Posts Tagged ‘Grand’

*Recent ruminations from LUPEC Boston, in case you missed ’em in the Dig’s Gift Guide.

compiled by Pink Lady, Pinky Gonzales & Pink Gin

It surely comes as no surprise that LUPEC Boston favors boozy presents for the holidays. We’ve all gifted a nice bottle of hooch in our day, bien sur, but there are countless other ways to think outside the scotch bottle and give creative, innovative gifts to your loved ones this holiday season. A few items on our hot list:


Badass Professional Cocktail Set

“Give a man a fish” versus “Teach a man to fish” and all that. You can’t make good cocktails at home without the right tools, and giving them to friends is a great way to ensure you’re served a properly made drink when entertained in their home. Eschew the shiny Bar Tool Sets you’ll find at Crate & Barrel and bundle up your own Professional Version, including a Boston shaker (mixing glass and shaker tin), Hawthorne strainer, julep strainer, bar spoon, muddler, Joyce Chen enameled hand juicer, and jigger or Oxo angled measuring cups – the recipient will be good to go. For one-stop shopping, visit The Boston Shaker store once it opens in Davis Square (check the website for updates on the not yet announced opening date) or shop online at thebostonshaker.com.

Cocktail Book + Ingredients to Get Started

This is the part where we shamelessly plug our own Little Black Book of Cocktails ($15, 100% of the proceeds go the charity; available at Grand the Store or thebostonshakerstore.com). Filled with 35+ delicious recipes, quotes about cocktailing, and stunning photography by local shutterbug Matt Demers, this slim volume is fun and easy to mix from. Wrap it up with the ingredients to make your favorite recipe and the recipient will have a bona fide party on their hands. We recommend the Hearst (featured on Pinky Gonzales’ page) made with London Dry or Plymouth gin, Italian vermouth, orange bitters, and Angostura bitters, as these ingredients are essential for many other classic cocktails.

Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh

The latest edition ($19.99, Barnes & Noble, Amazon) features 100 recipes excavated by Ted “Dr. Cocktail” Haigh, and the stories behind them. Peppered with lovely cocktail photos, vintage alcohol advertisements, pictures of old cocktail tomes and long discontinued bottle designs, it’s as delightful to look at as it is to mix from. Another great candidate for the previously mentioned Cocktail Book + Ingredients formula, this book is perhaps best paired with a Basket of Nips, thus offering the gift of experimentation without commitment to whole bottles of hooch you’re the recipient may not like or use much. Tiny bottles of homemade grenadine or special syrups add a lovely, personal touch.


Vintage Cocktail Book Reproductions by Mudpuddle Books

These gorgeous reproductions of long out-of-print cocktail tomes are fodder for cocktail and publishing nerds alike. Mudpuddle Books has resurrected sought after and nearly extinct volumes, from Jerry Thomas’ seminal Bartender’s Guide: How to Mix Drinks: The Bon Vivants Companion ($29.95) to Harry Johnson’s Bartender’s Manual ($29.95), to the recently released reprint of Recipes for Mixed Drinks by Hugo R. Ensslin ($19.95), the last cocktail book to be published before Prohibition. All are reproduced with exacting attention to detail – even the paper feels old. Available at www.cocktailkingdom.com.


Ice Stuff

You can’t make a good cocktail without good ice, and once a cocktail enthusiast is turned on to this, they cannot live without it. Your ice nerd pals will love a grab bag of ice tools, including a set of Tovolo Perfect Cube Silicone Ice Trays ($14.99 for a set of two, Amazon.com) that ensure dense, square ice every time, a Manual Ice Crusher ($28, http://thebostonshaker.com) for crushed-ice efficiency, and Hand-Stitched Lewis Ice Crushing Bag ($16, http://thebostonshaker.com) and mallet, that allows them to crush ice the old-fashioned way, and simultaneously release aggression.

Obscure Bitters

You may not know what to do with a bottle of Scrappy’s Lavendar Bitters ($20, http://thebostonshaker.com) but your cocktail nerd friend certainly will. More importantly they will appreciate the thought, especially when it comes to bitters that are hard to find. Assemble a set based on a theme, such as Fruit Bitters, different brands of Chocolate Bitters, or any set of the Bitter Truth bitters (a brand the market anxiously anticipated for over a year) and win major thoughtfulness points. Prices vary; available from $6 – $20 at thebostonshaker.com and $8.95 to $15.95 at www.cocktailkingdom.com.


Vintage Glassware & Shakers

Sick of sipping drinks from the massive 8-10 oz martini glasses you bought at Ikea? A marvelous world of vintage bar ware awaits, most of which is available for bargain basement prices at antique shops, flea markets, and of course, on Ebay. Sourcing takes time, but your gift of a 1950s era martini pitcher and set of vintage cocktails glasses emblazoned with jockeys and racing horses is bound to impress. And no one needs to know you purchased it all from a little old lady in Iowa for just $33 on Ebay, including shipping.

Flask Full of (Insert Spirit of Choice)

If you had a nickel for every time you thought “Gee, I wish I had a flask with me” you’d be rich. Oh no, wait – that’s just us. But really, every cocktail enthusiast should have a flask, even if it’s just for show. The gift become especially sweet if filled with a loved one’s favorite tipple (which for a LUPEC lady might be Fernet, Mezcal, Whisky, or a 60/40 mixture of St-Germain and Averna.) Flasks run the gambit in terms of design, size and price, from stainless steel, leather covered, pink crocodile, and cell phone shaped, ranging anywhere from 2 – 8 ounces in size, and available from Target to the many varied portals of the Internet. We recommend the 8-ounce Stanley “Classic” ($20), for its size, durability, lifetime warranty, and leak-proof guarantee.

If boozy gifts aren’t what you’re after but you’d like to sip some booze while you shop, stop by Grand tonight, where LUPEC will be doling out 2 fabulous (and strong) punches from 7-10 p.m.

Cin-cin, and Happy Holidays!

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by Pink Lady

Thanks to everyone who came out for our spectacular Sip & Shop at Grand yesterday! LUPEC was thrilled to team up with the Boston Shaker store to welcome special guests Dale & Jill DeGroff, who signed many books and shook many hands as we manned the Absinthe fountain and doled out delicious, spooky punch (recipes below.)

Special props to all who attended in costume, as well. We had a tough time deciding on the best one, with Wonder Woman, Quailman, and Jackie Kennedy, and more all strong contenders. The final winner was the Beekeeper, whose attention to detail (real bee carcasses attached to his jumpsuit and his very own bee) put his costume over the top. The Beekeeper was awarded a free ticket to the LUPEC Boston Tiki Bash. We can’t wait to see what he dreams up for that dress-up party.

Relive the moment at home with an individual-sized version of the cocktails we served as punch :

.75 oz Hendricks
.75 oz Lillet
.75 oz Cointreau
.75 oz lemon
dash of absinthe

Shake with ice & strain into a chilled vintage cocktail glass. Originally a hangover helped designed to help moisten the clay on any given Tuesday.
1 oz Bourbon
1 oz Dubonnet Rouge
.5 oz Cherry Heering
.5 oz Orange Juice
Angostura Orange Bitters

Shake with ice & strain into a chilled cocktail glass. A riff on the Blood & Sand, only far more ghoulish.


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by Pink Lady

We’re thrilled to announce that award-winning mixologist Dale “King Cocktail” DeGroff and saloon artist Jill DeGroff will be teaming up with LUPEC Boston and the Boston Shaker Store to host the scariest Sip & Shop of the season at Grand this Saturday, October 31st from 2 -6 pm!

Saloon artist Jill DeGroff will sign copies of her new book, LUSH LIFE; Portraits from the Bar, as award-winning mixologist Dale “King Cocktail” DeGroff shakes cocktails and hands and signs copies of his books, The Essential Cocktail and The Craft of the Cocktail. Our special guests will be on hand from 2-4 pm.

LUPEC will quench your thirst with complimentary, seriously scary Halloween Punch during and after the signing as you check out all the new stuff at GRAND and The Boston Shaker (“the store within a store”!)

Don your Halloween costume with pride! The best one that walks in the door wins a free ticket to the LUPEC Boston Tiki Bash on Saturday, November 14.

And don’t forget, all store purchases made at Grand (excluding “Tiki Bash” ticket purchases) during the Sip & Shop are 10% off!

Sip & Shop with LUPEC Boston

Featuring Dale “King Cocktail” DeGroff and saloon artist, Jill DeGroff

Saturday, October 31, 2 – 6 pm

Grand the Store, 374 Somerville Ave., Union Square, Somerville


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Thanks to everyone who stopped by The Boston Shaker store at GRAND yesterday to say hello and sample a little Hot Buttered Rum!

The smiling faces of our guests made us feel pretty certain the drink was a hit. If you loved it so much you’d like to recreate the experience at home, here’s the recipe, which is a favorite of mixologist Tony Abou Ganim. Hot Buttered Rum is also LUPEC’s chosen Endangered Cocktail of the Month, so check back later in the week for more discussion of rum in general, and variations on the rum-with-hot-water-and-stuff cocktail theme.

hot-buttered-rumHOT BUTTERED RUM “BATTER”

1 lb light brown sugar

1⁄2 lb unsalted butter (softened)

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

1⁄2 teaspoon ground allspice

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a mixing bowl beat together softened butter, brown sugar, vanilla extract and spices until well combined. Refrigerate in an airtight reusable container for up to a month, or place in your freezer until ready to use.


In a pre-heated coffee mug combine 2 heaping tablespoons batter with 1 1⁄2 oz. Mount Gay Eclipse Rum. Top with boiling water and stir well to mix. Serve with a spoon.

Hint: It is best to make the batter in advance so the spices have an opportunity to mingle.

Be sure to remove batter from refrigerator at least 6 hours prior to serving to allow it to soften.

We used Mount Gay Eclipse and Mount Gay XO in alternating incarnations and found both drinks to be delicious. As you might expect, the XO version is richer, stronger and more complex. Since the bottle retails at a considerably higher price point than it’s younger sibling, you may be more apt to sip this product than water it down and butter it up. Your choice, but if you do, you can expect  little bit of winter bliss.

Why not mix one up tonight as you watch the snow fall?

Thanks again to the Boston Shaker store, GRAND, and the nice people at Mount Gay for a lovely Saturday afternoon!

Cin cin!

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topFrom 7 pm-10 pm tonight we’ll be hosting another fabulous punch party at your new favorite boutique, GRAND [374 Somerville Ave, Union Square, Somerville]. The event will be a fabulous night of holiday shopping with the Ladies of LUPEC!

Enjoy some festive seasonal (and complimentary!) cocktails like Hot Toddies and Single Malt Sangaree as you search for the perfect present from Grand’s huge selection of contemporary furnishings, apparel, and gifts.

And if they didn’t have the coolest collection of merchandise already, Grand has teamed up with The Boston Shaker founder Adam Lantheaume, to offer one stop shopping to the cocktail and barware enthusiast. From hard to find bitters and syrups, to shakers, jiggers, glassware and vintage cocktail book reproductions. We haven’t seen this complete a collection of all the things we love, since……..well…….ever!

We’ll also be selling copies of our Little Black Book of Cocktails, of course, and have a special holiday offer! Purchase one book for $15, two for $25 or 3 books for $30!  And it wouldn’t be a LUPEC event if there weren’t some sort of charitable element, so for every Little Black Book of Cocktails sold, LUPEC will donate a canned good to those in need.

Grand will also offer a 20% discount on all merchandise to all attendees who bring a canned good with them!

We hope to see you there!

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