Thursday, December 16, 2010

Our Favorites: Joe's Picks

It is approaching that time of year when we look back, and take stock of our lives.

Over the blog's lifetime, it has grown with the addition of "
pop-ups" and facebook, as well as more "bar chat".

Those of you that are regular visitors to this blog know that myself and Chris are the main contributors.

It was Chris that first instigated the blog, my contribution was merely to come up with the drinks and possibly add a bartender's note at the end. It is through the dedication of Chris, (I admit that I sometimes need a poke from Chris to keep up my end of the agreement,) that the Blog has been allowed to grow. Anyway, enough saying nice things about Chris (I am sure this is making him a little uncomfortable,) let's get on with the chat.

With the premise of looking back, I have chosen my three favorite cocktails from the blog.

The first is the Pimm's Cup, (September, 2009.)

I like this drink for a number of reasons. It looks good, tastes great and gives me the opportunity to tell my Pimms story while making the drink.

A number of years ago a retired butler to the Queen of England was selling some of his memorabilia from decades of service at the Palace. Amongst his possessions was a hand-written note from the Queen Mother about an upcoming picnic for the royal Family. At the end of the note she had underlined the statement "Don't forget to bring the Pimms."

My second choice is the Boston Tea Party, (October 2009.) I am rather proud of this drink, obviously it is a variation on theLong Island Ice Tea, only bettah, (Boston Joke.)

At the Passage Lounge, (H.Q. of the GDitWTW,) it is one of the most popular cocktails. I have had a number of local bartenders tell me that costumers come into their bars and ask for the Boston Tea Party.

My final choice is my all time personal favorite cocktail, the Bombay Sapphire Martini Straight up With A Twist, (February 2010.)

This cocktail is simple, clean, straightforward and leaves you feeling very satisfied. Very much like myself in many ways.


Joe the Bartender

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Santa Toronja

"Santa;" Spanish for Saint. "Toronja;" Spanish for grapefruit. And of course, that Spanish for the tequila!

The name pretty much sums up this week's Greatest Drink. Oh, but a tasty one it is, too! Try this one out! You'll dig it!

The Recipe:

Into a large pint glass full of ice, add:

- a 4 count of silver tequila,

- a 2 count of St-Germain,

- a 4 count Grapefruit Juice, (Chris prefers the "Ruby Red!")

- a drop of Grenadine.

- Shake. Shake that thing like Charo's maracas!

- Strain over fresh ice,

- garnish with a fresh slice if lime and a maraschino cherry!

Chris's Notes: Recently, I began watching a new television show. It's called "Real and Chance: Legend Hunters," and stars these two brothers, a pair of South Central L.A. city slickers, all hip-hop and urban mod, going into deep wilderness to chase down creatures of mythical proportions. This particular entry in the Reality Show format plays heavily on the fish-out-of-water scenarios and more frequently than not has our two stars in the very middle of trucker-tanned rednecks and thick, inhospitable nature.

But it was while watching this show that I first saw the starting point of week's Greatest Drink. The stars, Real and Chance, (who also call themselves "Stallionaires," for some reason,) between actual "legend" encounters, often get a chance to "let down their hair," (sometimes literally as well as figuratively,) and will, more frequently than not, order a tequila and grapefruit juice.

"Oh, these boys got something right there!" I thought, and went straight out to buy some assorted grapefruit juices for further home research that week. It was the mix with the Ruby Red grapefruit juice that was most welcomed by my ever-discerning palate, so that is my first recommendation.

Still, there was something amiss. "What would Joe do?" I asked myself. And I knew instantly St-Germain was the ticket!

Thusly, I was very excited to see get to the Passage Lounge and run this by Joe!

Joe's Notes: As usual, Chris came bounding into the Passage Lounge, "Hey, Joe, you know what I have been drinking all week? Tequila and grapefruit juice!"

"You have been drinking all week?" I quipped.

Choosing to ignore my snippy remark he continued. "I think it is a great combo that we could really work with." Chris suggested that we add St-Germain. Not having the "Ruby Red" grapefruit juice at hand, I added a spot of grenadine for color and added sweetness. The result was more then worthy of an entry into TGDitWTW.

I don't use grapefruit juice in many cocktails. In fact, apart from the Seabreeze, the Pale Deacon and the Salty Dog, no others spring to mind.

It is not that I dislike grapefruit, it is just they do hold somewhat of an unpleasant childhood memory. The breakfast table, when I was a child in the U.K., was completely devoid of Count Chocula, Fruit Loops or any thing that a child may actually choose to eat. Oh no! We were given a halved grapefruit covered in sugar. The sugar made the bitter acid of the fruit barely palatable, the more sugar you added, the less of the grapefruit you could taste. So while the grapefruit acid ate away at your stomach lining, the sugar rotted your teeth, (think Austin Powers.) Looking back the toast was also a bit strange. Our mother only ever toasted the bread on one side. I had forgotten about this until I heard Sting's song "An Englishman in New York." In this song about Quentin Crisp he mentions this odd fact.

To accompany the half-toasted bread, we where given Marmite. Marmite is a thick black paste made from yeast extract.

If we chose to decline this breakfast we could always opt for my fathers choice: Porridge. Porridge is basically oatmeal but it is made so thick you could actually slice it like meatloaf. The thick splodge of porridge was then floated in cold milk and a dollop of strawberry jam was added.

I should probably leave all this behind me and give grapefruit another go. After all, I did very much enjoy this week's cocktail.

Although, I did read somewhere that grapefruit juice adversely interacts with some antipsychotic medications, (not that I have to worry about that just yet.)


Joe the Bartender



This week's video: Hard Knock Life by Dr. Evil and Mini-Me.

Yeah, I know. Sorry.