Cocktail Party: Irish Coffee


So we’re onto our last cocktail of the night, and everybody who is still conscious has agreed that it will be much easier to just stay up. Besides, it’s only three hours until they can go and get pancakes for breakfast! Everyone’s getting sleepy though, so it’s time for some caffeine. Alcoholic caffeine.

Fact: Anything can be improved by adding copious amounts of alcohol and cream. For example – steak, pain medication, tax time.

Between 1939 and 1945 many Americans flew to Ireland in a Pan Am Flying Boat. This extraordinary sounding aircraft was actually just a seaplane that contained a hull. Why not make a few extra bucks by storing passengers there?

The planes would land in Foynes, Limerick after what I imagine would be a gruelling eighteen hour flight. After landing, the passengers would be shuttled by boat to the terminal. On cold days, the passengers would often be chilled and miserable after the ride. As such, they greatly appreciated a cup of hot coffee or tea upon arrival at the terminal.

The Irish have taken whiskey in their tea for many centuries and this gave the chef at the airport restaurant an idea. He thought he would provide the freezing passengers with a little Irish hospitality with an American twist. He knew of their partiality to coffee with cream, so he added some whisky to the cups. One of the pleasantly surprised passengers asked “Is this Brazilian coffee?”, “No” replied the chef, “That’s Irish coffee.” And thus the original Irish Coffee recipe, as well as another excuse to drink, was born.

Ten years later, the owner of a San Franciscan restaurant decided to recreate the alcohol laced coffee that a friend had tasted in Ireland.They thought it would be a simple process, but after many experiments using a variety of whiskey they weren’t satisfied. It didn’t taste the same and the cream always sank to the bottom.

Being persistent, the pair travelled to the Limerick to sample the original. When they returned, it was decided that only high quality Irish whiskey could provide the proper taste. Furthermore, the cream had to be slightly aged and lightly whipped. Voilà, Irish Coffee crosses the Atlantic and began to grow in popularity throughout the United States and the world.

Now, in case you have the uncontrollable urge to get boozed up over your morning/afternoon/evening coffee, here’s a recipe!

Ingredients:

40ml Irish Whiskey
80ml Hot Coffee
30ml Cream, whipped
1 tsp Brown Sugar

Method

Heat the coffee, whiskey and sugar on a medium heat. Do not boil. Pour into a glass and top with cream. Serve hot.

Now, I realise that I began this post by saying that this was the last cocktail of the night. However, I never said that we wouldn’t be indulging in one in the morning. I wonder what it will be?

Check back tomorrow to find out what delightful concoction we’ll be finishing our cocktail party with!

Cocktail Party: The Mojito


Hello all, welcome back!

We’re up to cocktail number four, albeit a day late. I offer my most sincerest apologies, I was feeling rather under the weather yesterday and needed a little disco nap before getting back on the party bus.

So, at this point of the night those of you who can hold their drink are ordering straight shots and those who are more like me are trying to prove that they’re “not that drunk” by attempting to correctly pronounce words such as onomatopoeia. That is something I seriously do.

Today we’re taking a hop across the water from Mexico to Cuba to taste the rum sodden and utterly delicious Mojito. Once again, the origins of this fruity delight are shrouded in many a controversy, so I’m going to tell just two of the most fascinating tales.

Apparently Ernest Hemmingway loved Mojitos. I think that whoever first spread that story confused the word ‘Mojito’ with ‘Booze’

Our first story claims that the Mojito was created by African slaves working in the sugar cane fields of Cuba in the late 19th Century. Supposedly, the drink’s name comes from the African word “mojo,” which mean “to place a spell.” This tale is however widely contested. Many historians believe that this story seems to be related to, or confused with the origin of the daiquiri, another popular Cuban cocktail made with rum, lime juice, and sugar.

A much more accepted story is that Sir Francis Drake was involved in the creation of the Mojito as far back as the 16th century. Drake was a celebrated naval captain and navigator during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. However, if you were a Spaniard at the time, Drake was an infamous pirate and slave trader who was responsible for the sacking of many ports and towns during the Spanish Armada. These acts persuaded Phillip II of Spain to not only place a bounty on his head, but to also plan an invasion of England.

If I may interject for just one moment – these dual perspectives of Drake are exactly why I adore history. There is almost always conflicting accounts and different ways of looking at situations and people. Some may call this lack of definitiveness frustrating. I call it fascinating.

Legend has it that Sir Richard Drake (an underling of Francis who was of no relation) prepared the first version of the drink using aguardiente, a primitive version of rum, which he mixed with sugar, lime and mint. According to the story, the drink was originally called “El Draque” which was Spanish for The Dragon, which was a homage to Sir Francis. Personally, I think this was just a clever ruse to secretly name it after himself.

From the high seas, the drink supposedly made its way to Cuba when these explorers, or pirates, landed to conduct treasure hunting expeditions throughout The Caribbean and Latin America. Interestingly enough, the fruity concoction was originally consumed for medicinal purposes. I think that sounds a great deal more appetising than the cherry flavoured cough syrup of my childhood. I’ll have to question my mum about why she didn’t just throw hard liquor my way.

Eventually, rum replaced the aguardiente and the Mojito, as we know it today, was born.

Recipe time!

Ingredients

40ml White Rum
30ml Lime Juice
3 Mint Leaves
2 tsp Sugar
Soda Water

Method

This is a really simple one.

Muddle the mint sprigs with the sugar and lime juice in a highball glass. Add the rum and top up with soda water. Garnish with sprig of mint leaves. Consume!

Mmm, refreshing.

I’ll try my best to knock out our next two cocktails over the weekend as promised. Unfortunately, I’m still not feeling 100%. Either way, I’ll make sure they’re served up to you as soon as possible.

Have a great weekend!

Cocktail Party: Wasting Away Again in Margaritaville…


…searching for my lost shaker of salt.

Greetings, lovelies!

How are you feeling after your first two drinks? Ready for some more? I certainly hope so because we’re heading into Tequila Territory, and there’s just no coming back from that. We’re at that point of the party where you know you shouldn’t do it, but you’re just sauced enough to throw caution to the wind and to let your Future Self deal with the stomach churning consequences. Then, when you’re paying homage to the Porcelain God the following afternoon, you curse your Past Self and swear to never touch tequila again, because it is truly Not of the Lord. But it’s never true.

Never. True.

I’m sure you’ll all be shocked to learn that the Margarita is yet another cocktail with an elusive history. That doesn’t mean we can’t take a peek at the possibilities though! There are of course numerous accounts of ‘this bartender here’ and ‘this bartender there’ being attributed with its invention, but I want to keep things interesting. As such, here are a few short tales describing the birth of this tasty and dangerous beverage. I’ll leave it up to you to choose which reality to believe.

It looks so pretty despite being a demon liquor from hell.

Our first story hails from Acapulco in 1948. A Dallas socialite had a holiday home in the Mexican city that she would visit with her family during the holidays. She was well-known for indulging in a game where she would duck behind the bar and mix up weird and wonderful concoctions for her guests. I know I’ve said it before, but I would rather enjoy partying with this dame.

During a Christmas gathering she decided to mix tequila, Cointreau and lime juice for her guests, and did so with great success and praise. They were so enamoured with the drink that they took it home to the States where it spread like wildfire. They thought that it was only fitting to name th drink after their socialite friend, Margarita.

Our next story is yet another shout out to the ladies. We’re in Mexico, circa 1938 and following a showgirl by the name of Majorie King. Unfortunately, our damsel suffered from a truly tragic ailment – she was allergic to all alcohol, with the exception of tequila.

King was visiting Rancho Relaxo Del Gloria Bar in Rosarita Beach, Mexico and, like a champion, wasn’t going to let her allergies get in the way of a good time. She explained her predicament to the bartender and he proceeded to pour tequila over shaved iced and then added some lemon and Triple Sec. Once again, the drink was a hit and he decided to name the concoction after the Spanish equivalent of Majorie – Margarita.

Our final story comes from Juarez, Mexico. A gentleman named Pancho Morales was working as a bartender  in 1942 when a patron ordered a drink called a Magnolia. Alas, Morales couldn’t remember what was in the cocktail, except Cointreau. Instead of explaining this, he decided to roll the dice and fake it. I’m sure you can all guess what happened next. He decided to name the his new invention after his favourite flower, the daisy. For those of you who are well aquainted with the language will already know that daisy translates to Margarita in Spanish.

And now – recipe time!

Ingredients

35ml Tequila
20ml Triple Sec
15ml Lime Juice
Salt

Method

Rub the rim of the glass with lime slice to make the salt stick to it. Shake the ingredients with ice, then strain into the glass.Garnish with a lime or lemon wedge and serve over ice.

So there you have it, three drinks down and four to go. I do hope you can all manage to stay standing for tomorrow’s exciting brew.

See you then.


Cocktail Party: The Cosmopolitan


Alright ladies and gents, we’re one drink in and the party is starting to heat up. Day two of our soirée has begun and someone has started passing around the Cosmos.

I’m afraid that we can’t avoid the horse faced elephant in the room so we might as well get it out of the way.

The vast majority of the population associate the Cosmo with the ever popular Sex and the City. Ever since the late 90s, fans of the show have been ordering the pink concoction under a false pretense of sophistication. Unfortunately, most of them were ordering them in backwater bars on the corner of Tumbleweed Road and You Got a Pretty Mouth Avenue.

I believe that it’s due to the Carrie Bradshaw association that little is known about the true origin of this sweet and chic drink. I have even heard people muse over whether it was invented for the show itself. This notion is enough to send my inner historian into a rage blackout, so I think that it’s best if we move on.

Drinking this won’t make you pass for a classy New Yorker

It seems that conflicting origin stories are becoming a theme on this blog, and the Cosmopolitan is no exception. The general school of thought concedes that the Cosmo was born in the 80s, but nobody can seem to agree where. This seems to be common with drinks – they are notoriously difficult to patent and are so often based off other similar concoctions. However, I am able to provide you with a few theories and possible creators.

The first culprit is Dale Groff, a bartender who spent a large portion of his career at the legendary Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Plaza. It was there that he supposedly had the idea to add liqueur and a mixture of vodka, cranberry  and lemon juice to create the original Cosmo. This theory is naturally quite popular with Manhattanites.

Another rumour is that there is a version of the cocktail that can be attributed to the entire gay community of Provincetown, Massachusetts. I just love that an entire group of people can supposedly invent a drink. Thanks, internet.

The last commonly cited story is from South Beach, Florida. A bartender named Cheryl Cook is said to have invented it in 1985. Although this isn’t interesting in itself, there are some who believe Cook to be a mythical character invented by the community in order to lay claim to the drinks creation.

These stories may seem somewhat devoid of information. Unfortunately, this is because there is very little out there. I think that the consequence of this is that despite its origin, the Cosmopolitan is doomed to be forever associated with Carrie and her Prada clad pals.

Now, because I know you all just skipped to this part anyway, onto the recipe!

 Ingredients

40ml Vodka
15ml Cointreau
15ml Lime Juice
30ml Cranberry Juice

Method

Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake well. Double strain into a Martini glass. Garnish with a lime or lemon wheel.

I hope you can all hold your liquor adequately because I’ll be serving you up yet another delicious concoction tomorrow!

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Cocktail Party: The Zombie


On Friday night some friends and I went out to celebrate the birthday of Bethany from The Kitchening. Because our town is a cesspool for human misery, there is only one decent cocktail bar worth going to.

My drink of choice for the evening was The Zombie, and this was for a number of important and well thought out reasons. Firstly, it contains a shameful amount of rum and was therefore an intelligent choice both economically and fiscally. Secondly, the bartender was setting those bad boys on fire, and what’s not to love about that?

It was during the inevitable haze of my second round that I got to thinking about how
I had only discovered the existence of The Zombie a few short years ago. Furthermore, I knew absolutely nothing about its origin. It was at that point that I firmly decided that the matter was in dire need of investigation. In the morning. Maybe the following afternoon. After a greasy breakfast.

So here we are, you reading patiently and me continuing to shamelessly ride the coat tails of the recent Zombie Apocalypse craze.

I do have some exciting news before we begin though! Instead of one cocktail origin story, I am going to provide you with an entire weeks worth! That’s right, seven posts in seven days. You’re welcome.

So without further ado, let’s get this cocktail party started.

Warning: Contains enough rum to put a pirate ship to shame

The invention of The Zombie is widely attributed to Donn Beach aka Donn the Beachcomber. Beach is famous for being the founding father of the Tiki Bar craze of the 1930s in the USA. FYI, I would do some truly unthinkable things for the opportunity to go back to that era.

Legend has it that the original Zombie was concocted by Beach in 1934 to help a hung-over customer get through a business meeting. The customer supposedly returned several days later to complain that the drink had turned him into to a zombie for the entirety of the meeting. Thus, a cocktail was born.

The customer’s reaction is understandable to anyone who has indulged in the infamous concoction. Much like the Long Island Iced Tea, the smooth and fruity taste of The Zombie works to conceal its extremely high alcohol content. This dangerous mix makes for an incredibly intoxicating beverage, in both senses of the word.

Beach was very cautious with the recipes of his cocktails. The mixing instructions for his bartenders contained coded references to ingredients, the contents of which were only known to him. Because Beach kept his recipe a secret as well as occasionally altering it, there are many variations of the Zombie being made today. Many of these bear little resemblance to the original cocktail.

Now that we’ve had a little bit of history, I thought I would add one of the more common recipes for those of you playing at home.

Ingredients

15ml Bacardi 151 rum
30ml dark rum
30ml light rum
30ml golden rum
15ml apricot brandy
30ml pineapple juice
30ml orange juice
30ml lime juice
1 tsp sugar

In conclusion – buy a whole lot of rum.

Method

Shake all ingredients with ice except the Bacardi. Pour into a hurricane glass. Float Bacardi rum on top. Garnish with a fruit slice, sprig of mint and a cherry.

Alternatively, you can copy my bartenders method:

After shaking and pouring all of the ingredients, excluding the Bacardi, take a passionfruit half and remove the pulp. Half fill with brown sugar and pour in the Bacardi. Float the passionfruit half in the top of the cocktail and set on fire. Marvel at how awesome it looks. Blow out the flame. Drink!

See you all next time.