Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Red Planet Martini

So, Senior Research Assistant, Kerry, and I meet up with long-time regular researcher, Sharon Mc. at The Lobster Shanty to "research" a new drink, (review for that one coming soon.)
While there, we hear from fellow patrons about this young bartender, Dan, over at The Adriatic , (yet ANOTHER Salem watering hole and site of a previous blog contribution, "The Zaya Zinger ,") who developed a new drink, a roasted red pepper martini.

Immediately intrigued, (bordering on salivating,) I decided to put The Adriatic on my route that evening!

The Recipe:

- Fill a two ounce shot glass with roasted red pepper. Pour this in a pint glass, and add:
- ¼ ounce of lemon juice,
- 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters,
- a pinch of salt.

Muddle all ingredients together. Go on! Muddle 'em!

- Add ice
- add one ounce Grand Marnier
- add 4 ounces of Tequila, (Dan uses Silver, but you could substitute Gold for mellower flavor.)

- Shake authoritatively,

- Strain through a screen into a chilled martini glass with a salted rim,

- garnish with a fresh basil leaf.
Original recipe by Dan MacLean, The Adriatic Restaurant, Salem, MA

So, I get to The Adriatic. When I saw Dan the Bartender, I called him over and said, "So I hear you've developed a new cocktail with roasted red pepper!"
He looked very surprised and said, "What? How? I just made that drink, like, twelve hours ago!"
I sorta relished the moment and bragged, "Well, I'm in the biz."
I insisted on ordering this new concoction, and was able to share (a LITTLE ,) with my co-researchers, and it was agreed that this was an unusual cocktail that was not only delicious, but something so different that it NEEDED to be in the blog!

I pulled Dan aside and asked him how he decided on Roasted Red Peppers. He told me that while working on a new idea for a cocktail, he began thinking about foods, in particular, how they work well together. Using the same principles, Dan went into the kitchen for inspiration and it was there that he came up with the roasted red peppers as a base ingredient. A little trial and error, (and a few willing tasters,) and the final product was The Red Planet Martini!

Now, I know what you're thinking, "Red Pepper Drink!?!"
But do not fear! Oh, this little red baby is very different, true! But, although very savory, the drink is still quite subtle in it's "vegetableness." I could easily see this become a 'house specialty' at The Adriatic, as it would compliment so many of their menu items.
And, like its name, outta this world!



This week's "Barely-related-video" this week is a post-mod swinger from outer-space hipster, Jet Screamer. Enjoy "Epp Opp Ork Ah-Ah!"

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Pineapple/Guava Zombie


The single-digit temperatures, snow, ice and freezing rain this time of year, make me long for the islands with their undulating waves, tropical breezes, minimal attire, and, of course, rum. With this in mind, (and because main mixologist Joe is on vacation, AGAIN!) I decided to revamp a favorite number of my own.

Since posting 'MY MAI TAI' last, uh, whenever , I have been doing a lot of experimenting with various rum combinations here at my home bar. After some trials and error, (and a few willing test subjects,) I believe I have finally found the Zombie recipe I have been searching for.

The Recipe:

Into a cocktail shaker full of ice add:

- a 1 count of 151 Rum,
- a 1 count of Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum,
- a 2 count of apricot brandy,
- a 1 count of Parrot Bay Pineapple Rum,
- a 4 count of guava/pineapple juice

Shake "monstrously,"

- float Kraken Black Rum on top,

- garnish with a chunk of pineapple and a little paper umbrella, (mandatory!)

Chris's Notes: I mentioned above about "willing test subjects," allow me to elaborate on that particular evening!

Recently, (deep into my recipe experimentation,) the missus and I had some old friends over. We had pizza and shot the sh... uh, breeze about old times and whatnot.
Then, I tossed out, "Who wants to try my new Guava/Pineapple Zombie?"
Two of our guests, Ron and Joyce, claimed to be leery of hard liquor and would only try a small glass. One guest, Kenny, said how he LOVES Zombies and would definitely try one or two, and the other, Terry, couldn't as she was the designated driver.

I got to mixing. I made Ron and Joyce each a 10-ounce cocktail, each a scaled-down version of the original, with paper umbrella and all. (The paper umbrella IS mandatory, after all.)
Kenny and I both enjoyed our Zombies in their full-size, big-boy serving, pint glasses.

A unanimous cheer from all tasters. Ron and Joyce enjoyed the drink enough to get another two each. The loved how the guava/pineapple concealed much of the 151's power, but you could still taste the flavor.
Kenny? Kenny absolutely dug it! He downed his and asked for another! A self-proclaimed Zombie connoisseur, he found this particular balance of flavors, juices and spirits to scratch him right where he itched!

Well, as our reminiscing drew to a close, and all of the Zombies were metered out, we said our "good evenings," and let the night end.

Ron and Joyce, who were our overnight guests, slept like the very dead, and then deep into the following morn. Terry called that following morning and confided that she needed to make a few unscheduled stops along the way home for Kenny to, uh, toss out some of last night's pizza.

The moral of this week's story: Beware the subtle power of the Zombie!
The Guava/Pineapple and the 151 are both intensely powerful and work very nicely together. But know your limits with this drink, kids.
Or the Zombie will bite you.


P.S. If Ron, Joyce, Terry, or Kenny read this: That was a great night, let's do it again soon!

The token video this week is, appropriately enough, The Brains with 'More Brains!'
A little horror-themed Psychobilly to accompany your mixing!


Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Passage White Russian

Every now and again, while "researching," I meet up with people who, while apparently conducting some field study of their own, are fairly deep in their cups. They see me taking photographs of cocktails and are compelled to ask why.
Never one to miss an opportunity to spread the word about the blog, I explain the work that Joe and I do.

On a number of times, whilst discussing this blog, I was told that I NEEDED to do "The Caucasian." (This title is a direct reference to the drink of choice of Jeff Bridges character in the movie masterpiece, "The Big Lebowski.")
Mind you, one need not be tipsy to appreciate this movie, but it seems that a libation or two does make one's recollection of this film all the fonder.

This classic cocktail has been a long time coming to us here at GDitWTW. Joe punches up the standard recipe with such a simple little addition, but the difference is amazing.

So, for those Lebowski, "The Dude," and Caucasian enthusiasts, "Here's mud in yer eye."

The Recipe

Into a cocktail shaker full of ice add:
- a 3 count of Vodka,
- a 3 count of Kahlua,
- 3 ounces of heavy cream

Shake, shake, shake!

- Strain over fresh ice,

- garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Joe's Notes: Two "dudes" walked into my bar. No, this is not the start of a joke, I don't tell jokes. Well, that is not entirely true, the truth is I can't tell jokes. Every time I try to tell a joke I forget the punch line or miss out some vital component. After I have told a joke, instead of peels of laughter reverberating through the bar I am left with a stony silence until somebody says "I don't get it." I think it is genetic because my father couldn't tell jokes either, but unlike myself he didn't realize it. He continued to make people squirm well into his old age.

Anyway, back to the two dudes. One dude says, "Do you have a special recipe for a White Russian?"

So, I give them my White Russian. They nod in agreement, and write the recipe down in a little book one of them pulls from his jacket pocket. "Are you bartenders?" I ask.

"No, we're planning a White Russian Party and we are collecting as many different recipes as we can find."

The head dude hands over the little book to me. Intrigued, I flick through the pages. The book not only contained recipes but little side notes. For example:

• Colorado Bulldog White Russian; just add a splash of coke.

• Tastes like chocolate milk.

• Bartender Judy, cute, but looks too much like my sister to date."

• White Russian with Malibu. Hate coconut, but some of the girls might like it. wonder what it would be like with banana?"

• Disgusting! Gross! do not try this at home!

• Blonde Russian, replace cream with Bailey's. Very good, would stay for another but think the bartender (Mike) is hitting on me.

Amused, I hand the book back to the dudes. They go on to tell me that they have collected 23 different recipes so far, and that mine is one of their favorites.

I hope you dudes had a great party. I know that you planned on showing "The Big Lebowski " and would love to know what food you served. I hope it wasn't pizza and hot wings; I can't imagine the clean-up the following morning.

Joe the Bartender

For this week's video, I decided against the "Jackie Treehorn's Gutterballs" version and went with the original Just Dropped In (to See What Condition My Condition Was In) by Kenny Roger & The First Edition.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bramble Ale

The holiday season can sure be a busy one! Both Joe and myself found our respective selves preoccupied beyond the point of making a blog post feasible!

With great effort, however, we brought our "Holiday Hiatus" to a conclusion and have returned with many a great recipe lined up for your reading and drinking pleasure!

Our first offering for "Twenty-Eleven," (its way cooler to call it "twenty-eleven" I am told!) is The Bramble Ale. Enjoy!

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

- A 4 count of Bombay Gin,
- A 2 Count of Cointreau,
- A 2 count of current "bar-star" Ribena Blackcurrant,
- The juice squozen freshly from 1/2 of a large lemon,

- Shake to living daylights outta that thing,
- Strain over fresh ice,

- Top with soda,

- Garnish with a slice of lemon and maybe a maraschino cherry.

Joe's notes: The Bramble Ale is our variation on the classic English cocktail, The Bramble. As creme de mure (blackberry liqueur) is not so readily available on these shores, I have chosen to go with Ribena.

Now I know what you are saying. Ribena is blackcurrant, not blackberry and it also contains no alcohol. But I believe that the addition of cointreau not only makes up for the lack of alcohol in Ribena it also adds a very nice flavor combination.

Those of you that are regular readers of this blog probably realize by now that the H.Q.of TGDitWTW, (The Passage Lounge ) is a hang out for many ex-pats, both British and Irish. We spend many an evening reminiscing of the days when we happily ate fried offal in damp kitchens, or lay awake dying of the heat, sharing the bed with numerous siblings in an un-air conditioned bedroom.

The cure for a sore throat was to have an aspirin, a pair of your fathers (worn) socks wrapped around your neck and a cup of warm Ribena.

A story about Blackcurrants and other things:

When I was a boy, my friend Jeremy and I scrummed the blackcurrant foliage hanging over the wall of the local convent.

Inevitably, a nun was going to appear. She did in the form of sister Bernadette. Mouths and pockets stuffed with blackcurrants we awaited the tirade of anger and accusations. "Boy's," she said, "If you want some blackcurrants why don't you just knock on our garden gate?"

Being boys we said nothing. "Follow me." We followed her through the doors of the convent. Polished wood and stone met our eyes, the smell of boiled cabbage and lilac powder awoke our prepubescent terror. The nuns, silent but surprisingly young, smiled and waved us through. We arrived at a garden with the biggest and most heavily laden blackcurrant bushes I have ever seen to this day." Take what you want, but return tomorrow and help is in the garden".

Jeremy never went back (I think he became a lawyer.)

I went back the following week. I spent a summer drinking tea in fine china cups and eating very small sandwiches with the crusts cut off. They never actualy needed my help with the garden, but rather extended their love to one very small and insignificant boy.

Ribena, nuns in a bottle.

Chris's Notes: It was a frosty, windswept evening when I made it to the Passage Lounge that night. Senior Research Assistant, Kerry, was already seated at our usual seats with guest researcher, Sharon Mc.
They greeted me as they shuddered with the blast of wind that followed me in.

I told Joe that I was in the mood for something with gin in it. As I explained that gin always reminded me of winter, Kerry reminded me that "always" was only for about a year or so, since we had been blogging.
Whatever. It is a good cold weather spirit and what I wanted. So there!

Joe grinned as he bustled about his "other" job responsibilities and explained that he had a nice gin drink already in mind. A variation of a classic cocktail from back home, England-way, calledThe Bramble.

The gin and the orange of the Cointreau created a flavor almost bordering on the grapefruit spectrum, but the sweetness of the Ribena, Joe's current booze-muse, (or "mooze!") and the tangy sour of the lemon bring the tastes to all interested tastebuds.
The sparkle of the soda, (another deviation from the original Bramble, and the reason for the "ale" in the name, akin to "ginger ale,") send a wake-up call to the palate that really drives this baby home!

So, Cheers, and Happy New Year!

This week's video goes WAY back to 1945. An appropriately named little number by Spike Jones: "Cocktails for Two."
Cheers - C: