Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Cougar Bite

Just to establish some credentials, this is my best-selling contribution to the drink list at the restaurant where I work.  The others will be revealed later.

1 1/2 oz bourbon (a good spicy bourbon is best, proof-strength even better)
1 oz red vermouth (I like a good bittersweet version, say Cinzano Rosso or Punt e Mes)
3/4-1 oz green Chartreuse (I prefer more to less, but I like the stuff; if it's too much for you, the yellow version is an acceptable substitute)

Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with a lemon twist.

I just love this drink.  It's dark, old-school, and wonderfully layered.  The idea was sparked by a conversation about the equally lovely Tipperary Cocktail, but the name is derived from one of my favorites, the Widow's Kiss.  This version is somewhat more... intense.

3rd-Floor-Patio Punch

We're moving soon, and I'm going to miss our patio.  Where I live, the weather has been wonderful as summer fades into fall, and I wanted a drink that would suit.  Plus, I've gotta clean out the fridge, right?

1 oz pisco (I used Capel, whih is easy to find)
3/4 oz elderflower liqueur (homemade, but you could use St. Germain)
3/4 oz pear-infused cognac (I used an inexpensive apertif brand made by L'Heraud, which seems to be tough to find online, although others are available)
1/4 oz fresh lime juice
1 dash absinthe

Muddle the pisco with about 1/4 medium cucumber, seeded (or seedless) and then add the remaining ingredients.  Shake well with ice to pulverize the vegetation, then double-strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with a half cucumber wheel.  If you want, you can get fancy and "season" the glass with the absinthe; I'm convinced it doesn't affect the flavor, but it's a traditional flourish for those what wants.

Equally good, as it turned out, was the obviously-named Patty Collins:

Take the above ingredients, then double the lime juice and cut the absinthe entirely.  Pour over rocks in a Collins glass, then add soda water to taste; about 2 oz was perfect for me.  Garnish with a cucumber wheel or two.

Maybe a bit late for the season, but tasty, both of em.

Take 1

I've started dozens of journals and blogs and writings with a manifesto, only to completely forget about my grand ideas the next day.  So fuck that, here is a short and carefully cultivated statement:

This is, basically, a public drink journal.  I've kept one for a while, but when away from my home and computer I wind up scribbling notes and recipes on a piece of paper, which usually winds up in the wash.  So goes a lush's lifestyle.  An online "notebook" gives me somewhat more flexibility; if it means I can also share these things with whoever happens upon them, then hooray!  I love the 21st century.

Whoever reads this is likely to know me, so I'll explain only my background on the subject matter.  I'm relatively new to mixology and still working my way around, which doesn't mean that I haven't sampled a fair number of items.  I've worked behind a bar making drinks but have never formally held a position as a bar-tender.  I've read a few books on the topic (inserts kudos to David Wondrich and Ted Haigh, whose books have spurred my own writing) and am eager to put my own thoughts down.  I'm still developing my own style of drinks and I like to test my palate frequently.

Hence, the Main Idea: a drink per weekday, banter optional.