Time to serve up the drinks! I am hereby going to contribute to the “Holiday Cocktail Party” with a few recipes that I feel are a bit varied on one hand yet consistent with a “cold weather/winter” palate. If this particular exchange took place six months from now I would offer a very different assortment. That said, I am going to offer three cocktails, one retro-classic, and two of my own contemporary concoctions/variations.
The Martinez (precursor of the classic dry martini we know and love today) originated somewhere between 1884 & 1887. The following recipe is based on Jerry Thomas’ version and is arguably the most ‘authentic’......something that up until the last few years would not be possible.
Gin, specifically ….and crucially….. “Old Tom”-style gin ( Ransom, Bluecoat,) which is easily recognizable as a “brown gin” rather than a clear one. This drink will not be worth making as laid out if a clear, “London dry” gin is used.
Maraschino liqueur (Luxardo is a good one)
Lemon peel (twist)
Depending on the size of your preferred libation, rather than focus on specific amounts, just use a 3 parts gin to one part vermouth ratio. The Maraschino liqueur added is minimal, anywhere from ¼ oz. to a mere splash. Add a dash of bitters, serve in a Martini glass and garnish with a twist of lemon.
Most recipes call for pouring the ingredients together with ice to chill and then strain into a glass, but I prefer to keep my gin in the freezer, my vermouth in the fridge, and use no ice at all.
I don't want to leave Dan out of the party, so here's a helpful lass pulling a cold one for my non-cocktail-drinking friend. Have your 'tip' ready, Dan!
Now, for something nice and green and sweet for the ladies, my variation of the Melon Ball which is such a favorite of my dear friend, Marta, that I am tempted to just call it: Marta’s Melons……………...though if she sees that name I might just end up like this:
Actually I did tell Marta about the name for the drink and she was flattered and found it funny. So no spanking for that. I have no luck lately.
I make this in a pitcher because it goes so fast:
In a good-sized pitcher pour 1 part clear rum and 1 part melon liqueur to eventually 2 parts of well-chilled pineapple juice. However, before adding the juice, stir in a couple of packets of powdered sour mix and whisk into a froth. Once you have a nice foamy layer on the booze, add the pineapple juice and some additional ice if you desire. (I sometimes add the ice but usually leave it out and just pour the concoction into a nice fancy glass with ice already in it.)
Here's a pair for the visiting ladies who are a bit easier on the eyes than me. ;-)
And lastly, my own variation of another classic cocktail “The Godfather”: I give you………. The Fairy Godfather
4 parts scotch to 1 part Amaretto and 1 part Frangelico and no more than 2 drops of Angostura bitters. Serve unchilled in a tumbler and garnish with a sour cherry or orange peel as is your preference.
And here's one from our friend Tomy:
Top Shelf Margarita
• 1/2 ounce Cointreau liqueur
• 1/2 ounce Grand Marnier or gran gala
• 2 1/2 ounces prepared sweet-and-sour mix
• 1 ounce lime juice
1 1/2 ounces tequila
And a late entry form Observer:
Bloody Mary Burning in Hell
This may be served hot or cold. Served hot, this will really warm you. Place in a warm mug or glass with ice:
2 oz Vodka
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of salt
Pinch of celery seed or salt
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ oz Tabasco sauce or to taste.
Fill glass or mug with Smoked Tomato Soup* at preferred temperature.
Garnish with lime slice
*Smoked Tomato Soup
12 oz tomato sauce
8 oz smoked chicken stock or regular chicken stock.
1 teaspoon lime juice
(If I might presume, this sounds wonderful, but in addition to the lime garnish, I would suggest rimming the glass with Old Bay seasoning. Also, maybe one day soon I'll share my own recipe for a "Bloody Mary"......which has a bit of a following among my circle.)
And as for other participants in the Holiday Cocktail Party, please visit our friends Merry, Ronnie, and Hermione for more recipes. (I'll add more names and blogs here as they come in! I think Lurker48 had something in mind.)
Now relax and have a drink!