(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
In our house we went to bed at 6.30am, as we waited for the Obama speech, which was masterfully delivered to a thunderous, energized crowd. Every face glowed with hope, tears of joy were rolling down acres of cheeks, the relief was palpable. Then we watched a few pundits in amusement across the cable news divide, as some suddenly found a few nice words to say about the new president…In France people were dancing in the streets, as they were across Europe. I got calls from Australian friends & family who were partying hard on the heels of this momentous election, and of course most wanted to talk about what to drink next!
I’m in a celebratory mood (and will be for the next few days), let’s talk about what sort of victory drink you may be having…now or later.
When it comes to a celebration drink look no further than Champagne. Trouble is that it is expensive. I remember my student days when we used to mix beer and pink lemonade and pretend it was a Champagne cocktail, or, and this a sure way to clear your liquor cabinet and the refrigerator: we made up huge sangria-like punches using reasonably-priced red wine (read very cheap), and added whatever hard liquor we found and chopped fruits into it, and topped it up with sugar for added buzz. Them were the days, hangovers were manageable and possibilities endless.
Nowadays my favorite tipple is the Black Velvet, half sparkling white (Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc) and half Guinness (you can buy those new Guinness cans that make it look just like a drawn pint just about anywhere now). The trick is to pour the Guinness first, then the sparkling wine slowly into it. Measures are strictly half and half.
For those who don’t drink, fruit cocktails are the go.
Here’s a simple recipe for a Rainbow Fruit Cocktail:
1 oz orange juice
1 oz grapefruit juice
1 oz passion-fruit juice
1 oz mango juice
1 oz pineapple juice
1/4 oz lime juice
1/2 oz kiwi syrup
Shake with a glassful of broken ice and pour unstrained into a wine goblet. Garnish with fruit, add straws, and serve.
One of the most popular cocktails – the Margarita – is said to have originated in 1948 as a Dallas socialite named Margarita Sames purportedly hosted a poolside Christmas party at her vacation home in Acapulco, Mexico. The party game for Margarita was to mix drinks behind the bar and let her standing guests rate the results. When she mixed three parts tequila with one part triple sec and one part lime, it was such a success that it quickly traveled from Texas to Hollywood and the rest of the country like wildfire.
To me the word Margarita meant long afternoons spent in Venice Beach with friends, sharing pitchers of Margaritas and watching the world go by, dazed but not confused. The thing to remember when making a really good Margarita is that it will be incrementally better if you jump up to a higher-end brand (and the less severe the hangover). Here’s my own recipe, you choose the brand. For a large pitcher (using the whole bottle of Tequila) you’ll need 2 pounds of ice, a quarter bottle of Cointreau (none of that Triple Sec if you’re going to use a good Tequila) and the juice of 8 to 10 limes. I use a blender, fill it with the ice, pour the Tequila, add the Cointreau and the lime juice and presto! Don’t forget the salt and a myriad of lime wedges. And here is some exciting news for Tequila drinkers: Tequila is considered healthy if used in moderation. Like wine it increases the good cholesterol levels in our blood while decreasing the bad cholesterols.
One of the first modern cocktails to be named and recognized as such is the mighty Martini. It can be traced back to an 1862 recipe for the Martinez. This American recipe consisted of four parts sweet red vermouth to one part gin, garnished with a cherry. The olive came into its own in 1911. Nowadays a Martini is more like buying a bottle of good gin, open it, drink two shots out of it and replace with vermouth, screw cap back on and keep it in the freezer for easy retrieval. Lemon zest optional.
Here are two versions of the Mojito:
The first one is the very recipe served to Hemingway, the way he liked it:
2 tbsp of sugar cane syrup, the juice of 1 lime, 6 to 8 mint leaves, 2 ounces of Havana Club white Rum and two ounces of soda. Gently crush mint leaves and lightly squeeze lime in a cool tall glass. Pour the syrup to cover and fill glass with ice and soda. Garnish with a lime wedge and a few sprigs of mint.
Raspberry Mojito: this raspberry Mojito balances between the sweet and the sour with a subtle mint taste. Squeeze a lime and add 6 to 10 raspberries with a little brown sugar in a tall glass. Then muddle some fresh mint-leaves, fill the glass with crushed ice, add 2 ounces of white Rum and top it up with soda. Garnish with mint leaves and a slice of lime.