|Bar None Drink Recipes Newsletter|
Dear New Year's Party Goer,
Thanks everyone for another great year! We finish off 2008 with a few recipes, some great articles and the hopes of a great 2009.
Happy New Year to all of you!
We also have a page of this year's holiday recipes...
Please be smart, don't drink and drive! Enjoy the following recipes in moderation and take a cab if you need one.
As we get ready to say 'so long' to 2008, many of us are already thinking of our New Year's Resolutions... and of how long we'll be able to actually keep them. We wouldn't want you to forget your "Get Fit" and "Stop Smoking" promises, but we would like to suggest one that's a lot easier to keep: Educate your palate to enjoy sophisticated and authentic flavors of real tequila, such as Tequila Herradura, and forego harsher, superficial versions of the spirit. But what makes Herradura so special, you ask? Read on to find out:
Herradura's consistent, refined and distinctive taste with a smooth finish is best appreciated when sipped neat from a snifter glass, or when combined with fresh ingredients in a tasty cocktail. For your readers who will still attempt the "Get Fit" resolution, here's a quick recipe for a skinny Herradura Promise:
Caw! And welcome to the New Years edition of The Raven's Caw. With the hustle and bustle of the season (whatever your particular season is), it's hard to find time to really sit down and think. Or drink, for that matter. Or breathe. Add to all of the parties and shopping and gathering, it's a wonder that we don't all come down with colds, or the flu. Of course, this rousing bout of rhetoric has a purpose, mainly to say that I have been one of those to catch the cold, spend too much money shopping and not enough time enjoying, and almost no time thinking. So, for the inaugural 2009 newsletter, I will shower upon you some quick and shallow musings that come to mind: may they brighten your day.
First, has anyone had the good fortune to happen upon the limited time offering of Pomegranate 7-Up? This has been around for a few years, but they only offer it around this time of year. I don't know if it's only a regional offering, but if you happen across a 2-liter in the store, I'd recommend making the purchase. It is almost like a premixed Shirley Temple, though not as sweet. I guzzle more of it than I like to admit to.
A buddy of mine mixes it with tequila when he comes over. Swears by it...I take him at his word. Y'all know how I feel about tequila.
Second...a couple months back I stumbled upon a wonderful sangria at Romano's Macaroni Grill. Kind of expensive, but worth a try. Of course, it's mixed on the spot, so it's possible I just happened upon a good bartender. Further, it's possible I just like sangria.
Moving along...I'm starting to branch out into craft brewed beer more and more. In the aisles of my local BevMo! I've come across some very good stouts. I'd give you the names, but they're likely local breweries that you'll never have a chance at. My advice: check out the beer collection at your local "We sell beer, wine, and spirits from everywhere" store and grab a few bottles you've never tried. Some of the stuff I've found (Devout Stout, if you're in the L.A. area) makes the mass produced offerings taste like, well...an old joke comes to mind...How is American beer like having sex in a canoe? It's ****ing close to water!
Finally, in my small group of friends, I've had a birth and an engagement lately, and I've noticed, among other things, that we tend to celebrate good things with vices (cigars and champagne, respectively). I don't know what that says about us as a species, if anything at all. Just an interesting musing.
Folks, I wish you a happy new year. I offer you this toast: May the best day of your past be the worst day of your future!
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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Courvoisier EXCLUSIF Cognac is the only cognac designed exclusively to be mixed - a must have for the season's holiday cocktail parties.
For hosts planning a more formal holiday party, present your guests with an elegant take on the popular Cosmo and Martini.
Fill shaker with ice cubes. Shake and strain into martini glass.
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a cherry.
If you are hosting a more traditional holiday party, offer your guests a Courvoisier twist to traditional holiday cocktail favorites.
Mix eggnog and butterscotch schnapps in a glass or mug. Add Courvoisier Cognac to taste. Sprinkle with nutmeg.
Courvoisier and Coffee
Simply mix Courvoisier EXCLUSIF Cognac with your favorite coffee, then add fresh double cream to put the final touches on this warm cocktail. To ensure the cream stays on top, pour it over the back of a spoon.
Combine first two ingredients over ice in a highball glass. Add a splash of Blue Curacao. Garnish with an orange slice and lime peel.
Partida Pumpkin Margarita
Rim a cocktail glass with lime juice and sesame seeds. Mix ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Judging by how few economists predicted the current recession and the fact that most psychics are not multi-millionaires, I'm going to venture a guess that we humans are not good at predicting things. Heck, if we were, we'd all be driving electric cars and the people who green-lighted poorly flavored beers would have been drawn and quartered before those hideous products ever hit the market. But we live in a world with SUVs and Bud Lite with lime. So it goes.
Our inability to predict the future does allow for one thing, however: trend reporting. Time Magazine has already listed "Recession dining" as the top food trend for 2008, and with the year coming to a close, everybody's rushing to predict what will be hot in 2009. Since it seems like I have as good of a chance as anybody at guessing trends right, I figure it's my duty as a newsletter columnist to throw out some predictions as well. So: here are my top five drink-trend predictions for 2009:
Tim Laird, known as America's Chief Entertaining Officer teaches us how to "dress up" basic cocktails with seasonal juices to match the theme of your holiday beverages.
The spirit connoisseur showcases how to add a hint of festive color to Tequila Herradura and Finlandia Vodka-based drinks by mixing them up with popular and affordable ingredients such as pomegranate juice, apple cider or blue-raspberry mix. Moreover, Laird's tips will help your visitors optimize their tight budgets and schedules, as they will learn to create an array of concoctions using only two spirits in a fun and easy way.
Perfect Margarita Base
Batch a pitcher for each of the bases and store in a refrigerator until they're chilled. Stir and pour the base in either a martini or rocks glass and add 1 1/2 ounces of your favorite colorful ingredients including pomegranate juice, melon liqueur, blue raspberry mix or blue curacao and apple cider.
About Tim Laird Tim Laird is an authority on wines and spirits with more than 20 years experience in the hospitality industry. A connoisseur of fine wines, spirits, and champagnes, Tim is also a gourmet chef and a master at entertaining and execution. Tim is glib, funny, and knowledgeable and is a veteran of television and radio. Over the past year, Tim has appeared on television and/or radio approximately 100 times and entertains about 50 times a year for business and personal guests. You can download his video here: Tim Laird's Video (roughly 8 MB)
Plymouth Gin Punch
Despite the state of the economy people are still interested in washing their sorrows away by throwing an amazing party. Start off 2009 right with a cost effective beverage option at your next party with Plymouth Gin Punch. Traditionally a drink of gatherings, punch is known as a party beverage and is thought to have come from the Hindi word for five, suggesting the original number of ingredients.
Plymouth's take on punch incorporates an array of flavors including allspice and pomegranate paired with the taste of Plymouth Gin's botanicals and champagne.
Cranberry Spice Margarita
In a mixing glass, muddle fresh cranberries with lime sour and add remaining ingredients then shake with ice. Strain over ice into a Margarita glass rimmed in sugar. Garnish with a pick of cranberries.
The Suprema Sour
Combine all ingredients into a shaker and shake without ice vigorously. Add ice, shake again and strain into a coup glass. Garnish with 3 drops of Angostura bitters.
Pour all the ingredients in a shaker, add ice, shake and strain into a cocktail glass.
I have a friend who refers to New Year's Eve as "amateur night." He makes a strict policy of not going anywhere outside his house on the evening of December 31st. It doesn't matter whether the festivities take place at a dive bar, posh ballroom, or a friend's living room- he doesn't go out. Period.
My friend's reluctance to publicly expose himself to the hazards of the last day of the year are based primarily on his unwillingness to be killed by a drunk driver. Fair enough...I think we all can see the logic behind that rationale. But he also cites another reason- a far more insidious and harder-to-predict phenomenon. We're talking about people for whom the latter half of day 365 is a free-fire zone of alcohol abuse.
Now before anyone thinks I'm going to wag my finger and scold anyone pre-emptively about proper behavior while imbibing, let me put your fears to rest. That is not my intent. Rather, what I'd like to do is simply offer a brief guide to some of the people you may find yourself drinking with if you leave your house on New Year's Eve. If you spot them early enough, you can hopefully take appropriate action and not be caught unaware.
My advice is to do what they do in Spain in Portugal on New Year's Eve: Stay home and eat 12 grapes (it's true...look it up). THEN you can decide if you want to go out to celebrate the new year. Speaking of grapes and the new year, here's a recipe inspired by those exact things...Iberian Dawn
Put first 3 ingredients in Champagne flute. Fill with Cava and enjoy!
~ 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.
Basil Hayden's Bubbly
Pour Basil Hayden into a champagne glass and fill the rest with champagne. Garnish with an Orange Twist or a Cherry.
Hennessy POM Sidecar
Pour all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass.
Shake with ice and strain into a sugar rimmed martini glass. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
PAMA Pomegranate Poinsettia
Mix first three liquids in a tumbler with ice. Slowly add champagne stirring gently. Rim a flute glass with orange zest. Strain into glass.
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass over ice. Garnish with 3 raspberries.
PAMA and Champagne
Pour PAMA into a champagne flute and top with Champagne. Garnish with berries.
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.