweden, Tiare Olsen at A Mountain of Crushed Ice presents a Tom Spicy Ginger Collins, a gussied up Tom Collins with cardamom and ginger. We particularly appreciated her suggesting “a cocktail that I still feel nostalgic about when I think about it the drink”, as nostalgia is a key draw for many of us to cocktail culture. Packed with exotic, culinary flavor,  this would be an especially perfect gateway for any “newbie” who is also a “foodie.”

The Alpha Cook underscores the ever present problem of non-drinkers being a tricky bunch, as they are riddled with preconceived notions about all manner of otherwise lovable liquors: “Someone who might never have tried whiskey before will certain not hesitate to tell you that they “don’t think they’d like that sort of thing.” And how, Alpha Cook! To combat this, a Singapore Sling seems to be in order: sweet and fruity, with nice acidity, and it doesn’t skimp on the booze.” Plus, as Alpha Cook points out, “people are easily seduced by small paper umbrellas.


At Edngbrg, Jon invites us to step back in to the newbie’s shoes, likening the first time you pick up a cocktail list to standing at the edge of a terrible swamp, wondering how the hell you’ll get out of it while ” up to your ankles in liquid you don’t want to think too hard about, swatting away flies the size of staplers.” He extols the virtues of berries, vanilla, and fresh fruit in coaxing a convert past the Gatekeeper.

The Aviation is the drink Cocktailians recommends to help fledgling cocktailians take flight. “It only has three (or perhaps four) ingredients,” writes Vidiot, “but offers a wealth of interesting tastes.” This is a truly delicious cocktail, and one we could see Cosmo or Pomegranate martini drinkers slinging back with ease.

As Michael from My Aching Head reminds us, “Like all great cooking and mixing the most important thing is letting the ingredients speak for themselves, fresh fruit and juice in cocktails, great garnishes and most importantly quality spirits are paramount.” My favorite part of his philosophy concerns the need to introduce these drinkers to the joys of drinking booze for booze’s sake: “these first drinks need to drive the point home that near pure alcohol can taste great.” The Gin Gimlet and the significantly brighter Japanese Slipper do the trick.

Dennis at Rock and Rye likes to let his guest’s taste buds guide him to the perfect first drink: “Are they a big beer drinker?  Do they prefer wine?  White or Red?  Are they feeling adventurous, or just looking for a little refreshment.” When I asked the Cocktail Virgin who inspired this post the same question, I felt utterly befuddled by his answer: “I like white wine, but I usually drink red because white wine is for girls. Actually, most of the time, I’ll just have a beer. For the same reason.” Dennis also suggests a Tom Collins for newbies, and in light of the Cocktail Virgin’s gendered views of cocktails, I think this drink, with its refreshing fizz and masculine nomenclature, could do the trick.

Rum Dood‘s Matt considers rum the ultimate gateway spirit. “It seems that just about any 21 year old that finds themselves in front of my home bar tells me how much they love rum, followed by the long list of “jungle juice” style concoctions that they seem to adore.” He suggests countering this with a well-made Mojito, finished with a few surreptitious dashes of bitters, as per Dale DeGroff.

When posed with the quandry of the cocktail virgin, Jennifer at The Bon Vivant’s Companion (another MxMo first-timer) says, “Let them drink lemonade.  Everyone past the age of five has had a glass of the stuff, and lemonade is a resilient mixer.”  When she vetted her drink with her book club ladies, “a group of women whose feedback on literature, poor life choices, and cocktails is always appreciated”, they declared even the Preggatini version “good for the soul.” Drinking, literature, poor life choices? This sounds suspiciously like the stuff of our LUPEC Boston meetings. Maybe your group should change its name to LUPEC Beverly Hills?

Sonja from Thinking of Drinking has three profiles of cocktail virgins in mind when approaching the topic: The “I Don’t Drink” (Much) type who, for a variety of reasons don’t drink, but on occasion they might be open to trying something; the “I’ll Have a Bud” type – who drink beer, American big-brand beer, like Budweiser or maybe MGD; and the “I Only Drink Wine” type, who prefer to “take it easy” with wine, even if they have several glasses (or more) in a night. Sonja also recommends a Tom Collins for luring these folks out of their drinking (or not-drinking) rut.

Pavel from The Science of Drink has worked out the ultimate or “gold” proportions of

two rum-based classics, earning them decidedly souped up names: The SupreMai-Tai, garnished with a beautiful flower, and the SupreMojito. Pretty tropical for the Ukraine – I wonder, does the winter drag on there as it does here in Boston?

Michael at A Dash of Bitters shares a own charming story about the day he had his first cocktail – a gin and tonic at a joint called Buffalo Wild Wings – and continues with the gin theme by recommending the Hail Mary Fizz for your cocktail virgin.

Marshall at Scofflaw’s Den advocates a ‘take the bull by the horns’ approach to handling cocktail neophytes who eschew gin or anything brown based on mental biases: “The trick for me is making cocktails that are flavorful, complex, balanced and uses the ingredient they supposedly don’t like.  I’m completely up front with what I’m serving them, and in most instances they have enjoyed the drinks.” Non-gin-drinking friends of Marshall, beware – he plans to bring you back to the fold with a Shanghai Gin. We’d expect nothing less from a Scofflaw.

Amelia at Felicia’s Speakeasy gets super bonus points for supplying this photo of herself circa 1987 to represent “the essence of the virgin drinker.” She suggests a Pomegranate Cosmopolitan for the cocktail neophyte. We are thrilled to note that her shirt is not only tie-dye, but it is also, in Hanky Panky’s words, Cosmopolitan pink.

At Art of Drink, Darcy O’Neil advocates throwing cocktail neophytes into the breach: “just because they are new doesn’t mean you need to treat them with “kid gloves”. Give them something to talk about, without making them barf.” His Filby cocktail, with Amaretto, Campari, gin and dry vermouth will certainly be tough to forget.

Drink of the Week suggest general pointers for how not to overwhelm the first timer, extolling the virtues of small pours, premium spirits, muddled anything, and lots of good ice. The Berry Caiprinha sounds like a great way to trick liquor phobes into drinking cachaca.

Poor Drinksnob wrote his post while suffering a terrible bout on insomnia. His Basil Gimlet is nevertheless a favorite, “Without doubt, the drink that has made the most first-timers beg for seconds.” He also recommends an Americano as a great, adult-soda like introduction to strong Italian bitters that is actually quite refreshing. He warns, “The only problem with the Americano is that everyone will assume you are making them coffee – there is no solution to this problem.”

Paul from Ganymeda is another first-timer, came to the cocktail fold when his palate changed after he quit smoking (I think RumDood had something to do with it?) He invented Mom’s Sidecar as a gateway drink for his light beer- or white wine-drinking matriarch (awww!) It worked: mom went out and purchased both the ingredients AND equipment required to make them herself. And we all know the family that drinks together stays together.

Sean Mike, the other law-scoffer at Scofflaw’s Den, reminds us that when dealing with the neophyte, “It’s not useful to give them what YOU think is good – you need to give them what THEY will think is good.” He offers three different gateways: Matt’s Cocktail, Cathy’s Cocktail, and the Sazertif. The former two were vetted by real live neophytes; the latter by Pink Lady. Delicious.

Meghan at Spirit Me Away recommends a Gold Rush cocktail, a drink she uses to win guests over to the dark (spirits that is!) side, time and again. “I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard ‘I don’t drink brown liquor,’” but she tricks them into bourbon with this drink, similar to a Bourbon Bee’s Knees Pinky Gonzales sampled at Drink on Monday. Meghan is also a first time MxMo-er – welcome!

Mixology Monday founder Paul Clarke recommends a Corpse Reviver No.2 over at the Cocktail Chronicles, and makes a strong case for it as great way to give “a glimpse of the delicate complexity inherent in a well-made cocktail without steamrollering [newbies] under a wave of Campari, Chartreuse or rye whiskey.” The easily digestible story is also a great selling point. Many MxMo-ers cited this drink as far too advanced for the newbie, but we’re with Paul on this one – why not give them something to talk about?

Paul at Cocktailiana advocates the Margarita for a first-timer, reminding us that “The Margarita is second only to The Martini in terms of how often it is bastardized. Nearly every bar has a version that could be said to be dramatically different from one another.” His dialed down recipe could be a revelation for drinkers accustomed to the frozen version at Chilis. And the addition of agave syrup in light of orange liqeuer is decidedly thrifty in these tough economic times.

Tristan at The Wild Drink Blog has also been faced with the challenge of concocting a cocktail for a reformed religious teetotaler. He doesn’t share the drink he invented for the defected nun’s (please do! my Cocktail Virgin might be intrigued) but advocates the Tom Collins, stirred so as to demonstrate “to the drinker how simple and wonderful cocktails can really be.”

Stephan at The Learned Banqueter brings a tall drink to the table with the Roman Cooler.  A combination of gin, Punt e Mes, lemon and bubbles it is “ice-cold, carbonated, alcoholic orange soda, with a hint of ‘botanicals.’” Sounds perfect for patio sipping, if this Boston winter ever goes away.

At Liquidity Preference Jacob suggests the Pegu Club. “People who are accustomed to basic sours like a Cosmo or Margarita will find some familiar tastes here, while the gin and bitters will introduce them to new flavors.”  As the Pegu Club is a favored cocktail of the LUPEC broads we were thrilled to see it’s inclusion in the roundup.  And don’t forget to check out Jacob’s recipe for the Earl of Pegu using earl grey infused gin.

Kevin at  Beers in the Shower brings his version of the Green Swizzle to the table. In P.G. Wodehouse’s “The Rummy Affair of Old Biffy” the original rum based Green Swizzle was tasty enough to have Betty Wooster promise to name her first borne son in it’s honor.  Kevin’s offering swaps the green fairy for green creme de menthe and dubs it the Green Swizzle Wooster.  We’ll take two!

At A Jigger of Blog, Matt suggests challenging the cocktail newbie to think outside the box: “What really will make a non-cocktailian into an aspiring cocktail snob is giving them something that they already think they won’t like or would never want to drink on their own.” The Mai-Tai is a perfect foil, “likely to leave novices with the task of cleaning up the mess left by their blown minds.”

And finally, we have Steve and Paul at the Cocktail Buzz, whose standard answer to the “what to drink” question is always The Oriental. So decisive! Made with whiskey, lime, triple sec, and sweet vermouth, this drink is what would happen if the Manhattan and a Margarita had a baby.

Thank you Mixology Monday, and Good Night.

Cin – cin!

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