Monday, August 13, 2007

Mixology Monday: Orange

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Blue Monday Cocktail

1 1/2 oz. Vodka
3/4 oz. Triple Sec
1 Dash Blue Food Coloring

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Baby Bamboo* arrived last Wednesday.

Back in February when I started this blog, I wondered if the Bamboo Babe** being pregnant would affect the frequency and quality of my posts. The answer was yes. In retrospect, starting a booze blog when your wife is expecting is probably not the wisest move considering that most of your free time is spent shopping for baby stuff, going to classes, visiting doctors and renovating half your house. Plus, there's the whole "driving to the hospital at a moment's notice" thing.

It also really affects your ability to participate in MxMo when your baby shows up 5 days before the deadline. When I checked the calendar I realized I probably wasn’t going to be feeling Springtime fresh by the time Monday rolled around.

However, I like to give things the ol’ college try. Mixology Monday beckons, and I must heed it’s call.

But don’t assume the demands of new fatherhood didn’t take their toll. Through blurry, sleep-deprived eyes, I re-checked this month’s theme, and my convoluted thought process went something like this:

“Okay, I need a recipe that doesn’t have too many ingredients…and simple preparation…and I can’t get carried away with the artwork either…Let’s see…MxMo takes place on Monday…and hey, the MxMo icon has blue in it…and oh, here’s a drink called the Blue Monday…and it calls for Triple Sec…which meets the orange criteria…and I think I’ve got some decent vodka lying around…and the recipe comes from this old Mr. Boston book my father gave me…and I‘m a father now…so there‘s like, some sort of cosmic parallel happening here…”

You see, in addition to the specified ingredient (orange) I was working with a secret ingredient (lack of sleep).

Having spent Wednesday morning through Saturday afternoon at the hospital, I realized anything I submitted this month was destined to be quick and dirty. There would be no last-minute runs to the liquor store or elaborate rituals involving garnishes. Cars and cutlery were not my allies at the moment.

So what about the drink? Well, it tastes like vodka and triple sec. More accurately, it tastes like really strong triple sec. As I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, this isn’t a recipe that’s going to bowl you over with depth or complexity. But I’ve certainly had worse drinks, and if you like vodka and/or triple sec, you’ll probably like it.

And did I mention it’s a really pretty blue color…and the MxMo icon has blue in it…and zzzzzzzzzzzz…

*Credit goes to Natalie at The Liquid Muse for coming up with the name “Baby Bamboo.”

** I came up with this one. I like consistency.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Go Green!

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Leatherneck Cocktail

2 oz. blended whiskey
3.4 oz. blue Curacao
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice

Shake in an iced cocktail shaker and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

The Green Man

1 measure Irish whiskey
1/2 measure blue Curacao
1 measure fresh lemon juice
1 dash egg white

Shake all ingredients with a little ice until well frosted. Pour into a medium-sized tumbler or glass and fill up with more ice.

I normally stick to one recipe at a time, but on this outing I'm compelled to do a two-fer. I was paging through Alex Barker's 1001 Cocktails and a drink called the Green Man caught my eye. The list of ingredients looked familiar, and I was wondering...hadn't I seen this drink masquerading somewhere else under a different name?

Almost. I realized it bore a decent resemblance to the Leatherneck Cocktail from Ted Haigh's Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. This obviously left me with only one course of action: try 'em both in an old-fashioned taste test!

Up first was the Leatherneck. The first thing I noticed was the spiffy green-with-a-bit-of-blue color. This is a drink that would not look out of place being sipped by someone/something on an episode of Star Trek.

The whiskey (I used Canadian Club) definitely takes a back seat to the lime & Curacao. Despite this, the flavor still comes through somewhat, and using the blended stuff here is a good move- the milder tone of blended whiskey meshes better with the other two ingredients. Something like Bourbon or rye would be a bit too sharp here.

Also, the Leatherneck has an almost "proto-tiki" taste but still retains a classic cocktail character. A festive quality is grounded in whiskey warmth, resulting in a great interplay between the fruit flavors and the base spirit. Its got a short ingredient list and simple preparation, but it's flirting with a tropical vibe. The best of both worlds in many ways.

The Green Man also pours a nearly identical blue-green color. The egg white adds the barest touch of froth, but if you don't have any chicken fruit handy, don't won't be missed.

The whiskey (in this case Jameson's) is nearly undetectable. The other ingredients eclipse it, with the lemon ending up the dominant flavor...I'd reduce the amount of lemon juice a bit to balance things out a bit more. However, left as it is, this would be a good recipe for someone who doesn't like their drinks to come on too strong.

Overall, it's a matter of personal preference. I'd recommend the Green Man for anyone who likes their drinks on the citrusy side and not too boozy. That being said, it comes off a little lackluster when compared to the Leatherneck, which definitely has more depth. But I suggest trying them both for yourself.

And while you're at it, rent one of those great 50's sci-fi flicks where our men in uniform go toe-to-toe with the flying saucer jockeys. How can you say no to that kind of symmetry?