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Guest post by Leslie Deak, a friend of mine from Duke, who mixes metaphors and mojitos (not necessarily in that order) and whose enthusiasm for a good cocktail is rivaled only by a well-executed pick-and-roll.
A lovely, late-summer evening in Tampa A dark, stormy night;
No food to be found
(white people problems);
Broad walks into a deserted saloon…
M. and I end up at a bar called Cheap, which is anything but. [Ed. Note: Most blargh bar name since Bar Le Scoop.] We share a pitcher of sangria, then move on to fancypants cocktails, each of which prove disappointing. They were either too weak or not well-mixed, such that one flavor overpowered all the others.
At that point, we were joined by a third, S., who is not a drinker, and started ordering froufy drinks, including the Orange Creamsicle. Once M. ordered it and I tasted it, I knew S. would be on board since the sweetness masked the booze. She doesn’t like to taste the alcohol. I just kept ordering more rounds.
Guest post by Sean Lorre, PhoBlograpHusband
Yesterday Rose mentioned our pre-moving“Drink Us Out of House and Homeland” party, which left us depleted of booze but rife with empty bottles and hangover headaches. Among the copious, and at times senseless, consumption (see our friend Jason mistreat a bottle of Michter’s below), a few cocktails were born. As our liquor levels ran lower and lower, our need to innovate grew higher and higher. But perhaps my favorite creation of the night was not a particular drink, but a certain game I invented, Box of Mystery.
This is the story of how a post-theater drink transmogrified in four days’ time into a cocktail made for first thing in the morning — although not really, just in a jokey way — and how your blogtender Sloshy got her groove back along the way.
So Thursday night, I went to see The Normal Heart (OMG GO) on Broadway with my friend Jackie, and afterwards the PhoBlograpHusband met us in midtown for a tipple or two. (It wound up being three, natch.) Beforehand, I’d scoped out this new-ish Theater District bar online called The Rum House, which is on the ground floor of the deliciously retro (if a shade shady) Hotel Edison, and as it’s from the guys behind Ward III in Tribeca, I figured we should check it out.
The lighting was perfectly dimmed and someone was playing away on the upright piano, so I liked The Rum House instantly. On its cocktail menu was a simple creation whose name now escapes me, comprised of bourbon, egg white and one of the countless Amaro liqueurs, served on the rocks. How had I not thought of something like this before? Then again, how was it possible that my home bar still lacked an Amaro, given the number of times I’d lustily ogled bottles of it behind the bars at such reputable establishments as Otto, Mario Batali’s awesome enoteca, and Brooklyn’s Watty & Meg?
Guest post by the PhoBlograpHusband
I started my bartending career in the year Y2K. It was a simpler time. Terms like hanging chads and homeland security were yet un-thought of. We were all just thankful that the computers didn’t rise up and take over the world the night of Dec. 31st 1999. And thanks to a fictional woman named Carrie Bradshaw, every real woman with HBO — or a subscription to TV guide magazine for that matter — was drinking Cosmopolitans. Hell, the bar I worked at even had a Two Dollar Cosmo Tuesday nights! If ever there was a recipe for disaster it was Two Dollar Cosmo Tuesdays, both for the work it took me to churn those pink, syrupy-citrus concoctions out and the bad ideas that they caused. Plus, I can’t imagine the hangover from a night of cheap Cosmos… they never showed that part on Sex in the City (not that I would know… really!).
But I digress. This post is about the Cosmo’s slightly more mature Swedish cousin, the Metropolitan. The Metro, made with Absolut Kurant instead of Citron, never quite rose to cocktail mainstream mania, but for a time in the late -90s and early -00s it served as a refreshing alternative. I have a theory that the evil geniuses at Absolut invented the Metro specifically to ride on the coattails of the Cosmo Craze and sell more of its (at the time) flagship product. I can’t prove this. I can find no documentary evidence (at least none that a thirty second scan of Google search results yields), but I believe it to be true. What I do know for sure is that shortly after I started bartending, my cooler, proto-hipster, counter-culture-type customers started asking for the Metro. Coincidence?
The other thing I know for sure is that the Metropolitan, when made right, is a damn good drink. The almost-earthy quality of black currant balances out the citrus of orange liqueur and lime, giving the Metro a depth that is sorely lacking in the Cosmo’s one note flavor profile.
The PhoBlograpHusband finds it funny, how particular I am about tomatoes. I won’t eat the grape or cherry varieties unless they’ve been pre-sliced, because otherwise they burst in my mouth like that Freshen-up gum and I find that icky. I’ll eat an enormous amount of sliced tomatoes on pizzas and burgers and in sammies and salads, but I won’t eat one all by itself. Don’t get me started on people who bite into tommies like they’re apples.
I’ve got just one rule for Bloody Marys, aka tommies for alkies: I try never to finish off an entire one, because they’re just too filling. Especially in summer, when the ol’ tummy takes any chance it can get to force a full-body, ass-parking, sluggish-apolooza shutdown.
Except now, voila! The Bloody Mary al Fresca! It’s all of the tomato taste with none of the tomato waste(d).
ZOMG guysies, I am still funking SmAsHed! from Wills’ bachelor party last night. Srsly, it was off da royal chizzy!!! Total bach-analia, yo!
OK, so, of course it started out totes norms and civil and whatnot, ‘cuz good, ol’ Droopy-Faced McPrincenstein was trying to prove he could still hang with the boyz and all, and I think he was getting a little wack on the stripper talking about how he wanted to be her tampon and stuff.
But finally he split, so then we were all like, “Yo, bust out dem Crack Babies!” I mean, ain’t no way we throwin’ a stag party for my dawg Wills and not do major shottage of Crack Babies. They’re his fave choice for getting royally f’ed up!
There are a lot of brown liquids on this blog, I often worry. Presentation means a lot in mixology, I know, and giving y’all pretty, enticing things to look at means a lot to me. So when I made a Vesper for the first time this weekend and beheld its gloriously golden hue, its angelic, luminescent tintedness, well, let’s just say I felt very good indeed that I could show it to you, and lots and lots of photographs were taken.
If you are a James Bond aficionado (which I am not), then the Vesper’s moniker might ring familiar to you; it’s named after Vesper Lynd, anti-heroine of Casino Royale, both the book and the movie (and the other movie). Bond actually comes up with the drink himself, alluding to it as a ‘special martini.’
I’d be happy to tell you more, but the pictures are worth more than the words in this case.
Remember my friends Steve and Demian, the ones who taught me about Little Beers? Remember how Little Beers are, like, trompe-l’oeil shooters? Well, here’s what I’d call a trompe-la-bouche, courtesy of my dog’s favorite guncles (which is what we call them since they are Duke’s go-to dogsitters, and which unfortunately I stole from this stupid reality show that I (swear I) don’t even watch).
Today began with my slogging through a backlog of e-mails, which included this plea from my Minnesota-livin’ bestie, Danette: “I’m hosting a Cajun boil this Saturday. Some of the ladies are either pregnant or breastfeeding so they can’t go too hard on the cocktails. We’d like to have fun pitchers of mixers that would taste good as their own drink, or you could spike them with some booze. Rescue your friend who falls back on cranberry juice and vodka whenever I have to mix a drink!”
I suggested just making a really good Bloody Mary mix and letting people choose to spike it with vodka. I also suggested (after a bit of Googling on my part, I wish I could claim total credit) a virgin white sangria. Wuh? How you make-a sangria with no alcodehol?
I hadn’t had a Walnut Park in something like two-and-a-half years. During my last year in St. Louis — which was also my last year at The Royale, which was also the shittiest year of my life — I’d drink many Walnuts Parks after clocking out from my shitty day shift, sitting by myself at the bar because I didn’t have anywhere else to go.