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*As recently published in the Weekly Dig

by Pink Lady

Could there be a more appropriate cocktail to sip at the dawn of summer than the Daisy, a cool and refreshing drink named for the hardy, innocent flower?

Two versions of this drink were in wide circulation by the time Prohibition rolled around in 1919. The early version appears in the 1876 edition of Jerry Thomas’ The Bon Vivant’s Companion, and is made with spirit (brandy, whisky, gin, rum) lemon, gum syrup, orange cordial and finished with a splash of soda. As cocktail historian David Wondrich chronicles in his book Imbibe, over time that drink evolved into “something of a dude’s drink, a little bit of fanciness em-pinkened with grenadine … and tricked out with fruit.”

Shortly after Prohibition ended recipes for a “Tequila Daisy” started popping up from Mexico to New York State. The drink may have been the earliest incarnation of a popular modern cocktail whose name translates to “Daisy” in Spanish: the Margarita.

The “dude’s drink” is what we suggest sippin’ with gin this month, but please note: all incarnations of the Daisy are delicious. Sip any one you like while soaking up the sun on a patio, stoop, or porch as you toast to summer finally arriving.

GIN DAISY
Recipe from GOOD SPIRITS by A.J. Rathbun

1.5 oz gin
.5 oz lemon
.25 oz simple syrup
.25 oz grenadine
Club soda

Fill a highball glass with crushed ice. Add gin, lemon, simple and grenadine and stir twice. Top off with soda water. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and orange slice.

CIN-CIN!

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

by Pink Lady

Despite a scathing New York Times review for its caloric content, eggnog is all the rage this time of year. That’s all well and good to be sure. Before eggnog was the Xmas drink de rigeur, there was Tom & Jerry, a beverage well worth reviving as the cold weather cometh.

Tom & Jerry is famously credited to legendary sporting man and bar star, Professor Jerry Thomas. In his rendition, the Professor invented the drink in 1847 for a man who’d originally requested an egg beaten up in sugar. He went on to spike it with booze and hot water: “It was the one thing I’d been dreaming of for months,” he told a reporter. “I named the drink after myself, kinder familiarly,” choosing Tom & Jerry after his two pet white mice “as Jeremiah P. Thomas would have sounded rather heavy, and that wouldn’t have done for a beverage.”

Numerous references to the drink from the 1820s, 30s, and 40s prove this story isn’t true, but it sure makes a colorful anecdote. What we do know about the Tom & Jerry is that it hails from New England and was trotted out at every bar worth its bourbon when the temperatures dropped. Traditionally batched in a china bowl and doled out in little “shaving mugs”, the frothy beverage warmed imbibers well into the spring months.

Eventually Tom & Jerry disappeared from all but the most traditional saloons. Let’s bring it back this holiday season, shall we?

TOM & JERRY (single serving)

1 egg

.5 oz simple syrup

1 oz dark rum

1 oz Cognac

Hot milk or hot water

Grated nutmeg for garnish

Separate the egg white from the egg yolk and beat them separately. Fold the beaten eggs together and place into a “shaving mug”, regular mug, or Irish coffee glass. Add the sugar or simple syrup, dark rum and brandy.

Cin-cin!

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by Pink Lady
Wondering why such a high percentage of Boston and Cambridge boys are sporting moustaches these days? Is it because the moustache is the new hipster beard? No – well, maybe yes, but that’s not the only reason. It’s because they’re participating in Movember a campaign to raise funds and awareness about cancers that affect men. Seems less creepy now, doesn’t it?

We LUPEC ladies believe that it is every man’s secret wish to someday grow a moustache. Just for a minute, just to see. Movember harnesses that desire challenging men to change their appearance and the face of men’s health by growing one for a good cause. The rules are simple, start Movember 1st  clean-shaven and then grow a moustache for the entire month.  The moustache becomes the ribbon for men’s health, the means by which awareness and funds are raised for cancers that affect men.  Much like the commitment to run or walk for charity, the men of Movember commit to growing a moustache for 30 days.

Tonight a good group of Boston and Cambridge boys will be throwing a big party fundraiser at Toro which you will not want to miss for the following reasons:

1. Pencil thin, Magnum PI thick, curling handlebars: the moustaches themselves are a spectacle.

2. Special Canadian Club cocktails will be served, all delightful libations created by lovely and talented barmen like Andy McNees, Nick Korn, and Chris Olds. They boast amazing names such as the Stiff Upper Lip, the Peach Fuzz, the Milk Moustache and more.

3. There will be delicious delightful complimentary snacks.

4. There will be a raffle featuring amazing prizes including Red Sox tix, gift certificates to some of Boston’s best restaurants, Canadian Club (so you can recreate those fabulous cocktails at home) and more.

5. Groove to the musical stylings of TJ the DJ and his moustache-themed mix (we can’t wait to hear what that means.)

The party begins at 10 p.m. at Toro. Click here for more details. To learn more about Movember and support our boys with a donation online, click here.

And if you can’t make the party, mix up one of these and raise a glass to our boys in moustaches (after you donate, of course)!

THE CALGARY MOUSTACHE RIDE
2oz.  Canadian Club
1 oz. Maraschino liqueur
.5  lemon
.5 pineapple juice
Dash of simple syrup
Shake ingredients with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

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

by Pink Lady

If you’ve ever tried a Pisco Sour, you know the delights of the frothy drink, particularly the warm glow that steals over you after several sips. If you’re scratching your head and wondering, “WTF is Pisco???” do yourself a favor and read on.

Pisco is a distilled grape spirit that hails from Peru or Chile and is made from unique regional varietals. It’s born much in the same way as cognac or brandy, but is aged in stainless steel versus wood so typically has little to no discernible color. In its pre-Prohibition heyday, Pisco Punch was all the rage in the bars of San Francisco, with some bars devoted to serving that drink and nothing else. As the story so often goes, Prohibition nearly erased both pisco and punch from American cocktail landscape.

There are four different styles of pisco: pisco aromatica, pisco puro (single varietal), pisco acholado (a blend of aromatic and non-aromatic muscat grape clones), and pisco mosto verde (made from partially fermented grape juice.) Laws are less strict in Chile but in Peru, the production of pisco is highly regulated. A competitive marketplace yields great styles.

As a category pisco emphasizes place over process, allowing flavors of the grape to shine through by using stainless steel instead of wood for aging. Peruvian pisco is typically distilled just once or twice, and laws stipulate that the spirit cannot be rectified post-distillation so it must be distilled to proof. The quality of the grape is the measure of the distiller’s skill.

One brand of which are particularly fond is Macchu Pisco, helmed by the fabulous Melanie da Trindade-Asher. Her family-owned company also produces La Diablada, an acholado made from Quebranta, Italia, and Moscatel grapes. It’s floral, smooth, and extremely aromatic and an exciting way to try your favorite pisco cocktails. Sample a Pisco Sour with both and be changed.

PISCO SOUR

1.5 oz Macchu Pisco or La Diablada

1 oz simple syrup

.75 oz fresh lemon or lime juice

1 oz egg white

Angostura bitters

Combine the pisco, simple syrup, citrus juice, and egg white in a mxing glass. Dry shake to emulsify, then add ice and shake long and hard. Strain into a small cocktail glass. Garnish by sprinkling angostura bitters onto the egg white foam.

Cin-cin!

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

by Pink Lady

While we will hopefully enjoy the golden days of Indian summer in Boston for a few more weeks, we might as well get our ducks in a row now for the fall and winter sipping that’s on the horizon.

With ample time ahead, why not experiment with a little DIY liqueur making? Apples are beginning appear alongside tomatoes at the farmers market, and before long, we’ll be digging into pies, crisps and crumbles filled with them. A spicy, homemade liqueur is the perfect accompaniment to these delightful desserts.

By definition, a liqueur is an alcoholic beverage of a spirits base that can be flavored with botanicals (herbs, bark, seeds, roots), fresh and dried fruits, dairy products (cream, like Bailey’s), honey, spices or beans (think coffee, cocoa and vanilla). Liqueurs were first produced in Europe to combat intestinal problems, and many are still consumed as an aperitif/digestif today. And of course, many liqueurs find brilliant expression in cocktails.

Making a liqueur at home takes time, often at least a month. To make A.J. Rathbun’s recipe for the Italian liqueur Millefiori (“thousand flowers”), we’ll infuse our neutral spirit through a process of maceration, allowing the distilled spirit to steep with our ingredients for four weeks to capture their strong, spicy flavor.

When LUPEC met A.J. in Boston a few years back he confessed to us that this recipe is his favorite in the book. This fall we’re eager to give it a go.

CIN-CIN!

MILLEFIORI

from Luscious Liqueurs by A.J. Rathbun

2 tbsp whole coriander seeds

4-5 fresh mint leaves

0.5 tsp ground cardamom

0.5 tsp whole cloves

0.5 tsp freshly grated lemon zest

0.5 tsp ground mace

0.5 tsp fresh marjoram leaves

0.5 tsp fresh thyme leaves

4 cups vodka

1.5 cups simple syrup

1. Grind the coriander seeds and mint leaves with a mortar and pestle. You won’t want to destroy them, but you do want them broken up.

2. Put the coriander-mint combo, cardamom, cloves, lemon zest, mace, marjoram, thyme and vodka in a glass container with a tight-fitting lid. Stir well and seal. Place in a cool, dry spot away from sunlight. Let sit for two weeks, swirling it every couple of days.

3. Add the simple syrup, stir well and reseal. Return to its spot. Let sit for two weeks, swirling every couple of days.

4. Filter the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Carefully strain through a double layer of cheesecloth into a pitcher or other easy-pouring vessel. Finally, strain through two new layers of cheesecloth into another pitcher or bottle. Check that the liqueur is free of debris. If it isn’t, repeat this step until the desired clarity is reached. Pour the liqueur into one large bottle, or a number of small bottles or jars.

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by Pink Lady

In a week LUPEC Boston will be joining 10,000 revelers to converge on the Crescent City for five blissful days of libations, education, and cocktail preservation. As if that wasn’t enough to make our little hearts flutter, we’re thrilled to be teaming up with our LUPEC NYC brethren to host a Spirited Dinner at The Redfish Grill.

With the recent oil spill crisis in the Gulf it’s now more important than ever to support the the hospitality and seafood industries of Louisiana. We’ll be teaming up with the gals of LUPEC NYC to serve a spectacular dinner at the fantastic Redfish Grill on Bourbon Street. If you’re heading down to Tales, we hope you’ll come and join us! Check out the menu & cocktails below, which we’ll be writing about and posting recipes for in the coming weeks. Details below.

We hope to see you there!

LUPEC SPIRITED DINNER @ REDFISH GRILL

Thursday, July 22 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.

115 Bourbon Street

New Orleans, LA

To reserve a spot today, call: 504.598.1200

Redfish Grill‘s Menu
Cocktails by Kirsten Amann and Lynnette Marrero

Aperitif: Anacaona Aperitif
Dubonnet Rouge
Combier L’Original
St. Elizabeth’s allspice dram
Angostura orange bitters
brut champagne or sparkling wine
orange peel, discarded

Amuse Bouche:
Crystal marinated P& J oyster
fried crisp, served with “red-eye” mayonnaise

Amuse Bouche Cocktail: Islay Alteña
El Tesoro platinum tequila
fresh lemon juice
simple syrup
Jerry Thomas Decanter bitters
Lagavulin 16
lemon oil

First Course:
Grand Isle Shrimp and Grits
our version made with Anson Mill’s grits, hickory grilled jumbo shrimp, “roof” bacon lardoons and a slow cooked poached egg

First Course Cocktail: Cerro Quemado
Zacapa rum infused with lapsang souchong
Fino sherry
date molasses
Angostura bitters
orange zest

Second Course:
Local Jumbo Lump Crabmeat Salad
lemon marinated jumbo lump crabmeat with a salad of grilled shitake mushrooms, sugar snap peas, slivered radishes and a spicy boiled peanut emulsion

Second Course Cocktail: The Girl from Ipanema/Garota de Ipanema
Leblon cachaça
Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
fresh lemon juice
simple syrup
fresh ginger juice
lemon peel

Entrée:
Blackened Gulf Grouper
served with maque choux, lemon and shallot compound butter, basil infused extra virgin olive oil and garlic crisps

Entree Cocktail: Quimby Fizz
Tanqueray 10
lime juice
st germain
1 egg white
sage
top with club soda

Dessert:
Chef Toby’s individual angel food cake with Ponchatoula strawberries and a “brandy milk punch” milk shake

Dessert Cocktail: Pineapple Shooter
Zacapa rum
pineapple syrup
espresso cream (hand shaken cream with sugar cube and pinch espresso)

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

by Pink Lady

In just 13 days the ladies of LUPEC Boston will descend upon the New Orleans along with roughly 10,000 other mixologists, brand ambassadors, cocktail writers, and die-hard cocktail enthusiasts. Its one of our favorite weeks of the year – and one of out drunkest – and we’ve already begun prepping our livers. We hope you’ll indulge us as we get into the spirit and raise a glass to one of New Orleans’, greatest bartending broads, the late Flo Woodard.

Woodard, also known as “Ms. Flo”, became a bartender at the Court of Two Sisters in the early 1970s and held court behind the stick there for over 30 years. At the time, the company was looking for “someone with integrity and longevity, someone that could make the customers want to always visit our business again for our total experience,” Flo told the New Orleans Time-Picayune in 2009. This former hostess was a perfect fit. Female bartenders were virtually unheard of in the Crescent City in those days and The Court of Two Sisters were ahead of the times.

Woodard was a self-taught bartender who learned her craft from the pages of bar books, but the special brand of hospitality she practiced was innate. Flo was revered by customers for more than what she put in their glass. Her affable personality and zest for sharing stories brought scores of loyal bar patrons, including celebrity fans, from Cesar Romero to Tyler Perry to the entire cast of “The Young and the Restless” (a favorite show of Ms. Flo’s) to John Wayne’s son, Patrick.

Ms. Flo’s talent for engaging guests was also her passion: “Bartending has allowed me the opportunity to talk to people from all over the world. Many of them have shared much of their lives and secrets with me. When they call me Mama or Auntie, I know that I am the lucky one. I get to share my work time with people that I love. That is very big. They are very special to me. I have been blessed. That little girl from Mississippi found the rest of her family,” said Flo in her 2009 interview with the New Orleans Time-Picayune.

Flo was a star mixologist in her own right, who believed a good drink depends on to top of the line liquor, the right mix of ingredients, a fresh twist, and perfect glassware. In 2007 her Crescent City Cooler placed Second in the Tales of the Cocktail annual drink competition. Her famous Hurricane recipe was also reknown.

Flo passed away on March 16, 2010, but her legend endures. In Ms. Flo’s words: “A good bartender must have the personality of an ambassador, the attitude of a leader and the ability to be a great listener. That is the winning combination. And, of course, you must love people and talking to them.”

Let’s raise one of these to Ms. Flo and those who tend bar in her tradition by lifting our spirits with a good drink.

Crescent City Cooler
By Flo Woodard

10 Cleaned mint leaves

1 Dash simple syrup

2 Dashes of Angostura bitters

2 Dashes of Peychaud’s bitters

Juice of 2 lime wedges

2 ounces Bacardi Light rum

2 ounces Ginger Ale

3/4 ounce Cranberry juice

Lime wheel

Place mint leaves into a frosted Collins glass. Add the simple syrup and both bitters and muddle for 10 seconds. Add the juice from 2 lime wedges, Bacardi Light and ginger ale. Fill the Collins glass with ice and stir with a bar spoon. Top with cranberry juice. Serve with a straw.

Garnish: Garnish with a lime wheel and mint sprig.

Cin-cin!

TALES OF THE COCKTAIL IS JULY 21st-25th IN NEW ORLEANS. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT TALESOFTHECOCKTAIL.COM.

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

by Pink Lady + Hanky Panky

In honor of the anniversary of the birth of our nation, the ladies of LUPEC raise our glasses to the original first lady.

Regardless of party affiliation, most of us can agree that our very first president was a relatively stand-up guy, and his wife, Martha (to quote the stoner in Dazed and Confused), “was a hip, hip, hip lady.” And as a couple, George and Martha Washington knew how to party.

Martha took her entertaining duties as first lady very seriously. She hosted lavish parties at the then-capital cities of New York and Philadelphia, and the Washingtons’ estate, Mount Vernon. She wanted our nubile country and government to be on par with our European counterparts, and entertained in a similar formal style. Most of Martha’s affairs began with signature drinks served before dinner, which were likely made with spirits from Washington’s own distillery, one of the largest and most profitable during the colonial era.

According to the Mount Vernon Historical Society, George Washington favored sweet fortified wines like Madeira and port, and was also a fan of Rum Punch. So are we! Here’s Martha’s original recipe (from her notes).

MARTHA WASHINGTON’S RUM PUNCH

4 oz lemon juice
4 oz orange juice
4 oz simple syrup
3 lemons quartered
1 orange quartered
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
3 cinnamon sticks broken
6 cloves
12 oz boiling water

In a container, mash the lemons, orange, nutmeg, cinnamon sticks and cloves. Add syrup, lemon and orange juice. Pour the boiling water over the mixture. Let it cool. Strain out the solids. Heat the juice mixture to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Let it cool and refrigerate overnight.

In a punch bowl, combine:

3 parts juice mixture
1 part light rum
1 part dark rum
1/2 part orange curaçao

Serve the punch over ice. Top with grated nutmeg and cinnamon.

CIN-CIN!

For more stories on Presidential tippling, check out this post-election day post from Nov 2008.

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*LUPEC ruminations, as previously published in the Weekly Dig.

Imagine 35 pairs of arms working in tandem to produce a cocktail just for you. If you were in New Orleans for Mardi Gras circa 1915, The Stag saloon would have offered this surreal experience. There, Henry Ramos mixed up his special New Orleans fizzes, believed to be the best in the world.

Ramos invented the drink at his Imperial Cabinet saloon in 1888, when New Orleans was becoming a hot tourist destination, beloved for its quaint, historic saloons. Ramos profited greatly from this boom, as tourists thronged his establishment for a taste of his famous house fizzes. Six bartenders were employed per shift at the Imperial Cabinet, each with his own dedicated “shaker boy,” “a young black man whose sole job was to receive the fully charged shaker from the bartender and shake the bejeezus out of it,” writes David Wondrich in IMBIBE!.

Why all the shaking? This particular fizz recipe calls for egg white and cream, two ingredients that are famously difficult to emulsify. “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 said. If preparing a Ramos Gin Fizz, you’d best bring your guns to the show.

By Mardi Gras in 1915, Ramos had conceived a new format for emulsifying: 35 shakermen would shake the drink until their arms were tired, then pass it on down the line.

There is one place where you can still see great displays of mixological showmanship: Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans. This five-day celebration of the history and artistry of drink-making is just around the corner. LUPEC Boston will be there. Days filled with nerdy cocktail seminars taught by the most talented folks in the beverage industry, nights filled with boozing at New Orleans’ famous bars and a chance to sample a Ramos Gin Fizz in its hometown—we wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Think about joining us as you shake your own fizz long and hard.

RAMOS FIZZ

Adapted from The Essential Cocktail: The Art of Mixing Perfect Drinks by Dale DeGroff

1.5 oz gin

0.5 oz fresh lemon juice

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

1.5-2 oz simple syrup, to taste

2 oz heavy cream

0.75 oz egg white

2 drops orange-flower water

club soda

Combine the gin, juices, syrup, cream, egg white and orange-flower water in a mixing glass with ice, and shake long and hard to emulsify the egg. Strain into a highball glass without ice. Top with soda but no garnish.

CIN-CIN!

TALES OF THE COCKTAIL IS JULY 21st-25th IN NEW ORLEANS. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT TALESOFTHECOCKTAIL.COM

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

As you’ve probably noticed, LUPEC doesn’t devote much time to vodka cocktails. “It’s the predominant spirit on most cocktail lists,” you may be thinking, “so what gives? What do you broads have against vodka?”

It’s not that we have anything against vodka. We are egalitarian imbibers, after all, and we knocked back our share of Cosmopolitans in the ’90s. Our issue, really, is that vodka didn’t take root as a popular American tipple until well into the 20th century. Our mission is to “breed, raise and release cocktails that are endangered” into the wild, and there are precious few of these that use vodka as a base.

To paraphrase the US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau’s definition, vodka is a neutral spirit distilled from any material reduced to 80-110 degrees in proof, “to be without distinctive character, aroma, or taste.” It was a tough sell when Rudolph Kunett first bought the rights to produce Smirnoff in North America in the 1930s. Americans favored strong-flavored spirits, like our native whiskies and the gin that kept the country wet through Prohibition. Our fore-drinkers hardly knew what to do with a product “better known for what it didn’t taste like than by what it did,” as Anthony Dias Blue writes in The Complete Book of Spirits. An aggressive, clever marketing campaign fabricated by Smirnoff eventually spun vodka into the vogue new spirit, and it hasn’t looked back since the 1940s.

While vodka cocktails may be nowhere near endangerment, vodkas that champion flavor over neutrality are a rare find. We were recently introduced to Karlsson’s, a brand that does just that. A Swedish vodka made with seven different kinds of virgin new potatoes (little baby potatoes harvested so young, they don’t have time to develop skin) distilled only once to carefully preserve the flavors of its base.

So, how does it taste? It has a vegetal, slightly briny aroma and a nutty, sweet taste with hints of cocoa. It feels rich, silky and weighty on the palate. We look forward to playing around with it and developing some modern classics with this new-old style spirit. In the interim, we quite enjoyed sampling Karlsson’s on the rocks with freshly cracked black pepper. And we’ve heard it sings in one of these, created by New York barstar Jim Meehan:

THE GOLD COAST

2 oz Karlsson’s Gold vodka

0.25 oz Carlshamns Flaggpunsch (Swedish punch)

0.25 oz simple syrup

1 pinch fresh dill

Muddle dill and simple syrup in a mixing glass. Add vodka, punsch and ice, then stir and strain into a chilled Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with two spritzes of black pepper essence.

CIN-CIN!

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