Category Archives: Booze in the news

Recipes for Jen’s Dish

For those who heard me on Jen’s Dish, and for those who did not, here are the recipes I talked about on her program.

Whiskey Rebellion

Drink #1 comes from Portland (OR) bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler.  Jeff volunteered this recipe when I asked for bourbon-based drinks involving maple syrup. I tried it at home and loved it. The best thing is, it perfectly bookends the Savoy drink that follows. Jeff demonstrates that you needn’t bury your ass in the past and you needn’t follow the modern trend of infused vodkas to make an excellent drink.

Whiskey Rebellion

  • 2 oz. pecan-infused bourbon (I used Wild Turkey 101)
  • 1/2 oz. maple syrup
  • 3/4 oz. fig jam
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 dashes of bitters

Shake over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Apple Jack Rabbit

The second cocktail is adapted from the Savoy Cocktail Book, by Harry Craddock. Craddock was an American disgusted by Prohibition; he grabbed the first boat out for England, and settled in to the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel in London.

These proportions are based on Erik Ellestad’s, at Underhill Lounge. Erik’s working his way through the Savoy book, and he’s having a great time with it. Erik found Harry’s proportions to be a little sweet, and I agree, so I’m going with Erik’s recipe.

The one thing to note is that Erik used the Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy, which I can’t find in Rhode Island. I used Laird’s Applejack, which is a blend of apple brandy and neutral grain spirits. The Bonded Apple Brandy has nothing in it but the brandy. The blended, since it also has grain spirits, is less appley than the bonded. I’d rather have the bonded, but I’ll take the blended when I have to.

Apple Jack Rabbit

  • 1-1/2 oz. Laird’s Applejack
  • 1 oz. fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 3/4 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. maple syrup
  • Lemon twist, for garnish

Shake over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add garnish.

All we hear is radio ga ga

Holy shit, I’m going to be on the radio!

This Wednesday, March 11, at 9 a.m., I’ll be the guest on the program Jen’s Dish, hosted by Jen Huntley-Corbin. Jen is the Buy Local Coordinator for Farm Fresh RI, which, among other things, organizes the local farmer’s markets. She approached me just over a week ago to be on the show and discuss seasonal ingredients in cocktails, among other topics. Maple syrup is fresh right now in our area, so that’s the impetus for this program. I have a couple of cocktail ideas in mind that use maple, so it should be fun.

The program airs on WNRI/1380 AM, out of Woonsocket, RI. (Oh, I’m bein’ followed by a Woonsocket. Woonsocket, Woonsocket.) The station does not appear to offer podcasts of past shows, but you can listen to a live stream at the station’s website. Since I doubt a single person’s gonna do that, I’ve asked Jen for permission to host an MP3 of the program on my own site.

Edited to add: Jen just sent me the numbers for the talk line. If any of you are awake and alert enough to call in with questions, here are the numbers:

Talk Line: 401-769-0600
Talk Line: 401-766-1380
Talk Line: 800-949-WNRI (9674)

Politics, schmolitics

I was reading this morning’s New York Times Magazine, and I saw a profile of Rachel Maddow, host of talk shows on Air America and MSNBC. I’ve never listened to Maddow or watched her show, even though many of my friends think the world of her. Political talk shows just aren’t my cup of tea, even when I agree with the host.

There’s a lot to like about Rachel Maddow in this piece. She’s a mustard person. She keeps Champagne in the fridge at all times. Her favorite movie is The Manchurian Candidate–Frankenheimer, not Demme. But then, there are these tidbits:

By her bed: Comic books. I read comics sometimes and graphic novels. I appreciate that genre.

Hobby: I am a hobbyist bartender. I have a liquor cabinet. I research classic drinks from the golden age of American cocktails and I make them for me and Susan.

Favorite obscure liquor: Rhum agricole. It is rum made from sugar-cane juice rather than molasses. It is freaking awesome.

Le pant, le pant, le sigh, le sigh.

(Yes yes yes, I know. Who cares? None of my celebrity crushes have ever been reciprocated anyway. Did Julianne McNamara marry me after the 1984 Olympics? Does Christina Hendricks know my name? Aren’t there tons of straight women–and some straight men–macking on Ted Allen? It’s the twenty-first century; I have a right to have a small crush on Rachel Maddow!)

Everybody comes to Rick’s

From the why-hasn’t-anyone-thought-of-this-before department, Reuters ran a story last week about an American ex-pat entrepreneur in Casablanca who’s opened a new cafe…named Rick’s, after the gin joint in one of my favorite films, Casablanca.

I don’t know whether I’ll be in Morocco any time soon, but somewhat closer to home, anyway, is the Cocktail Film Fest in New Orleans, the weekend of March 21-22. Hosted by Cheryl Charming, the festival features three films, Casablanca, The Seven Year Itch, and Guys and Dolls, along with themed cocktails and meals. But alas, even that’s too far for me.

I had no such excuse on Monday, when Tales held a media reception at Manhattan’s Flatiron Lounge, just blocks from my office. Julie Reiner’s always graceful staff brought around several New York-themed drinks, including the Slope, the Southside Fizz, and the New York Sour. The Slope was a particular favorite of mine. Named for Park Slope (my first landing strip when I arrived in NYC in 2002), it’s a derivative of the Brooklyn cocktail. Jen and I couldn’t stay long, unfortunately, but we both thank Ann Tuennerman for the invitation.

I’ve made my hotel reservations for Tales of the Cocktail. Have you?

The Slope

  • 2 ounces Rittenhouse Rye (preferably bonded)
  • 3/4 ounce Punt Y Mes
  • 1/4 ounce Bols Apricot liqueur
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Garnish: cherries

Technique: Stir and serve in a chilled cocktail glass. Add garnish.

Set your DVR!

Tivo, VCR, or whatever recording technology you happen to have.

According to Gary Regan’s Ardent Spirits newsletter, David Wondrich is set to appear on Late Night with Conan O’Brien tomorrow, Friday, January 11, etc. Has Conan shaved his strike beard? It could be the battle of the beards!

Times for drinkin’

The booze-loving New York Times devotes much of its Dining and Wine pages this week to the tipple. Because I love you all, I’ll give you a brief rundown of each article:

Pete Wells starts with a fun piece on off-putting cocktails: a Cosmo spiked with Pernod and pomegranate, for example, or a rum drink with bell pepper and spanked basil. (He provides recipes for all the drinks, in case you want to weird out your friends.)

Eric Asimov leads a tasting panel that samples several rye whiskeys. Don’t miss the video feature, linked on the left of the article. (The sharp-eyed New Yorkers — if there are any reading this — will recognize the whiskey cabinet at LeNell’s.) As a bonus, Asimov follows up with a blog post about the process of sampling so many ryes.

Mmmmm, rye. I’ve got a bottle of Wild Turkey 101 that I should tuck into tonight.
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