Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pomegranate Martini

So thoughtful!

That Joe, obviously worried about my health, he flat-out insisted that I have his Pomegranate Martini for this week's Greatest Drink in the World!

If you choose to read on about this "superfruit concoction," you will see why it is such a healthy option. If you order one for yourself, you will see why it made it as The Greatest Drink in the World... This Week.

The Recipe:
While chilling a large martini glass, into a shaker full of ice, add:

- a 2 count of Absolute Vodka
- a 2 count of POM Pomegranate Juice
- the juice of 1/4 of a large lime, (freshly squozen with Joe's new "Mexican Elbow!")

Strain into the now-chilled martini glass

Joe's Notes: There are a number of pomegranate-flavored vodkas on the market. I chose to use Van Gogh as I believe it to be the smoothest and it is less sweet then many of the other brands available. When mixing the Pomegranate Martini it is important to only use fresh lime juice, Rose's lime juice makes the drink way too sweet.

As you probably know, the antioxidants in pomegranate juice have many health benefits, not least is the claim that it is 40% as effective as Viagra, (although I don't know if 40% would be beneficial enough under the circumstances.)

This somewhat ties in with pomegranates being known as the forbidden fruit found in the garden of Eden. Adam apparently was way ahead of his time and if he was around today, he would probably be the CEO of Pfizer!

Pomegranates, or pomegranate extract, has been used for centuries in herbal medicine. Many of these "old wives tales " are making a comeback in new products. I remember as a kid being made to clean my teeth with baking soda. Now, it is featured in many tooth paste brands. I was also made to clean my teeth with a toothbrush covered with soot from the chimney and a dash of salt. I don't know if it was supposed to have any benefit or was just some sadistic tendency of my mother. In either case, I am not expecting "Soot and Salt" toothpaste to became available any time soon.

Chris's notes: So, this weekend is Hallowe'en. As I asked Joe for (yet another!) scary-themed cocktail for the blog, he just looked at me and said, "Don't you think we've got that covered with the Red Witch from 2 weeks ago?"

Before I could get my "But..." out, he went on to tell me how he had something else in mind. Something healthy after all those Hallowe'en parties of women dressed up in "sexy cat" leotard costumes and youngish men STILL dressing up as "The Crow," pouring crappy booze and cheap draft beers down their gullets just to get sloppy for the evening.

He said how we should take "the High Road," eschew the gimmicks and present this week's greatest cocktail based on its own merits. We owe it to our readers!

Yeah, sure. Whatever.

Okay. But, as it turns out, this baby IS good. Sweet, but not too much. Rich, but not overwhelmingly so. And of course, after all those leftover "fun size" Snickers, Butterfingers, and Almond Joys, from Sunday night, something that my system perceives as "healthy" is a welcome treat, too!

Happy Hallowe'en!



And this week's video is a real "Treat!"

It is really only related to the rest of the post because this singer reminds me of 'Smilin' Bob' from those Penis Pills commercials!

Ladies and gentlemen, Eduard Khil's, Trololo!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Zaya Zinger

This week, I met up with Research Partner, Kerry, at The Adriatic, a Salem restaurant, conveniently located right next door to Joe's court at The Passage. The bartender was introduced to me as Katrina of Katrina and the Waves, (and I am still not sure if she was the real one or not!)
But, she did dazzle me with this week's offering: The Zaya Zinger.

The Recipe: Into a whiskey sour glass add:

- a 3 and 1/2 count of Zaya Spiced Rum
- 2 large slices of fresh orange

- Muddle that! C'mon! Like you mean it!

- Add a pile of ice,

- Finish with a good splash of tonic,

- Garnish with a slice of orange.

Original recipe by Katrina (of the Waves,) at The Adriatic, Salem, MA

Katrina's Notes: Tripping to Trinidad?
West Indian wonders.
Warm waves undulating upon your tongue,
Tickling & tantalizing...
Zaya Zinger

Chris's Notes: Poetry? For real? There's a touch of class we don't see often on this site!
Now do you see why I STILL am not certain if this is or isn't the REAL Katrina from that "Walking on Sunshine" band of 1983?

Anyways, as I approached the bar, Katrina asked me what I would like to drink. I love this question! It provided me with the chance to toss out my usual pitch, "What cocktail are you most proud of?"
After a little Q&A from Katrina to find out what kind of mood I was in, she mixed up a few of the above-listed ingredients, and presented this week's offering to me.

"So, whaddya call this?" I asked her.
Her first response, a "Christopher Caress," wreaked of shmooze, and, as flattered as I found that, I pushed her to assign a moniker less personal; one for the masses to appreciate. After its primary ingredient, and Katrina's fondness for alliteration, she went with the "Zaya Zinger."

I am convinced that if bartenders were a dog breed, they'd be hounds. I say this only because I've been shown repeated, (to my good fortune,) that bartenders have some of the strongest brand loyalty when it comes to their favorite spirits. When I steered Katrina towards a rum-based cocktail, (as I am a BIG fan of rum!) she was quick to grab the bottle of Zaya, shelved conveniently at her arm's length. She went fluidly into its history and point of origin, (Trinidad,) and even passed the bottle so we could inspect it, olfactorily.

Now, when a chef presents their favorite meal, it is bound to be good. The same, more often than not, holds true with a bartender's favorite drink.
That is why I usually counter the "what'll it be?" with my own quality-seeking query.

That is also why the Zaya Zinger is this week's "Greatest Drink in The World."

Thanks, Katrina!


Related Video of the week: Sorry. Couldn't resist. "Walking on Sunshine."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Red Witch

To the locals here in Salem, the month of October means traffic, tourists and Haunted Happenings. In fact, last week's Greatest Drink in the World... This Week was preempted for the Haunted Happenings Grand Parade!
So this week, to make up for that, (and to coat-tail Salem's notoriety for the Hallowe'en season,) we present a really different and delicious offering that was universally embraced by everyone who tried it, "The Red Witch."

The Recipe:
Into a tall glass of ice, add:

- A 3-count of Absynthe,
- A generous sploosh of Ribena Blackcurrant,
- Top off with hard cider,

- Garnish with a wedge of orange, (or, even better, a slice of apple!)

Kerry's Notes: I have to just start off by saying how much I loved that drink. I am now a big fan of cider thanks to Joe. I may even be so bold as to say I like it better than beer. Shocking! I know. But it just tastes like fall and has a sweet finish to every sip.

The thing about the Red Witch that struck me was the
immediate memory of my favorite childhood witch from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Though I was a bit afraid of the dwarfs, too, the Witch Queen was absolutely terrifying since you know in advance she is a murderer. A talented and evil assasin that kills with produce is horrific even by adult standards.

Just as a side note... As Chris will confirm, I was the world's biggest fraidy cat & the "town crier" too. I was a sensitive child, what can I say?

However, I just keep thinking about the main ingredient of hard apple cider in the Red Witch. I feel we have to give it the credit it is due. And if Joe changes this recipe to create one of his "alternate versions," I am nominating a new name for this week's Greatest Drink...
The Poisoned Apple."


Joe's Notes: Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav'n. -Milton

The floodgates of Hell have opened onto the historic streets of Salem, spilling out an assortment of ghouls and monsters.The bars and restaurants are awash with middle-aged Harry Potters and the entire cast of the Twilight series, to name but a few of the costumed revelers.
The Passage floats aloft, remaining a bastion of refinement and taste, as I take my position at the helm of the bar mixing my concoctions for your pleasure.

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire, burn; and caldron, bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and howlet's wing,--
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.


After scouring through YouTube for the perfect video for this week, (and dismissing Lady GaGa's "Salem Witch" as just TOO freaky,) I found this: German band, The Rattles from 1970 with their big hit, "The Witch."