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

by Pink Lady

In a few short days, HRH Prince William will marry Kate Middleton, making royal history as can only be done once a generation. What better way to toast this occasion than with a cocktail with a royal pedigree of its own? This Friday, the ladies of LUPEC will be sipping The Prince of Wales’s Cocktail.

The current Prince of Wales is Charles, the longest serving heir apparent in history (he was only nine when he became as such). Prince Albert Edward was once in Prince Charles’ shoes, during which time his Queen Mum Victoria pretty much excluded him from political activity. With all that free time on his hands Edward did “what anybody else would have,” writes David Wondrich in Imbibe: “He got grumpy and he got loose. Mistresses and mischief ensued.”

Prince Albert Edward was something of a playboy, to be sure, and came to exemplify the leisured elite in his day. His accession to the throne ushered in the Edwardian era, the exact opposite of the buttoned up Victorian period: a time of increased social mobility, loosened bodices for women, and scientific and technological innovation. Leisure sports became all the rage with the upper classes, and let’s not forget that ultimate game-changer—the automobile.

In his many years as Prince of Wales, Albert Edward had many occasions to imbibe. We’re thrilled he came up with this, his namesake take on the newly evolving genre of libation: The Cocktail.

The Prince of Wales Cocktail
Adapted from Imbibe! By David Wondrich

1.5 oz rye whiskey
Crushed ice
A small square of pineapple
Dash Angostura bitters
Lemon peel
.25 tsp maraschino
1 oz Champagne
1 tsp sugar

Put the sugar in the bottom of a mixing glass with bitters and .5 tsp water. Stir to dissolve. Add rye, maraschino, and pineapple chunk, fill 2/3 with cracked ice, and shake brutally to crush pineapple. “Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, add the cold Champagne, and deploy the twist. And smile.”

CIN-CIN!

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*Recent ruminations from the ladies of LUPEC as originally published in the Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

Politics and cocktails? Yes, please. With President’s Day on the horizon we thought it only fitting to highlight some of the drinking habits of our nation’s leaders, culled from the fascinating book of Presidential fare and trivia Politics and Pot Roast by Sarah Hood Solomon.

George Washington totally made whiskey at Mount Vernon. He was the first and only founding father to own and operate a commercial distillery. It enjoyed two good years of robust rye whiskey production before Washington’s death in 1799.

Though 11th President, James Polk occasionally partook in a Raspberry Shrub, he and his wife Sarah took their roles in the White House solemnly…I mean, seriously. Food & drink were not served at most receptions and dancing was forbidden.

Andrew Jackson’s administration was a different story. The simple ceremony planned to celebrate his inauguration went horribly awry when 20,000 people invaded the White House mansion. The celebrants caused an epic ruckus breaking windows, china,and furniture and causing several fires. The place was so packed that people who came in the door had to crawl out the windows. Clever cooks eventually lured revelers out of the Presidential mansion by putting out tubs of whiskey on the lawn.

President James Buchanan had a legendary tolerance. He once reprimanded a liquor merchant for sending pint bottles of champagne to fulfill orders of bubbly because they were too small. On his way to church, Buchanan liked to stop at the Jacob Baer distillery to purchase a 10-gallon cask of “Old J.B.” whiskey. He liked that he and the whiskey shared the same initials.

Alice, Theodore Roosevelt’s oldest daughter, was an independent woman after our own hearts: “She smoked on the White House roof, wore pants, and was known to have a cocktail.” (Cheers, Alice!)

While Governer of NY, FDR never let a guest’s glass go empty, often pressing his company to have a second and third drink, asking “How about another little sippy?” as he poured his favorite ‘Haitian Libation’ (made with orange juice, rum, and grenadine.) Over-served guests used houseplants to discard the contents of the glass.

President and First Lady Truman were fond of Old Fashioneds, but butler never seemed to make them correctly. He finally got it right when he tried this recipe: pour bourbon over ice; serve. Truman was prescribed 2 shots of bourbon a day by his doctor, which he took each morning with a glass of orange juice.

As you raise a glass of this favorite of George Washington, we offer you this advice, from the sage “Etiquette Rules for State Dinners” in The White House Cook Book, circe 1887:

“Don’t, when you drink, elevate your glass as if you were going to stand it inverted on your nose…Drink gently, and not pour it down your throat like water turned out of a pitcher.”

MOUNT VERNON’S MINT JULEPS
Recipe from the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association
Handful of fresh mint
1 to 4 tablespoons sugar
1/8 to 1/2 cup water
Crushed ice (about 1 cup)
1/2 to 1 cup bourbon
Powdered sugar

Reserve one mint sprig for garnish. Put remaining mint in the bottom of a (tall) glass, and crush with a mortar. Put in simple syrup (made from the sugar and water). Fill with crushed ice. Pour bourbon on top. Dip mint sprig in powdered sugar as garnish. Quantities of the ingredients may be adjusted for individual tastes.

FOR MORE GREAT RECIPES, VISIT LUPECBOSTON.COM.

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

We’ve barely broached the topic of tipping. Gratuity is a confusing issue, and we’d like to address the view from the other side of the bar.

The lore of tipping a dollar a drink

Once upon a time, a cocktail was sour mix and spirits and set you back $5. In those days, $1 per drink was a fair tip. But tipping 15 percent on your dinner is no longer enough, nor is tipping a buck for a $10 drink.

“If I open a $3 Bud for you, I don’t expect more than a dollar,” says Hanky Panky, a bartendrix at Drink. “When you tip me $1 on an $11 drink, that’s less than 10 percent.”

“Know how to figure it quickly and easily,” says Pinky Gonzales. “Ten percent of a $12 drink is 1.20, therefore, x 2 = $2.40 to make 20 percent. You can also make it easy on yourself and a little generous for the bartender and round up.”

“My general rule is $1 a drink or 20 percent, whichever is higher,” says Bourbon Belle. That’s easy to remember, no matter how many drinks you’ve had.

Craft counts

Anyone can pop open a brewsky, but bartending at a craft cocktail mecca is a different animal. Bartenders at the city’s finest watering holes spend days—even months—developing tinctures, bitters, syrups and shrubs for the perfect cocktail, or hand-carving a special ice formation to chill your Old Fashioned without watering it down. This extra love deserves a little extra love. And nothing says “I love you” like cash.

Be appreciative

If you roll into the bar at last call and order seven Blue Blazers, put yourself in your barman’s/barmaid’s shoes: You’re just about to log off your computer and go home when the boss rolls over to your desk. Remember that as your bartender tosses flaming hot whiskey between two mugs at 1:45am. Reward your server as you wish your boss would: with thanks. And cash.

If your bartender gives you something for free, a few bucks more than 20 percent is a small way to say thanks, and a small price to pay for the VIP treatment you’ve just received.

Bartending is a demanding job and pays about $6 an hour. Bartenders work long hours—12-14 hour days are commonplace—and the bulk of their salary depends entirely upon tips, which means it depends entirely on you. So tip generously and tip often.

Cin-cin!

TIP TOP PUNCH

1.5 oz brandy
0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
0.25 tsp sugar
0.5 oz Benedictine

Shake in an iced cocktail shaker and then strain over new ice in a tall glass. Top with champagne.

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

By Pink Lady and Hanky Panky

As we discussed last week, our recent involvement in the Boston Center for Adult Education’s “From Jackie to Michelle – Celebrating the First Ladies of Fashion” fundraiser prompted us to ask ourselves “What Would Jackie/Michelle Drink?” Jackie Kennedy’s love for Daiquiris in Camelot is well documented. But what does Michelle Obama drink? Our inquiries to White House Social Secretary Desirée Rogers’ office went un-answered, so we improvised at the event, serving the Southside Cocktail to represent Ms. Obama, who grew up and raised her family in the Chicago neighborhood that bears the name.

We linked the drink to Chi-town for our event, but the Southside was well known as the house cocktail at the 21 Club in New York.  Owners Jack Kriendler and Charles E. Berns got into the Speakeasy business to help pay for night -school during Prohibition. They owned various joints around Manhattan, but once their operations moved uptown, they attracted ritzier clientele, including many Yale graduates and some classy broads, like Dorothy Parker and Edna Ferber.

The 21 Club’s secret Wine Cellar was once an elaborate system for hiding Prohibition-era hooch and was built to be virtually invisible. The entrance was shielded from fuzz’s watchful eyes by several smoked hams hanging from the ceiling and a shelf full of canned goods. The 2.5-ton door was built to look like part of the cement wall, and entry required sliding a slender 18″ meat skewer through one of the wall’s many cracks. Nowadays, the secret room is one of the most coveted private dining venues in the city.

There are lots of great tales about the 21 Club. One finds Clare Booth Luce stepping aside to allow Dorothy Parker entrance to the Club muttering, “Age before beauty,” to which Parker replied “Pearls before swine.” In another, Robert Benchley shrugs off his raincoat saying, “Get me out of this wet coat and into a dry Martini.”

Who created the cocktail?  Who knows.  But Dale DeGroff proudly and rightfully places it in the world of sours, which by definition are sweet, sour and strong: a simple combination that can be absolutely terrible if it is out of balance.

Boston Fashion Week starts in a few short days. Celebrate with one of these – we’re not sure if Michelle Obama has ever had one, but we’re sure she’d enjoy this decidedly fashionable beverage.

SOUTHSIDE COCKTAIL

1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
2 mint sprigs, muddle with lemon & sugar
1 1/2 oz gin

Muddle lemon, mint, and sugar in bottom of mixing glass. Add gin & ice and shake. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.

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

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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