Category Archives: cocktails

I Want to Know what Ina Thinks about Daiquris!

Daiquries, of course, are one of the cocktails that make summer, well … summer. And Ina Garten claims that her daiquiri is better than others.

Hmmm … it is worth a look see. BTW, if you do go look see, the video on how to roast chicken at the bottom of the interview will likely stimulate some thoughts about what’s for dinner!



Making Tepache with Brad Leone

Brad is the manager of the BA Test Kitchen and a bit of a character. He is also a new father, and was tasked with selecting a few father’s day gift ideas. Stuff that he would want. As you might expect from Brad, the list is a bit eccentric – like a $30,000 kitchen knife made form melted down asteroids.

And Brad offers a video (it appears at the bottom of the page). He shows you how to make tepache. In cawse you are wondering

Tepache is a fermented beverage made from the peel and the rind of pineapples, and is sweetened either with piloncillo or brown sugar, seasoned with powdered cinnamon, and served cold. Though tepache is fermented for several days, the resulting drink does not contain much alcohol. In Mexican culinary practice, the alcoholic content of tepache may be increased with a small amount of beer.

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I may need to try this!

The Whiskeys You Don’t Need … But Crave!

Around 5:00 pm, I stop what I am doing and head for the living room. Two things interest me at that particular point in time in that place. The first is my favorite chair. It is the type of affair you sink into. A chair that excels in facilitating repose. The second is my glass of whiskey.  I do not drink more than one glass. And I use no ice or soda. These would dilute the pleasure of sipping.

If you are going to sip in this fashion, you do want something worth sipping  In my view, that means a certain balance between smoothness and flavor. Hmmm … and which whiskeys offer that balance?

A quote like this might get your attention

If you want to be sipping the best whiskey in the world, there’s only one competition you need to pay attention to.

Hmmm …

More than 2,200 spirits were entered to be sipped and evaluated at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in April. More than 20 whiskeys from some of the world’s most prestigious distilleries earned awards.

And here is a list of 22 award winners.

I would not say no to the 12 year old Glenmorangie  Nector D’Or

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But I have a thing for Irish whiskey. And so the Redbreast 15 year old single pot might just do the trick

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Go for it!


Room Service Martinis for Courtney Love. What Could Go Wrong?

This falls into the “odd encounterss with celebs” category.

Here is Courtney Love

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A bit of background

She rose to prominence as the frontwoman of the alternative rock band Hole, which she formed in 1989. Love has drawn public attention for her uninhibited live performances and confrontational lyrics, as well as her highly publicized personal life following her marriage to Kurt Cobain.

She went on from that to cross over into film. And so of course, she would stay at the LanesboroughHotel when visiting London.

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Here is an image of the Library Bar at the Lanesborough

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Grunge meets stiff upper lip?

And, as you might expect, delivering martinis to her room could be dangerous.

The phone rings

“Can I have a martini? I really fancy a martini, will you bring it up?”

Enjoy the rest of the story!

New York Dining: Making a Fuss over Negronis

I am a negroni man from way back  More recently, I became an apostate, substituting aperol for compari. It was just easier on the tunny.

And then came the negroni fad. You heard hipsters swearing up an down that life was not worth living without a negroni in hand. And bartenders everywhere knew the recipe. BTW, I am still baffled how the bartender at the Americano hotel in Chelsea did not know how to make an Americano cocktail – but that is another, if related story.

So where to go for a great Negroni in New York? Anywhere. But some bars are more negoni friendly than others. Grub Street offers its top picks. Cafe Dante in the Village gets the top pick

There are a number of variables by which a Negroni can be improved or degraded, starting with the choice of gin and vermouth. (Campari is nonnegotiable.) There’s the matter of proportions; some go heavier on the gin. Do you serve it up or on the rocks? If the latter, there’s the quality of ice to be considered. Finally, there’s temperature. Nothing can kill a Negroni like the absence of an appropriate chill. Dante gets everything right. It ought to. The bar — formerly Caffe Dante, a storied Village coffee house — has fashioned itself an Italianate aperitivo-style bar. There’s a whole page of Negroni variations. The standard, served on tap, is spot on. It’s 1 ounce Bombay Sapphire, three-fourths ounce Martini & Rossi sweet vermouth, and three-fourths ounce Campari. Served with a few cubes, it arrives strong, stiff, and very cold. It’s best to order it at night, when it’ll be served by a proper bartender, rather than a waiter doing double duty.

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The more interesting concoction, methinks, came from Amor y Amargo

As a cocktail bar that specializes in all things bitter, the Negroni is one of Amor y Amargo’s signature drinks. I’ve always thought the forthright London-dry gin Beefeater the best choice for a Negroni and, as it’s the only gin this bar carries, that is what’s used. The vermouth is the equally broad-shouldered Carpano Antica. The drink is given a brief stir, so it comes at you with some teeth. How strong it is depends on the server. Chief barkeep Sother Teague goes heavy on the gin, pouring 2 ounces to 1 ounce each of vermouth and Campari. (He also throws in a couple dashes of Angostura bitters, a radical touch.) His lieutenant, Lindsay Matteson, takes it down to an ounce. Both versions are good — but you get more bang for your buck with Teague’s spec.

Bottoms up! Here’s to your monkey’s uncle!