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Archive for the ‘Weekly Dig’ Category

*Recent ruminations from LUPEC Boston as published this week in the Dig.

by Pink Lady

Though most of us have been out of school for a while now, it’s hard not to feel all back-to-school-y when September rolls around here in Boston. As the seasonal bounty turns from summer fruits to apples, so does our hankering for a bit of the sweet stuff … such as delicious and delightful applejack.

Applejack, America’s oldest distilled spirit, is an apple brandy that first became popular during colonial times, with Laird’s & Company as the first commercial producers. William Laird was a Scotch-maker in his native Scotland before crossing the pond in 1698 to settle in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Apples were abundantly available in the region, so he used them to keep making hooch.

In the 1760s Robert Laird served under General George Washington in the Revolutionary Army, which he kept supplied with the “cyder spirits”. General Washington even borrowed the Laird’s family recipe to try his own hand at the distilling.

Aside from the “apple” part, Laird’s Applejack has little in common with other “apple products” in the marketplace, such as apple schnapps and (yech) Pucker, and drinks like whiskey with an apple-y finish. Modern Laird’s Applejack is also considerably different from the colonial stuff, blending real apple brandy with neutral grain spirits to smooth and reduce the alcohol content for our delicate modern palates.

Applejack is as American as apple pie and happens to be helmed by a very cool LUPEC-loving lady, Lisa Laird Dunn. She’s the 9th generation Laird to head up the company. We’ll drink to that!

 

JERSEY LIGHTENING

.75 oz fresh lime juice

1.5 oz applejack

.5 oz sweet vermouth

Shake in iced cocktail shaker; strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Take that, Sour Apple-tini!

CIN-CIN!

FOR MORE GREAT COCKTAIL RECIPES VISIT LUPECBOSTON.COM.

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*Recent ruminations from LUPEC Boston, As originally published in The Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

“Mixologist”: it’s a term we hear bandied about quite often these days in the height of the Cocktail Renaissance, usually as reference to a cadre of bartenders that are exceptional at their job. But what does it mean, exactly? And how is a mixologist appreciably different from a regular bartender?

The term “mixologist” dates to a period described by David Wondrich in Imbibe as “The Baroque Age” when the role of the bartender and the beverages served across the mahogany evolved into sophisticated tipples. Good, fresh New England ice became widely available no matter how hot the season. American tipplers, with their rugged individualistic spirits, grew keen on individual cocktails mixed to order rather than the communal cup that was the punch bowl. As beverages and tastes evolved, so did the skill set of the man behind the pine and his palette of flavors: fancy syrups, bitters, and liqueurs from across the pond began to flow into the glass along with liquor, with elaborate fruit garnishes to topping them off.

“Mixologist” first appears in 1856 as a tongue-in-cheek reference to this new breed of bartender in a humor piece penned by Charles G. Leland for the Knickerbocker Magazine. The narrator describes a sporting man’s reference to the bartender as “a ‘mixologist of tipulars’ and ‘tipular fixings’”. Before long the term evolved into sincere definition describing a bartender, as The Washington Post put it, who was “especially proficient at putting odds and ends of firewater together.’”

Nowadays the term is used to describe pretty much the same thing, but we LUPEC ladies feel that all too often it becomes a harbinger of pretense. There are many, many breeds of fine bartender out there and so much more to the job than concocting showy cocktails with esoteric ingredients. As summer slowly retreats, we suggest you raise a glass to all who’ve chosen this profession and their continued commitment to keeping us pleasantly buzzed in a myriad of ways with an Imperial Royale. It’s a delightfully refreshing sip, perfect for the beach or porch, and so profound it took not one but two mixologists to concoct.

IMPERIAL ROYALE

by the Mixology Twins

1.5 oz St-Germain

1 can/bottle Bud Light Lime

Combine ingredients in a pint glass with ice. Stir twice gently to combine. Garnish with one market fresh raspberry.

Cin-cin!

To learn more about the misadventures of the Imperial Royale & the Mixology Twins, fan us on Facebook & follow us on Twitter!

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*As originally published in the Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

August 26 marks Women’s Equality, the anniversary of passing of the 19th Amendment, granting American women the right to vote in all public elections.

This super-momentous occasion took place behind closed doors at Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby’s private residence in 1920, “without ceremony of any kind,” according to the New York Times. “Unaccompanied by the taking of movies or other pictures, despite the fact that the National Woman’s Party, or militant branch of the general suffrage movement, had been anxious to be represented by a delegation of women and to have the historic event filmed for public display and permanent record.”

The moment was 72 years in the making, the culmination of a long and ceaseless campaign by American women and their male supporters.

50 years later, congress deemed August 26 “Women’s Equality Day” during the height of the Second Wave Women’s Movement, both as a nod to women’s enfranchisement and to women’s modern efforts toward full equality. To paraphrase, the Joint Resolution was passed because “the women of the United States have been treated as second-class citizens and have not been entitled the full rights and privileges, public or private, legal or institutional, which are available to male citizens of the United States … the women of the United States have united to assure that these rights and privileges are available to all citizens equally regardless of sex.”

This August 26, we raise a glass to voting rights for women, and to the long hard road our forebroads marched to enfranchisement.

PERFECT LADY COCKTAIL
2 oz gin
1 oz peach brandy
1 oz fresh lemon juice
Egg white

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker without ice and shake vigorously to emulsify. Add ice and shake long and hard. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

CIN-CIN!

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*As originally published in the Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

With the long days of August upon us, the ladies of LUPEC can think of few things more enjoyable to sip than a Pimm’s Cup. Born in England and reinterpreted in New Orleans, the Pimm’s Cup is the perfect cocktail to sip on a lazy afternoon. Also, it pairs well with civilized games like croquet, cricket, and bocce.

And thanks to its low alcohol content, you still stand a chance at winning, even if kick back your first one at lunch.

Invented by oyster bar owner James Pimm in London circa-1823 (or 1840, according to some), the original Pimm’s Cup mixed gin, quinine, and a secret blend of herbs and spices. It was offered to guests as a “digestive tonic”, but most likely invented to mask the bitter flavors inherent in the gin of the day.

By 1851 the drink was in such high demand that Pimm stepped up production, expanding the Pimm’s Cup concept to include different versions based on other spirits. The next century saw the invention of six different Pimm’s Cups, ranging from whiskey to vodka as their base. Only Pimm’s No. 1 is widely available in the U.S today

The modern Pimm’s Cup is an iconic British cocktail, and the drink is to Wimbledon what Mint Juleps are to the Kentucky Derby. It also has a home stateside, as a classic New Orleans cocktail prepared with nostalgic expertise at the Napoleon House. We tried them while in NOLA for Tales; you should try them on your porch.

The Napoleon House Pimm’s Cup

Fill a tall 12 oz glass with ice. Add 1.25 ounces Pimm’s No. 1 and 3 ounces lemonade.

Top off with 7up.

Garnish with cucumber.

CIN CIN!

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*As originally published in the Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

LUPEC ladies love our whiskey. And our whisky. (No, it’s not a typo: the spelling tells reflects the nationality of the spirit.) And we know, with its myriad rules nuances, the category can be confusing for the cocktail neophyte. In light of this, we offer you a whisk(e)y primer in several parts, turning our attention this week to rye.

Whiskey, in broad strokes, is grain spirit aged long enough in oak to take on characteristics of the barrel. Rye whiskey takes its name from main ingredient, rye, which by law must compose 51% of the grain in the mashbill. Rye is aged in charred, new American oak barrels like its corn-based cousins, bourbon and Tennessee whiskey, but has a lighter, and more peppery character. When considering the basic differences, think bread; as DrinkBoy.com founder Robert Hess says, “I’d never have a Rueben sandwich on cornbread.”

Rye whiskey was the favored spirit of colonial America, and was first made stateside by Scots-Irish immigrants who imported the grain. Despite the harsh Northeastern climate, hardy rye flourished, making it a perfect go-to ingredient for early American hooch.

Prohibition took a nasty toll on the American whiskey industry, and rye in particular had a tough time bouncing back. Even mainstream brands were difficult to find until recently. As cocktail nerds learned that classics like the Manhattan were originally prepared with rye, the spirit has surged back to in popularity. Brands like Old Overholt, Jim Beam and Sazerac are more common on back bars, and new interpretations of the category, like (ri)1 have even arrived, marketed as “ultra premium” brands positioned to win over vodka drinkers.

Rye also happens to be the base spirit for many New Orleans classics, which we are copiously imbibing at Tales of the Cocktail at present. Should you like to do the same, try one of these.

COCKTAIL A LA LOUISIANE

.75 oz. rye whiskey
.75 oz. Benedictine
.75 oz. sweet vermouth
3 dashes Herbsaint
3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

Stir with cracked ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

CIN CIN!

 

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*As originally published in the Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

Ever sip a cocktail in a cave? Residents of 17th century Philadelphia did, thanks to a very clever widow that we are happy to count among our forebroads. Continuing our celebration of historic ladies of bartending, here is the story of Alice Guest.

Alice and her husband George emigrated from England to Philadelphia in 1683, where George set up a brickworks on a less-than-desirable swath of land on the banks of the Delaware River.

When George died in 1685, Alice applied for a license to operate a tavern (as many women did) as way to support herself. The locale? The cave she occupied on the banks of the river. Alice’s dwelling indicates that she was of meager means at the time, but she was quickly able to turn her fortune around. Alice’s cave was ideally positioned to provide tavern services to the increasingly large numbers of immigrants pouring into the country by ship. She also captured the business of men employed in the sea trade: mariners, merchants, chandlers and ship carpenters.

During her first year in business Alice amassed enough money to put a bond on her business. When the city of Philadelphia moved to evict all the cave dwellers from the banks of the river, Alice was among the few exceptions to the rule. Alice could certainly have afforded to move her tavern business anywhere, but she chose to stay in her cave, most likely because she had a solid reputation there, served a regular clientele and could offer guests a unique place to sip their punch.

By the time she died in 1693, Alice had received a patent to her land, built a structure to house her tavern and erected a wharf out from her riverfront—along which she’d also constructed warehouses and a dwelling. And yes, she acquired another residence.

Here’s to Alice and her booming, cave-dwelling Philadelphia tavern!

ALICE MINE
1 oz Grand Marnier
3/4 oz gin
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1/4 oz sweet vermouth
1 dash Angostura bitters
Stir ingredients with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
CIN-CIN!!

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*Recently featured in the Weekly Dig.

by Pinky Gonzales + Pink Lady

Count Louis Philippe Joseph de Roffignac fought alongside the British in the Battle for New Orleans, then in the 1820’s became its Mayor. Among many things, he was credited for bringing cobblestone and city lighting to the streets of the French Quarter. He escaped the guillotine and fled his native France for the swampy shores of the Ponchartrain. And like any good Frenchman, Joseph also drank his share of Cognac, which he was known to mix with seltzer, ice, and rich raspberry syrup in a tall glass.

Little did he know this early highball-of-sorts would forevermore bear his name, alongside the classics Sazerac, Ramos Fizz, and Vieux Carré. As with (what many consider to be) the first cocktail, the Sazerac, imbibers grew to swap the more readily available and popular rye whiskey for the Cognac over time. We find Cognac or Brandy still makes for the best Roffignac, while a rye Sazerac is a match made in heaven.

Sip one of these as you prep your liver for Tales of the Cocktail this July.

Cin-cin!

Roffignac Cocktail

2 ounces Cognac, Brandy, or good rye whiskey

1 ounce raspberry syrup

Soda water or seltzer

Fill a highball glass with ice. Add the first two ingredients, then top off with soda or seltzer. Swizzle and serve.

(Various raspberry syrups can be found in specialty stores, or make your own: muddle fresh raspberries with simple syrup, double-straining out the seeds.)

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