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Posts Tagged ‘The Manhattan Cocktail Classic’

*As recently published in the Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

Later this week, yours truly will team up with Holistic Health Coach Kendra Strasburg of Crave Health to present a seminar at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic called Beyond the Hangover Cure: What to Eat, Drink, and Do to Combat Your Boozy Lifestyle.

Do healthy cocktails really exist? Kind of. Alcohol dehydrates the body and stresses the liver and we know we shouldn’t drink if we want to be health nuts. But would you be reading this column if that was your jam? No. The good news is there are strategies for developing cocktails that will ultimately be healthier for you than others.

When building your cocktail, reach for a natural sweetener such as honey or maple syrup over a sugar-based one, such as the ubiquitous simple syrup. You can’t always swap out honey simple for regular since it has a unique flavor profile of its own that will ultimately affect your drink. But it sure is fun to play around with.

Coconut water might not be a wise choice for churning out bar volume cocktails given the price, but when drinking at home, this mild, super hydrating, potassium-filled nectar can make for a lovely way to top off your cocktail.

Love ginger? Put it in your glass. This root has been said to have many therapeutic properties, including antioxidant effects. “And, it strengthens and tones the immune system as well—keeps us from getting sick after all the boozing!” says Strasburg. We’ll drink to that. Muddle some ginger, combine with a little gin or vodka, some honey simple syrup and lemon or lime juice and voila! A lovely gingery sour.

See how easy that was? Now, if you’re all about drinking healthy out in the field but hesitant to annoy your bartender or your friends with your quest, just ask for a Bee’s Knees. It’s a classic you can sip proudly, and no one ever has to know.

BEE’S KNEES
2 oz Plymouth gin
.75 oz honey syrup
.5 oz fresh lemon juice

Shake with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and serve.

CIN-CIN!

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

by Pink Lady

In a few short weeks several of the ladies of LUPEC Boston will take Manhattan by storm at the Second Annual Manhattan Cocktail Classic. Part festival, part fête, part conference, part cocktail party – the Manhattan Cocktail Classic (MCC) is an annual celebration of the myriad points of intersection between cocktails and culture.

From May 13-17, thousands of bartenders, brand ambassadors, cocktail lovers and nerds will convene in New York to learn and party. The MCC features over one hundred events two of which are fantastic seminars offered by ladies of LUPEC.

On Saturday, May 14 at 7 p.m. LUPEC Boston will team up with Holistic Health Coach Kendra Strasberg of Crave Health to offer Beyond the Hangover Cure, a seminar on what to eat, drink, and do to combat your boozy lifestyle. Studies have shown that simply going to bed later than 10 p.m. each night takes a serious toll on the liver. What does that mean for the bartender, whose shift ends 2, 4, even 6 hours after optimal bedtime has come and gone? Between 12-hour shifts greasy, carby staff meals and copious consumption of alcohol, the odds seem stacked against the bartender who seeks a balanced, healthy life. We’ll discuss how to find balance through nutrition and movement, despite drinking four cocktails (or more) a night, while drinking healthy cocktails. Yes, they exist.

On Tuesday, May 17 at 2:30 p.m., LUPEC will bring the Science of Taste Through Cocktails, a seminar originally presented here in Boston with the Science Club for Girls, to the Big Apple. Why does Campari taste delicious to some and make others gag? How can a sweet liqueur taste divine to one palate and cloying to another? Taste is very personal and the way people experience it seems a bit magic but can be decoded through science. We’ll explore the scientific aspects of taste and flavor through cocktails from LUPEC Boston, NYC, and Seattle representing the 5 facets of taste (sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami.) Don Katz, a Professor specializing in Chemosensation from Brandeis, will speak about the science of taste and flavor, and Chemist Graham Wright will explain how these concepts are applied in the glass.

Sound interesting? Manhattan is just a short train/Megabus ride away. Mix up a Punch Fantastique at home as you ponder making the trip.

LE PUNCH FANTASTIQUE

Developed by Lynnette Marerro, LUPEC NYC to represent SWEET for Science of Taste Through Cocktails

1oz club soda

4 sugar cubes

1/2 oz Carpano Antica vermouth

1/2 oz lemon Juice

1/2 oz Cherry Heering

1/4 oz Fresh ginger syrup (pressed ginger juice 1:1 sugar)

2oz Hine cognac VSOP

1/4 oz all spice dram

2 dash Angostura bitters

1oz Champagne

In a mixing glass dissolve the sugar cubes in 10z club soda.  Add all ingredients except Champagne. Stir with ice to bring to temp.  Strain into a highball over ice and add Champagne.

Cin-cin!

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

by Pink Lady

A favored tipple of grandmas and Brits, sherry hasn’t been popular among young’uns like us in a while. We happen to love the stuff. At the Manhattan Cocktail Classic in New York last week, we attended a seminar on sherry drinks that convinced us sherry will be the next hip thing. Here’s a primer, so you know what to expect when you see it pop up on cocktail lists everywhere.

Most people think of sherry as a sweet wine, but it’s actually made in a variety of styles ranging from super dry pale finos, to the rich, lush wines made from Pedro Ximinez, one of the sweetest wines you’ll ever taste.

Sherry is a fortified wine made in Jerez (southern Spain). Palomino fino is the base grape for most sherries, and it yields a regular wine that is light, pleasant to drink and straightforward, if a bit uninteresting. The sherry-making process changes this wine completely, developing complex flavors that make it an interesting ingredient in any cocktail.

Sherry wines are aged in barrels called “butts” (hehe), under a thick layer of yeast called “flor,” which prevents oxidation of the dry fino wines. After aging for six months, the winemaker checks the wines and determines, based on the flor’s thickness, if the wine will be a fino, or a nuttier, oxidized style, like amontillado or oloroso. Each style is then placed in its own solera, a special system of fractional blending, in which old wine is constantly refreshed with new wine. The barrels are stacked on top of one another in rows called “criaderas,” with the oldest butts on top. In some sherry houses, these criaderas house wine for years. Each time the sherry is bottled, an equal amount of vino is drawn off from each of the criaderas in the solera. That wine is then replaced with wine from the next oldest criadera, and winemakers are careful to blend horizontally and vertically across the rows in the solera. It’s a crazy complicated system, brimming with tradition and, in our opinion, a little bit of magic.

Sherry may be perceived as grandmacore, but back in the Golden Age of cocktails, the sherry cobbler was one of the most popular drinks around. It’s a light, refreshing sip, perfect for spring, and one we highly recommend resurrecting on the patio.

THE SHERRY COBBLER
Adapted from IMBIBE by David Wondrich, based on Jerry Thomas’ recipe

4 oz sherry of your choice

0.5 oz simple syrup

2-3 slices of orange

Shake ingredients with cracked ice, pour unstrained into a tall glass, with fresh fruits in season as garnish.

Dr. Wondrich suggests that Jerry Thomas would have been mixing this with fino sherry, but play around and see which you like best. For fuller, sweeter sherries like Pedro Ximinez or oloroso, scale back the sugar.

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