January 22nd, 2009

Inaugural insanity at Green Street

Dylan Black and the champagne towerTyler Balliet and the champagne tower

“Is it always this busy on a Tuesday?” unsuspecting customers asked upon entering Green Street last night. Yes, if that Tuesday happens to fall on the date of a historic U.S. presidential inauguration. And if drinkboston, BeerAdvocate and the Second Glass band together to invite everyone in the city to celebrate at this nicely stocked bar. And if presidential cocktails, inaugural craft beers, a champagne “tower of freedom” and $4 tacos are on the menu.

Obama inauguration party - Todd Alstrom

The crowd drank early and often, so that, by 7:30 p.m., the Ale to the Chief and Inauguration Ale (aka “Obamagang”), the Whiskey Punch (recipe below) and the Gruet Brut tower (built from specs by Martha Stewart!) were drained dry. But there was lots more good beer, sparkling wine and cocktails to be had, and bartenders Andy McNees and Emily Stanley served them up as fast as they could. Everyone seemed to be in a good mood. I know I was.

Obama inauguration party - Lauren Clark with Whiskey Punch

Whiskey Daisy (New School, 1910s)
From Imbibe! by David Wondrich

2 oz whiskey
Juice 1/2 lime and 1/4 lemon
1 teaspoonful superfine sugar
2 dashes (1 tsp) grenadine
2 dashes (1/2 oz) carbonated water

Last night, this recipe was batched up to make a large bowl of punch cooled by a sizable chunk of ice. The proper Daisy preparation, however, is as follows: “Use silver mug, put in above ingredients, fill up with fine ice, stir until mug is frosted, decorate with fruit and sprays of fresh mint and serve with straws.”

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7 Responses to “Inaugural insanity at Green Street”

  1. JG

    Thanks for posting the punch recipe. I found that interesting as I got Imbibe over the holidays and just learned about the differences between the original whiskey daisys and the newer ones. I know that when I got mine, you had told me that it was pretty fresh and thus likely to be strong (and it was), but tasty nonetheless.

    The party was a great idea, thanks to you all, BA, GS, etc. It ended up being a little too cozy so we ended up leaving before we had planned but a little cross-pollination is always a good thing :)

  2. ljclark

    And thank YOU for your feedback, JG. I just love when drinks and history intertwine.

  3. Arnold

    If you don’t mind, can I ask why the FDR martini wasn’t made “dirty?” Several sources have him adding some olive brine to his martini. I know I don’t like dirty martinis, and they are generally frowned upon by cocktail purists, but in this case it may have been the historically correct choice.

  4. ljclark

    I, too, have read that FDR liked his martinis dirty (I even mentioned that in a short piece I wrote for the Boston Herald about dirty martinis a few years back). But in the interest of simplicity I chose the undirty kind for the inauguration menu. I also read that people thought FDR’s martinis were awful, but it would’ve been unfair to our guests to adhere to that characteristic. Dirty martinis are scorned by “serious” cocktailians and many bartenders alike (the latter incredulous that someone would spend good money for a drink diluted with olive brine — brine that, as bartenders know well, is often poured directly from the tray of olives that have been sitting around for a couple of days and handled several times by the bar staff). But I’m going to go on the record and declare that I like this cocktail, as long as the brine is fresh and the martini well made with gin.

  5. Arnold

    Wow–in terms of your “going on the record.” Seriously, as you should be considered a member of the “elite” of Boston-area cocktail culture and I would guess this is stepping out of accepted culture. But that is generally a good thing in any culture/business/trade, in my opinion at least.

    Is there a still active link to that article you mentioned? I’m always interested in procrastinating at work with any good piece on cocktails, even if I don’t like diry marinis myself (thought my girlfriend is an occasional fan, and the one on the orginial Hungry Mother list with the spicy olives was quite tasty).

  6. ljclark

    Unfortunately I don’t have a link to that article. The Herald charges $$ for access to its archives.

  7. MC Slim JB

    I don’t object on principle to dirty martinis, but seeing brine poured from a frequently finger-dipped garnish tray is indeed nasty. I see many better bars keeping olive brine in a squeeze bottle, much more hygienic. The main problem I have with most dirty martinis is that they’re vodka martinis, and I really want people to move beyond vodka in cocktails, even vodka flavored with delicious olive brine.

    I was sorry to miss that event. I welcome any excuse to get out to Green Street, and would love to have seen it brimming-full as I heard it was that night.

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