Monday, September 28, 2009

Bubbles aren't just for cheap thrills

Apparently, the bubbles in champagne and sparkling wine do more than throw a party in your mouth (to which everyone is invited). Quoth the BBC: "Research shows there are up to 30 times more flavour-enhancing chemicals in the bubbles than in the rest of the drink."

So next time someone offers you champagne in a solo cup at New Years, you can throw it in their face, citing this article. Don't expect an invite for next year, but hey, who wants to go to that kind of party anyway?

Champagne bubbles' flavour fizz

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Most Successful Experiment To Date

Usually recipes of my own creation come out horrendous at first, but this one blew my mind. I give all credit to Noelle for helping me with the proportions:

1.5 oz Rye
.5 oz blackberry cordial
.25 oz simple syrup
.25 oz Amaro

7 drops peychauds
3 drops Fee's Whiskey Barrel Aged bitters
Lime peel garnish, squeeze oils liberally over drink

Last night I made this drink stirred, but I found that as it warmed, the blackberry cordial began to separate a bit. Tonight I shall try shaking. I'm thinking a swizzle stick would work nicely. This drink as a BEAUTIFUL color, and as soon as I get the picture uploaded from Noelle's camera, I'll post it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Whiskey Smash

The Whiskey Smash is the perfect refreshing cocktail. The classic combination of lemon and mint makes a great companion for any hot summer's day or maybe even a picnic.

And actually, a picnic is what our friend Lorraine Thompson (@WritersKitchen) was planning. I suggested a Whiskey Smash, and as luck would have it, Josh had just spent yesterday evening adjusting the proportions.

For most cocktails recipes, we defer to our cocktail hero Toby Maloney. He provides a great YouTube video on how to make his version of a whiskey smash--and with flair! But for some reason, when we replicated the recipe at home, it always came out too sour and a little oily. So, this is how Josh adjusted the Whiskey Smash:

The Whiskey Smash

2 oz Rye (we used Wild Turkey--at least 100 proof is usually great)
1 oz simple syrup (we use a 1:1 ratio)
Quarter of a lemon, cut in half
handful of mint

Muddle the mint and lemon (you can "push" the lemon, instead of pulverizing it). Add the sugar and rye. Fill your shaker with ice. Shake it hard. Strain. Serve over ice.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Kold-Draft Ice

Ice is a big deal. Not Vanilla, not T, not Cube - Kold-Draft.


Apologies for the lame introduction. Kold-Draft brings out the worst in me. Worst, as in, driving a sketchy van to the back of a Waikiki hotel to pick up a bucket of the stuff in a trash bag and then drive home with the A/C on full blast. True story. Erik Adkins of Heaven's Dog once told me that if you got a map of Kold-Draft ice machines in San Francisco, you'd have a map of the best cocktail bars.

Kold-Draft ice gets things colder, keeps them colder longer, and won't dilute the taste of your drink. It whips up a nice meringue, too. It's made by shooting water into a super-cold, upside ice try. The water freezes one layer at a time, producing denser, purer ice. That's the gist, for the skinny, go here.

So, what's the point of this post? Is Kold-Draft paying me? No (but, if you're reading, and would like to send me a few bucks, I've got some serious student loan debt). The point is that I got to use some of this, and it makes a huge, huge difference in the drinks I made. The stayed cold until I finished them, dilution was more under my control, and it made a better froth on my drinks. Don't screw around with your ice, people! Use filtered water and cold, cold freezers! The bigger the better, too.

Friday, September 4, 2009

100 Cocktails to Try Before You Die

Only 100?

Just joking. Anvil Bar and Refuge, a Houston joint, has put together a pretty sweet list. It's fun checking off what you've had before. And I loved being inspired by the drink recipes I've never tried. For instance, I've never had a port flip: Ruby Port, cream, and egg. Or how about a Cocktail a la Louisiane? Rye, benedictine, Italian vermouth, absinthe, and peychauds.

See how you measure up on the list. I've tried 52 of them! I can't figure out if that's good or bad.

Aside from that, it makes me suddenly want to visit Texas...