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Speed Rack!*

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

by Pink Lady

Who doesn’t love a good race? When it comes to cocktails we couldn’t be happier to discover a bartender who can mix us up a drink cocktail super swiftly. So we are thrilled to announce the next Monday, Speed Rack will be coming to Boston.

Invented by our New York sisters Ivy Mix and Lynnette Marrero, Speed Rack is a national cocktail competition that features top female bartenders in key cocktail markets and puts them head to head in timed challenges as part of a 10-city tour to find the fastest female bartender in America while raising funds for breast cancer charities.

The inaugural Speed Rack competition was held in New York City in May by the local chapter of LUPEC (Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails) and raised $3,500. (To see how the girls smoked it and for a taste of what’s to come in Boston, visit http://www.speed-rack.com/.)

Speed Rack Boston will be held Monday, October 10, 2011 at Villa Victoria Center for the Arts (www.villavictoriaarts.org). During the competition small bites from The Citizen, The Franklin Café, The Franklin Southie, Toro, Coppa, Myers and Chang, and Trina’s Starlite Lounge will be served as guest judges Jackson Cannon, of Eastern Standard and Island Creek Oyster Bar, and Misty Kalkofen of Drink and LUPEC Boston President critique the drinks. Ticket price is $20 for this event and includes all food and beverage. You can buy online at http://www.speedrack.eventbrite.com  or pay $20 at the door day of. OR, you can order a ticket, a Speed Rack tee-shirt and a Speed Rack Coozie all for just $35. Win, win, win. All proceeds will benefit breast cancer charities.

Ready, set, go! We hope to see you there. In the interim, mix up one of these at home. Time yourself to see how you would stack up.

SPEED

Invented by Laurie Ross

1/3 brandy

1/3 apricot brandy

1/6 orange juice

1/6 lemon juice

Shake ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a chilled vintage cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

 

The Bloody Mary Story*

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

by Pink Lady

We’ll bet you a round that the question of how this morning tipple got its eerie name has crossed your mind at least once. Barman Fernand “Pete” Petiot is credited with inventing this cocktail in 1921 at Harry’s American Bar in Paris.

The drink was an exciting blend of two then-new products: vodka, which had recently arrived in France via refugees from Russia, and canned tomato juice, an unsurprisingly American invention fresh off the boats from the States after World War I.

According to one theory, the drink’s haunting name makes reference to Mary Queen of Scots via a lonely regular often found drinking alone at Petiot’s bar. Sipping in solitude for long, lonely hours as she awaited her beloved, she reminded barguests of an imprisoned Queen Mary, who was also known by the sobriquet Bloody Mary.

In 1936 the Astor family coaxed Petiot to move to New York to become head barman at the St Regis Hotel’s King Cole Bar, where his drink evolved further. Vodka was not yet available stateside and the St Regis’s swanky management wanted to lose the gruesome name. The new gin-based version was given the tamer-sounding name Red Snapper and earned a spot on hotel’s cocktail list. The cunning marketers at Smirnoff saw opportunity in the Bloody Mary while trying to penetrate the market with vodka in the 1950s.

They brought the original Bloody Mary back to its roots, making it a lynchpin of their legendary campaign to introduce vodka to the American marketplace. And it worked: Vodka holds forth on drink lists today, with modern brunchers asking for call-brand Bloody Mary’s by name.

But the original Bloody Mary recipe was quite simple. As such, the drink lends itself to delicious invention, and is a great template to play with until you’ve got your preferred recipe just right. As Imbibe! author David Wondrich says, “the small, idiomatic differences … are the mixographer’s delight!” Add celery salt, horseradish, and who knows what else.

BLOODY MARY

1.5 oz vodka
2 dashes Worcestershire
4 dashes Tabasco
pinch of salt and pepper
.25 oz fresh lemon juice
4 oz tomato juice

Build in a mixing glass. Roll back and forth in a tin. Strain into an ice filled glass.

CIN-CIN!

 

Death in the Afternoon*

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

by Pink Lady

Sometimes it’s the flavor that draws you in to a cocktail’s mythical orbit, sometimes it’s the lovely hue. In some cases, curiosity is piqued by a beverage’s name. Death in the Afternoon, for example: What in the heavens could that drink taste like? What could a cocktail with such a name possibly contain?

Leave it to Ernest Hemingway to slap such a chillingly intriguing name on a drink (and a novel). The beverage was allegedly born after he and three officers of the H.M.S. Danae spent seven hours overboard trying to get a fishing boat off a bank where it had blown in a storm. He subsequently submitted the recipe to a humorous book of celebrity cocktails, So Red My Nose, or Breath in the Afternoon, edited by the journalist and author Sterling North and Carl Kroch, published in 1935.

The drink is an unusual one to be sure and was not possible to recreate in the states for many decades, owing to the absinthe ban. Legal once again, we enjoyed sampling this drink with the robust Vieux Carre Absinthe, a brand distilled in Philadelphia and named for the French Quarter in New Orleans. Jade Liquors’ Lucid Absinthe is also a delight, and if you can get your hands on a bottle of their Nouvelle Orleans, do yourself a favor and combine it with some fine champagne for a fancy take on this cocktail with a morbid moniker.

DEATH IN THE AFTERNOON
As imbibed by Ernest Hemingway

1.5 oz Vieux Carre Absinthe
Chilled Champagne

Pour one jigger absinthe into a Champagne glass. Add iced Champagne until it attains the proper opalescent milkiness. Drink three to five of these slowly.

CIN-CIN!

A Tall, Frosty Beverage*

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

by Pink Lady

Ever sampled a Zombie, Suffering Bastard, or anything served in a skull mug or Scorpion bowl? With out-there names and kitschy vessels, Tiki drinks are apt to inspire a giggle among cocktail neophytes. In their original incarnation these were balanced, palatable drinks built upon rum, fresh juices, and flavorful syrups—legitimate cocktails that would make modern bar snobs swoon.

The roots of the Tiki craze stretch back to Prohibition, when thirsty Americans took to the Caribbean seas (where rum flowed freely) for rum cruises. There they developed a taste for exotic island cocktails, making the market ripe by the time Ernest Beaumont-Gannt opened his “Don the Beachcomber” bar in Hollywood in 1934, just after repeal. Victor Bergeron soon followed suit, revamping his Oakland eatery into “Trader Vic’s,” complete with South Seas décor. Post World War II the Tiki phenomenon blossomed into a true craze that lasted well into the 1950s, longer than any other cocktail fad to date. This weekend we’ll be raising a glass to the Tiki Craze.

Join us at The Franklin Southie on Sunday, September 18th, from 7pm-11pm, for an evening of exotic Blender Drinks on the Patio. We’ll have a delicious array of frozen favorites made with Hendricks Gin and Sailor Jerry Rum, the freshest ingredients, and maybe a few guilty pleasure favorites as well.

This event is open to the public, and there is no cover charge to enter. And, as with all LUPEC events, boys are welcome, and we’ll be donating a portion of the night’s proceeds to a local women’s charity.

Mix up one of these at home as you get in the spirit.

COCOANUT GROVE

1 oz fresh lime juice
.5 oz Lopez Coconut Cream
.5 oz orange Curacao
2 oz Sailor Jerry Rum
1 cup crushed ice

Put everything in a blender.
Blend for 30 seconds or until smooth.
Pout into a cocktail or saucer champagne glasses.
Serves 2.

CIN-CIN!

COCKTAIL PARTY

TIKI PARTY AT FRANKLIN SOUTHIE

SUN 9.18.11
152 DORCHESTER AVE.
BOSTON
617.269.1003
7PM-11PM/21+/FREE
@FRANKLINCAFE
FRANKLINCAFE.COM

We’re Doing Mixology!

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

by Pink Lady

“Mixologist”: it’s a term we hear bandied about quite often these days in the height of the Cocktail Renaissance, usually as reference to a cadre of bartenders that are exceptional at their job. But what does it mean, exactly? And how is a mixologist appreciably different from a regular bartender?

The term “mixologist” dates to a period described by David Wondrich in Imbibe as “The Baroque Age” when the role of the bartender and the beverages served across the mahogany evolved into sophisticated tipples. Good, fresh New England ice became widely available no matter how hot the season. American tipplers, with their rugged individualistic spirits, grew keen on individual cocktails mixed to order rather than the communal cup that was the punch bowl. As beverages and tastes evolved, so did the skill set of the man behind the pine and his palette of flavors: fancy syrups, bitters, and liqueurs from across the pond began to flow into the glass along with liquor, with elaborate fruit garnishes to topping them off.

“Mixologist” first appears in 1856 as a tongue-in-cheek reference to this new breed of bartender in a humor piece penned by Charles G. Leland for the Knickerbocker Magazine. The narrator describes a sporting man’s reference to the bartender as “a ‘mixologist of tipulars’ and ‘tipular fixings’”. Before long the term evolved into sincere definition describing a bartender, as The Washington Post put it, who was “especially proficient at putting odds and ends of firewater together.’”

Nowadays the term is used to describe pretty much the same thing, but we LUPEC ladies feel that all too often it becomes a harbinger of pretense. There are many, many breeds of fine bartender out there and so much more to the job than concocting showy cocktails with esoteric ingredients. As summer slowly retreats, we suggest you raise a glass to all who’ve chosen this profession and their continued commitment to keeping us pleasantly buzzed in a myriad of ways with an Imperial Royale. It’s a delightfully refreshing sip, perfect for the beach or porch, and so profound it took not one but two mixologists to concoct.

IMPERIAL ROYALE

by the Mixology Twins

1.5 oz St-Germain

1 can/bottle Bud Light Lime

Combine ingredients in a pint glass with ice. Stir twice gently to combine. Garnish with one market fresh raspberry.

Cin-cin!

To learn more about the misadventures of the Imperial Royale & the Mixology Twins, fan us on Facebook & follow us on Twitter!

*As originally published in the Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

August 26 marks Women’s Equality, the anniversary of passing of the 19th Amendment, granting American women the right to vote in all public elections.

This super-momentous occasion took place behind closed doors at Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby’s private residence in 1920, “without ceremony of any kind,” according to the New York Times. “Unaccompanied by the taking of movies or other pictures, despite the fact that the National Woman’s Party, or militant branch of the general suffrage movement, had been anxious to be represented by a delegation of women and to have the historic event filmed for public display and permanent record.”

The moment was 72 years in the making, the culmination of a long and ceaseless campaign by American women and their male supporters.

50 years later, congress deemed August 26 “Women’s Equality Day” during the height of the Second Wave Women’s Movement, both as a nod to women’s enfranchisement and to women’s modern efforts toward full equality. To paraphrase, the Joint Resolution was passed because “the women of the United States have been treated as second-class citizens and have not been entitled the full rights and privileges, public or private, legal or institutional, which are available to male citizens of the United States … the women of the United States have united to assure that these rights and privileges are available to all citizens equally regardless of sex.”

This August 26, we raise a glass to voting rights for women, and to the long hard road our forebroads marched to enfranchisement.

PERFECT LADY COCKTAIL
2 oz gin
1 oz peach brandy
1 oz fresh lemon juice
Egg white

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker without ice and shake vigorously to emulsify. Add ice and shake long and hard. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

CIN-CIN!

*As originally published in the Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

With the long days of August upon us, the ladies of LUPEC can think of few things more enjoyable to sip than a Pimm’s Cup. Born in England and reinterpreted in New Orleans, the Pimm’s Cup is the perfect cocktail to sip on a lazy afternoon. Also, it pairs well with civilized games like croquet, cricket, and bocce.

And thanks to its low alcohol content, you still stand a chance at winning, even if kick back your first one at lunch.

Invented by oyster bar owner James Pimm in London circa-1823 (or 1840, according to some), the original Pimm’s Cup mixed gin, quinine, and a secret blend of herbs and spices. It was offered to guests as a “digestive tonic”, but most likely invented to mask the bitter flavors inherent in the gin of the day.

By 1851 the drink was in such high demand that Pimm stepped up production, expanding the Pimm’s Cup concept to include different versions based on other spirits. The next century saw the invention of six different Pimm’s Cups, ranging from whiskey to vodka as their base. Only Pimm’s No. 1 is widely available in the U.S today

The modern Pimm’s Cup is an iconic British cocktail, and the drink is to Wimbledon what Mint Juleps are to the Kentucky Derby. It also has a home stateside, as a classic New Orleans cocktail prepared with nostalgic expertise at the Napoleon House. We tried them while in NOLA for Tales; you should try them on your porch.

The Napoleon House Pimm’s Cup

Fill a tall 12 oz glass with ice. Add 1.25 ounces Pimm’s No. 1 and 3 ounces lemonade.

Top off with 7up.

Garnish with cucumber.

CIN CIN!

LUPEC: Spe-Drunking*

*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!!

Highbrow Highball

*Recently featured in the Weekly Dig.

by Pinky Gonzales + Pink Lady

Count Louis Philippe Joseph de Roffignac fought alongside the British in the Battle for New Orleans, then in the 1820’s became its Mayor. Among many things, he was credited for bringing cobblestone and city lighting to the streets of the French Quarter. He escaped the guillotine and fled his native France for the swampy shores of the Ponchartrain. And like any good Frenchman, Joseph also drank his share of Cognac, which he was known to mix with seltzer, ice, and rich raspberry syrup in a tall glass.

Little did he know this early highball-of-sorts would forevermore bear his name, alongside the classics Sazerac, Ramos Fizz, and Vieux Carré. As with (what many consider to be) the first cocktail, the Sazerac, imbibers grew to swap the more readily available and popular rye whiskey for the Cognac over time. We find Cognac or Brandy still makes for the best Roffignac, while a rye Sazerac is a match made in heaven.

Sip one of these as you prep your liver for Tales of the Cocktail this July.

Cin-cin!

Roffignac Cocktail

2 ounces Cognac, Brandy, or good rye whiskey

1 ounce raspberry syrup

Soda water or seltzer

Fill a highball glass with ice. Add the first two ingredients, then top off with soda or seltzer. Swizzle and serve.

(Various raspberry syrups can be found in specialty stores, or make your own: muddle fresh raspberries with simple syrup, double-straining out the seeds.)

*As recently published in the Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

In a little over a month the ladies of LUPEC Boston will be heading down to New Orleans for one of our favorite events of the year, Tales of the Cocktail. LUPEC Boston will join over 10,000 bartenders, cocktail geeks, and spirits professionals for five days of seminars, tastings, and events all in celebration of that great American invention, the Cocktail.

The ladies of LUPEC Boston will be involved in two great events at Tales of the Cocktail this summer. On Thursday, July 21 from 1pm-2:30pm we’ll team up with LUPEC broads from New York for “Ladies’ Choice: Women Behind Bars,” a seminar saluting our spirited forebroads, much as we do in this here column. From mold-breaking saloon owners to current day cocktail mavens, women have had a vital, though often overlooked, impact on the evolution of bars and cocktails. We’ll present an inspiring history of ladies like Ada Coleman, former Head Bartender of the Savoy Hotel and Helen David, who opened the Brass Rail Bar in the midst of the Great Depression.

Then, on Friday July 22 from 12:30pm-2pm, LUPEC will host “Ladies Who Lunch” as part of the Spirited Lunch series to celebrate women in the spirits industry, from bartenders to marketers to distillers. Interested women are invited to come and raise a glass as we commiserate and discuss our unique role in this male-dominated business. All cocktails will feature spirits from companies that have women at the helm; including Macchu Pisco, Ron Zacapa, Cat Daddy Moonshine, Bulleit Bourbon, Pueblo Viejo tequila and Laird’s Applejack. As with all LUPEC events, vintage creative luncheon attire (fabulous hats, gloves, vintage dress, etc.) is encouraged (but not required).

We hope those of you trekking down to NOLA can pop in to one or both of these events. If you’re Boston-bound this summer, mix up one of the cocktails we’ll be serving at our luncheon, courtesy of Meaghan Dorman, LUPEC NYC.

SLEEPYHEAD

.5 oz lime
.5 oz lemon
.75 oz ginger syrup
2 oz Laird’s Bonded Applejack

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into Collins glass. Top with soda and garnish with lime wheel and ginger candy.

CIN-CIN!