Saturday, January 22, 2011

Old Fashioned

Let's go back in time a bit, shall we? Long before appletinis, cosmos and seabreezes. Heck, before even you or I were around.

In what might have been the first creation of a cocktail: a simple sugar cube, spiked with bitters, was muddled into a glass and topped with bourbon whiskey. And a little lemon peel. Simple as that.

Ladies and gentlemen - the Old Fashioned. For old fashioned kinda folks.
From Old Man Drinks:
This may be the quintessential Old Man Drink. It's so old, it was being called "old fashioned" in the 1890s. It's so old, one of the glasses we drink cocktails out of is named after it. It's so old, some scholars believe it was the first drink to be called a cocktail. A potent combination of whiskey, sugar, and bitters that's served on the rocks, the Old Fashioned shouldn't be muddied up with a lot of unnecessary fruit, as some mixologists do. (It should, however, be muddled up, as in agitated with a muddler, so invest in a good one if you want to add this to  your menu.) A simple garnish of lemon peel is all you need to add the perfect aromatic note to this sweet-and-sour classic. 

Old Fashioned
from Old Man Drinks

1 sugar cube
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 ounces bourbon
Lemon twist

Muddle the sugar cubes and bitters in the bottom of an Old Fashioned glass. Add ice and bourbon. Stir. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cranberry Cosmopolitan

Even though this recipe says that it serves, two, I am not ashamed to admit that it served one.  Me.  Very nicely, thank you very much.

As a matter of fact, if I could, I would have put this in a baby bottle and carried it around with me, nipple clamped between my teeth, bottle dangling like older toddlers do.  Ready whenever needed. 

Cranberry Cosmopolitan

(From Cooking Light 2004 Annual – same place the Cranberry Liqueur came from)

Place crushed ice in a martini shaker.  Add 1/2 cup Cranberry Liqueur, 1/4 cup Cointreau, and 2 Tablespoons lime juice; strain into martini glasses.  Yield:  2 cocktails. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bitty's Bloody Marys

Alright. I have heard that you have resolved to eat healthier this year. Good for you. I'm here to support you in any way possible. Like maybe a cocktail with nice, healthy tomato juice in it? 

I've seen your cupboards, I know you have tomato juice or vegetable juice just lurking in there from that time you told yourself you were going to start bringing it in to work instead of Diet Coke. 

Yep, that's the stuff. Now dust it off, I am sure those best before dates can be ignored, and make yourself a Bloody Mary! Tomato juice is disgusting. Tomato juice with vodka and heavy seasoning is delicious. And healthy. You know, for a cocktail. 

Bloody Mary
adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything
makes 4 servings

3 cups tomato juice (I used a combo of veggie cocktail and tomato juice)
¾ cup vodka
Several drops Tabasco or other hot sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, or to taste
1 tsp prepared hot horseradish, or to taste
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
1 lemon, quartered
Celery stalks, for garnish

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a pitcher, adjust seasonings to taste. (Me, I doubled them. That's just the way I roll.)

Fill four tall glasses with ice and add the liquid. Squeeze in the lemon and drop the lemon carcass right into the glass. Garnish and serve. 

For Tackling Bittman, this month hosted by Girlichef.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Cranberry and Pomegranate Bellinis

Want to enjoy all the benefits of anti-oxidants while sipping your cocktails in style? Sue whipped up these delicious Cranberry and Pomegranate Bellinis this week to celebrate the new year. I think they also be perfect for celebrating Fridays, or Saturdays.. even Sundays! They'd even be great for a special brunch. If you are having one, let me know. I'll be right over! ☺

Cranberry and Pomegranate Bellinis
Adapted from recipe in Giada's Kitchen
by Sue of Couscous&Consciousness
Serves 4-6 people

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup pomegranate juice, chilled
1/2 cup cranberry juice, chilled
bottle of Prosecco (or other sparkling wine)
strips of lemon zest (original recipe called for lime wedges)
pomegranate seeds
mint leaves for garnish (if you have them - I didn't)

Firstly make a simple syrup by combining the water and sugar, in a small pot, over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and keep stirring until all the sugar has dissolved.  Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.  (Makes about 3/4 cup)

Next, put a good handful of ice into a jug, add the simple syrup, pomegranate juice, and cranberry juice, and stir well.

Put a spoonful of pomegranate seeds into the bottom of a champagne flute, along with a strip of lemon zest.

Half-fill the glass with the mixture of syrup and juices, then fill to the top with the Prosecco. 

Enjoy - cin cin!