How you doin’? It’s finally Friday! Whoopie, it’s Happy Hour time! You’re going to be doing very well shortly.
What’s your favorite Southern city? I have two--I love Nashville and New Orleans! (Nashville HOT Fried Chicken will be the subject of a later blog.) When I think of New Orleans, I think the French Quarter and when I think about the French Quarter, I think of Pat O’Brien’s. O’Brien’s is known for great jazz entertainment and their most popular signature drink—The Hurricane Cocktail. The perfect place to sip a Hurricane is still in Pat O’s legendary courtyard, overlooking the flaming fountain.
This local NOLA libation is made with rum because during World War II whiskey was hard to come by, but rum was plentiful. The name for the drink comes from the glass it’s served in that resembles a hurricane lamp. You can find Hurricanes elsewhere around the city as well, and most bartenders will be happy to mix you one, but they just don’t taste as good as Pat O’Brien’s. You can see people swaying down Bourbon Street carrying their take-away souvenir glasses.
2 oz. light rum
2 oz. dark rum
2 oz. passion fruit juice
2 oz. orange juice
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon simple syrup
1 tablespoon grenadine
Garnish: orange slice and cherry flag
#Hurricane #Cocktail #Gin #HappyHour #Cocktail #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup #QuarantineKitchen #Covid19
How you doin’? It’s Friday… and almost time for Happy Hour! There are some memories I retreat to in the back of my mind when I find I can’t have a proper Happy Hour. Let me tell you a little story…
Wendel was his name and Wendelizing was his game. Wendel was the barkeep at a local dive bar across the street from USC. After some really rough days matriculating at the castle of higher learning a bunch of us would visit Wendel. Wendel would entice us to drink Singapore Slings—many of them. For the uninitiated you should know a Singapore Sling goes down really easily. Before long and after two or 3 of them it was time to go back to the dorm.
So, what is a Singapore Sling you ask? According to the historian for Raffles Hotel, the intent was to produce a cocktail that looked like fruit juice and had a rosy color that would appeal to women. It was, as the hotel notes, "a socially acceptable punch for the ladies."
The Singapore Sling is a classic gin-based cocktail that every cocktail connoisseur needs to taste. The story goes that it was developed by a guy by the name of Ngiam Tong Boon at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore sometime around 1915. It is a smooth, slow, and semi-sweet cocktail with a complex flavor that has remained a favorite for over 100 years—yes, people still drink them.
The original recipe may be lost to the ages and few people can agree on the “right” recipe. The disparities seem to have begun as early as the drink's first decade and they've only grown over the years.
This recipe is the one we served at Fanny’s Fish Market (a chain of seafood joints I owned up in the SFO Bay area) and is a more contemporary variation. Some versions include anything from pineapple to grenadine or liqueurs like Cointreau. A couple of today's top cocktail historians have also dug up older recipes which are worthy of discussion and a taste or two, or three. No matter how you end up taking your Singapore Sling, it is a fascinating cocktail that is well worth your time to explore. Take 3-minutes to “Wendelize” your friends with Fanny’s version of a Singapore Sling.
1-1/2 ounces gin
1-ounce lime juice
1/4-ounce simple syrup
2-ounces club soda
1/2-ounce cherry brandy (or kirsch or Cherry Heering)
Garnish: lemon slice and a stem-on maraschino cherry
ChefSecret: Did you notice the lack of pineapple juice? This was the "key" ingredient in Raffles' Cricket Club recipe, so that may have been how Ngiam improved on his original cocktail that was so popular throughout Singapore at the time.
If you want to try another popular Singapore Sling—call it No. 2—pineapple juice is used at a full 2-ounce pour, equaling that of Beefeater Gin. It also adds 1/2 ounce each Cherry Heering and Triple Sec with 1/4-ounce Benedictine and 3/4-ounce lime juice. It's topped with Angostura bitters and club soda. This was the recipe found on a Raffles coaster, though it lacked the measurements, so experienced bartenders had to wing it on their own.
 What is Benedictine liqueur? In 1510, the Benedictine monk Don Bernardo Vincelli created the recipe for this French liqueur, which calls for 27 plants and spices. The three main ingredients are Angelica, Hyssop and Lemon Balm. It has the flavor of sweet honey accented with holiday spices, stone fruits, and an herbal nuance.
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To you and everyone dear to you, be strong, be positive, stay well, stay safe and be kind. Thanks for reading!
#SingaporeSling #Gin #Singapore #RafflesHotel #HappyHour #Cocktails #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup #QuarantineKitchen #Covid19
How you doin’? As businesses are starting to open up we are beginning to feel a little better about things. So, while it may not yet be time to celebrate with a bottle of Dom P Champagne, we can still enjoy a nice chilled glass of Sangria for Happy Hour.
The origins of Sangria are from Spain—it is an enhanced alcohol-wine punch. Sangria traditionally consists of an inexpensive red wine and fresh fruit, often with other spirits. Sangria is one of the most popular drinks in Spanish cuisine. It is commonly served in bars, restaurants, chiringuitos and at festivities throughout Spain.
Traditionally, Barcelona Sangria is simple to make with a minimal amount of fresh ingredients. It is the perfect fruity summer beverage that's adaptable and delicious!
Prep time: 10 Minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Store: 48 Hours
1/2 medium tart apple, cored, skin on, chopped in 1-inch cubes
1/2 medium orange, rind on, sliced into rounds, large seeds removed, plus more for garnish
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup orange juice plus more to taste
1/3 cup brandy, plus more to taste
750 ml bottle dry Spanish red wine (Tempranillo if available)
1 cup ice to chill
Options: I like to use what’s leftover in my produce drawer to make Sangaria—I sometimes add a sliced lemon or lime or both. I also like to add fresh chopped plums and peaches to the glass and then pour the Sangria over. The peaches and plums really add another level of flavor.
#Sangria #Brandy #Barcelona #Margaritas #HappyHour #Cocktails #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup #QuarantineKitchen #Covid19
How you doin’? It’s Happy Hour Friday! In a few hours I’ll be pulling up a lounge chair on my patio to get ready for another Covid-19 happy hour date night. The warmer weather has arrived in Southern California and while still locked in, I might as well have a cocktail or two. If you haven’t already heard, alcohol consumption in the United States is up over 250% since the coronavirus lock down. If you’re going to have a few cocktails remember to call Uber or Lyft.
DRINK RESPONSIBLY… DON’T DRIVE BUZZED!
Okay, the temperatures are reaching into the high 80s and mid-90s which is a great excuse for summertime, warm weather cocktails. When I think of warm weather cocktails, the Daiquiri comes to mind as one of the most common and popular.
The Daiquiri represents an obvious marriage between local Caribbean island ingredients—rum, sugar, limes— and American technology—cocktail shaker and ice. The Daiquiri caught on around the Caribbean during Prohibition and then grew in popularity in the States during the second World War, when rum was easy to get but whiskey wasn't. It is said that John F. Kennedy drank a Daiquiri the night he was elected president. So, drink up… you're in good company.
The Daiquiri was also the preferred drink of Ernest Hemingway. The old man and the sea author used to hang out at the El Floridita bar in Havana and drink Daiquiris—lots of them. One afternoon, he was said to have broken the El Floridita record by drinking 17 Daiquiris. He didn't drink his with sugar, just a double shot of rum. And that, my intoxicated friend, is how the Papa Doble, or Hemingway Daiquiri, was invented.
Hemingway is long gone, but El Floridita still lives on in his image, literally; the bar is decked out with pictures and statues in his likeliness. There's also a sign there that reads "La Cuna Del Daiquiri"—the cradle of the Daiquiri.
You don't even need to get out the blender, though the Daiquiri is most often seen in slushie form, often injected with strawberry flavoring--ick! It's really a simple, strained cocktail. The three ingredients are shaken over ice and then strained into a chilled cocktail glass straight up.
All the ingredients are of tropical descent—the Caribbean islands (ya mon), so it's fair to categorize the Daiquiri as a drink best served under palm leaves. But with sugar, rum for earthy sweetness and fresh lime juice for tart counterbalance, it's always good, regardless of locale. And all you really need for it besides what you have stocked in the kitchen is a bottle of really good white rum.
You don’t have to be a trained baresta to make a Daiquiri. Here's the road map to make this essential, indomitable “classic” rum cocktail.
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon superfine sugar
2 oz. fine white rum
Lime wheel garnish
Squeeze the lime into a shaker, stir in the sugar, then add rum. Shake well with cracked ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Cheers!
ChefSecret: Classic rum drinks are plentiful in the Caribbean and around the world. Think Mojito—it, too, was a favorite of Hemingway—as was the Dark and Stormy. The Brazilian Caipirinha is like a Daiquiri on the rocks made with Brazil's Cachaça—a Rio rum from further south. And for another cocktail attributed to Hemingway that is wholly dissimilar from the Daiquiri, try Hemingway's Death in the Afternoon. It has absinthe and brut champagne.
#Rum #Daiquiri #Hemingway #ElFloridita #HappyHour #Cocktails #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup #QuarantineKitchen #Covid19
How you doin’? It’s almost Cinco de Mayo!!! We didn’t want to wait until the last minute to get you Cinco de Mayo cocktail recipes, and it is Friday after all, so you can practice, practice, practice right on through to Tuesday.
Cinco de Mayo is the annual celebration held on May 5th in commemoration of the Mexican Army's victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. In better times Cinco de Mayo is celebrated with parades, food, music, dancing, battle reenactments and cocktails—lots of cocktails. It’s a time for fun, celebration and merriment. And there’s no better way to celebrate than with an icy cold Margarita. We think Jimmy Buffett had it right with his famous song—Margaritaville. So, what is a Margarita?
A basic Margarita is a mixed cocktail consisting of measures tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice most often served with salted rim on the glass. The drink can be shaken with ice (on the rocks), blended with ice (frozen), or without ice (straight up) with a tequila shooter. It has become acceptable to serve a Margarita in a wide variety of glass types, ranging from cocktail and wine glasses to pint glasses and even large schooners or pitchers. You can even dress up a Margarita with premium or top-shelf liquor or make it fresh and fruity by adding your favorite fruit, i.e., strawberry, mango, pineapple, etc.
There are many conflicting accounts on how the Margarita was first concocted. One account comes from the 1937 Cafe Royal Cocktail Book that contains a recipe for a Picador using the same concentrations of tequila, triple sec and lime juice as a Margarita. Another early story is of the Margarita being invented in 1938 by Carlos "Danny" Herrera at his restaurant Rancho La Gloria, in Baja California. Danny claimed that it was created for customer and former Ziegfeld dancer Marjorie King, who was allergic to many spirits, but not to tequila. This story was related by Herrera and also by bartender Albert Hernandez, acknowledged for popularizing a Margarita in San Diego after 1947, at the La Plaza restaurant in La Jolla. There are also claims that the Margarita was first mixed in Juárez, Chihuahua at Tommy's Place Bar on July 4, 1942 by Francisco "Poncho" Morales.
Others say the inventor was Dallas socialite Margarita Sames, when she mixed up the drink for her guests at her Acapulco, Guerrero vacation home in 1948. Tommy Hilton reportedly attended, bringing the drink back to the Hilton hotel chain. However, The spirts company, Jose Cuervo was already running ad campaigns for the Margarita three years earlier, in 1945, with the slogan, "Margarita: It's more than a girl's name." According to Jose Cuervo, the cocktail was invented in 1938 by a bartender in honor of Mexican showgirl Rita de la Rosa.
At our Customs House Restaurants, Margaritas were important mixed cocktails for our bar program. In fact, the CHR wereknown for our Cinco de Mayo celebration and our perfectly concocted Margaritas. Here are a few for you to try.
The Basic Margarita Customs House Margarita
Build in a shaker over ice or in a blender can
Ice to 3/4-full in the shaker can
1-1/2-ounces lime mix
1/4-ounce fresh lime juice
Squeeze lime juice into 13-ounce salted glass
Shake (or blend) the mixture above and pour into the salted 13-ounce glass
Serve a side car of 3/4-ounce tequila shot; garnish the shot glass with a salted rim and a lime wheel
Make the basic into a Margarita Grande
Everything above plus a 1/2-ounce Grand Marnier float on top of the drink
The Perfect Cadillac Margarita
Fill a cocktail shaker 3/4 way with ice
After measuring out each ingredient below, pour it into the shaker
4-ounces of tequila
2- ounces Cointreau
4-ounces fresh lime juice
2 ounces simple syrup
Shake well and pour into your favorite glass
Pour 1 ounce of Grand Marnier into a shot glass serve as a side car
Flat On Your Back Margarita
You will need a large, oversize super bowl-shaped glass.
This is a layered build
2-ounces of grenadine
Fill the glass with crushed iced
Add a layer of club soda
4-ounces of fresh orange juice
2-ounces sweet & sour
Float some more club soda
Float 1-ounce of Blue Curacao
Garnish with 2 to 4 straws
Upside Down Margarita
Some participation is required.
Go to your favorite Mexican restaurant and make friends with the bartender. Or go into your home bar/kitchen and ask your “roomie” for assistance. Now stand with your back to the bar; lean backward and place your head on the bar—open your mouth. The bartender will pour a 1-ounce shot of tequila, 1/2 shot of sweet & sour, 1/2 shot of triple sec into your mouth, and sprinkles a pinch of salt on your tongue. Then you stand up straight and swallow.
Build over ice cubes in a 13-ounce glass
1-1/2 ounces tequila
4-ounces fresh orange juice
Macho Nachos! (You really can’t make a mistake)
Directions? You don’t need no stinkin’ directions! Just pile all the good stuff on.
#CincoDeMayo #Margaritas #Nachos #HappyHour #Cocktails #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup #QuarantineKitchen #Covid19 #Tequila
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