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Posts Tagged ‘Champagne’

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

by Pink Lady

Sometimes it’s the flavor that draws you in to a cocktail’s mythical orbit, sometimes it’s the lovely hue. In some cases, curiosity is piqued by a beverage’s name. Death in the Afternoon, for example: What in the heavens could that drink taste like? What could a cocktail with such a name possibly contain?

Leave it to Ernest Hemingway to slap such a chillingly intriguing name on a drink (and a novel). The beverage was allegedly born after he and three officers of the H.M.S. Danae spent seven hours overboard trying to get a fishing boat off a bank where it had blown in a storm. He subsequently submitted the recipe to a humorous book of celebrity cocktails, So Red My Nose, or Breath in the Afternoon, edited by the journalist and author Sterling North and Carl Kroch, published in 1935.

The drink is an unusual one to be sure and was not possible to recreate in the states for many decades, owing to the absinthe ban. Legal once again, we enjoyed sampling this drink with the robust Vieux Carre Absinthe, a brand distilled in Philadelphia and named for the French Quarter in New Orleans. Jade Liquors’ Lucid Absinthe is also a delight, and if you can get your hands on a bottle of their Nouvelle Orleans, do yourself a favor and combine it with some fine champagne for a fancy take on this cocktail with a morbid moniker.

DEATH IN THE AFTERNOON
As imbibed by Ernest Hemingway

1.5 oz Vieux Carre Absinthe
Chilled Champagne

Pour one jigger absinthe into a Champagne glass. Add iced Champagne until it attains the proper opalescent milkiness. Drink three to five of these slowly.

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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by Pink Lady

We love to raise a glass for a good cause. That’s why we’re psyched about the ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) Association’ Inaugural Scotch and Chocolate Event scheduled for next Thursday, February 10 at The Commandant’s House in Charlestown, MA. Dressed in full highland kilt with bagpipes blaring, Glenlivet brand ambassador Sir Jeremy Bell will enlighten guests about the fascinating facts of Scotch, port and Champagne.  He will also teach guests how to saber a bottle of Champagne – it wouldn’t be a party if kilted Scot wasn’t whacking the top off a Champagne bottle with a sword, would it?

This event benefits a great cause, The ALS Association Massachusetts Chapter. ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. More commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, ALS causes patients to lose the ability to speak, move, swallow and breathe. An estimated 30,000 Americans are living with ALS, and patients typically die within two to five years of diagnosis. There is no known cause, cure or effective treatment – yet.

The only ALS-related organization in Massachusetts fighting ALS on all fronts, The ALS Association Massachusetts Chapter provides care today while supporting hope for tomorrow by providing direct patient services in addition to funding research and advocating for patients. Hundreds of ALS patients statewide receive free services including individualized case management, a respite care grant program, an equipment loan program, support groups and more. The ALS Association Massachusetts Chapter dedicates thousands of dollars to cutting-edge ALS research, advocacy and public awareness campaigns in the ongoing fight against Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Tickets to Scotch & Chocolate cost $100 and are available online at http://web.alsa.org/ScotchAndChocolate, or by phone at 1-888-CURE-ALS.

Happy sabering!

Cin-cin!

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

by Pink Lady

Ah, Labor Day—a time to relax, celebrate and have one last weekend of parties before summer turns into fall once again. We see this weekend as one last time to play, but Labor Day as a holiday has its roots in the labor movement of the late 19th century.

The first Labor Day was celebrated in New York City on September 5th, 1882, but the question of who first came up with Labor Day is debated. The most common answer is that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, first suggested a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”

National legislation was passed honoring the holiday in the aftermath of the 1894 Pullman Strike, a conflict between labor unions and the railroad industry that halted traffic west of Chicago. US marshals and army troops ordered in by President Grover Cleveland broke up the strike, resulting in 13 deaths and 57 injuries. Following the strike, reconciliation with the Labor Party became a top priority, and legislation to make Labor Day a national holiday was rushed through Congress in order to prevent riots. It passed unanimously and was signed into law just six days after the feds left.

LUPEC would also like to give a special nod to our many forebroads who participated in labor movements throughout history. The Women’s Trade Union League, for example, organized garment and textile workers, worked for protective labor legislation for women and better factory working conditions. Groups like this also served as a support network for women working within the labor movement who were often unwelcome, even barely tolerated, by male officers.

We will keep these labor organizers in mind as we raise a glass—or rather, an ice pop—on this long, lazy holiday weekend.

The recipe below comes to us via Linnea Johannson, a badass party planner and food and lifestyle editor for Elle Magazine. We suggest experimenting with several incarnations—elderflower (use St-Germain), cherry (use Roi René Rouge) and apricot (use Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot) are sure to delight.

 

ADULT ICE POPS

1 part Xanté pear liqueur

1 part lemon juice

1 part Champagne

lemon zest

Combine ingredients in an ice pop mold. Freeze and enjoy!

CIN-CIN!

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*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.

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*The latest ruminations from LUPEC Boston, in case you missed ‘em in the Dig.

by Pink Lady

There’s just something about The Great Gatsby: the gilded, glamorous, Jazz-era setting, the rich, drunk characters—as decadent as modern-day reality show stars. Plus, it’s a good book, a classic most people seem to have actually read, and one that LUPEC is very much looking forward to hearing again.

Not via book-on-tape, silly. At the American Repertory Theater’s latest show, GATZ, in which an employee at a low-rent business office finds a ragged old copy of The Great Gatsby in the clutter of his desk and starts to read it out loud—and doesn’t stop. It’s not a stage adaptation of The Great Gatsby, but a verbatim reading of the entire text. And it lasts six hours.

It sounds more like a “serious” episode of The Office than traditional theater, to be sure, but our faith in the A.R.T. has been sealed since they brought us Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More, which transformed an abandoned elementary school into a 1930s-era set that featured a bar, an awesome band and authentic classic cocktails. And GATZ has received rave reviews in the eight countries it’s toured since its premiere in 2006.

What better way to usher in this exciting new show than with a 1920s-themed party at the A.R.T.’s restaurant partner, Upstairs on the Square? You have our word that the drinks will be the bee’s knees. LUPEC curated the list.

We suggest you come dressed to the nines tonight, and sip a Seelbach as you don your spats and flapper hats. The drink was created at the Seelbach Hotel circa 1917, a haunt of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s as he was writing The Great Gatsby. Its history is a Lazarus tale if there ever was one: The recipe was lost during Prohibition, not drunk again until a hotel manager rediscovered and revived it in 1995. Legend has it that Gatsby was modeled on a gangster Fitzgerald met at the Seelbach Bar, probably while knocking back many of these.

Fitzgerald himself was a party man, after all, notorious for drinking too much gin with his wife Zelda and jumping into the fountains at the Plaza Hotel, boiling party guests’ watches in tomato soup and stripping down to dance naked at parties. The Seelbach was probably right up his alley. To paraphrase LUPEC member emeritus Barbara West, “One Seelbach makes you feel like you’re at a lawn party in  West Egg; a few Seelbachs make you feel like you’re in a nightclub balancing glassware on your boobs.”

Look out, Daisy, here we come.

SEELBACH COCKTAIL

1 oz bourbon

0.5 oz Cointreau

7 dashes angostura bitters

7 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

5 oz chilled brut champagne

Build in a champagne flute, stir, add champagne, stir again and garnish with an orange twist.

CIN-CIN!

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