Archive for February 2012

A Valentine for you


Please accept these recipes as a token of our love and appreciation for you. Happy Valentine's Day!


Lost Saint
1 1/2 oz Whiskey or Bourbon - we used Leopold Bros
1/2 oz Benedictine
1./2 oz Honey Lavender Syrup - we used Chicago Co-op Honey
1/2 Lemon
1 oz Caramel or Vanilla Rooibos Tea - we used Adagio tea

Add all to shaker with ice. Shake, strain and serve in coupe or rocks glass. Garnish with brandied cherry - we used Mess Hall cherries.

Notes: We made these cocktails for the Logan Square Kitchen Pastry Market and they were a big hit. In an effort to be local we were pretty specific about the selection of our ingredients (see above). Brew tea double strength. Make honey syrup by combining equal parts honey and water. Add lavender and heat until honey melts. Let steep, strain and cool.

Named from Sonnet 43 by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
 
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.


The Look of Love
1/2 oz hazelnut orgeat syrup
3/4 oz blood orange juice
4-5 oz dry champagne

Combine orgeat and blood orange juice in champagne flute. Top with champange.

Notes: depending on the dryness of the champagne you may need to increase the amount of orgeat.

Hazelnut Orgeat Syrup
1 1/2 hazelnuts (skin can be on)
3 cups water
3 cups sugar
1/4 cup brandy
1/8 tsp orange flower water

Cover hazelnuts with cold water and let soak for 30 min.  Strain and chop pretty fine in food processor.  Cover chopped hazelnuts with 3 cups water and let stand for 2 hours.  Place damp cheesecloth over strainer on top of bowl.  Strain hazelnuts and water, squeezing cloth to extract all liquid.  Add hazelnut pulp back to water, let soak for another hour and strain again.  Repeat again if time allows.  The flavor of the syrup will come from the oils and fat in the meat of the hazelnuts which you are helping to release in squeezing process.

Strain once more and discard hazelnut pulp.  Warm liquid gently over mild heat and add sugar stirring until fully dissolved.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Add brandy and orange flower water.

Named after Burt Bacharach's "The Look of Love" famously sung by Dusty Springfield. I prefer Nina Simone's version. xo.

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San Francisco: Cocktails & Coffee

Land's End
San Francisco is a strange and remarkable place - for a lot reasons. One of those is a love of fine cocktails and handmade coffee. Here were a few of my favorite moments from a recent visit.

Cask in Union Square, Artisan Spirits and Supplies
Cask has a great selection of... everything. Small batch whiskeys, scotches, gin, amari, tons of bitters, syrups, bar tools. It's well curated so you really can't walk away without something good. From what I can tell, it's the only place you can buy Pineapple Gum Syrup, essential to Pisco Punch. See below for a couple of my Cask purchases.

Vieux Carre Cocktail at Alembic, Haight-Ashbury
Alembic is what you would want in a cocktail-centric bar. Well-honed menu and staff with encyclopedic-knowledge of their wares. I felt good with my Vieurx Carre and just fine with my Corpse Reviver subbed with Tequila for Gin. It was a reminder of why I used to go Sundays to DeVille in West Town - you get the best drinks when bartenders have the time (or take the time) to make them.

Locanda, Mission District
Locanda serves fashionable Italian fare with cocktails to match. Considering all the bitter and sweet spirits of Italy, it's not a bad source to mine. Plus, it's a pretty gorgeous place to hang out.

Sightglass Coffee in SoMa
Sightglass - a beautiful warehouse of hand-roasted coffee! You order your coffee by country, region and tasting nuances. After you order, you must wait for your coffee while it slowly drips. But it's not a bad wait. There are soul records spinning and delicious pastries to nibble. It's worth noting that here is a good place to compare the San Fran portion size to the Chicago portion - the large cup at Sightglass is a small cup in Chicago. Which is fine if it tastes that good.

Blue Bottle Coffee at SFMOMA
Blue Bottle Coffee is sorta taking over San Francisco. We visited the Blue Bottle in the Mint building and there was a line out the door most mornings. Our visit there was the start of little game I played on how many poached eggs could I spy being served in San Francisco. It's great coffee, poured in a Japanese tradition with vintage equipment within 48 hours of being roasted. It's a good success story of one man's labor of love turning into his fortunes. And by the way, order the Gibraltar! It's not on the menu and it's not a to-go - served in its namesake cup, it's milky and elegant.

Click to read more and for lover's cocktail recipe and gift idea:

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