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

by Pink Lady

Scotch. Chocolate. Both delight on their own, but can make for an even more exciting evening when paired. This week, you can learn more about both from Glenlivet’s own kilted brand ambassador, Sir Jeremy Bell, while raising money to fight Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

This Thursday, the ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) Association will host the Inaugural Scotch and Chocolate Event at The Commandant’s House in Charlestown, MA. Dressed in full highland kilt with bagpipes blaring, Sir Jeremy Bell will enlighten guests about the fascinating facts of Scotch, port and Champagne.  He’ll offer advice on winning combinations of chocolate and fruit for each spirit and wine, and will also teach guests how to saber a bottle of Champagne. For those who successfully chop the top off a bottle of bubbly with a Napoleonic saber, induction into the Confrerie du Sabre Dor (the brotherhood of the golden saber) awaits.
Cigar Masters will have an expert on-site to hand-roll cigars, adding to the old rich guy charm of the evening. The event will also feature hors d’oeuvres, a chocolate fountain with exotic fruits, piano playing, and live and silent auctions that include a shirt signed by Josh Beckett, a one-week Cape house rental in July, spa packages and a Scotch and cigar tasting for four at Cigar Masters.

This luxurious shindig is designed to benefit The ALS Association Massachusetts Chapter, the only ALS-related organization in Massachusetts fighting ALS (more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) on all fronts. Tickets cost $100 and are available online at http://web.alsa.org/ScotchAndChocolate, or by phone at 1-888-CURE-ALS.

Now what to wear while sabering a bottle of Champagne? Hmmm…mix up one of these as you ponder.

Speak Easy

Recipe by Oscar Quagliarini, Italy

Ice an old fashioned glass with cracked ice and Pernod, then pour it out.

In a mixing glass put:

1 sugar cube

3 drops The Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters

3 drops Chocolate Bitters

Crush the sugar cube.

Add to mixing glass:

Ice cubes

2.25 Glenlivet Single Malt Scotch (10 year old)

1 barspoon Galliano L’autentico

Stir & strain into the Pernod-rinsed Old Fashioned glass.

Flamed orange zest for garnish.

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 Dig.

by Pink Lady

LUPEC is fresh off the plane from Tales of the Cocktail, an annual convention for drink geeks in New Orleans, and after five straight days of imbibing, we sure are hungover. Back in the days before Prohibition, this situation called for one thing: a sour, a fizz, or really any style of morning brace up made with an egg.

Eggs are a contentious topic in many bars, which is why we were thrilled to attend the seminar entitled “The Egg-pire Strikes Back” last week. Work (or drink) in a craft cocktail bar long enough and you will inevitably hear a guest say: “Eggs in cocktails? Isn’t that dangerous? What about salmonella?”

Eggs have a long history as a cocktail ingredient. They were originally used as a substitute for milk in drinks and began to appear in recipes like the Morning Glory Fizz and the original recipe for the Sour in the 1880s.

Egg effectively works to bind the ingredients in the drink together, giving it a smooth, velvety texture. We’ve all been raised to fear salmonella, of course, but the bacteria takes about three to five weeks to develop, so using fresh eggs should keep you in a safety zone. It also targets the sick, the elderly and infants, most of whom shouldn’t be drinking anyway. And, in general, eggs have lower danger levels than lettuce.

Now, let’s get back to that morning brace up. People drank frequently in the days before Prohibition, which could of course lead to a bit of morning malaise. Before the Bloody Mary was even a twinkle in Pete Petiot’s eye, there was the Morning Glory Fizz. There are two ways to avoid a hangover: one is to never start drinking, the other is never stop. After stirring our souls and exhausting our livers at Tales of the Cocktail, I’m sure you know which one we’d choose.

Below, you’ll find Harry Johnson’s fizz recipe, about which he wrote: “The author respectfully recommends the above drink as an excellent one for a morning beverage, which will give a good appetite and quiet the nerves.” You heard the man. Bottoms up!

MORNING GLORY FIZZ

Harry Johnson’s recipe, adapted from Imbibe! by David Wondrich

0.75 tbsp sugar

0.5 oz lemon juice

0.25 oz lime juice

0.5 tsp absinthe dissolved well with a little water

egg white

2 oz Scotch whisky

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and dry shake for a few seconds. Add ice and shake, then strain into a highball. Top with soda water.

CIN-CIN! LUPECBOSTON.COM

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

by Pink Lady

Fellow drinkers, cocktail enthusiasts and lovers of quality beverage: We are lucky. We’re enjoying a glorious era. The cocktail is queen, and finding a quality drink in Boston is as simple as sidling up to any of the great bars in a long list of local destinations. Many of us remember a different time, a darker time, before rye was present among the spirits on the back bar, before the B-Side was even born (may it now rest in peace).

On occasion, though, we Boston drinkers might find ourselves inexplicably outside our comfort zone. Your fratty cousin comes to visit, for example, and you end up drinking with him at the Boylston Street bars (one that is misleadingly named after a spirit, perhaps?), and no matter how hard you try to explain that “Eastern Standard is, like, RIGHT THERE,” no one will budge. What’s a bratty cocktail snob to do?

A Manhattan or a classic martini is a simple enough template, but proceed with caution here—you have no idea how long that vermouth has been open, unrefrigerated and gathering dust on the back bar. A margarita should also be avoided, unless you have an unspoken affection for from-the-gun sour mix. There is a time and a place for a beer and a shot, or a gin and tonic … and many would say that this is it. If that’s not quite your speed, fear not; there are cocktails out there that simply cannot be ruined, no matter how hard an inexperienced bartender may try. So we present a new LUPEC feature for situational ordering: “Bullet-Proof Cocktails,” or “Drinks You Can’t Mess Up.”

Proud among these is the Mamie Taylor, a great old highball named for a famous Broadway star. It was the drink-du-moment for a few fleeting years around the turn of the 20th century and consumed by the thousands in the hot summer of 1900. The drink figured prominently in popular culture, writes Ted “Dr. Cocktail” Haigh in Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails: “Poems were written about the drink, jokes were told, and articles were written using Mamie to illustrate au courant sophistication.”

The Mamie’s a simple beverage composed of inexpensive ingredients, yet bars were nevertheless able to charge exorbitant prices thanks to the drink’s popularity. According to Haigh, it became “synonymous with ‘swank refreshment’ until 1920—and Prohibition.” Mamie enjoyed a brief comeback in the ’40s and was a predecessor to vodka’s gateway cocktail, the Moscow Mule.

Let’s bring Mamie back! Just … maybe don’t ask for her by name, lest you risk feeling even more uncomfortable than you already do with your fratty cousin’s “bros.”

MAMIE TAYLOR

From Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh

2 oz Scotch
.75 oz spicy ginger ale or ginger beer

Build over ice in a highball glass. Stir and garnish with lime wedge.

Notes on situational ordering: If the bar has ginger beer, lucky you! If not, or if you’re afraid to ask, ginger ale will do. If said bar does not have a fresh juice program, ask for Scotch & ginger with extra lime wedges as “garnish”—three or four should do.

CIN-CIN!

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

by Pink Lady

Is it just us or is winter come on particularly strong this year? This has inspired many a LUPECer to hibernate, basking in the glow of a sunlight-simulating lightbox as we watch the snow fall, clad in fuzzy slippers and wooly sweaters. What better way to warm from within than with a hot beverage?

We’ve introduced (and reintroduced) the Hot Toddy here, but how about putting that bottle of Laphroig 15 to good use with a Whisky Skin? Single malt drinkers usually shudder at the thought of mixing scotch into a cocktail, but it’s worth a try, for historical accuracy if nothing else. Blended scotches didn’t appear stateside until the 1890s (along with golf and a fascination with all things Scottish.) Before then, if you were mixing with Scotch whisky, it was the strong, smoky single malt variety.

Back then Scotch was usually served in a Toddy or other hot cocktail, like “Professor” Jerry Thomas’s Blue Blazer. To make this show-stopping tipple, add boiling water to a dram of Scotch, ignite, and hurl back and forth between two mugs; sweeten it with sugar and garnish with a lemon peel to serve. It’s a tough drink to make without injury. We suggest you spare your eyebrows and head down to Drink in Fort Point, where a talented professional can make one for you – if you’re good.

The Blue Blazer isn’t for chillaxing at home, anyway. For that we offer the Whisky Skin, the Blue Blazer’s tamer cousin, also called the Columbia Skin here in Boston. The drink was so popular, it even makes a cameo in the play Honest Abe watched the night he was assassinated. Cuddle up with one as you hunker down with Old Man Winter.

THE WHISKY SKIN
Adapted from Imbibe! By David Wondrich

2 oz of Scotch whisky (use Glenlivet or Islay)
1 small lump of sugar
1 piece of lemon peel

Build in a rocks glass. First rinse the glass with hot water, put in the sugar, fill the glass half-full of boiling water, add the whisky and stir. Garnish with lemon peel.

Cin cin!

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I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly…

-Ron Burgundy

So, this week’s Dig column focused on the lovely Laphroaig, the distinctly smoky, peaty scotches the famed Islay distillery produces,  and the female distiller who helmed the operation for a generation, Bessie Williamson.

For more smoky scotch tippling, here are a few scotch recipes the ladies of LUPEC curated for an upcoming event hosted by the Boston University Scotch Club in honor of the Women’s Law Association at BU Law. Knock one of these back in honor of lady lawyers, distillers, and scotch lovers everywhere.

Cin cin!

PRINCE EDWARD

In a mixing glass, filled with ice, add:

2 oz Scotch

.75 oz Lillet Blanc

.25 oz Drambuie

Stir to chill, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

BOBBY BURNS (Try with Highland Malt, then another with an Islay)

In a mixing glass, filled with ice, add:

2 oz Scotch

.75 oz Italian Vermouth

.25 oz Drambuie or Benedictine

1 dash Angostura bitters

Stir to chill, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

GENTLE JOHN

In a mixing glass, filled with ice, add:

2 oz Scotch

.5 oz French Vermouth

.25 oz Cointreau

1 dash Angostura bitters

Stir to chill, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

BLOOD & SAND

1 oz Scotch

1 oz OJ

.75 oz Cherry Heering

.75 oz Italian Vermouth

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

THE MAMIE TAYLOR COCKTAIL

1 oz Scotch

.5 oz lime juice

ginger ale

Fill a highball glass with ice. Add Scotch and lime juice and top with ginger ale.

BALVENIE ROB ROY (Also try with an Islay)

In a mixing glass, filled with ice, add:

2 oz Balvenie 12 year Scotch

.75 oz Italian Vermouth

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

LOCH KATRINE

A LUPEC Original, by Hanky Panky

2 oz Scotch

.5 oz Cointreau

.5 oz Lillet Blanc

muddled lavender

In a mixing glass, muddle lavender with Cointreau until fragrant. Fill with ice and add Scotch and Lillet

Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

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by Pink Ladyimg_2919

In this week’s Dig column, we shared the story of the Bloody Mary, a cocktail that is perhaps the most popular eye-opener for modern brunchers. And by eye-opener, we mean Merriam-Webster’s definition No. 1:

eye–open·er: noun
1 : a drink intended to wake one up

Daytime drinking may have fallen out of fashion in American culture, but there was a time when a morning tipple wouldn’t have branded you a layabout or a louse. Consider this treatise from Ernest P. Rawling’s RAWLING’S BOOK OF MIXED DRINKS (as quoted in David Wondrich’s IMBIBE) on the positive effects of the Fizz when taken early in the day:

“And in the ‘morning after the day before,’ when the whole world seems gray and lonesome, and every nerve and fibre of the body is throbbing a complaint against the indiscretion, just press the button and order a Gin Fizz — “Not too sweet, please!” It comes. Oh, shades of the green oasis in the sandy desert of life!”

Oh, wait. Hmmm…he seems to be talking about hangover cures. As Wondrich goes on to explain, a Fizz was the ‘Sporting Man’s’ breakfast of champions, a beverage to “moisten the clay with directly upon rising – an eye-opener, corpse-reviver, fog-cutter, gloom-lifter. A hangover cure…packed with vitamins, proteins…and complex sugars, foaming brightly and aglow with the promise of sweet relief.”

Hungover or not, we could all use a frothy glass of sweet relief every now and again. When in need, give one of these a try. The drink even has the word “Morning” etched into its nomenclature, perhaps to dispel any notions that drinking this before noon would be gauche. As Harry Johnson wrote in the recipe notes,” The author respectfully recommends the…drink as an excellent one for a morning beverage, which will give a good appetite and quiet the nerves.

MORNING GLORY FIZZ
Adapted from Harry Johnson’s NEW AND IMPROVED BARTENDER’S MANUAL as quoted in IMBIBE
.75 tablespoon sugar
.5 oz lemon juice
.25 oz lime juice
.5 tsp absinthe
1 egg white
2 oz Scotch whisky

Begin with the juices and 1 teaspoon or so of water in a mixing glass, stirring the sugar into it. Add shaved ice and shake vigorously; strain into a good sized bar-glass. Fill with soda water and serve.

Then of course, there is the Ramos Gin Fizz, a New Orleans eye-opener that can still be found on many a brunch menu today even outside the Crescent City. At one time, the popularity of this legendary combination of tough-to-emulsify ingredients necessitated a one-to-one bartender-to-“shaker boy” ratio at Carl Ramos’ Imperial Cabinet Saloon – a ‘shaker boy’ was a young black man whose job was to receive the ingredient-filled shaker from the bartender and shake the hell out of it. After relocating to the Stag Saloon, this epic cocktail was responsible for the jobs of 35 shakermen during Mardi Gras 1915, each passing the drink along to his neighbor once his arms grew weary. Again, with thanks to IMBIBE, here is the recipe adapted from Carl Ramos’ 1925 dictation to the  New Orleans Item-Tribune

RAMOS GIN FIZZ/NEW ORLEANS FIZZ
1 tablespoonful powdered sugar (use superfine)
3 or 4 drops of orange flower water
1/2 lime (juice)
1/2 lemon (juice)
1.5 oz Old Tom Gin (finally available in Boston!)
white of One Egg
1/2 glass crushed ice
About 2 tablespoonsfull of rich milk or cream
About an ounce of seltzer water to make it pungent

Together well shaken and strained (drink freely)
“Shake and shake and shake until there is not a bubble left but the drink is smooth and snowy white and of the consistency of good rich milk,” Ramos told the reporter. Best to have someone mix one for you if you’re truly looking for a little hair of the dog in this glass.

On the subject of hangovers, Charles H. Baker offers 27 drinks called “Picker-Uppers” in his Gentleman’s Companion, (repubbed  as Jigger, Beaker, and Glass), saying, “There are times in every man’s life when, through one reason or both, a man feels precisely like Death warmed up. In such sorry plight there is but one thing to do if we do not wish to sit and suffer through a whole day waiting for the cool hand of normalcy to stroke our dry and fevered brow — a Picker-Upper.” What follows is a fascinating list, atop which sits a unlikely suggestion: Drink Champagne.

Marches Champagne

A plain chilled pint of champagne per person with two or three simple biscuits is probably the finest picker-upper known to civilized man. The champagne must be very cold and can either have bitters, a little added brandy, or both…

Champagne in this role is somewhat more expensive than any of the other remedies collected, but when we think back there is stark realization that the time comes to every man when relative expense means little; and rather risk “turn” from the sight of raw egg, or taste of sweet ingredients, the refreshing, chill tartness of the bubbly is a dispenation straight from heaven.”

And how, Charles Baker!

Last but not least, here’s a recipe for the drink that they actually call the “Eye-Opener”, from the Savoy Cocktail Book:

yolk of 1 fresh egg
1 teaspoonful powdered sugar
2 dashes Absinthe
2 dashes Curacao
2 dashes Creme de Noyau
1 Liqueur Glass Rum
Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.

A modern interpretation is chronicled here, by Erik Ellestead from Underhill Lounge.

Whatever you choose to imbibe in the morning, may it pick you up and dash away your hangovers/sorrows.

Cin-cin!

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