Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tom Waits, Boones Farm and Taxis

This month’s Mixology Monday is weird, and I’ve got a weird tale to comply with the weird task.

Andrew at Caskstrength
instructs us:
Let the bawdy, lovely, peculiar and obvious late nightlife inspire you to tell a favorite drinking tale while listening to, or being inspired by Tom Waits.

Summer in Ithaca is like a fairytale when you are twenty-two years old and recently set free from dungeons of the University. The hot sun combined with red wine, late nights and skinny dipping in waterfalls makes you think you can do anything.

I had found myself a damp, basement apartment on the hill, across from my favorite pub (for drinking what at the time was housebrewed porter), The Chapter House.

My best friend Antigone lived at a nearby anarchist vegetarian coop. It was Antigone who introduced me to Boones Farm and to the boy. Skinny and effeminate, with long golden curls, he looked like a prince in tan corduroys. He drove a taxi by day, a pursuit I found so romantic that I called the taxi company and got hired on the night shift.

Late one evening not long after I met him, the boy pulled out a guitar and started playing Tom Waits’ songs.

I don’t remember his name, if I kissed him, or what songs he played. I only remember how odd it was to hear gravelly growling and choking sounds coming out of his heart-shaped pink lips which had seconds before been graced by his girlish voice.

In that moment, I knew we would never be lovers.

I quit the taxi company before my first shift, and Antigone and I spent the rest of the summer drinking Boones Farm by the waterfalls.

The hazy memories are revived only by the sound of Tom Waits’ voice, a stranger’s request for late night drinking tales, and the occasional passing of a taxi.

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Got Rose's?

“And please bring Rose’s lime juice. The father of the groom likes gimlets.”

This request came in an email I got about a wedding the Lounge is catering this summer. My answer is NO. Absolutely not. We will NOT bring Rose’s lime juice.

First, let’s take look at the ingredients in Rose’s: water, high fructose corn syrup, concentrated lime juice, sodium metabisulfite, Blue No. 1.

Rose’s doesn’t really taste like lime juice, and sodium metabisulfite makes my eyes swell shut. I’m not exaggerating.

Now let’s take a look at what’s in Felicia’s housemade sweetened lime juice: lime juice, sugar, water.

Which would you prefer?

To empower you to have a choice (at least at home), I’m giving you our recipe. Stop drinking crap, please. I expend way too much energy feeling sorry for you and I would much prefer to celebrate your enjoyment of quality cocktails. And take note: if you are allergic to preservatives like me, ReaLime and ReaLemon 100% juice concentrates contain sodium benzoate in addition to a couple of -ites. Squeeze juice from fresh limes (we found a great juicer at an antique market and it looks hip on the kitchen counter), or check the frozen section of your natural grocery for a preservative-free alternative.

Sweetened Lime Juice

2 cups lime juice
¾ cup sugar
½ cup water

Heat water in the microwave or on the stove until almost boiling. Remove from heat. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. (You just made simple syrup.) Let cool. Mix with lime juice. Your sweetened lime juice will keep a couple of weeks in the fridge.

For future reference, or if you want to make a smaller amount, the ratio of sugar to water in simple syrup is 3:2. In sweetened lime juice, the ratio of lime juice to simple syrup is 2:1.

Same goes for making your own sour mix. Don’t use that nasty stuff that comes pre-made in bottles unless you want to glow in the dark. Substitute lemon juice for lime juice and you’ve got homemade sour mix. It’s that easy.

Again, NO, I will not bring Rose's lime juice to your special event. I've got something much, much better for that gimlet.

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