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Posts Tagged ‘grapefruit juice’

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

by Pink Lady

Like most culinary potations, cocktails taste as good as the ingredients you put in them, a point that is most potently relevant in the case of fresh juice.

Once upon a time, the only way to impart juice into a cocktail was by reaching for whichever citrus struck your fancy and giving it a squeeze. But as American foodways developed into economies of scale and prefabricated items became vogue, use of fresh citrus in cocktails fell out of fashion. Sour mix, for example, appeared in the 1930s post-Prohibition era as a useful tool for new barkeeps thrust into the job with virtually no training after 13 dry years. Then, as now, it tasted awful compared to the fresh stuff, leaving no wonder as to why so many great classics fell out of fashion.

The best way to understand how fresh juice plays in cocktails is to taste for yourself. Squeeze room-temperature citrus whenever possible (cold fruit yields 1/3 less juice) and just squeeze what you need, as fresh juice becomes bitter very quickly and isn’t worth keeping overnight. If squeezing in any sort of volume, strain your juice with a hand-held citrus squeezer through a fine mesh strainer or chinois to remove any residual pulp.

Even bars that champion fresh lemon and lime will often buy commercial orange and grapefruit juice. Sample this cocktail with fresh grapefruit juice instead, and you’ll never again reach for Ruby Red.

BLINKER COCKTAIL

2 oz rye

1 oz grapefruit juice

1 tsp raspberry syrup

Shake in iced cocktail shaker and strain. Serve in a cocktail glass.

CIN-CIN!

 

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

We’re thrilled to celebrate history-making forebroads in honor of Women’s History Month this March. What could be better than raising a glass (or three) to a woman who made history this month?

On March 7th, Kathryn Bigelow became the first female director to win two of the most coveted Oscars the academy has to offer, “best director” and “best film,” for her low-budget, low-grossing, critically acclaimed drama, The Hurt Locker. (It also managed to beat out a little ditty directed by her ex-husband that cost over 15 times as much to make and grossed almost 100 times as much at the box office.) Bigelow is the first woman to take home the best director title in the ceremony’s 82-year existence.

LUPEC Boston was shocked to learn how sorely underrepresented women are among Hollywood’s power elite. Dr. Martha Lauzen of San Diego State explains the phenomenon in her regularly published “Celluloid Ceiling” survey: Of the top 250 grossing movies this year, just 16 percent of directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors were women. Female directors represented 7 percent (the same percentage they held back in 1987, when hair bands and acid-wash jeans seemed like a good idea), and women writers make up only 8 percent.

Nevertheless, 2009 was heralded as “The Year of the Woman” in Hollywood, in part because two of the year’s top-grossing films (New Moon and The Proposal) had female leads, and also because some high-profile female directors had new releases, including Nora Ephron, Jane Campion and Lone Scherfig (whose An Education was also a best picture nominee). But Bigelow was the fourth woman to even be nominated for best director since the advent of the academy.

Manohla Dargis points out in a recent New York Times story that the win is more than a milestone; it’s “also helped dismantle stereotypes about what types of films women can and should direct.” Bigelow generally makes “kinetic and thrilling movies about men and codes of masculinity set in worlds of violence.”

This season, Bigelow’s gripping Hurt Locker swept the awards circuit, racking up trophies from the Directors Guild of America for “outstanding direction,” a nomination for a Golden Globe, a “best direction” award from BAFTA, nine Oscar nominations and six Oscar victories.

Today we raise a glass to Kathryn Bigelow, who is accused of making movies “like a man” nearly as often as we are accused of drinking like one.

HOLLYWOOD COCKTAIL

1 1/2 oz light rum

1/2 egg white

1/2 oz grenadine

1/2 oz grapefruit juice

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and dry shake to emulsify. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled vintage cocktail glass. Garnish with fresh-grated nutmeg.

CIN-CIN!

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

by Pink Lady

As members of LUPEC, we devote a good deal of time, both personally and professionally, to breeding, raising and releasing endangered cocktails into the wild. It’s arduous work, but someone’s gotta do it. Every now and then, we like to take a little break from the cause and diversify our activities. What better way to do so than with a night at the theater?

We were thus utterly delighted when the folks at Manderley Bar invited us to participate in the immersive theater experience Sleep No More. Produced by award-winning British theater company Punchdrunk in conjunction with the American Repertory Theater and La Morra restaurant, this performance has been making headlines since it opened in Boston in October. A cursory read of the details leaves no question as to why:

• The show takes place in an abandoned elementary school in Brookline, where each room has been transformed into that of a 1930s-era home. (Except the bathrooms, where the stalls are still portioned for little people and hark eerily back to second grade.)

• It’s theater … kind of. More precisely, the show is an installation of scenes designed to intimate the story of Macbeth told in the framework of an Alfred Hitchcock thriller.

• The audience dons masks and moves through the set among the actors, experiencing the performance on a sensory level as they choose what to watch and where to go—from pine-scented rooms full of Christmas trees to a hallway that reeks of mothballs, to room after room of props you can actually touch.

• A ’30s-era jazz club, the Manderley Bar, acts as home base for the show, where a swinging jazz quintet, the Annie Darcy Band, performs standards post performance as you mix, mingle, debrief and drink.

• The entire experience is creepy as hell but with Manderley Bar as home base, you can pop in for a tipple at any point during the show, and return to experience more art through a slightly rosier lens.

LUPEC Boston will join the staff at Manderley Bar behind the stick tonight pouring a special cocktail list inspired by the performance, including Satan’s Whiskers (Curled or Straight) and our favorite punch, David Wondrich’s Fatal Bowl, among others. These will be served in addition to the Manderley’s excellent classic menu, which features gems like this one, the Old Etonian. Mix one up at home as you toast the coolest interpretation of Macbeth to hit Boston in some time—and buy tickets online before the show ends on January 3rd.

OLD ETONIAN

1.5 oz Plymouth Gin

1.5 oz Lillet Blanc

Add two dashes each of crème de noyaux and orange bitters.

Shake with ice; strain into your favorite vintage cocktail shaker. Garnish with a twist of orange peel.

Drinks from the LUPEC Boston menu at Sleep No More are below:

SATAN’S WHISKERS (Curled or Straight)
.5 oz gin
.5 oz dry vermouth
.5 oz sweet vermouth
.5 oz orange juice
2 tsp orange curacao
1 dash orange bitters
Shake, strain up, garnish with orange twist. For straight, sub Grand Marnier for curacao.
From Harry Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail Book, published in London in 1930. “We sip our Satan’s Whiskers curled if it’s still light outside and straight if it’s not.”

BLUE MOON
2 oz Gin
.5 oz lemon juice
.5 oz Crème Yvette
Shake and strain in to a chilled cocktail glass
Lemon twist

THE BLINKER
2 oz rye
1 oz grapefruit juice
2 barspoons raspberry syrup
Shake with ice, strain into a chilled vintage cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon twist.
First appeared in Patrick Gavin Duffy’s The Official Mixer’s Manual, circa 1934. Blinker was another term for the blinders worn by working horses to help keep their eyes on the road.

THE FATAL BOWL (aka The Wallop Bowl)
Recipe by David Wondrich
4 lemons
1 cup demerara sugar (or Sugar in the Raw)
4 English Breakfast Tea bags
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 1/2 cups Cognac
1 1/2 cups Dark Rum
fresh nutmeg
Remove the peel from 4 lemons with a vegetable peeler, and place in a large punch bowl. Pour demerara sugar over the lemon peels and muddle to release the lemon oils from the peel.
Boil 2 cups of water and steep the 4 tea bags for 5 minutes.  Add hot tea (tea bags removed) into the lemon and demerara mixture.  Let cool for 20 minutes, if possible.
Add Cognac, Dark Rum, and fresh squeezed lemon juice. Place large chunks of ice, of an ice mold into the punch. Top with grated nutmeg.

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by Pink Lady

Along with several other LUPEC ladies, I spent 5 days in July pickling myself at the Tales of the Cocktail festival in New Orleans. Instead of heading home after so much debauchery, I continued my trip over to the Left Coast where my high school bestie’s wedding was scheduled for the following weekend. For future reference, I would NOT recommend tacking another whole week of boozy travel on to the week after Tales, unless you have a liver the size of Texas. That said, my travels introduced me to a whole new world of Left Coast libations of which I was thrilled to partake. The adventure included a night of bar-hopping in Seattle to check out the Zig Zag Cafe and meet living legend, Murray Stenson, followed by several drinks at the ultra-sleek cocktail venue Vessel, Tini Biggs for a visit with blogger/bartender Jamie Boudreau, and last call at Sun Liquor. (Special thanks to my lovely tour guides, Rocky and Kevin.)

After a one-evening break (which involved sipping rose instead of cocktails), I headed to Portland, Oregon, where I was shepherded from train station to nail salon to dinner in a whirlwind of bachelorette party madness. I’m typically wary of bachelorette parties – penis straws and screaming girls wearing identical tee-shirts and over-sexualized pieces of flair are just not my thing. I circumvented silliness this time by planning the party myself.

IMG_3306Perhaps against his better judgment, PDX bartender Dave Shenaut invited me to bring the ladies to the Teardrop Lounge. The venue is a classy place, not one I’d typically bring a gaggle of drunk, screaming girls into, but Dave insisted it would be the best place to take our group. He arranged for there to be pitchers of cocktails waiting for us on the table they’d reserved, allowing me to introduce the group to the deliciousness that is the Hemingway Daiquiri. Each pitcher was cooled with meticulously carved special ice: one held two perfectly round balls, the other contained the obligatory phallus. As we imbibed, they played the bride’s all-time favorite movie on the screens above the bar, Dirty Dancing. Around 11:30, just as the busy evening crescendoed, the lounge-y background music suddenly stopped, supplanted for a few glorious minutes by this song/scene from Dirty Dancing. The ladies – and some other awesome bar guests – sang along.

To outside observers, especially jaded restaurant industry vets like myself, the drunk, screaming bachelorette party can seem insufferable…until all of a sudden you’re inside the lady explosion. Then it can be fun. Thanks to Dave and our good friends at the Teardrop Lounge, I think it’s safe to say: the bride had the time of her life.

HEMINGWAY DAIQUIRI

1.25 oz white rum

.25 oz maraschino liqueur

.5 oz fresh grapefruit

.75 oz simple syrup

.75 oz fresh lime juice

Shake with ice; strain into a chilled vintage cocktail glass.

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