Category Archives: Drinky-Drinky

Crystal Delicious

This past weekend we took the scenic drive up to Buffalo to see our friend Katebits and her new house. The plan was to hang out, watch the Olympics, eat a lot of junk food, then do all those things while also hanging out with Heather, then do all those things some more while also hanging out with Amy and mcguffers. In other words, it was going to be a big, bloggerly get-together at Katebits’s fabulous manse.

Before we hit the road, Katebits emailed us to inform us that the menu of junk food for the weekend was expansive, and that she had also stocked up on alcohol. When we arrived, we discovered more delicious vittles than the mind can comprehend, a fridge filled with Diet Coke, a healthy number of bottles of wine, and a brand-new bottle of orange vodka. So, over the first of what would be many meals of wine and junk food, we had a long, wide-ranging discussion of the fortunes of the Sabres and the Devils, and a brief discussion of how there was nothing in the house other than Crystal Light to mix with the vodka.

We ended up drawing two conclusions: the first is that Crystal Light is probably a perfectly cromulent mixer, and the second is that the Sabres’ robot scout, Short Circuit, is probably not the most qualified NHL scout, but is endlessly hilarious. In honor of the robot of the hour, we invented a brilliant new cocktail.

Short Circuit

The Short Circuit: Bleep bloop!

Fill a glass with ice. Mix orange vodka, pink lemonade Crystal Light, and fizzy water to taste. Stir. Quaff deeply and often, in the very best company. Life is exceptionally grand.

[Posted by Schnookie]

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The Holiday Sachet: I Like The Ginger! I Like The Creamsicle!

Because I am a really dedicated, serious worker, I spent an hour-long strategy meeting at work this past Friday contemplating my emergency grocery list and what I was going to do with the items on it. You see, I’d spent the morning, being the dedicated employee I am, perusing recipes on epicurious and ended up settling my heart on trying out this one for cold sesame noodles for lunch on Saturday. That meant I’d have to stop at the store on my way home from the office to get a variety of items including fresh ginger. So there I was in my meeting, thinking hard about what the extra ginger I’d be left with could be used for. My standard approach to excess ginger is to infuse ginger syrup and use it in some kind of ice cream-y cocktail, but we didn’t have any ice cream in the house and I wasn’t about to buy any (we had other dessert plans for the weekend), so as the business-related conversation swirled around me, I cast about to think of another cocktaily use for ginger syrup.

Now, the meeting I was in happened to be located in a conference room that I very strongly associate with late fall and early winter. I’ve worked at my company for over five years, and have spent many an hour during all seasons in that room, but for some reason, whenever I’m in there, I feel like it’s November. So while I was thinking of what to do with ginger, I suddenly got a blast of “HOLIDAY SEASON IS STARTING!” nostalgia, the kind that goes waaaaaay back to when I was about six. I remembered making, that one year, those sachet things where you stud an orange with cloves and tie it up with pretty lace (perhaps apocryphally I also remember putting said sachet into a drawer in my room and finding out what happens when you let an orange go for too long. Again, I might be making that up), and that’s what sparked my inspiration:

I would infuse the syrup with ginger and cloves!

I know. I’m a super-genius. You can say it. After making the sesame noodles (which were delicious and extremely simple, if you’re considering making them), I chucked the extra peeled ginger into a small pot, added 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar and three whole cloves, heated over moderate heat (while stirring occasionally) until the sugar dissolved, then strained it. Easy-peasy, as they say.

So today was the day for cocktails (to be enjoyed with football, of course), and my final recipe measured out as follows:

2 oz. vodka
1 1/2 oz. fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 oz. ginger-clove syrup
A splash of cranberry juice (for color)

Put all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Holiday Sachet

This is an extremely girly drink, because it tastes, as Pookie put it most aptly, like a gingered creamsicle. But that’s a really good thing! And thank goodness it’s tasty, because I’ve got tons of ginger-clove syrup left over. Guess we’ll be drinking these all week.

[Posted by Schnookie]

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Just Like When We Were Kids

Pookie and I took a trip into New York City last month on assignment for my job, and during our down time we had a very hurried lunch at Caffe Grazie on the Upper East Side. We really wished we’d had more time, because they had a really impressive assortment of drinks on the menu, but we ended up having to teetotal. What a waste! Anyway, we scrawled down a little note of the cocktail we most wanted to try, and for the last six weeks I’ve been contemplating the combination of “lemon sorbet, absolut citron and limoncello” that it promised. How best to turn this into something that would make a boon companion to an afternoon hockey game? I mulled it over, and finally decided today that I knew how to handle it.

1. Put 3 cups of ice cubes in a blender.
2. Add 3 oz. of limoncello and 3 oz. of Absolut Citron.
3. Blend until slushy.
4. Add 1 pint of lemon sorbet.
5. Blend until slushy.
6. Pour into 3 glasses and top each with a drizzle of limoncello.
7. Use the drink to take the edge off a lousy day for the Devils in Boston.

A Maple Hoo Lemon Italian Ice

The end result of this cocktail is something that tastes exactly like those little paper cups of Italian Ice we used to get at the end of the day at summer camp when we were kids, only with a boozy kick. In fact, it tastes so much like them that Pookie and I both wondered whether those childhood treats had alcohol in them too. I can’t wait to build on this foundation all summer long.

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Wherein Liz Improves Our Lives Immeasurably

Around Christmastime, our good friend Liz suggested we needed to acquire some Domaine de Canton ginger liquor. She especially suggested we acquire it to add to hot chocolate. We were intrigued, but for reasons far beyond our understanding, we couldn’t find it at any of our regular purveyors of booze.

Now, two months later, we have finally emerged from the desert of Domaine de Cantonlessness.

February 19 2009

DELICIOUS!

When Pookie told a coworker about the ho-cho/Domaine de Canton beverage, her coworker asked, “What restaurant did you have that at?” Why, a little restaurant we like to call our liquor cabinet, now fully accoutered with all the essentials for a classy, scrumptious wintry treat.

[Posted by Schnookie]

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Partying Like It’s 1939

So the other day at work, there I was killing time, listlessly visiting my usual round of interesting interweb stops, when I decided out of desperation to check out the Op-Ed page of the New York Times. There I found a lively discussion of a cocktail I’d been circling warily for the last few weeks: the Old Fashioned. I don’t know what was compelling me to consider giving this drink a try, but I kept buying oranges on my weekly grocery runs and then using them in something else entirely and forgetting all about my Old Fashioned aspirations. But here — in the Paper of Record, no less — was a rambling series of personal opinions and histories of the drink, and after successfully killing off a huge chunk of my day reading about it, I was ready to give it a try.

The plan of attack was simple. Pookie doesn’t like drinks that taste like “nail polish remover”, so I figured this was not the quaff for her. It had to be done while she was at work, on a Wednesday, while Boomer and I are twiddling our thumbs and waiting for her to get home. I had everything already on hand, including the maraschino cherries, and was ready to go. I explained my motivations to Boomer, and she was excited to give it a try, because she could remember her stepfather, Cowboy Red, drinking them when she was young. And so, with a light hand (it is a weeknight, after all), I assembled it as best I could from the New York Times conversation.

Old Fashioned

I muddled about a teaspoon of sugar, an orange slice, four drops of Angostura bitters, and just enough water to make everything moistened. Then I topped it with ice. Then I topped that with two ounces of bourbon (Boomer’s choice, from her old drinking days before we were born), and then I topped that with a splash of seltzer. I stirred it, and dropped in a cherry.

This is a soothing, mellow, delightful cocktail. It’s something that can easily be played with and improved on, jiggering and rejiggering the components to your tastes. I can see why it’s so enduring, and I can see it being something that I continue to figure out as life goes on. (The next variation I try is going to be the Wisconsin version, using brandy and 7-Up; as soon as I mentioned it to Boomer she said, “That’s it! That’s what Red used to drink!”) What I especially loved about having this one on this day is that I normally spend Wednesdays waiting for Pookie to get home by descending into a dullardly, unhappy false sense of tiredness. I IM with her and space out and play computer solitaire and generally fall into a deep, miserable funk. But tonight, when I settled down with my laptop and took a sip of my drink, instead of feeling like, “Aw, crap. Another Wednesday,” I instead felt like, “Ahhhhh. The weekend is drawing near, I’m home, I’m comfy, and life is really, really good.”

It should be noted, too, that my favorite comments in the Times thread were from people talking about learning to make an Old Fashioned from their father, or their mother, or grandfather, or grandmother, stories about the fabrics of their families and cherished, everyday family traditions. One person talked about how his father would make their mother and himself an Old Fashioned almost every day, and after the father died, the mother asked her son to make them for her whenever he visited. And he knew he wasn’t making them right, but kept working. And finally he hit a consistency with the drink that every time he visited, she would accept the drink, sit back, and sigh happily, “It’s just like your father used to make.” He knew it wasn’t, but what she meant was that it meant just as much to enjoy a carefully-crafted drink with a loved one. As Boomer and I toasted each other with our Old Fashioneds today, we both happily noted how much we love having that sort of thing in our lives, the way we all take the time to enjoy each other’s company and the carefully-crafted things we share with each other.

(Posted by Schnookie)

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Wait, The Devils Signed WHO?

So there we were yesterday enjoying a loooooong day of hockey, all ready to break up our monotony by making cocktails, with an eye toward a certain recipe I’d dug up on Absolut’s website, and all of a sudden the news comes down the wire: The Devils have signed Brendan Shanahan.

Yeah, Brendan Shanahan. I know what you’re thinking — surely he died in Vegas? No, apparently he did not. He lingered on, well past his expiry date, with his stink of Whaler-killing, ring-whoring, and being a Ranger, just waiting to bring an extra bitter taste to my 2008-2009 Devils experience. (As if Scott Clemmensen and Bobby Holik weren’t bad enough.) With that news, the Absolut Thanksgiving Cooler got some major tweakage, and I concocted instead a drink we dubbed the Oh Shit Shanny.

Oh Shit Shanny

It’s 2 oz. of vanilla vodka and 2 oz. of fresh-squeezed orange juice, the juice of half a lime, and 1/2 oz. of cranberry syrup*. Shake, then pour over ice and top with seltzer water. Where Shanny is old, musty, horse-toothed and slow, this cocktail is sweet, sassy, delicious and smooth. It’s kind of his opposite, in liquid form. More specifically, it kind of tastes like cake batter soda. A few of these really softens the blow of bad sports news, that’s for sure.

*Cranberry syrup is just one part each of water and sugar, combined as with simple syrup, and then two parts of cranberries added once the sugar has completely dissolved. Simmer for a few minutes and then strain through a fine mesh or cloth. Grenadine would work just as well, though!

(Posted by Schnookie)

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