August 21, 2015

What I’m Drinking: Lucien Gaudin

Before you say anything – I know I’ve featured this drink-named-after-an-Olympic-fencer on the Spiked Punch blog before! I know it, and that’s okay, me thinks, because it’s such a fine drink that naturally it would be What I’m Drinking more than once. Also, a reader and drinker named sassy Scott has been hankering after more Campari drinks (even if he hasn’t directly requested it, he has talked about his love of Campari drinks, and from that I surmised he probably needs some other options). So, with all that said, here we are, the Lucien Gaudin. En garde!

lucien-gaudin
Lucien Gaudin

Cracked ice
1 ounce gin
1/2 ounce Cointreau
1/2 ounce Campari
1/2 ounce dry vermouth
Orange twist, for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with cracked ice. Add the gin, Cointreau, Campari, and dry vermouth. Stir well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the orange twist.

August 18, 2015

Cocktail Talk: Busman’s Holiday

busmansLast week, we had a little Cocktail Talking from the Dorothy Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey book Whose Body?, and there I mentioned the four-pack of Lord Peter I’d picked up. Wait, what’s that you say? You missed that? Well, go read it now.

Welcome back! This week, we’re on to Busman’s Holiday, when Lord Peter and his new wife find a body, naturally, in the house they’ve picked up for their honeymoon. Bodies everywhere! And, as usual, my Lord’s wondrous butler, Bunter, is around, helping out, taking photos, and bringing the drinks. Which at one point leads to a little fun talk about sherry. Though I’m not sure I agree about these cocktails he mentions.

‘Sherry,’ he said, pleasantly, ‘had always appeared to me a most agreeable wine. I was so glad to read in the newspaper that it was coming into its own again. Madeira, too. They tell me that both sherry and madeira are returning to favour in London. And in the Universities. That is a very reassuring sign. I cannot think that these modern cocktails can be either healthful or palatable.

— Dorothy Sayers, Busman’s Holiday

August 14, 2015

What I’m Drinking: The Orchard Sea

This is a very Washington state drink (cause I love my local producers – you should love ‘em, too, and your local producers, no matter what your locale). It uses three Washington-state boozes, at least in its original form. However! If you’re not in Washington state (first, sorry – come visit!), you could conceivably make this subbing in non-WA rum, and sweet vermouth, instead of the Skip Rock Belle Rose rum and broVo Jammy vermouth. It’s a little trickier with the Sidetrack Blackberry liqueur. But I think subbing in Chambord (made from French black raspberries and more widely available at this moment) would still make a dandy drink. But heck, really, come on out here and do some shopping at our local distilleries. I mean, why not?

orchard-sea
The Orchard Sea

Ice cubes
1-1/2 ounces Skip Rock Distillery Belle Rose rum
1 ounce Sidetrack Blackberry liqueur
1/2 ounce broVo Spirits Jammy red vermouth
1/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with ice cubes. Add the rum, blackberry liqueur, vermouth, and lime juice. Shake well.

2. Strain through a fine strainer into a cocktail glass.

August 11, 2015

Cocktail Talk: Whose Body?

whosebodyI picked up a box set of Dorothy Sayers not long ago, a four-pack of Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries, and it’s been fun. I can’t plow through a bunch of Lord Peters in a row, due to there being a bit too much French in some of them (hah, I kid). No, no, it’s that, while I like them (and Whose Body? is my favorite of the bunch), I’m not so into them that I wanna read four in a row. You dig it. Whose Body? does start with a naked, unknown, body in a bathtub, and takes some interesting turns, so I can heartily recommend it. Especially because of the below quote, that reminds us what being gentlemanly means.

One of the young ladies came up to me and said, didn’t I dance, and I said ‘No,’ so she said wouldn’t I stand her a drink then. ‘You’ll stand us a drink then, darling,’ that was what she said, and I said, ‘Wasn’t it after hours?’ and she said that didn’t matter. So I ordered the drink – a gin and bitters it was – for I didn’t like not to, the young lady seemed to expect it of me, and I felt like it wouldn’t be gentlemanly to refuse when she asked.

–Dorothy Sayers, Whose Body?

August 7, 2015

What I’m Drinking: An Elusive Memory

Recently, as sometimes happens (don’t be jealous!), a bottle showed up in the mail. This time, it was Boodles gin (thanks Boodles!) and I couldn’t have been happier. I’d had Boodles here and there, but not at home (well, unless I’m remembering poorly and it was long long ago, and I’m not that old, really). Boodles is a very proper British gin – a variety of spirit I’m quiet fond of – made from British wheat, with a number of botanicals and herbs (though, a bit unlike a fair share of modern gins, no citrus). As you might expect, it’s dandy in Martinis and the more traditional gin drinks.

But hey, if you’ve read this blog before (and if you haven’t, where have you been, friend), you know I tend on occasion to want to push the envelope so to speak, see if I can create a drink that isn’t necessarily along the lines you might think, or which uses ingredients that at first glance make one say, “what?” An Elusive Memory, a Boodles-based cocktail I made up recently, sorta falls into that category. But darn, the end result is so dreamy. It’s just that Meletti anisette (the finest anisette, in my opinion) doesn’t necessarily seem like it’d go with Boodles at first, and especially Lillet (another key ingredient). Then I brought the new-ish Whiskey Barrel Aged Peychaud’s bitters in, and . . . not an expected “umm,” but a welcome “ah-ha!” It took a big of finagling, but trust me, folks, this is a tasty, layered, mixture that plays nice.

elusive-memory
An Elusive Memory

Cracked ice
1-1/2 ounces Boodles gin
1/2 ounce Meletti anisette
1/2 ounce Lillet
2 dashes Whiskey Barrel Aged Peychaud’s bitters

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

2. Strain into a cocktail shaker. Try to remember the time before you’d tasted this fine drink.

A Note: If you can’t find the Whiskey Barrel Aged Peychaud’s, you can use the normal variety. It won’t be quite as elusive, but close.

August 4, 2015

Seattle Magazine Bar-Hopping: Hotel Albatross, Good Bar, Cozy Nut Tavern

Drinks come served in pineapples, parrot mugs & moreIt’s time to take another turn through recent Bar Hop columns written by me for the swell Seattle magazine. Whether you live here, or are visiting (and if so, welcome!), be sure to check out the below to see where you might want to drink:

 

*See all Seattle magazine pieces by me

July 31, 2015

What I’m Drinking: The Violet Fizz

You know a drink’s good when it’s in the title of a book. Hah! See, the funny part is, I’m saying that about this particular drink that is in the title of one of my own books (Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz, that is), which  probably makes me sound like a bit of a chump. But heck, when you try the bubbly below drink, you’ll forgive me I’ll bet. It’s another one that’s matches summer like a well-matched sock (I really love socks – one more little tidbit about me you were dying to know), as it’s refreshing but not too taxing to make. I suggest it for brunches, where its color and deliciously delicate flavor is sure to be a hit.

violet-fizz

The Violet Fizz

Ice cubes
2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce crème de violette
1/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4  ounce simple syrup
Chilled club soda

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the gin, crème de violette, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Shake extra well.

2. Fill a highball glass three-quarters full with ice cubes. Strain the mixture into the glass.

3. Fill the glass with chilled club soda, stir well, and drink quickly, before those bubbles have a chance to fade.

July 28, 2015

Cocktail Talk: The Groom Lay Dead

groom-lay-deadI have to admit; sometime I pick up pulps and pocket books for the covers – or the titles. Sometimes they’re good, sometimes not so good. But I just can’t resist! Such is the case with this little upstate New York thriller/mystery. I mean, it’s called The Groom Lay Dead! It all revolves around the killing of a rich jerk, which I’m sorta good with, too, and there’s a fair amount of imbibing – and the first murder (there is never just one) takes place in a winery! Sometimes you can tell a book by its cover.

It was dark when we came out of the tavern and I drove along until, somewhere beyond the two lakes we’d passed, I noticed a place on the side of the road that had a neon sign. When I saw it said: Wines and Liquors, I turned in.

Linda didn’t offer a thing. She got out of the car and we went into this place. There was a small bar and booths along one wall and at the end, a tiny dance floor and a big juke box. There were three men at the bar and about a third of the booths were occupied. I ordered two Old Fashioneds at the bar and carried them over to the table Linda had picked.

— George Harmon Coxe, The Groom Lay Dead

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