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Posts Tagged ‘sweet vermouth’

*Recent ruminations from LUPEC Boston as published this week in the Dig.

by Pink Lady

Though most of us have been out of school for a while now, it’s hard not to feel all back-to-school-y when September rolls around here in Boston. As the seasonal bounty turns from summer fruits to apples, so does our hankering for a bit of the sweet stuff … such as delicious and delightful applejack.

Applejack, America’s oldest distilled spirit, is an apple brandy that first became popular during colonial times, with Laird’s & Company as the first commercial producers. William Laird was a Scotch-maker in his native Scotland before crossing the pond in 1698 to settle in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Apples were abundantly available in the region, so he used them to keep making hooch.

In the 1760s Robert Laird served under General George Washington in the Revolutionary Army, which he kept supplied with the “cyder spirits”. General Washington even borrowed the Laird’s family recipe to try his own hand at the distilling.

Aside from the “apple” part, Laird’s Applejack has little in common with other “apple products” in the marketplace, such as apple schnapps and (yech) Pucker, and drinks like whiskey with an apple-y finish. Modern Laird’s Applejack is also considerably different from the colonial stuff, blending real apple brandy with neutral grain spirits to smooth and reduce the alcohol content for our delicate modern palates.

Applejack is as American as apple pie and happens to be helmed by a very cool LUPEC-loving lady, Lisa Laird Dunn. She’s the 9th generation Laird to head up the company. We’ll drink to that!

 

JERSEY LIGHTENING

.75 oz fresh lime juice

1.5 oz applejack

.5 oz sweet vermouth

Shake in iced cocktail shaker; strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Take that, Sour Apple-tini!

CIN-CIN!

FOR MORE GREAT COCKTAIL RECIPES VISIT LUPECBOSTON.COM.

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*As originally published in the Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

LUPEC ladies love our whiskey. And our whisky. (No, it’s not a typo: the spelling tells reflects the nationality of the spirit.) And we know, with its myriad rules nuances, the category can be confusing for the cocktail neophyte. In light of this, we offer you a whisk(e)y primer in several parts, turning our attention this week to rye.

Whiskey, in broad strokes, is grain spirit aged long enough in oak to take on characteristics of the barrel. Rye whiskey takes its name from main ingredient, rye, which by law must compose 51% of the grain in the mashbill. Rye is aged in charred, new American oak barrels like its corn-based cousins, bourbon and Tennessee whiskey, but has a lighter, and more peppery character. When considering the basic differences, think bread; as DrinkBoy.com founder Robert Hess says, “I’d never have a Rueben sandwich on cornbread.”

Rye whiskey was the favored spirit of colonial America, and was first made stateside by Scots-Irish immigrants who imported the grain. Despite the harsh Northeastern climate, hardy rye flourished, making it a perfect go-to ingredient for early American hooch.

Prohibition took a nasty toll on the American whiskey industry, and rye in particular had a tough time bouncing back. Even mainstream brands were difficult to find until recently. As cocktail nerds learned that classics like the Manhattan were originally prepared with rye, the spirit has surged back to in popularity. Brands like Old Overholt, Jim Beam and Sazerac are more common on back bars, and new interpretations of the category, like (ri)1 have even arrived, marketed as “ultra premium” brands positioned to win over vodka drinkers.

Rye also happens to be the base spirit for many New Orleans classics, which we are copiously imbibing at Tales of the Cocktail at present. Should you like to do the same, try one of these.

COCKTAIL A LA LOUISIANE

.75 oz. rye whiskey
.75 oz. Benedictine
.75 oz. sweet vermouth
3 dashes Herbsaint
3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

Stir with cracked ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

CIN CIN!

 

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*As originally published in the Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

Ever sip a cocktail in a cave? Residents of 17th century Philadelphia did, thanks to a very clever widow that we are happy to count among our forebroads. Continuing our celebration of historic ladies of bartending, here is the story of Alice Guest.

Alice and her husband George emigrated from England to Philadelphia in 1683, where George set up a brickworks on a less-than-desirable swath of land on the banks of the Delaware River.

When George died in 1685, Alice applied for a license to operate a tavern (as many women did) as way to support herself. The locale? The cave she occupied on the banks of the river. Alice’s dwelling indicates that she was of meager means at the time, but she was quickly able to turn her fortune around. Alice’s cave was ideally positioned to provide tavern services to the increasingly large numbers of immigrants pouring into the country by ship. She also captured the business of men employed in the sea trade: mariners, merchants, chandlers and ship carpenters.

During her first year in business Alice amassed enough money to put a bond on her business. When the city of Philadelphia moved to evict all the cave dwellers from the banks of the river, Alice was among the few exceptions to the rule. Alice could certainly have afforded to move her tavern business anywhere, but she chose to stay in her cave, most likely because she had a solid reputation there, served a regular clientele and could offer guests a unique place to sip their punch.

By the time she died in 1693, Alice had received a patent to her land, built a structure to house her tavern and erected a wharf out from her riverfront—along which she’d also constructed warehouses and a dwelling. And yes, she acquired another residence.

Here’s to Alice and her booming, cave-dwelling Philadelphia tavern!

ALICE MINE
1 oz Grand Marnier
3/4 oz gin
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1/4 oz sweet vermouth
1 dash Angostura bitters
Stir ingredients with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
CIN-CIN!!

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

by Pinky Gonzalez

In the spirit of bulletproof cocktails (read: drinks very hard to fuck up), we offer the Americano. It was born in Italy, and named for us Americans. It’s a tall, soda-and-mixers drink, and you can knock back a few of ‘em in the blazing heat without worrying about it going straight to your head.

Most bartenders won’t know what the hell you’re ordering if you ask for it by name, however, so do the following. Ask graciously if they are familiar with the highball Americano, as opposed to the (sans-alcohol) espresso with hot water. If not, kindly say something like, “It’s a little obscure but simple: equal parts Campari and sweet vermouth topped with soda in a tall rocks glass with an orange twist.”

Make sure it gets plenty of ice too. Some ‘tenders like to skimp on the rocks, lest they have to make (sigh, groan!) another trip to lug up more ice for their bin. Fill it with ice, pal.

Cinzano, the Italian (sweet) vermouth is preferred here. Campari is a scarlet-hued, bittersweet, Italian aperitif that is usually mixed with soda or used in Negronis. Campari was developed in Milan in 1860 by Gaspare Campari, using a secret recipe of aromatic herbs in a base spirit. Bark, cherry and orange peel often come to mind.

The Americano cocktail was originally known as the “Milano-Torino”—Campari from Milan (Milano) and Cinzano from Turin (Torino). During Prohibition, the Italians noticed a surge of American tourists who enjoyed the beverage. As a nod to their thirsty American visitors, the drink became known as the “Americano.”

CIN-CIN!

AMERICANO

Fill glass with ice, top with:

1 oz Campari

1 oz sweet vermouth

fill with club soda

garnish with orange peel

READ MORE FROM THE LADIES UNITED FOR THE PRESERVATION OF ENDANGERED COCKTAILS, BOSTON CHAPTER, AT LUPECBOSTON.COM.

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

by Pink Lady

As members of LUPEC, we devote a good deal of time, both personally and professionally, to breeding, raising and releasing endangered cocktails into the wild. It’s arduous work, but someone’s gotta do it. Every now and then, we like to take a little break from the cause and diversify our activities. What better way to do so than with a night at the theater?

We were thus utterly delighted when the folks at Manderley Bar invited us to participate in the immersive theater experience Sleep No More. Produced by award-winning British theater company Punchdrunk in conjunction with the American Repertory Theater and La Morra restaurant, this performance has been making headlines since it opened in Boston in October. A cursory read of the details leaves no question as to why:

• The show takes place in an abandoned elementary school in Brookline, where each room has been transformed into that of a 1930s-era home. (Except the bathrooms, where the stalls are still portioned for little people and hark eerily back to second grade.)

• It’s theater … kind of. More precisely, the show is an installation of scenes designed to intimate the story of Macbeth told in the framework of an Alfred Hitchcock thriller.

• The audience dons masks and moves through the set among the actors, experiencing the performance on a sensory level as they choose what to watch and where to go—from pine-scented rooms full of Christmas trees to a hallway that reeks of mothballs, to room after room of props you can actually touch.

• A ’30s-era jazz club, the Manderley Bar, acts as home base for the show, where a swinging jazz quintet, the Annie Darcy Band, performs standards post performance as you mix, mingle, debrief and drink.

• The entire experience is creepy as hell but with Manderley Bar as home base, you can pop in for a tipple at any point during the show, and return to experience more art through a slightly rosier lens.

LUPEC Boston will join the staff at Manderley Bar behind the stick tonight pouring a special cocktail list inspired by the performance, including Satan’s Whiskers (Curled or Straight) and our favorite punch, David Wondrich’s Fatal Bowl, among others. These will be served in addition to the Manderley’s excellent classic menu, which features gems like this one, the Old Etonian. Mix one up at home as you toast the coolest interpretation of Macbeth to hit Boston in some time—and buy tickets online before the show ends on January 3rd.

OLD ETONIAN

1.5 oz Plymouth Gin

1.5 oz Lillet Blanc

Add two dashes each of crème de noyaux and orange bitters.

Shake with ice; strain into your favorite vintage cocktail shaker. Garnish with a twist of orange peel.

Drinks from the LUPEC Boston menu at Sleep No More are below:

SATAN’S WHISKERS (Curled or Straight)
.5 oz gin
.5 oz dry vermouth
.5 oz sweet vermouth
.5 oz orange juice
2 tsp orange curacao
1 dash orange bitters
Shake, strain up, garnish with orange twist. For straight, sub Grand Marnier for curacao.
From Harry Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail Book, published in London in 1930. “We sip our Satan’s Whiskers curled if it’s still light outside and straight if it’s not.”

BLUE MOON
2 oz Gin
.5 oz lemon juice
.5 oz Crème Yvette
Shake and strain in to a chilled cocktail glass
Lemon twist

THE BLINKER
2 oz rye
1 oz grapefruit juice
2 barspoons raspberry syrup
Shake with ice, strain into a chilled vintage cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon twist.
First appeared in Patrick Gavin Duffy’s The Official Mixer’s Manual, circa 1934. Blinker was another term for the blinders worn by working horses to help keep their eyes on the road.

THE FATAL BOWL (aka The Wallop Bowl)
Recipe by David Wondrich
4 lemons
1 cup demerara sugar (or Sugar in the Raw)
4 English Breakfast Tea bags
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 1/2 cups Cognac
1 1/2 cups Dark Rum
fresh nutmeg
Remove the peel from 4 lemons with a vegetable peeler, and place in a large punch bowl. Pour demerara sugar over the lemon peels and muddle to release the lemon oils from the peel.
Boil 2 cups of water and steep the 4 tea bags for 5 minutes.  Add hot tea (tea bags removed) into the lemon and demerara mixture.  Let cool for 20 minutes, if possible.
Add Cognac, Dark Rum, and fresh squeezed lemon juice. Place large chunks of ice, of an ice mold into the punch. Top with grated nutmeg.

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