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2014 Comes To Those Who Wait

2 Jan

bubblesHappy New Year! If you’re one of the few people who is actually reading this blog, THANK YOU. If you’re the person who has asked us how to buy wine without going broke, JUST WAIT ONE MORE WEEK OR SO. We will have something for you. We will have something just as good as the Louise d’Estree Brut NV, which I used to make the cocktails in the picture. I also drank some of it by itself, and have I got some news for you! It tastes nice! The bubbles are small and plentiful, and what little sweetness it has is fruity and a little acidic. Asti it ain’t. For $8 at Trader Joe’s, it was a very pleasant and very affordable way to ring in 2014. To thank you for your patience, here’s a champagne cocktail recipe that can also be made in a very tasty low-alcohol version with sparkling cider instead of sparkling wine.

Traditional champagne cocktails call for dropping a bitters-soaked sugar cube in the bottom of the glass, adding a bit of cognac, and topping with champagne. Cognac is fun for me when I fly Air France, but otherwise, it’s not my thing. Here’s the recipe; I hope you’ve had a recent refresher on logic operators:

Champagne flute
sparkling wine or sparkling apple cider
generous dash of vanilla cordial or cake-flavored vodka
Angostura bitters
orange peel
(IFF you are using cake vodka) a sugar cube

In the bottom of the flute, put either a generous dash of vanilla cordial and a couple of drops of bitters, OR a sugar cube with a couple of drops of bitters on it and a generous dash of cake vodka.
Then, top with champagne or sparkling cider.
Then add an orange twist. I should probably make a tutorial for this, as I had no idea what this was all about until recently. For now, just know that you twist the piece of orange peel over the glass, and then you drop it in.

Then you drink! Here’s the lowdown on the bubbly:

Louise d’Estree Brut NV
Rating:
Deliciousness: *** (great for cocktails)
Social Anxiety Soothing: **
Table Dancing Probability: 45% (Sparkling wine is always a celebratory affair.)

Trader Joe’s, $8

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Bloody Mary is the girl I love…

30 Aug

Dang hipster camera makes it look like a Hawaiian (South Pacific?) punch...okay, I'll stop now.

I just got back from my summer vacation. While I would love to lay out on a beach for a week or two, all I could swing was a long weekend in Vegas with my husband’s fantasy football league (I know, I’ll call the waaahmbulance!). I’m not really into football, fantasy or otherwise, so my vacation was heavy on the draughts, light on the draft, if you know what I mean. I also spent a lot of time at the spa and by the pool. 

Pictured at right is a delicious bloody mary that was obtained from the pool bar at the Palazzo hotel. In the background, you can see my attempt to stave off skin cancer (stay safe out there, people).

There are many things to love about bloody marys. To name a few, a bloody mary is:

  • savory–a break from the typical sweet cocktail
  • versatile–a classic daytime drink that can be consumed at any time
  • fun–experiments(!)…you can put LOTS of things in there, and it will still be delicious

The one in the photo was tomato juice, vodka, just a touch of horseradish and olive juice, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and black pepper, and it was garnished with a celery stick, a lemon wedge, and a green olive.

When I make them at home, I usually use a combination of ingredients that my fellow blog author introduced to me when we had brunch at her house last winter: Hot and Spicy V8 (I use the low-sodium variety), vodka, prepared horseradish, clam juice, Worcestershire sauce, and a little lime juice (my addition), and I garnish with the lime wedge and a celery stick. The prepared horseradish makes it a little creamier, and I love lime in a bloody mary. I may try some olive juice and an olive in there the next time I make it, though.

You can really put anything you want in this drink, as long as it’s hot, salty, sour, vegetal, or briny. When the pool people came around with cucumber slices, I ate a couple and threw the rest right into my drink. My roommate in grad school used to put a pickle spear (and a little of the pickle juice) in hers. I’ve even heard of people putting in bacon or other varieties of cured meats. If you have a favorite non-sweet snack, you can try putting it into a bloody mary. (I’m guessing you’ll want to avoid putting in things like Cheetos…but the prohibition is really only because they would disintegrate and the texture would be gross. I’m sure it would still taste fine.)   

The best thing about a bloody mary, which I alluded to above, is that it’s a drink with a snack. Maybe a lot of snacks, if that’s how you like to make it. And that’s how I spent my summer vacation.

Two Recipes for a Dirty Martini*

5 Aug
a fine beverage
“Fuck yeah, martini glass!”

As a general rule, I like drinks that come with snacks. Bloody Marys, dirty martinis, most anything with a maraschino cherry and an orange slice in it…yes, yes, and yes (although I might just take the cherry and orange and leave the drink).

I have two recipes for making a dirty martini. Please enjoy responsibly.

Recipe #1

Holy shit, I’m gonna make a drink! YEAH! What goes in this, again? Right. Vermouth. That’s good, right? And it’s dirrrrrty, so a lot goes in, right? Just a splash. Okay, maybe a little more. Just a big splash. Whee! What else goes in this? Vodka? Sweet, I have a whole bottle of that shit. I’m gonna pour some in. Wait, isn’t there supposed to be ice in here? Yeah! Ice! And olive juice? I fucking love olive juice…but I know I have to be careful, so I won’t put too much in. *glug, glug* This party is awesome–these bleu cheese olives are awesome. I’m gonna stab a few and put them in this drink—wait, where’s my glass? I’m not so drunk that I can’t have a classy glass. Fuck yeah, martini glass! Shake it a little…but not so much that the top flies off and martini goes everywhere, which would be totally embarrassing, and not cool, because this is my house and I’d have to clean it up. That’s enough shaking. Now pour it into the glass with the olives in it. You know what does not go together? Bleu cheese and vermouth. This is not good. In fact, I think this is an abject failure of a beverage! But it’s vodka, so, yaaaaay!!!

Recipe #2

1 splash dry vermouth
2 oz. Ketel One vodka
1 splash of juice from the olive jar
olives

To serve: chilled cocktail glass and picks

Add ice to the cocktail shaker and put in a splash of vermouth. Swirl this around the shaker a couple of times. Then discard the vermouth. Pour the vodka into the shaker and give it a healthy splash of olive juice. Shake until extremely cold. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Spear three olives on a cocktail pick and place the pick in the glass. Serve.

*You’ll notice that I did not address the vodka vs. gin question.