Thursday, March 3, 2011
I was scrolling through recent posts and realizing that if I introduced another dish that was a) a soup or b) chickpeas, we might have a full scale revolt on our hands. So I thought, what could I charm you with? Why booze of course.
When I used to sling drinks, if someone ordered an Old Fashioned, the odds of it being an elderly man with ear hair and a hearing aid taking advantage of the Friday night prime rib special was about 10 to 1. Thanks to Mad Men and the entire borough of Brooklyn making all things either a) old timey or b) midcentury modern searing hot these days, the Old Fashioned and variations thereof are seeing a new moment in the sun right now. It’s funny what a couple years can do, right? It’s like how mullets came back around and were really hip again for a little while there. Oh wait, they didn’t? Don’t tell my sister, because she had one in 2006. True story.
Lately when I go out for dinner, or lunch (who am I kidding) if there is a whiskey based drink on their list that intrigues, it is hands down what I will order first. I really enjoy how cocktail menus in recent years have moved further away from syrupy sweet, sugar rimmed martinis to drinks that actually taste like drinks. For too many years it seems the collective ideology of the Cocktail List was to mask the alcohol in juice and dye, leaving us with something that tasted more like a sleeve of Sprees than an actual Adult Beverage. We are, after all, adults now aren’t we?
So remember when I made the liquid pie? Well it was such a traumatic process that I had to stop halfway through and make myself a drink. I had on hand about ¾ of the ingredients necessary for an Old Fashioned (bourbon, lemon, seltzer, sugar, ice). So I made myself a variation on that. Since then I have kicked around the idea of really making a go at a delicious, new fangled version of the old classic. A traditional Old Fashioned is comprised of this: one slice orange or lemon, a maraschino cherry, a teaspoon of sugar and a dash of bitters, muddled, topped with rocks, Bourbon whiskey and soda water. When they are good they are fantastic and when they are bad I can actually FEEL hair growing on my chest as I drink it. Which if I was a dude, would not be such a bad thing, but I have to appear in tank tops on a regular basis and if I showed up looking like Wolverine, I think people would get a little weirded out.
So what we have here is what I came up with on a cold, grey Sunday afternoon while doing some laundry. I (accidentally on purpose) made enough for two drinks and ended up folding my laundry with a pretty decent buzz on. There are worse things that can happen. So here is my sexed up, citrified, new fashioned Old Fashioned. She’s got only the slightest hint of sweetness, she’s a bit tart, somewhat bitter and very pretty. I call her Betty, because, obviously.
BLOOD ORANGE BOURBON BETTY
(makes two proper and strong cocktails)
Juice from half a blood orange
Juice from quarter of a lemon
1 tsp. sugar
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground coriander
approx. 2 oz. Bourbon Whiskey (I like Maker’s Mark)
approx. 1-2 oz. Pimms
Sliced blood orange or orange peel for garnish
Juice orange and lemon and pour into a pint glass or cocktail shaker, including any pulp from the orange. Add sugar, ginger and coriander, whisk together. Add ice (lots of it) and then pour in equal parts bourbon and Pimms. You could make this with just whiskey if you don’t have Pimms, but I had a bottle kicking around and wanted to see if it could be used for something other than just Pimms Cups. Clamp the lid on your shaker, or if using a pint glass, clamp a martini shaker on the other end. Shake well, until good and frothy. Don’t be a sissy when it comes to shaking your drinks. The shaking process melts away a bit of the ice and really blends the juice and booze together in a way that two weak baby shakes would never do. Shake it like a Shake Weight, just make sure your glass or lid is clamped on good and tight.
In a rocks glass or an old fashioned glass filled with ice, strain half of the mixture in, filling the glass about 2/3 of the way; top with seltzer and don’t forget to start the dryer on the second load of laundry. It won’t dry itself and you will feel moderately embarrassed when you go to change the laundry and there is an entire dryer of soggy sheets staring your drunk mug in the face. Cheers!
If you’re serving a couple people, double or triple the recipe and combine all of the juice and booze ingredients in a small pitcher with some ice. When serving, pour over ice and top with seltzer.
*note* I remembered in hindsight that I did use a dash of Angustora Orange Bitters. But I don't think it was entirely necessary. Use it if you've got it. If not, no biggie.