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Mon, Sep. 22nd, 2008, 10:09 am
gustoforrobusto: The Final Touch: Finish Your Martini With the Perfect Garnish

The resurgence of the martini in recent years has seen many new variations, from the chocolatini to the cosmopolitan, adding a plethora of new garnishes and mixers to the mixologist’s cocktail arsenal. For purists however, a true martini consists of three simple ingredients, gin (or vodka), vermouth, and garnish. Whether you like your martini dirty, shaken, or stirred, your cocktail isn’t complete without the garnish

Traditionally, for gin martinis, or Gibsons, martini connoisseurs prefer to garnish their cocktails with a small cocktail onion. Cocktail onions are normally made from pearl onions, which are pickled in sweetened brine. The result is a slightly sweet but tangy garnish that enhances the overall flavoring and taste of the gin martini.

Perhaps the most popular martini garnish is the olive, which is a classic accompaniment to both gin and vodka martinis. In its simplest form, the martini olive is merely a pimento stuffed olive, but recently, martini olives have become much more gourmet. Although not all olives found in olive bars can be used as a garnish, some varieties, like blue cheese, or jalapeno stuffed olives, add a bit of a kick to the otherwise bland olive.

For those that prefer to enjoy the martini in its purest form, the lemon peel is the perfect garnish to top off your martini. In essence, the lemon is simply a tiny bit of lemon zest added to either a gin or vodka martini, that adds just enough flavor to take the edge off, while subtle enough to maintain the flavors of the drink.

Content taken with permission from LifeEpicurean.com

Sat, Aug. 30th, 2008, 08:19 am
shortbutfast: world-famous hurricane, new orleans

with hurricane gustav just around the corner, i've been thinking of hurricanes...
(hopefully all goes well down there.)
the #1 drink in new orleans is the hurricane. during celebrations such as mardi gras, people like to carry their to-go hurricanes with them, out of bars and into the streets. in other american cities this is usually prohibited.

the hurricane was made famous by the Pat O'Brien bar [http://patobriens.com/], located in the french quarter. many other new orleans bars now serve the drink but it has really become synonymous with Pat O'Brien's. it's fruity and served in a special hurricane lamp-style glass. the drink was created during world war II, when liquors such as whiskey were in short supply and bar owners were forced to order large amounts of rum to get their quota of whiskey. Pat O'Brien's has become a mecca for tourists and the signature hurricane glass is one of the most popular souvenirs in new orleans.

world-famous hurricane

1 oz fresh lemon juice
4 oz dark rum
4 oz passionfruit syrup
crushed ice
orange slice
maraschino cherry

in a cocktail shaker, add lemon juice, rum, passionfruit syrup, and crushed ice; shake vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes & strain into tall hurricane glass. garnish with an orange slice & cherry.

Wed, Aug. 6th, 2008, 05:46 pm
lilsayermonster: Sangria: A repost from vintage_recipes

I am reposting this with permission from sovereignann who posted it originally in vintage_recipes:

This recipe is so well loved that I can pick it out of my recipe box by the wine stains around the edges. I should re-copy it but, hey, it deserves the character. I can remember my mom making this back in the 70s when we had guests and cooked on a mustard colored Webber Grill in the back yard.

1 two quart pitcher
1 lemon
1 lime
2 oranges
1 cup sugar
1/3 to 1/2 cup brandy
1 large bottle of cheap burgundy wine
Club Soda

Slice and then mash fruit in the bottom of the pitcher. Add sugar and brandy. Fill the rest of the pitcher with wine. Mix well and chill. Fill glasses 3/4 full with Sangria then top with club soda leaving space for ice. (you can use Sprite or 7-Up in place of sugar and club soda)

Wed, Aug. 6th, 2008, 06:09 am
gustoforrobusto: The Definitive: Mojito (cocktail)

Considered by many to be the quintessential summertime drink, the Mojito, as thirst quenching and refreshing as it is, appropriately has its roots in the warm climate of Cuba. With an uncertain history flurried with tales of pirates, slaves, and “mojo,” it is difficult to pinpoint the drink’s exact origin. According to one story, the drink dates back to the time of legendary English pirate Sir Francis Drake in the late 1500s when his exploits led him to Havana and was originally dubbed “El Draque.” Continue reading for more history and the recipe of this fantastic cocktailCollapse )

Fri, Aug. 1st, 2008, 07:12 pm
shortbutfast: rodin martini

rodin martini

15ml monin jasmine
60ml smirnoff citrus twist
90ml pear juice

pour ingredients into shaker with ice. shake well; strain into chilled martini glass. garnish with red currants and/or jasmine flower.

Sat, Jun. 14th, 2008, 12:19 am
gustoforrobusto: THE DEFINITIVE: Old Fashioned

old fashioned cocktailIf there were ever a drink that has been gravely underappreciated in recent times, it would be the Old Fashioned. There is no finer example of a truly great whiskey cocktail. It is so rich in history, but yet few know of it and even fewer know how to make it properly. The Old Fashion is, by all rights, the original cocktail, or at least an artifact of the word’s original meaning. Before being used loosely as a term for any sort of mixed drink, a cocktail was specifically a drink composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters. Given that an Old Fashioned is more a continuation of a long established type of drink rather than an entirely unique creation, it is difficult to say with any certainty the exact source of its name. Most likely the case, the name resulted from the necessity to order it as a “whiskey cocktail made in the old-fashioned way” after the term cocktail took on a more broad definition.

With its connection to the early cocktail, the Old Fashioned is almost an ode to tradition. It is the most old school of the old school cocktails, outdating even the Martini and Manhattan. It is easy to see why this drink has been a lifelong favorite for many who are now reaching well into the octogenarian years. There is just something to be said about the way the sweetness from the sugar and fruit, orange zest, and Christmas spices of the bitters intermingle perfectly with the whiskey. All of the added seasonings are just enough to compliment in all the right ways without ever taking away from the intended bold and beautiful taste of the whiskey. If the Old Fashioned doesn’t already hold some sort of special sentiment for you, give this forgotten classic a chance and introduce others to the original old school cocktail. This is a drink that should not be allowed to die out.

Recipe:Beginning with an Old Fashioned or lowball glass, pour in a teaspoon of super fine sugar or 1 sugar cube. Add 2 dashes of bitters, an orange wedge, maraschino cherry, and just a splash of water to help dissolve the sugar.  Muddle until all of the juices have been released.  Now fill the glass with ice.  Add 2.5 ounces of rye or bourbon whiskey.  Stir well and enjoy.Additional Notes: While a good rye whiskey works well, we here at LifeEpicurean personally feel bourbon makes for a much better Old Fashioned. Maker’s Mark is always an excellent choice, but don’t be afraid to use any of the other premium bourbons such as Booker’s or Woodford Reserve. An Old Fashioned is not like other whiskey cocktails that muddy the flavor and quality with mixers and vermouth. The added spice in an Old Fashioned is intended only to compliment and bring out the best flavors in the whiskey.

Given how well orange mingles with the taste of bourbon, Stirrings Blood Orange Bitters is an excellent substitute for Angostura. Use about half an ounce or less.

If you want to eliminate pulp from the drink entirely, rather than an orange wedge, a trick that works really nicely is to cut a twist of orange peel over the glass, allowing the zest to spray into it, and then muddle the rine along with the sugar and bitters.

And finally, soda water should NEVER be included as an ingredient. Many bartenders nowadays use soda water to fill up the glass and the result is anything but desirable. The only purpose water serves in the drink is to help dilute the sugar, so no more than a splash or a tablespoon of water. This is the key element that really makes or breaks the drink.

If you liked this, feel free to check out the rest of my Definitive series on LifeEpicurean.com. We also have a lifeepicurean LiveJournal RSS feed. Thanks for reading. Happy drinking!

Thu, May. 22nd, 2008, 03:07 am
shortbutfast: sin city cosmo

sin city cosmopolitan

25ml monin mango
45ml vodka
60ml cranberry juice

add ice and shake for 15 seconds. strain into martini glass & garnish with an orange spiral.

Mon, May. 19th, 2008, 11:50 am
natewillsheets: Question About Schnapps?

I have been reading Schnapps recipes and it looks kind of fun to make because of all of the variety. Though I am still quite confused as to what Schnapps is. Is it the same as liqueur? What do you guys use Schnapps for (drinks, cooking, etc.)? Is it generally added to drinks or taken as shots, etc.

Thanks for your help!

Sun, May. 18th, 2008, 09:51 pm
gustoforrobusto: THE DEFINITIVE: Gin and Tonic (cocktail)

As with many libations, the Gin and Tonic began life as a medicinal drink. Tonic water, which contains quinine -- an active ingredient that aids in preventing malaria, was initially prescribed to British troops in the East during the 18th century to help fight the disease. However, the extraordinarily bitter taste of quinine proved to be anything but palatable to the British and many refused to drink it. Because of this, gin was then added to give the tonic a more pleasant taste and thus was born the Gin and Tonic.

While this resulted in a successful means of administering medicine, it also became a desired drink even back home in the pubs of Britain where there was no need to fight malaria. With such a harmonious balance of bitter and sweet, it is easy to understand its popularity. Not many drinks can compare with how crisp and refreshing a Gin and Tonic is on a warm day. It is perfect for summer cookouts or just to drink casually in the evening at a bar. Always classy and never pretentious, the Gin and Tonic makes for an excellent drink of choice no matter the context.

*Additional notes: A splash of fresh squeezed lime juice makes for an excellent compliment to the drink. If a juicer is not available, this can also be achieved by squeezing another lime wedge (in addition to the garnish) over the drink, releasing its juice and oils from the rine, and tossing it in. Although I shy away from it myself, a splash of Sprite or 7 Up can add a bit of lime sweetness as well.

If you do decide to add lime juice, be sure to do so prior to the tonic. It will distribute evenly throughout the drink as the tonic is poured in.

Most importantly,
the trick to a really great G&T is to slowly stir in the tonic while pouring.

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Tue, May. 6th, 2008, 04:13 am
shortbutfast: lavender martini

lavender martini

20ml monin lavender
30ml tequila
juice of half a fresh lime

in shaker filled with ice, shake all ingredients and strain into martini glass, lightly rimmed with sugar.

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