Archive for the ‘Vodka’ Category


*As originally published in the Weekly Dig on December 2, 2011 by PINK LADY




If we told you that we sometimes plan what we’re going to drink a month ahead of time, would you hold it against us? This week, we have New Year’s Eve Cocktails on the brain. We know, we know—it’s too soon! But if you’re thinking of making up a batch of your own, homemade liqueur, planning must begin at least a month out.

With DIY ingenuity and surprisingly little effort, you can wow friends and family this New Year’s Eve by serving them sparkling cocktails made with pomegranate liqueur. This recipe is courtesy of LUPEC pal A.J. Rathbun’s book, Luscious Liqueurs. Making your own liqueur is simple, but serving a cocktail that features your own, homemade stuff is bound to impress. Bottling it as a host gift for whomever is throwing the party on New Year’s Eve? That will land you on the A-list at parties for years to come.


Excerpted from Luscious Liqueurs, by A.J. Rathbun. (c) 2008, used by permission from The Harvard Common Press.

2 pomegranates
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups vodka
.5 cup Simple Syrup

Remove the seeds from the pomegranates using a spoon or any other process you think works best. Put the seeds in a bowl and, using a muddler or wooden spoon, crush them to release the juice.

Put the juice and seed bits, orange zest, cinnamon, and vodka in a glass container with a tight-fitting lid. Seal and place the container in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. Let sit for 2 weeks swirling occasionally.Add the simple syrup, stir, and reseal. Return to its spot. Let sit for 2 more weeks.

Carefully strain liqueur through a double layer of cheesecloth into a pitcher or other easy pouring vessel. Strain again through 2 new layers of cheesecloth into another pitcher or bottle. Check that the liqueur is free of debris (the little seed particles can slip through). If it isn’t, repeat this step until it is. Pour the liqueur into one large bottle or several small bottles.

For a great New Year’s Cocktail, pour 1.5 ounces of Persephonia in a flute and top with chilled Champagne.


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According to a recent Zagat Survey article, “Bostonians are very aware of the nutritional and environmental impacts of the food they eat… 78% of surveyors like their food to be locally grown or raised..”  — Zagat is referring to your entree, but it follows that we Bostonian/Cantabrigians appreciate environmentally-friendly cocktails as well. With that we high-five Hungry Mother, who won the 2008 “Champions in Recycling” Award from waste management company, Save That Stuff. The award “recognizes clients and partners who consistently demonstrate outstanding recycling practices and innovative approaches to waste management. Hungry Mother… uses sustainable and local ingredients whenever possible. They are committed to recycling as much as they possibly can—recycling over 80% of their waste with us, including organics, bottles and cans, paper and cardboard!”

Even better?  Alon from Hungry Mother reinforces what we’ve read on SaveThatStuff.comrecycling is cheaper than trash pick-up.  From Day 1 HM has been recycling, composting, using non-toxic cleaning supplies, buying organic/sustainably raised produce and using straws and stirrers that are made of corn and are compostable.  HM, we’ll be in shortly to toast you with a No. 49. (See the full list of SaveThatStuff’s recyclers/composters!)

top_backyard_greenAnd finally, we googled the shit out of researched “spirit” + “sustainable” and asked bar managers around the city to name the organic/sustainable spirits on their bars.  To name a few:
GIN: Bluecoat Gin, Juniper Green Organic London Dry Gin

VODKA: 360 Vodka, Rain Organic Vodkas, Crop Organic Tomato Vodka, 888 Organic Vodka, Tru Organic Vodka, 360 Organic Vodka, Reyka Vodka (geothermal production facility), Square One Vodka, Orange V Vodka, Prairie Organic Vodka

ASSORTED: 4 Copas Tequila, Del Maguey Mezcal, Papagayo organic rums, Sparkling Brut (Gruet), VeeV Acai Spirit, Loft Organic Liqueurs, Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whiskey.

The Samurai
From H Ehrmann of Elixir, SF
2 oz. Square One Cucumber
1/2 oz. Sake
1/2 oz. lemongrass syrup*
Shake well with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
* Lemongrass Syrup – Trim the stalk at the bottom and just past the heart of the stalk (4-5 inches). Cut the heart lengthwise down the middle and with a mallet pound the lemongrass to break it up.  Boil lemongrass in one cup of water for 2-3 minutes then add one cup of sugar slowly, stirring constantly to dissolve.  Bring to a boil then simmer for 3-5 minutes until syrupy.  Remove from heat and cool completely.  Pour through a strainer into a storage bottle.  Refrigerate.

Lawn Mower
from Nicole Aloni of The Backyard Bartender
1 cup diced, ripe honeydew, cantaloupe or seedless watermelon
1 oz vanilla vodka
1/2 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
1 tbsp roughly chopped fresh mint
About 1/2 cup cold brut Champagne or dry sparking wine
Puree the melon and strain into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Add vodka, Cointreau, lime juice and mint. Shake vigorously to infuse. Strain the mixture into chilled glass, top with champagne float.

Cin cin!

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Call Sign Chayka

On this day in 1963 Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to fly in space. Out of more than four hundred applicants, Tereshkova was one of five women selected to join the female cosmonaut corp in February, 1962. Tereshkova was seen as a particularly worthy candidate because of her meager upbringing in a small village outside of Moscow and also because her father had died as a war hero during World War II.

The female cosmonaut corp went through rigorous training, including weightless flights, isolation tests, centrifuge training, spacecraft engineering and parachuting. However, despite extensive training the female cosmonaut corp was never fully integrated into the cosmonaut corp. The creation of the corp and the flights of women in space were primarily used for propaganda purposes by the Soviet leadership.

Khrushchev hand selected Tereshkova to be the first of the five women of the female cosmonaut corp to fly in space. On June 16, 1963 she flew on Vostok 6 under the call sign Chayka as the first female and the first civilian to fly in space. She orbited the earth 48 times and spent almost three days in space. That was more flying time than all American astronauts combined at that time. None of the other four members of the female cosmonaut corp ever flew and the next Russian woman to travel in space was Svetlana Savitskaya 19 years later.

And now a toast to Valentina!

Russian Cocktail (verbatim from The Savoy Cocktail Book)
1/3 Vodka
1/3 Gin
1/3 Creme de Cacao
Shake well, strain into cocktail glass, and tossitoff quickski.


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This past week the ladies of LUPEC Boston had the pleasure of gathering at Barbara West’s house for a night of toasting the drinkin’ dames of classic cinema! Good times and good cocktails were had by all! Featured cocktails included:

Ginger Rogers
1 oz Gin
1 oz Dry Vermouth
1 oz Apricot Brandy
4 dashes Lemon Juice

Barbara West
2 oz Gin
1 oz Dry Sherry
.5 oz Lemon Juice
Dash of Angostura
Lemon Twist

Roman Holiday
1.5 oz Vodka
.5 oz Punt e Mes
.5 oz Sweet Vermouth
.5 oz Orange Juice
Thin Orange Slice Garnish

Ann Sheridan
1.5 oz Dark Rum
.5 oz Orange Curacao
.5 oz Fresh Lime Juice

Marlene Dietrich
2 oz Rye
.5 oz Curacao
2 Dashes Angostura
Lemon Twist
Flamed Orange Twist

Barbara West also provided us with a list of famous drinkin’ moments in cinema. A few of the favorites…

1930 Anna Christie – Greta Garbo orders a whiskey with ginger ale on the side. She then adds, “Don’t be stingy, baby.”

1937 Every Day’s a Holiday – Mae West and others drink Bellinis. This movie also introduced the famous one-liner, “You should get out of those wet clothes and into a dry martini.”

1942 Casablanca – Humphrey Bogart pours Ingrid Bergman a Champagne Cocktail then says his most famous line ever, “Here’s looking at you kid.”

1955 Guys and Dolls – Marlon Brando orders a Milk Punch served in a coconut for Jean Simmons and himself. He tells her that at night they put a preservative in the milk. When Jean Simmons asks what they use Marlon Brando answers, “Bacardi.” Jean Simmons asks if Bacardi has alcohol in it and Marlon Brando answers, “Well, just enough to stop the milk from turning sour.” They drink six of them.

1959 Some Like It Hot – Marilyn Monroe makes Manhattans for her and her girlfriend in bed while on a train.

Cheers to Barbara West for being a fabulous host!

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