But First… A Toast To Water
How you doin’? I know many of you look forward to cocktail recipes on Friday—and that’s important, but sometimes you have to dial it back a little and give a shout-out to something as life-sustaining as water. That’s right H20, the wet stuff right out of the tap. Water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen, and it exists in gaseous, liquid, and solid states. Water is one of the most plentiful and essential compounds, occurring as a liquid on Earth's surface under normal conditions, which makes it invaluable for human uses and for plant and animal habitats. So, here’s a Friday Happy Hour Toast to Water. The medium for a toast is ordinarily a cocktail, highball, a glass of wine or a mug of beer, but this toast is different today.
One of the purest and best things ever created by the Almighty is water. I have seen it welled up in the eyes of infancy. I have seen it trickle down the rosy cheeks of youth. I have seen it rush in mad torrents down the wrinkled cheeks of age.
I have seen it in the dewy drops on blades of grass and on leaves of trees, shining like polished diamonds when the sun bursts in resplendent glory over the eastern hills. I have seen it trickle down the mountain sides in tiny rivulets, rushing over pebbly bottoms and purling around sharp stones with the music of liquid silver. I have seen it cool and crystal-clear bubbling from under a bank of dew-washed ferns.
I have seen it encrusted in a glistening coat of white frost upon a mint julep glass. I have seen it sweeping over the precipitous falls in its mad rush to join with the great Father of Water and thence in majestic movement to the oceans where floats the battleships of the world and the commerce of nations.
Yet, if I may be permitted, I should like to say in all seriousness, in all earnestness and with the full vigor of manhood… that water as a beverage is a gosh darn failure.
Okay, only kidding. Let’s get serious and get this happy hour going with a tropical Mai Tai.
Mai Tai Cocktail
This classic rum-based Mai Tai cocktail recipe, infused with the citrus flavors of Curaçao, orange juice and lime juice, is the perfect drink to enjoy at the beach, or when you’re dreaming of being there.
Victor J. Bergeron claimed to have invented the Mai Tai in 1944 at Trader Vic's Restaurant, in Oakland, California. The bracingly refreshing cocktail he created at the restaurant was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands in the 1950s. A San Francisco columnist once wrote that, “the best restaurant in San Francisco was in Oakland.” Vic had become “The Trader,” and so started the legend of “Trader Vic’s.”
The success of Trader Vic’s was simple, a lush tropical island theme—the complete escape. You’d think of beaches, moonlight and pretty girls. I knew Vic well and I give him credit as the master of cocktails and island foods. We spent many afternoons over drinks at Trader Vic’s at the Beverly Hilton when we were conceptualizing The Warehouse Restaurant that was soon to open in Marina del Rey.
1 ounce light rum
1 ounce orange Curaçao
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1 dash orgeat syrup
1 dash simple syrup
1 tablespoon dark rum Or better yet, a float of 151 proof rum
Mint, a pineapple slice, and a paper umbrella for garnish
Sparkling Mai Tai Cocktail
This is a spritzy, uptown version of the classic Mai Tai, created by a mixologist from San Francisco. It is the perfect cocktail for a weekend brunch. This recipe yields 4-servings. Allow about an hour to cool the mix.
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce orgeat
1/4 cup orange liqueur such as Gran Gala or Grand Marnier
1 ounce Lemon Hart 151 rum
1/4 cup Appleton Estate Extra 12-Year-Old rum
2 cups blanc de blanc sparkling wine, preferably from California
1 firm lime, chilled
4 small sprigs mint
Covid-19 Quip of the Day: “In Germany, they are preparing for the crisis by stocking up with sausage and cheese. That's the wurst käse scenario.”
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To you and everyone dear to you, be strong, be positive, stay well, stay safe and be kind—that’s the American way. If you have a little extra in your pocket to share with others at this difficult time, please consider donating to Feeding America. Thanks for reading.
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