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Posts Tagged ‘angostura bitters’

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

by Pink Lady

They say Irish whiskey is the fastest growing spirits category in the U.S. these days, which is great news. The spirit sure has seen its share of dark days.

No one knows the full story, but Celtic monks are the likely fathers of Irish whiskey.

Whiskey-making was popular enough among innkeepers and laypersons to require a license by 1556. By the mid-17th century, the King was also charging duties based on quantity.

The vibrant aqua vitae business took a major blow when the Act of 1779 taxed Irish whiskey-makers by the still. One quarter of legal distilleries closed or went underground owing to this tax. Their remaining distilleries’ solution? Build bigger stills.

Then there was a famine, a major blow to the amount of Irish grain available for distilling. Then a World War, then a war with England and trade embargoes on all Irish goods, closing off the British export market. Then American Prohibition came, cutting off another important market across the Great Pond. During World War II, the Irish government closed distillation down completely.

But these days, Irish luck seems to be working for whiskey makers once again. The spirit is popular with younger drinkers and because of its smooth flavor and mixability, is allegedly a big hit with ladies.

Of course, we LUPEC ladies have always been fans, especially when sampled in one of these, a classic from the Waldorf-Astoria circa 1910 introduced to us by David Wondrich.

THE BLACKTHORN
1 oz Irish whiskey
1 oz dry vermouth
3 dashes Absinthe
3 dashes Angostura bitters

Stir ingredients with ice in a mixing glass. Strain into a chilled vintage cocktail glass.

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

by Pink Lady

In a few short days, HRH Prince William will marry Kate Middleton, making royal history as can only be done once a generation. What better way to toast this occasion than with a cocktail with a royal pedigree of its own? This Friday, the ladies of LUPEC will be sipping The Prince of Wales’s Cocktail.

The current Prince of Wales is Charles, the longest serving heir apparent in history (he was only nine when he became as such). Prince Albert Edward was once in Prince Charles’ shoes, during which time his Queen Mum Victoria pretty much excluded him from political activity. With all that free time on his hands Edward did “what anybody else would have,” writes David Wondrich in Imbibe: “He got grumpy and he got loose. Mistresses and mischief ensued.”

Prince Albert Edward was something of a playboy, to be sure, and came to exemplify the leisured elite in his day. His accession to the throne ushered in the Edwardian era, the exact opposite of the buttoned up Victorian period: a time of increased social mobility, loosened bodices for women, and scientific and technological innovation. Leisure sports became all the rage with the upper classes, and let’s not forget that ultimate game-changer—the automobile.

In his many years as Prince of Wales, Albert Edward had many occasions to imbibe. We’re thrilled he came up with this, his namesake take on the newly evolving genre of libation: The Cocktail.

The Prince of Wales Cocktail
Adapted from Imbibe! By David Wondrich

1.5 oz rye whiskey
Crushed ice
A small square of pineapple
Dash Angostura bitters
Lemon peel
.25 tsp maraschino
1 oz Champagne
1 tsp sugar

Put the sugar in the bottom of a mixing glass with bitters and .5 tsp water. Stir to dissolve. Add rye, maraschino, and pineapple chunk, fill 2/3 with cracked ice, and shake brutally to crush pineapple. “Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, add the cold Champagne, and deploy the twist. And smile.”

CIN-CIN!

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Ruminations from the ladies of LUPEC Boston, as originally published in The Weekly Dig

by Pink Lady

The ladies of LUPEC understand the importance of matching a stylish outfit to your stylish cocktail. We spend a good deal of time educating about the bygone era. Cocktail Culture, a new exhibit at the Rhode Island School of Design’s Museum of Art will explore the rest: the clothing, accessories, trends and culture that developed around these delicious libations.

From the Flapper to the “little black dress” to the spangled pantsuit of the disco era, Cocktail Culture will trace the influence of the cocktail hour on fashion and design in the 20th century. The exhibition includes more than 220 objects in all: clothing, textiles, decorative and fine art. Cocktail attire by major designers will be featured, including Chanel, Dior, Oscar, Givenchy, Pucci, Elsa Schiaparelli and more. We’re just as excited the see the sleek Art Deco celluloid barware and 1940s Tiki bar from Japan that will accent this exhibit.

For the serious cocktail enthusiast, Cocktail Culture will give context to the drinks we casually order. Modern ladies can order a Bee’s Knees at their whimsy, but “Urban Nightlife (1920-1930s)” illuminates the experience of sipping one in a Harlem jazz club while wearing a beaded French evening dress, designed to free the body for movement and dance. We’ve all sipped dry martinis in skinny jeans, but “The Rules (1950s)” allows us to imagine sampling one while sporting the newest post-war trend combining the elegance of evening wear with the informality of the day dress, the cocktail dress.

It is well worth a day trip to Rhode Island for a look. After all, without cocktails, there would be no cocktail dress. Sip on one of these as you plan your trip.

NEW FASHION
Created by Victor Broggi
1 small dash Angostura bitters
1/6 Grand Marnier
1/6 pale brandy
2/3 brown (Amontillado or Oloroso) sherry

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled vintage cocktail glass. Garnish with a small piece of pineapple.

[Cocktail Culture at Museum of Art at Rhode Island School of Design. Opens Fri 4.15.11. 224 Benefit St., Providence, RI. 401.454.6500. Until 7.31.11. risdmuseum.org]

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Ruminations from the ladies of LUPEC, as originally published in The Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

As I type, freezing rain falls on ice outside my window. My entire street resembles a large, grey ice skating rink. Welcome to January in New England. Ever tried navigating a grey skating rink in platform heels and a pencil skirt? It ain’t fun. On nights like these, this LUPEC lady prefers to drink at home.

What’s a girl to do when marooned at home and craving a cocktail? Work with what you’ve got. When there’s no citrus to be found and a trip to the store is out of the question, straight spirits are the way to go. A Manhattan is an obvious choice, but what about a Hearst? Made with 2 parts gin, one part sweet vermouth, a dash of orange bitters and some lemon oil (if you’ve got it), this drink is an easy answer to the can’t-leave-the-house blues. Allegedly, the drink was famously enjoyed at the Waldorf-Astoria by newspapermen who worked for William Randolph Hearst.

If Campari is your bag and you’re looking to move beyond the Negroni, a Rosita (recipe below) is a nice way to go, a favorite of LUPEC member emeritus Contessa. We don’t know the origins of this drink at all but it sure does make for a refreshing aperitif to whet your appetite for the take out you’ve ordered because you can’t bear to leave the house.

And if you’re feeling like getting creative, you can always follow this basic, time-tested formula for an aperitif cocktail and see where it gets you, plugging in whatever ingredients you have at home. Start with 2 parts high-proof base spirit, 1 part low-proof aperitif (vermouth, Lillet, etc.) or fortified wine (dry sherry, port, etc.), maybe a 1 bar spoon of liqueur if you’ve got it and are feeling feisty, and 2 dashes whatever bitters strikes your fancy. Stir your new concoction with ice and taste, then modify to your heart’s delight.

And let us know what you’ve come up with! We’ve got at least 2 more months of this lovely winter weather to contend with.

ROSITA

1 1/2 oz silver tequila
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz sweet vermouth
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1 dash angostura bitters

Stir with ice, strain into an ice-filled Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Cin-cin!

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

by Pink Lady

Happy 500th birthday, Bénédictine! This mysterious liqueur was invented by a monk named Dom Bernardo Vincelli, in 1510.

Vincelli, a member of the order of Saint Benedict in the French abbey of Fécamp, experimented in alchemy—more than the process of turning metals into gold, a lesser known application of alchemy involved developing secret elixirs that are thought to help prolong life. This is how Bénédictine was born.

Like another favorite monk-made elixir of ours, Chartreuse, the recipe for Bénédictine was nearly lost in 1789 during the French Revolution and was rediscovered in 1863 by wine merchant Alexandre Le Grand. While sorting through some old family papers, Le Grand discovered a recipe book that had fallen into his family’s hands decades earlier when the last monk to leave the abbey of Fécamp gave them several of their most precious books. These tomes had been collecting dust in the library, unnoticed for decades.

Le Grand spent a year decoding the recipe, but was eventually able to re-create the elixir Vincelli had invented so long ago. Bénédictine is a bewitching blend of 27 different plants and spices, all proprietary, of course, and it became popular in the 1880s.

LUPEC was thrilled to host Bénédictine’s 500th birthday party at Franklin Southie last weekend. If you missed it, you can raise a glass of one of these at home, toasting five centuries in pursuit of long life.

Old No. 27

2 oz Plymouth Gin

0.5 oz Bénédictine

0.5 oz Combier

1 dash Fee Bros orange bitters

1 dash angostura bitters

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass. Stir and strain into a chilled vintage cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

CIN-CIN!

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