Archive for the ‘Cocktails’ Category
Yesterday I stumbled across fresh green coconuts in the organic section of Fairway. As a follow up to my post about rum with coconut water, this is the type of coconut that you should use to make the drink properly:
At the Fatty Crab they open these with a really big knife, but I happen to keep a hatchet around for these types of applications, so I used that. However you open it, drain out the coconut water, and mix dark rum (preferably Kraken) in a 50/50 ratio with the coconut water. Pour the drink back into the coconut (you will have extra coconut water…these were full to the brim) and enjoy! Serve with a spoon to scoop out the coconut as you go. Fresh coconuts like this have very soft inner flesh, with an almost custard-like consistency. Enjoy, and pretend you are on the beach!
The other night I had some friends over and we sampled the infused vodkas and schnapps that I made a while back. The first one we tried was the hot pepper vodka. Knowing what went into making it, I cautioned everyone to be careful when drinking it. Only one person listened to me. Two others decided to do the whole shot in one gulp. BAD IDEA! It was HOT!!! After the initial shock wore off, everyone was fine, but in preparing a cocktail with the pepper vodka I diluted it about 3:1 with regular vodka and added smoked okra. This resulted in a very delicious hot pepper martini with just the right amount of kick:
Back when I was living in Thailand, there was a local islander who had a fruit cart, and he would walk up and down the beach paths selling all kinds of fruit. Everything from watermelons, mangoes, papaya, pineapple and bananas to the more exotic mangosteens, durian, and lychees. For a few cents, he would give you a fresh green coconut that he would cut open with a very intimidating machete, right in front of you. Nothing will deter would-be thieves like a man with a machete. I immediately tried all of the strange fruits that I’d never had before. Mangosteens and lychees became my favorites, and it wasn’t until a few years ago that I started seeing fresh lychees in the store. Canned lychees are readily available in most Asian grocery stores, and they make a great martini:
I’ve been recently bombarded with tweets about the “newly fashionable” Pickleback. For those of you who haven’t heard, the pickleback is a shot of whiskey followed by a chaser of pickle brine. I am surprised to learn that this is newly fashionable, because I have been drinking these at the Fatty Crab for years! They have a drink that they dub “The Recession Special” (dubiously stolen from Grey’s Papaya, I think) which is a PBR tallboy, a shot of whiskey (origin unknown) and a shot of their spicy pickled pepper juice. The first time I ordered one I was a bit nervous, but I have to say that it is absolutely delicious. Their pickle juice is good enough to drink on its own, and the briny shock is enough to take the edge off the rotgut whiskey they are pouring out of the well. Totally worth 8 bucks, because then you have a 16 oz. PBR to drink!
From the Huffington Post:
“A shot of whiskey backed up with a shot of pickle brine tastes good (way better than it sounds), but I feel as if there’s something more to the pickleback: sentimentality, comfort. The pickleback is the macaroni and cheese of the cocktail world.”
Photo by Max Watman, Huffington Post.
The macaroni and cheese of the cocktail world? Only if you grew up doing whiskey shots and drinking pickle juice from the jar! What kind of childhood did this guy have?!
Either way…worth trying sometime if you’ve never had one. At least just to say you’ve done it.
Unrelated, or maybe not, is the Facebook group that was created to see if a pickle could get more fans than Nickelback. The pickle won. Was this the inspiration for the Pickleback? We may never know…
Infused Vodkas and Schnapps: Dill Schnapps, Blackberry Schnapps, Peppermint Schnapps, and Hot Pepper Vodka Recipes
Those of you who don’t know me well may not know that I have a bit of Swedish blood in me. My Grandmother on my Father’s side was 100% Swedish, and I grew up eating pickled herring, Swedish meatballs, and all manner of smörgåsbord delicacies during the holidays. The Swedes love their vodka, aquavit, and schnapps, as well as midnight swims in the North Sea after enjoying said drinks (I know from experience). My Dad, for years, has made lemoncello from the lemons that grow on our family’s tree in Arizona, and though that drink is more Italian than Swedish, the idea is the same.
Today I was at a friend’s house (who is also 1/4 Swedish), and she pulled out a great cookbook that her Mom had given her: A Culinary Tour of Sweden, by Tina Nordstrom. Apparently it is out of print at the moment, but you can get used copies from Amazon.com if you are so inclined. Flipping through the book gave me lots of ideas for food (which will be coming soon!) but when I saw the page on making your own schnapps, I was immediately thinking about heading to Fairway to pick up the ingredients.
At one of my favorite restaurants in the city, the Fatty Crab, they have incredible cocktails (read more about the Fatty Crab here). They aren’t cheap ($12/each) but they are tasty. Unfortunately for me, my favorite cocktail there is also the most expensive, at $14 a pop. However, this is no ordinary cocktail. This is a fresh green coconut, opened in front of you at the bar, with dark rum. Served with a spoon and a straw, you can drink the cocktail while you scoop out the fresh, custard-like coconut meat from the inside of the shell. It’s a real treat, to say the least.
The other night I had the inspiration to go find some coconuts and try making this drink at home, utilizing my new favorite dark rum: Kraken. Kraken is a dark spiced rum with heavy vanilla notes, and I think it makes a great Dark ‘N Stormy. You can also enjoy it on the rocks…it’s that smooth.
This cocktail is courtesy of my friend Morgan Tayloe. She arrived at the Cape two years ago with a jar of hibiscus flowers in syrup, and proceeded to make a delicious cocktail with Prosecco and hibiscus syrup, with a flower in the bottom of the glass to finish it off. This weekend I made a round for brunch, and here’s a shot of them in action. If you can’t find hibiscus flowers in your local market, you can buy them online.
To make: Combine 1 glass of chilled Prosecco with a drizzle of hibiscus syrup and one whole hibiscus flower.
Yesterday I got some friends together to enjoy the beautiful weather here in NYC down at Riverside park. Some bocce, snacks, sun, and of course…cocktails! I have to thank my friend Morgan Tayloe for introducing me to this drink at a picnic she put together in Central Park a few years ago. I have appropriated it for my own summertime get-togethers ever since, and it’s always a big hit. It’s very easy to make, and it’s always a crowd-pleaser.
Today’s taste test comes to us from the deserts of the Southwestern United States and Mexico: The fruit of the prickly pear cactus. This small, red fruit is commonly used to flavor drinks, candies, syrups and jellies since it has a lot of small, inedible seeds that make it tough to use whole. Not to mention the fact that the skin is covered in small, very irritating spines called “glochids” that need to be dealt with carefully before the fruit can be used. This is a plant that resists being eaten. All that aside, the fruit itself has a very pleasant, floral, sweet flavor and a bright, crimson color. It turns a regular margarita into something festive (and native, given that tequila is a cactus distillate).
I’m a big fan of ginger, in all of its forms. One of my favorite cocktails ever, for almost any occasion, is the original Dark ‘N Stormy (which can only be made 100% authentically using Barritt’s Bermuda stone ginger beer and Gosling’s black seal rum). It screams “I’d rather be out sailing!”, and if you are actually out sailing, it says “I am the perfect drink!”. The spicier the ginger beer, the better. Though it wouldn’t be considered “authentic”, I prefer Goya brand ginger beer to Barritt’s. It’s spicier and richer, and I think it’s superior. But I digress…
Ginger has a way of going well in cocktails. It is good for the stomach and digestion, as well as being tasty. This cocktail uses fresh ginger, candied ginger, and Stone’s Original Ginger, an English currant wine flavored with, well, ginger. You could very well convert it to a quadruple ginger cocktail by adding a splash of ginger beer, but I think “triple ginger” sounds better than “quadruple ginger”, personally.