|Bar None Drink Recipes Newsletter|
Dear Lucky Leprechaun,
Ah, the month of Green!
I will be attending the Bar and Nightclub Show in Vegas March 1-4. Armed with my notebook and a camera, I'll strive to let you know how the event goes. If you are going to be there, please drop me a line and let me know
Please be smart, don't drink and drive! Enjoy the following recipes in moderation and take a cab if you need one.
O.k., so, as far as holidays go, there aren't a whole lot of them based around drinking, or even associated with drinking. Sure, there're plenty of jokes around linking family gatherings in Decembertime to nascent alcoholism, and the summer holidays (which we have in abundance in the U.S. of A., and I must confess to ignorance of the holiday schedule to my northern neighbors) are certainly good for downing a few beers, but these links are tenuous at best. There is only one holiday that is really synonymous with getting blitzed, and that holiday is St. Patrick's Day (on this side of the Pond anyway). In the worst stereotypical way, this holiday is responsible for reinforcing the notion of the drunken Irishman. In that same stereotypical way, I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite Irish drinking songs.
Two things of import here: first, I don't think that all Irish are drunks. I just like the songs they sing. Second, some of the Irish ballads I mention here are politically charged, and I have absolutely no political leanings on the subject whatsoever. Truth be told, before I learned the songs, I was mostly ignorant of the whole history of the region. The American public school system tends to skip over what they consider other country's civil strife.
The first song that comes to mind is that of a roving brigand, who is himself somewhat modeled after Robin Hood, albeit a more amoral version of the hero. The song is Whiskey in the Jar. Many folks have heard this song as reimagined by Thin Lizzy or Metallica. The short synopsis is this: our main character takes a hike, meets up with a corrupt military commander and robs him blind as he the captain was counting his latest haul. The hero takes the money home and shows it to his girlfriend, Jenny (or Molly, depending on the version you believe), who pledges her ever-lasting love. Exhausted, he goes off to bed, to dream of the life he'll lead now that he's got this big score. Jenny, ever the ungrateful kept woman, decides she can get rid of our hero and get on the good side of the law by turning him in to the captain. After that, the story gets a bit fuzzy, with some versions assuring our hero's well-being, and others not ending quite so well.
The next song I particularly enjoy is The Wild Rover. The tale told by the ballad isn't all that complex, and can basically be reduced to a single punchline somewhat akin to the opening salvo of Beauty and the Beast. What I really enjoy about this song is the rousing chorus, which can literally be maintained by even the drunkest singers. A variant of the chorus also includes an invitation for fellow singers to flash you, which could have results ranging from very good to very, very bad. Use your best judgment. (Yes, I realize the irony in imploring people likely in an inebriated state to use their best judgment, but I suspect that there is an inverse relationship between your ability to judge and the possibility of being flashed by someone you would find unpleasant. The drunker you are, the less you care, and so the lack of judgment is less important.)
One of my favorites from a historical perspective is Come out ye Black and Tans, a song written to celebrate the Irish rebellion of the early 20th century. I suppose the reason it sticks with me is due to the popularity of the 'Black and Tan' beverage. My history is still a little rusty, but the basic explanation goes something like this: the Black and Tans were a British military unit that was under funded to the point they had to wear non-matching uniforms. This unit fought in Africa and the Middle East, and also participated with crushing part of Irish uprising. (Again, apolitical here, with less knowledge than I'd like, but this is how the song goes.) Anyway, the song is written by the son of one of the Irish soldiers that fought against the Black and Tans, and he tells the story of how his father got blitzed every night and walked through the streets of Dublin inciting veterans from the other side to come out and fight him. The song is so full of righteous indignity, it makes anyone want to go out and make right what they perceive to be wrong.
O.k., so this one was a bit longer than some of my previous musings, and I haven't even scratched the surface of great drinking songs. Maybe we'll go through a couple more next month. 'Til then, keep watching the skies...ooops, wrong column...Caw!
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 email@example.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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All-Irish Black & Tan
From a chilled bottle, fill a clean pint glass just over halfway with Smithwick's Ale. Open a chilled can of Guinness Draught. The head will rise. Prepare to pour. Place your Black & Tan spoon (regular spoon will also work) face down on the rim of the glass and slowly pouryour newly opened Guinness Draught over it. When the Guinness has risen to just proud of the rim, you're ready to enjoy the distinct pleasures of The All-Irish Black and Tan.
Pour Guinness into champagne flute. Add champagne carefully, so it does not mix with Guinness, and serve.
Original Half & Half
From a chilled bottle, fill a clean pint glass just over halfway with Harp Lager. Open a chilled can of Guinness Draught. The head will rise. Prepare to pour. Place your Half & Half spoon (regular spoon will also work) face down on the rim of the glass and slowly pour your newly opened Guinness Draught over it. When the Guinness has risen to just proud of the rim, you're ready to enjoy the distinct pleasures of The Original Half & Half.
You may have seen what the most elite trendsetters are wearing at NYC Fashion Week, but did you see what luxury cocktails they were sipping at the bar? At the Cynthia Rowley show on Feb. 16, a sexy crowd of guests, stylists and models sipped the Basil Hayden Wish - a tangy, passion-colored cocktail inspired by the rich red hues and wishbone shape featured in Rowley's Fall 2009 collection.
Tailored specifically for Rowley, the Basil Hayden Wish embodies her assertive, whimsical spirit. The cocktail is a refreshing twist on the typical Fashion Week beverage staples - champagne or vodka - and is sure to become the choice cocktail for the 'It' crowd...starting a few trends of its own.
Basil Hayden Wish
Shake all but champagne and strain into a chilled champagne flute. Top with champagne and serve with a small fresh strawberry on the rim.
Drinking while cooking is one of the great (and dangerous) joys in life. I'm not advocating getting sloshed and wielding a santoku knife (even if you won't miss your fingertips, your dining companions probably don't want to find them in the cole slaw). But a fresh cocktail or nice glass of wine, sipped while sautéing, is a beautiful thing.
Recently, however, I started thinking: is there a way to make drinking while cooking more seamless? Some sort of black magic, perhaps, that could form a stronger bond between the two?
The closest thing I have to spells are recipes, though, so I decided to look at those instead of finding a magical advisor. I figured there had to be a way to adapt an existing recipe for my unholy purposes. Then I realized the obvious: the booze had to be in the food.
Now, don't worry, I'm not advocating making a soup broth entirely of gin (if nothing else, that'd be a damn expensive broth) or cracking open a coconut to sip on half-shell (seriously, opening coconuts is annoying). Nor am I going to give you some silly recipe where there's two tablespoons of Cointreau lost in an entire cake. I'm talking about a very simple and ridiculous thing: root vegetable cups. I adapted a recipe for bourbon-roasted root vegetables so first you drink bourbon out of a root vegetable, then you roast the cups. Is it kind of cheesy? You bet. Fun? Totally.
Roasted Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes, adapted from Good Housekeeping
Meg Favreau is a writer and comedian living in Philadelphia, PA. Read her blog at www.ihearyoulikestories.com.
"Guys and Dolls," the classic American musical comedy about rolling the dice and falling in love under the bright lights of Broadway, will return to the stage March 1st starring Oliver Platt ("Frost/Nixon," "Nip/Tuck," "Flatliners") and Lauren Graham "(Gilmore Girls," "Evan Almighty").
This highly anticipated revival not only provides a re-vamped version of one of the best-loved musicals of our time, but it also offers the perfect inspiration to reintroduce a delicious cocktail.
The Dulce de Leche cocktail is an important part of a memorable scene in which the two main characters, Sarah and Sky, travel to Havana. Sarah orders this delicious BACARDI Rum based concoction and absolutely adores it.
To reflect this exciting new production, this classic cocktail has been re-created with a modernized twist. The perfect way to toast this celebrated musical -- the BACARDI Dulce de Leche is the "official" cocktail of "Guys and Dolls." It represents the same authentic elements as the original cocktail, which has been featured in the musical since its popular 1950 debut.
BACARDI Dulce de Leche
Shake very well in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a pinch of ground cinnamon and shaved chocolate.
Le Fleur Vert (the green flower) by Junior Merino
Pour the champagne into a special champagne glass. Muddle the kiwi, basil, and syrup then add the lime juice, G'vine, ice, shake and double strain in the glass with the Champagne.
Pot O' Gold by Junior Merino
Pour all the ingredients in a shaker, add ice, shake and pour into a tall glass. Garnish with gooseberry coins and a basil leaf.
Irish Julep by Glenn Lucci, Louis 649
Pour all the ingredients in a shaker, add ice, shake and pour into a tall glass. Garnish with gooseberry coins and a basil leaf.
I recently read somewhere that making cocktails was more akin to baking than cooking. This claim centered around the idea of precise measurement of ingredients being required for both. And it got me thinking...
If you are attempting to make a quality drink then you should make sure you've got decent ingredients, the right equipment, and are measuring your ingredients whenever possible. Execute your drink with precision and do your best to make it as good as can be, regardless of how elaborate or simple the recipe may be.
But for goodness sakes, don't forget that making drinks should fun.
Since I view making drinks as a type of cooking (but don't get me started on the whole "bar chef" concept), I think there are often times when the process of drink creation requires the reckless abandon mentioned above. Not in the sense of haphazardly hurling liquor all over your surroundings (although that can be fun under the right circumstances), but rather, avoiding becoming stiff and locked into a regimented way of doing things behind the bar.
I'm not suggesting that anyone abandon their cherished and hard-won techniques. Far from it. I'm just saying that whatever skills and talents you've acquired should be put in the service of making drinks in a spirited way. Approach your task with a conscientious attitude and right-mindedness, but never be afraid to try something new. Be adventurous, and try not to overthink everything.
Case in point: While browsing the shelves of my local liquor store, I ran across a bottle of soju. I'd never tasted soju before, and all I knew of it was a vague remembrance of someone once calling it "Korean vodka". Normally I would go home, research it as much as I could, and then decide whether to buy some. But in the spirit of adventure, I wanted to simply let this item which I knew nothing about be a fresh experience, uncolored by preconceptions and other people's opinions.
Turns out I love it, and had a blast experimenting with it in cocktails. I later went and did all the research I was tempted to do beforehand, but I'm glad I waited. I encourage you to do the same. Take a chance on something you know nothing about- You might end up having a great time.
Here's a recipe I think showcases soju well. It's light, citrusy, and not too strong...a good option for people who like something crisp but without too much bite.
~ 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.
Since the first ABSOLUT ad debuted nearly 30 years ago, the brand has become synonymous with advertising ingenuity and breakthrough creativity, with one of the longest-running consumer campaigns that dominated magazine advertising for decades.
You can judge for yourself with their latest from the "In An Absolut World" campaign that depicts scenes from an idealized world as envisioned by the brand, the spot sends a message of hope during these difficult times, suggesting people should exchange hugs and other signs of affection rather than currency. "Hugs" features a classic soundtrack by beloved jazz artist Louis Armstrong.
Fill a highball glass with ice and add the Clontarf Irish Whiskey and equal parts of the ginger ale and peach nectar. Garnish with a peach slice and a mint leaf.
Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.
Dip the rim of an Irish Coffee Mug in Celtic Crossing and sprinkle with green cocktail sugar. Add the Celtic Crossing and then the Iced Coffee. Stir and top with whipped cream. Garnish with green cocktail sugar.
Shake with ice and strain into a 10 oz. snifter. Garnish with a lemon peel.
Still toasting St. Patrick's Day with green beer? Graduate to an authentic alternative this year with the world's number one Irish whiskey-Jameson. Steeped in tradition since 1780, Jameson offers a range of whiskies perfect for every party-goer. Whether served neat, on the rocks or mixed in cocktails like the classic Jameson and Ginger or the more innovative Jameson McCree, Jameson Irish Whiskey is a perfect way to start off a celebration.
For those toasting to a special occasion on March 17, mark the event with the most exclusive release from Jameson, Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve. Produced in limited quantities, this rare Irish whiskey is the joint creation of the four Jameson Irish Whiskey Masters and showcases delicious flavors of toasted wood and dark chocolate.
Whether this year's party is at home or in a pub, celebrate the true Irish way-go green and reach for a bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey.
Jameson and Ginger
Pour Jameson into an ice filled highball glass. Fill with ginger ale and garnish with a squeeze of lime.
Jameson McCree - not pictured
Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake over ice. Pour into a tall Jameson glass (12 oz highball) filled with crushed ice, and garnish with fresh raspberries and a mint leaf.
Jameson Whiskey Sour
Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake over ice. Strain into a rocks glass and garnish with an orange twist.
Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake over ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a cherry.
Muddle three mint sprigs with water and simple syrup in a highball glass or julep cup. Add Jameson and stir. Fill the glass with crushed ice, stir and garnish with fresh berries and mint.