October 12, 2012
As anyone knows, a week on this blog equals, usually, three posts (sue me if that seems wrong—my lawyers are at the bar). Which means, sadly, Shot Week is already coming to an end. Be sure you read Shot Week Day 1 and Shot Week Day 2 to get the full story. But the basics are thus: cocktail genius and genuinely nice fella Andrew Bohrer has a delicious new book out, called The Best Shots You’ve Never Tried. It’s bringing the idea of the shot, a shorter drink, to a higher plateau. Instead of shots thrown down the throat rapidly so-as to avoid tasting them, the shots in his book are ones to savor and share. So, quit pussyfooting around—buy the book. If Shot Week so far wasn’t enough to sway you, check out the below recipe for the diabolical Diablita, which you should consume rapidly to ensure the devil doesn’t enter your mouth.
1 ounce reposado tequila
.25 ounce crème de cassis
.25 ounce lime juice
2 ounces ginger beer
1. Pour ingredients into a shot glass and slam.
June 18, 2012
It seems like summer is upon us (at least everywhere outside of my little corner of the northwest, as it’s, oh, 50 degrees and cloudy here. Which might lead you to think I’m complaining. But I’m not. Cause I know July and August will be wonderful and everyone living outside of here will be melting, melting, like a bad witch. Not that I want everyone to head this way duing those months, though. A few, sure, but not everyone. The bars would be too crowded. But I digress). Which means it’s time to start focusing the sipping on seriously refreshing liquid solutions. And when I want refreshing and light and summery stuff, I usually start by browsing Wine Cocktails, which is a book of my very own. It’s full of prescriptions for the summer months (not actual prescriptions, for those head-shaking pharmacists in the room. But I think you know what I mean), including the below number, the Cactus Berry. A relative of the Margarita (another fine sunshine-y drink), the Cactus Berry goes like shoes and socks with spicy food and rising temperatures. This recipe’s for two, cause summer’s more fun in pairs.
3 ounces Merlot
3 ounces white tequila (blanco, yo)
1-1/2 ounces Cointreau
1 ounce fresh lime juice
2 lime slices for garnish
1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the Merlot, tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice. Shake exceedingly well (as if you were shaking cactus thorns from your hands).
2. Strain the mix into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the lime slice and serve.
PS: I think using Herencia Tequila or Dos Manos Tequila will make your summer even more memorable.
October 4, 2011
The Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz Rob Roy release party is only 4 days away (it’s happening, if you’ve been in the outback, on 10/8, from 2 to 4), and I’m already twitching with excitement about having one of the wonderful drinks bartender supremo Andrew Bohrer will be whipping up with penultimate panache. He’s doing two from the book, the Bitter Handshake and the Bruja Smash, the latter of which I’m going to tempt you with today. It’s an kind-of-crushed-ice-y affair, using one of my all-time favs, Italian spicy (as in, using spices like saffron) and gold liqueur Strega, alongside tequila and some fruity goodness all mixed up with balance, care, and craft. And muscles. Jeez, if that’s not enough to start mouths a-watering, then I suppose I’ll put the recipe here, right now:
7 fresh mint leaves
7 fresh raspberries
1-1/2 ounces white tequila
1 ounce Strega
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 mint sprig, for garnish
1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with crushed ice. Add the mint leaves, raspberries, tequila, Strega, and lemon juice. Shake really well.
2. Dump the contents of the shaker (no straining here) into a large tulip-style beer glass or other good-sized pretty vessel.
3. Fill the glass with crushed ice, garnish with the mint sprig, and serve with a straw.
PS: In the actually GBVF version of the Bruja Smash, I talk a lot about ol’ greenskin, the Incredible Hulk. How? Why? Well, you’ll have to get a copy, friends, to find out. And you can, this Saturday. See you there.
September 3, 2011
I don’t want you to think I’m getting routine in my drink making and testing and making some more. But I just couldn’t resist conjuring up another mighty mix that maximized the potential of the Deluxe Foods Earl Grey syrup (used last in The Earl of 15th Avenue cocktail), which will soon be available in better stores near you. Or online at the Deluxe Foods site. It has a hint of smoky-ness and a hint of citrus and, naturally, a little sweetness. All those combined had me dreaming of mixing it with a smoky tequila (and yes, these are the kinds of things I dream about. Well, these things and late 1950s era Kim Novak. A boy’s gotta have multiple hobbies), a tequila like the Casa Noble Reposado, which has a smooth smoke mingling with vanilla, citrus, and agave flavors. So, I made the dream a reality by mixing the above two ingredients, and then upped the ante with a little fresh squeezed oj, for health reasons. Delicious, I must admit:
2 ounces Casa Noble Reposado tequila
1/2 ounce Deluxe Foods Earl Grey syrup
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add everything. Shake well.
2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Drink with a hat on. Or drink out of a hat. Up to you.
A Note: Shoreditch is a neighborhood in London. Earl Grey tea is named for the 2nd Earl Grey, who was England’s Prime Minister at one point and who lived in London. Tequila is from Mexico, where the sombrero originates. Now you know about the name. As a bonus, Vince Noir once called himself a Shoreditch vampire. And he’d certainly like this drink.
August 16, 2011
My latest article on the Good Life Report, The Mysteries of the Margarita, starts by saying:
The Margarita may just be the most curious of the super-popular cocktails (and by “super-popular” I mean being ordered by a massively large number of people as I type). The curiosity stems both from its history, which I’ll talk more about in a second, and from the fact that people seem to be okay about 78% of the time with drinking a really awfully made mix that somebody who doesn’t know better calls a Margarita.
and if that doesn’t get you over there to read the rest of the article, well, you’d better check your pulse pal, to make sure you’re not, actually, a ghost.
August 9, 2011
Okay, I could talk here about how tequila has a bad (as in tough, not un-tasty) reputation (and has nothing to say about its bad reputation), and how thinking this is sure to make your summer less delicious as you’ll utilize tequila less than you should, it being such a fine, fine summer mixer. But, I’m going to skip saying any more than I did already (jezz, I just can’t shut up) to point you to a new tequila-in-summer article I wrote for the Good Life Report, an article which talks up the same points. It’s a quick read, so you can skip over there now and catch it between sips (or between meetings, if you’re at work). Beyond the basic talk, there’s a recipe for a cocktail that proves my points, a cocktail called the Green Garden, which just happens to be from Paul Abercrombie’s book (that you should own) Organic, Shaken and Stirred: Hip Highballs, Modern Martinis, and Other Totally Green Cocktails. It, and the Green Garden cocktail, bring whole new meaning to the term green party.
April 22, 2011
You can read a little Raymond Chandler screed below, as well as more about the book this quote is take from, or you can just slip down a little less and get straight to the goods. This is from the second story in the collection, “Finger Man,” a story that stands as one of the first appearances of a well-known hard-boiled detective, Mr. Philip Marlowe, and may be the only time (that I can remember) he’s drinking tequila. Which I heartily approve of, by the way.
‘You don’t play?’ the bartender asked me.
‘Not on Tuesdays. I had some trouble on a Tuesday once.’
‘Yeah? Do you like that stuff straight, or would I smooth it out for you?’
‘Smooth it out with what?’ I said. ‘You got a wood rasp handy?’
He grinned. I drank a little more of the tequila and made a face.
—Pearls Are A Nuisance, Raymond Chandler
August 21, 2008
The missus had her Discovery Park (for those not in Seattle, Discovery Park’s the biggest park here, and she directs the summer camp, the nature preschool, and about everything else out there) staff of rowdies over for eats and drinks, and I decided to roll out the outdoor drink trolley so I could keep up with their massive intake requests. As the line-up included rogue actresses Megan and Melissa (from the Paradise Cocktail video), I knew I’d need to keep things flowing. The cart, as the picture displays, has three bottle holders, (though the bottles are out on top in the picture, you get the idea), which led me to honing in on the classic, straight up, Margarita for the drink of choice (it’s also good in the August sunshine). It boasted simply tequila, GranGala (a lovely orange liqueur from Italy–if you aren’t already acquainted with it, it’s brandy-based, has rich orange flavor with a punch, and matches up with tequila in Margs like sleeping in matches with Saturdays: perfectly), and fresh lime juice. Shaken, strained, and accented with a lime slice in 3, 2, 1 fashion, here it is in recipe breakdown format:
3 ounces Cazadores Blanco Tequila
2 ounces GranGala
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
Lime slice, for garnish
1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice cubes. Add the tequila, GranGala, and lime juice. Shake well.
2. Strain into a cocktail glass or other glass that fits your mood, occasion, and dancing style. Garnish with the lime slice and a smile.