Thursday, August 26, 2010

Down & Dirty

A new twist on a classic cocktail is our offering this week, and the first-born of the new Passage Lounge.

The Recipe:
While chilling a large martini glass, fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add:

- A 6-count of Grey Goose Vodka,
- 2-3 teaspoons of olive juice, (bottled!), or to taste,

Stir, (NOT shaken!)

Strain into the now-chilled martini glass

Garnish with two Goya® brand jalapeño-stuffed olives

Chris's Notes: I am certain that the more astute readers of The Greatest Drink In The World... This Week have noticed the lack of a recipe posted last week. Our apologies for this omission, but while I was away on vacation, it appears that Joe also took some time off to travel.
This won't happen again, I assure you.

Upon our respective returns from traveling the world, (in search of cocktail ideas!), we were greeted with the opening of the all-new Passage Lounge! Yes, Passage to India restaurant, former home to Joe the Bartender's cocktail creation laboratory, has expanded to include this new British/Indian bar.

The Passage Lounge, (..."exciting and new. Come aboard! We're expecting you!") had its first creation in this week's drink recipe, inspired by a cocktail that Joe enjoyed whilst globetrotting with his entourage.
The strange thing about this drink is that it was made after its name. Joe is a major fan of the martini, (don't listen to anything he says to the contrary,) and I know, that he had been considering a new dirty martini for a spell.
Joe told me as I arrived that evening that the drink of the week was called a "Down & Dirty." And just from the name, (and possibly being too familiar with the way Joe thinks,) I guessed what the drink was comprised of.
If only for that reason, I am completely behind the inclusion of this entry. However, the fact that this martini has extra special taste bombs, (in the form of Goya® jalapeño-stuffed olives!), and a top shelf vodka like Grey Goose, it warrants listing as this week's Greatest Drink In The World!
Crisp and delicious, with a snap all its own!

Joe's Notes: As Chris has mentioned, The Passage to India, (A.K.A , HQ of TGDitWTW,) has expanded. Our new bar now has plasma TVs, an expanded seating area, and belly dances, (professionals, not just the panel of experts jiggling their things.)
On the night of our opening, my first customer was Lisa, a regular of the bar. She ordered a dirty martini. One of my more intellectual, but some what confused regulars, asked me what that was, and if he could have a "down and dirty." We liked the name and looked around the bar to see what we could come up with. I thought Grey Goose, (goose down,) and add dirty, I also decide to use a jalapeño-stuffed olive.
The result was amazing! And so the Down & Dirty was born and introduced as the first drink served in the new Passage Lounge.

I am sad to report that there is one down side to the new bar, and that is Delip, my long-time side-kick has not moved with me. He decided to remain in the main dining room. He visits from time to time, but it is not the same. I feel as if my eldest boy has moved out of the house. All parents/guardians know this is bound to happen one day, and all we can do is just hope that they have matured enough under your guidance to be both responsible and happy.

On a more cheerful note, I now have a new apprentice, the beautiful Miss "M". She arrived at the Passage Lounge just this week but has already started quite a stir with our regular guests. So a new chapter has opened at HQ.

One guest, (he was a little lubricated at the time,) referred to myself and M as John Steed and Emma Peel. I was naturally flattered. M, of course, is way too young to remember The Avengers. So, she got out her new-fangled phone and googled it. These contraptions are way beyond my comprehension and technical capabilities. Maybe the beautiful Miss "M" will be able to teach me a few things, as I share with her my years of knowledge tending bar.

I am really excited about this week's "barely-related video!" The only connection to this week's drink is that this video is equally difficult to describe, and somehow works, despite the ingredients!
I present Chacarron!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Home-Made Liqueurs, #2: Creme de Menthe

Part Two in the 'Home-Made Liqueurs' series finds us tinkering with Creme de Menthe, ('Mint Cream" for the non-multi-lingual!), a visually striking concoction that is surprisingly easy to brew up,

Home Made Creme de Menthe


2 cups granulated sugar

2 cups water

3.5 cups 80 proof vodka

1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 drops of green food coloring


Bring water and sugar to a boil, stirring frequently.

Lower heat and simmer for five minutes.

Allow to cool to room temperature.

Add flavorings, color and vodka and stir until mixed.

Store in a glass bottle in a dark place for one week.

This serious-looking minty green concoction can REALLY decorate a home bar's liqueur shelf. Put it in a nice bottle and you've got a real eye-catcher!
Creme de Menthe is an integral ingredient in cocktails such as The Grasshopper, The Girl Scout Cookie, The Green Lagoon, and the classic Stinger.

For the more artistic-types, who like to experiment and develop their own cocktail recipes at home, (*ahem*,) Creme de Menthe possesses a certain appeal. With it's luminous allure of bright green, it could be the perfect touch for any number of "sci-fi" themed drinks, creepy horror-themed beverages, and a nice rendition of the "Shamrock Shake," come St. Paddy's!

And, as with the Home-made Amaretto, presented in a really nice display-quality bottle, some home-made Creme de Menthe would make a really nice and unusual gift idea!

Cheers, Chris

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dogwatch Punch & The Dogwatch Doubloon

What's in a name? Well, in naval/maritime lingo, the work shift from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM is called the Dog Watch. This also happens to be the perfect time to enjoy a nice summer beverage.

Or two. Here now, in our first DUAL posting, are Dogwatch Punch and The Dogwatch Doubloon.

Dogwatch Punch
The Recipe:

Into a cocktail glass add:

- a quarter of a large orange, squeezed,

- a 2 count of falernum

- Muddle, (and muddle like you mean it!)

- fill glass with ice and add a 4 count of The Lash Spiced Rum

- Stir

-garnish with a slice of fresh orange.

Absolutely Delish!

Dogwatch Doubloon
The Recipe:

Into a 16-ounce pint glass add:

- a quarter of a large orange, squeezed,

- a 2 count of falernum

- Muddle, (and put your back into it this time!)

- fill glass with ice and add a 4 count of The Lash Spiced Rum

- Top with Dr Pepper , (about 4 ounces)

- Stir

-garnish with a slice of fresh orange.


Chris's Notes: We at Greatest Drink In The World... This Week love a good challenge, but this was an AWESOME one. It was also quite difficult, though.

Way back on June 17th, (Hey! Icelandic Independence Day!), Greatest Drink in the World...This Week presented the award-winning recipe for the Chai-tini , made with Voyant Chai Liqueur, to much applause. As a result of this, Mr. Robert Back, the creator of Voyant, asked us for some cocktail recipes for a new product, The Lash: an aged, spiced rum.

Of course, we jumped at the opportunity.

However, we ran into the strangest of hurdles. The rum tasted so good on its own, that we had a hard time developing a taste that came remotely close! Trial and error, and trial and error, (Work, work, work!) and eventually some flavors started to come together. More of a variety than an improvement, we came up with the above two recipes.

True, the similarities between the two drinks is obvious, but it should be noted, that they were developed simultaneously, and neither was was a spin-off of the other.

To clarify what I mean, let's say that The Lash Spiced Rum is the television show, "Happy Days." Dogwatch Punch and The Dogwatch Doubloon, although created from this original source, share similar elements but have completely different characteristics, like Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy, and will appeal to different people.

To continue with this metaphor, there was much trial and error in developing these two shows, er, cocktails, but we believe they each have the potential to be hits!

I guess that since Happy Days was itself a spin-off, that would make, in this metaphor, anyways, "Rum" represented by Love; American Style!

But I digress...

In any case, (and by no means do I wish to compare the quality of these television programs with that of The Lash or either of the submitted cocktail recipes,) but like those sitcoms, each drink appealed to different tastes. Of the eight members of our tasting panel the evening these cocktails were created, three preferred the Dogwatch Doubloon, calling it "more refreshing," and "so different." The other five, (myself included,) found the Dogwatch Punch to be less sweet, and an better all-around cocktail. Both, are some type of delicious, though.

Joe's Notes: One evening not long back, Chris arrived at the bar armed with a bottle of The Lash Spiced Rum. I filled a number of shot glasses along the bar for our panel of experts to sample. Every one was very enthusiastic. Billy, our guest "expert" for the evening, holding out his shot glass like Oliver Twist said it was probably one of the best rums he had ever drank!

I also was very impressed with the Lash. The Lash hails from the West Indies, where it spends four years in oak and is then aged with spices, some actually settle in the bottle, bourbon vanilla extract, and other flavors. The result is a rum with a strong cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla character. ( Ref:

As I have said, I was very impressed with the Lash. In fact, I even questioned Chris on why he wanted me to make a cocktail out of this.

My point being that the people who produce The Lash have obviously worked very hard in getting the flavor and quality just right and now I was going to come along and change it.

This reminded me of a time many, many years ago when I worked in 5-Star hotel in London. One evening the cocktail waitress came to the bar and ordered a 25-year-old, single malt scotch in a tall glass filled with ice and topped with ginger ale. Horrified that anybody would murder a good scotch that way, (yes, I'm a drink snob,) I picked up a bottle of bar blended whiskey and made the order. The waitress returned three more times that evening with the same order, each time I substituted the 25-year-old single malt with the bar scotch. When this butcher of scotch was leaving for the evening I stopped him and asked how his evening had been. He said that he had had a good night and that every thing was good, and promised to return soon. At this point I told him what I had done, and he was not happy. He said that as long as he was paying, he could order whatever he wanted.

What do you think? Just because you can do something does that give you the right to do it?

Let me know what you think,

Joe the Bartender.



For you Miami Vice fans, this week's "Barely-Related Token Video" is None other than "Rico Tubbs" himself, Phillip Michael Thomas, doing "Just The Way I Planned It."

And no, it is not even remotely related, but funny.