Monday, December 14, 2020

Astro-Punch: Holiday Party 2020

*peep* ­čÉş

Hi there. It's been awhile hasn't it? Is there even a need to indicate why, this year?

Anyways, I've hope you and yours have been well. Like you, I'm very glad to see the end of this year. It won't be the end of all our troubles, but some element of closure tying a knot on a period of interminable uncertainty may prove fortifying (for the next period of interminable uncertainty). So let's take a moment to salute the current heavens with a couple rounds of Astro-Punch, mixed special for the Astrological Society of Princeton's holiday Zoom party.

There's plenty of background on the development of Astro-Punch, but all you really need to know is:

1 of Sharp, 2 of Sweet, 3 of Strong, 4 of Weak, and Spice!

Align according to the zodiac signs in the chart and get creative!

The heavens for the day, December 13th, featured a balsamic Sagittarius Moon quickly approaching the (Sag) Sun for an eclipse the next day, with Mercury a few degrees behind, Venus in Scorpio and Mars in Aries. We're looking for spirits, aromatics and dilution elements which reflect a contemplative, far-traveling, or religious/monastic quality. Then a rhythm section of sweet/sour which is bold, red and perhaps tart.



Stargazers' Punch

1/2 oz white grapefruit juice
1 oz cr├Ęme de cassis
1 1/2 oz brandy (Remy Martin or similar centaur or ♐-themed spirit)
2 oz Arctic Fire tea (substitute violet black tea or other thematically-comparable tea)
food-grade frankincense

To make:

Prepare your serving glass with frankincense smoke. Take a tin pie plate and add a few granules of food-grade frankincense, placing this on your stove's burner on lowest setting. Hold your serving glass above the frankincense, letting the smoke/vapor fill the glass for roughly 30 seconds. The frankincense should bubble and liquefy; avoid charring. You may not see much smoke, but you should be able to smell the incense.

Combine sharp, sweet, strong, weak in a shaker. Give a brief shake to combine and aerate, then strain into your serving glass.

If making a punchbowl of the stuff, you could infuse the frankincense into water for a block of ice to rest in the punchbowl: this chills the punch without overdoing the dilution. Gently heat frankincense and water on the stove like making a tea, and pour into a suitable tupperware-type container (lid not required) or bundt pan whose size works with your punchbowl. Freeze, and perhaps run some warm water over the container's surface to help release the ice block when ready.

Tasting notes:

When originally testing this recipe with lime juice, Venus in Scorpio's Sweet element announced itself with mouth-puckering tartness. Of the two classic citruses typically used for punch (and can be used in a pinch for Astro-Punch if other options fail), lime juice normally brings out fruitier flavors than lemon, which is a plus when working with the red fruit liqueurs favored by Venus in Mars signs. However, be it grenadine (pomegranate liqueur — think Persephone), sloe gin or the racy cr├Ęme de cassis, these liqueurs also come with a hefty dose of Martian acidity! Venus in detriment veers from serving in a purely Venusian fashion, that is, providing a balancing sweetness to unite disparate ingredients and creating a pleasing mouthfeel.

To solve this problem, white grapefruit juice comes to the rescue. The lower acidity, clean flavor and color of white grapefruit evokes Aries' lamb rather than ram (think racy bold lime juice) side, and harmonizes with the cassis. Cognac adds vanilla notes and an element of slow-sipping contemplation to pair with cassis' brooding quality, while the tea provides a low-tannin slightly-herbal vista on which the other ingredients might expand. Starry frankincense on the nose finds flavor affinity with the white grapefruit, and orients one to a spiritual frame of mind.



Oh Dear, There's a Total Solar Eclipse in Sag Tomorrow Punch
1/4 oz lime juice
1/4 oz lime oleo saccharum syrup
3/4 oz Batavia Arrack
2 oz ruby port
2 oz Ommegang Three Philosophers beer
nutmeg

To make:

Oleo saccharum syrup:
Zest one lime and add to a sealable container with 1/4 cup demerara sugar (turbinado or white sugars can also work). Muddle, cover, shake and let macerate on the countertop overnight. The next day add 1/4 cup hot water and shake to dissolve the sugar. Strain off lime zest and store syrup in the refrigerator.

ALSO: oleo saccharum (for any citrus fruit) makes a great base for a lemonade or limeade-style non-alcoholic beverage — just mix in the citrus juice and more water, to taste.

Cocktail:
Add lime juice, syrup, Arrack and port to your serving cup. Stir gently. Add beer and stir gently. Grate nutmeg over top. Enjoy!

Tasting notes:

This is more of a recipe "inspired by" the transits, and provides an alternative way of working with desired ingredients while not strictly following the regular Punch ratio. With an eclipse the day after the party, a little holiday season opulence, in the spirit of Ford Prefect persuading Arthur Dent to down 6 pints immediately prior to getting beamed on-board a Vogon spacecraft to avoid Earth's destruction, seemed apropos.

Here, the acidity issues of Venus in Scorpio and Mars in Aries are solved reverse-King Solomon-style: combine them into one ingredient, ruby port*! As a digestif, ruby port's nature as an after-dinner sipper combines a dense blend of sugar and acid in a red fruity, Martian and festive delight. Yet the port could use some stiffening via our Sagittarian ingredients. Prominently, the quadruppel-ale-and-kriek Three Philosophers, another festive element one could imagine happily resting in the hand of a friar, real or erstwhile, at a pub bull session.

Wine and beer in the same cocktail
, you ask? Believe! I say.

The bready, malty (dare I say laconic) ale with notes of dark chocolate, coffee, and yes, cherry, balances quite well with the young ebullient port. To this we add Batavia Arrack, the rum progenitor first encountered by westerners traveling the East Indies during the early days of punch and global circumnavigation (you'll have to write me if you want to know how this relates to the gods of the Piscean Age and Homer's Odyssey). In a word, the arrack adds an element of funk to this otherwise smooth and too-easy-drinking quaff. And to this already-heady brew, we add in a ceremonial amount of lime juice and lime oleo saccharum, bowing in the direction of Right and True punch, because the arrack would feel out of sorts without the Tiki undershadings. Another classical punch element, nutmeg, finishes the cocktail with that spicy-yet-creamy thing nutmeg does, and sets the imagination on untamed possibilities.

Careful: too much nutmeg and you go from Sag to Pisces terrain. Granted, this is a recipe which could very easily set you down for a long winter's nap, but whether you want to encounter Lord Kinbote is entirely your choice.

*I would avoid LBV or aged port if possible, because it diminishes the sweetness and would throw off the punch's balance.


Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy and have a warm holiday season and winter ahead with friends and family as close as our present moment allows.


For my latest astrological musings, please check out my blog Kastalia Astrology. It's a bit quiet at the moment due to an ever-expanding-in-scope research project, but stay tuned: I've had too many "holy $#!^" moments so far to not share what I'm finding.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Impromptus: Lupus Dei and Golden Ratio

Lupus Dei
2 oz bourbon (High West American Prairie)
1/4 oz Benedictine
1 dash Orinoco bitters
rinse reposado mezcal
1/4 oz sloe gin

Rinse serving glass with the mezcal and chill until needed. Mix bourbon, Benedictine and bitters on ice and strain into serving glass. Sink sloe gin and serve.

A campfire nose, but turns to bright spirit (the most ethereal bourbon this side of Elijah Craig 12 Year) with a slight exotic dandy twist due to the sandalwood in the bitters. The sloe emerges on later sips - blood with an oh-so British lilt of juniper finds the tongue. Not as disjointed as the pieces might suggest.

Fitting for our friend Ethan Chandler from Penny Dreadful, riffed on the classic Derby Cocktail. (ok, not quite Ethan's bowler, but close)


Next, inspired by Venus' ingress into the sign of Virgo (yeah, I know this is late, she's now in Libra), a Triple Goddess threat (wheater - Demeter, grenadine - Perspehone, Strega - Hecate) plus Aphrodite and Apollo.

Golden Ratio
1 part Drambuie/Strega (lower proof/softer herbal liqueur)
1 part grenadine
2 parts lemon juice
3 parts calvados
5 parts wheat whiskey

Shake and strain. Lemon twist garnish. Eureka! </Square1>

The grenadine doesn't take over as much here as you might think, though it's a great companion to the calvados, as those acquainted with the Jack Rose would appreciate. The wheat whiskey is reedy and blends seamlessly with calvados' fruit; the lack of rye in the mash bill for this mix is pleasant. Drambuie's honey lies in wait in the background, inoffensive but not the wrong ingredient. Choosing Strega instead adds a bit more brightness and zest.

As you might note, we've got a Fibonacci sequence of a recipe, though it's effectively just a 4-1-1 Sour ratio. Hail Venus, flower of the 5s, Mistress of the Golden Ratio!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Sandstone Cobbler

Back at it again. Sherry cobblers are perfect summer imbibing when you want something low-proof that won't dehydrate. Add to that nutty orgeats and a bit of astringent or bitter caffeine and you have something simple yet complex, which makes your tastebuds throb in delight. Amontillado is perfect for this recipe: there's a slight lightness in comparison to rich oloroso that matches with the pistachio. My berries ran out on me, but some blackberries and/or strawberries would work divine here.

Come to think, this is a very nutty Arnold Palmer between the tea and lemon.








Sandstone Cobbler
4 oz amontillado sherry
1 1/2 oz strong English breakfast tea
1/4 oz pistachio orgeat (heavily loaded with rose water)


Shake well with two small pieces ice.

Strain into a highball glass filled with ice cobbles.

Garnish with mint, a small lemon wheel, berries.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Sunstone Cobbler


Mmm... Leave it to seeing what a true master can do with peanut orgeat on Twitter and suddenly you find yourself back in the game with a recipe you've been holding for some time. The balance had been tricky on this one, and the particulars of the individual ingredients and the timing of quickly-melting pellet ice made development a bit of a shapeshifter.

We have a somewhat standard Sherry Cobbler. Deepened with bittering ingredients and an oh-so-savory peanut orgeat. You might think that nuttiness on top of nutty sherry would be overkill. That would be incorrect. Still, a simple recipe, because you don't need an ingredient more than the below.


Sunstone Cobbler
4 oz dry oloroso sherry
1/2 oz peanut orgeat
1/2 oz - 3/4 oz cold brew coffee
2 dashes Mexican chocolate bitters (Bittermen's Xocolotl Mole, 12 drops)
Mint, orange wheel, berries for garnish

Combine non-garnish in a shaker with a few cubes ice. Shake to blend. Add mint and orange to tall pellet-ice-filled glass and pour in mixture. Add extra ice if needed and couch berries oh-so-cutely on top.

The rest of your summer afternoon will have a genuine summer afternoon feel in these hectic-paced days.


Your recipe balance mileage may vary depending on whether you use a dry oloroso or a sweeter amontillado. I think you can get away with up to 3/4 oz coffee despite it being such an ice-loaded drink that will take down the sweetness levels over time, but it depends on your sherry, orgeat and coffee densities.

Berries are a must, if only for the PB&J effect.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Impromptu: Mireille

Because sometimes your blueberry hand cream from Bath and Body Works just speaks to you, y'know?


Mireille
3/4 oz French gin (Citadelle/St. George Botanivore)
3/4 oz reposado tequila (Partida)
1/2 oz blanc vermouth
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz blueberry liqueur*
1/4 oz limoncello
1/4 oz Suze

Shake, strain, lemon twist, sip.


Gin and tequila - that's a new one, even for me. But it wouldn't work without the other ingredients tying it all together.





*House blueberry liqueur, because I'm out of homemade:
3 parts Creme Yvette,
1 part homemade blackberry/black raspberry liqueur (for dark berry/blue raspberry notes),
1 part creme de violette (for a blue floral frisson at the back of the palate led into by the vegetal base spirits).

It hit the notes I was looking for. Track down that hand cream (this summer, while they have it in stock). You'll get what I mean.

Consider also creme de myrtille or Mirto.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Astro-Punch: The Practice: Aries-Virgo-Aries-Aries-Aries x2

So Thursday we started out with the Theory. Today, a bit of a practicum on how to construct and evaluate punches for maximum tastiness. The MacGuffin? Let's look at my own placements and riff on that.

All my personal planets (for those unfamiliar: all those inside the asteroid belt, including the "Lights") are Aries except for my Virgo Moon, so the structure of these punch recipes goes as follows:

1 Aries Sharp
2 Aries Sweet
3 Aries Strong
4 Virgo Weak
Aries garnish/spice

You can make punch to the extent of filling garbage cans if you want (I tremble at the thought of juicing that much citrus..), but for individual servings 1/2 oz per part makes an appropriate serving size. (e.g. 1/2 oz Sharp, 1 oz Sweet, 1 1/2 oz Strong, 2 oz Weak = 5 oz + minor dilution when shaking briefly with a couple pieces of ice).

Let's go to the ingredients!


Four Rams and a Lamb
lime juice
grappa (100pf Nardini)
green tea
chili powder (Peruvian chili-lime blend)

Somehow, on the nose, the citrusy chili powder and Meyer lemon go together splendidly. In all, the balance works, but I'd probably use a more assertive, or at least textured, Weak component. A blend of dried herbs and flowers ontop of green tea would work even better; keep the green tea because of its affinity for citrus, by which I mean more the Spice than the Sharp. Despite the proof, the grappa slips in under the radar: it's been known to do this, so I would recommend caution, though the green tea's caffeine probably helps here too.

Granted, Meyer lemon trends more towards Pisces - the zest's oils are rather floral and the juice is softer than normal lemon juice, which fits the sign in which Venus is exalted. Alas, it's the only falernum I have on hand, but it still has an appropriate kick. In my case, it'll swing because of my Aries-intercepted-under-Pisces, though YMMV.

Erigone at the Racetrack
lime juice
Cherry Heering
gold cacha├ža (Ypioca Ouro)
ginger ale
brandied cherry

The punch ratio allows for an elongation of the cacha├ža flavors; underneath the coppery aging note there's still a bit of funky petrol more readily found in unaged variants. Hey, Aries likes to go to the races. Virgo's gentle ginger is a welcome compliment, and, when using a drier brand like Canada Dry, balances the Sweet. From past usage I've found Cherry Heering tends to run a smidge dry, so the mini-Sweet-boost worked well. Finally, racy lime demonstrates why it's better than lemon in this application: it brings out fruitier notes and keeps pace alongside funky spirits (e.g. cacha├ža, tequila, rum).


In all, this perhaps expresses in a more pure form something I've been driving at for the entirety of Feu-de-Vie. Cocktails are iconographic. Each recipe contains a blend of full-on archetypes rising towards something more fully-realized because of the ingredient nuances. The variants on the Manhattan align like Picasso's Nude Descending a Staircase, conveying mood and motion in the same way 75+ years of comics have delineated Superman, tried and teased from all angles and cultural shifts. Robust entities, pure Forms and spirits. Cocktails are Strike a Pose, There's Nothin' to It.


Ok, and post-script: tasting both of these at once when I (who, me? A lady? No!) burp a little. It tastes a little like A-1 Steak Sauce. This is not a bad thing, especially if you're an Aries.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Astro-Punch: The Theory

And now for a bit of a lark or parlor game and some non-holiday holiday season FUN.

I have been going off into parts unknown as of late, delving into my long-simmering passion for astrology. It's been an interest since I was a teenager, but in the last two years or so I've started seeking out community and even went to my very first conference recently. And while there, since I'm currently a meh astrologer, the least I could do to make a contribution would be to bring in a stronger skill-set, namely, cocktails.

But how to connect the two? The obvious answer would be to make personalized cocktails based on a person's natal chart (go here to get a free chart construction and find out your placements!). But the rubric?

Welp, the more I think about it, the more precise and refined my ideas become, but also the more elaborate the groundwork gets. Further, it's getting to the point where I want to pull in the natal charts of some noted cocktailians such as Dorothy Parker and Ernest Hemingway to test some theories. That much is gonna take some work, to the extent you'll likely find a full appendix on it in the Feu-de-Vie cocktail book (!!! Yep! Already hard at work on it, dribs and drabs noted on Twitter as they develop).

So in the meantime let's have some fun with a simpler exercise without the higher-end analytics.


There are so many styles of cocktails, what would be a consistent framework to swap-in varying ingredients based on multiple elements of a person's chart? (because Sun signs alone don't count in my book, we're so much more and don't get me started on the asteroids) How about ever-friendly Punch, the granddaddy of mixed drinks dating back to the misty days of the East India Trading Company? I could see the likes of William Lilly partaking.

Plus, punch relies on a set formula that doesn't require much tinkering with the ratio. As the old rhyme goes: One of sharp, two of sweet, three of strong, four of weak

To break it down:

Sharp - the acid, the Sour, the counterbalance to the Sweet element. Generally citrus juices with low pH (lemon, lime). Other citrus can be used (orange varieties, pineapple, Meyer lemons mildly-so), but these tend to contain some Sweet, so a more complex balancing is needed (i.e. a drier sweetening element and/or a bitter liqueur and/or ratio adjustments).

Sweet - sugar, syrups, oleo saccharum, liqueurs.

Strong - the spirit or regular-proof alcohol. In some cases this could be a fortified wine, but you would want to dial back the Weak element, as punch has a particular balance to it.

Weak - water, teas, tisanes, carbonated beverages like ginger ale or seltzer, potentially cider, beer or sparkling wine. The low-if-any proof element that extends your concoction into a session potable.

Ah, but wait! Sure, we have the basic Planter's Punch ratio above but 1) "Punch" derives from the Hindi "Panch" meaning "5", as in the number of ingredients, and 2) it is a truth (that should be) universally acknowledged that a good cocktail must be in want of a #garnish. To that end, there is a second part to the rhymeA dash of bitters and a sprinkle of spice, serve well chilled with plenty of ice.

Bitters? Spice? This sounds like a mediating element which either ties it all together or does PR for presentation or for one's nostrils. From a veritable pharmacopeia of choices, no doubt.

As you might notice, we have 2 sets of paired opposites: Sharp/Sweet and Strong/Weak. How would this play out astrologically?

Well, astrology does have a lot of systematic food and herb assignments in existence already. The most obvious connection would be Sweet to the planet Venus, who rules stone fruits, roses and other sweet and pleasing things.

Whereas Sharp would be the opposite of Sweet, we pair the lesser benefic Venus with lesser malefic weapon-laden Mars. Hot and dry Mars associates well with the Fire element which associates with Choler, one of the four humours, also known as yellow bile. It's a light hop (hoplite?) and a skip from Choler back to acid.

As to the second set of paired opposites, there are 2 other possible pairings with the planets to follow suit with Venus/Mars. Strong/Weak could either be Jupiter/Saturn or Sun/Moon. Given that the Weak element is watery and the Strong element consists of fire(water), and that Jupiter/Saturn signs remain consistent for everyone born within a 1 or 3 year timeframe, the faster-moving Sun/Moon match the ingredient types better and allow for the kind of personalization that we're expecting for this exercise. At that, you could say that the cocktail revolves around the spirit choice in the same way the planets revolve around the Sun.

Finally, if the word-choice above didn't give it away, the ruler of herbalism and alchemy-minded Virgo, swift-footed mercantile Mercury, would be our go-to for bitters, spice, and garnish.


So to that end, here's a set of ingredient ideas to get you started. I fully expect to refine, rework, expand and expound (down Virgo Moon, DOWN!) upon this list for the book, especially to align families of ingredients by element and modality. Also, consider playing around with the iconography on the bottle for assignments - it's why I generally assign cognac to Leo but give centaur-labelled Remy Martin to Sagittarius.

Oh, and, wondering how certain ingredients play out in recipes? *eyes that long list of tags to your right*

I don't promise anything magickal or life-solving in these ideas (please, let's steer clear of finding answers in a bottle - ask an astrologer instead!). Staying on the level with personal preferences, likes, dislikes keeps it fun. Although, if you're looking for answers in combining bottles, shoot me your personal planets in the comments and I can help with a recipe, free of charge. I'll post my own tomorrow to provide an example.

Got a question or better placement idea? Anything surprisingly ring true? Throw it at me in the comments! Let us repart├ęe!



Signs Sharp (♂) Sweet (♀) Strong (☉) Weak (☽) Spice (☿)
Aries (♈) lime juice, white grapefruit juice falernum,
Cherry Heering,
Ancho Reyes
liqueur
grappa,
unaged cachaca,
overproof
unaged r(h)um
peppermint tea,
white tea
peppermint,
dill
Taurus (♉) pink lemon juice,
Cara Cara
orange juice

Chambord,
cinnamon syrup,
allspice dram,
mint syrup
rum,
rhum agricole,
tequila para mi amante
English or Irish
breakfast tea,
peach tea
allspice, cinnamon
Gemini (♊)
Finger lime juice,
Split lemon &
lime juice,
Don's Mix if ♊

Don's Spices #2,
Don's Mix if ♊,
other split
sweeteners,
mastic resin
liqueur
pisco, tequila,
infused spirits, contrasting split
spirit pairs
strawberry agua
fresca
banana
dolphins, kumquats,
split bitters
Cancer (♋) Lactart (lactic acid),
pineapple juice

coconut cream,
coconut sugar
syrup,
winter squash
syrup
gin or other Mother's Ruin
Milk, melon juices or melon agua fresca,
infused water
cucumber,
nutmeg,
spearmint
Leo
(♌)
orange juice,
tangerine juice,
lemon juice
Gran Marnier,
oleo saccharum,
ginger syrup
cognac
Champagne,
ginger beer,
San Pellegrino
citrus sodas
(except chinotto)
ginger coins,
lemon mint,
orange bitters
Virgo (♍) shrub syrup,
apple cider vinegar
Barenjager,
honey syrup,
maple syrup
gin, genever,
herb-infused
spirits
herbal tea,
ginger ale,
green tea

thyme,
rosemary

Libra (♎) lemon juice
orgeat syrup,
vanilla syrup,
elderflower
liqueur
calvados,
stone fruit or
pear eau-de-vie
rose black tea,
apple cider
(juice or hard)
edible flowers,
sweet anise
Scorpio (♏) unsweetened
cranberry juice,
blood orange juice

amari, sloe gin,
pomegranate
grenadine,
creme de cassis,
coffee syrup
bourbon, rye whiskey lapsang souchong tea,
San Pellegrino chinotto
cloves,
mace,
star anise
Sagitta-rius
(♐)
Satsuma orange
juice, other festive winter citrus juice,

monastic herbal
liqueur
(Benedictine, Chartreuse, etc..),
nocello/nocino, Jagermeister
Batavia arrack,
Remy Martin cognac
Earl Grey tea,
Belgian-style beer
sage smoke,
frankincense
vapor
Capri-corn (♑) Seville orange juice
bitter aperitivos (Campari, Suze),
King's Ginger
Scotch
tonic water,
bitter lemon soda

ambergris,
Angostura
bitters
Aqua-rius
(♒)
acid phosphate,
Tang if ♒♀
Splenda,
Tang if ♒

vodka,
synthetically-aged whiskey

soda/pop/tonic
esp. Coca-Cola, VitaminWater
and similar

gelatin,
soy lecithin,
or xantham
gum-based cocktail foam
or air (made with an ISI Whip!)
Pisces (♓) Meyer lemon
or yuzu juice
Buddha's Hand
oleo saccharum
Madeira,
sherry, sake
Seltzer,
LaCroix

lemongrass,
candied violets

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Tiki Impromptu: Sands of Ipanema

Late Friday nights on Twitter when the Tiki cocktail set get antsy make for the best weekends. It started...not-so innocently enough:

One tweet led to another and suddenly we were all bombing a glassware company's Mentions. Oh la la! Only Europe was getting these spiffy-keen Tiki coupes with Moai design stems that we've ever only seen in Beachbum Berry's Remixed. Not if the North American Tiki set had anything to say about it!

And then I had the grand idea that we'd all do Tiki-off with coupe-style recipes.

Doug's been showing off his uber-gorgeous pics and recipes, as have the rest of the crew (follow my starter tweet buried in the one above).

So folks (and Libbey), have an all-new recipe, that's perfect for coupes!


Sands of Ipanema
1 oz gold Barbados rum (Mount Gay Eclipse)
1 oz gold cacha├ža (Ypioca)
3/4 oz lemon juice
3/4 oz ruby red grapefruit juice
1/2 oz Meyer lemon falernum
1/2 oz coconut cream
Meyer lemon umbrella garnish

Shake on minimal ice to get the mix blended and aerated.
Pour over shaved ice mound in a pre-chilled cocktail coupe or large goblet.
Garnish with a Meyer lemon umbrella.

Makes 2 coupe-fulls or 1 large goblet or bowl-full.

For the umbrella, zigzag cut a Meyer lemon to make 2 pretty halves (step 13) (ignore the step to remove the ends, they're needed for the umbrella). Next, remove the pulp. Then, with a paring knife gently slice out the white pith (except at the base-end) to make the garnish less heavy. Down skewer into a bed of shaved ice in your cocktail glass and freeze briefly to set. Avoid over-freezing, the shaved ice should dissolve somewhat with the cocktail to create a balanced dilution; over-freezing will re-harden the ice and prevent meltage.


Sparkly spicy Meyer lemon swirls on the nose giving way to cacha├ža's grassy funk and mild coconut exoticness on the palate. Grapefruit massages the middle of your tongue, with a bit of lilt and caramel-vanilla to drive it home.


Since Tiare was the one who started it all I started by turning to a write-up she had done on ice garnishes. I tried doing an ice shell, but I still need a bit of practice on that (note to self: you don't have to give yourself frostbite for your art). For this recipe I also wanted to do a citrus peel umbrella, and both felt like too much/no good way to logistic into the same glass. So I opted for a simple hill of sand and umbrella. Not as tiki-elaborate as some others, but it fit the recipe well, including the name, which was there before I last-minuted the presentation.

Libbey, we North American types can make your coupes look good.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Impromptu: Cashew Chicken Fizz

Coming at you live from windy PA, 3.5 years in the making: HIT IT FELLAS!!!



­čÄ Chickity cashew, the Cashew Chicken
You have a Gin Fizz and your brain starts tickin'
Readin' Twitter 'til my eyes bleed
It's a darn big feed
What's Chris Mac up to this time of night?
Iiiiif Tiki month it's D.A.Winship
Or Kaiser Penguin
Have Tiare / Rated R made a Mai Tai?

What, sweet 'n sour? I don't use that
Really, I don't use that
(But if I did I'd have a Daiquiri)
Although makin' fresh's got a flaw
Leave ya half'a lime, it's Iron Law
Now don't get me started on my fifteen other orgeats
Set my latitude to NOLA mood
Now my Ramos's got a (OOH) 10-minute shake
Barkeep, I'll have a Saz'rac.

Procrastinatin' and I think I'll visit Southern Ash
Cocktail Virgin has gotta Sharpie Mustache
I'm the kind of Muse who takes three years for a toast
Don't understand what I mean?
It's an "art post"
Let me guess, this is all so much TL;DR
Let's have a recipe - it's fluffy and good

So take one ounce homemade cashew cream
Pair that with tequila (aged) and dry sherry
Half ounce each of lemon juice (Meyer,
Eureka) and one more of honey boo'
One ounce of club soda too
You gotta give't all a shake, so don't add too soon
Oh and hey, ginger's necessary
So muddle and then don't dare forget the sesame

Muddle and then don't dare forget the sesame
Muddle and then don't dare forget the egg white babe
Dry shakes work best with Hawthorne springs - @dagreb

(with apologies to the Barenaked Ladies)

Cashew Chicken Fizz
1 oz anejo tequila
1 oz dry sherry (amontillado)
1/2 oz honey bourbon liqueur*
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz Meyer lemon juice
1 oz cashew cream
1 egg white
3-4 drops toasted (dark) sesame oil
1 ginger coin, muddled
1 oz seltzer
candied ginger for garnish

 Pour. Muddle. Dry shake. Wet shake. Seltzer in the glass. Strain and quick-stir. Garnish.

Creamy dreamy delight with sesame, ginger and sherry fanciness.

*Wild Turkey American Honey


I'm finding that perhaps egg white is a must when using thicker non-orgeat nut applications.

For cashew cream, I followed the recipe here at Chocolate-Covered Katie.
7 hours of soaking and nothing but cashews and water creates a thick cream whip that tastes of both cashews and (unmistakeably, oddly) real cream. Thin to your preference.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Copa del Aidon


Have a Copa! Copa del Aidon! Just hop ova' Pyriphlegethon!
Have a Copa! Copa del Aiiiii-don!
Muse di'int debunk and now has to get drunk with a Coooopaaaaah!
Don't call H. R....

(for those puzzling, we had an incident Wednesday night that explains everything)


Copa del Aidon
1 1/2 oz resposado mezcal (Los Amantes)
1 oz bianco vermouth (Dolin)
1 oz Becherovka
1 dash orange bitters (Regan's No. 6 or Bittercube)
white sage smoke

Smoke glass. Stir, strain, pour.

Hard to tell where the smoke ends and the spice begins.

May all souls rest in peace, in memory, in love.


As you can see, I like my stogies rolled thick.
What? What do you think covers up the desiccated flesh smell, especially 8 years on?
Nobody gets my undead hamham humor.
grr.. argh...