Archive for the ‘Season Drinks’ Category

With it being national Margarita Day, usually it would be normal for a few blogs to be posted on the more popular drink sites on the Internet. Recipes and twists abound, maybe with a few photos, and maybe even an anecdote or two about people’s favourite story about how the drink actually came about would all be commonplace.

Unfortunately at A Pint of Green Chartreuse, however, such a notion could not be further from the truth.

While it’s important to acknowledge the popularity of the Margarita – not to do so would be foolish – it’s just one of those drinks that if I tried to care for it less than I do, it would start to verge on ‘hatred’ territory, which I wouldn’t actually mind admitting to.

It’s not even the people who order them; I’ve served all sorts of folk who have ordered them, and they’re pretty easy to knock up together on a busy Saturday night (bar the salt rim, which for me, is one of the most unfathomable parts of a drink I will ever come across). Even Margarita twists are OK; I mean, hell, I’ll drink a Tommy’s Margarita any day of the week, though that’s assuming that someone else is paying.

Tequila as a spirit as awesome, but on it’s own, as a shooter or in a mixed drink, and I’m all about cocktail that are fresh and clean, usually because they’re the best way to introduce people to cocktails, especially those with a sensitive palate. Nonetheless, that mixture of triple sec, tequila and citrus is something my brain fails to recognise as genius

So does that mean that other cocktails with the same DNA are also liquid contraptions that I despise? Afraid so.

The Sidecar is, in my opinion only, a generally crap cocktail, while a White Lady, as close as the drink is to my heart, is maybe just a little overrated, and one of the hardest drinks to balance I’ve ever come across (and there’s only four ingredients if you include the egg white). If anything, the White Lady is the best out a bad bunch, which is by no means a good thing, although my favourite recipe for the drink comes from Jim Meehan’s PDT cocktail book (similarly, his version of the Margarita uses the same ideology when preparing the drink for the modern pallet).

But White Lady’s aside, and in the good form and dry humour of a disgruntled Englishman, I’m going to give you a recipe on how I think they should be made, assuming you want to waste your time in the first place in trying to assemble them for either yourself, your guests or your friends.

Margarita (Recipe taken from Jim Meehan’s PDT Cocktail Book, 2012)

  • 50ml White Tequila
  • 20ml Tripe Sec
  • 20ml Lime Juice
  • 7.5ml Agave Syrup

Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake, and double strain into a cocktail/margarita glass – of that you’re that much of a ponce – with a salted rim. Drink apathetically.

It’s at this point that I would usually sign off and tell you to enjoy your Margaritas on this awesome national Margarita Day. But in this case, I’ll just simply sign off.

Slante.

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As news of the passing of Neil Armstrong spread throughout the internet, tributes flooded in for family and friends as those who learned of his death expressed their sadness at losing such an iconic figure of the 20th Century.

His status as a modern American hero who will leave a legacy not just in aviation and aerospace engineering, but in modern world history, especially in modern American folklore.

Armstrong’s exploits led him to become ‘a reluctant American hero’ according to a statement released by his family, a reminder that he did little to hog the limelight after his moonwalking exploits. He continued to work in aeronautics and aviation, as well as lecturing at the University of Cincinnati as a professor of aerospace engineering. American President Barack Obama described him as one of America’s greatest hero’s

So famous were the exploits of Amstrong, his colleague Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin and pilot Michael Collins, that the trend of creating a drink for special occasions, coupled with an appropriate name, was carried on with tradition at The American Bar at The Savoy.

Joe Gilmore, who was headbartender at the time, created the ‘Moonwalk’, a drink that closely resembles the classic champagne cocktail, though with a bigger flavour profile.

It was the first drink that passed the lips of the crew once they returned to earth, with Neil Armstrong sending a personal letter of thanks to Gilmore for the drink.

With this in mind, this blog, and the Moonwalk, is dedicated to Niel Armstrong.

From The Savoy Cocktail Book

Moonwalk (Adapted from Joe Gilmore, 1954, The American Bar, London)

  • 30ml Grand Marnier
  • 3 dashes Grapefruit bitters
  • 2 dashes orange flower water
  • 1 Sugar cube
  • Champagne
Add the first three ingredients to a mixing glass. Add ice and stir, then strain into a champagne flute with a sugar cube and top with champagne. Express the oils of an orange peel into the surface of the drink, drop in an serve.

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Some of you may have realised, especially with the last post, that certain ‘subjects’ or ‘themes’ can come about at such an unexpected or odd moment, particularly when it comes to entries on this blog and drinks made in general. This will probably be a running theme as long as this site remains, simply because that when my mind is still racing at 3am after finishing work, I’m more likely to post an entry than during the day, or even on a day off.

Still, I’ll admit that the ‘El Presidente’ in my last post was cheating a little. Here’s my chance to do something cocktail orientated with rye (George Washington had a rye distillery at his Mount Vernon home, which was very successful indeed thank you very much), and I publish a drink not really associated to him in anyway shape or form. Coupled with no photos – bare with me here – and you’ll see why the next few posts may be a little more Washington-orientated.

So check out this one.

Suburban

  • 45ml Rye whisky
  • 15ml Dark Jamaican Rum
  • 15ml Port
  • 1 Dash of Angostura bitters
  • 1 Dash of orange bitters

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass and stir. Strain into a cocktail glass and express the oils of a lemon peel over the surface of the drink and drop into the drink.

George Washington's Inauguration. One day, there will be pictures of cocktails on here, instead of images stolen from google.

At his inauguration, Washington requested a barrel of the finest Barbados rum. OK, so Barabados rum isn’t used here, but you get my point. It’s a little closer to the theme of the whole thing.

The Suburban came to me via the pages of David Wonderich’s ‘Esquire’ book/magazine column. The name potentially originates in the late 1880s, where Wonderich speculates that James R. Keene kept horses, some of which ran at the Suburban Handicap, an event at the Sheapshead Bay track in Brooklyn

The drink itself, however, first appears to come to print in The Old Waldorf Astoria Bar Book, and is definitely a drink for grown-ups. So, if you get tired of your rum Manhattan, but still want a stirred, straight-up drink that marries at least two spirits – one of which is rye – and you want to go for a drink that’s doused with underestimation yet still drenched in a cool suaveness, ask your barkeep if he can knock you up a Suburban. Heavy, dense, complex and layered, Wonderich nails it when he states how it’s best suited for the autumn (and even winter) months. But don’t let that stop you ordering one in summer or after a meal, or on George Washington’s birthday. Or a combination of two or all of these things. Heavy, mature and deep – almost like a good woman – with a rum-heavy nose. The only thing that would improve this drink is a citrus garnish (the original called for sans garnish). Lemon is best here, especailly with rye, in terms of brightening the whole thing up.

Cheers.

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