|This is why I shouldn't drink alone...well, drink alone and then get on the internet...
||[Feb. 18th, 2012|08:01 pm]
Or, maybe it's a FABULOUS idea. That I suppose, will depend on whether you enjoy the following post. |
(For a second there, it also depending on whether LJ had managed to autosave on a timely basis when my expletive pinky freaked out and nailed the backspace key one too many times. Good news, pilgrims...)
So far, I have found two distinct disadvantages to living alone: I can not get the old couch out of the house by myself. It's not that heavy (for me) but the angle of the exit just needs two people, damn it. Luckily my new life strategy can be defined as "I need help with X. If you help me with X, I will feed you." So, far working splendidly. Except that occasionally there seems to some kind of dessert implication that in my social impairedness I didn't actually hear when I made the deal. Dude, seriously, you'll have to rewire more than THAT.
The other disadvantage, though is that working on a new cocktail pretty much ensures a complete wiping out of whatever chores and plans I had for the evening. I mean, if there are two of you, you can share each trial. So, by the time you arrive at the RIGHT mixture -- or acknowledge that you're completely off track and these ingredients are NOT going to play nice -- you've had what, one and half drinks?
By yourself -- three by the time you MIGHT reach the finish line. WAIT. Before one of you chimes in with "well, just make HALF the recipe, Peasforbrains!" It doesn't work like that. There's liquor involved. And math. Plus the whole art/science of flavors and chemicals and....you want to add expletive FRACTIONS? If you have spent any time doubling or halving recipes, you will know that it just doesn't always work out quite...right.
I can guarantee you: Oppenheimer never would have said...well, let's just make a SMALL one to test it out. HE knew. First you figure out perfect. THEN you decide whether reduction or multiplication will alter the chemistry.
A goal I'm toying with is to blog at least one recipe a week. Let's see how that goes, shall we?
One bottle of cider. I used Strongbow. Mostly because, clearly, I didn't drink enough K Cider...which is appalling to consider...to keep THAT in U.S. distribution. And while there are some very nice artisanal ciders going on (yeah, I'm so winking at you, Crispin) I need a nice not too freaking sweet cider to go to.
So, right. Open your Strongbow. Four ice cubes, a pint glass (look, you can dick around with a different glass size, more fewer ice cubes...but this is going to FIT in the glass without spilling over. And fitting in a glass without spilling over and yet filling up most of the glass...is my idea of lovely presentation.
Pour it in. Tell the cider you love it. (Well, okay, I may have waited until the THIRD trial for that, so maybe you could skip it. But sometimes it's the unquantifiable things that make a recipe...so maybe you want to give it a try.)
Add one ounce of honey liquor. I used the Old Liquor Store, but Barenjaeger should work. Which may be spelled wrong, but if I go downstairs, I'll probably mix another one and well, seriously, this could be the War and Peace of cocktail recipes. I haven't even gotten to the lemons yet and boy do I have a LOT to say about lemons.
Besides, you should HAVE honey liquor in the house. Why mix honey with whiskey when you're not feeling well...if you can possibly add alcoholic honey?!
(Actually, you should add honey because it's got antibiotic properties, which might be negated by the alcohol in the whiskey...so MY advice is to have tea with honey and lemon FOLLOWED by honey liquor and whiskey. That way, if the astringency of the lemon and the antibiotic properties of the honey don't work, the alcohol will ensure that you no longer give an airborne expletive about being sick. Not that I'm a medical professional. But rarely sick, so PERHAPS I'm on to something here. ::shrug::)
Lemon. When you try a cocktail and it's not QUITE THERE. You probably need a shot of acid. NO. Holy Salmon Bits, I'm talking citrus, or vinegar here. FOOD acid, not Kesey acid. (Go ahead, youngsters, we'll wait while you wiki.)
You're going to squeeze two lemon wedges into it. Throw the wedge out afterwards...I doubt it's organic and no one needs all of that wax and pesticide crap oozing out of the peel, coaxed out by alcohol. (Which is really good at coaxing, as ANY frat boy will tell you. Or chef. Which is like a frat boy with a marketable skill and no familial connections.)
Now, here's how you make a lemon wedge. Because let's get this straight, a WHEEL is just freakin garnish. It's like curly parsley on the edge of the plate. Expletive useless. First, cut the head and butt off your lemon. Oh, don't look at me like that, lay it on its side, you know what I'm talking about...and no one cares which end is which, that's between you and your lemon.
Now stand it on end...head, butt, again, this is your private time with the lemon and the state should never interfere. Cut it in half, down the length of it. Now cut each half down the length of it, so you wind up with four long wedges. Now, an amateur would start cutting it into sections. But you've got me to keep you from looking like a dicksmack. Stand one of those quarter wedges on it's butt or head. You'll see that slight white pithy part at the very narrowest part of your wedge. Or, you can get your reading glasses OR assume I know what the hell I'm talking about and have some FREAKING FAITH.
Cut that nasty little bit off. This is where it's clear whether you need to sharpen your knife or not. Although I will admit to a little cheat. If you've stood it on its ass/head and you can see some seeds clearly near where you're going to start cutting, flip it ass over teakettle and try the other side. If that side also has seeds clearly near where you're going to cut, sigh. Pick them a bit with your knive and get them out so you have a slight chance of a pretty slice. But seriously, stop buying crappy asian market lemons (or if you live in the DC metro area, well, hell, our produce sucks so much, you can get crappy ungraded produce anywhere) and NEXT time buy Sunkist brand, which will have fewer seeds, I guarantee it. Yeah, yeah, evil empire, evil empire. You want to change the world here or have a nice looking lemon wedge?
Now that you've cut off the nasty pithy part...I didn't have to tell you to do that with all of the wedges, did I? I mean, I hadn't PLANNED on this being special ed...
So, now lay each clean wedge on its side and slice it into one inch or slightly larger segments. Not smaller. Don't be cheap. And if you don't know how big an inch is, don't be proud. Get out a damn ruler and LEARN it. Okay, if you're a person who dates men, this may cause some cognitive dissonance on your next date, but that's not my problem.
Squeeze in two wedges. (I know, I ALSO forgot we were making a cocktail.)
Don't stop now. Bitters, you need bitters. I expletive HATE reading a recipe where I think well, that sounds LOVELY, but honestly by the time I procure all of the ingredients, I will no longer remember where I've put the expletive recipe! And here I am, doing the same thing! O, foul beast!
Who am I kidding, you're just reading this for the amusement factor. And then you'll crack another Bud Light and...
Here's the thing. You can use Angostura bitters. I'm just not responsible if it sucks and you bought a whole bottle of honey liquor for nothing. You're already online. Bittercube.com (And damn you, quislet, you flavor-instigator-you, and fountaingirl who forwarded the link in the first place, and damn you Brad Parsons Thomas for writing such an engaging book on Bitters.
And I'll punch the next person who references bitters as being "the salt and pepper of cocktails" because, okay, it's TRUE, but seriously, in fifteen Warhol minutes it's become a tired cliche.
Just go to Bittercube, buy the cube, suck it up, it's 12 stops at Starbucks you can't make this month. Oh, boo, hoo. Bitters has WAY fewer calories than a Mocha Caramel Ubergrande Fat Latte Thingy (no pulitzer prize for me, since clearly I didn't research the Starbucks portion of this article...oh, no, wait, apparently THAT'S not that much of a handicap anymore...sigh, okay, that's tapping history for a current events joke, but christ on a cheese nip, I've had FOUR of these s.o.b's on any empty stomach, you're lucky I can TYPE.)
Because when you make this cocktail and as a finisher, drop 12 drops of the Cherry Bark bitters in it; you'll know that my bullying paid off.
And I lied. I haven't had four of these. I had three. The last one I made with Bittercube's Jamaica #2 bitters. That was four. And it was awesome. Although in the name of science, I will allow that I am no longer impartial...er, sober. So, THERE I could be steering you wrong. But if you follow my directions, you can judge for yourself.