Archive for April, 2009

Christmas on the Beach

April 24, 2009

So last night, the girls and I got together at Irving Mill in Union Square, which had an unexpected yet fantastic cocktail menu. Here’s what we were sippin’:

The Peruvian: Pisco, Purple Corn Cider, and lime. Purple corn cider? When I asked the bartender what that tasted like, he said “Christmas on the Beach – fruit forward with notes of cinnamon at the finish.” Who care’s what it tasted like, after that description I was sold. To my surprise, it was delicious — and not too too sweet.

My friend ordered the In Fashion and after taste-testing, I ditched The Peruvian for this more stylish sip: Rye 1, Kirschwasser, Nonino Amaro (grappa), rose water and brandied cherries.

Another one not to miss: the Kumquat Fizz, a Spring Citrus Libation made with Hendricks Gin, Strega (and Italian herbal liqueur), kumquats, lemon and soda.

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Movie Time

April 23, 2009

Today kicked off the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival (through May 3rd), and while I’m not a big film festival-goer, I am psyched to see Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds (swoon) in X-Men Origins next week. Yes, I know it’s not officially part of TFF, but this is my blog. I get to write what I want 🙂

Anyway, even though I probably won’t be seeing any TFF films, I’m definitely going to make time to try the film festival’s signature cocktail, the Darkening Theater, created by B.R. Guest mixologist, Eben Klemm.

It’s made with popcorn-infused Stoli (yes, popcorn-flavored vodka!), salted Coke syrup and garnished with caramel popcorn. What do you think — sound good?

Try it and let me know. It’s being served up in NYC at Blue Fin, Blue Water Grill, Primehouse New York, Vento and Wildwood Barbeque.

Cured

April 19, 2009

Remember that Italy fix I was in desperate need of last week? I found the cure at the Hotel Gansevoort. A fine man named Vincenzo helped, but what really did the trick was this tasty elixir:
Inocente Italiano
1.5 oz. Inocente tequila
1/2 oz. Campari
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup

Shake all ingredients, serve in a rocks glass over ice. Add a twist.

Molto bene

In serious need of an Italy fix…

April 13, 2009

It started in West Hollywood. In search of the cast from Grey’s Anatomy, my friend took me to Cecconi’s for breakfast. We sat on the patio (shown), enjoyed amazing coffee, and enjoyed a little slice of la dolce vita. This place reminded me of so much of the venerable San Domenico restaurant in NYC, and if it wasn’t before noon, I would have loved to have been sippin’ some Campari.

Then last week, I went to see the Valentino documentary. Most of the movie took place in beautiful Rome and the next day I found myself on Kayak looking up flights to Milan. Unfortunately, flight prices are still a little steep for my budget, so I’ve decided to transport myself to Italy in a more economical fashion: by consuming as many blood orange cocktails as possible. According to New York, ’tis the season for this native Italian fruit.


Blood Orange Bellini
Courtesy of Stirrings
1 part Stirrings Blood Orange Mixer
4 parts dry Chandon Sparkling Wine
Garnish: Stirrings Blood Orange Rimmer

Rim chilled Champagne flute with Blood Orange Rimmer. Pour in Mixer and top with Chandon Sparkling Wine.

Baby Showers = Shots

April 12, 2009

The title of this post may seem a bit dramatic, but if you are a career gal (read: single) over 30 who needed to attend two baby showers in one day, sit through the movie Baby Mama with your parents, and do it all in your old hometown where ghosts of ex-hookups past pop up around every corner, you’d understand. Yep, that was my weekend, complete with all the family drama you’d come to expect from planning a baby shower for your soon-to-be nephews with you own mother.

I’ve never done well with showers — wedding or baby. No matter who they are for, I always seem to break out in a sweat upon arrival. Usually its nothing a glass of wine can’t cure, and the wine is usually flowin’ at a wedding shower. But at a baby shower, not so much, especially when the shower is a brunch (watered- down mimosas can only help so much). So after this weekend, I’ve come to the conclusion that every baby shower should come with its own signature shot — for the guests, that is (the mom-to-be can sip a Preggatini). I think any one of these will do just fine:

SoCo and Lime
1 1/2 oz. Southern Comfort
Splash of sweetened lime juice

Lemon Drop
1 part Absolut Vodka
1 part triple sec
1 part lemon juice

Straight up Patrón

Orange County

April 4, 2009

I’m being lazy this week folks….not really, but my friend Kira Kohrherr recently visited the Combier Distillery in France, so I asked her to guest blog about it. So without further adieu…

Combier Liqueur d’Orange is new to the U.S., having just launched in New York and Pennsylvania in 2008. However, it is actually the original triple sec, created over 175 years ago! The distillery’s hometown of Saumur is situated in the serene Loire Valley and is an easy two-hour train ride from Paris, so I packed my bags and headed across the Atlantic to find out what it was all about.

On the day I visited, it couldn’t have been scripted better. Mist floated above the cobblestone streets as I walked through town, and I arrived at the gates of the famed operation just as the golden sun was peaking over the river. I met Master Distiller, Franck Choinoise (the perfect French gentleman!), who guided me through the process. Walking inside, I peered through the hiss of rising steam and was transported back in time to 1834 when the distillery first opened its doors. Amazingly, the historic copper stills and the lacy gold-and-maroon wrought-iron passerelle (walkway) are the original design of Gustave Eiffel who also designed the Eiffel Tower in 1887.

The process begins with bitter orange peels shipped from Haiti. The peels soak for 24 hours to rehydrate. The white pith is then removed by hand and discarded. Next, the peels soak for 2-3 days in alcohol to macerate. Precise measurements of the peels, alcohol, and water are then added into the stills to begin the first round of distillation. The stills are then heated, and the heat produces a vapor that travels through the unique “swan neck” pipes. The vapor is cooled and condenses into a concentrate the drips slowly down to be separated. The “head flame” and the “tail flame” are discarded and the middle portion, the “heart,” is retained. That batch (an astounding 185 proof!) goes through the distillation process again, and then is stored in vats for a number of months to oxygenate. That final batch is distilled once more to create the crystal clear final product we sip today.

Want to try some Combier cocktails? Stay tuned — Kira is hosting a tasting in NYC in early May. Watch this space for details!