Archive for the ‘Pink Gin’ Category

zenmartini1 by Pinky Gonzales

For those of you who consider the Pink Gin an old familiar friend (not to be confused with LUPEC member Pink Gin), below you’ll find an array of comments on its existence. For the unacquainted, or who read this week’s Dig column to the bitter end, Pink Gin is a keep-it-simple, Zen-like libation, which looks tranquil enough but can scorch your gizzard if drank with abandon. However, it’s a fine way to try various brands of gin and bitters if you wish, or simplify life in general while achieving enlightenment.

Plymouth gin is most favored here for it’s palatable smoothness and historical use. High-ranking British Royal Navy Officers were known to celebrate their high seas happy hour with straight gin-with-bitters (as opposed to swilling ubiquitous rum like their lowly, not possibly as manly, subordinates). Angostura bitters was something sailors were accustomed to as a remedy for sea sickness, fevers, and stomach disorders, so why not mix medicines, right? They referred to this cocktail as “pinkers” or “pink gin.” They even had a special flag or “gin pennant” on ship they’d hoist up announcing it was Miller time in the wardroom to other ships’ officers. It was an inconspicuous green triangle which depicted a drinking glass.

“It certainly goes a ways toward explaining how an island off the coast of Europe ended up ruling one-fourth of the earth’s land surface,” quips David Wondrich. His Esquire drinks database recipe instructs one to roll around a few good drops of Angostura in an Old-Fashioned glass, dump them out, then pour in 2 ounces of Plymouth et voilà.

Personally, I like a chilled Pink Gin, but not all my fellow LUPEC’rs do or care. Robert Hess has a good video of himself stirring up a Pink Gin and serving it in a small cocktail glass. He uses 1.5 oz of Hendrick’s in his. It’s on his excellent Small Screen Network here. If you are easily distracted like me you can mouse your cursor over the liquor bottles and watch the words “liquor bottles” pop up, or over Robert’s shirt that it declares a “bowling shirt,” etc. Just saying.

LUPEC Boston’s one-and-only water engineer and devoted Kingsley Amis fan, Pink Gin, says that the traditional Plymouth with Angostura, warm or chilled, is her preference. She was very against Amis’ preferred Booth’s Gin,  however, though she and “DUDEPEC” member K. Montuori both agree that Miller’s Gin with a little orange bitters “makes for a nice change of scenery.”

The honorary Barbara West likes Plymouth with Angostura “warm and blushing,” while LUPEC Prez Hanky Panky similarly likes “rose-colored.”

Other variations: Pink Lady says a chilled, Genever “pinker” is a positive experience. Fee’s peach bitters with Old Tom gin is a personal favorite variation, though Bourbon Belle and I do not recommend this as a way to finish off an evening of imbibing.
And lastly, Panky, Joe Rickey, and “John Collins” (Dudepec) over at Drink have been setting afire the Angostura then pouring in 2 oz Plymouth. They’ve been referring to this as “Burnt Toast”, and it is positively dee-licious.

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mxmologoLUPEC Boston is honored to be hosting today’s Mixology Monday at our humble abode.  Inspired by a chance encounter that Pink Lady had with a cocktail novice, we’ve decided to consider those cocktails that would be suitably delicious for the first timer.

Obviously there are a couple things to consider when offering up advice to the amateur cocktailian.  First off your suggestions need to be balanced.  Something too bitter, too sweet or too boozey results in our possible convert spending an eternity in vodka/soda purgatory.

And secondly we should consider accessibility.  Folks are afraid of words they don’t know or understand.  And rather than ask for guidance and clarification they will often just turn and run.  Cocktails for the first timer should be relatively simple and incorporate common ingredients.  Not only do we want the cocktail newcomer to enjoy and understand what they’ve just imbibed, we want to be able to write down the recipe and make it clear that it is something they can easily create for themselves at home!

Let’s hear from some of lovely ladies of LUPEC Boston.  How would they pave thelupec_logo72 way to cocktail glory for an amateur?

Pink Lady is a firm believer in the power of the Jack Rose.  “I think in sweeter incarnations and made with a little Peychaud’s, it could easily trick booze-fearing drinkers into swilling back something made with a brown liquor.”

Bourbon Belle chimed in with the Sidecar.  She describes “the combination of the bold and interesting flavor of brandy that is juxtaposed with the sour kick of fresh lemon juice and balanced with the sweet orange flavor of Cointreau” as a great well-balanced cocktail that goes down easy for the novice drinker.

Pink Gin agrees that the brown spirits tend to be an easier sell to the cocktail beginner.  She suggests a Mint Julep (hopefully served in the proper vessel) or perhaps her father’s favorite, a Bourbon Manhattan.  If Pink Gin gets her charm from her father I’m sure he could successfully put a Manhattan in the hands of any teetotaler!

Pinky Gonzalez pipes in with some options to help a newbie recover from any previous gincidents.  She’s used the Left Bank (Gin, St Germain and Sauvignon Blanc) to make “gin-drinkers out of many an unwitting soul.”  She also recommends the Vesper, saying “it’s good for vodka drinkers/gin fearers; the idea that there is vodka in there is enough for some to ‘go there.’  The Lillet offers the vermouth-fearer an alternative and the James Bond reference is a good hook for some folks.”

As someone who spends a big chunk of my life behind the stick making drinks for the general public I’m constantly considering gateway cocktails.  There is nothing more gratifying than introducing someone whose “usual” is a vodka and soda to the wonderful world of flavorful, balanced cocktails.  For this reason I’ve taken to calling them my greatway cocktails.  For our purposes today we will be focusing on gin and whiskey, the two base spirits that seem to be most misunderstood by the masses.

Let’s start with gin.  There is an erroneous fear of gin running rampant through our society that LUPEC is attempting to quell.  Gin is delicious and according to our good friend Patrick Sullivan it makes you smarter.  Armed with this fact and a few cocktails conversion is imminent.

Fine and Dandy Cocktail (from the Savoy Cocktail Book)

1/2 Plymouth Gin

1/4 Cointreau

1/4 Lemon Juice

1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.

The Fine and Dandy is a greatway cocktail for many reasons.  Like Bourbon Belle’s suggestion of the Sidecar, the sweet and sour aspects of this cocktail are wonderfully balanced but do not overwhelm the nuances of the gin.  In addition this cocktail gently introduces bitters, a cocktail ingredient that unnecessarily frightens the cocktail neophyte.

imagesThe Stork Club Cocktail

1.5 oz Gin

.5 Cointreau

1 oz Orange Juice

.25 oz Lime Juice

1 Dash Angostura Bitters

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Orange juice equals breakfast, the start to one’s day.  Why not start one’s cocktail journey with the juicy house cocktail of one of Manhattan’s most historic hot spots.

As a lover of all brown spirits I can’t imagine not enjoying a perfectly made Manhattan.  But as I know this is not the case for all let’s consider a couple of whiskey based greatway cocktails.

The Scofflaw Cocktail

1 oz Rye Whiskey

1 oz French Vermouth

.5 oz Grenadine

.5 oz Lemon Juice

1 dash Orange Bitters

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

This delicious cocktail is perfect for introducing someone to the joys of whiskey and vermouth.   It’s sure to make a newbie ooo and ah.

The Algonquinothers_46780_8

1.5 oz Rye Whiskey

.75 oz Dry Vermouth

.75 oz Fresh Pineapple Juice

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Another juicy option for introducing folks to the joys of marrying whiskey and vermouth.  Encourage the newbie to raise her or his glass to Ms Dorothy Parker, one of our favorite forebroads and member of the Algonquin’s famed round table.

Thank you to all who have participated in our Mixology Monday saluting First Timers.  Check back in the next couple of days for our round up!

Cin Cin!

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by Pink Gindrink-locally

This week’s Dig column highlighted the availability of locally produced spirits.  We’d like to hear from our readers what local products you recommend.

I’ll start:  Mary at Rialto created a drink called the Journalist that uses the Berkshire Mountain Distiller’s Greylock Gin to good effect.

In the meantime, I’ll share another yummy drink that came out of the Dogfish Head stash.


3 parts Dogfish Head Brown Honey Rum
1 part maple syrup
1 part fresh lemon juice

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Also a bit of trivia:  The Rehoboth Beach Layaway recipe featured in the Dig is adapted from the Webster F Street Lay-Away Plan described in Steinbeck’s Sweet Thursday.  Continued appreciation to Messrs Gertsen and Montuori for these recipes and adaptations.

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3fcfde5bf2c83-2-1Hopefully your night of revelry was worth the abhorrent hangover you woke up with today. As mentioned in today’s edition of Daily Candy, the ladies of LUPEC Boston are an infinite well of hangover cures. We’ve been in this situation before, you know. Many, many times. Here are a few of our signature suggestions***:

The Marconi Tireless: Fancy Brandy’s Runner’s Cure

Highly recommended for athletic types.

Before you pass out:

  • Set alarm for 7am(!)
  • Hydrate! Consume 20 oz of water or Gatorade (stick with one or the other) and 2 Aleve/Tylenol before sleep.  A full bladder brings down body temp and helps you wake up to the alarm.

Upon waking:

  • At 7am wake up, hydrate.
  • Get dressed, drunky!
  • Run/jog for 45 minutes.
  • Hydrate.
  • 15-30 minute hot shower relaxes muscles and steamcleans booze-filled pores.
  • Set alarm for three hours (length of one typical REM cycle) and go back to bed.
  • Take 5 to do whatever it is helps you sleep like a baby — linen spray, eye pillow, warm milk; the routine alone preps your mind for deep sleep.
  • Empty bladder.
  • Nap three hours.
  • Wake up, hydrate, head to brunch.

Fancy Brandy says: “My hangovers tend to last all day, so this trick is designed to essentially interject a tiring little day into another one to get it over with.  Sticking to the 7am alarm also means my circadian rhythms stay on track and I’m not late to my 9-5 all week.”

some-like-it-hot-marilyn-monroePrevention? What’s that? The Pink Gin Method

A kinder, gentler hangover cure.

Pink Gin says: “You need to plan on the possibility that you skip the night before remedy. If you remember it, do you really need it?”

  • Sleep.
  • Avoid getting up early when you wake up – it’s fake & you’re probably still drunk and also tired.  Drink some water & go back to sleep or just relax.
  • Brush & floss.
  • Light exercise/yoga to get some happy glands doing something.
  • Complete shower & some primping. Do some extra nice things – the point is to feel really clean & nice.
  • Rest as needed throughout this rigorous process and drink as much water as your stomach will allow.
  • Do something nice like read an easy book, magazine, or write your Dig article.
  • Try to reschedule the big meeting, or, look at it as a self-imposed challenge.

Andy McNees’ Hangover Eraser

For when you wake up too late to cancel brunch with your folks.

Before sitting down for brunch, head directly to the bar. Instruct the bartender to build the following over ice in a pint glass:

Shot of Fernet, two dashes of every kind of bitters they have, top with Soda water.  Drink as quickly as you can through two straws, like a Mind Eraser.

Andy McNees saved Hanky Panky’s life with this after the LUPEC Boston Tea Party last Fall. It was touch and go on the T-ride to Eastern Standard, says Hanky Panky, but “20 minutes later I felt great!”

silveritchSpiked Tab: Saucy Sureau’s Miracle Cure

Yes, they still make Tab.

  • When you get home, grab an ice cold Tab (currently available at Shaw’s, believe it or not) from your fridge and take a few sips.
  • Fill back up with vodka and put it on your night stand. Make sure it’s the only beverage on your night stand so when you wake up early and are too lazy/hungover/thirsty to move you pound it. Maybe you even forget – you tricked yourself!

Saucy Sureau says: “It’s just the right amount of the night before to get you right as rain.”

Doctor’s Tonic: How Medical Students Do It

None of us has tried this method, but its efficacy has been confirmed by a reliable source (my brother the doctor.)

Convince a medical professional to administer an IV of rehydrating saline solution. Five minutes later you’re fresh as a daisy.

First-year med students work well for this as they need practice putting IVs into veins. They’ve been in school for a couple months so hopefully they won’t gouge you.  Because, you know, they’re hungover.

In addition to our personal modern cures here’s a round-up of wonderfully obscure suggestions*** from some of our favorite cocktail books:

audrey-hepburn-breakfast-at-tiffanys-c10103786jpeg“[E]ven the soberest of men will sometimes wake up and wonder what hit him after the second highball,”  observe Virginia Elliot and Phil D. Strong in their 1930 volume Shake ‘Em Up. “If, after a long sleep, he judges that it was the Himalaya Mountains, he had better take two aspirin tablets with a tablespoon of hot water, chewing the tablets before swallowing. (I know it’s nasty, Mama’s Precious, but so is a bad old headache.)”

The authors go on to prescribe:

“1. A Little Hair of the Dog that Bit Him.

2. One pint of milk.

3. A half-pint of saurkraut or tomato juice.

4. A cup of black coffee to which has been added one teaspoon of spirits of ammonia.”

For the more serious hangover “a Prairie Oyster is a good kill or cure remedy. This consists of a raw egg drowned in Worcestershire Sauce.” Yum.

The list goes on, but some of the quirkier suggestions include the following:

  • If suffering “an exceedingly hot spot at the at the back of the stomach, apparently involving the spine, milk of magnesia.”
  • For legitimate nausea, milk and lime water. (And see what happens.)”
  • For fruitless nausea, almost any strongly effervescent drink, such as sal hepatica, Fruit salts, baking soda in a glass of water strongly tinctured with lime or lemon juice — these to be sipped while smelling a bottle of ammoniac smelling salts, or spirits of ammonia.
  • Ammonia is prescribed as an optimal solution for all cases of headache, as “it steadies the heart…In fact, ammonia, inhaled and imbibed, is a good bet for everything.” (This is not true.)
  • And as the authors finally note: “Lots of rot is talked about remedies. If some of these don’t cure you, there is nothing left except Blowing the Brain Out or De Consolation Philosophie.”

So dramatic. But sometimes it feels that bad, doesn’t it?

Charles H. Baker provides a different take on the “sort of human withering on the vine” that is the hangover in his Gentleman’s Companion, (repubbed  as Jigger, Beaker, and Glass). Baker believes the “Picker-Upper” to be the only possible cure for when you feel “precisely like Death warmed up”:

“We have…come to distrust all revivers smacking of drugdom. It is a small, tightly vicious cycle to get into, and a bit of well-aged spirits with this or that, seems much safer and more pleasant than corroding our innards with chemicals of violent proclivities, and possible habit-forming ways.” (Because morning drinking to calm the upsets caused by nighttime drinking couldn’t possibly be habit-forming.) Hence the inclusion of 27 recipes for Picker-Uppers.

Baker also issues an “earnest plea for a bit of outdoor exercise to those human victims of the “morning-afters”:

“Science has just recognized that with the tummy linings well saturated with last night’s ethyls or methyls, it is best remedied by increased natural circulation removing much of this condition. Therefore, after any Picker-Upper, let’s not lie supine and bewail hard and unjust fate…”

Which brings up an excellent point that is deftly explored by Kingsley Amis in On Drink: the physical hangover is terrible enough, but what about the toll a hangover has upon your mental state? Amis writes that hangover cures usually “concentrate exclusively on physical manifestations, as if one were treating a mere illness. They omit altogether the psychological, moral, emotional, spiritual aspects: all that vast, vague, awful, shimmering metaphysical superstructure that makes the hangover a (fortunately) unique route to self-knowledge and self-realization.” For this he prescribes courses for M.H. (Metaphysical Hangover) Literature and Music, the structure of which “rests on the principle that you must feel worse emotionally before you start to feel better. A good cry is the initial aim.” Course materials include:

HANGOVER READING: The “final scene of Paradise Lost, Book XII, lines 606 to the end, which is probably the most poignant moment in all our literature coming at lines 624-6”, followed by “a good thriller or action story, which will start to wean you from self-observation and the darker emotions (i.e. Ian Fleming); and finally by something funny, “but it must be white – i.e. not black – comedy (like P.G. Wodehouse.)

HANGOVER LISTENING: Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Sympathy (it’s Pathetique, like you) because “its last movement really does what the composer intended and…evokes total despair: sonic M.H. if I ever heard it.” If you can stand vocal, move on next to “Brahms’s Alto Rhapsody – not an alto sax, you peasant, but a contralto voice, with men’s choir and full orchestra”, and finally on to something lively and extrovert, such as “Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto, which would make a zombie dance.”

At the end of the day, hangovers are as individual as fingerprints: only you can determine for what will bring you back to life in the cold gray dawn of the Morning After. As with anything, the key to this is practice, practice, practice. And each time you face a P.H. anew, remember to

“Always take cheer from the thought that if you are healthy enough to suffer acutely, you will probably live.”

– Virginia Elliot and Phil D. Strong, Shake ‘Em Up (1930)

***EDITOR’S NOTE: Please note: not a single member of LUPEC Boston is a doctor, nor were any of the cocktail book authors we quoted above. Should you wish to test the efficacy of these cures, you should most definitely consult a doctor beforehand. And if you do, please let us know what they think of the Saucy Sureau Method.

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by Pink Gin

The theme of the May LUPEC Boston meeting was Travel.

We live in an amazing time when women have status and choices and when travel is cheap and easy. The ladies of LUPEC Boston celebrated the convergence of these ‘movements’ with food, drink, conversation, and authentic costumes from around the world. Featured readings came from Stuff at Night (on the topic of LUPEC’s Little Black Book of Cocktails), the Complete Book for the Intelligent Woman Traveler by Frances Koltun, published in 1967 (on the lively topic of bidets), and Easy to Make Maidens and Cocktails: A Mixing, Swingers Bar Guide published by Enrol in 1965 (illustrated with a saucy dame for each base spirit).

Recipes were selected on the theme of travel, including the traveler’s imperative to seek out local specialties – in this case, JP!

Monday-night Mug

2 bottles of Cantina Bostonia White Table Wine
~12 oz. Picon
~6 oz. St. Germain
10-12 dashes orange bitters
1 lemon
Mix the refrigerated wine and other liquid ingredients into a punch bowl. Slice the lemon and float on top.

This recipe was inspired by the French classic of mixing local white wine and Picon. Cantina Bostonia is the only Boston-based wine maker. They make sulfite-free wines just a few blocks away in the brewery complex. The wines have plenty of character and will definitely remind you of homemade. In this case the recipe testing and decision to create a punch came late the night before the LUPEC meeting. Thanks to k. montuori for recipe development and for saying, “In JP you don’t get punched, you get mugged.”

Recipe as given in the Little Black Book.

Inspired by thoughts of the high seas, of course!
Recipe as given in the Little Black Book. Harpoon Cider is the featured Boston ingredient.

~1 tsp. sugar of any sort (I happened to have agave syrup last night and it was fine)
2 oz. Irish whiskey (Powers was the brand on hand)
8 oz. stovetop espresso brewed with a generous portion of red pepper flake (thanks to mcoffee for the brew)
Heavy cream (from a New England farm of course)
Assemble the sugar, whiskey, and coffee in a stemmed glass. Stir. Whip unsweetened cold cream to desired consistency (I like it just shy of soft peaks) and carefully spoon on top. One story has it that the original Irish Coffee was invented in the Shannon International Airport Lounge. Truth or fiction? Who cares! The secret is in the spice.


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