Archive for December 2011

Wishing you a Ziegfeld New Year's Eve

We hope that you have a grand New Year's Eve... be it a small soiree, lavish party, a crowded bar or safe at home. We hope you dress up a bit, drink a little champagne and get a kiss.

The Zeigfeld Follies were our inspiration for this year's final cocktail. It's decadent with champagne like the ladies of the New York stage revue, boozy like the 1920's and fruity like one the Follies most infamous entertainers W. C. Fields (enjoy the clip below). Fields, a boozehound on and off-screen, carried a flask of "pineapple juice" on set. When a prankster replaced the flask liquor with actual pineapple juice, he reportedly said "who put pineapple juice in my pineapple juice?!"

The Toast of Manhatten (makes two drinks)
1 1/2 oz Rye
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth
1 oz Pineapple Syrup
Several Dash Peychaud's
6-8 oz Champagne

Add first four ingredients to mixing glass with ice and stir to chill. Strain into two champagne glasses, dividing equally. Top with dry champagne and garnish with a brandied cherry.

Make the pineapple syrup: Add one cup brown or cane sugar with water. Heat to combine into syrup and cool. Add 1/3 to 1/2 fresh pineapple cut into 1 inch chunks. Let sit for several hours or chill overnight.

Cheers to 2012! Be merry, be happy, be safe. xo Rabbit and Alice

All photos compliments of the interwebs.

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Bear Paw

We hope you have a wonderful holiday season. If you're out and about, stop by the liquor store and pick up a bottle of allspice dram - Christmas in a glass! Below is our recipe for the very satisfying Winter cocktail, the Bear Paw. We served it for Una Mae's Boutique party recently and it was a big hit.

Bear Paw
1 1/2 oz Bourbon or Rye
1/2 oz Allspice Dram
1/2 oz Brown Sugar Simple Syrup
1/2 oz Lemon

Shake all on ice and strain into a coupe glass or in an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with bitters.

Notes: Allspice dram is easy to make, but it takes a good month. We used the recipe from the Cocktail Chronicles here, but St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram is delicious and straight from the source (Jamaica).

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Taking our cue from The Thin Man

Our tip for starting the Winter off right: watch The Thin Man. Released in 1934 during the thick of the Great Depression, it introduced movie-goers to Dashiell Hammett's Nick and Nora Charles - unlikely detectives swathed in a world of decadence, glamour and... slapstick comedy. Watching it feels like a good reminder when the weather gets cold and times get tough to look sharp, go for the joke and always make lemonade.

Nick:[to the bartenders on proper drink construction] The important thing is the rhythm. Always have rhythm in your shaking. Now a Manhattan you shake to fox-trot time, a Bronx to two-step time, a dry martini you always shake to waltz time.

Nick: Now my friends, if I may propose a little toast. Let us eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.
Nora: You give such charming parties, Mr. Charles.
Nick: Thank you, Mrs. Charles.

Nora: How many drinks have you had?

Nick: This will make six Martinis. 
Nora: [to the waiter] All right. Will you bring me five more Martinis, Leo? Line them right up here.

Nora: [suffering from a hang-over] What hit me?
Nick: The last martini.

The Bronx (a perfect* martini with OJ)
2 oz Gin
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
1 oz Orange Juice

Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

* Perfect refers to the equal part dry and sweet vermouth. Not the esteemed quality of the drink.

Notes: Experiment! Try blood oranges or kumquats for the orange juice. Try adding marmalade and different kinds of orange bitters. Try different kinds of gin - those with more herbaceous-ness would balance out the juice. Try subbing Averna for the sweet vermouth.

Happy holidays!

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Take Ivy

This post is inspired by the book Take Ivy, a collection of photos taken on Ivy League campuses in the 60's by Japanese photographer Teruyoshi Hayashida, to capture the style of the times and men's fashion in America.  This rare book has since been reprinted in the U.S. and documents a great testament to fashion coming full circle. inspiration anyone? 

The Harvard
1 1/2 oz cognac
3/4 oz sweet vermouth
1/4 oz lemon
1 tsp. grenadine
2-3 dashes Angostura bitters

Shake and strain into chilled glass.  Garnish with lemon twist.

The Cornell
1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz benedictine
1/2 oz lemon
1/2 oz water

Stir over ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.

The Princeton
2 dashes orange bitters
1/3 oz port wine
2/3 oz old Tom gin

Stir over ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with lemon twist.

The Yale
2 oz gin
3 dashes orange bitters
1 dash angostura bitters

Shake and strain into chilled glass.  Garnish with lemon twist.

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Winter Fruit

A lovely poster by Claire Nereim available for purchase on Etsy. This would look swell hanging above a home bar, especially with the companion "Summer Fruit", and is great inspiration for Winter cocktails. It's also a reminder that citrus season is fast upon us. Fresh and cheap. Yes!

Here are the fruits:
limes - fill up your refrigerator! On movie nights, I'll often juice half a lime for rum and cokes, dark and stormy's or gin and tonics and use the other half to replace half the butter for popcorn. Just make 5 or 6 cups of popcorn, melt a tablespoon butter, add the lime juice and 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of salt, mustard powder, tumeric, cayenne, garam masala and cumin.
kumquats - the tiny cousin of the orange. Native to Asia, it's quite versatile. Often used to make jams, you can also eat it raw, infuse with liquors, juice and mix with tea, or make a lovely cocktail garnish.
citron - the fruit most resembling french fries above, is also one of the oldest. Perhaps the father of all citrus fruit, it is native to Southeast Asia and the Middle East. It's not great for juicing, but if you can find it use the zest and then cook it down to make jam (jam cocktails being all the rage these days)
pomegranate - now is the time to make your own grenadine. See our instructions here and try the classic Jack Rose cocktail - 3 parts Applejack brandy, 2 parts lemon or lime juice and 2 dashes of grenadine shaken and strained.
blood orange - oh the allure. A truly beautiful fruit. Try the Blood Orange Flip recipe from early on in our blog.
pomelo - a citrus as big as your head! It's generally milder and sweeter than it's progeny, the grapefruit. In India, it's eaten raw with salt and sliced chilies - an excellent idea for a cocktail. Just juice the pomelo, make a thai chili simple syrup, add gin, ice and garnish with a slice of chili and a salt rim. Breakfast is served.
lemons - the workhorse of most classic cocktails. Now would be a good time to experiment with preserving lemons. See instructions here.
pear - easy to cook down in a syrup to get a lot of flavor. Lately, I've been roasting them to caramelize the sugars and then cooking them down into a simple syrup.
tangerine - sweeter and smaller than the orange. This would be pretty juiced with a honey syrup, rooibos tea and cognac - just note that you might need to supplement with some lemon juice for correct balance.
grapefruit - a relatively young hybrid, made from the pomelo and the Jamaican sweet orange. The pink variety was born in the early 20th century. To celebrate it's heritage, I might try a cocktail of Jamaican dark rum, Allspice dram and grapefruit juice.

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