Tuesday, March 25, 2008
The Grasshopper (in Kung Fu movies) refers to an inexperienced person who has much to learn. The Grasshopper (the bug) represents wisdom, nobility and taking leaps of faith without knowing where you will land. The Grasshopper (the cocktail) derives its name from its bright green color similar to that of the bug. Put all these definitions together and you have a smart green chocolate-mint concoction that makes a satisfying after-dinner drink and opens your mind to learning from whatever experiences the world throws at you.
Helpful Hint: Add a squirt of chocolate syrup and use dark crème de cacao with clear crème de menthe, and you can call this cocktail a Dirty Girl Scout or a Peppermint Patty.
Another Helpful Hint: When called a Dirty Girl Scout, this drink makes a popular shot for 20-somethings.
Still another Helpful Hint: If you do not like mint chocolate chip ice cream, this beverage is definitely not for you.
In the paraphrased words of Master Po, go now, Grasshopper, and guard above all things the purity of your cocktail.
¾ once white (clear) crème de cacao
¾ ounce of green crème de menthe
splash of cream or soy milk
Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into chilled martini glass.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Sometimes it is all about the garnish. You can make a great drink, but people will think it tastes even better if it looks attractive. Visiting your parents for Easter? When you make dad his gin and tonic, toss in some jellybeans or perch a yellow peep on the side to make it festive.
If you are feeling more adventurous, the Lemontini is an inspirational cocktail for celebrating the coming of Spring. It is not quite time for flip-flops yet (though that will not deter some people from wearing them prematurely and freezing their toes), but it is about time to make yourself a tart and refreshing cocktail. All the signs of Spring are here: the birds are singing, the squirrels are getting frisky, the street sweeper is hard at work in the middle of the night (made possible by the annoying odd/even parking rules), the crocuses are poking their colorful heads out of the ground and you, well, you are wicked antsy for some warm sunny weather after another long cold Ithaca winter. Turn the heat up in the house, put on your favorite pair of shorts and a tank top, and invite your friends over for a Spring-expediting Lemontini. And don’t forget the garnish.
1 ½ ounces citrus vodka
2 T lemon juice
1 T simple syrup (half sugar, half water)
Yellow Marshmallow Peep
Shake citrus vodka, lemon juice and simple syrup with ice. Strain into a martini glass. Add a big splash of lemon-lime soda. Garnish with Yellow Peep. Special thanks to Felicia Margot for creating this Spring-is-coming cocktail.
Monday, March 17, 2008
This month's Mixology Monday is hosted by Rick at Kaiser Penguin. The theme is alcoholic beverages with so much alcohol that patrons are limited to one at some establishments. For the record, Felicia is a lush AND a lightweight. She stays far, far away from super-large drinks so she can stay far, far away from the porcelain god. Felicia does, however, like her drinks super-strong, with no mixers. One of Felicia's favorite no-mixer bevvys is the caipirinha. This Brazilian cocktail is potent yet refreshing, thanks to all the limes. One makes Felicia tipsy, two makes her drunk and three, well, Felicia doesn't remember what three does, but she's sure it's great.
2 ounces cachaca
1 tsp sugar
1 lime cut into wedges
Muddle lime wedges and sugar in a double rocks glass. Fill glass with ice. Add cachaca. Drink. Get loopy.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
A plethora of boisterous activities and traditions are associated with St. Patrick’s Day: green beer, a shamrock painted on one’s cheek, Irish car bombs (the drink), green clothing, Guinness, public drunkenness, and the cult-like hunt for the Shamrock Shake (which incidentally is available at the Ithaca McDonald’s). Since St. Patty’s is on a Monday this year, the Lounge is closed so you’ll find Felicia avoiding the drunken barhopper shenanigans and sitting at home by the fire with her favorite Irish drink, Jameson and Ginger with a couple of dashes of bitters. Felicia met this swell couple and their bitters sidekick three years ago at a Jameson tasting and subsequently introduced them to all of her friends. They were a hit and have been the talk of the town ever since. The tough whiskey edge of the Jamo gets softened by the sweet ginger ale, and the bitters add some character and depth. Better than a Shamrock Shake? If you run into Uncle O’ Grimacey, offer him one of these Irish cocktails and see what he thinks.
Bitter James and Ginger
1 ½ ounces Jameson
2 dashes of bitters
Fill a rocks glass with ice. Add Jameson and bitters. Top with ginger ale. Kiss the Blarney Stone.
Felicia loves her fancy drinks, but when Felicia is feeling nostalgic, she always returns to the classics like martinis, manhattans and old fashioneds. Nowadays, classic cocktails are not just for the ol’ geezers. Drinking them is considered cool, in a retro kind of way. The classics also weed out the bar hoppers from the serious cocktail aficionados.
If your childhood was anything like Felicia’s, you grew up on the whiskey-soaked cherries from the bottom of your dad’s and grand-dad’s old fashioneds. The recipe below is one common version of this timeless cocktail.
1 ½ ounce bourbon
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 tsp sugar
club soda (optional)
Muddle bourbon, bitters, orange and cherry in a rocks glass. Add ice. Add club soda to taste.
Friday, March 7, 2008
First, it must be explained that as the sun goes down and night falls, when Felicia lays her head on the pillow and drifts off to dreamland, she has some very, very strange dreams. Last night, Felicia dreamt she was hosting a lively cocktail party where she concocted an incredible drink made with gin, cucumbers and orange juice. The cucumber-orange elixir then turned into a tangerine-colored frilly party dress adorned with pale green ribbons. The guests loved the cocktail, and Felicia’s new fancy dress was the envy of everyone at the party.
Upon waking, Felicia described the bewitched drink to friends who scoffed, telling her the dream was weird and the ingredients in the drink even weirder. Still enchanted by her lingering dream-state, Felicia began to obsessively experiment to recreate the magical cocktail and prove to her friends that dreams really do come true. And she succeeded: this cocktail, strange though it may sound, tastes exquisite, and, well, dreamy…
The Party Dress
1 ½ ounce gin
1 ½ ounce orange juice
½ ounce soda water
½ ounce cucumber puree (peel before pureeing)
Fill shaker with ice. Add gin, orange juice and cucumber puree. Swirl mixture in shaker until outside of shaker gets frosty. Strain into martini glass. Top with soda water. Garnish with cucumber slice. Allow magical things to happen.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
What should we do, Felicia? We want to be burly. We want to be gruff. We want to be manly. But we secretly love foo-foo drinks. How can we maintain our masculine images with pink drinks in our calloused hands?
Misunderstood Burly Men
Dear Misunderstood B.M.,
Felicia feels your pain. The pressures on men today are enormous. If you do not drink cheap beer, you risk being judged harshly by your peers. Fear not, oh-rough-and-tumble-yet-secretly-sensitive men. Felicia has a solution for you. The Black Heart Guinness puts hair on your chest, looks good in a dirty hand, and fools everyone who would not suspect the added chocolate liqueur and cherry juice. Your vulnerability will be our little secret.
Black Heart Guinness
10 ounces Guinness
1 ounce crème de cacao
¼ ounce maraschino cherry juice
Pour crème de cacao and cherry juice into pilsner glass. Top with Guinness. Add cherry as garnish, unless you are trying to maintain rugged image. Special thanks to Felicia Sharon for creating this man-meets-kitten cocktail.
Most people stock some version of the basics in their home bar: vodka, gin, tequila, rum, bourbon and scotch. Who wants to buy some obscure liquor used in a random cocktail recipe found in some newspaper column or online, only to use the liquor once and then have the bottle sit on the shelf getting dusty? Felicia knows you like to spend your money wisely. So if you are going to buy one bottle of liquor this month, you should buy Stolichnaya Vanil vodka. Of all the flavored vanilla vodkas on the market, this one is least likely to taste like you bought it at Yankee Candle Company.
Stoli Vanil is versatile. It is light and pleasantly reminiscent of vanilla extract. For a tart, refreshing cocktail that tastes like key lime pie, mix it with sweetened lime juice and lemon-lime soda. For a special treat, you can substitute Stoli Vanil for regular vodka in your white Russian. For a rich dessert-in-a-glass drink, add it to chocolate milk or hot chocolate. Drink it with club soda with a twist of lime if you are watching calories. And for those of you who do not keep much in your house besides junk food and soda pop, Stoli Vanil tastes great with coca-cola.
The recipe below tastes surprisingly like cream soda. No fancy ingredients required; all you have to do is run to the nearest convenience store for some ginger ale if you do not already have some in your fridge. Make a single drink for yourself, or make a giant amount in a big glass bowl with some orange sherbet floating in it and you have got yourself a tasty party punch for a pile of friends.
Grownup Cream Soda
1 ½ ounce Stoli Vanil
Fill rocks glass with ice. Add Stoli Vanil. Top with ginger ale and garnish with cherry.