Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mambai Mango

Still on our temporary hiatus, and in search of a new home for the blog, here is another leftover cocktail recipe/review that was somehow omitted from the usual run. Cheers!

Landslide award winner of the Annual Salem Cocktail Competition, 2009.

Joe served up this specialty cocktail to my trusted research partner, Kerry, who provided me with her impressions and field notes. Thanks for all your hard work, Kerry!

The Recipe:

Into a cocktail shaker of ice, add:

- a 4 count of Svedka Vanilla Vodka

- a 3 count of Svedka Original Vodka

- a 2 count of Grenadine

- a HEAVY 3 count of Mango Lassi, (an Indian yogurt drink)

- Shake well, and strain into a chilled, 16 ounce pint glass filled with ice.

- garnish with strawberry and orange.

Recipe by Joe the Bartender, Passage to India Restaurant, Salem, MA

Bartender’s Notes: Lassi is a traditional Indian yogurt-based drink. Very thick and creamy, there is no such thing as a ‘diet lassi.’

Kerry’s Notes: Rich, thick and fruity, it is sort of like a smoothie for grown-ups. In fact, this could easily win out over the Mamosa and the Bloody Mary as the first-pick breakfast cocktail.

A la sature! - Chris

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Passionate Melon

A raise of the glass to all those who help out by offering their opinions and partake in all the difficult "research" needed to sample these beverages! Cheers!

This week's guest drinker is Ms. Sharon McG. Thanks!

Joining me on my side of the bar was Sharon, a fellow patron with a decidedly less tolerant system for cocktails containing a generous alcohol content, but a discerning palate, nonetheless. Sharon's drink, "The Passionate Melon."

The Recipe:

Into a cocktail shaker, add

- A 3 count of Malibu Melon-flavored rum
- A 3 count of Captain Morgan's Parrot Bay Passionfruit-flavored rum,
- A 3 count Bacardi White Rum
- A splash of Pineapple juice,
- A splash of orange juice
- A squirt of grenadine

- Shake vigorously

- Pour over fresh ice in a chilled, 16 ounce pint glass

- Garnish with available fruit, (i.e. melon, passionfruit, pineapple, etc.,) OR a wedge of lime!

Recipe by Joe the bartender, Passage to India Restaurant, Salem, MA

Bartender's Notes: a light, "training wheels"-type of drink, this is something tasty that you can have all night without the fear of an uncontrollable urge to do karaoke.

Sharon's notes: Light and fruity and not too sweet. Very reminiscent of summer, it is more of an appetizer drink than one she would choose to accompany a meal. Sharon confided that she was probably going to be ordering a second...

Cheers! - Chris

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Salty Dog

So, like any other Friday evening, I head in to see Joe to "research" this week's cocktail.

"Hey, Joe," I begin, "I had a great idea for a cocktail recipe. How about..."
"No!" He stopped me, abruptly. "We are doing The Salty Dog. I have decided."
"Huh?" I replied, somewhat stymied.
"Listen! I mix the drinks, you type and make your little pop-ups! I grind this organ, you dance, Monkey!"

I felt spanked, (and not in the good way!) Joe then plunked down his latest creation, cast me a dirty look, and said, "Here. Drink it. $6.50, and you better tip well this time!"

Okay, I confess. This is NOT what happened at all. (I just thought I would add a little drama to the narrative. After all, we were just presented with a nice, new "Blog Star" award from, so I figgered I'd try punching it up a tad with some conflict, a la"creative writing.")

Back to reality...
What did happen that evening was that Joe DID tell me, (and quite amicably, too,) that he really wanted to do The Salty Dog and had for some time. He spoke of some "improvement" to the original recipe, (in the form of the Canton Ginger!) And presented me with his version of The Salty Dog for my consideration.

The saltiness took me off guard with my initial sippage, but was easy to acclimate to. (Caveat: Use caution in your salting: you can always add more!)
And the addition of the ginger really brings this doggy home!

The Recipe:

Into a shaker full of ice, add:
- a 4-count of Bombay Sapphire Gin,
- a 3-count of Grapefruit Juice,
- a 2-count on Canton Ginger Liqueur,

- Shake, and strain over fresh ice,

- Hit it with 2 good shakes of salt, (Fer heaven sake! Careful with that salt shaker!)

- Garnish with a wedge of lime and a cherry.

Joe's Notes: The Salty Dog is basically a Greyhound, (vodka and grapefruit,) with the addition of salt. Most Salty Dog recipes you will see call for a mix of gin and grapefruit, poured into a salt-rimmed glass. I prefer to add the salt directly into the mix. (As some of you may know, I have a bit of a peeve with people salting the glass, then drinking from a straw.)

The other reason is that when drinking from a salt-rimmed glass, (without the straw,) the salt for the first few mouthfuls can be a little overpowering and can leave a sticky residue both on your hands and around your mouth. Adding the salt directly into the drink gives a more uniformed drink from start to finish. I have also added a little Canton Ginger liqueur. I love Gin and Ginger, I hope you do too. But please, try both recipes and choose for yourself.

"What's this?" you may be asking yourself. "Is Joe becoming a little less opinionated? Did I see an actual choice? Are we not to follow his directive to the letter?" Yes, I have mellowed recently. Partly due to an interaction with a customer a couple of weeks ago. This is his story.

While I was setting up the bar one Friday evening a couple of weeks ago, a man hurried into the bar and sat at one of the stools. "Give me a Sapphire Martini straight up and I'll have a shot of Jack while you make it." he said.

I put the shot glass down in front of him and poured his shot. While I was making his Martini I looked him over. I am always suspicious of people who come into the bar and order drinks like that. He looked relatively normal, he was dressed in a business suit, the addition of the baseball cap was a little odd, but hey, each to his own.

"Had a rough day at work" I asked.

"Yeah, something like that"

"Well, if you want my opinion, a couple of stiff drinks and a bite to eat and you will feel much better."

"People's opinions are the last thing I want. Other peoples opinions and advice is what got me into this state in the first place."

Feeling a little reprimanded, I shuffled off and cut a few lemons. "O.K." I said "I'm intrigued. What happened?"

"I had a job interview today. It was for a managerial position in a firm that I really wanted to work for. I had been discussing the upcoming interview with some friends the other night while having a few drinks.

"The general consensus was that although I was qualified for the position, I probably would not get it because of my age. They said firms now are looking for younger men. Somebody my age and with the experience I had demanded to high a salary."

"You're not that old, what went wrong?"

"I got up this morning and thought to myself that my friends where probably right. So I went to the pharmacy and bought some hair dye and hemorrhoid cream."

"Hemorrhoid Cream?" I asked.

"Yeah, I read somewhere that rubbing hemorrhoid cream on your face smooths the skin and makes it look younger. I also dyed my hair."

At this point he took his cap off, exposing a shock of jet black hair .

"So, I'm sitting in the interview and all I can think of is that I have a**hole cream all over my face. I start to sweat and this just makes it worse. I keep hearing my interviewer using words like experienced and maturity. I can feel the sweat running down my face and try to wipe it off with my hand. it comes away like I have dipped my hand in a bucket of lard. The interview thankfully comes to and end and my prospective boss shakes my hand. The look of horror on his face tells me if there was ever any doubt, that I have blown the interview. I stumble to the bathroom and look at myself in the mirror. The image that stares back at me is a hybrid of

Joan Rivers and Wayne Newton."

"My last piece of advice," I say, "Have another drink."

- Joe


This week's video is a strange one. Mr Crispin Glover's "Clowny Clown Clown."
Uh, "Enjoy?" (Not sure if that is the right word...)


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hey, Go Us!

Thank you,, for the kind words, the recognition, and of course, the pretty star!

Chris, Joe, and all of us here, at Greatest Drink in the World... This Week

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bay Mosa

So, tomorrow, April 1st, marks the grand re-opening of Salem's own, The Lobster Shanty. In honor of this auspicious occasion, we here at Greatest Drink in the World... This Week, have decided to post their original creation, the Bay Mosa, created during those last hours before they shut down for the deepest, slumberiest heart of this past winter... Brrrr.

The name, Bay Mosa, is a portmanteau from the names of two other cocktails, the Bay Breeze and the Mimosa, due to the fact that the drink has elements of both. But the end result is a whole different category of yummy.

It is a simple, delicate kind of cocktail. Based on champagne, (or "sparkling wine" if of the non-French variety!), and with the addition of a sweet, (and damned tasty!) pomegranate liqueur and pineapple, this drink NEEDS to be assembled lovingly, (and, although Dee claims chance was a factor in its evolution, this baby is dripping with "intelligent design!")

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

- a heavy splash, (sploosh?) of Pama, Pomegranate Liqueur
- a splash of pineapple juice

- Shake well!

- Strain into a nice sized wine goblet

- gently pour in about 4 ounces of Champagne, or sparkling wine.

Dee's notes: Li'l Sarah, (Sarah Stellato, our bar manager,) was facing a conundrum - it was just after New Year's Eve when we found ourselves with a leftover case of inexpensive, (for mixing only,) Champagne. The Shanty was closing soon and we didn't want to order any more product. We figured we'd feature Mimosas for the rest of the season, however we were low on orange juice and there was a citrus frost down south so that O.J. was extra pricey.

We looked around and discovered that we had plenty of pineapple juice left. We tried a sample of the two together, (Oh! The hardship!) but felt like it was missing something. Originally, we tried a bit of grenadine, but it was kinda cloying, so we looked around a little more and were overjoyed to discover that we had plenty of Pama Liqueur left.
A splash of that instead of grenadine and we were in business. Not only did it help us sell down the extra product, but it was delicious to boot!

Necessity is truly the mother of invention - Win!


Video of the week, (and only just barely related!) is a little number by The New York Dolls called Dance Like A Monkey.

- C:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Taxi Driver Caipirinhia

It has been about a year, year and a half since Joe made his Caipirinha for me. I remember it distinctly; lime, cachaça, and a dash of sugar, all fizzied up with a splash o' soda. Mmmmm.

And so, Joe decided to resurrect this popular little number with a twist, (as is befitting Joe's idiom,) and presented me with this week's offering, The 'Taxi Driver Caipirinha."

The Recipe:

Into a cocktail shaker full of ice, add:
- 1 part Galliano, (Home-Made or otherwise!)
- 1 part Vana Talinn
- 2 parts Orange Juice
- 4 parts Cachaça

- Shake! Shake like the very wind!

- Strain into a large martini glass

- Garnish with a slice of orange or a maraschino cherry.

Oh, sure, I should've seen this coming. Joe has been threatening me for a while with revamping some of our earlier cocktail reviews. "Bring those great drinks from our early posts up to speed with all the bells and whistles, (i.e. pop-up illustrations, videos, tangental bar-chatter,) of our modern postings." And I have been stringing him along, ("Yeah, we should! That is a great idea! We should DEFINITELY get around to doing that!") with little or no time to spearhead this initiative.

But, more recently, Joe has been complaining about his computer being on the blink. And this week, after dropping this tasty little number in front of me, he emails me saying his home PC is dead and he can't send me any notes regarding the cocktail!

Being a tad bit on the suspicious and jaded side, I assumed duplicity: "DID YOU THINK I WOULDN'T SEE THROUGH YOUR LITTLE PLAN!?! HA!!!"

Anyways, this is what I thought had happened, until Joe emailed me a "Polaroid" of the repairman he found on AOL. ("It was difficult finding a guy who knows the Sinclair ZX-81," he explained as the problem, whatever that means!)

So, in any case, Joe was unable to provide any notes for this week's Greatest Drink. This week, I walk alone!

From my experience with the cocktail, I can say that this "Taxi Driver" Caipirinha differs greatly from the original with the addition of the vanilla. The traditional "Taxi Driver" calls for a healthy dash of vanilla extract. Joe opted for a new flavor on the ever-growing list of Passage liqueurs with the substitution of the Vana Tallinn.
This is a really nice liqueur with a rich, vanilla taste, giving our subject of the week a smooth velvety quality that mingles nicely with the citrus crowd of O.J. and Galliano, (and remember, you can very nicely use Home-Made Galliano here. I know where you can find a good recipe!) and really makes that Cachaça POP!

I also found out that Vana Tallinn is named after and made in the Estonian capital city of Tallinn, ("Reval," for you in the nonagenarian crowd.) And wouldn't you know it, Tallinn was recently named "The European Capital of Culture for 2011."

I am not sure if Joe knew this or not, but here we are, honoring Estonia for this achievement with a cocktail, and a cocktail that features another of their fine achievements!

That Joe.
I can't help wondering if he intentionally abandoned me this week, so that I could travel down this road of cultural enlightenment and learn these things for myself. So wise, he is, so inscrutable.

I swear, sometimes, I feel I work with Yoda.

This week's video, although only barely related, absolutely stinks with culture. Enjoy Bohemian Rhapsody!

Teie Terviseks!