Sunday, October 16, 2011

Imbibe Magazine and Felicia: BFF's

Imbibe Magazine is one of Felicia's BFF's. The go-to mag for all things drinkable, Imbibe partnered with Metaxa in a cocktail contest that Leah placed third in; and they published one of Leah's drunken coffee recipes on their website. Now that coffee recipe can hang out on your coffee table like a living room whore because it is included in Imbibe's very first cocktail book, published this month: The American Cocktail. This nifty book contains 50 creative and accessible recipes collected from smart bartenders around the states. We are honored to be included.

And with the book, an idea was born at our kitchen table, over cocktails, of course: This winter, Leah and I will "Cook the Book," or as one might say in cocktail-speak, "Drink the Book." While the snow flies, we hope to drink our way through all fifty cocktails and write about them on the blog as we go. This should be particularly interesting because of my freakish allergies and my lame-o substitutions when I can't have an ingredient (or two or three).

Will we succeed in Drinking The Book? Depends. No. Maybe. Probably not. Why not? Perhaps we'll only make a few, or perhaps we'll make them all. It is entirely possible that we will get distracted by raking leaves, broken toilet handles, the carpenter ant infestation in the wall at home, shoveling snow (noooooooo!), paying the bills, holidays, weddings, Pittsburgh Steelers games, drinking, playing music, and life's other joys and woes.

But we're going to start on the right track, and at least pretend that we're going to successfully Drink the Book. So here's our first cocktail: The Verde Maria (pictured above), which revolves around avocado. I chose the Verde Maria as our first Drink the Book recipe because it is green, and because the ingredients were kinda weird but kinda mouth-watering at the same time, like guacamole in a glass.

Because we couldn't get our hands on tomatillos, and because I can't eat onions (eyes swell here for emphasis), we didn't quite get it right. However, Leah liked the texture a lot (avocado-tequila smoothie, anyone?). A pinch of salt helped bring out the flavors.

Since we can't publish the full recipes from the book, you have two choices. One is to buy a copy of The American Cocktail and follow along. The other is equally exciting: check back here in the near future and we will post a new drink created by Leah that was inspired by the Verde Maria.

Imbibing and inspiration: Yes. Bring it on. Cheers.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Teeny Pies

I know it's been a few years since I made and sold pies at the Lounge, which has ruined some people's lives beyond repair, but good news: Teeny Lamothe is in town.

Teeny is traveling around the United States and studying with experienced bakers so she can start her own pie business, and she's blogging about her travels at During October, she's hanging with the Emmy's Organics people in Ithaca.

Last night, we got to sample some of Teeny's goods, and they were pretty damn good. Her pumpkin and sweet potato pies were both so creamy-dreamy that they didn't need any whipped cream on them. The crust was intensely flavorful, tasting as much like dessert as the filling. Her flour is locally grown at Farmer Ground Flour in Trumansburg, NY, and she purchased her produce at the Ithaca Farmer's Market.

On Fridays during October, Teeny will be selling her teeny pies (perfect for one person!) from 6pm-7pm at the Lounge. Later, when Teeny is famous and has published her pie memoir, you can say you knew her when. Bring your lactaid pills; these pies are not dairy-free.

For those reading this post who are not in Ithaca: keep an eye on Teeny's blog; she may be coming to a city near you.

In other Lounge-related locavore news, Wide Awake Bakery continues to drop by during most Friday happy hours with their amazing fresh-baked bread, and our farmers at Tree Gate Farm have pigs for sale this month. You can buy a whole or a half pig, and have it butchered into whatever cuts you like. We met them when they were piglets. They were so darn cute, and I bet they'll be so darn tasty.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Best of Ithaca 2011

"You can't possibly be surprised," said the editor of the Ithaca Times when he called to tell me that Felicia's, once again, had been voted Best Cocktail in Ithaca by the Times' readers.

Surprised, no. Reassured, yes. We aim to please, and the votes tell us we are pleasing the people. It's always affirming to get good feedback, to know patrons like what we pour our hearts into, to hear that we're still the only ones in the region making cocktails with fresh, crazy ingredients straight from nearby farms.

Not that anyone else would want to do what we do. I spend hours picking mint, lemon balm, sage, and cherry tomatoes; visiting orchards; and popping in on our farmers at Tree Gate Farm. Leah spends a boatload of time in the kitchen, infusing, muddling, and cooking up new concoctions. Our bartenders work their butts off: For every cocktail the staff shake up, they could easily pop the tops off of ten beers.

But the end result is sooooo worth it. Thank you, Ithaca, for your confidence, and for your continued commitment to drinking the good stuff.