Monday, February 27, 2006

A Day at the Beach

Entry #1 in the Mr. Boston Rum section: A Day at the Beach.

This entry is a little out of place given that today the bay area is besieged with rainstorms, but let's just call it wishful thinking, shall we?

I was sad that this was the first drink of the journey, since the ingredients are Amaretto, coconut rum, OJ, and grenadine. Sounds sugary and nasty, right? I mean, coconut rum is pretty vile usually.

However, it seems that coconut + almond is a winning combination here. I actually said "Wow!" after my first taste. It's very sweet, yes, but with a nice mellow flavor that has none of the acridness I usually associate with coconut rum. In fact, something about the coconut rum in the shaker makes the drink a bit frothy and smooth.

Plus, it has the whole pretty sunrise thing going on.
1 oz coconut rum (Malibu)
1/2 oz Amaretto (Disarrono)
4 oz OJ
Shake and pour into an ice-filled highball glass.
Top with 1/2 oz grenadine. (Rose's)
Garnish with a strawberry and slice of pineapple. (I didn't have either, so went with an orange and cherry instead, and a festive floral stirrer.)

A Roadmap Found

There has not been nearly enough drinking in my house lately. Stomach flu was an excuse for a few days, but I should really get back off the wagon. So I recently used an Amazon gift certificate to pick up an essential: a copy of Mr. Boston.

It occurred to me that a new plan would be to pick a section of Mr. Boston at a time and work through alphabetically. This should only take, oh, about ten years at a few drinks a week. So I'm going to take some artistic license and allow myself to skip recipes that use ingredients that are used so infrequently that it isn't worth having around taking up space in the liquor cabinet (like Creme de Banana), ingredients that are overly extravagant, or simply as I feel like it.

Given that in this part of the country spring is about to spring upon us, I think Rum is a good section to begin with. Rum is also one of my preferred spirits. And at about 140 recipes, a number of which I'm already familiar with, I might just be able to make it to Tequila by summer. I need to make up a shopping list for the first few pages for ingredients that I don't have on hand.

I'm also going to make an effort to add photos to this blog as well. Let's see how this all works out.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The "Mandy"

My travels this January have limited my posting as of late. I was in London and in Las Vegas, but found little to write home about on the cocktail front. I did manage to sample some Pimm's and lemonade in London, however. It was quite sweet, yet refreshing. I'll have to acquire some myself, as it seems like a nice spring drink.

But last weekend at a party I was introduced to a new cocktail, the provenance of which being that the recipe came from a friend of the hostess, "Mandy", if I remember correctly (which is only a small chance that I do, especially given the alcoholic content of said drink).

It seems to go something like this:
The Mandy Cocktail
1 oz vodka (Absolut)
dash grenadine
4 oz champagne (Cook's, but I'm sure a better brand would improve things)
dash bitters

Shake the vodka and grenadine with ice. Strain into a champagne flute. Top with champagne. Add bitters.

As champagne cocktails go, this one isn't the tastiest I've had (that would be a Kir Royale). Mine was a bit over-bittered, but I can see potential in this drink. It's fragrant and very drinkable, given the sweetness. I think the grenadine and bitters amounts could be balanced to make an interesting flavor. I've heard of similar cocktails using brandy, sugar, champange, and bitters, but this is is perhaps more a festive version. And it packs quite a kick. Which is, what I suppose, exactly what a pink and sparkly drink should do.