Oh yes. This week Ted (Peggy’s boss) ordered a non-existent cocktail.
Yep – non-existent. In fact, this cocktail was invented on 30 Rock and sounds, well, awful. Technically, it’s a mix of red wine, tonic water, and olives. Ewww. That said, I still went looking to see what was out there of if anyone had tried it. Happily, I discovered that Kindred Cocktails has actually tried to make this drinkable:
In the last season of 30 Rock, Cooter Burger introduces Jack Donaghy to the Old Spanish, a cocktail of his own invention composed of red wine, tonic water, and olives. Later, Mad Men paid tribute by having unctuous ad man Ted Chaough order an Old Spanish and receive a drink matching that description. We’ve decided to imagine what that drink might have looked like if it were a true old style Spanish aperitivo rather than a clumsy disaster; a craft Old Spanish, if you like. Thus: sherry for wine and brine, Cynar for bitter, Cava for bubbles, cassis to round it all off.
The Old Spanish as reimagined by Kindred Cocktail:
1 1/2 oz Sherry
3/4 oz Cynar
1/4 oz Cassis
1 splash Cava (sparkling Spanish wine)
2 olives used on the rim, as garnish
1 twist lemon peel, expressed and discarded
Stir with ice, strain, coupe.
Splash Cava. Twist, and garnish with olives on the rim.
Up the sherry to 2oz for a less bitter cocktail. For a stiffer drink, add .5 oz Spanish brandy.
It’s not the first time over the last 6 seasons that Don has ordered an Old Fashioned. I am happy, however, that he still does. For a while there, the show was overrun with Seagram’s alcohol and Johnnie Walker. It just got hard to write about things. However, this was just a nice, simple Old Fashioned.
In 1935, my grandpa was a bartender. I currently have a couple of his bartending books, published in the 20s and 30s. I know Old Fashioneds have changed a bit since cocktails have become such an art, but I still like to page through the old books. This recipe (use the bourbon of your choice) really gets to the simplicity of the cocktail.
From “Old Mr. Boston DeLuxe Official Bartenders Guide,” 1935:
1/2 lump of sugar
2 dashes bitters
1 jigger water
Muddle well, then add a jigger of Old Mr. Boston Rye or Bourbon Whiskey and a large cube of ice.
Stir very well and decorate with a slice of Orange, a twist of Lemon Peel, and a cherry.
Serve in an Old Fashioned Cocktail glass.
Since the site has been down, I’ve fallen behind on Mad Men. But I do have a few cocktail notes for the current season!
In the first and second episodes (the 2 hour season premiere), the doorman has gifted Don and Megan with a bottle of Galliano, which they open on New Year’s Eve, 1967.
Galliano is an herbal liqueur from Italy. It’s known for it’s bright yellow hue and distinct tall bottle. According to Wikipedia, the color symbolizes the Gold Rush of the 1890s. The exact recipe for original Galliano is considered a “closely guarded secret,” but the flavors include vanilla, star anise, ginger, citrus, juniper and lavender. All of these natural ingredients are infused into neutral alcohol, with the exception of the vanilla. The vanilla comes later, when the alcohol is distilled and then infused with vanilla. I haven’t yet had Galliano, but now I’d like to try a sip. There are cocktails made with the drink, although in the photo above, Megan is serving it straight in simple aperitif glasses.
From the Galliano site (because it’s hot here and this looks amazingly cool and refreshing):
1.5 tbsp Galliano Vanilla
1 tbsp Limoncello
Top off with Prosecco
Build the ingredients in an ice-filled glass and garnish with orange or lime wheels.
Oh my goodness!
Earlier this spring, there was a “brute force attack” on WordPress sites all over the web, including this one. It took us down. In fact, it went in and modified some things that I’m still trying to fix.
But finally, after 6 or so weeks of my fighting with WordPress, code, and my hosting company – the site is back!
Cresta, Angela, Kevin and I will get back to posting as soon as possible – and that includes some belated Mad Men posts.
Hooray! Time for a glass of wine to celebrate …
In the last few years, I’ve tried all sorts of wine clubs, ranging from winery specific to the New York Times. Those wine clubs send cases – some monthly, some quarterly. Either way, it’s a lot of wine at once. Our house was once overrun with all the wine.
Once I moved to San Francisco, I realized I needed to restock. All my wine was left at home. I did a few BevMo runs (buy one, get one for 5 cents), but that only does so much. Then I discovered a couple of wine clubs.
The one I ultimately joined, Club W, was picked because they’re local and have a nice attitude – very fun. I get three wines per month and I pay $39.00, including delivery. The Club W site is friendly and easy, with videos and wine reviews. I can just let them send me their “selected” 3 bottles for the month or I can go in and modify the order. Occasionally, my modifications up the price by about $2, but it’s no big deal. I was traveling a bit earlier this year and I put Club W on hold for a few months. It was a 1-button option and no questions or charges for the suspension.
Today I ran across another option, similar to Club W, called Wine Awesomeness (WA). WA takes it one step further than Club W by tossing in some extras with your order. Each month, you’ll get three wines – reds, whites, or a combination based on your preferences. The cost is the same – around $40/month. WA also includes recipe and music pairing suggestions. Once again, you can modify your order and skip a month whenever you like. I’m considering putting Club W on hold for a few months and trying WA, just to see which I prefer.
Both wine clubs offer selections from unique and small wineries from all over the world, so you’re really getting your hands on something unusual.
I have a small apartment and not a lot of space. It’s somehow easier for me to deal with 3 bottles per month than a case at a time. Plus I really enjoy the “fun” that these wine clubs are adding to the field. They make sure their wines are approachable and understandable.
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