The Wedding Crashers – Cocktail Version

Themesong of the day:

Check it out, I know I should have fancy pictures of these but I don’t.  I came up with some cocktails for one of the Owner’s wedding at the restaurant where I am now bar manager.

Ya, funny thing.  Go back and read my past and look what happened.  Things change so fast but that’s another, future post about the past.  (Also, if you’re more into the seduction stuff I got a bit of that to possibly share as well, but right now I am all Cocktail.)

So where were we?  One of the owners was having his wedding and wanted me to make cocktails.  I had 1 day to come up with 2, since he hand picked the drink Corpse Reviver.  The instructions were, one needed to have Hangar 1 Vodka, and the other needed to have Very Old Barton 100 proof.  I had to come up with these drinks very quickly, but I know he wasn’t worried, after-all, I created virtually the entire cocktail menu, and every drink on it gets rave reviews from the growing number of people that frequent our fine establishment.

But my goal, more was to balance the special cocktail selection for the wedding.  Corpse Reviver is a middle of theroad type drink.  It’s not too sweet but it’s not too stiff either.  You gotta balance.

So without a bunch more Blah Blah, this is what I came up with.  By the way, if you can guess which one was the 1st, 2nd and least popular I will give you a prize. (maybe)

Corpse Reviver:  (credit goes to Cocktail Enthusiast Magazine – although, as usual, I made my own little tweaks)

1 oz Death’s Door Ginhttps://i2.wp.com/johnmariani.com/archive/2010/100704/Lillet%20Summer%20Label%202010%20Front%5B1%5D.jpg

1 oz Lillet Blanc

1 oz Leopold Bros American Orange Liquor – (GOLD MEDAL 90 points The Beverage Tasting Institute)

1 oz fresh lemon juice

3 drops Mansinthe Absinthe

Garnish with 1 Luxardo Gourmet Maraschino Cherry

Add all ingredients to cocktail mixer filled with ice.  Shake and strain into a cocktail glass, then take spoon, get your cherry out of the jar (not really being too careful if you grab a touch of the syrup) and drop it into the glass.

There was a guy there, who apparently loves drinking these, and he said mine was great and ordered about 5 of them all night.  I tried one of these at Sable made however they made it, and it was OK.  But this one I made was fantastic!  I know, I know…  I made it so I would probably say that anyway right?  Wrong!  One thing you will learn about me is that, the reason cocktails I put on a menu get rave reviews from people is because I am my own toughest critic.  If I make a cocktail and think, “Meh!” I will be the first to dump it.  Not only that, but there is not one cocktail I put on a menu that several people do not try first (and that I get feedback from).  Guess what, try this version yourself and give me feedback.  Be Honest. I love feedback.

Chocolate December:

2 oz Hangar 1 Vokda

1 oz home-made chocolate ganache (if you want the specific recipe, ask me and I will find out for you)

1/2 oz frangelico

1/2 oz half and half

Take a cocktail glass, rim it with orange juice, and then some home made chocolate shavings (we just took chunks of chocolate and put them in a blender till they were nice and small and a little powdery).  Then drizzle some ganache into the glass and make little fancy shapes out of them.  I used a stir stick to do this.  (Be creative, there is no right way.  Just let it do it’s own thing.  If you need some inspiration watch some Bob Ross.)  Add all ingredients to cocktail mixer filled with ice.  Shake and strain into the cocktail glass.

I mean, there are chocolate martinis and then there is THIS Guy.  I wouldn’t drink a whole one because I’m trying to be at least semi healthy but the little sips I had here and there… Delicious!  Be careful if you make one of these in a room full of ladies…  Or not. 😉

Old Red:

Courtesy of ethanprater.com

Courtesy of ethanprater.com

2 oz Very Old Barton 100 proof bourbon

1 bar spoon of simple syrup

1 bar spoon of fresh cranberries (prep by adding 1 cup of water per lb of cranberries and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to low for 5 minutes until they are soft.  You don’t have to strain the water out.  The red juice in the cranberries is perfect for coloring this drink.  Also you don’t have to make a lb of cranberries at a time. 😉 )

1 orange wedge

2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

In a rocks glass muddle the simple syrup, cranberry, and orange wedge.  Fill glass with ice, then bourbon and bitters.  Stir maybe 8-10 times just to get the mixture in and the cocktail cold.  The simple syrup I make is 1 part water to 1-1/2 parts sugar fyi.

This one had it’s fans for sure.  I definitely had a couple of guys who drink a few each.  This is a strong drink with a hint of sweet.  I just wanted to make it for the wedding to give people an option for an old fashioned.  I think it most definitely did the trick.

Anyway, that’s all for now.  If you try any of these out, feel free to comment and let me know how you liked em.  And as usual questions and comments are welcome.

Cheers for now.

Advertisements

Chicago – Drink Spots for your Dating Pleasure

Themesong of the Day:   (And if you like house music this is a badass track that you really need to listen to before you read the rest of this shit.)

I’m a doin research on the city now that my bartender jobs are kicking off.  One, because I like to explore.  Two, to make connections.  Three because I have 2 non-sexual fetishes; grocery stores and cool lounges and bars.  Four, My day-2s are not fancy despite community advice.  I just like to go have a drink or two then head to my place.

So I have been doing research both in person and online to find some cool drinks spots.  I’m gonna share them and maybe add more over time.   I probably wont post the shit you know.  I mean ya the local dive is cool and some chicks like that just as much as going to the 17 dollar a cocktail spot (which is not necessarily what I’m posting here – actually it’s Rebar in Trump that has $17 cocktials fyi).

We all know Big Star Taco, Violet Hour,  Inn Joy and all the nightclubs where we can get free drinks with the secret password so I just wanna put on here some shit I dug up or happened across on accident or with a little work involved.

So here we go.  No order or rhyme to my order or whatever.

Pegasus Restaurant and Taverna – Greek Food,  Greek Town and I may know the bartender here  serving up drinks here this summer on the “Roof Garden” as they call it, but I’m not saying who he is.  Laid back, nothing fancy, except for if said bartender make you a drink with Metaxa or Saint Germain, then things will Definitely get Fancy, and fucking Delicious!  http://www.pegasuschicago.com/veranda.php

Terrace at the Conrad – Check this out.  #1 – I’m a big fan of Terrace bars.  I think subconsciously it may be one reason I moved to the city.  So these guys have one.  Even fucking better is Imagine telling a chick, “Let’s go see a movie tonight.” and after she’s thinking “How fucking lame…” you take her here for Sunday free moving night.  This is on my Must Do list.  http://conradhotels3.hilton.com/en/hotels/illinois/conrad-chicago-CHICICI/amenities/restaurants-the-terrace-rooftop.html

The Drawing Room – You probably passed this place a hundred times if you are walking near the Viagra Triangle.  It’s a hidden little underground lounge ala Mixology.  Cool little tables and comfortable seating, and they do full on mixology, but not in a really stuffy way.  I always HEAR it gets busy, but I never have SEEN it busy.  So that’s GREAT for a Day-2.  It’s not dead ever either so it wont be a ghost town.  The atmosphere is pretty chic and ultra-loungy.  Totally fits the “Underground Lounge” vibe if you’ve ever been to any in other big cities.  http://thedrchicago.com/bar/

Delilah’s – If she’s into dive bars, she’s a hipster, a rocker chick, a wannabe suicide girl (or a real one) or she just likes whiskey a lot this is your spot.  They have shitloads of whiskey; apparently the largest selection in Chicago.  They have rockabilly nights, a kind of dark and broody atmosphere that, honestly, I kinda like from time to time and pool tables so you can play grab ass.  http://www.delilahschicago.com/photo-gallery/

Cal’s Bar – Divey with a dash of hipster and some live music in the midst of the city.  It’s a Liquor Store, and an Attached bar.  Drinks are cheap and so is the atmosphere but I totally dig on the fact that they took it from some shady liquor store and made it into a shady bar/liquorstore with live music and despite the challenges are still going.  Watch the Video on their home page.  Cool shit.  http://drinkatcalsbar.com/

The Trump –  Some of you hate Donald Trump.  I actually like the guy.  But regardless of that, maybe you’re Mr Moneybags OR Better yet, maybe your girl is Mz. Moneybags and she want’s to go somewhere fancy on her tab.  Well fuckin A.  You got choices here.  The Terrace and Rebar.  Expensive drinks, shmancy atmosphere and great city views.  And it’s Trump so you can either make fun of it or…  Well make fun of it.  http://www.trumphotelcollection.com/chicago/rooftop-restaurants-chicago.php

The Peninsula Terrace – Totally Miami in my opinion.  This is the kind of place, at least by the pictures, that would be a cool place to chill and get your chick drunk before you go an bang the shit out of her.  Like I said, though, I just like terraces.  And those comfy couches and awning thingies.  http://www.peninsula.com/chicago/en/default.aspx#/chicago/en/Dining/The_Terrace/

Nomi – Some of these Hotel Bars are pretty fucking cool.  This one is located in the Park Hyatt Chicago.  I just like the atmosphere really.  It just seems that no one seems to be able to take a good picture of the joint so you’ll just have to trust me.  If not, you got shitty, beer smelling Pippins right across the street where you can feel your feet sticking to the floor.  http://www.hotelchatter.com/hotel-photos/full/404/Park+Hyatt+Chicago’s+NoMI+Floor

Emerald Loop – It’s late, you’re downtown and you don’t wanna go to Hubbard or Rush and Division and you want a good cheap drink at an Irish bar that’s not hammered by drunk college kids, but wont be dead, so you can run your Patented “I’m going to fuck you in the ass later” pattern on here uninterrupted.  Maybe I just like this place because after ordering 5 or so drinks the tab always seems to be around $10; but I’m industry and they like me so go figure.  It’s still a cool Irish bar by any standard.  http://www.emeraldloop.com/Emerald_Loop

Maude’s Liquor Bar – I have this weird fetish (apparently it’s my thrid non-sexual fetish) with the West Loop.  I think it’s because it’s got that old warehouse district vibe.  What I don’t get excited about are the places like Market or Haymarket that everyone raves about.  Not that they’re bad places, they just don’t excite me.  Maude’s is full on Hipster Mixology, and I didn’t hate it.  Get ready to hear a fucking monologue about your drink from the bartender if he’s the guy I had.  The drinks are ok, and the atmosphere is kinda like an old, french speakeasy.  Simple but Not simple at all.  http://www.maudesliquorbar.com/

The Gingerman – Wrigleyville’s original Non-Wrigleyville bar.  This is more of a step above a dive bar.  Good beer selection, cheap, the atmosphere is clean, but it attracts a sort of rockeresque crowd with a dash of hipster but not overpowering.  If I remember correctly they have free pool.  Also there’s lots of room for you to take your chick and sit somewhere and chat her up.  I just like this place.  Oh, and it has a Jukebox with good fucking songs.  http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-gingerman-tavern-chicago

Trader Todd’s – A Key West Bar in Wrigleyville.  What the fuck right?  But I have pulled a few chicks back to my place after meeting them here.  I kinda like Key West Bars because, well, I lived in Key West.  Also, they have Karaoke here like every night but they have some fat dipshit Karaoke guy who has pissed me off twice when I was here, the second time I told him, “Why don’t you just mind your own business and do your fucking Karaoke.”  But despite that I like the place.  They have OJ they will squeeze fresh for your drinks and a good beer selection.  And a boat inside.  AND they have a bus that on Friday’s and Saturdays will pick you up almost anywhere in the city and take you to their bar for free.  I’m assuming you are expected to buy a drink or two on the ride over so if you’re gonna pull the ever popular PUA “I’m drinking water tonight.” then I don’t know If I’d consider the party bus option.  http://www.tradertodd.com/

Matilda – So this is pretty cool.  Located a little north of Belmont on Sheffield, it has kind of a funky atmosphere that is dark and I can’t seem to describe it.  Not dark and broody, really.  More like someone’s art project.  You have to see if for yourself.  Also they have Wifi.  And they have a good beer selection and $5 wine by the glass wednesdays for you cheapasses… Like me.  And Hyatt Merlot is Delicious!  On Weekends the Downstairs bar, Baby-Atlas, opens up and the place seems to get a little crowded.  http://www.matilda-babyatlas.com/

For now I’m pretty done with my list.  I have a few more floating around in my head AND I am no where NEAR done exploring the bars and hidden gems of this city.  But this should keep you busy for a bit.  I will update this thread later.

If you have some cool places you’ve been to that I haven’t mentioned and you think some of us might not know about, do fucking share.

Cheers…

Sidecar:

Ya I know, I haven’t updated in a while and not so regularly.  I can’t even promise I will start.  Let’s just say life is ups and downs.  I got a job I thought would be cool, at Tavern at the Park here in Chicago and then realized quickly enough that one of the Owners was a drunk who was trying to hide it by basically trying to power trip on his employees.  That shit rolled down hill and got old very fast.  So I looked for another job and I am just now starting that one.  I have no idea how things will be here, and how people and management will act, yet.  Regardless I can tell it’s already laid back way more than Tavern was, and not so dumb.

By the way, did you know you can actually rate your employers now, like Yelp?  I think this is totally cool and needed so check it out.  The site is called Glassdoor.  (and while you’re there you can read the employee reviews on Tavern at the Park)  😉

http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Tavern-at-The-Park-Reviews-E345319.htm

That’s all for now….

The Best Margarita Recipe Ever!?

Margarita cocktail

Margarita cocktail (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(There is a song in my head that I cannot think of the Artist of at the moment since it’s in Mexican.  I REFUSE to put any Jimmy Buffet garbage on my blog.  SOOooo  No song of the day.  Once I remember the song I am trying to think of or find a suitable substitute I will replace my ranting.) 😉

(Edit Note – Jan 2014:  The ORIGINAL Article that had comments in the Hundreds over at Hodges Lab website is gone.  I think that blog has gone under after many years so this actually has become a preservation of sorts by a recipe that hundreds of commenters in that post SWORE by!)

Ya ya ya, am I late?  We just missed Cinco de Mayo.  However, it’s getting warmer out and soon lots and lots of people will be drinking margaritas regardless of what day it is.  So allow me to be of service…

I had to add the question marks.  Saying a drink recipe is the BEST is relative.  It’s like people that love red wine saying they don’t like Merlot.

For the record it’s IMPOSSIBLE to not like Merlot because I doubt seriously that ANYONE on this fine planet has had the opportunity to try every flavor profile of Merlot out there.  There are so many different profiles created by Merlot grapes that you can put two Merlots next to each other and they could be COMPLETELY different.  Why do people say they don’t like Merlot?  Because of a stupid Line in a Stupid Wine Movie.

Actually, the reason to why Miles wont drink Merlot is, that in the book “Sideways” by Rex Pickett, the wine he’s saving for his ex-wife’s return is a 1961 Pétrus (…An estate of limited size, it produces a limited production red wine almost entirely from Merlot grapes,…)  and NOT a 1961 Cheval Blanc. But Pétrus (which is 100% Merlot) didn’t give permission to use their label and the director therefore changed the manuscript into a Cheval Blanc.

Miles doesn’t want to be reminded of his wife when spending an evening with Maya – a new girl he’s actually is interest in.

Not many knows this.

So next time you try to seem Wine Savvy by trying to shit all over Merlot, just be proud of the fact that not only are you letting your decisions be based on FICTION, but that you are also basing your “savvy” wine deference on a fictitious character’s relationship with his wife that has nothing to do with the quality of a grape, or the wine produced from it.

Now that my wine snobbery is over…

Anyway, the point is the same as far as cocktail recipes.  You can make almost every drink several different ways and one person will like it sweet while another person likes is sour while another person wants to taste the booze in it etc.  However, that being said, this is a fucking good Margarita recipe, and it sure beats vodka, ice and lemon-lime powerade in a blender (No really, I have heard a guy swear by that version saying “Dude, chicks can’t tell the difference.”)  So enough of my blabbing except to say I have tweaked this (on my own but not the ingredients below) by adding both the Cointreau and Grand Marnier (splashes) or have added a splash of Patron Citronge to the mix.  The key is to NOT use sour mix at all in my opinion.  If you can do that, you are Golden.

By the way, this was posted at a science blog, which I think is kinda funny and ironic, but cool nonetheless.

Here we go:

The Best Margarita Recipe Ever from Hodges Lab

Have you ever gone to a restaurant because of their margaritas? 

When I’m back in Dallas, I love the margaritas at El Fenix, Pappasito’s, and even Chili’s. But try to go home and find the recipes. All the recipes on the Internet are all the same: tequila, triple sec, lime juice, maybe some sour mix… make them and they always misssomething. I’ve been buying out my local Beverages ‘n More to find that missing ingredient, and I think I finally got it.

Below is the best margarita recipe, capturing the something that makes a restaurant margarita so much better than the homemade versions:

  • Two parts tequila (good tequila is always better…)
  • Half part Grand Marnier (this is a critical part… trust me, don’t go cheap on the citrus liqueur. Cointreau also goes very well, but really doesn’t have the same aromatic flavor that Grand Marnier has; try them side-by-side; they have totally different flavors… if you cheat here with Triple Sec or Orange Curaçao, you must add a dash of orange bitters!)
  • Half part fresh lime juice.
  • Half part fresh lemon juice.
  • Half part simple syrup.
  • Half part Limoncello (a fairly inexpensive type of lemon liqueur that isn’t sour but has lots of big citrus flavor… this is, I think, the secret ingredient in most restaurant margaritas— that extra citrus flavor adds a lot without making the drink more tart).
  • Pinch of salt. Very little will go a long way… alternatively, rim the glass with coarse salt.

Mix with a bunch of ice cubes in a shaker and shake violently for about 15 seconds (until ice starts to crystallize on the outside of your metal shaker). Pour contents into an old-fashioned glass and, for a nice visual appeal, you can finish with a drop of grenadine (let it sink to the bottom for a sweet finish). Add a couple of skinny straws and a slice of lime if you like. Trust me!

Hint: too strong for your taste? Stir in some lemon-lime soda— don’t shake!

(†) In Texas, we really enjoy our margaritas.

UPDATE: After fiddling with this for a while, I’ve found that it’s better to use fresh lime and syrup rather than sour mix. Even though there are good sour mixes out there (I’m talking about you, Dr. Swami and Bone Daddy), I find they don’t have quite the same freshness as when you use a fresh lime. In any case, if you can’t get fresh limes or don’t have five minutes to make simple syrup, you can substitute a quality sour mix—no neon yellow stuff, please!—for the lime juice and simple syrup above.

Enjoi