Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"You Just Seem Older Than Yesterday. And You're Waiting For Tomorrow To Call."

And A Cherry On Top

When I was a lad going out for dinner nearly always meant the Swiss Chalet.  At that time the restaurant actually had a chalet style roof and the waitresses wore "Swiss" costumes blouses & dresses. The menu choices were chicken, or ribs, or chicken and ribs.  In addition to whatever was on the children's menu and the bottomless pop (served in half-pint glasses) there was always the "Kiddie Cocktail." This was a de facto Shirley Temple, they just didn't call it that.  I didn't care.  I didn't know who she was.  I just enjoyed the sweet syurpy goodness.  Eventually I outgrew the children's menu and it's Kiddie Cocktail and moved on to other drinks.  By then I did know who Shirley Temple was. (I first recall knowing of Shirley Temple while watching a televised performance of a modern adaption of A Comedy Of Errors which included the line, "Surely, not in the temple!" My parents had to explain it to me...)

The drink pictured above isn't a Shirley Temple. I'll get to what it is.  Recently I was searching for recipes in which to use my "homemade" grenadine. One recipe that kept cropping up was the Roy Rogers. While I did eventually grow to know of Shirley Temple I don't think I knew of Roy Rogers until I was in my teenage years and even then, to me, he was just a name.  His namesake drink is an even more recent discovery. I don't know why, I guess western kitsch just wasn't that prevalent in my up bringing.

Anyway, most recipes call for a small amount of grenadine.  Perfectly fine if you're using grocery store stuff that tastes like snow cone syrup.  But with this stuff I think we need to up the ante.

Roy Rogers
1oz home made grenadine
4 oz Mexican Coca-Cola

Stir with ice. Garnish with a cherry. Pull the trigger.

I can't believe it took me so long to make grenadine.  It's easy. Easier and possibly less fun than making Falernum. But still...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

True Dat

 "You can't make an omelet with urban legend eggs."  - Doug Winship

Don't Step On My Blue Suede Shoes

I pledge to make no more drinks with grenadine until I've made my own or purchased  a decent one.

 My opinion of grenadine had been somewhat similar to Mr. O'Neill's.  That is to say it's for sweetness and colour. It certainly isn't pomegrante syrup.  If it were it would be called Pomegreante Syrup. It`s not that, it`s Grenadine. There's usually something else going on flavourwise. Perhaps orange flower, perhaps Jamaica flower, most likely vanilla.  In fact sometimes vanilla only. This is what most people know of grenadine.  Then again, most people think a frozen strawberry daiquiri is a legitimate drink. Viewing grenadine as I did, my use of it-a dash at a time-was to add some sweetness and colour to a drink. I've been able to get away with it.  Then I went and flouted it. Oops.

Boozeblogging is funny business.  We can set aside political divides and all get along whilst making questionable concoctions and insulting each other's lineage, etc. Just don't use grocery store grenadine. Especially not Rose's. And once you've not done that don't not pass it off like its no big thing.

So there I was thinking that an ingredient used one dash at a time and just really for sweetness and colour needn't be anything more than coloured syrup.  I got all smart-assy about it. And then.....

Doug went all "hard shake" on me in the comments; so he should. 

 I'm sorry if I made anyone cry.

Seeing the error of my ways (somewhat like Rick's reveleation about pineapple juice) I've decide to not use any grenadine until I have some actual grenadine.  Not a hardship.  I imagine tasting the real thing will be an eye-opener.

Speaking of an eye opener...

Café au Piment Drachme
0.25 oz pimento dram
8 oz strong coffee

Pour pimento dram into heated mug.  Top with coffee.

What's that have to do with grenadine? Nothing.
Sort of the point...

However, I will keep using Rose's Lime Cordial.  Here's why:

Water, sugar, juice, acid, preservative, colour.

Get over it. Suck it Trebek!

I will also still put Rose's in my toast too.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Oh, It's, ..uh.., Good.... For You.

 Disclaimer: I used Rose's Grenadine. Get over it.

If one searches online one will find a recipe for a drink called El Cid.  Likely named after Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar.  The recipe(s) you are likely to encounter will contain (among other things) Rose's Lime, Midori and orange juice.  The connexion being....Valencia? I dunno.

Anyway, in one of my books is a drink called El Cid that bears no resemblance.  Having, as I did, a new bottle of tonic water and not one in need of using up before it`s bubbles expire I decided to give the El Cid (is that redundant, like The La Brea Tar Pits?) a try.

El Cid as written:

El Cid
1½ oz. tequila
1 oz. lime juice
½ oz. almond-flavoured syrup
tonic water
dash of grenadine

1. Pour tequila, lime juice, and almond syurp into a Collins glass
2. Stir well
3. Fill with tonic water
4. Add a dash of grenadine to top
5. Garnish with a lime slice

from: The Complete Bartender by Robyn M. Feller

So, let's see, we've got pomegranate lowering blood pressure and fighting cancer, almonds lowering cholesterol, limes warding off scurvy, quinine warding off malaria and fighting fever, inflammation and pain.  Then we've got tequila and sugar....undoing it all?

Ok, so it isn't actually good for you. But it is made of things I have on hand and sounds refreshing.  Let's give it a try.

El Cid as made:

El Cid
1.5 oz El Jimador Resposado¹
1 oz lime juice
0.5 oz Tina Orzata
2 oz GV Tonic Water²
dash of Rose's Grenadine³
lime wedge

El Cid

Shake tequila, juice and syrup over ice.  Pour over ice in a Collins highball. Top with tonic.  Add a dash of grenadine.  Leave lime wedge on cutting board and take a photo of the drink.

Turns out this is quite refreshing.  Pouring in the pop and not stirring means that the first few sips contain the most soda, and the most noticeable taste of the tequila.  Sort of like a Tequila & Tonic giving way to a fizz, or a fix, or a daisy, or something. The basic formula then is 3:2:1 of spirit, citrus, syrup, topped with something fizzy and a dash of something. Watch out, this format may just catch on...


¹ I expect that blanco was intended in the original recipe but as I have on hand two reposados and one anejo I chose one of the former(s)
² My spies tell me this is made by Cott for Wal-Mart.  It's damn tasty! Ranking somewhere above Boylans but below whatever brand of Tonica it was we drank in Cuba.
³ I can't bring myself to throw this out. It's almost gone, honest. I will make my own or buy better stuff. Besides, it was mostly for colour in this drink anyway.

Dry Juniper Berry Soda

It's made by these folks:

It looks like this:
Juniper Berry Soda

To me, it tastes like this:

Simple syrup topped with S.Pellegrino in a gin rinsed glass.  Subtle and refreshing.


Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Well, What Would You Call It?

UPDATE March 19 2012: Camper has dubbed this the Pom-Pom. So it shall be.

-drinking vinegar-

0.5 oz cinnamon-vanilla-pomelo syrup
0.5 oz UB Dessert Vinegar Pomegrante Comdiment**
1 oz water
2.5 oz ginger soda

Sake first three ingredients over ice in a shaker. Pour over crushed ice into a rocks glass. Top with ginger soda. Garnish with a candied pomelo slice.

The other night I tried to make a shrub or some sort of drinking vinegar.  All attempts came out poorly.  Last night I decided to slice up some pomelo and simer it in my cinnamon-vanilla syrup.  The result was something that may or may not resemble Don's Mix. Though it likely resembles Don's Mix moreso than it resembles, say, a spare tire, it probably is only vaguely similar. Anyway, tonight I was looking for some refreshment and didn't want to (yet again) reach for a bottle of fizz, corn syrup and food colouring. Instead I combined vinegar, white sugar and fizz, corn syrup and food colouring.

Oh well.

Baby steps, man, baby steps.


*It will also answer to the name Berry White.
**photo, and possible blog post, to follow

Witch's Kiss

-Witch's Kiss-

Witch's Kiss
5 oz tropical fruit juice*
dash lemon juice
dash sugar syrup
0.5 oz grenadine

Shake with ice and pour in to  hi-ball glass. Top-up with soda water. Garnish with a lemon slice, straws and optional decoration.

paraphrased from The Complete book of Mixed Drinks

Sort of the Collins to the Pussy Foot's fizz, or something like that...

*I used a tetra-packaged non-juice juice.  Use whatever floats your boat you consider "tropical."


Oh, The Circularness!

Almost one year ago Erik brought us the Clayton's Pussyfoot.  I now bring you the version (with some minor tweaks) from Schumann`s American Bar:

Pussy Foot
1/4 oz lemon juice (1/4 oz lemon juice)
dash grenadine (freepour Rose's, so sue me)
1 3/4 oz orange juice (1 5/8 oz blood orange juice)
1 3/4 oz grapefruit juice (1 3/4 oz pomelo juice)
stemmed cherry (Twilight Cocktail) 

Shake well over ice cubes in a shaker, strain into a small highball glass over ice cubes, garnish with cherry.

Pussy Foot

Unfortunately I do not have proper highball glasses so there was some room left at the top.
Nevertheless I enjoyed this thouroughly!
However I do think this drink would be equally good, and longer lasting, with some soda or some water added.  Hmm, citrus juice, syrup and soda pop.  Where have I heard that before?


This post is one in an erratic and unplanned series in my lackadaisical effort to make most of the drinks (or most of the drinks that pique my interest) in Charles Schumann's American Bar.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Ginger Ale vs Ginger Beer II

So what have I found out? Nothing difinitive. Some say beer has more sugar, some say ale is sweeter. Some say beer tastes more of ginger, some say ale tastes more of ginger. Mostly the information that is out there suggets that Eric's comment on my original post is on the money. In addition to capsaicin and other adjuncts some makers of ginger beer add a clouding agent to their soda. I suppose this is to mimic the natural cloudyness of a fermented product?

There is some imformation on wikipedia on the subject, both ale and beer.  Of specific interest to me was learning of the ginger beer plant which is not a plant but a specific yeast/fungus/bacteria.  I suppose the cause of my confusion in the first place was the fact that Mr Brown calls it ginger ale and Mr Morgenthaler calls it ginger beer even though the recipes are very similar.  My opinion is that ale was the US term and beer was the UK term for the same product but eventually as we came to this age of mass produced carbonated syrup drinks ale has become the dry one and beer has become the sweet spicy one.

Nevertheless I must make some again. Whether ale or beer a tasty beverage it shall be!

Yerba Mate Chai Latte

I'm going to make some assumptions. I'm going to assume you know how to make tea, and that knowing how to make tea you know how to make strong tea. I'm going to assume you have a device (such as this, though possibly less cool looking) with which to steam milk. I'm also going to assume that you actually know how to steam milk. (i.e. you have a thermometer, etc). I'm going to assume that you will forgive me for calling something Chai when it is in fact not tea. I think that's all the assuming I'm going to do tonight, ...we'll see.

Yerba Mate Chai Latte
8 oz strong Mate Chai
5 oz steamed spiced milk

Pour milk into mate. Top with foam.

It should look something like this:
Mate Chai Latte


Oh, right, one more thing.

Spiced Milk
12-16 oz cold milk
5 cloves
4 whole berries
1/5 tsp Dominican vanilla extract*. 

Add spices and extract to milk. Steam until properly frothed.

*It has just come to my attention that this may not be what it appears to be. Proceed with caution. I'm a little concerned...

Friday, March 02, 2012