Archive for August 2012

Adiós Verano: The Veracruz

Goodbye summer. It was fun and hot and over too quickly. Thanks. Ok it's not really over, but soon!

For this cocktail we did something a little different and used the juicer to get the savory and sweet juice from the red bell pepper. We also threw in a couple of serrano peppers for heat.

1 oz Vodka
1/2 oz Mezcal
1 oz Red Pepper Juice*
1/3 oz Lime Juice
1/3 oz Simple Syrup

Shake all ingredients on ice. Stain into rocks or coupe glass. Garnish with basil sprig.

*Remove the white and seeds of the red bell pepper and extract juice with a juicer. You should get 2-3 ounces per pepper.

Notes: Are you tired of us using the vodka/mezcal combo? We can't stop - it's cheaper and you get a more subtle smokiness than using all mezcal. But if you like the smoke and roll in dough, by all means up the mezcal and nix the vodka.

P.S. it's perfectly acceptable not to fill a glass all the way up. In fact, it's classy and should denote the special-ness of the drink.

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Let Me Take You Down

First rule of Sazerac-making is you don't f*ck with the Sazerac. It's one of the storied cocktails of New Orleans. For those who respect the sanctity of the Sazerac, here's what you do: put a sugar cube in a rocks glass. Add a quarter teaspoon of water. Muddle, then add a little ice, two ounces of rye, two dashes of Peychaud's (or a little more) and two dashes of Angostura bitters. Stir. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass that's been rinsed with a little absinthe and enjoy.

For those who can break once or twice from the Church of New Orleans, here's a variation.

The Straw that Broke the Sazerac
2 oz Rye (like Bulleit)
1 Macerated Strawberry*
1/3 oz Macerated Strawberry-Absinthe Liquid
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
2 dashes Peychaud's Bitters

Add all ingredients to a rocks glass. Add a large ice chunk/cube and stir for 15-30 seconds.

*Macerated Strawberries: Half four strawberries in a bowl. Add two teaspoons of sugar and 1/3 oz Absinthe (Pernod or Herbsaint will also work). Cover and let sit for at least an hour.
Strawberries become electric when macerated in Absinthe.

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Lichtenstein Fever

For the last couple of month, The Art Institute of Chicago has really pushed the Roy Lichtenstein exhibit. I was slow to see the show because, while I like comic books, I didn't feel there was much more to his work than that. I was very pleasantly surprised to be wrong. The comic book panel with thought bubble is only a part of this work. More than that, he is a master of form and composition. His subjects are witty without being corny and his design sense stands the test of time. Also, he too champions the humble lemon.

Do yourself a favor if you're in Chicago and see the show before is closes on September 3rd.

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