Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Rum Swizzler

Originally called a Bermuda Rum Swizzler, (for the Gosling Bermuda Rum!) the name got truncated with the inclusion of the Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum, but the change was worth it!

When Joe mixed this little beauty up for me, I was diggin' it with a powerful love!
It is just the right combination of rum and juices that really scratches me right where I itch!

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

- a 1-count of falernum
- 1 whole lime, (squozen and juiced!)
- a 2 count orange juice,
- a 2-count pineapple juice

Shake until frrrothy, (if possible, roll your r's in reading this. Thank you.)

Strain into a nice hurricane glass and garnish with a wedge of lime and a cherry.

Joe's notes: As the temperatures in the North East soared over the freezing point this past weekend, my palate began to crave a more tropical flavor. The Rum Swizzler, with both falernum and rum, fitted the bill quite nicely, (for further falernum recipes, type "falernum" in the search box on side panel of blog).

Rum and the images it conjures up, desert islands, buried treasures and swashbuckling heroes has been a favorite of mine since childhood. Now before you tag me as some sort of pediatric dipsomaniac or demented Ahab, let me explain.

When I was just a mere lad, dodging my way through the streets of Old Blighty, I would often offer up a few coins to the counter assistant in exchange for a bar of "Old Jamaica." Under the wrapper, embossed with a pirate ship, lay the treasure, a delicious dark chocolate bar crammed with rum soaked raisins.
Another childhood favorite of mine was the "Rum Baba". This was a light pastry similar to a brioche, speckled with raisins and soaked in a thick rum laced sugar syrup. Sitting in class with the front of my school shirt and tie heavily stained with the syrup, I would receive the customary smack around the back of the head. Do you think I cared?
Bus fare spent and pockets stuffed with rum and butter candies, I would happily walk the three miles home.

With age, however, I have put these childhood delicacies behind me. I am now enjoying my rum in its liquid form.

In fact, I am sitting in my Halloween Pirates of the Caribbean costume and drinking a Rum Swizzler out of a pewter tankard.
I hope the wife is not going to make me walk the plank.... Oops! Speaking of she comes now.

Ahoy, me mateys!

This wasn't my first choice for The Video of the Week, but it is so related, and done really well, (and after Joe's notes, I had little choice otherwise!)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Washington Apple

Joe has been trying to get me to try this drink for months now! Okay! Okay!
I had resisted for a spell because I was all a-feared that an apple-based cocktail would be too tart for my tastes. I was quite relieved to see that my fears were unfounded!! That Royal Crown really grounds this baby, and with just a 'smack' of apple...
Very nice!

Read on!

The Recipe:

Into a large cocktail shaker, add:

- a 4 count of Crown Royal,
- a 3 count of Apple Pucker,
- a generous "sploosh" of cranberry juice,

Shake, shake, shake...

- garnish with a slice of orange.

Joe's Notes: The Washington Apple is like a box of chocolates, you can never have just one.
Okay, so how many of you, when you started to read this, thought, "Forrest Gump? "
Actually, this is one of the all-time misquoted sayings. He actually said "Life WAS like a box of chocolates." A small point, granted, but it did get me thinking: What about Washington and his apple tree? (Research Assistant, Kerry believes that it was a cherry tree and not an apple tree that the young George Washington cut down.) In fact there is no evidence to support that he cut down an apple or any other sort of tree.

"Houston, we have a problem." On the fated Apollo 13 Mission, Commander Jack Swigert actually said " O.K., Houston, we've had a problem." I prefer the misquote, (as did Ron Howard,) and tend to use it quite frequently.
"Beam me up, Scotty." The intrepid Captain Kirk never did say these immortal words, instead he said. "Scotty, beam me up."

Why does this happen? Could it be like the children's game Chinese Whispers , or do we purposely misquote to improve on an idea?

Here's one for all you history buffs. It is also an example of purposely misquoting. At the Battle of Trafalgar, Admiral Neslon's dying words to his ever trusty side-kick, Captain Hardy, supposedly were "Kiss me, Hardy." This has caused many a classroom of English kids to erupt into peels of laughter during history class.
It was later taught that his dying words where "Kismet, Hardy," Kismet meaning fate. This, although not true, was taught for the unfounded fear that the great Admiral Nelson could possibly have been "batting for the other team."
One interesting point about Nelson is that his body was preserved in a barrel of brandy. I wonder if this where "dead drunk" comes from?

So what has all this got to do with the Washington Apple? Absolutely nothing! But frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.

So go out and get yourself a Washington Apple. A very splendid cocktail. And you can quote me on that.
Joe the Bartender

BARELY-Related Video this week: Spinal Tap's Majesty of Rock!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


So, this week, Joe decided to further blur the already-blurry line between mixology and cooking! With a massive crockpot, a wide assortment of fine ingredients, and the finesse of master chef, he brewed up a huge batch of Glühwein, (pronounced "glue-vine ,") right there on the bar!

This week's post is all about that!


• 1 bottle of red wine,

• 2 - Cinnamon sticks – Cinnamon is very traditional. Break the sticks into pieces 1 – 2 inches each,

• 16 Whole Cloves – again, a traditional ingredient,
• 1 Orange,
• 2 tablespoons "runny" honey,
• 1 heaping teaspoon of mixed, ground
Christmas-cake spices, (or equivalent amount of ground allspice, nutmeg, and coriander, all mixed together,)

• I also add cardamom,

• Water – wineglass full

1. Put water in large pan and place over medium heat.

2. Add cinnamon, honey, and spices.

3. While honey is dissolving cut the orange into quarter lengthways, then cut them in half so you have eight pieces. Push two of the cloves into the skin of each piece and add to the pan.

4. Pour in all the wine!

5. Bring the heat up. It should not boil so as when bubbles start rising turn the heat off.

6. As soon as it is cool enough to taste, test it for sweetness. If it is not sweet enough add sugar to taste and stir to dissolve.

7. Let the pan stand for an hour or longer so the flavours develop.

8. Warm gently before serving and spoon out into a heatproof glass, leaving the oranges and cinnamon behind. Optionally garnish with
slice of lemon or fresh stick of cinnamon.

Chris's notes: I am not a wine drinker by nature. Don't get me wrong, I wish I was! I have seen movies with Musketeers downing it with gusto and solidarity, Roman centurions raising flagons of the stuff with uproarious abandon, King Arthur and his knights in armor, both shining and otherwise, all draining mugs and chalices of vino and seemingly loving it. I envy them!

But it just never really got me going.

So, when Joe told me of his recipe for "Glühwein," I was dubious. I mean, "hot wine?" I never saw that in any of those "historical fiction" flicks!

Joe dismissed my worries and began making it, and insisting that I would like it. And even as I clung to my reservations, I began to realize that my palate, unseasoned in the ways and nuances of the grape, might be the best impartial judge of the stuff.

To start with, as the brew was in the pot, periodically checked on by Joe, (and occasionally, a curious Delip,) the entire bar was filled with the scents of all those wintery spices of clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and the like, (and believe me, there are many smells and many spices competing for airspace in an Indian restaurant!)

The brew itself is a real "warmer-upper." Joe says that he has frequently seen it served as an "apres-ski" drink in the Swiss alps. (I realize he may well be full of... uh, stories, on this, but it is not hard to believe!)

Yes, it is wine-y, but so much more. All of those spices and ingredients make a real nice taste. Very much what one would associate with this time of year. Nothing overpowering or foreign, just a very familiar and delicious drink to warm one's winter bones!

Joe's Notes: To combat all the snow that we have had to endure recently, I decided to whip up an urn or two of my favorite Glühwein recipe. I believed that those brave enough to battle their way through the arctic landscape that Salem has become, certainly deserved something special for their efforts.

During the Christmas period in Germany, special markets spring up in all the towns and cities. Nestled amongst the hand-crafted decorations and sausage stands, you can easily spot the a plume of steam rising from the Glühwein stall. For a few euros you can purchase a cup of steaming Glühwein to warm your soul. Glühwein's literal translation is "Glow Wine" because of the glow you feel after consuming a cup or two. Remember, you only want to glow, not spontaneously combust, so be careful of the amount of Glühwein you consume.

During the hedonistic eighties in London, wine bars sprung up all over town like zits on a teenager. Business-suited city workers could be spotted after lunch emerging from their favorite wine bar. Many, furiously glowing and sporting the remnants of their Glühwein consumption as a stain around their mouths, like the painted-on smile of The Joker from Batman. They headed back to their office or cubicle to sleep it off until their release at five o'clock, when the wine bars once again would be filled to capacity with smiling Glühwein drinkers.

There are many different recipes for Glühwein, Vin Chaud and Mulled Wine. I like this recipe because of its simple list of ingredients.

Depending on your preference you can make it sweeter or more citrus. Some people like to add a shot of blueberry or other flavored schnapps to each cup. This of course will add to the alcohol content. Remember to pierce the orange skin with the cloves. This will prevent any stray cloves from ending up stuck in your guests teeth. Alternately you could strain your Glühwein before serving it.

Incidentally, I will be rustling up a fresh batch of my Glühwein recipe at the Passage Lounge this weekend if anybody wants to stop by.


Joe the Bartender



Completely Unrelated Video this week, but just the epitome of coolness. Shatner on Lopez.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Flaming Pumpkin

For her New Year's resolution, Senior Research Assistant, Kerry, said that she wanted to do a bit more reviewing for The Greatest Drink in the World... This Week, so I can think of no better drink for her to do so with than the one that Joe made specifically for her birthday!

The Recipe:
Into a shot glass, (of whatever size you choose!) add equal parts:

- Light it on fire,

- Say your "oohs" or "ahhhs" as it warms the shot,

- Blow it out before drinking! (DO NOT OMIT THIS STEP!!!)

Kerry's notes: It was my birthday last Friday and I was greeted at the door to The Passage by the man himself. I got a warm happy birthday wish from Joe followed by an even warmer birthday shot.

The name alone, The Flaming Pumpkin, conjures up visions from the movies about the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, but the taste is like a delicious pumpkin pie minus the crust. It is actually flaming when served...thanks to the Goldschlager and the tastes warms from start to finish. The mixture of Kahlua, Bailey's and Goldschlager make a perfect combination for a wintry drink.

Though it is served as a shot, it is so good you quickly find you want to sip and enjoy every last bit of it. The warmth from the flame and taste help to ease the mind from the cold winter days.

Thanks for the birthday drink/shot Joe. I loved it!

Comments on The Flaming Pumpkin from other researchers:

"It warms your throat when you drink it. It's not that burning feel you get from straight alcohol though. It's a good warm."

"You think it's going to burn on the initial sip. Then you are pleasantly surprised. This is a great drink!"

"It's like Goldshlager followed by Yankee Candle."

Thanks for the comments Chris, Michelle, & Dee!



And a very special Barely-Related Video for Kerry's birthday: Eddie Murphy's
Happy Birthday, Kerry!
- C: