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Twelve Months of Cocktails pt 2 | Manolo for the Big Girl

Twelve Months of Cocktails pt 2

Ready for some more cocktails? Lord knows I am.

I was ready at about 8:30 this morning when I discovered Château Gâteau had been bodily lifted in the night and set down somewhere in the frozen and dreary north.

Okay, that’s not entirely true, but it IS cold and rainy and miserable and as I have a well-established bais against anything coming out of the sky, trying to hit me (rain, frogs, fuselage, whatever) I’ve been giving the stink eye to every single person who has told me “we need the rain.”

And yeah, I know we do, I think the Plumcake Familial Holdings include a half a ranch somewhere in Texas (No, I don’t know where. Frankly –and this goes for keys, phones and lipglosses too– if I can’t fit it discreetly into my bra, I’m not going to remember where I put it) but that doesn’t mean I have to like the stuff.

Let’s get ready to pour!

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April – Sazerac

I’ve written somewhere only –uh, well I can’t say what since it’s a family blog, but trust me when I say everyone’s got one and it’s NOT an opinion– drink absinthe, and I maintain this is true. HOWEVER.  It’s still tasty when combined with rye, bitters and sugar to form the official cocktail of New Orleans: The Sazerac.

The Sazerac

3 oz rye whiskey (ideally Sazerac, of course)
1 oz absinthe or Pernod
2 sugar cubes or a tablespoon simple syrup
several dashes bitters (you want Peychaud’s for historical accuracy)

If using sugar cubes, douse the cubes with bitters in the bottom of a cocktail shaker and muddle until sloppy, add remaining ingredients and ice. Shake, then strain into a chilled rocks glass. The Sazerac is served neat with a twist of lemon on the edge. If you want to impress your friends, learn how to pare a horse’s neck. It’s an entire peel in one spiral.the beginnings of a horse's neck

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May – Mint Julep

The Kentucky Derby is run the first Saturday in May and Mint Juleps are served all around. As with all the best southern things, one really must stand on tradition with the Mint Julep. Ideally you want to drink this in a sterling silver julep cup (I travel with my own) but an extra-cold rocks glass will do. Be sure to snip off the straw close to the rim of the glass. You want to smell the mint as you drink. Be warned: this is pretty much booze and sugar so take it easy.

mint julep

In a silver cup full of crushed ice, pour in one tablespoon of mint-infused simple syrup. If you don’t have mint simple syrup, muddle a few leaves of mint in the bottom of the glass with plain simple syrup. Stir. Fill the cup with bourbon, stir again and garnish with a sprig of mint and a short-clipped straw.

You may dust some powdered sugar on top –and a red rose petal if you’re being precious on race day– but it’s really not necessary. Be careful.

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June – Bee’s Knees

A silly little cocktail, but very refreshing.

2 oz gin
1 oz lemon juice
1 tbs honey
splash hot water

Pour honey and hot water into cocktail shaker and shake until dissolved. Add lemon juice and gin, fill with ice, shake and strain into anything that holds liquid. Garnish with an orange or lemon wedge. Simplicity itself.

bees_knees

6 Responses to “Twelve Months of Cocktails pt 2”

  1. LL January 29, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    I’ve been feeling really under the weather the past two days. Gin has healing properties, right?

  2. Plumcake January 29, 2010 at 6:02 pm #

    Absolutely! It prevents (maybe) the bubonic plague! Plus it was invented by a doctor.

  3. LL January 29, 2010 at 6:38 pm #

    It has been shown that gin 100% doesn’t NOT prevent the plague, premature balding, gingivitis or bad accessory choices.

    Let’s go!

  4. Evie January 30, 2010 at 9:38 pm #

    It’s never too early in the season for a mint julep, right? Adding “proper julep cups” to my bar wish list for spring.

    Plummie, I’d love to hear your opinion on the rising popularity of Prohibition-era cocktails. I, for one, like to think it’s all backlash against years of vodka-based designer “blank-tinis” and their associated reign of terror…

  5. Heather January 31, 2010 at 3:05 am #

    I know that a lot of jerks (yeah, and that other word) like absinthe. People who are drinking *anything* in order to “look cool” can smooch my plump posterior.

    However, some absinthe can be really lovely and tasty if properly served. (I will grant that I can sometimes be a jerk–and worse–but I’m not sure that it’s affecting my opinion here.) I do prefer to imbibe it at home, with friends, so I know I’ve got the good stuff; also, it keeps pretentious gits from bothering me while I drink. My strong preference thus far is for bleue absinthes, although my experimentation has been limited after finding my favorite: Artemisia-Bugnon’s “La Clandestine.” (No affiliation, unfortunately.) It’s wonderful on its own once you figure out what proportion of water to absinthe works for you, and it makes a lovely “Death in the Afternoon.” If you ever have a chance, give it a try. (Or, hey, if you’re ever in NW Ohio, come by for a drink!)

    Sorry for the long ramble, but as a fan of absinthe, this blog, and your textual stylings, I just had to pipe up. Thanks for the drink recipes…Bee’s Knees is on my “must try” list, although I’m also curious as to what it would be like with some of the new honey liqueurs out there. Have you ever experimented with those?

  6. raincoaster January 31, 2010 at 3:41 am #

    I drink a lot of gin, and I’ve never had the plague!

    Also, absinthe turns your mouth into a place old spiders go to die. If a beverage is not fit to drink straight, it’s just not fit to drink. Absinthe, Creme de Violettes, and that Hungarian Pear Liqueur are all in this category.

    Except…for the Sazerac. The Sazerac (like the Turkey Feather) is more than the sum of its parts and is glorious enough to justify the existence of all its parts.

    (Note I said much the same on another blog, and the La Fee Absinthe people were still nice enough to comment and offer my readers a discount so they could make up their own minds. At least the evidence indicates that absinthe makes you fearless!)