Thursday, July 29, 2010

The SaseboRita

On a recent vacation to New Mexico, I was lucky enough to be introduced to some new Tequila as well as some new Tequila-based drinks.
Senior Research Assistant Kerry suggested her friends from Arizona join us. It was her friend, Jackie, who brought the following recipe to The Greatest Drink in the World... This Week.

Thanks, Jackie!

The Recipe:

Into a cocktail shaker full of ice, add
- A 2 count of 100 Años Tequila Blanco, (any white tequila SHOULD suffice, but this one was good!)
- a 1 count of Triple Sec
- 3 count POM Pomegranate Juice
- the juice from a half of a large, freshly 'squozen' lime,

- Shake it. Shake like the very wind!

- Strain into a large, 16 ounce glass of fresh ice,

- top off with a fat 'sploosh' of soda, (or Sprite,)

- Garnish with a fresh slice of lime.

Jackie's notes:

So, two Phoenix desert rats rendezvous with two Boston siblings in the southwestern jewel of Albuquerque, for a weekend of exploration and fun. There was no way I could let Chris break his streak of introducing a weekly libation to the world, despite the fact that he was entering his second week of vacation, just coming from the wild-lands of Colorado. After a day on a mission of shopping in Old Town, we were hankering for a margarita. Not just any margarita, but one that reflects the true aura of the southwest. So was born the SaseboRita

Chris's Notes:
Sauza's 100 Años Tequila Blanco may be among the leading Tequilas back in Mexico, but it has only been a few years since it was available here in the states. It seemed an excellent choice for a cocktail selection in New Mexico, and I wanted to try it. So I was very happy to see that this was the brand that Jackie chose for her SaseboRita.

Jackie's choice of flavor, the pomegranate, was never explained to me aside from her wanting to create a really good tasting cocktail.
Interestingly, though, POM Wonderful®, the brand of pomegranate juice, was pressured by the FDA to be sold as a drug due to its high levels of antioxidants and health benefits on a wide assortment of medical issues!
HEALTH FOOD! I should have known it! Jackie and her fellow Phoenician, (and guest researcher,) Tom 'Whitefoot', are healthy-types: Hikers, joggers, bikers, et cetera. I am not surprised that a key ingredient in one of her concoctions is something so good for a person.
Fortunately, it tastes great! The rich and robust flavor of the pomegranate is really well balanced with the sharpness of the lime and tequila, and the flavors are bridged seamlessly by the orange of the triple sec.

I think that chile pepper pint glass was the perfect finishing touch on this one.

Cheers, Chris

This week's only-somewhat-related token video is actually somewhat related! "More than a Friend" by Rob Huffman, (it was at Rob's house in Albuquerque that I was served this week's Greatest Drink.)

Thanks, Rob!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lychee-Mango Martini

Some readers may have noticed that there was no new drink post this past week. The reason for this is that I was away. I went on a vacation/research trip to New Mexico, with Senior Research Assistant, (and sister,) Kerry. Although our findings include some really nice tequila-based cocktails, (to be posted soon!), this week's Greatest Drink in the World is The Lychee-Mango Martini, an absolute miracle of modern mixology.

The Recipe:

While chilling a large Martini glass, into a cocktail shaker, add:

- a 2 count of Svedka Citron Vodka,
- a 2 count of Mango Rum,
- a 2 count of Lichido Lychee Liqueur
- a 2 count of mango juice

- squeeze in the juice of 2 lemon wedges,

- shake energetically,

- strain into the now-chilled martini glass

- garnish with a wedge of lemon.

Joe's Notes: This week we have produced not only a drink that tastes and looks absolutely fantastic, but also something that may be good for you. The three fruits combined in this martini have some amazing health properties.

The Lychee, (pronounced either Lee-Chee or Lie- chee, depending on whhich side of the Atlantic you are reading this on,) has been harvested in China for over 4,000 years. It is a fruit packed with vitamins and nutrients, it aids digestion and is used as an aphrodisiac in China. It is considered the "love fruit." Because of all the health benefits of the Lychee it is often given to babies in place of a pacifier (or 'dummy' if you are reading this "across the pond.") This is not a practice that I would recommend given the size and shape of the Lychee it seems that it would be a choking hazard, maybe it is cut up first.

The Lychee, along with the mango, produces the antioxidants that fight the free radicals that are apparently attacking your body. Now, that is a strange name to call molecules. I always thought that the Free Radicals where the political Whigs in England that opposed the Tory party. I also have some recollection of free radicals being used in the very confusing and pointless Algebra classes at high school. Although admittedly I did spend most of my time looking out the window or trying to take a nap undisturbed by what appeared to me an equally bored teacher. That could be one of the reasons i am a bartender and not a mathematician. I did buy a book one time for my son titled "Fun with Math." The title attracted me to it as I felt it was a perfect oxymoron. Needless to say it was not a lot of fun.

Lets get back to the drink. Lemons also have some powerful healing properties. Most of us are probably aware that lemons are a good source of vitamin C and that they can benefit some one with a cold, the flu, sore throat and malaria. Lemons have also proved to be a blessing for mountaineers. In the cases of insufficient oxygen and difficulty in breathing lemon comes to their rescue. Edmund Hillary, the first man to put his foot on the top of Mt. Everest, has admitted that his victory over Mt. Everest was greatly due to lemons.

Last but not least, let us not forget the alcohol. The benefits of the consumption of alcohol has been debated for years. I believe that the consumption of alcohol, if it makes you happy, is a good thing. It can make you feel relaxed and can even remove some of the inhibitions that could be preventing you from meeting the love of your life. If alcohol makes you cry, fight or tell long and boring stories, stop immediately and consult with a trained physician, (at this point your bartender does NOT count as a trained physician!)

So pour yourself a Mango Lychee Martini and google the health benefits, and feel good about yourself and what you are putting into your body.

Joe the Bartender

Chris's notes: Thanks, Joe. And those nutrition classes seem to really be paying off!

This fruity little number is an AM eye-opener on par with the Mimosa! No, wait. This exceeds the Mimosa. That's right, I said it. (People just think because it has a foreign name the Mimosa is a foreign breakfast drink! NO! It's named after a flower similar in color! How deceptive!) The Lychee-Mango Martini, however, with it's honesty in name, has an equally energy-infusing blast of vitamin C along with a wider and more interesting spectrum of flavors! And although this cocktail is guaranteed to compliment any breakfast, it can be enjoy at any time of day or night as a pick-me-up with a that tastes great.

So don't be bullied into ordering a drink just because it sounds classy, order one that is! And from now on, let's eschew the unnecessarily foreign names; forget ordering a "Croissant." Get a Crescent Roll! Cul-de-Sac? It's a damned dead end!
And skip the Mimosa entirely and order yourself this little glass of sunshine; The Lychee-Mango Martini. You'll feel better about yourself.


This week's completely unrelated, token video, (or is it "Tolkien video?") comes from Mr. Spock, (NOT Dr. Spock, the baby guru who, incidentally, recommends never, EVER jamming whole lychees into a baby's mouth,) but Leonard Nimoy with The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Home-Made Liqueurs, #1: Amaretto

A bit of a departure from our usual format this week with the start of a new feature, "Home-Made Liqueurs."

Do you want to take true ownership of the drinks you serve? Are you a fanatic about fresh ingredients? Maybe you are simply a control freak. Or maybe you just really like to cook/mix up flavors and create something new from scratch.

In an effort to assist you, the loyal reader, in any of these, we here at "The Greatest Drink in the World... This Week" decided to include Home-Made Liqueurs recipes to the blog.

Home-Made Amaretto


1 1/2 cups of firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

2 cups of water

6 teaspoons of vanilla

8 teaspoons of almond extract

1 quart of 100 proof vodka


Bring sugar and water to a boil, stirring frequently.

Lower heat and simmer for five or so minutes.

Pour this into a glass bowl and let it cool to room temperature.

Add vanilla, almond, and vodka to the cooled syrup and stir until thoroughly mixed.

Store in screw-top bottles in a dark place for two weeks.

The smooth almond flavors of Amaretto is a key ingredient in My Mai Tai, as well as other popular cocktails like The Godfather, The Godmother, and The French Connection. It is also enjoyed straight or on the rocks and goes really nicely in one's morning coffee, (should that person not have too much planned for the day!)

And I am NOT dropping any hints to my family about upcoming birthday suggestions, but a nicely bottled Home-Made Amaretto could make a really good gift idea for the cocktail enthusiast on YOUR list!

Cin cin!

Not even remotely related Video of the Week: APACHE!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Blue Lagoon

The summer "dog days" seem to be upon us. Cocktails now have the responsibility of cooling us down, and making us feel like we are on a tropical vacation, as well as tasting great.
The exotic-looking, (and exotically named,) classic cocktail, The Blue Lagoon, does this with ease.

The Recipe:
Into a cocktail shaker full of ice,

- Add a 3 count of Svedka Citron vodka
- Add a 2 count of Blue Curacao
- Add a "sploosh" of Pineapple juice

- Fill with ice

- Shake! Shake like the wind!

- Strain over fresh ice,

- Top with a splash of lemon/lime soda

- Garnish with a lemon wedge and a cherry, (paper umbrella option but highly recommended!)

Chris's Notes: The original Blue Lagoon, (cocktail, that is,) did not have the benefit of the added pineapple juice. Joe "punched" this up specifically for today's blog. Although, the more you add, the "turquoiser" your Lagoon gets, the taste also improves... In my opinion, anyways.

The finished product is a light and refreshing drink, cooling one down nicely on a hot summer's day, but friendly enough for "less seasoned" tolerances, (A.K.A.,"lightweights.")
I immediately thought of frequent guest researcher, Sharon Mc as I drank this. Sharon primary role on the research team is to review the lighter cocktails, just like this one. However, that being said, I could very easily see myself enjoying a couple of these big, blue refreshments as the temperature climbs!

Joe's Notes: The Blue Lagoon, although it may not be considered a true classic, is certainly a retro cocktail. It is a light, very refreshing, summer drink. For my Fourth of July cookout, I will be serving pitchers of the Blue Lagoon, along with some chilled Italian semi-sparkling red and white wines. Yes, I did say chilled red wine, and Yes, I do celebrate the Fourth of July.

As many of you know, I am a Brit, but I do consider myself American by choice. By this I mean that although I was not born in the US. I have made the choice to live here over my country of birth. Now, how patriotic is that?! (Although I must admit that I was cheering for the English soccer team over the USA during the World Cup.)

The Blue lagoon was very popular during the early eighties in London partly due to that awful New Romantic movement.

For some bizarre reason "men" thought it was cool to dress in pirate/swashbuckling frilly shirts and tight black pants. Wearing heavy make-up they would pose in the clubs drinking Blue Lagoons.The nightclub lights caused the Blue Lagoon to light up like a light-saber from Star Wars.
Thankfully, I can honestly say I was never part of this group, (I can't speak for Chris, though)

The other image of the Blue Lagoon from the eighties is of the lovely Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins frolicking around on the beach on a sun drenched island. The movie, although not very good, did have some surprisingly memorable moments.

So whether you drink the Blue Lagoon as part of your Fourth of July celebrations, dressed as Adam Ant, (which, by the way, was the name of an urinal manufacturer in England,) or frolicking on the beach with Brooke Shields, I hope you enjoy it, (the drink that is).

Have a great Fourth.

And, lucky you, the Greatest Video in the World... This Week is is also big and blue: We Got It All. But it is much harder to describe, (and even more difficult to swallow!)