November 2008 Edition

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Halloween Issue
In this issue

Dear Dan,

Halloween fast approaches and we shouldn't disappoint you with this month's issue. We have some new seasonal recipes and of course you can visit our Halloween Recipe Page here...

We hope that you have a great time all dressed up and of course wish all the Americans a Happy Thanksgiving as well.

We've also implemented a RSS feed to update you on all the latest entries to the database. You can find the page here...

Please be smart, don't drink and drive! Enjoy the following recipes in moderation and take a cab if you need one.

Cheers!

Dan Hutchinson





Happy Hour Studios

Happy Hour Studio Art Image Who would've thought that ordering your favorite drink meant purchasing a painting? Or a durable canvas tote bag with matching tshirt? Well that is exactly the premise behind Happy Hour Studio, a Baltimore-based company owned by artist/designer Jessica Watson. What started as a small collection of abstract alcoholic beverage paintings has now blossomed into a new way to experience art.

Happy Hour Studio was founded upon the notion of finding creative ways to portray the personality of a drink. Initially Watson started with about five common beverages, including the Cosmopolitan and Manhattan. "Honestly, when I started this concept I only knew about a handful of drinks," Watson admits. Now her studio has gained quite a collection of cocktail recipe books and bartender guides that she references for her next masterpiece. Over time her paintings became so popular that patrons started commissioning their favorite drinks to decorate their home offices and kitchens. And thus, a new way to show off your beverage of choice was born.

"Really I wanted to create a studio that was fresh and hip, yet unique and sophisticated." When you visit www.happyhourstudio.com, you are immediately greeted with bold color and design, a trend that is carried throughout Watson's creative works. "My influences include the liveliness of the city and the peaceful serenity of the shore," Watson says, which are echoed in the backgrounds of her paintings.

Happy Hour Studio plans to extend the drink series to include herbal teas and coffee beverages in the near future. The studio believes that art, in its many forms, should be enjoyed by all. In addition to being able to purchase art prints online, you can also visit the merchandise store, where you will find a variety of items, including t-shirts, canvas tote bags, magnets, buttons and more! One great thing about this business is that it's always happy hour here!

The Raven's Caw

Raven's Caw Logo Image

A great big Halloween hello to all of my Ravenites (Ravenoids?) out there. October is the time of year when the weather starts to turn cold, unless of course you live in Southern California as I do, in which case October is when the weather gets even more hot and dry, and the only storms we see are of the fire variety...but enough of that. Halloween...the costumes, the candy, and, for those reading this article, the booze!

This is where you'd expect that I'd be giving you all sorts of Halloween recipes, but then I wouldn't want to seem trendy. I did start up a batch of Poisoned Apples (see last month's article) which I will be consuming with my friends through the end of this week, and will report on next month, if I survive. Beyond that, if you want Halloween drinks, I suggest that you look through the rest of this newsletter, which is no doubt full of them (I'm just making a predication...scroll down and see if I'm right...go ahead, I'll wait. I was right, wasn't I?)

I picked up an interesting tidbit of information the other day, which I filed under "Signs my mother thinks I may drink too much". She sent me an email about a study done over the last few years linking high childhood IQ with a predilection towards middle adulthood alcoholism. I'm not sure of the real implications of the study, because I haven't read the entirety of it yet; perhaps I'll curl up with a copy of it and a glass of whiskey. (Just kidding mom... I only drink brandy when I read ;-))

Moving right along, my good friends over at Absolut sent me a bottle of Absolut Los Angeles last month, so I thought I'd pass along some info about it. A.L.A. is the second offering in Absolut's line of city inspired vodkas, started a few years back with Absolut New Orleans (which I believe was done as a benefit for Katrina victims). The Los Angeles flavor is a mix of pomegranate, blueberry and acai. This is where I confess that I haven't actually tried it myself; there's something about the pomegranate/blueberry flavor mix that I can't handle. But I'm not going to let that stop me from making a recommendation. I had a bunch of friends over and made them all try it. Thankfully, they aren't as adverse to that flavor combination as I am, and they unanimously agreed that Absolut Los Angeles is worth having in their liquor cabinet. In that it's a limited edition bottling, I would recommend that you go get some now, if you ever plan o n getting it.

With that, I fear I must retire to my chamber with a small glass of absinthe and ponder many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore.

I'll leave you with one piece of advice for this Friday night Halloween celebration: Party responsibly, drink and drive nevermore!

And you can quote me on that.

Raven.


About The Raven

J.T. "Raven" Centonze has been a long time student of the art of alcohol. Initially interested in keeping conversation at parties, his love for alcohol grew to an obsession in college. In between his real job of running a college bookstore or two, he is the part owner/operator of his own winery. He bartends at private parties which allows him the innovation of many new, unique drinks.

The Raven now has his own e-mail address at the BarNoneDrinks. Please send all questions, comments, and suggestions related "The Raven's Caw" to raven@barnonedrinks.com. Also accepted at this address are job offers, death threats, marriage proposals, offers to enlarge certain parts of my anatomy, awards nominations, petitions for absolution and anything else The Raven might need to know about.




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Herradura Calabatini

Herradura Calabatini

Herradura Calabatini Martini Image

  • 1 1/2 oz. Herradura Reposado
  • 1/2 oz. Monin Pumpkin Spice Syrup
  • 3 oz. half-and-half

Add ice to shaker and the ingredients in the order listed above. Shake well and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with cinnamon

Absolut - Swedish Fish

Swedish Fish
Swedish Fish Cocktail Image

  • 2 oz. ABSOLUT Vodka
  • 1 oz Rose's lime juice
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • 2 oz cranberry juice

Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a Swedish Fish Candy.

Partida - Suavecita

Suavecita
Suavecita Cocktail Image

  • 1 1/2 oz. Partida Reposado Tequila
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters
  • 1/2 oz. Aperol Orange Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. Dry Vermouth
  • 1/2 oz. Sweet Vermouth

Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. - Jacques Bezuidenhout, San Francisco

Spooky Drinks

Halloween is a very special time of year. It's a time when people don't just drink, they drink while wearing inflatable sumo-wrestler bodies, skin-tight fake-nude bodysuits, and half-assed last-minute ghost sheets. Ridiculous outfits such as these demand equally ridiculous beverages. That's why every October, blogs and drink websites fill up with recipes for Halloween cocktails. These drinks usually fall into the same few categories -- drinks that look like blood, drinks that feature fake snot or other non-blood fake bodily fluids, and drinks that glow green. However, I think all of those drinks are boring. I mean, how many Halloweens in a row can you swallow coagulated faux-boogers suspended in blood-colored vodka without thinking "Ho-hum"?

I think we need new Halloween cocktails -- cocktails that match the sheer stupidity and silliness of inflatable costumes and skin-tight bodysuits. That's why for this year I have some new, actually scary suggestions for drinks to serve at your Halloween party:

  • Flaming Anything -- If there's one thing that Drew Barrymore, Paul Newman, and Smokey the Bear have all taught us, it's that fire is scary. It can burn down forests, destroy office buildings, and be controlled by evil children (and/or arsonists). Flaming drinks like B-52s give partygoers a terrifying thrill that their Bride-of-Frankenstein wigs could be set ablaze with every sip. Or if you really want to scare people, serve straight flaming overproof liquor, and let them be terrified by the health consequences of swallowing unadulterated Everclear.

  • Galliano -- Serve on the rocks; tell people it's pee.

  • Gin and Tonic with a Fake Finger -- Simple, refreshing, creepy. Mix a gin and tonic in a highball glass and add a fake finger purchased from a Halloween supply store. I promise you that this is creepier than any blood-colored drink you could concoct, although feel free to add a swirl of red food coloring if you want to make the finger look fresh.

  • Black Balsam -- This bitter liqueur is manufactured in Latvia, where it is made from a secret combination of 24 ingredients "from the forest." Poured from a creepy deep-brown bottle, the drink itself is dark and viscous, like motor oil. Even better, Black Balsam also looks like the alien goo from The X-Files that turned into worms and possessed people. Pour shots, tell everyone it's the X-Files stuff, and hope that no one bleeds toxic green blood.

  • Candy Cocktail -- Experience the horror of a fake-tasting, headache-inducing sugar rush. Mix the contents of four Pixie Sticks with two parts green-apple vodka over ice; top with Smirnoff Ice. Plus! Your guests also get the bonus horror of future cavities. Now, that is the mark of a true host -- sending your guests home with a gift.


Meg Favreau is a writer and comedian living in Philadelphia, PA. Read her blog at www.ihearyoulikestories.com.

10 Cane Rum - Pumpkin Nog

Pumpkin Nog
Pumpkin Nog Cocktail Image

  • 12 Eggs
  • 5 cup Whole Milk
  • 750 ml. Bottle 10 Cane Rum
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/2 pound Superfine Sugar

Separate eggs. Place egg whites in the refrigerator. In a mixing bowl, beat yolks until creamy. Gradually add ¼ lb. of sugar, beating at high speeds until thick. Stir in milk, 10 Cane, vanilla, cinnamon, and pumpkin puree. Place in refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours. Remove egg whites from the refrigerator and beat until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1/4 lb. sugar, beating into stiff peaks. Fold the chilled 10 Cane mixture into egg whites. Serve in a martini glass.

Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and a dollop of whipped cream. Serves 15.

Created by: Tony Abou-Ganim, Master Mixologist

Plymouth Gin - Thanksgiving Drinks

There is no better way to toast the historical landing on Plymouth Rock than with historical Plymouth Gin. The unmistakable smooth taste of Plymouth's 400 year-old recipe lends itself well to innovative and delicious cocktails. This Thanksgiving show friends and family the thanks they deserve by serving custom made Plymouth cocktails created by renowned bartenders. Whether you serve these drinks before, during or after the holiday, both The Gobbler and Mayflower Martini concoctions are sure to make an impression.

The Gobbler
The Gobbler Cocktail Image

  • 1 1/2 oz. Plymouth Gin
  • 3/4 oz. Triple Sec
  • 3/4 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 heaping tsp. Cranberry Relish

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with several dried cranberries or grated orange zest.






Mayflower Martini
Mayflower Martini Image

  • 2 1/2 oz. Plymouth Gin
  • 1/2 oz. Dry Vermouth
  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters

Mix all ingredients briefly over ice in a mixing glass and strain into a cocktail glass. Add a lemon or orange twist if desired, and serve.

(H)Averna Cocktail Competition

After a grueling competition in picturesque Taormina, Sicily, wounded New York based mixologist takes home the grand prize with 'La Cola Nostra'

La Cola Nostra Cocktail Image "On the day that I was scheduled to fly to Sicily, I got into a severe bicycle accident and was rushed to a local emergency room. Doctors confirmed that I had fractured my left wrist. Unfazed I boarded the last flight to Sicily on standby and arrived in Taormina just hours before the faceoff," said Don Lee who emerged victorious with only one good hand. Lee took home the winning title and the grand prize of $1,500, courtesy of Averna.

On Friday, September 12th, five mixologists from around the United States battled for the grand prize on the beautiful terrace of Hotel Capo Taormina, overlooking the Sicilian Ionian Sea. The contestants' recipes were all original, with the only requirement being that the cocktail HAVE Averna Amaro as the base ingredient. Each contestant was given five minutes to create his or her cocktail. Points were awarded based on presentation, technique, originality, taste and ease of preparation. The judges came from Italy and England and included Charles Venexat, Izzie Knolles, Steve Manketelow, Giles Looker, Umberto Caselli, and Francesco Rosario Averna.

Here's another look at the winning recipe:

This was created by Don Lee, PDT New York

La Cola Nostra

  • 2 oz. Champagne Moet White Star
  • 1 1/2 oz. Ron Zacapa Centenario 23 Year Old Rum 23
  • 1 oz. Averna Bitters - Amaro
  • 3/4 oz. Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
  • 1/4 oz. Pimento Dram

Shake and strain into a long glass with ice. Top with Champagne.

Dr. Bamboo - Perky Goth

Perky Goth Cocktail Image I'm a Hawaiian shirt kinda guy. Not surprisingly, I'm also a sunny-weather kinda guy. I hail from a land where sunlight is usually in short supply, so I take the chance to embrace a Summertime vibe (real or imagined) whenever I can. I also try to stretch Summer out as long as possible, and I set a goal every year to wear shorts until Halloween. However, I usually have to put on long pants at least once before then, when the thermometer thwarts my efforts.

Another reason I hold onto Summer with a white-knuckle grip is that when Fall rolls around and the days get shorter, my mood and general demeanor take a nose-dive. Gray skies are bad enough, but when you couple them with shorter and shorter days, it becomes my personal recipe for a five-star bummer.

I do my level best to stay positive between October and March, but it's not easy when your body, mind, and spirit conspire to keep you in the grips of a major seasonally-induced funk. I have to remain vigilant, for this time of year the darker sides of things are always lurking, and any lapse threatens to send me hurtling into their clutches.

I have a sunlamp that helps. Jimmy Buffett CDs help. Making tiki drinks also helps. Mostly, I try to stay upbeat, use what's in my arsenal, and wait out the darkness. But there is a segment of society that enjoys darkness...literally and metaphorically. They seek it out and marinate in it.

I'm talking about Goths.

Even though I dwell in the Hawaiian-shirt end of the spectrum, I can appreciate Goths. They've got their own dress code, music, movies, and activities...just like booze nerds and scores of other social subcultures. And I spent a lot of Saturday afternoons watching flicks from Roger Corman and Hammer Studios, so I get the allure of creepy castles, bats and weird happenings by torchlight.

But I love when stereotypes get broken. Goths have long been maligned as gloomy cape-wearers on a perpetual downer. This may have been true early on, but as with most cultures, things rarely remain static and subgroups appear. Goths are no different. Goth is now a big tent, and a lot of folks are huddling under it, shying away from the light. Or not. Case in point: Perky Goths.

Now the last thing I'm going to do is engage in clumsy, gross generalizations and attempt to describe the Perky Goth. I suggest you enter the term into your favorite internet search engine and let the info wash over you. Suffice to say I think the Perky Goth is a fascinating paradox...just the kind of walking contradiction I love. Making cocktails often involves combining contradictory elements too, so I think we've got some common ground here.

And to that end, I've decided they've earned their own drink. Raise a glass and salute those who somehow embrace both the sun and the clouds. Because it can't be dark and scary ALL the time.

Perky Goth

  • 2 oz. London dry gin
  • 1/2 oz Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
  • 1/4 oz. Torani Blood Orange syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. Absinthe
  • 1 dash Fee's Whiskey Barrel Aged bitters

Combine everything in a shaker and add ice. Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon.

~ A Dr. Bamboo original creation


Who is Dr. Bamboo? Some say he is a renegade scientist who renounced his original field of study to dedicate himself to the advancement of cocktail culture. Others claim he is a powerful shaman who practices the forbidden arts of a long-forgotten civilization. Still others maintain he is actually a traveler from a faraway world, sent to our planet as an ambassador of intergalactic fine living. Whatever the truth may be, one thing is certain: He makes a mean Martini. When he's not foraging for obscure drink ingredients and vintage barware, Dr. Bamboo works as a freelance illustrator and is the drinks columnist for Bachelor Pad Magazine.

Beam - (rī)1

Ri Premium Rye Whiskey Bottle Image Beam Global expands its award-winning whiskey portfolio with the introduction of (rī)1 Whiskey, the company's first ultra-premium rye whiskey. Debuting nationwide this October in limited quantities, (rī)1 (pronounced "rye one") is set to elevate the ultra-premium whiskey category, offering consumers a refined flavor, a striking look and a new take on cocktail couture.

"The traditional rye whiskey category takes on a modern look and feel with the introduction of (rī)1," said Mara Melamed, Brand Manager, (rī)1 Whiskey. "(rī)1 Whiskey is a cutting-edge spirit for today's top tastemakers and cocktail drinkers who are looking to expand their ultra-premium spirits repertoire. (rī)1 brings cocktails to life by celebrating smooth rye flavor notes, and its stylish packaging and simple name showcase a fresh take on a classic spirit."

Bottled at 92 proof, (rī)1 features a light, slightly spicy flavor and a long, luxurious finish. Straight, the nose offers a gentle, peppery nod to its rye heritage. Cut with water, the scents of dried fruit and cinnamon push to the front, providing a rich palate experience.

Spirits expert F. Paul Pacult, editor of F. Paul Pacult's Spirit Journal, reports rye whiskey is experiencing new found popularity. "Straight rye whiskey is a bona fide comer because the increasingly sophisticated American palate is searching for new and exciting high-end spirits."

Hendrick's - Tawny Orange Jelly Sour

Tawny Orange Jelly Sour

Hendrick's Gin Tawny Orange Jelly Sour
 Cocktail
 Image

  • 1 2/3 oz. Hendrick's Gin
  • 1 tsp. Orange Marmalade
  • 2/3 oz. Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 oz. Honey Syrup

Assemble all the ingredients except the garnish in a mixing glass with ice and shake well. Strain through a tea strainer into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a flamed orange peel and a spiral of orange on the rim of the glass.

Dubonnet Rouge - Winter Drinks

Dubonnet Rouge's port-like flavors with notes of cherry, mint and walnut are the perfect addition to the winter months. Noted mixologist Jim Meehan of PDT in New York City has created two seasonal cocktails featuring Dubonnet. The Royal Pomme Punch is perfect for holiday parties and the Single Malt Sangaree served hot is a great way to warm up your guests throughout the winter months. Both recipes are below.

Royal Pomme Punch (Makes 12 Servings)
Royal Pomme Punch Image

  • 3/4 bottle Dubonnet Rouge
  • 12 oz. Apple Brandy (such as Laird's Bonded or Calvados)
  • 24 Dashes of Angostura Bitters (or 3 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram)
  • 3 oz. Fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 12 oz. Champagne

Add Dubonnet, apple brandy, orange juice and bitters to a pitcher filled with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled punch bowl. Garnish with a block of ice (use a small Tupperware container as the mold; pull the block out of the freezer 15 minutes before use to allow it to thaw sufficiently to remove it from the mold). Top with champagne and serve.

Single Malt Sangaree

  • 1 oz. Dubonnet Rouge
  • 2 oz. Paumanok Cabernet Franc
  • 1 oz. Oban 14 Year Old (highland malt or blended scotch can be substituted)
  • 3/4 oz. Grand Marnier
  • 1 barspoon of demerara syrup (or teaspoon of sugar in the raw)
  • 1 6-inch cinnamon stick

Add everything to a crock pot and heat until almost boiling. Pour into a heat-proof mug and twist an orange peel over the surface before serving. Garnish with a fresh cinnamon stick.

Agua Luca - La Roma

La Roma Cocktail Image Agua Luca Brazilian Cachaça, is also an ideal candidate for winter cocktails. Toast the holidays with La Roma - Portuguese for pomegranate - served in a champagne flute, created by Courtney Bissonnette of Toro restaurant in Boston.

La Roma

  • 2 oz Agua Luca
  • 1 oz Pama pomegranate Liqueur
  • 1/2 grenadine
  • Juice of 1 lime

Shake over ice, strain into flute, top with rose cava or champagne (garnish with a few pomegranate seeds). Serve in a champagne flute. It can also be served as a punch.

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