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Tag Archives: cocktail

Ginger Apple Cocktail

29 Sep

Ginger Apple Cocktail 3

Hard ciders have been popular around the U.S. for almost two decades now. The Matilda Bay, Bartles and James wine-cooler-drinking crowd of the ’80’s started getting options in the ’90’s, and hard ciders were one of them. Beer drinkers also will tear into a cider, too, or even use it to make a shandy, which is half beer and half cider.

In Ireland, they have a cider that’s not too sweet called Bulmers, and in the states it’s named Magners. My wife fell in love with this on our last trip to Ireland and, until a BevMo opened in our area, we were hard pressed to find it.

But this post, short and sweet as it will be, is about a cocktail I created using my old bartending skills and a little ingenuity, AND it tastes like a hard cider! My kid went on a field trip to a local apple farm and brought back a gallon of regular fresh cider, which is unbelievably tasty. Of course, being the upstanding father-figure that I am, my thoughts started straying towards how to integrate it into an alcoholic beverage.

The best part is that this is 2 to 3 points on the old Weight Watchers system if you use diet soda (PointsPlus and 360° can fuck off beyond recognition). In any case, this is a refreshing fall cocktail that just works and will tickle you more than leaves on your taint.

Ginger Apple Cocktail

Makes 1

Ingredients:

1 1/2 oz. vodka (that’s one shot to common folks)

2 oz. apple cider or apple juice

2 oz. diet or regular ginger ale

Apple slice for garnish

Makin’ It:

This is too easy to make.

Fill a collins glass with ice. Pour in the vodka and the apple cider. Top it with the ginger ale. Either put the apple slice on the rim or into the drink itself. Give it a stir with a straw and you’re rockin’.

Note: This would be bitchin’ as a martini, too. Just shake the vodka and juice in an ice-filler shaker and strain it into a cocktail glass. Then, top it with the ginger ale and garnish.

Ginger Apple Cocktail 2

Until later, eat, drink, and peace out.

©Jon Marino 2013

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Cucumber-Ginger Fizz Cocktail

10 Mar

Cucumber Ginger Fizzy

Last night, we set the clocks forward and, after a week of cold rain, it has been perfect weather here on California’s central coast (perfect=mostly sunny, 70°, slight breeze).  This paradisaical atmosphere began this morning when I woke up at 5:00 a.m. and thought ’twas Monday.  I started my morning routine of reading both the local and global news and then, of course, getting onto Facebook. It was then that I realized my error.  It’s Sunday, dammit.

To make the most of it until the house woke up, I watched two of the Up series films (28 Up and 35 Up (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Up_Series)), which began my day existentially.  It would follow, then, that a cocktail would need to be made both to embrace the fantastic weather and to enhance my connexion with the universe and life’s journey.  For that, I turned to Martha Stewart, of course.

I have said numerous times that, before I began teaching high school, I was a bartender at T.G.I. Sodium’s for a few years.  During that time, I acquired quite a working knowledge of making drinks.  But nowadays I feel sorely out-of-date.  It seems that “mixology” became the trend at some point in the 2000’s, and dickheads calling themelves “mixologists” were making infusions and syrups and wacky martinis and everything else under the sun to get people’s drinks on.  For the record, I am a bartender, not a “mixologist,” as I consider bartending more than just making drinks; a bartender provides an atmosphere of comfort, understanding, patience, meticulousness, promptness, and jocularity. A “mixologist” sounds like a pompous asshole, truth be told.

My wife and I found this cocktail a few years ago and I make the ingredients a couple of times a year.  It’s very simple, really, and the cocktail itself is one of the most refreshing drinks for which one could ask.  I have served this at cocktail parties and people can’t seem to get enough of them.  I figured I’d share both my existentialism and a great warm weather drink.  Cheers!

Cucumber-Ginger Fizz Cocktail (thanks to Martha Stewart)

Ingredients:

Makes a bunch o’ cocktails

750 ml bottle o’ vodka

2 or 3  English cucumbers, 1 or 2 peeled and coarsely chopped, 1 left whole

lime wedges

soda water

ginger simple syrup

Makin’ It:

For the ginger simple syrup, over medium-high heat, bring 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of water, and 1 big chunk of peeled, sliced ginger to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cover, turn off the heat, and let it sit for 30 minutes.  Strain it, discarding the ginger, and you have it.

In a glass bowl, combine the vodka and cucumber chunks.  Cover it and chill it for at least an hour.  Discard the cucumber and you have it.

To make one cocktail:

Fill a collins glass (or whatever glass you have) with ice. With the leftover whole cucumber, peel it and shave some of it, but not the seeds.  In other words, make cucumber strips and put them in the ice. Add 1 shot o’ cucumber vodka, 1/2 shot of ginger syrup, and fill it with soda water.  Squeeze one lime wedge into the drink, stir it with a straw, and you have it.

I haven’t had one person not fall in love with it.

Until later, eat, drink, and peace out.

©Jon Marino 2013

A Panty-Dropping Bruschetta and a Panty-Dropping Cocktail

26 Feb

Panty-Dropping Bruschetta

Today, you get a two for one, and both will drop your panties, if you’re even wearing them.  The recipes will follow.

When I was a bartender at T.G.I. Chotchki’s, I made a drink called a Panty Dropper.  In essence, it’s a raspberry lemon drop.  I got more ladies buzzed on that shot than I can remember, and I believe my lovely wife was one of them.  Every time I made one, ladies would order a few right after it, not thinking that they were potent because they tasted like a raspberry lemonade.  After about three of them, they realized the error of their ways and the levity around the bar began.  If you ever want a solid night’s entertainment, bartend at a hopping place and watch the dynamics after people grease their necks a bit.  Wedding rings disappear, vows are made, promotions are given, politics are discussed, crushes get revealed, bets are made, and, you guessed it, panties drop, the most impetuous instance, I would guess, being in the parking structure behind the restaurant.  The human condition is rarely quite as transparent than at any good bar.

That being said, now that I don my husband/ father/ teacher/ grown-up hat in the world these days, such libidinous revelry isn’t had.  But, I still have found an appetizer that might get panties to drop considering that, every time I’ve made it, I hear sighing, moaning, and disbelief issuing from the females enjoying it.  No joke.  I hear that barely audible behind-the-bedroom-door-only “oh my god,” and I know I’ve nailed it.  Chicks dig the Panty-Dropping Bruschetta, and I think I know why.

This has everything for which ladies long in terms of ingredients, and the portions are small and light.  Guys, if you’re reading this, this appetizer is what the ladies order when they go out for a “girls’ night” and talk about feelings, chardonnay, Macy’s, Downton Abbey, candles, and sex (they ARE more lascivious than we are, I have learned through the years). When we go out with them, they’ll eat the jalapeno poppers and wings to nurture our egos, but those are not their first choices.  If poppers and wings equal the hardcore porn mostly consumed by men, then this Panty-Dropping Bruschetta is a romance novel with Channing Tatum modeling for the cover while mending his lover’s blouse.  Make it and you will see.

So without further ado…

Panty-Dropping Bruschetta 

Makes enough for about 6 to 8 people, I would think

Ingredients:

2 French baguettes, sliced on an angle into 1/2″ thick slices

1 large log or 2 small logs of plain chevre, better known as goat cheese

8 Roma tomatoes, sliced about 1/2″ thick

Salt and Pepper

good olive oil (it matters in this recipe because it’s part of the overall flavor)

good balsamic vinegar (same thing with this stuff)

fresh basil, cut into a chiffonade (Roll the basil leaves together tightly and slice the basil log thinly.  This will make thin wispies of it.)

Makin’ It:

Preheat the oven to 425°.  Arrange the baguette slices on some baking sheets in an even layer.  Take a little bowl of the olive oil and brush each slice daintily with the oil, just to kiss it and not to drown it.  Put them in the oven for about 5 plus minutes, until the edges are a bit brown, but be careful not to burn them.  They just need to get a bit crisp.  You might have to bake these in batches, by the way.

Once the bread (crostini, if you will) is done, smear each slice with about 1 to 2 teaspoons of goat cheese.  You know, a good schmear.  Top this with a tomato slice.  Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the tomato itself.  Try one to see if you have the right amount of salt and pepper.

Take a few wisps of the basil and drape it over the tomato.  Drizzle this with more olive oil and some balsamic vinegar (again, use restraint…you just want to tickle them with the flavors and balsamic can take over quickly).

Bob’s your Uncle.  After I get one down the way I like it, I set up an assembly line and it goes much more quickly.  Arrange them sexily on a platter and prepare for the ensuing licentious sound effects.

The Panty Dropper a la Jonny Precious

(I know there are lots of versions of this drink.  This is just my version, but it’s still the best one.)

Makes 1

Ingredients:

1 1/2 oz Stoli Orang

1/2 oz. Triple Sex, oops, I mean Triple Sec

1/2 oz. Chambord or a comparable raspberry liqueur

the juice from 1/2 a lemon

Makin’ It:

Chill a martini glass and then coat the rim in sugar.

Squeeze the lemon into a mixing tin and then add all of the liquor.  Add in a good scoop o’ ice, top the mixing tin with a glass or topper, and shake the hell out of it.  The idea is to get the ice to chip off into the drink, so when you pour it, the surface will have ice crystals on it.

Strain it into the martini glass and, again, watch what happens with the ladies.

Until later, eat, drink, and peace out.

©Jon Marino 2013