February 27, 2015

What I’m Drinking: The Stock-in-Trade

I’m heading out to Italy again for a little vacation, and as usual when I start thinking every hour of every day about Italy (as opposed to just every day), I start thinking about when we lived in Italy, and the drinks I made and had when there. Yeah, I know, it’s a hard-a-knock life. To make up for all my musing about it, try the below drink. It’s freaky-delicious. If you can’t go on an Italian vacation this second, this’ll at least help cure a teeny bit of the ache.

stock-in-trade
The Stock-In-Trade

Ice cubes
1-1/2 ounces Aperol
1 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 ounce Strega
1 dash Bitter Truth orange bitters

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the Aperol, orange juice, Strega, and bitters. Shake well.

2. Strain through a fine strainer into a cocktails glass, or a pretty wine glass if that’s what’s handy.

February 24, 2015

Cocktail Talk: Dance with the Death-House Doll

league-greatful-deadOkay, after serious consideration (and sitting down with a drink to think about it), I decided that one Day Keene Cocktail Talk from the story collection The League of the Grateful Dead was not enough. Not at all. So, here’s a second, and one of the few quotes I’ve seen about a portable bar. I certainly wouldn’t you to miss that, that’s for sure.

LaFanti told him to shut up. A gun punk whom he called Gordon opened a portable bar and began to slop whiskey into highball glasses. LaFanti asked if I wanted a drink. I admitted that I could use one. There had been plenty of wine where I’d come from, but Old Grandad had been rare.

–Day Keene, Dance with the Death-House Doll

February 20, 2015

What I’m Drinking: Up North, Down South

This border-busting concoction combines a couple of ingredients that are from fairly different points on the compass: tequila (that’s the southern one), and Washington State’s own Skip Rock Distillery’s Spiced Apple liqueur. The former I’m guessing you know about, but the latter uses local Jonagold apples, and a little bit of sweet and spice, in a dandy manner – meaning, it’s a liqueur that lets the flavor shine through, one that makes a great pairing with tequila and other things. However, when making this cocktail with those two ingredients, I realized that the whole Mason/Dixon quandary was keeping it from fully delivering the awesome, and that I needed one or two last mediators to really make things hum. After some hemming and hawing (and by that I mean, testing and testing), two unexpected other ingredients fell into place: Lillet and Scrappy’s orange bitters. The end result is . . . well, try it and see (okay, a hint: it’s darn tasty).

upnorth-downsouth

Up North, Down South

Cracked ice
2 ounces tequila blanco
3/4 Skip Rock Spiced Apple liqueur
1/4 ounce Lillet
Dash Scrappy’s orange bitters

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with cracked ice. Add everything Stir well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass.

February 17, 2015

Cocktail Talk: Crawl Out of that Coffin!

league-greatful-deadI’ve had four different Day Keene Cocktail Talk posts – that’s nowhere near enough! C’mon me. Seriously. My appreciation, no, obsession with Mr. Keene and his pulptasticness is certainly not going down to a simmer any time soon. This is why it’s so swell that Ramble House is putting out all of Mr. Keene’s stories and novellas from the Detective Pulps in the ‘40s in book collections. And there are a lot of stories, so more Day Keene for us! Though I do wish Ramble would hire a decent copyeditor. But hey, at least the stories are becoming available again. Anyway, this particular quote is from the first volume, League of the Grateful Dead and Other Stories (and yeah, that’s where the band got its name), from a story with a memorable name: Crawl Out of that Coffin!

‘The D’Andrea’s don’t live to be twenty-one,’ he told me.

While I was considering that, he motioned our waiter to the table and told him to bring whatever we were drinking and a Rum Collins for himself.

The waiter looked at the passed-out girl.

‘No. Nothing for her,’ Pierce said straight-faced. ‘Miss D’Andrea is driving.’

–Day Keene, Crawl Out of that Coffin!

February 13, 2015

What I’m Drinking: Ti Penso Sempre

I believe that Valentine’s Day is tomorrow – be still my beating heart. If you’ve been planning a host of heart-y things for your sweetness tomorrow, then you are in fine shape. Unless you forgot to plan out the right drink for the evening. What’s that you say? You don’t have a special drink for that special somehow. Hope you like the couch. Though, since I have a warm feeling towards you (you are pretty neat), howsabout I help you out. Serve up the below, which is a tasty mix shading just a wee bit sweet, and watch the evening commence in the proper manner. Oh, you might want to whisper that Ti Penso Sempre means, “I think of you always.” That should help your cause as well.

ti-penso-sempre

Ti Penso Sempre, from Dark Spirits, Serves 2 naturally

Ice cubes
3 ounce brandy
2 ounces Aperol
1 ounce simple syrup
2 orange slices, for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the brandy, Aperol, and simple syrup. Shake well.

2. Strain the mix equally into 2 cocktail glasses. Garnish each with an orange slice. Let the romancing commence.

February 10, 2015

Seattle Magazine Cocktail Catch Up

Hello party people! It’s that time again, where you are reminded by me of recent pieces I’ve had in or on the wonderful Seattle magazine. There’s a wide range of imbibing reads I’ve been lucky enough to work on, so dive right in to the bottles below and drink up:

•    12 Hangover Cures From Seattle’s Top Bartenders
•    Washington’s Award-Winning Coffee Liqueurs Wake Up the New Year
•    3 Effervescent New Year’s Eve Drinks
•    2 Recipes for Moonshine Cocktails

*See all my pieces on Seattle magazine

February 6, 2015

What I’m Drinking: I Will Give You A Thrashing

People who know me best know that as the song says, I’m a lover not a fighter. So, don’t take the sorta aggressive nature of this title to mean I’m all up in your face. I’m not! I just had a friend suggest this as a title, and it’s a dandy name for a cocktail in my mind (and that’s the only mind I got). Also, at the time I was looking for a name for this very drink, a drink I created using the swell Old Ballard Liquor Co. Riktig Aquavit (I wrote a lot about the Old Ballard Liquor Co. here), which has a strong and memorable flavor. Not so strong as to give you a thrashing, but strong enough that you’ll remember it – and hopefully this drink, too.

thrashing

I Will Give You a Thrashing

Cracked ice
2 ounces Riktig Aquavit
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth (I used Cocchi Torino)
1/2 ounce Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with cracked ice. Add everything. Stir well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Drink while facing Ballard.

February 3, 2015

Cocktail Talk: A Man’s Head

a-mans-headNot too long ago I had my first George Simenon Cocktail Talk post, and in that very post mentioned that I thought I’d probably have more – and I was right! I’ve read a few more Inspector Maigret books since then, most recently A Man’s Head. And it was a good yarn indeed, fast-paced, intriguing, nicely mysterious, and really tightly plotted. Everything you’d want (if what you want is a worthy book, that is). Also, a fair amount of the action takes place in bars, which I’m all for, as you might guess. The main bar is the American bar in the Cupole, where Maigret makes a sorta rare foray into cocktails.

He heard someone call out.‘A Manhattan.’

And he said: ‘The same for me.’

He was not himself of the cocktail generation. Beer was more in his line. The barman pushed a dish of olives toward him, but he did not touch them.

A Man’s Head, George Simenon

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Rathbun on Film

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