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*Originally published in DigBoston

by Pink Lady

International Women’s Day is upon us, dear readers! The March 8th holiday isn’t something we celebrate with much gusto here in the states, but it’s celebrated heartily in other corners of the world. We first learned about Women’s Day from an ex-pat friend who lives in Italy, where Italian regazzi give their ladies yellow mimosas as they gather for women-only dinners and parties. Anyone who’s seen an episode of Sex and the City or ever happened across a huge group of girls at the bar finds this commonplace, but in Italy, ladies night is not so. In Poland Women’s Day is similar to American Mother’s Day; in Pakistan it’s a day to commemorate the struggle for women’s rights.

Women’s Day arose after an important protest on March 8, 1908, when 15,000 women took to the streets of New York, marching for voting rights, shorter hours, and better pay. The Socialist Party of America declared National Women’s Day to be February 28 the following year.

Women’s Day went global in 1910 when the delegates to the 2nd Annual Working Women’s Conference in Copenhagen unanimously approved an International Women’s Day. The first International Women’s Day was celebrated on March 19, 1911, with more than a million men and women attending rallies around the globe, campaigning for women’s rights to vote, work, and hold public office. The holiday was moved to March 8 two years later and has been celebrated then ever since. In 1975 the holiday received official sanction from the U.N. and has been an officially sponsored holiday ever since.

This International Women’s Day, why not celebrate with a cocktail from the “Lady” category? White Lady, Chorus Lady, Creole Lady – there are several but a Pink Lady will always be my go to.

Pink Lady

1.5 oz Plymouth gin

.5 oz applejack

.5 oz fresh lemon juice

.5 oz grenadine

1 egg white

Combine ingredients without ice in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Fill the shaker with ice and shake shake shake until frothy and delicious.

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

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 LUPEC Boston, a portion of which originally appeared in the Weekly Dig.

As the snow dumps and the holiday bills roll in many of us are choosing to imbibe at home, both to save money and stay warm. Such was the case last week for this LUPEC lady: my roommate whipped up a batch of jambalaya in the slow cooker and invited Alexander to come by for dinner. Alexander invited a friend who invited a friend and I invited a friend who did the same. Before we knew it, our snuggly winter dinner plans morphed into an impromptu dinner party. With all these guests on their way and only ten minutes to prep, what were we to do? Make punch!

Our group was a blend of bourbon drinkers and folks who “only drink vodka” so I turned to a bottle of Nolet’s Finest as a base, an elegant gin that uses Turkish rose petals and raspberries as main botanicals. With subdued juniper notes, Nolet’s ia a nice gateway choice for gin-phobes. I had white tea kicking about in the cabinet, lemons on the counter, a bottle of Combier and a little Orchard Apricot Liqueur on the bar. Old school recipes for punch (like, circa the 18th century) call for tea, sugar, water, spirits, citrus, and little spice. With all of these items at my fingertips, punch became possible.

When our guests arrived they were thrilled to find me batching up a bowl of punch just for them. It’s as simple as pie (easier even – have you ever tried to make pie dough?) but packs impressive, well, punch. Our guests christened it the Short Con – the Long Con has yet to be invented, but will probably use something brown as a base.

To similarly delight your guests, follow these simple steps:

Step #1: Steep tea. How much will depend on how much punch you are making; for the Short Con Punch I steeped 2 white tea bags in 1 cup of water for five minutes.

Step #2: Peel whatever citrus you choose and muddle it with sugar. Again, this should scale; for the Short Con Punch, muddle peels of 4 lemons and a lime in about a cup of sugar. Muddle until the citrus oils have been absorbed by the sugar.

Step #3: Add tea to the sugary citrus peel mix and stir until sugar is dissolved.

Step #4: Add base spirit, modifying liqueurs, and fresh squeezed citrus juice of choice in a ratio of 2:1:1. For the Short Con we started with 2 cups of gin, a little over ¼ cup of Combier, a little under ¼ cup of Orchard Apricot Liqueur and juice of 4-5 lemons. Taste as you go and modify as needed.

Step #5: Add a little water and ice.

Et voila! If serving immediately, ladle punch over ice filled cups. If you have time, allow the punch to chill for a bit (literally) before serving.

Your guests will be so impressed. But do prepare yourself for texts that blame you for their hangover the morning after.

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

by Pink Lady

Wedding registries serve their purpose, but what if you forget to buy a present until the last minute? Rather than choose between a gravy ladle and a celebration bowl as nuptial present for my best friend from high school, I circumvented mediocrity this July by giving the gift of booze.

The betrothed wanted to serve cocktails at their wedding, but offered just beer and wine in an effort to cut costs. Suspecting their guests might get rowdy if allowed unchecked access to an open bar, this seemed an optimal way to ensure the reception stayed classy. But the bride still longed for at least one cocktail at her wedding. A special nuptial punch created just for her was the perfect solution.

I procured a retro, 50’s-era punch bowl on EBay a few weeks before the wedding and had it shipped directly to the bride’s doorstep in Portland, OR. The night before the wedding I batched up this typical 18th century punch, tailoring it to the nuptial couple’s taste. Christened with a special name and served in their new punch bowl, it was a unique, delicious gift. Guests continue to stalk me on Facebook for the recipe.

THE ROSE CITY WEDDING CUP
For Alex and Mary’s Wedding
Serves 85

Step #1: Two days before.
Fill a metal bowl (sized to scale with the punch bowl) with water and stash it in the freezer.

Step #2: A few hours before the wedding, or the night before.
Steep 4 green tea bags in 4 cups water for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Peel 16 lemons. In a large bowl, muddle peels in 2 lbs sugar until oil is absorbed.
Add tea, 2 L cognac, and 1 750-ml bottle dark rum (I used Bacardi Dark Select, a favored brand of the father-of-the-bride.) Stir until sugar is dissolved.
Add 8 cups cold water and refrigerate.

Step #3: Complete this step within a few hours of serving.
Add 24 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice to the booze-sugar-tea mixture.

Add block of ice to the punch bowl and serve. The punch doesn’t taste strong but it is; ladle conservatively into an ice-filled glass.

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