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Archive for the ‘Weekly Dig’ Category

*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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*As recently published in the Weekly Dig.

by Bourbon Belle + Pink Lady

At last we’ve reached that stretch of several months with warm temperatures and deliciously seasonal fruits filling the tables at our local farmer’s market. Cherries are in season now which means you’ve got precious little time to preserve them to use in cocktails. After sampling these, you’ll never want to drop an artificial, borderline florescent “maraschino” cherry into your Last Word again.

Maraschino cherries were named as such because their earliest recipes included the use of the marasca cherry, preserved in a liqueur made from the same fruit, Maraschino liqueur. Over the years, Americans began experimenting with different types of cherries as well as with different flavors, eventually substituting the marasca cherry with the Queen Anne cherry (among others), and adding other flavors to the mix and like natural almond extract. A 1912 USDA regulation stipulates that the maraschino cherry is defined as “marasca cherries preserved in maraschino liqueur” meaning these new adapted cherry recipes had to be labeled as “imitation maraschino cherries”.

Maraschino cherries suffered further insult when Maraschino liqueur was substituted with—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, but regardless, the end result is the same. What was at one time a natural, liqueur preserved, delicious delicacy, became a bleached, brined and artificially colored excuse for a piece of fruit.

There are many different ways to go about making sweetened preserved cherries. Here’s a recipe we enjoy, courtesy of “King Cocktail” Dale DeGroff.

Homemade Maraschino Cherries

Wash, de-stem and pit cherries.  Pack them into a jar filled with sugar. Allow them to sit for a day, then pour Luxardo Maraschino liqueur over the cherries, filling the jar with liquid. Marinate for a week then taste.

CIN-CIN!

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*As recently published in the Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

In a little over a month the ladies of LUPEC Boston will be heading down to New Orleans for one of our favorite events of the year, Tales of the Cocktail. LUPEC Boston will join over 10,000 bartenders, cocktail geeks, and spirits professionals for five days of seminars, tastings, and events all in celebration of that great American invention, the Cocktail.

The ladies of LUPEC Boston will be involved in two great events at Tales of the Cocktail this summer. On Thursday, July 21 from 1pm-2:30pm we’ll team up with LUPEC broads from New York for “Ladies’ Choice: Women Behind Bars,” a seminar saluting our spirited forebroads, much as we do in this here column. From mold-breaking saloon owners to current day cocktail mavens, women have had a vital, though often overlooked, impact on the evolution of bars and cocktails. We’ll present an inspiring history of ladies like Ada Coleman, former Head Bartender of the Savoy Hotel and Helen David, who opened the Brass Rail Bar in the midst of the Great Depression.

Then, on Friday July 22 from 12:30pm-2pm, LUPEC will host “Ladies Who Lunch” as part of the Spirited Lunch series to celebrate women in the spirits industry, from bartenders to marketers to distillers. Interested women are invited to come and raise a glass as we commiserate and discuss our unique role in this male-dominated business. All cocktails will feature spirits from companies that have women at the helm; including Macchu Pisco, Ron Zacapa, Cat Daddy Moonshine, Bulleit Bourbon, Pueblo Viejo tequila and Laird’s Applejack. As with all LUPEC events, vintage creative luncheon attire (fabulous hats, gloves, vintage dress, etc.) is encouraged (but not required).

We hope those of you trekking down to NOLA can pop in to one or both of these events. If you’re Boston-bound this summer, mix up one of the cocktails we’ll be serving at our luncheon, courtesy of Meaghan Dorman, LUPEC NYC.

SLEEPYHEAD

.5 oz lime
.5 oz lemon
.75 oz ginger syrup
2 oz Laird’s Bonded Applejack

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into Collins glass. Top with soda and garnish with lime wheel and ginger candy.

CIN-CIN!

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*As recently published in the Weekly Dig

by Pink Lady

Could there be a more appropriate cocktail to sip at the dawn of summer than the Daisy, a cool and refreshing drink named for the hardy, innocent flower?

Two versions of this drink were in wide circulation by the time Prohibition rolled around in 1919. The early version appears in the 1876 edition of Jerry Thomas’ The Bon Vivant’s Companion, and is made with spirit (brandy, whisky, gin, rum) lemon, gum syrup, orange cordial and finished with a splash of soda. As cocktail historian David Wondrich chronicles in his book Imbibe, over time that drink evolved into “something of a dude’s drink, a little bit of fanciness em-pinkened with grenadine … and tricked out with fruit.”

Shortly after Prohibition ended recipes for a “Tequila Daisy” started popping up from Mexico to New York State. The drink may have been the earliest incarnation of a popular modern cocktail whose name translates to “Daisy” in Spanish: the Margarita.

The “dude’s drink” is what we suggest sippin’ with gin this month, but please note: all incarnations of the Daisy are delicious. Sip any one you like while soaking up the sun on a patio, stoop, or porch as you toast to summer finally arriving.

GIN DAISY
Recipe from GOOD SPIRITS by A.J. Rathbun

1.5 oz gin
.5 oz lemon
.25 oz simple syrup
.25 oz grenadine
Club soda

Fill a highball glass with crushed ice. Add gin, lemon, simple and grenadine and stir twice. Top off with soda water. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and orange slice.

CIN-CIN!

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*As recently published in Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

We LUPEC ladies consider ourselves classy broads, and in our opinion, that includes being able to hang in a dive bar. As egalitarian imbibers, we believe that there is a time and place for every sort of cocktail and every sort of bar/bartender. Sometimes there’s just nothing better than a beer and a shot, knocked back as far away as you can get from a cocktail den.

That’s why we’re thrilled to give a shout out to local cocktail writer Luke O’Neil whose new book Boston’s Best Dive Bars: Drinking and Diving in Beantown debuted this spring. The book highlights 90 of Boston’s finest and we are sure it will become essential reading material for visitors looking to tie one on the cozy corner of a favored local dive.

Haven’t you ever wished for such a tome? We certainly have. Luck has led us to some amazing divey watering holes while traveling, such as Max’s Club Deuce in Miami, Zeitgeist in San Francisco, or Von’s in New Orleans. But what’s a lonely traveler to do without the recommendations of wizened locals? Beers & shots of Jamo just aren’t the same when swilled at the bar at Holiday Inn.

O’Neil’s modern classic is a nostalgic nod to the long gone days when dive bars were the only bars in Boston, the backbone of the city’s drinking culture, emblematic of our image in the country at large. We may have classed things up in the past decade, but we shall never forget our humble roots. We salute them—and Luke—with an old B-Side favorite.

WINDSOR HIGH LOW
Jack Daniels neat with a baby Bud can.
Serve with the can perched atop the rocks glass.

CIN-CIN!

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*As recently published in the Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

Later this week, yours truly will team up with Holistic Health Coach Kendra Strasburg of Crave Health to present a seminar at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic called Beyond the Hangover Cure: What to Eat, Drink, and Do to Combat Your Boozy Lifestyle.

Do healthy cocktails really exist? Kind of. Alcohol dehydrates the body and stresses the liver and we know we shouldn’t drink if we want to be health nuts. But would you be reading this column if that was your jam? No. The good news is there are strategies for developing cocktails that will ultimately be healthier for you than others.

When building your cocktail, reach for a natural sweetener such as honey or maple syrup over a sugar-based one, such as the ubiquitous simple syrup. You can’t always swap out honey simple for regular since it has a unique flavor profile of its own that will ultimately affect your drink. But it sure is fun to play around with.

Coconut water might not be a wise choice for churning out bar volume cocktails given the price, but when drinking at home, this mild, super hydrating, potassium-filled nectar can make for a lovely way to top off your cocktail.

Love ginger? Put it in your glass. This root has been said to have many therapeutic properties, including antioxidant effects. “And, it strengthens and tones the immune system as well—keeps us from getting sick after all the boozing!” says Strasburg. We’ll drink to that. Muddle some ginger, combine with a little gin or vodka, some honey simple syrup and lemon or lime juice and voila! A lovely gingery sour.

See how easy that was? Now, if you’re all about drinking healthy out in the field but hesitant to annoy your bartender or your friends with your quest, just ask for a Bee’s Knees. It’s a classic you can sip proudly, and no one ever has to know.

BEE’S KNEES
2 oz Plymouth gin
.75 oz honey syrup
.5 oz fresh lemon juice

Shake with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and serve.

CIN-CIN!

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*Recent ruminations from the ladies of LUPEC, as originally published in the Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

In a few short weeks several of the ladies of LUPEC Boston will take Manhattan by storm at the Second Annual Manhattan Cocktail Classic. Part festival, part fête, part conference, part cocktail party – the Manhattan Cocktail Classic (MCC) is an annual celebration of the myriad points of intersection between cocktails and culture.

From May 13-17, thousands of bartenders, brand ambassadors, cocktail lovers and nerds will convene in New York to learn and party. The MCC features over one hundred events two of which are fantastic seminars offered by ladies of LUPEC.

On Saturday, May 14 at 7 p.m. LUPEC Boston will team up with Holistic Health Coach Kendra Strasberg of Crave Health to offer Beyond the Hangover Cure, a seminar on what to eat, drink, and do to combat your boozy lifestyle. Studies have shown that simply going to bed later than 10 p.m. each night takes a serious toll on the liver. What does that mean for the bartender, whose shift ends 2, 4, even 6 hours after optimal bedtime has come and gone? Between 12-hour shifts greasy, carby staff meals and copious consumption of alcohol, the odds seem stacked against the bartender who seeks a balanced, healthy life. We’ll discuss how to find balance through nutrition and movement, despite drinking four cocktails (or more) a night, while drinking healthy cocktails. Yes, they exist.

On Tuesday, May 17 at 2:30 p.m., LUPEC will bring the Science of Taste Through Cocktails, a seminar originally presented here in Boston with the Science Club for Girls, to the Big Apple. Why does Campari taste delicious to some and make others gag? How can a sweet liqueur taste divine to one palate and cloying to another? Taste is very personal and the way people experience it seems a bit magic but can be decoded through science. We’ll explore the scientific aspects of taste and flavor through cocktails from LUPEC Boston, NYC, and Seattle representing the 5 facets of taste (sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami.) Don Katz, a Professor specializing in Chemosensation from Brandeis, will speak about the science of taste and flavor, and Chemist Graham Wright will explain how these concepts are applied in the glass.

Sound interesting? Manhattan is just a short train/Megabus ride away. Mix up a Punch Fantastique at home as you ponder making the trip.

LE PUNCH FANTASTIQUE

Developed by Lynnette Marerro, LUPEC NYC to represent SWEET for Science of Taste Through Cocktails

1oz club soda

4 sugar cubes

1/2 oz Carpano Antica vermouth

1/2 oz lemon Juice

1/2 oz Cherry Heering

1/4 oz Fresh ginger syrup (pressed ginger juice 1:1 sugar)

2oz Hine cognac VSOP

1/4 oz all spice dram

2 dash Angostura bitters

1oz Champagne

In a mixing glass dissolve the sugar cubes in 10z club soda.  Add all ingredients except Champagne. Stir with ice to bring to temp.  Strain into a highball over ice and add Champagne.

Cin-cin!

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