Oh Canada!

Flickr: qousqous

What does one drink while viewing the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics?  Here at the League we thought a Snowshoe seemed àpropos.  I recently learned of this drink through SLOSHED! A frosty, yet warming drink, the Snowshoe combines peppermint schnapps with bourbon for the perfect waiting-out-the-snowstorm-by-the-fire cocktail.  The recipe over at SLOSHED! calls for equal portions bourbon and schnapps, but I prefer it this way.

Snowshoe

  • 2 oz bourbon (I used Buffalo Trace)
  • 1/2 oz peppermint schnapps (I used Rumpleminze, as suggested by the folks at SLOSHED!)

Stir ingredients in an Old Fashioned glass and fill with crushed ice.  Stir again, sip and put your feet up by the fire.

After the Snowshoe, I mixed this up in honor of the 2010 Winter Games. I call it the

Vancouver Swizzle

  • 2 oz Laird’s 7-1/2 year old apple brandy (or use Calvados)
  • 1/2 oz Appleton Estate V/X Jamaica rum
  • 1/2 oz Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
  • 1/2 oz grade B pure Canadian maple syrup
  • 1/2 oz fresh-pressed apple juice or apple cider
  • 1 oz Meyer lemon juice, or regular lemon if not in season
  • 1/4 oz Allspice Dram
  • Dash Fee Bros. Whiskey Barrel bitters
  • Dash Urban Moonshine Maple bitters

Mix ingredients in a highball and fill with crushed ice. Mix with a swizzle stick and settle down to watch some amazing Winter Olympics competition!

Published in: on February 13, 2010 at 12:22 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Sweet and Lovely

Photo by Esther Kirby, Flickr

A little rough around the edges, but sweet and lovely all the same. Here is a cocktail from David A. Embury’s The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks (1948):

Sweet and Lovely

  • 1 part Maraschino & Grenadine (half and half)
  • 2 parts Lime Juice
  • 3 parts Gin
  • 5 parts Applejack

Shake with cracked ice.

Make sure you use Maraschino liqueur, not the juice from your maraschino cherry jar.  I substituted raspberry syrup for the grenadine which I liked, but either way would work. Just make sure to use real pomegranate grenadine and all will be good.

Published in: on January 24, 2010 at 11:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Q & A with Rachel Maddow

Rachel Maddow mixin' it up. Photo by Eric Susch, Flickr.

No, no, don’t get all excited. I didn’t bump into Rachel Maddow on the bus and grill her about her cocktail preferences.  Imbibe Magazine had a great little Q & A with her, and if you want to read it for yourself click here.  I must say, the woman has excellent taste in cocktails.  Also, apparently we both share a love of rhum agricole and diet Dr. Pepper. (I try, but I just can’t stop!)  Rachel says that she likes her rye old fashioneds, hold the fruit.  In honor of her tonight I made a round of Rhum Agricole Punches for my guests (big fans of her, by the way) and then capped it off with an obscure rye cocktail from Ted Haigh’s Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails called The Japalac Cocktail. No, no again! I know what you’re thinking…how un-PC.  Well, as Dr. Cocktail points out, The Japalac just sounds bad…it’s actually just the name for an old-timey brand of quick-drying varnish. So, here it is, if you feel like getting varnished:

The Japalac Cocktail (1931)

Combine in an iced cocktail shaker, and shake and strain into a small cocktail glass.  Garnish with an orange twist.

Drink Note: (by Ted Haigh) This is a prime example of  a classically proportioned pre-Prohibition-style cocktail. By modern standards, it is quite small.  Here, though, is the genius of the method: Unlike the highball, the julep, the sling, or the fizz, the cocktail is a powerful, largely undiluted bolt of unfettered flavor — and of alcohol. As such, small really does work best.

Published in: on January 21, 2010 at 12:36 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Fog City Hot Buttered Rum

Flickr: tibchris

I don’t know how it is in your part of the country, but out here in San Francisco it’s been a-stormin’.  Torrents of rain have been battering away on the roof like chimney sweeps doing a drunken and angry rendition of Mary Poppins’ “Step in Time”.  Howling winds, and even some thunder and lightning (which we rarely get out here), are making me feel like I’m finally experiencing some winter weather! I would say it’s a perfect time for an antifogmatic, wouldn’t you?  I whipped up a version of hot buttered rum designed to warm your belly and bring some color back into your cheeks.

Fog City Hot Buttered Rum

  • 2 oz. rum (I used Lemon Hart Demerara)
  • 2 oz. Odwalla tangerine juice
  • 3/4 oz. sugar cane syrup (I used Petite Canne from Martinique)
  • 1/4 oz. St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
  • 4 oz boiling hot water
  • 1/2 tbs butter
  • 1/4 medium-size lime

Mix first 4 ingredients in a mug or large teacup.  Add hot water and butter and stir until butter melts.  Squeeze a lime quarter into the drink, stir again, and serve.  (I think this would be just as good without the butter, so if you prefer a fat-free beverage, just leave it out.)  Note: if you don’t have sugar cane syrup, you could make a brown sugar simple syrup or just use regular simple syrup.

Published in: on January 19, 2010 at 9:55 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , ,

Singapore Sling

Singapore Sling at Raffles Hotel, Flickr: Nettsu

Ah… nothing like the Friday night at the start of a long weekend.  A twinkle in your eye, a spring in your step. Time to relax, unwind. What to make to kick off the weekend?  Why not make a cocktail that calls to mind exotic locales, extended vacations, and balmy breezes?  A Singapore Sling, I thought. That might fit the bill.  Having never had one before, I turned to my trusty books (I am a librarian after all).  I consulted Charles H. Baker, Jr., David A. Embury, Ted Haigh, and Dale DeGroff.  In 1948, Embury wrote, “Of all the recipes published for this drink, I have never seen any two that were alike.”  Right he was, because the 4 recipes these gentlemen put forth were all different (apparently, the original 1915 recipe is locked in a safe in its birthplace, so I assume there was a lot of guessing going on). I ultimately decided to go with Ted Haigh aka Dr. Cocktail’s recipe for the Singapore Sling, although Mr. Baker claimed to have the bona fide recipe from the venerable Raffles Hotel.  Now, while I love Mr. Baker (LOVE him) sometimes I worry about his recipes.  He cracks me up, I mean, the man is laugh out loud funny, but I trust Dr. Cocktail to make a good drink, so I went with his Singapore Sling.  Regardless of the recipe used, I believed (after tasting the drink) what Mr. Baker wrote of this cocktail:

The Singapore Gin Sling is a delicious, slow-acting, insidious thing.

Or as my husband put it, “Wow. I could drink these all night. Wow.”

My Singapore Sling

The Singapore Sling

  • 2 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz Cherry Heering (or other cherry-flavored brandy)
  • 2 tsp Benedictine
  • 2 tsp Cointreau
  • 2 oz pineapple juice
  • 3/4 oz fresh lime juice
  • 2 dashes real pomegranate grenadine
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • Soda water

Combine all except soda in an iced shaker.  Shake and strain into a collins or highball glass with a few lumps of ice. Top with soda water. Garnish with a cherry, a pineapple slice, and an orange wheel.

Recipe from Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh aka Dr. Cocktail.

Published in: on January 15, 2010 at 9:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Puppies, Kitties, and Cocktails, Oh My!

Flickr: Bogdan Suditu

Do you like animals?  Do you like a well-crafted cocktail?  Of course you do!  Then head on over to Heaven’s Dog this Tuesday to support the San Francisco SPCA. From the Heaven’s Dog website:

On Tuesday, January 19th from 6pm – 8pm, Heaven’s Dog and the Soma Grand are inviting neighbors, pet owners and pet lovers from around the city to raise their glasses high in order to create awareness for the plight of animals in need of care and homes in San Francisco.  In addition, Heaven’s Dog is donating 50% of all beverage sales during that time period to the San Francisco SPCA.

WHERE: Heaven’s Dog Restaurant at Soma Grand: 1148 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA

Published in: on January 14, 2010 at 10:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Feeling Punchy?

Photo from Flickr: Lupo Lupo

Then join me at Omnivore Books on Saturday, January 30 at 4:00pm!  They are having a punch contest (of all the wacky and wonderful things).  Having just acquired my mother-in-law’s “Stars & Pinwheels” punch bowl, I have decided to enter.  This will be a first, as I’ve never entered any sort of food or drink competition before. I don’t know how big it will be, but it sounds like a good time.  Trying different punches while gazing at books for $5?  Yessir!  Plus, you know I love my cookbooks, and I’ve been meaning to check out this place since a friend told me about it. Omnivore Books features “new, antiquarian, and collectible books on food and drink.” Sounds right up my alley.  As for the punch contest, here is their description:

Are you an amateur mixologist just itching to show off your skills? Or a professional bartender with a lazy Saturday afternoon? Make up a bowl of your favorite punch (alcoholic or non), and bring it to our punch contest! Free to punch entrants; drinkers-only pay $5 at the door, then judge their favorite punch, and the winner splits the door money with us. It’s a win-win here, folks, so come on by and wow us with your mixing skills. Or you drinking aptitude.

My only problem now is what punch to make?  I’m split between making a version of a rum Ti Punch (kind of like the Rhum Agricole Punch in my last post), or representing my home state and county with an Applejack (aka Jersey Lightning) punch.  If you’d like to weigh in one way or the other, please post a comment with your vote!

Published in: on January 14, 2010 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Hot Toddy Day

Old Barney Toddy

Who knew? Apparently, January 11 is National Hot Toddy Day!  I turned to The Gentlemen’s Companion by Charles H. Baker, Jr. for inspiration.  In the section on hot drinks, he writes of a “hot helper” based on Applejack called The Jersey Lighthouse.

We met the Jersey Lighthouse sitting in the back room of a small New Jersey inn one horrid winter night, with William Faulkner, Tony Sarg’s puppet maker Bil Baird, and Eric Devine, our sailing mate on the MARMION. … Into a tumbler place 2 lumps of sugar, a dash or 2 of Angostura, 3 or 4 cloves, a spiral of lemon peel.  Onto this pour 2 jiggers of ancient applejack, fill with boiling water, float on 1 tbsp applejack at the last and serve blazing merrily.   Those who read Bill Faulkner’s Light in August renamed the drink Light in February.

I fiddled around with it a bit and came up with an Applejack toddy I’m calling The Old Barney Toddy.  Growing up near the Jersey shore, the lighthouse that I was most familiar with was the Barnegat Lighthouse, otherwise known as “Old Barney”.

Old Barney Toddy

  • 2 oz. Laird’s Applejack
  • 3/4 oz. spiced simple syrup (or to taste, I like it a little on the sweet side)
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 dash Fee Bros. Whiskey Barrel Bitters
  • 1 tbs Applejack to float

Mix first 4 ingredients in a mug and fill with boiling water. Float 1 tbs Applejack on top and set ablaze.  Garnish with clove studded lemon peel.  A perfect drink for a frosty San Francisco winter night. Well, chilly at least.

Old Barney (Flickr: thisisbossi)

Published in: on January 11, 2010 at 9:47 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , ,

Raise Your Glass to the King!

Happy Birthday, Elvis!

Happy Birthday, Elvis!  I will be celebrating what would have been the King’s 75th birthday tonight at Forbidden Island in Alameda, CA.  They will be featuring Elvis-themed cocktails, Elvis movies on their big “indoor drive-in” screen, Elvis music, and the King’s favorite snack: Peanut Butter & Banana sandwiches.  What better way to celebrate Elvis’ 75th than Tiki style?

This will be the first official outing of The Antifogmatic League.  Check back for a full report.

Until then, Hau’oli lā hānau, Elvis!

Published in: on January 8, 2010 at 4:36 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , ,

Yay! And… Awwww, Man.

My dad will be so proud that I am finally taking an interest in science!

I was reading the recent issue of Imbibe Magazine and saw an upcoming event listed called Science of Cocktails.  When I followed the link it brought me to the Exploratorium of all places.  Here’s the description from their website:

“There are many cocktail parties in the Bay Area, but the Exploratorium is holding one like no other. Science of Cocktails will present the artistry of master mixologists melded with the science behind the craft. We’ll take an in-depth, hands-on look at the physics, chemistry, and biology of cocktails, engaging guests in an exploration of their favorite libations.”

The event takes place on Jan. 20, 2010 and they are going to have guest bartenders from some of my favorite places like The Alembic and Heaven’s Dog. I was all psyched to buy a ticket and then I saw that it was SOLD OUT.  Awwwwww, man!

For all us poor saps who don’t get to go they are promising to post information, recipes, and experiments from the event after it takes place.  I guess I’ll have to check back in late January.

Published in: on January 5, 2010 at 9:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: