Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Screaming Me-Me

This week's cocktail recipe comes from a long time supporter of TGDitWTW, who decided to share a cocktail that got named after herself, The Screaming Me-Me!

Thanks, Me-Me!

The Recipe:

Prepare freshly-squeezed lemonade:
1 cup lemon juice, strained
1 cup sugar
1 quart water

Prepare iced tea (unsweetened) -
Orange pekoe/Black tea blend (or whatever your preference)

- Fill a large ice tea glass with ice,
- Pour in a mixture (½ & ½) of lemonade & tea, (your basic Arnold Palmer.)
- Leave about 1-1/2 to 2" of head space.

- Top with thinly sliced orange, lemon & lime slices, pineapple chunks, (if desired) and cherries.

- Slowly pour 1½ to 2 oz of
Kraken Rum, over the top of the fruit, (The original Me-Me suggests Myers Rum!)

MUY IMPORTANTE: Do NOT stir, let the rum simply work its way to the bottom on its own.

Chris's Notes: So, last summer, my sister Kerry I went out to Colorado and New Mexico visiting friends and family and looking for roadrunners. We had more than our fair share of tequila and green chiles. So when on that rare occasion of looking for a non-alcoholic beverage that captured the local flavors, Kerry reminded me of the Arnold Palmer.

Kerry used to live in Arizona and was familiar with this drink, I was not. I had my first at Albuquerque's Owl Cafe, and I dug it. I also immediately knew that there was plenty of room for experimentation with this as the base, and I brought my bag of ideas home to Joe at the Passage.
I had at first considered a whiskey component, when Passage regular, Diane, from the neighboring Lobster Shanty, told of a cocktail called "Arnold Palmer's Day Off," which took the iced tea & lemonade mix and introduced flavored vodkas.
Other suggestions were bandies about, but, as things often do, the Arnold Palmer-based cocktail slipped to a back burner, where it sat for a couple of months.

Meanwhile, on the Greatest Drink in the World...This Week's facebook group, a message from longtime friend of the blog, Me-Me, suggested sharing a cocktail that was named after her and was currently being served in an San Antonio bar.
How could I say no!?! I quickly copied out her recipe, thanked her profusely, and eagerly dashed off to see Joe...

Joe's notes: Chris has been banging on for some time now about making a cocktail using the Arnold Palmer as a base, (lemonade and iced tea mixed,) so it came as no surprise when he strode into the Passage Lounge gripping his drink recipe like the Holy Grail .

"The Screaming Me Me!" he declared. "One of the followers on the blog sent me this!" His face was contorted like some crazed T.V. evangelist! I prised away the sheet from his hands, "Lets give it a go," I said.

The original recipe called for Myers Rum, but I chose to use one of my favorites, Kraken Rum. The result was very good, and the Screaming Me Me was a screaming success in the Passage Lounge that evening.

On a completely unrelated note: Someone once said that there are only seven story lines in the world, and that every book ever written is a combination of those original seven plots. Now I don't know how true that is, but it got me to thinking about if the same could be said about cocktails. If this was so, then how many original cocktails are there?

Going off on that tangent, someone could make a computer program that contained every drink ingredient in known existence and randomly combine ingredients to make an never ending drink list. Now that would be an app I would buy!



This week's "Barely-Related Video" has it all: A blond "Pete Rose"-style haircut, an only-rudimentary grasp of the English language, and some totally funky cheerleader dance moves!

"I Want To Love You Tender " by Armi & Danny.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


This week we are offering up the works of a long-time Greatest Drink supporter and contributor.
Cheers, Diane! And congrats for your Diners, Drive-ins and Dives appearance!

The Recipe:

- A 4 count of Gin, (the original She Wolf prefers Hendricks, but feel free to use the gin of your choice,)
- 2 count of St-Germain
- 1 ½ count of Campari

- Top with Tonic Water

- Garnish with a wedge of lime.

Joe's notes: This week's Greatest Drink in the World was concocted by Diane "Dee Dee" Wolf. Dee Dee and her husband Lee "Squire" Wolf own and run The Lobster Shanty restaurant here in Salem. After spending the day schlepping about in the Shanty's kitchen, Dee Dee will come into The Passage Lounge for her favorite libation, the She Wolf. Dee Dee prefers to use Hendricks gin in her She Wolf; I think it is fine to use Tanqueray or some other quality gin. The reason I give the option is that Hendricks can be quite expensive and with the combination of Campari and St-Germain it is quite possible that the subtleties of flavor in Hendricks would be lost.
Quite often Lee and Dee Dee are joined in the Passage by Lee's brother "Young" Kevin. (Wolfs often travel in packs).

This coming Monday night, (September 27, 2010,) The Lobster Shanty is going to be featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Hosted by Guy Fieri on the Food Network!

So sit back, mix yourself a She Wolf and join me in congratulating the Shanty Crew on their television debut.

One last thing, If Lee continues to say "We were raised by Wolfs" I am going to start calling him and his brother Rom and Rem .

Chris's notes: Y'know, as a fairly regular fixture at the Passage, I have seen the Wolf pack come in, order their usuals and drain them fairly zealously on a number of occasions. But I always thought they were drinking something fruity, and sweet. I mean, C'MON! Look at that thing: All bright red and icy and just shouting, "Drink me, I am so refreshing!"
I imagined it to have a strong cranberry component, or some other ruby red juice found just inside of Joe's reach for just such a purpose.

"DAMN FOOL!" I chastise myself for my naïveté in thinking for even a moment that this bunch of foodies, restauranteurs and cocktail aficionados would embrace anything so commonplace. Of course, I found out about this drink in the best possible way: Joe put it in front of me!
Joe reminded me of the forthcoming Diners, Drive-ins and Dives episode and suggested this as a way to tie in with the local buzz.

As I said, I expected something fruity. When I sipped the She Wolf I was more than pleasantly surprised, I was a bit shocked. Pleasantly shocked, though!
Campari has a way of doing that to me. It has such a dominant flavor of bitterness, I just love it. The sharpness of the Gin and the soft flowery sweetness of the St-Germain blend nicely to sand off the edges off the She Wolf to bring it easily into TGDitWTW standards!

Incidentally, one of The Lobster Shanty's own signature cocktails, The Lobstertini, is scheduled to appear Monday night! It has the honor of accompanying the Shanty's (highly recommended,) Pan-Seared Mozzarella appetizer. Other Shanty offerings discussed will be their Marinated Steak Tips, and the Shanty's renowned Pulled Pork, warranting, I am told, Guy Fieri's patented move, "The Hunch."

Perhaps if Mr. Fieri returns to Salem, he could review the She Wolf on his show! There really isn't enough cocktail-based television on the airwaves these days...

Uh-oh, Joe! Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Call the networks! I'm prepping the pitch!!!

Please forgive me. I can never resist making the Video of the Week somehow related. Here now, The B-52s.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tequlia Red

Joe's in the "Custom Birthday Drinks" biz again this week, and mixing together a delicious new cocktail that is proving to be very popular, and not just for special occasions!

The Recipe:

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

- A 3 count of silver tequila
- 2 count of Ribena Blackcurrant cordial
- 1½ count of Grand Marnier,
- ½ fresh lime, squozen and then drop in the shell,

- Shake enthusiastically,

- Strain into a large martini glass,

- Garnish with a wedge of lime.
Original recipe by Joe the Bartender, The Passage Lounge, Salem, MA.

Joe's Notes: One of our regulars at the Passage Lounge is a young Welsh man. His favorite tipple is a Cider and Black. This is hard cider mixed with Ribena (blackcurrant cordial).

Ribena is used in a number of drinks in the UK, and is referred to as "black," as in Cider and Black, Rum and Black, Vodka and Black and so on and so forth.

So after stopping off at the supermarket to buy the Ribena for the Passage, I began to wonder what cocktail I could make with it.

While driving the 30 minutes to work, the rusty cogs in my head started to churn. As I have stated in past blogs, the process of making a drink usually starts with one ingredient and is built from there, in this case it was blackcurrant.

As in cooking, we look at combinations of flavors that we believe will compliment each other. Adding fleshly-squeezed lime to the blackcurrant seemed the logical first step. Thinking along the lines of a fruit salad , I then added the Grand Marnier. So now I had orange, blackcurrant and lime. The next step was to decide what liquor to add.

I mulled on the possibility of rum, but this seemed too obvious and I was worried that the drink would be to sweet. I also considered Cachaca, but felt that it was too close to rum. Looking again at my ingredients, I decided that the blackcurrant was paired with the orange liqueur, so I needed to pair the lime with something. No brainer: Tequila.

Not long after I had arrived at the Passage, Chris came ambling into the bar. "What do you have for us tonight, Joe" He asked in his usual jovial way. I began mixing my latest concoction, handing it to Chris I said "I have never actually made this drink before, it was purely written in my head on the way in." Chris looked a little dubious but poured the drink down his ever thirsty gullet anyway.

"Good one Joe, I really like it. What is it called?" One of the panel of experts, Birthday Boy Mike , said, "How about Tequila Red?"

And so a new drink was born.

Chris's Notes: Joe reminds me of Melville sometimes. Like that author, and in particular his unabridged version of Moby Dick, Joe likes to explore ALL the potential outcomes of a each and every subject before moving on to his next chapter. Instead of whales, and ships, and sailors and whatnot, with Joe, it is liquors and liqueurs that are scrutinized past the limit of most.
For instance, lately, there have been a few more crimson-hued cocktails floating about the bar. One of which was a cider & black, and another was the Rum and Black, and, of course, this week's entry, the Tequila Red, being yet another. It is this Blackcurrant cordial that Joe seemed to be exploring all the avenues of this week.

Well, this week's drink ALSO happens to fall on the birthday of Passage regular, and long-time researcher, Michael B. So Joe decided to mix him up a birthday drink.

Michael is a strong proponent of tequila-based drinks, and was really happy that Joe decided to go in that direction. And of course, Joe's new star, the Ribena Blackcurrant.
The result was a fresh and incredibly flavorful cocktail. The Tequila flavor was pleasantly dominant but tempered nicely with the medley of citrus and berries. And all that vitamin C means it MUST be good for you!

Almost-not-even-remotely-related video for the week is "Bad Rap" by Joe "King" Carrasco. I couldn't find anything that relates to the drink except it starts off with a guy in a sombrero.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Blood & Sand

From his Classics Cocktails line, Joe presented me with the Blood & Sand, an ominously named, and forbodingly-tinted glass of straight-up mystery! (But delish despite the mystique!)

The Recipe:
Into a cocktail of ice, add:

- a 2-count of scotch, (Joe chose Johnny Walker Black)
- a 2-count of cherry brandy
- a 2 count of Dubonnet
- a 2-count of orange juice

- shake well

- strain over fresh ice, garnish with a slice of orange and a maraschino cherry

Joe's Notes: The original Blood and Sand cocktail was named after the 1922 Rudolph Valentino movie of the same name. My Blood and Sand cocktail is a "remake" of the original drink.

In my updated version, I decided to substitute Dubonnet for the sweet vermouth. Dubonnet came about because of the French Foreign Legion soldiers stationed in North Africa in 1831. They suffered horribly with malaria, an infectious disease carried by mosquitoes. The easiest way to prevent the disease was to ensure that they consumed anti-malarials, like quinine. In the 1840s, the French government held a contest, looking for a new beverage that contained quinine, and this is what inspired Joseph Dubonnet. Dubonnet dulled the bitter bite of quinine by combining it with a fortified wine, herbs, and spices. He used a wine that had been mixed with a grape brandy, as well as green coffee beans, cinnamon, chamomile, and orange peel to create his distinctive beverage.
With this, as always, use fresh ingredients, that includes freshly squeezed O.J. You may choose to use blood oranges; I did not include them in my recipe as they are not so readily available.

Going back to remakes, the movie "Blood and Sand" was remade in 1941 starring Tyrone Power. Although the movie was a cinematic improvement, the actual movie itself was not as good.
The story in Blood and Sand has, as its main character, Juan, a Spanish bullfighter. It was once again remade in 1989. Top billing for this version was given to Sharon Stone. This may give you some insight to the quality of this remake.
Now, I am pointing out the decline in the quality of these remakes not to insinuate that my version is inferior to the original, but to show that with the proper care remakes can be an improvement on the original. Just look at Brian De Palma's 1983 remake of Scarface . This I believe is much improved on the original 1932 Howard Hanks Film.

The only way to find out for sure is to drink both cocktails, (the original Blood & Sand, and MY "Director's Cut,") and watch both Scareface movies. Let me know what you think.

Chris's Notes: Once again, I need to side with Joe on this one. Remakes have gotten a bad rap in movies, and not always necessarily so!
The same holds true in television. There have been many shows that have been retooled for newer audiences that, quite frankly, sucked it hard. A few examples include The Fugitive, The Bionic Woman, Land of the Lost, The Brady Bunch Hour, Knight Rider, Dragnet, Twilight Zone...
Oh, I could go on.
But every now and again, a remake comes along that appeals to more people, with all the right elements to make everything work just right together.

Perhaps, that is the secret to Joe's Blood & Sand. Joining me on my side of the bar that night were Senior Research Assistant, Kerry, and returning Guest Researcher, Sharon Mc.
Upon trying the drink, Kerry was not as appreciative of the combination of the flavors, saying it simply wasn't something she would order, (but, in her defense, she probably wouldn't have enjoyed an original Blood & Sand cocktail, either!)
Sharon, with her "less seasoned" palette, I fully expected her to outright dislike it, (Sharon's specialty on the research team is lighter, less-alcoholic cocktails.) To my surprise, it was Sharon who championed this drink. She apparently was digging all those subtle layers, and the fine balance of sweet and tart. She asked for a few samples, (all in the name of research!) and even claimed that she may order one of those herself!
So, you never can tell!

As far as television remakes, I am still awaiting a scary, suspenseful remake of that old sci-fi show where the alien monster crashes on Earth, and seeks shelter in a suburban house holding the family hostage! "Alien Life Form!" That'll be awesome!

This week's Barely-Related Video IS related, but just barely.
Jermaine Jackson and Pia Zadora, (who starred in Dubonnet commercials in the 1970!) sing When the Rain Begins to Fall from the movie Voyage of The Rock Aliens!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ginger Grant

Joe decided to prepare a tropical-style, "cabaña drink," made with Canton, one of his favorite liqueurs, with this week's this cocktail, that so reminded me of "The Movie Star."

Into a cocktail shaker full of ice, add:

- A 3-count of Cabo tequila
- A 3-counton of Canton Ginger Liqueur,
- A sploosh of Falernum

Squeeze the juice from one wedge of lemon and then a wedge of lime directly into the shaker,

Shake (like a tropical monsoon!)

- Strain over fresh ice,
- Top with a splash of soda

Garnish with a slice of orange and a maraschino cherry

Original Recipe by Joe the Bartender, The Passage Lounge, Salem, MA.

Chris's Notes: My fascination with actress Ginger Grant is well-known and well documented, but who could blame me? That gorgeous amber hair, that slinky walk, those curves, and of course, when that music came up and she was "turning on her charms," what man could resist her passion?

It just so happened that I was daydreaming about the lovely Ms. Grant, and a particular episode of Gilligan's Island, ('The Prodigal Husband ,' Season 3, Episode 31, in which Ginger's long-lost common-law husband finds her on the island,) when Joe presented me with this vision.

It's tall sexy shape, its deep rich color, exotic smells... I needed a taste. As I was kissing her, I mean sipping her, er, it, Joe began to tell me, "I decided on something with Ginger." He went on to list the other ingredients, (something about 'passion?') but I'd heard enough. I knew that this drink would be named after her. And in her honor!

The cocktail had a strong fruity sweetness, thanks primarily due to the passionfruit and Grenadine, but softened and sharpened by the ginger of the Canton. The sparkle of the soda, and the snap of the tequila round this out very nicely.

I was afraid at first, that this would be viewed as a "girly drink." I was conflicted. My thoughts tumbled in my head like underpants in a dryer with no Cling-Free. How could I, a big, burly, manly man, be enjoying a "girly drink?"

Of course! This was one of those cocktails that falls into a classification devoid of gender exclusivity! A tropical punch "Boat Drink!" A reminder that, despite schools being back in session, and a hurricane knocking on the door, it IS still summer. Cheers!

Oh, you may have noticed that Joe posted no notes this week. Actually, he had a very interesting and insightful tale with many an unseen twist! It was really some of his best writing.
Unfortunately, in his narrative, Joe hinted at a preference for Mary Ann in the show Gilligan's Island. WHAT!?!
Because of this, I felt it best to edit his entire commentary out this week.

That'll learn 'im.

Our weekly "Barely-Related Video" this week is actually quite related!
Watch with me now The Honey Bees with You Need Us!