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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.