Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Drinking Thanksgiving Leftovers

Google “Thanksgiving cocktails,” and you’ll find oodles of recipes. But can you make a cocktail out of Thanksgiving leftovers? Read my latest blog post over at Edible Finger Lakes magazine's website to find out which of your turkey day foods can be turned into a delicious drink. (I swear it's possible.)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Reviving the Apricot Sour

This month's Mixology Monday topic, Retro Redemption, kinda has me stumped. Jacob Grier at Liquidity Preference describes the 1950's-1990's as the Dark Age of Mixology, and challenges us to revive a drink from the "lost decades."

The problem is, I wasn't drinking yet. At least not anything worth reviving. Rum and cokes, Fuzzy Navels, jello shots, Budweiser. A teenage girl's best friends, until she throws them up. Today, I can't even be in the same room as Peachtree schnapps, and the dreaded rum incident got a dedicated humor column written by me on Angstgiving exactly two years ago this week.

History makes me crazy. For the love of Dale*, I can never remember where classic drinks came from, who made them, and why. Some cocktails are best forgotten, like my ex-boyfriend.

But family heritage is my notable exception. Be it stories or objects, I saved everything my parents ever gave me, like the pair of red knee socks with white hearts my mom bought for me over twenty-five years ago. Though they’ve faded and the elastic is long-gone, causing them to bunch around my ankles and slide into my shoes, I still wear them every Valentine's Day.

When Leah and I opened the Lounge, my parents passed on to us their 1974 Mr. Boston Bartenders Guide (53rd printing). I flipped through the classics, but what caught my eye were the handwritten recipes penciled inside the back cover. Tequila sunrise. Daiquiri. In my dad’s script, Margaritas: Fill a blender halfway with tequila and the rest of the way with half triple sec and half either limeade, or pop plus Rose's lime juice. And then there was my mother’s favorite drink, recorded in her slanty handwriting: the Apricot Sour.

Reading the recipe, I could taste it in my memory, its tart flavor known intimately to me from eating the liquor-soaked maraschino cherry left at the bottom of her glass. The trick to making a good one? Use fresh-squeezed lemon juice instead of sour mix, and make sure to add that splash of orange juice. Try it; I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Apricot Sour

1 ½ ounce apricot brandy
1 ounce orange juice
¾ ounce lemon juice
a few drops of maraschino cherry juice
maraschino cherry

Fill a Collins glass with ice. Add brandy and juices. Stir. Garnish with maraschino cherry.

*Dale DeGroff, a master mixologist credited for the revival of "classic cocktails."

No, you're not crazy. If this blog post seems familiar, it's because portions of this column were previously published on this blog.

Visit Liquidity Preference to see the roundup of Mixology Monday cocktails worth reviving from around the world.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

All The Gin Joints

To celebrate the release of Michael Turback's latest book, All the Gin Joints: New Spins on Gin from America's Best Bars, Felicia's Atomic Lounge is holding a book release party on Wednesday, November 2, from 7pm-8:30pm. The two local cocktails featured in the book with both be featured *live* at the party: The Gin-Gin by Leah Houghtaling of Felicia's Atomic Lounge (gin, ginger-lemongrass syrup, champagne) and The Communist by Eric Trichon at Mercato Bar and Kitchen (gin, Cherry Heering, fresh-squeezed juice). Copies of the book with be available for sale during the event, and Michael Turback will be on hand to sign books and informally discuss his latest endeavor, over cocktails, of course.

And you're a lucky duck, because it's also Locavore Wednesday, which happens in the middle of every week. $1 off all seasonal locavore cocktails (like our Hot Spiked Cider made with cider from Kingtown Orchards in Trumansburg, and the Beet Bubbly made with beets grown at Stick and Stone Farm, only a few miles from the Lounge) and $1 off all New York State beers.

If you can't make it to the party, copies of All the Gin Joints are also available locally at Buffalo Street Books.

Buy local, drink local.