Thursday, June 18, 2009

Drink of the Month

Do you have an alcoholic beverage secret? For instance…are you one of those people who considers themselves to be a beer connoisseur because you like people to think that you have a wonderful taste for exciting things, but the only beer you really enjoy is an ice cold PBR (I love PBR by the way)? Or do you visit a fine restaurant and peruse the wine list meticulously and with discerning taste, all the while knowing you’re just going to choose the cheapest bottle on the menu like you always do and try to act like it’s a “fantastic wine for the price” because deep down inside you really don't think any wine should cost more than $20? Or perhaps you’re that manly-man who always drinks bourbon neat when you’re out with the guys, but as soon as you get home you’re mixing up pina-coladas, pouring them into your brand new pineapple shaped glasses and topping them off with the all important tiny umbrella. I know who you are ;) It’s ok to be yourself when you’re enjoying a refreshing alcoholic beverage. There is no need to hide behind society’s norms and social stereotypes. My very manly husband always seems to accidentally order the one drink on the menu that comes in a tall, dainty martini glass and is adorned with fruit and edible flowers. Meanwhile I inevitably order the cocktail that comes in a rocks glass and looks and smells like lighter fluid. And I’m always so proud of him when he doesn’t even bat an eyelash or suggest that we “trade” drinks because his looks so good that I simply must try it. It is funny though, this happens just about EVERY time we decide to order some new and exciting cocktail that we’ve never heard of. Look at this monstrosity of a cocktail he ordered just last week at Vietnam restaurant in Philly’s China Town. It’s called a Flaming Volcano. I honestly don’t know what is worse? This flaming punch bowl overflowing with cocktail umbrellas and maraschino cherries…or a pink cocktail in a martini glass. However, I do know this. That flaming monstrosity packed quite a mighty punch (I'm talking some buzz here stumble 10 blocks home even though we shared the drink between the TWO of us, buzz), as do many pretty or “girly” drinks. So I challenge you manly-men to mix up this cosmopolitan and enjoy it without shame! It’s refreshing, not too sweet, flavorful AND it packs a nice punch. If you like, go ahead and put it in a rocks glass and call it a metropolitan.

Cosmopolitan(or as my grandmother calls it...The Pink Drink):
Ingredient List -

Vodka (Honestly...any kind will don't need to go out there and spring for Grey Goose though...I promise you won't be able to tell the difference once you mix it with cranberry juice, triple sec and lime juice...please don't be that person that says, "I only drink Kettle One" and I say, "Oh, you're a dry vodka-tini girl like me?! I love a good chilled Kettle One, straight up with some olives.", to which she replies, "Oh no. I can't drink it straight. I always mix it with Pucker Apple Schnapps and sugar.", to which I reply, "I can no longer be your friend". Good vodka or gin or bourbon should be thought of as the snobs of the liquor cabinet and you should only ever mix them with ice, olives, vermouth or perhaps bitters. Mixing good vodka with that store bought TGI Friday's Mudslide Mix makes me want to cry).

Triple Sec (This is another place that you can cut corners...have you ever looked at the price of Cointreau?!?! Ridiculous I tells ya. Buy De know...the folks that make all of those crazy schnapps like Root Beer and's dirt cheap and when mixed in something as low brow as a Cosmo it's just fine) **disclaimer - next month I'm going to write a recipe for one damn good margarita - it's ingredients are freshly squeezed lime juice, tequila and triple sec...I will be talking about the wonders that Cointreau does for this just doesn't make sense to use it when you're mixing something with Ocean Spray cranberry cocktail**

Cranberry Juice (This is the part of this drink that makes it my go-to cocktail when we have surprise guests. I pretty much always keep cranberry juice and some limes in the fridge and so should you. You'll thank me next time you have some unexpected guest stop by and you can shake up some "pink drinks". They're happy, you're happy and the best part is that you can hide all of your good liquor and use up the bottom shelf stuff...and they'll never know the difference)

Sweetened Lime Juice (My Mother swears by Rose's sweetened lime juice, but once again, when making this drink I use whatever bottle of cheap-o, no-name, sweetened lime juice I can find...I think the last bottle I bought wasn't even printed in English. If you're out, mix fresh lime juice with some simple syrup**equal parts sugar and water, heated until dissolved then cool**. It's just as good if not better)
**You may notice that this cosmo is a bit lighter in color than the ones your used to. I have a heavy hand when pouring the vodka. If it's too strong for you just cut back on the vodka and add a bit more cranberry. But try to keep the other ingredients in the same ratio if you can**
-Put ice in shaker - pour in 1 part vodka, 1 part cranberry, 1/2 part triple sec and 1/2 part sweetened lime juice - shake over ice - pour, straight up in some cocktail glasses - enjoy

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