Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘brandy’

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

by Pink Lady

Who doesn’t love a good race? When it comes to cocktails we couldn’t be happier to discover a bartender who can mix us up a drink cocktail super swiftly. So we are thrilled to announce the next Monday, Speed Rack will be coming to Boston.

Invented by our New York sisters Ivy Mix and Lynnette Marrero, Speed Rack is a national cocktail competition that features top female bartenders in key cocktail markets and puts them head to head in timed challenges as part of a 10-city tour to find the fastest female bartender in America while raising funds for breast cancer charities.

The inaugural Speed Rack competition was held in New York City in May by the local chapter of LUPEC (Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails) and raised $3,500. (To see how the girls smoked it and for a taste of what’s to come in Boston, visit http://www.speed-rack.com/.)

Speed Rack Boston will be held Monday, October 10, 2011 at Villa Victoria Center for the Arts (www.villavictoriaarts.org). During the competition small bites from The Citizen, The Franklin Café, The Franklin Southie, Toro, Coppa, Myers and Chang, and Trina’s Starlite Lounge will be served as guest judges Jackson Cannon, of Eastern Standard and Island Creek Oyster Bar, and Misty Kalkofen of Drink and LUPEC Boston President critique the drinks. Ticket price is $20 for this event and includes all food and beverage. You can buy online at http://www.speedrack.eventbrite.com  or pay $20 at the door day of. OR, you can order a ticket, a Speed Rack tee-shirt and a Speed Rack Coozie all for just $35. Win, win, win. All proceeds will benefit breast cancer charities.

Ready, set, go! We hope to see you there. In the interim, mix up one of these at home. Time yourself to see how you would stack up.

SPEED

Invented by Laurie Ross

1/3 brandy

1/3 apricot brandy

1/6 orange juice

1/6 lemon juice

Shake ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a chilled vintage cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

 

Read Full Post »

*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.)

Read Full Post »

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

by Barbara West

“Mary S.” of St. Louis, Missouri (c. 1851-1880) was an inventor who led a life of genius and poverty. Lacking finances and confidence, she sold the rights to her mechanical inventions to various male agents, for as little as $5 each. These men received 53 patents and a great deal of wealth. Mary S. herself died impoverished at roughly age thirty.

A businesswoman and former intelligence agent for the Union army during the Civil War, Charlotte Smith was known for empathizing with the struggles of self-supporting women.

The tragic story of Mary S. spurred Smith, an acquaintance, to seek justice and recognition for women inventors. She wrote about Mary S. in The Woman Inventor, a magazine she founded in 1891. She also pushed for the publication of an official List of Women Patentees. Feminists used the list to argue for women’s suffrage. Today, the list remains the major source of information on 19th-century female inventors. These women were patronizingly dubbed “Lady Edisons.”

Thanks to the list, we know that nearly 4,000 women received U.S. patents between 1809 and 1895—more than 5,000 if design patents are counted. One of the era’s most prolific female inventors was Margaret Knight of Boston (1838-1914). She is credited with about 90 inventions and 22 patents, the most famous of which was the first machine to make the square-bottomed paper bags that are still used in grocery stores today.

In the late 1890s, Smith moved to Boston, where she founded a Women’s Rescue League. In 1907, she organized a Woman’s Board of Trade. After spending thousands of dollars on projects to help women become self-supporting, and years of direct charity to homeless and desperate women, Charlotte Smith died alone in Boston in 1917. She was seventy-seven.

Here’s a cocktail with which to toast our industrious forebroads, known as “Lady Edisons,” this Women’s History Month.

EDISONIAN COCKTAIL

2 ounces brandy
1 ounce Campari
1 ounce fresh lemon juice

Shake brandy, Campari and lemon juice with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.

CIN-CIN!

Read Full Post »

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

The Sidecar was a gateway cocktail for many of us LUPEC Boston gals, a drink that is not unlike the Manhattan and curiously still kicking in modern bars, despite its vintage roots.

Many will claim the Sidecar was invented in the 1920s at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. According to one charming story, the bartender whipped this up to quench the thirst of a US Army captain, a regular who traveled to and from the bar via a motorcycle and needed a tipple to take off the winter chill. But savvy cocktailians will recognize this drink as little more than an evolved Brandy Crusta.

The Brandy Crusta was invented in the Crescent City by bartender Joe Santini, who took over at the New Orleans’ City Exchange in the 1850s. At the time, it was a unique blend of two different drinks—the “cocktail,” which was a short drink with bitters, and a “punch,” a long drink with citrus. Now, of course, we all drink “cocktails” much as we were all drinking “martinis” in the 1990s. But in those days, the category name had some relevance. The Crusta was enjoyed mostly locally, until Professor Jerry Thomas included instructions for how to mix it in his 1862 recipe book, The Bon Vivant’s Companion. By the 1890s, adding citrus to “cocktails” was de rigeur. Thirty years later, Crustas were out and Sidecars were in.

Father Knows Best at Fleming's

Father’s Day is this Sunday. Instead of gifting dad a pair of cufflinks or another boring tie, why not treat him to a classic cocktail, perhaps enjoyed with a nice beefy steak? They’re serving an American version of the classic Sidecar, made with Jack Daniels and Triple Sec, over at Fleming’s [217 Stuart St., Boston. 617.292.0808. $9.95. flemingssteakhouse.com] during Father’s Day brunch. You can order this drink, the “Father Knows Best,” or stick to the classic recipe with cognac and Cointreau, listed below. Either way, raise a glass this week to dear old dad.

CIN-CIN!

SIDECAR

As originally made, adapted from Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh

1 oz brandy

1 oz Cointreau

1 oz fresh lemon juice

Shake ingredients in an iced cocktail shaker. Strain into a chilled vintage cocktail glass. Serve with a sugar rim.

Read Full Post »

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

We’ve barely broached the topic of tipping. Gratuity is a confusing issue, and we’d like to address the view from the other side of the bar.

The lore of tipping a dollar a drink

Once upon a time, a cocktail was sour mix and spirits and set you back $5. In those days, $1 per drink was a fair tip. But tipping 15 percent on your dinner is no longer enough, nor is tipping a buck for a $10 drink.

“If I open a $3 Bud for you, I don’t expect more than a dollar,” says Hanky Panky, a bartendrix at Drink. “When you tip me $1 on an $11 drink, that’s less than 10 percent.”

“Know how to figure it quickly and easily,” says Pinky Gonzales. “Ten percent of a $12 drink is 1.20, therefore, x 2 = $2.40 to make 20 percent. You can also make it easy on yourself and a little generous for the bartender and round up.”

“My general rule is $1 a drink or 20 percent, whichever is higher,” says Bourbon Belle. That’s easy to remember, no matter how many drinks you’ve had.

Craft counts

Anyone can pop open a brewsky, but bartending at a craft cocktail mecca is a different animal. Bartenders at the city’s finest watering holes spend days—even months—developing tinctures, bitters, syrups and shrubs for the perfect cocktail, or hand-carving a special ice formation to chill your Old Fashioned without watering it down. This extra love deserves a little extra love. And nothing says “I love you” like cash.

Be appreciative

If you roll into the bar at last call and order seven Blue Blazers, put yourself in your barman’s/barmaid’s shoes: You’re just about to log off your computer and go home when the boss rolls over to your desk. Remember that as your bartender tosses flaming hot whiskey between two mugs at 1:45am. Reward your server as you wish your boss would: with thanks. And cash.

If your bartender gives you something for free, a few bucks more than 20 percent is a small way to say thanks, and a small price to pay for the VIP treatment you’ve just received.

Bartending is a demanding job and pays about $6 an hour. Bartenders work long hours—12-14 hour days are commonplace—and the bulk of their salary depends entirely upon tips, which means it depends entirely on you. So tip generously and tip often.

Cin-cin!

TIP TOP PUNCH

1.5 oz brandy
0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
0.25 tsp sugar
0.5 oz Benedictine

Shake in an iced cocktail shaker and then strain over new ice in a tall glass. Top with champagne.

Read Full Post »

*The latest ruminations from LUPEC Boston, in case you missed them in The Weekly Dig.

by Pinky Gonzales

One of America’s most famous 1940s-era cabarets once glittered in our very own backyard. The Latin Quarter stood on quiet Winchester Street in the tiny Bay Village neighborhood, a cherry pit’s throw from where the old (and doomed) Cocoanut Grove nightclub once sparkled.

The Latin Quarter was known for its elaborate, “naughty but nice” revue. Featuring 6-foot-tall showgirls dubbed “long-stemmed roses,” national acts and Golden Era cocktails, this Parisian-inspired nightspot aimed high and ruled the roost for over two decades, spawning the big shows of Las Vegas. When owners Lou Walters (Barbara’s dad!) and Sonja and E.M. Loew (Loew’s Theatres) were bringing in half a million dollars per year, they redirected profits into building an LQ Miami, then the now-legendary LQ Times Square.

But after the Cocoanut Grove burned down in ’42, a damper was put on Boston’s nightlife. Officials temporarily closed LQ and 51(!) other area establishments to ensure they were up to code on fire inspections.

A happy remnant of this nearly forgotten place has been preserved for us today: 176 cocktails, once poured by their bartenders, recently reprinted as Latin Quarter Souvenir Book of Cocktails & How to Mix Them by Halliwell Hobbes, an LQ historian. The book serves up both sterling classics and festive sips like Diamond Fizz, Americano, Bosom Caresser, Honey Bee, Harvard, Marconi Wireless and the potion we give you here. Thanks, LQ.

ANTS IN THE PANTS

1 1/2 oz gin

3/4 oz Grand Marnier

3/4 oz Italian (sweet) vermouth

Dash fresh lemon juice

Shake with cracked ice, strain into a cocktail glass and ornament with peel of a lemon.

Also on the list of libations at the Latin Quarter:

BETWEEN THE SHEETS

1 oz Brandy (or Cognac)

1 oz Cointreau (orange liqueur)

1 oz Gin

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Read Full Post »

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

by Pink Lady

Our Tiki Bash is just a few short weeks away, and LUPEC Boston has assembled a class-act event. With hula instruction, burlesque dancers, ukulele-sensation Uke Springsteen reinterpreting “the Boss” on his tiny, tiny guitar, plus cocktail historian/Boston music legend Brother Cleve spinning records, this is an event you won’t want to miss.

It wouldn’t be a LUPEC party if cocktails weren’t the main attraction. In the next few columns, we’ll offer a taste of what’s in store on November 14th to whet your appetite and introduce you to hallmarks of the tiki drinks that inspired the party, considered so delicious in their heyday, they begot a craze that outlasted every cocktail fad before and since.

First, we should note that “tiki cocktail” is a “retro” term. Inventors of these fine concoctions referred to them as “exotic drinks” or “faux tropics” (“faux” because they were invented far from the real tropics, in the continental US). Modern drinkers may feel silly about the umbrellas and the skull-shaped glassware, but for many decades, “exotics” were the height of cocktail chic. Their popularity among the Hollywood set at Don the Beachcomber’s was inspiration enough for Victor Bergeron to rip the moose heads off the walls at his Northwest-themed eatery, Hinky Dinks, transforming it from “lodge” to tropical paradise and himself into “Trader Vic.”

The Fog Cutter, one of two drinks we’ll serve at the LUPEC Boston Tiki Bash, is commonly credited to Trader Vic, though Ted “Dr. Cocktail” Haigh casts doubt upon these origins in Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails. Haigh traces the drink via expert barman Tony Ramos, an original bartender at Don the Beachcomber’s in Los Angeles, who recalls the Fog Cutter as the signature drink from Edna Earl’s Fog Cutter bar in LA. Regardless of who invented it, this potent combination of three unlikely bedfellows—rum, brandy and gin—plus fresh juice, orgeat and sherry—is a memorable beverage. Provided you don’t tipple too many, of course.

If you’ve never heard of or tried orgeat, you’re in for a treat. Originally a health tonic popular among Romans, the early formula for orgeat was simply boiling water, barley and honey for several hours, then straining it (the word derives from the Latin “hordeata” meaning “made with barley”). In its modern incarnation, orgeat is a typically sweet, milky-looking almond syrup (who knows where the barley went?) made by boiling almonds and sugar and adding a little orange flower water or rosewater at the end.

Orgeat appears in many tiki cocktails, including two of Trader Vic’s most famous concoctions, the Mai Tai and the Fog Cutter. You’ll have a chance to sample both at the LUPEC Boston Tiki Bash. Or, try one at home today, proceeding with caution, as this drink is potent. As Trader Vic said, “Fog Cutter? Hell, after two of these, you won’t even see the stuff.”

FOG CUTTER

ADAPTED FROM TRADER VIC’S BARTENDER’S GUIDE, REVISED by Victor Bergeron
2 oz light Puerto Rican rum
1 oz brandy
0.5 oz gin
2 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz orange juice
0.5 oz orgeat
0.5 oz sweet sherry

Shake all ingredients except sherry with ice cubes. Pour into 14-ounce glass. Add more ice cubes. Float 0.5 ounces of sherry on top. Serve with straws.

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.

Read Full Post »

by Pink Lady

LUPEC loves our liquor but for many of us, it was the history, the lore, and the tales of the cocktail that inspired our enthusiasm for that great American invention. We are drinkers, yes, but we are also preservationists, and it tugged at many of our heartstrings to learn that the signature “Monteleone Cocktail” of the Carousel Bar at the storied Hotel Monteleone fell victim to the ravages of time.

On this, the 60th anniversary year of the Carousel Bar, the Hotel Monteleone will make those lemons into lemonade (or perhaps, a delicious sour?) and create a new Monteleone Cocktail. They’ve put the call out to mixologists everywhere. On behalf of LUPEC Boston, we offer the following contributions to the noble cause.

THE MONTELEONE COCKTAIL

1 oz Sazerac Rye
1 oz Brandy (If using VS Cognac, change the proportions to 1.5 oz Rye, .75 oz Cognac)
.5 oz Dubonnet Rouge
.25 oz Raspberry Syrup*
1 barspoon Orgeat

Dash Peychaud’s bitters

Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a flamed orange peel.

THE MONTELEONE COCKTAIL II

1.5 Sazerac Rye
.75 VSOP Cognac
.5 Dubonnet Rouge
.25 Raspberry Syrup*
.25 fresh orange juice
1 barspoon Orgeat
Dash Peychaud’s bitters
Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail class.  Garnish with a flamed orange peel.
RASPBERRY SYRUP:

3/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
Heat until sugar is dissolved, then let cool for 20 minutes
Add 1 cup fresh raspberries to warm syrup and mash until well broken up.  Let sit until syrup is completely cool, then strain out seeds.
Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Recipes will be judged by VIPs who will be at the Carousel Anniversary Celebration on May 21 – check back for updates on the winning recipe!

Read Full Post »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,317 other followers