Archive for the ‘’ Category

May 15th, 2011

Gracias, los cócteleros!

Muchas gracias to everyone who turned up at last Sunday’s Cócteles Latinos! party at Trina’s Starlite Lounge. The drinks, the food, the music and the vibe were all tops. It’s not every day that you can sip on a Mountain Dew Fizz (made with Beija Cachaca) while nibbling on Peruvian potato salad and pulled-pork tortillas, listening to X and the Reverend Horton Heat (thanks, DJ Dave Cagle), and basking in a complete takeover of the Starlite’s main bar. Thanks to Beau and Trina Sturm for hosting this shindig with drinkboston, and to guest bartenders Ben Sandrof and Misty Kalkofen for their dream-team antics. Below, enjoy the party photos and the recipes — just in time for your summer drinking needs — that Beau, Ben and Misty dreamed up for the occasion. Salud!

Green Street bartender George Theodore Jenich and Ben Sandrof

Chinaco Punch

2 oz Chinaco Plata tequila
3/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino
1/2 oz lemon juice
1 1/2 oz watermelon juice
1 oz vinho verde

Combine all ingredients and serve in a rocks glass over a large ice cube or two. Scale up for a big punch bowl with a big chunk of ice in the middle.

Trina Sturm, Dave Cagle, Beau Sturm and Misty Kalkofen

Corn & Oil

1 1/2 oz. Brugal Anejo rum
3/4 oz Velvet Falernum
1/2 oz lime juice

Shake ingredients briefly over ice, then strain into glass with crushed ice. Top with several dashes Angostura bitters.

Phillip Naslund of Local 149 and friend Sarah

Magic Word

2 oz Chinaco Plata tequila
3/4 oz St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz lemon juice
1 1/2 oz hard cider

Combine all ingredients and serve in a rocks glass over a large ice cube or two. Scale up for a big punch bowl with a big chunk of ice in the middle.

Lillian Milagros Carrasquillo, Jonathan O'Toole, Kim Boutwell and Sean Frederick

Mountain Dew Fizz

2 oz Beija Cachaca
1 1/2 oz Mountain Dew
1/2 oz lime juice
1/4 oz agave syrup
1 egg white

Dry shake all ingredients except Mountain Dew. Add ice and Mountain Dew and shake very well until egg white froths. Strain into highball glass.

Brother Cleve with Lauren Clark of drinkboston

Strawberry Rhubarb Pisco Sour

2 oz Macchu Pisco
1 egg white
1 oz fresh strawberry syrup*
1/2 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz lime juice
Rhubarb bitters

Dry shake all ingredients except rhubarb bitters. Add ice and shake very well until egg white froths. Strain into highball glass and top with rhubarb bitters. *Strawberry syrup: puree fresh strawberries and pass through a chinois. Mix liquid 1:1 with white sugar until sugar dissolves.

Los cocteleros: Noah and Elizabeth

Zocalo

2 oz Del Maguey Vida mezcal
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1/2 oz canela (cinnamon) simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura orange bitters
Lemon oil garnish

Combine first four ingredients in mixing glass filled with ice and stir very well. Strain into chilled martini or rocks glass and twist lemon peel over the top.

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Posted in Cocktails, Events, Pisco, Punch, Rum, Tequila | No Comments »

December 3rd, 2010

Nips – 12/3/10

I think the sign says it all. What with the holiday season upon us, I’ve been hoarding a recycled shopping bag full of nips for you, so let’s get cracking.

» Repeal Day Ball. Well, it seems I have truly arrived. I am part of a Boston contingent being whisked down to Washington D.C. this Saturday for the third annual Repeal Day Ball at the Maison Biltmore, courtesy of the D.C. Craft Bartenders Guild and Macchu Pisco. This shindig started amid the hoopla over the 75th anniversary of Repeal in 2008 (which Eastern Standard celebrated in great style right here in Boston) and quickly became one of the Capitol’s great parties. Jeffrey Morgenthaler (aka the Morgenblogger) of Portland, Oregon, MCs the affair, which features themed rooms manned by renowned innkeepers from the D.C. area and elsewhere. Sure, there’ll be punch and Prohibition-era cocktails, but, frankly, I’m making a beeline for the 1980s room starring Dale “King Cocktail” DeGroff. Line up the Woo Woos, baby!

» Book of punch. Speaking of punch, David Wondrich was in town last month to promote his new book, Punch: The Delights and Dangers of the Flowing Bowl, at Drink. Delights and dangers were both in abundance, with nary a cocktail shaker in sight — just the gentle ladling of spirits, citrus, spice and sugar into little cups, over and over again. Oh my, that was fun. Read C. Fernsebner’s and B.C. Burroughs’ terrific interview with Wondrich in the Bostonist, with a longer version available on their blog, Dudekicker.

» High West. Also in town recently was David Perkins of the High West Distillery in Park City, Utah. A former biochemist who is part laconic scientist, part droll cowboy, Perkins hosted a tasting of his exotic whiskies at Trina’s Starlite Lounge in late October. We tasted his Silver Western Oat Whiskey, an unaged whiskey made with 85 percent oats and 15 percent barley malt; Rendezvous Rye, a blend of straight rye whiskies (including a 16-year-old Fleischmann’s — paging Man Men!); and Bourye, “the world’s only bourbon and rye marriage.” These whiskies are popping up in a few Boston bars — they’re very much boutique offerings, with the price tag to match, but well worth a sip when you find them.

» Nolet’s gin. I was introduced to Nolet’s Silver gin recently at a cocktail dinner at Eastern Standard. Intriguing. This is one of those newfangled gins, albeit produced by the very old Nolet’s distillery in Schiedam, Holland — best known in the U.S. for Ketel One vodka — where generations of the same family have been producing spirits since 1691. Its primary botanicals are Turkish rose, white peach and raspberry. If that trio makes you envision a cross between Hendrick’s and Stoli Raz, stop yourself right there. The stuff is quite dry, as brightly aromatic and balanced as a really expensive perfume, and verrrrry smoooooth. In fact, one of our cocktails was simply Nolet’s Silver in a heavy rocks glass over one very large ice cube. Quite nice, especially considering the stuff is 95.2 proof. This is an exclusive spirit, launching in only six states and costing $50 per bottle. We were also treated to a dram of the even rarer Nolet’s Reserve, a lightly aged gin whose pale straw color comes from saffron (or should I spell that $affron?) and which is also flavored with verbena. It was ethereal — which it would need to be at $800 per bottle. Allemachtig!

» Banged-up bartenders. What a coincidence. The night before Robert Simonson’s NYT article on the injuries related to craft bartending came out, I was at a gathering of female bartenders who launched into a conversation about their job-induced aches and pains. (Coincidence #2: one of those women is quoted in the article.) One woman wakes up with pain in her wrist, another is plagued by a sore shoulder. One’s husband has to pry apart her clenched “shaker hands” as she sleeps. Another had the rest of us hold her wrist as she rotated it to reveal what felt like loose ball bearings. The main culprit was the constant, vigorous use of shakers, often with larger, denser ice than the norm, that is pretty much mandatory in craft cocktail mixing. Other culprits were similar to those mentioned in the article:

“Bartending has never been an easy job. But in the past, tired feet, an aching back and possibly a bent ear or two were the standard complaints. Today’s nonstop bar-side ballets have caused the pains to creep northward to the wrist, elbow and shoulder.

“Most professionals deal in some repetitive motion or other; bartenders contend with several. They tilt heavy bottles into a shaker each night; they smack ice with the bowl of a bar spoon to get the size and shape just right; they unleash the suction of a shaker with the palm of their hand, jolting their wrist again and again.”

Sheesh. Does anybody predict that punch is about to get a whole lot more popular?

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Posted in Books & resources, D.C., Gin, Nips, Punch, Whiskey | No Comments »

December 23rd, 2009

Packard, Maddow and flaming punch


Heads up, drinkbostonians: Josey Packard, one of Boston’s best bartenders, will appear tonight on the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC (9:00 p.m. EST) to mix up a flaming bowl of Christmas Rum Punch. Go, Josey, go!

Regular viewers know that Maddow often closes her political talk show with a bit on cocktails — I recall Dale DeGroff mixing Irish coffees on the set earlier this year. More recently, Maddow shared with her audience an investigative coup: an actual drink menu from one of the Obamas’ regular White House cocktail parties. As you see in the short video segment above, she not only described the cocktails (the Emerson, the Stone Fence and the Frost) but explained some of their ingredients (applejack, maraschino liqueur), named and photographed the bartenders who served them (Derek Brown and Adam Bernbach), pointed out that bartending is an American invention, and signed off with this delicious nugget: “And remember, Martinis do not contain vodka.”

Packard, a friend of Maddow’s who did guest spots about cocktails on the latter’s radio show back in her Air America days, will make a punch recipe adapted from the 1949 edition of Esquire’s Handbook for Hosts, about which Paul Clarke writes humorously on Cocktail Chronicles. I got a live preview at a recent Christmas party as Josey did a (not so) dry run of the flaming punch for the assembled guests. It was very cool, what with all the spices and orange oil making sparks as they were tossed into the bowl. Even the sternest Scrooge would be uplifted by this vessel of flaming goodness.

Watch the show, congratulate Josey the next time you’re at Drink, and have a merry Christmas!

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Posted in Applejack, Bartenders, Booze in the news, Boston bars, Cocktails, Punch | 14 Comments »

January 29th, 2009

Milk punch

Ben Franklin’s milk punch recipeIt’s one of the oddest drinks I’ve ever tasted. And I mean that in a good way. I first had milk punch (not to be confused with the simpler concoction of brandy, rum or bourbon, sugar, whole milk and nutmeg served over crushed ice) at a Stir class last winter. It was sweet, velvety, rich … and confusing. That’s because, though it’s made with milk, it’s somewhere between translucent and transparent. In other words, not at all “milky.” Leave it to the bartenders at Drink to reintroduce this punch, which takes two days to make, to the modern imbiber. I write a short introduction to one of their recipes, Rum-Hibiscus Milk Punch, in today’s online Globe.

There are many variations on the basic milk punch recipe. The drinkboston punch party at Eastern Standard in June featured Milk Punch No. 1 from the Savoy Cocktail Book. Aphra Behn, a 17th-century English dramatist and novelist and allegedly the first woman to make a living as a writer, is credited with inventing milk punch, or at least having the first widely publicized recipe for it. Whatever its origins, it became well known enough during the 18th century for Benjamin Franklin to share a recipe for milk punch with James Bowdoin during his 1763 stay in Boston.

Franklin’s Milk Punch recipe shares characteristics of two types of beverages — possets and syllabubs,” according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Wow. I am so looking forward to walking into a Boston bar and ordering possets and syllabubs.

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Posted in Brandy, Cocktails, Punch, Rum, drinkboston in the news | 9 Comments »

October 17th, 2008

Event: broads, punch & cool stuff

LUPEC Boston - the Ladies

The boozin’ broads of the Boston chapter of Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails (LUPEC) are at it again. This Tuesday, October 21, they’re going to mix up a coupla big bowls of strong punch and throw a relaunch party for the Little Black Book of Cocktails, which just had its second printing. The event will take place at Somerville’s cool-stuff store, Grand, in Union Square from 6:00-9:00 p.m.

Girls and boys alike are invited to hang out with the Ladies, grab a cup of punch, have a bite to eat, purchase a copy or two of the Little Black Book (filled with the Ladies’ favorite cocktail — and punch — recipes) and shop for everything from bubble calendars to Glow-in-the-Dark Nooka watches to pillows with kitschy embroidered ships.

The Little Black Book costs $15, and all proceeds go to local women’s charities. There is no admission charge for the party, but please RSVP if you plan to attend by emailing jono at grandthestore dot com. See you there!

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Posted in Events, Punch | No Comments »

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