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Posts Tagged ‘Orgeat’

Recent thoughts from LUPEC Boston, in case you missed ‘em in this week’s Dig.

by Pink Lady + Contessa

We extolled the virtues of Clio/Uni‘s secret/awesome cocktail program a few weeks ago in our hotel bar roundup. Little did we know that barman Todd Maul was developing a brand new cocktail menu, unveiled earlier this month. Weighing in with 80-plus libations, the ambitious menu rivals any other craft cocktail bastion’s and evokes the legendary “long list” at one of our other favorite watering holes, Green Street. How long will it take us to drink our way through this menu? Don’t tempt us.

The slim but potent, elegantly designed volume is cinched with a gold silk cord. Drinks run the gamut, from aperitifs ($9) to drinks for two ($25) to tiki drinks & daiquiris ($13), and feature a blend of pre-Prohibition and modern classics. Gin gets its own section, as does whiskey & cognac, with several pages of “other stuff” sandwiched between and “the stuff that didn’t fit anywhere else” on the last page (these will all run you $13). Old-school spirits ads are sprinkled throughout, like in our cherished vintage cocktail books; the effect as you leaf through it is more akin to reading a retro recipe pamphlet than selecting a beverage at a Back Bay bar.

On a recent outing, LUPEC emeritus Contessa was delighted to find drinks built around a house-made orange gin created with Seville oranges and Old Tom as base. She liked the Flying Dutchman, which mixes orange gin with orange juice, lemon and bitters, and pairs perfectly with rock shrimp and fish tacos. (Fish tacos at Clio? Who knew? And yes, they’re spectacular.) Maul assures us that many of these beverages (like the trendy tiki drinks) were designed with Uni’s raw seafood offerings in mind.

For a drink you won’t have to duck into the Clio bar to sample, we suggest an original that debuted on the new list, the Southern Beaches. Maul considers cachaça an under-utilized spirit, often relegated to caipirinhas and … well, that’s it. He puts it to work in a classic tiki formula here.

But seriously: How long do you think it will take us to drink our way through the list?

SOUTHERN BEACHES

1.5 oz Beija cachaça
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
0.25 oz Oloroso sherry
0.25 oz Orgeat
0.25 oz Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot liqueur

Shake ingredients with ice; strain over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with an orange slice, a lime twist and ground allspice.

CIN-CIN!

FOR MORE GREAT COCKTAIL RECIPES, VISIT LUPECBOSTON.COM.

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*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.

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

by Pink Lady

Ever tried a Zombie or a Suffering Bastard, or any drink served in a scorpion bowl or skull mug? With out-there names and kitschy vessels, tiki drinks are apt to inspire a giggle among cocktail neophytes. In their original incarnation, these were balanced, palatable drinks built upon rum, fresh juices and flavorful syrups—legitimate cocktails that would make modern bar snobs swoon.

The tiki craze has roots that reach all the way back to Prohibition, when thirsty Americans took to the Caribbean seas (where rum flowed freely) for rum cruises. They developed a taste for exotic island cocktails, meaning the market was ripe by the time Ernest Beaumont-Gantt opened his “Don the Beachcomber” bar in Hollywood in 1934, just after repeal. Victor Bergeron soon followed suit, revamping his Oakland eatery into “Trader Vic’s,” complete with South Seas décor. Post-World War II, the tiki phenomenon blossomed into a true craze that lasted well into the 1950s.

If Ernest Beaumont-Gantt, aka “Don the Beachcomber” and Victor “Trader Vic” Bergeron were the emperors of American tiki, a cornerstone of their empire was the mai tai—a drink they both take credit for inventing. Trader Vic alleges he innovated the drink as a simple way to make use of a bottle of 17-year-old J. Wray Nephew rum from Jamaica in 1944. He served it to Ham and Carrie Guild, two friends visiting from Tahiti, and after one sip, Carrie pronounced it: “Mai tai—roa aé,” Tahitian for, “Out of this world—the best.” And the mai tai was born.

Don Beach’s last wife, Phoebe, purports to have written proof Don invented the drink, in the form of a letter from a journalist describing a 1972 incident where Victor confesses that Don was the drink’s true progenitor. Some say both accounts are false, and the drink originated somewhere in Tahiti. Debate rages on, even after the movement and its founders are long gone.

When properly made, a mai tai is a revelatory cocktail; it’s no wonder Americans clamored for this delightful beverage and its tiki cousins for decades. Start your own tiki craze at home with one of these as you get in the mood for the LUPEC fall fundraiser this November: It will be a tiki bash of epic proportions.

MAI TAI

2 oz aged Jamaican rum

0.75 oz fresh lime juice

0.75 oz orange curaçao

1 tsp orgeat syrup

Shake well with ice and strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lime wheel, a mint sprig and, if possible, an exotic orchid

CIN-CIN!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THE LUPEC TIKI BASH SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14TH! CHECK BACK SOON FOR DETAILS!

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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!

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