That’s right. Stop reading now if you haven’t seen last evening’s episode.
Before I get into the cocktails, was anyone else shocked when Don took a temporary turn for the dark side last night? I hadn’t expected him to sleep with Andrea, let alone strangle her. I was, of course, relieved to discover it was a fever-induced delusion. But perhaps we did take a turn for the darker side of things last night. Don has discovered that it is probably within him to kill someone who might destroy his happiness. Sally has been exposed to the “real world,” with the brutal murder of 8 nursing school students in Chicago. To combat this? Grandma just splits a sleeping pill with her. So yeah, maybe we are walking a bit on the dark side this season. I said to someone this morning that I find the 60s to be one of the most confusing times. Civil rights, the beginnings of the women’s movement, the shadows of different wars hanging over the country like a spectre, whether it’s Viet Nam or WWII. I can’t imagine growing up in the middle of all that, and I wonder how it will affect Sally.
Then there is Joan. She has her own darkness with which to contend. In case we’d forgotten what an ass her husband is, the writers brought him back for an episode. I admit, I’d been waiting to find out he’d been killed in action. I’d forgotten that he has very low self-esteem, that he failed at landing the job of his dreams, and that he made up for the lack of faith in himself by raping his now-wife. Joan hadn’t forgotten. “You were never a good man.” Go Joanie! I was rooting for her! I get that he re-upped because the military is the first place he’s felt useful and knowledgeable. That counts for a lot. But Joan is right; that’s just not a decision you make without consulting your wife. I wonder if now that she’s kicked him out if they’ll get a divorce or if the writers will kill him off. Either way, Joan is effectively a single mom now , and lest we forget, that’s really Roger’s baby.
When Joan first found out about the re-upping, they were in a restaurant with her in-laws. Everyone else ordered wine. “That one,” he said, pointing at the menu. We never did find out what wine “that one” might be. Joan, however, bucked the wine trend and ordered a gin fizz, so that’s what we’ll talk about today.
Sloe Gin Fizz (from Cocktail Times)
Sloe Gin is a red gin-based liqueur infused with sloe berries. It is usually bottled at between 15 to 30 percent alcohol by volume. Some sloe gins are made with neutral spirit flavored with sloe berries.
Garnish: orange slice and maraschino cherry
Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a tall glass over fresh ice. Garnish with orange slice and cherry.
Ramos Gin Fizz (from Gumbopages.com)
Years ago, Kevin and I spent New Year’s Eve at the cocktail lounge in Arnaud’s in New Orleans. I drank a variety of champagne cocktails, but the bartender took Kevin on his own personal tour of New Orleans cocktails. The one that sticks with me is the Ramos Gin Fizz because it was the first drink I’d seen ever made with an egg white. The drink was invented in the 1880s by Henry Ramos at New Orleans’ Meyer’s Restaurant. It later became the signature drink of the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans and New York, thanks to Governor Huey Long, who happened to be a fan. This recipe calls for shaking at least one minute. I’ve read that you can shake up to 10 minutes and because of that, it often takes a bartending team to make a large number of Ramos Gin Fizzes.
According to Gumbopages.com, you need to be very careful when adding orange flower water to the drink because it can easily overwhelm the cocktail.
Shake all ingredients except the soda water WITHOUT ICE very vigorously for at least one minute, preferably longer — the longer the better. Then add ice and shake for 1-2 minutes, as long as you can manage, until extremely cold and frothy. Strain into a tall thin glass, or a very large old fashioned glass, and top with soda water. Stir gently.
My thanks also to GumboPages, who pointed me towards this great video on making a Ramos Gin Fizz:
By Angela L.
In my spare time I like to come up with my own recipes for drinks. This is a recipe that I came up with while waiting for my Italian dinner to finish baking. I thought about some of the key ingredients that are in a lot of Italian drinks or foods for example vanilla, lemon, and white wine. What I came up with was something called Italian Sparkle. Its light, has a hint of vanilla, and it adds to any dish.
The Italian Sparkle
¾ bottle of dry white wine
1 ½ oz of Ginger Ale
10 oz of club soda
1 ½ oz of Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup
¾ oz of lemon juice
2 oz of Apricot Brandy
Mix in chilled pitcher
Chill champagne flutes or wine glasses
Garnish the flutes or glasses with lemon slice
Serves – 8 champagne flutes
I admit that I enjoyed the Sex & the City tv series. In fact, it was the SATC girls who introduced me to what may be my favorite cocktail of all time: the Bellini.
The SATC movie (the first one) didn’t appeal to me. I was watching it while luckily flying first class to San Francisco and despite the free flowing wine and halfway decent food you get in first class, I still lost about 2 hours of my life to that movie. That said, the trailers alone for SATC2 look better than any of the first movie. My fingers are crossed.
Anyway, I sort of owe those lovely ladies for introducing me to the Bellini. I was inundated with press releases this week about the second movie release. Two of those press releases included some decent cocktail recipes, which I’ll share.
(Oh, and before you ladies ask – I’m a “Charlotte.” I love her clothes and her attitude.)
The first is a cocktail created by the mixologists at The London NYC – The Sexy London.
The Sexy London
2 oz. Green Cardamom Infused Vodka
1/2 oz. Triple Sec
1/2 oz. Rose Syrup
1/2 oz. Cranberry Juice
1/4 oz. Lime Juice
1 pinch of mint
Shake and strain into martini glass!
Next, of course, variations on the Cosmopolitan – often a favorite of the SATC girls.
The Cosmopolitan Dreams (created by Dale DeGroff)
3/4 ounce Citrus Vodka
3/4 ounce Cointreau
3/4 ounce Cranberry juice
1/4 ounce Fresh lime juice
2 1/2 ounces Piper Heidsieck Champagne
Assemble the vodka, Cointreau, and juices in a boston shaker with ice and shake well to chill.
Strain into a champagne glass and fill with champagne. Garnish with a flamed orange peel.
The Original Cosmopolitan (created by Dale DeGroff)
1 1/2 oz vodka
1 oz Cointreau
1 oz cranberry juice
3/4 oz lime juice
Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass.
Garnish with a twist of orange
In the class we took from Josh Durr, he made us each a Manhattan. Now, the Manhattan is my favorite cocktail, but I’ve had a lot of horrible versions, both locally and when we travel. In Vancouver, I ordered a Manhattan and had the worst drink of my life – and I’m still not sure what all he put in it. At several local bars, the bourbon and vermouth are often low-end, the drink is filled with floating ice chips, and bitters aren’t even added. Sigh.
So Josh’s Manhattan was a breath of fresh air for me – it was something out of the stylized Mad Men. Because of this class, I’m now very specific with my Manhattan order: “Four Roses or Woodford Manhattan, up, and stirred please.”
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Sounds easy, right? Josh commented that you should always use high-quality bourbon, vermouth, and bitters. He goes so far as to make his own tinctures, including bitters, but we aren’t all so dedicated. An interesting tip is that you can replace the vermouth with Elderflower liqueur for a twist on the classic Manhattan.
When you stir the Manhattan, consistently and quietly stir to chill down the drink. Josh recommended making the drink in a pint glass and pouring it out through a double-strainer.
It was good folks. Really really good.
Photo from Flickr user ginsnob
via Creative Commons
It’s Cocktail Week here at My Wine Education. I know, we love wine. And next week you’ll be getting a slew of wine reviews. But this week, in honor of my second trip to Las Vegas in a month, it’s all cocktails. Enjoy!
Back in December, Kevin and I were lucky enough to take a class at The Party Source from Josh Durr. Josh is the cocktail consultant who helped put together Tonic on 4th, including creating the drink menu and ice program. Josh is from Louisville, where he is a partner in Molecular Bartending, LLC. He has created cocktails for Brown-Forman, Southern Wine & Spirits, Republic National Beverage, and, of course, Tonic.
The class was geared toward the professional, although everyone present was a consumer, with the exception of everyone’s favorite local bartender, Molly Wellman. And really, I think Molly was just there to have fun – she already rocks at all of this stuff. The rest of us? We eagerly asked all manner of questions and drank some rather flawless cocktails.
A few key notes I scribbled down:
Overall, I left the class very excited about Tonic. I love classic cocktails and really, I’ve had some horrible Manhattans. I’ll be reviewing Tonic later this week. My thanks to Josh for an amazing class! I’ll be publishing some of his cocktail recipes over the next few days, starting with the Manhattan.
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