Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Salem Sidecar

Another classic cocktail, re-envisioned and reinvented by Joe for this very blog!

The Recipe:

- Muddle ½ of a fresh lime into a 'Sploosh" of falernum,

- Add a 2 count of Cognac
- Add a 1½ count of Cointreau Noir
- Add ice
- Stir
- Add more ice

- Garnish with and orange slice and a strawberry, (in season)

Original recipe by Joe the Bartender, Passage to India restaurant, Salem, MA.

Joe's Notes: The Sidecar is another classic cocktail that we here at TGDITWTW had been considering re-doing. And by "considering," I mean that Chris has been pestering me about making a better one for a few weeks, now.

The original Sidecar Cocktail was first put together during World War 1, most commonly attributed to a London Bartender who assembled it first for a young American Army Captain, and named it after the little motorcycle sidecar that carried the captain to and from his club.

The ingredients to the standard Sidecar are Cognac, Cointreau and lemon juice. Of course, many variations of this recipe ensued, from the gin-based Chelsea Sidecar to the Slivovitz-based Serbian Sidecar and back to the Boston Sidecar, with both rum and brandy. Our Salem Sidecar benefits from substitution of the higher-end, cognac-infused Cointreau along with falernum and lime for a wider spectrum of taste.

Plus, it gets Chris off my back.

Chris's notes: The Sidecar was a cocktail that Joe and I tossed back and forth a few times. At first, we tried the Boston Sidecar, which included rum as well as brandy, and the final outcome was good, but not great. And certainly not 'The Greatest Drink in the World... This Week' great.

I am reminded of my childhood, (Oh look, Joe, someone else can reminisce of days gone by, too!) I grew up in a very television-oriented environment. For my first seven or eight years, I thought the T.V. set was some sort of older brother. (I was actually jealous of it's antenna at one point! Mine couldn't do that!)

But Saturday mornings, (and I am not alone in this,) meant Scooby Doo . And for some reason, it was Scooby, Shaggy, and Mystery, Inc. that was on my mind as I sipped this cocktail. You see, that Boston Sidecar that was originally mixed up, well, it had appeal. Interesting, different, just not as good, kind of like the way Goober and the Ghost Chasers was to Scooby Doo.

I also did some experimenting at home. Sadly, my amateurish attempts ended up tasting more like Jabberjaw, Clue Club, Captain Caveman, and the Funky Phantom, respectively!

Those were dark, dark days indeed.

I was flummoxed. But through some stroke of alchemical genius, (and leaving the actual mixing portion to the mixologist,) the formula presented itself to us, (by "us" I mean Joe.) With the addition of the falernum and the "special" Cointreau Noir, Joe brought the Salem Sidecar right into the Scooby zone, to make it this weeks greatest drink in the world

And, of course, the completely unrelated, Greatest Video in the World... This Week, here: Hooked on A Feeling

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Chai-tini

This week we here at The Greatest Drink in the World are posting a long overdue drink recipe. The Chai-tini is an award-winning original drink created at Passage to India and voted "Best Signature Cocktail of Salem Massachusetts" for 2008.

The Recipe:
Into a cocktail shaker full of ice, add,

- a 2 count of Voyant chai cream liqueur

- a 2 count Baileys Irish Cream,

- a 2 count Kahlua

- a 1 count Svedka vanilla vodka

- a splash of milk

- Shake,

- Strain into chilled martini Glass.

Garnish with a cherry, (optional)

Original Recipe by The Amazing Ranjeet, Passage to India restaurant, Salem, MA

Joe's notes: The Chaitini's main ingredient is Voyant Chai, a chai and rum based, cream liqueur, ("chai" simply meaning tea in India.)
Voyant is produced in Holland. Voyant stands on its own, and can be enjoyed chilled, on the rocks or over ice cream. Holland is renowned for its tulips, windmills, wooden clogs, many fine artists such as Rembrandt and Van Gogh and cafés where you can get legally stoned.

Many years ago on a short trip to Amsterdam to soak in some of the art and culture, I stumbled upon one of these aforementioned establishments. Out of pure
curiosity I went in.
My waitress arrived at my table bringing me a coffee and large glass of water and handed me the menu. She smiled sweetly at me and said "English." I nodded my response, while at the same time looking over at a table of five or six English guys. They looked to me as if they had consumed about half a dozen pints of strong Dutch beer before even coming to the cafe. They all looked a little green around the gills and I expected them to spontaneously
projectile vomit at any given moment. I redirected my attention back to my waitress. "I'll take a Moroccan slice please," I said. She returned a few minutes later with my order. I sat and ate my cake, washing it down with the coffee she had previously brought me. It tasted quite awful, (The cake not the coffee).

Nothing happened.

I sat back and read my tourist guide. After a while, I realized that I was re-reading the same page of my guide over and over again. It had suddenly become very interesting, like it was a work of great literature, if only I could remember what it had said. As I looked up from my guide, I was sure that everyone in the cafe was watching me. I really wanted a drink from the large glass of water but it looked so far away and I didn't think that I would be able to pick it up. What seemed like hours passed and I decided it was time to leave. After an eternity, my waitress came over and dropped the check. It took me too long to find my wallet and produce the notes required to pay.
Then came the time to actually get up and leave, I looked over to the table of English guys hoping to get some help, but they had somehow miraculously disappeared. I decided to count to ten and stand up. The third attempt it worked and I managed to get to the front door. I was shocked when I left the cafe; it was still daylight. I had in fact only been in the cafe for about one hour.

Now don't get me wrong, I believe that a mans choice of poison is his own. But I decided on that day that mere mortal like myself should stick to martinis.

Chris's notes: Despite Joe's flirting with getting tie-dyed and going dreadlocks, (and this blog probably would have ended up somewhere else entirely,) ya gotta give the Dutch credit; Those cigars, that kid on the paint can, Dutch Chocolate, Holland Oats, the Van Halen brothers, and now this Voyant stuff. Not a bad resumé, as far as contributions go!

And speaking of credit where it is due, Passage To India's own 'The Amazing Ranjeet' saw the potential in this liqueur and blended up this cocktail all by his onesies.

It was the very Best Drink to come out of Salem in all of 2008!
Of course, this creamy dessert drink is not exclusively Voyant. The Bailey's and Kahlua also contribute to the creaminess, (Oh yeah, and that milk!) and the Svedka Vanilla keeps the flavor right in the zone. This drink could handle a big ol' scoop of coffee ice cream on a really hot summer night and so well!


Almost-completely-unrelated, (but still funny!) token video by Van Halen.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

"Papa Doblé"

"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut."
- Ernest Hemingway

This week is about justice. The Daiquiri is too often considered a "girly drink," with most places serving up some pink, pretty, syrupy-sweet liquid-candy of strawberries and shaved ice. The Greatest Drink in The World... This Week's featured offering, The Papa Doblé, (A.K.A. The Ernest Hemingway Daiquiri,) is based on the origin incarnation of this respectable cocktail, a manly drink and, Dammit! We're taking it back.

The Recipe:
While chilling a martini glass, into a cocktail shaker add:

- The juice from one and a half limes
- a one count of Simple Syrup
- a 4 count of light Rum

Shake "Ernestly"

Strain into the now-chilled chilled martini glass.

Chris's Notes: This is just rum, lime and sugar; (kinda like really good lime-aid!) NO strawberries, cream, bananas or other "daintifiers," just a great, no nonsense drink. Made to order by Mr. Hemingway, himself; World War veteran, medal of bravery recipient, big game hunter, respected author and all-around manly man!

And it is in the spirit of the "author" of this drink that we decided to go with the name "Papa Doblé", as opposed to the drinks other moniker, "The Hemingway Daiquiri."


Joe's Notes: The Papa Doblé was the drink favored by the great novelist and correspondent Ernest Hemingway. It is basically a daiquiri with double the rum, (good call, Ernest). Hemingway's nickname was "Papa" and "Doblé" is double in Spanish, hence Papa Doblé.
And "Daiquiri" is the name of a beach near Santiago de Cuba.
To make a Papa Doblé, first wash your lime. So many bartenders forget this important step. Then roll your lime on a clean hard surface. Cut off the ends and cut in half, squeeze the first half of the lime into your shaker and discard the shell. Squeeze the second half of your lime and drop the shell into your shaker, preferably use a hinged juice extractor (sometimes referred to as a Mexican Elbow,) this will allow the inclusion of the oils from the skin into your cocktail. Add the rum, Cuban rum if you have it, if not whatever is your favorite white rum. Add the sugar and shake for eight to ten seconds. Strain into your chilled glass and serve.

Additional Bar Chat
When I first suggested that we spotlight the Daiquiri as our drink of the week, Chris made a disgruntled face and muttered something about "girly drinks." I explained to Chris that the Daiquiri, and in particular, the Papa Doblé was anything but a girly drink.
Naturally, when I presented the finished product to him and he guzzled the first one back, he not only agreed with me, but started shouting out things like "We are going to take the Daiquiri back," and "A true man's drink."

This got me thinking; is there somewhere unknown to me, a Kinsey scale on cocktails? It is surprising how many men will balk at the idea of certain drinks just because they are considered unmanly. Many women, on the other hand, will proudly order a straight scotch, shot of tequila or a strawberry martini. It doesn't seem to matter to them.

My fear is that these proponents of "manly only" drinks are like Hamlet's Queen Gertrude: "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." Could they, in fact, be hiding in the shadows at an anonymous bar at the other end of the city, secretly sipping on Pina Coladas? I say Let them stand up with pride! We will not judge you on your choice of drink! Shout with joy, "I'll have a passion fruit rum with orange juice, and don't forget the cherry."

Now don't get me wrong, I don't believe for a minute that Chris would ever order a Pina Colada, but if he wanted to, I would be more then happy to make it for him.

Of course, I would have to tell you all about it in the blog.
Joe the Bartender

(Unfortunately,) unavoidably-related video here.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Zombie

On The Greatest Drink in the World... This Week's facebook page, there is a section for readers to request a specific drink. So far, only two drinks have been requested; a Bloody Mary, (see the "Bloody Molly,") and The Zombie.

This week we are pleased as Planter's Punch to be honoring that request.

The Recipe:
- a 2 count Bacardi White Rum
- a 2 count Mount Gay Rum "Eclipse"
- 1/2 of a lime freshly "squozen"
- a 1 count of Apricot Brandy
- a "sploosh" of of Pineapple juice
- a shot of falernum

- Shake 'monstrously'

- Strain over fresh ice

-Top with Kraken Black Spiced Rum

- Garnish with a marischino cherry and a wedge of lime
- Little paper umbrella optional, (but HIGHLY recommended!)

Joe's Notes: The Zombie is one of those cocktails that has a number of variations as to its ingredients. This is partly due to the secrecy of the inventor of the Zombie, Donn Beach. (There is even some discrepancy on whether he did, in fact, invent this drink.) He refers to one of the ingredients as "Donn's Mix" and never divulges what that mix actually is. Many bartenders will wave their cocktail shakers and bar spoons about fervently laying claim to the best zombie, and at the same time dismiss others Zombies as "inferior concoctions"

Our Zombie, that we are entering into the GDITWTW library has, as always, both quality, and fresh ingredients. The use of Falernum is one of Donn Beach's original ingredients that I believe is an essential part of the drink.

A word on Zombies and other monsters...

During a debate at the House of Lords in London on the existence of monsters and where they could have possibly come from. (Yes, this really did take place!) The Earl of Halsbury said this, "I have always thought that just as a mother, when baking bread, leaves a little of the dough over in order that the children can make funny little men with raisins for tummy buttons and put them in the ovens and bake them alongside the cake or bread for the day. So possibly on the day of creation, a little of the divine power was left in reserve for the lesser cherubim and seraphim to use and they were allowed to make funny little objects."

Chris's Notes: Thank you, Joe. I now fear British politics more than I do the undead.

But, as far as this week's drink, The Zombie, is concerned, I am very excited. I have mentioned in previous posts my love of Rum and Juice combinations, (HECK! Toss in Nachos and Peanut M&Ms and you'd have my 'Four Basic Food Groups!') and The Zombie is no exception.

Now, there are a number of people throughout history whom I hold in high regard for their contributions to society; The Earl of Sandwich, The creator of the first bikini, and, (a personal hero of mine,) Donn Beach, A.K.A. Don The Beachcomber .
Don the Beachcomber was a rum connoisseur and THE man responsible for the The Vicious Virgin, Three Dots & a Dash, Navy Grog, The Dr. Funk, the Mai Tai, (a personal favorite,) and The Zombie, among many, many others.

According to legend, the drink was created for a friend of the Beachcomber's who was going on a trip by airliner. The friend, in his blissful ignorance, had three of these results-oriented mixes before departing and claimed to "be a zombie for the entire flight!" Hence the name.
The juices apparently hide the amount of alcohol to such an extent that, in an early example of a CMA, restaurants limited Zombies to only two per customer.

Of course, I couldn't let this post go without a couple of Zombie movie clips! Enjoy, (and thank you, cherubim and seraphim for your "funny little objects!")

- Zombie definition from "Ghost Breakers"

- Zombie vs. Shark from "Zombie,"

- The Shaun of the Dead movie trailer,

- "Zombiekill of the week" from 'Zombieland'

And lastly,
- The 'Fido' movie trailer.

And of course, a 'related' (finally!) token music video! (Living Dead Girl by Rob Zombie!)