Need to spice up a bland and pious Easter brunch? Consider the following recipe:
To the uninitiated, the world of cocktails may seem like a labyrinth of obscure ingredients compounded by exacting recipes. While this may be reality for a bartender at a four-star hotel, you can make excellent cocktails by understanding the common components and principles for all cocktails.
In my last post, I told you that maraschino cherries were a necessity for your budding bar. I wasn’t talking about the syrupy, fire engine red variety that belongs on top of your sundae. Indeed, the maraschino cherry is capable of much more!
Maraschino cherries were originally preserved in maraschino liqueur, not the sugar brine where they find themselves today. (More history). Those cherries were sweet, but not obnoxiously so, and they served as the original garnish for the old-fashioned and manhattan. Consider the following tips for improving your cherries.
- Option 1: Make the cherries yourself. You can learn about that relatively simple process here. It does, however, require a cherry pitter. Martha Stewart might not even have a cherry pitter. Amazon does have them though.
- Option 2: Put your own twist on store-bought cherries. This couldn’t be easier. You just need to drain the syrup from the cherry jar, give the cherries a quick rinse, then pour your liquor of choice over the cherries. I recommend maraschino liqueur, but if you can’t find it at your local liquor store, use brandy or bourbon.
Your soaked cherries will be the perfect conclusion to your next cocktail. You may even catch yourself eating them as a quick sweet. Enjoy!
Last week, in my blogging debut, I made the case for the importance of maintaining a bar at your residence. Now, I will expand into the essential elements of your new bar. Trust me, you will be annoyingly calling yourself as a ‘mixologist’ in no time, but first I would like to briefly reflect on my foray into blogging.
1. Beer gets boring
Most of my friends are beer drinkers. I like beer okay. It’s cheap, convenient and it satisfies most guests. It works for the beach or the ballgame. Still, it’s needlessly filling, overly carbonated and usually bland. Even the less bland brews are overpriced and possess names that appeal to the lowest common denominator. No self-respecting gentlemen should purchase Triple X Ale or Large-Breasted Blonde (get it?). There must be a better way to expand our horizons!
2. Mixing Cocktails is a path to self-realization
Save for homebrews, beer and wine are impersonal. The character of the beverage is designed for the mass-market, including the guy who impresses his friends by serving Orgasmic Oatmeal Stout. Without getting too existential, these beverages would exist in their same form whether or not you were ever born (discounting Butterfly Effect, Back to the Future laws of physics, etc.). Now to the existential: buying Mass Market Light should make you feel like a peon in a world that really is indifferent to your purchase/existence/rebate-mailing-in, not the independent and creative man of consequence to which your girlfriend and Ayn Rand vicariously aspire. (Note: despite their similar aspirations for you, never confuse them… http://bit.ly/MOY3C4).
Cocktails, in contrast, are always a matter of self-expression. No two cocktails are exactly the same, unless your bar has hair-netted quality control personnel contracting a nice on-the-clock buzz, ensuring uniformity, conformity, soullessness. Rather, the mass-produced liquors are mere ingredients, resigned to a futile existence but for your masterful pour which renders a sum greater than the parts. Simply put, your creation of a great cocktail is your only potable path to self-realization. As Rand wishes she had put it, you don’t have to have a wet bar to be a Fountainhead. As your girlfriend might say, I’ll forgive you for skipping my Dad’s birthday dinner because you just mixed me a tasty, original cocktail.