Tag Archives: Ann Royal Nicholas

The Josephine

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Seeing Shuffle Along got Muff Julie thinking about Josephine Baker, that fabulous entertainer who was the toast of Paris in the 1920s. Julie wondered what cocktails Josephine might have preferred to drink at all those nightclubs she frequented.  And since Julie is a professional chef, she had no trouble coming up with a cocktail that might have suited Josephine perfectly. It even has absinthe!

Allow yourself to be taken back. Here is Julie’s jazzy riff on The Metropolitan .

 

INGREDIENTS:

2 oz. Remy Martin VSOP

1 oz. sweet vermouth

1 tsp. yellow Chartreuse

2 dashes Angostura or Orange Bitters

1/4 oz absinthe

DIRECTIONS:

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all ingredients except the garnishes and stir. Strain into a brandy snifter.

Garnish with  the following: 1 sprig of rosemary, 1 raspberry, 1 strip of orange peel.

 

 

 

Olivia’s “Uh-Oh, I Drank Too Many”

UH OH cocktailThere are some cocktails that go down a little too easy. If you like bourbon, this is one such drink. Olivia Caceres, a Muff-in-waiting, thought it tasted like an unusual, yet quite delicious, kind of lemonade and she just couldn’t resist. Uh-oh, Olivia!

The key here is to use Meyer lemons, not the ordinary grocery variety (though they’re acceptable in a pinch) and, in advance, to whip up something completely misnamed called “shrub,” which wouldn’t grow in the finest of greenhouses.*

Ingredients:

1 ½ oz. Bourbon

¾ oz. Fresh lemon juice

½ oz. Strawberry-Meyer lemon shrub

½ oz. Ginger syrup (1:1 fresh ginger juice and sugar)

1 dash Angostura bitters.

Tools:

Shaker, strainer, fine strainer, gorgeous glasses (coupe, martini, whiskey sour)

 The shrub:

Combine 1 cup of granulated sugar, the juice and zest of 1 Meyer lemon and ½ cup of hulled, chopped strawberries in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir until the sugar dissolves, remove from the heat and let cool. Strain, measure the liquid and add an equal measure of cider vinegar. Bottle and keep refrigerated for up to 10 days.

* I looked up why this concoction is called shrub and seems to be a bastardization of the Arabic word “sharab” which means “to drink.” We use it to refer to a mixture of two related but acid-based beverages. If you don’t want to whip up a batch yourself, you can buy a bottle version of shrub from—imagine–Shrub & Co.

Mauritzio’s Monster-Mash Martinez

martinezFor my age, I know surprisingly little about cocktail origins. So when I went to the Aviary in Chicago recently, not only did I get to try a cocktail called The Martinez, I also got an earful about its origins. Apparently, it’s some “missing link” between a Manhattan (Daddy’s drink) and the Martini (Mom’s). “I’ll try it,” I said gleefully, thinking if it’s a mash up of Mom and Dad, it sounded like me. “Mauritzio” told me there’s some disagreement about how to make the thing (there’s also some controversy about earliest appearance; some say it’s as old as 1884, others say 1920s) but that the Aviary’s was superb. Fine I thought. I’m a mishmash people might find hard to come up with a recipe for too. And I don’t go around advertising my birth year either.

Without further ado, here’s Mauritzio’s Monster-Mash Martinez

2 oz. Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength Gin
1 oz Carpano Antica Formula Sweet Vermouth
1/8 oz Maraschino liqueur
1 dash Angostura bitters
5 drops Orange bitters

Combine all ingredients over ice, and stir. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Imbibe with vigor.

 

 

Patty’s Perfectly Packing-Heat Party Punch

cocktail punch-1-1Muff wannabe Patty likes to throw parties but can’t afford an on-staff mixologist. She puts out the wine bottles, the tub of bottled beer and soda and lets the guests fend for themselves. But she likes to offer a hard liquor option to those still celebrating the end of Prohibition, which frankly, is all of us. Here’s her Southwestern style party punch, one-bowl wonder for a crowd. She makes gallons of the stuff, taking healthy samplings every so often as she mixes, and stores it in the fridge for later replenishment of her closed-top punch dispenser.

It’s any party host’s liquid liberator and inhibition annihilator.

Ingredients:

First make your oleo-saccharum (no, not a back problem; OS is the way good bartenders get the most out of citrus). You’ll need:

Peel of 1 whole pomelo

Peel of half a grapefruit

2 oz. Palm sugar

2 oz. Panela (aka jiggery)

In a punch bowl, muddle the peels and sugars together to draw the oils from the peels and let sit for an hour. Then add:

8 oz. Stool blanco

8 oz. Palo Cortado sherry

4 oz. Reposado tequila

4 oz. Mandarine Napoleon liqueur

12 oz. Sparkling wine, chilled

The chilled juice of 3 pomelos and 1 lemon

4 cups of cold water

1 cup of ice

Before serving remove peels (unless you like the way they look). You could also garnish with fresh fruit slice. Note: Some of the ingredients can be hard to find but Patty fools around with various similar fruits and liquors and the stuff will still have your guests toasting your mixology skills.

 

 

Fading Frannie’s Midnight Reviver

scary cocktail -edited (1)The Muffs are all over thirty, many with kids, so when Frannie got asked to a post-Grammy party for #AndraDay that didn’t start ’til 10:30 p.m., she knew she’d need help rallying so as not to snooze through the whole thing. Fortunately, there was an open bar and all the ingredients for her wake-up punch. And even though Andra’s record #RiseUp didn’t win best R&B record of the year, Frannie had no idea, she was having so much fun.

Directions:                                                                                                                          Chill a coupe glass (or hope your bartender’s done it) and coat (evenly) the inside of the glass with absinthe.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 oz. dry gin
  • 3/4 oz. Cointreau
  • 3/4 oz. Cocci Americano
  • 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • Scant teaspoon absinthe

Shake all but the absinthe with ice, strain into the glass, drink and be revived!

Deidra’s Damn Dram Wham-Bam

LionsTail cocktail editedMy friend Deidra likes vintage everything–vintage clothes, vintage men (not too many of them in LA, sadly) and vintage cocktails. She also likes to experiment and go off the recipe reservation when it comes to vintage cocktail recipes. Maybe she thinks if she dresses and drinks the classics, she’ll attract Cary Grant.

In any event, here’s her Damn Dram Wham-Bam and it packs a wallop. No wonder the Muffs like it.

2 oz. Bourbon

3/4 oz. allspice dram

1/2 tsp. gomme syrup (or more to taste)

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Pour or sprinkle all this into a shaker with ice and shake it, baby. Then strain into a cocktail glass. Decorate the rim with crystal sugar or an orange slice and mmmmm wham-bam. 

#16 – Spy Games

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Rather than wait for Jack–the guy who’d opened the door of the illegal business a couple of days before and my prospective employer– to call me, I decided to knock on the door again to press my case. Dressing in clothes that mimicked those of the laptop-toting employees, I headed out the front door but before I reached the sidewalk, Buddy intercepted me. He bolted out his own front door and stood between me and the Monster house. I suspected he must have a telescope pointed at my house too. Sure it was creepy but it was also sad. Didn’t he have anything better to do?

“Claudia emailed me,” he said.

“Oh?”

“Yeah. I wouldn’t go in there.”

“Why not? I might be able to get proof of the business, which is what that Phoenix person at Building & Safety keeps saying we need to shut it down.”

“It’s dangerous.”

“It’s not dangerous,” I said, getting an idea that, if acted upon, would be guaranteed to provide fireworks. “Come with me.” Then I thought better of it. “Actually don’t. You need to go back in your house and watch the camera feeds. Now.” I looked around. “I shouldn’t be seen talking to you. By the way, they know about the telescopes and the cameras and if they see me with you, they’re not going to hire me.”

“They’re not going to hire you anyway,” Buddy said.

“What makes you say that?”

Buddy jerked his head. “Look.”

Behind me, Jack was pulling up in one of the three identical white BMW M5s that belonged to the guys running things at the house. Maybe they got a deal. I waved but he didn’t wave back.

“Thanks a lot,” I said to Buddy, as insincerely as I could.

“I know we haven’t always seen eye to eye on what to do about these assholes,” he conceded. “But going in there was risky at best, not to mention a waste of time. I don’t think they would have hired you even if they hadn’t pulled up just now. Like you said, they know that we, meaning the neighbors, are trying to get rid of them. They’d be idiots if they thought you weren’t in on it.”

He had a point but I wanted to believe I’d charmed Jack into thinking I wanted a job more than I wanted them out. I did need a job, after all.

“Where’s that blog you were going to start?” Buddy asked.

“I guess I’ll go start it,” I said. “I’ll join the millions of other bloggers on the Internet hoping to find people who have nothing better to do than read blogs.”

“Yeah but you’re not blogging about warm and fuzzy feelings, like half of those people,” said Buddy. “Your blog will have a point to it. You’ll be righting wrongs and standing up for justice.”

I didn’t stand up for the warm and fuzzy bloggers as I probably should have. Some days, reading an uplifting blog post had saved me a bout of depression. That was the point.