Archive for October 2010

Fit for a Room: Take 3

I stumbled upon the photography of Jeff Wall and boy is it up my alley. It also feels perfect for the semi-ongoing series: "Fit for a Room" - an exercise in which I try to determine the cocktail that should be drunk in the particular room. The photo above has me thinking "Is there a cocktail called Dust?", "Is there a grey-colored cocktail? And if not, how can I make one?" and finally "What does beer and ketchup taste like?"

I should workshop some of the above cocktail ideas, but until then I give you what Gourmet calls the Provencal Sage Cocktail, which looks musty and forgotten.

10 fresh sage leaves
2 cups vodka
1 2/3 cups sugar

Crush the sage in a mortar with a pestle until it is fragrant and transfer it to a 1-pint jar. Rinse out the mortar with some of the vodka, pour all the vodka over the sage, and let the mixture stand, covered, shaking it occasionally, in a dark place for 8 days.
In a saucepan combine the sugar with 2/3 cup water and simmer the mixture, stirring, until the sugar is just dissolved. Transfer the sugar syrup to another 1-pint jar and chill it, covered, for 8 days.
Pour the sage mixture through a dampened coffee filter into a 1-quart jar or 750 ml bottle, stir in the sugar syrup, and seal the jar or bottle tightly. Shake the cordial and serve it at room temperature or chilled. Make about 3 1/2 cups.

I can almost see the jar in a corner of the room.

Below are more Jeff Wall photos to perhaps elicit more ideas filled with pine, grease, rope and salty air.

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When Doves Sing

Ok, that's an awfully cheesy post title, but it's all I got to encompass a thank you to all the Eskell party-goers who partook in our cocktails and invite you to our next boutique cocktail party at Dovetail, 1425 W. Chicago Ave, on Friday, November 5th 8-11PM. It's a lovely boutique.

In addition to pouring drinks, Alice is doing a polka dot window so we're sorta taking over your senses.
Dark Novel | Flickr: Intercambio de fotosTumblr

Because of the warm Fall weather we've been having, the refreshing Singapore Sling we made for Eskell's party was a big hit. (And it's good to have soda water in a drink when you know people will be having multiples.) Below is a recipe. I just had this idea to make the recipe into a pictogram so that it's easier to visualize (duh) and remember.

What do you think?

Singapore Sling
2 parts gin
1 part Cherry Heering
1 part ginger syrup
1 part lemon juice

Shake above on ice and serve in a collins glass with ice. Top with soda water and garnish with a cherry and orange slice.

Stay tuned for our Dovetail cocktail. We're thinking cheap (cocktails don't have to be expensive when you use fresh ingredients) and clear (pristine clothing + dark cocktails do not mix). Peace.

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Mad About Cocktails in Japan

I stumbled upon this Alice and Wonderland themed bar/cafe in Tokyo, Japan.  And yes, the waitresses actually dress up as characters from the movie.  Let the Madhatter tea party begin!!!  But it got me thinking...infusing spirits with teas or, incorporating them into a drink can be a really nice spin on a cocktail.  Think about your favorite tea with honey, lemon and an herbal spirit like gin!  Or, maybe a dessert cocktail with brandy, simple syrup, green tea and milk.  MMMM.  Right now I am rediscovering Rooibous which is a tea from South Africa.  I think it is going to make for a wonderful cocktail and I will post a recipe soon.

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Happy Birthday Eskell

One of our favorite boutiques Eskell is turning 5 this weekend.

Please join us for complimentary cocktails with... five ingredients! Featuring our Singapore Sling and hot pumpkin cider punch. Eskell 1509 N. Milwaukee Ave. (773) 486-0830 from 6pm-10pm.

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Halloween Spirits

We've been thinking about Halloween Party hosting and have a couple cocktails to share and some thoughts on variations. The great thing about making cocktails is sometimes tweaking them to your guests tastes or simply what you have on hand.

Pumpkin Punch (this is a take on Planters Punch, nice and spicy!)

1 750 ML bottle of dark Jamaican rum

1 750 ML bottle of Brandy

19 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice (approximately 2.5 cups strained of pulp)

19 oz roasted pumpkin simple syrup (recipe below)

50 dashes Angostura bitters

1 Liter Soda water

1 block of ice (can be made with a washed out juice or milk carton which can be easily peeled away)

Add all ingredients except soda in large punch bowl and chill. When ready to serve, add ice and top with soda. Ladle over ice. Makes approximately 25 drinks.

Roasted Pumpkin Simple Syrup

Halve one small pumpkin crosswise then cut into quarters. Scoop out the seeds and strings. Place pieces, hollow side down, in a large baking pan covered with aluminum foil and add a little water. Bake, uncovered, at 375 until soft. Cut roasted pumpkin into 1 inch cubes. Simmer in equal parts sugar and water (for above recipe use approximately 2.5 cups sugar: 2.5 cups water: 2.5 cups pumpkin) 30-40 min. for maximum flavor. For variations, add fresh ginger, vanilla beans, fresh grated nutmeg or fresh cinnamon. Cool and strain with damp cheese cloth.

And now the variation... we tried this drink with an aged non-spiced full bodied rum (7yr Flor de Cana from Nicaragua) instead of the above recipe's dark Jamaican rum and brandy combo. The dark Jamaican rum makes for a sweeter spicier punch while the Flor de Cana brings the pumpkin flavor to the foreground. But whichever recipe you choose we recommend fresh shaved nutmeg for the perfect seasonal garnish.

Satan's Kiss (makes one drink)

2oz Gin
1oz Lillet
1oz lemon juice
1oz simple syrup

Shake and then float 2oz Pinot Noir on top. Tip: use the back of a spoon held above the glass to disperse the Pinot so that it more easily floats on top of the drink. Also, if you can get your hands on Meyer lemons, you can cook down the zest with simple syrup and lemon oil and then puree. Use the puree in place of the lemon juice for an even thicker base that will make it even easier for the Pinot to float.
We came up with a variation of the Satan's kiss below. Instead of the Pinot Noir float, use a bit of Port in the bottom of the glass to start then pour the base on top and do an alternate float. Because the Port is fortified, it's a thicker wine. It also adds additional sweetness if your using only the lemon juice.
Enjoy! Mwahahaha.

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Don't Hold Your Breath...

There is nothing worst than a bad case of the hiccups.  The next time you are out and find yourself with a bout of the hiccups, try this bartenders remedy:

Suck on a lime wedge (or lemon) doused with several drops of Angostura bitters.  Drink a glass of water to follow.  I have cured many a customer's hiccups this way;)

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