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Tulio Oro

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Tulio Oro

Erica was making dinner last night and said, “make me a cocktail. Something fancy.” So I went over to the (overflowing) liquor cabinet and tried to see what might be fancy. I noticed a bottle of limoncello that one of our cruise-ship working friends had brought back from a tour of the Mediterranean and that we had never even cracked. That sent me to my old standby, the Cocktails+ app on my iPhone (and… I was going to link to it, but evidentially it’s no longer for sale.) A great feature of the app is that I can just type in an ingredient and see what cocktails include it. Cocktails+ only had three results for limoncello: one was a coffee and one required mint leaf, which I didn’t have. The third had just three ingredients: limoncello, Prosecco, and Carpano Punt e Mes. I knew I had a bottle of champagne that I could substitute in for the Prosecco, so I click on Carpano Punt e Mes to see what it was. “Proprietary Italian quinquina…”. Well, that was a coincidence—in the new season of Drunk Monkeys, the ladies try Byrrh, a quinquina, and now we had this bottle sitting around that otherwise I’d have no idea what we were going to do with.

I mixed us up a couple of Tulio Oros and I have to say they were quite tasty. The champagne was a little old, and maybe a hair bitter on it’s own, but the limoncello and Byrrh covered that up nicely. It was also a very strong drink and maybe we were a little slow getting some of our after-dinner chores done. But fancy, check.

Tulio Oro

Shake with ice:

3/4 oz limoncello
1/2 oz Carpano Punt e Mes

Strain into a Champagne flute.
Fill with 6 oz Prosecco.
Garnish with a lemon twist.

From Cocktails+, Adapted from Gary Regan, The Joy of Mixology.

Maker's White Whisky Sour

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Fuzzy asked for the recipe for the Maker's Mark White Whisky Sours--this is the recipe from the label on the bottle:

1 1/2 parts Maker's Mark White Whisky (I used 2 1/2 to 3 oz)
Sour Mix: equal parts simple syrup and lemon juice--I used a mix of lemon and lime juice for mine. (I used 2 oz of each)
A pinch of sea salt

Then I put it in a shaker with some ice, gave it a good swirl, poured all it if into a large rocks glass, and topped with club soda (courtesy of our Soda Stream).

HOOBOY it is good!
Word of warning: You will think that you need more than one, but in fact, you don't. Or maybe you do...

Maker's White


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Sloe Gin Fizz A near-empty bottle of Plymouth Sloe Gin

"Well Portland, Oregon and a sloe gin fizz, if that ain't love than tell me what is."--Loretta Lynn and Jack White, Portland, Oregon

I'd been hearing a lot about Sloe Gin Fizzes recently. It was showing up in song lyrics left and right. I was getting curious. I knew that it was made with Sloe Gin, and that it was not a less-fast version of regular gin, but I'd never had one.

I mentioned to a friend about it, and he said he'd had one before. He also called it a "Lady Drink."

Hmm. Well, I'm a lady and I like scotch as well as pink champagne, so that could be anything.

So I mentioned to Fuzzy that I wanted to try one, and in typical amazing Fuzzy fashion, he showed up one night with a bottle of Plymouth Sloe Gin.


Each summer, I like to delineate one cocktail or drink to be my "official drink." In an earlier post, I mentioned "The Summer of Flights," and I've also have had 'The Summer of Weiss Beers," "The Summer of Whites" and I think last summer was all about beers. Undoubtedly, this summer is "The Summer of the Sloe Gin Fizz." We killed off that bottle pretty fast and are now onto another one.

A few weeks ago, I was out with a few friends and I was telling them about the SGF. My friend Jeff asked where you can get one, since it isn't a commonly consumed drink anymore. It just so happened that we were at a martini bar, so we decided that if they could make us one, we would all order one. They said they could, so we did. It was just good--way sweeter than what we make at home and a totally different color. Turns out, they used sour mix (which I love, but generally when mixed with a cheap whiskey or oooh, apple whiskey. Hey, while I am in this parenthetical moment, I just remembered that last summer was "The Summer of the Whiskey Sour" which I made with Leopold Brothers Apple Whiskey, which isn't as easy to find anymore.) but I must say, I much prefer the ones we've been making at home. Kinda fruity, a little sour, easy to drink and really refreshing.

I think I have to make myself one now!

Fuzzy adds:

Sloe Gin is, simply enough, Gin flavored with sloe berries. Binny's, our local well-stocked liquor store, has two varieties: the Plymouth at $30 a bottle and Dubouchett at $10 a bottle. The Plymouth has been so good I've been hesitant to try the Dubouchett, but I suppose if it's OK, it'd be a lot cheaper.

The recipe I'm using for a Sloe Gin Fizz comes from the Cocktails+ app on my iPhone and is:

2 1/2 oz sloe gin
1 oz lemon juice
1/2 simple syrup

Shake with ice. Strain into an ice-filled collins glass. Top with club soda.

Simple Syrup

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For years I've been intimidated by the idea of making my own Simple Syrup--I think because it involved sugar and boiling water I assumed it was as complicated as candy making, with monitoring of temperatures and so on. Nothing could be farther from the truth, it turns out. You just put equal amounts of sugar and water in a saucepan and heat it until the water boils and the sugar dissolves completely. You don't even have to stir it (though, if you're like me, you'll give it the occasional stir just to feel like you're doing something). Then cool and store in some convenient container (I use an old port wine bottle with a cork). Store it in the fridge.

For determining what size container you'll need, know that 250 ml (1 cup) of water and sugar each makes 300 ml of syrup. Science! That's perfect for that little 375 ml port wine bottle.

Punch Party Recipes

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Erica and punch

A couple of weeks ago we saw a Good Eats episode about punch that really struck our fancy and so we decided to have a genteel little get-together to try out the recipe (since it involves whole bottles of champagne, it's not really something you can just make a glass or two of). It was also a good opportunity to make some fancy appetizer recipes we'd been eyeing.

The punch was even tastier than I'd hoped, but it had a kick to it for sure.


Here's the menu with links to the original recipes, and I've also included the recipes with any variations we used after the jump, for my own future reference.

And it wasn't a fancy appetizer, per se, but we did also have some leftover Green chile pork stew with potatoes from the night before, recipe from Making Light.

(Originally posted on FuzzyCo, Jul 20, 2009: Punch Party Recipes)

Hot Apfel Toddy

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1 shot of Apple Schnapps*
1 slice of lemon
1 spoonful of sugar
dash of cinnamon

Combine in mug. Fill with hot water.

Nothing fancy, just warming and delicious.

* I used Schönauer Apfel, "Imported from Germany", but I'm sure any non-Pucker Apple Schnapps will do.

(Originally posted on FuzzyCo, Nov 1, 2008: Hot Apfel Toddy)


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Sazerac at the Rib Room

Sadly, when people think of New Orleans and drinking these days the first image that pops into their mind is probably drunken frat guys at Mardi Gras. Which is true. But New Orleans has more than just drinking volume, it's got drinking history. I mean, this is the city where the modern cocktail was invented.

And the first cocktail that was invented was (arguably) the Sazerac. I was turned onto the Sazerac by a link from Making Light and started making them back in 2005. A Sazerac isn't too complicated to make, but it does involve three ingredients that you probably don't have in your standard home bar -- rye whiskey, Herbsaint liqueur, and Peychaud's bitters. If you've seen my home bar, you know that obscure liquors are my stock-in-trade, so finding all those pieces was no problem. And we've enjoyed the Sazeracs I've made, but never having had one that anyone else had made, there's always a lingering question of whether I'm doing it "right". So on a December 2006 trip to New Orleans, Erica and I decided to check in with some experts.

The place to get a Sazerac would be the Sazerac Bar at the then Fairmont, but the Fairmont was still closed from Katrina damage. (The hotel reopened in 2009 as the Roosevelt and the bar is open as well.) So we went to the Rib Room at the Omni Royal Orleans for Sazeracs and dessert.

So, yes, I was making them fine (the Rib Room uses Angostura bitters in addition to the Peychaud's bitters, but we'll let that slide).

Here's the recipe:
1/2 teaspoon Herbsaint (you could also use absinthe now that's it legal again in the US)
1 teaspoon of simple syrup
4 dashes Peychaud's bitters
You could use a tiny, tiny drop of Angostura bitters, but I think that's wrong
2 ounces rye whiskey (you'd think "Sazerac Rye" would be the best choice, but I prefer Old Overholt)
Strip of lemon peel

Chill a rocks glass. In another glass or Boston shaker combine ice, simple syrup, bitters, and rye. Stir gently to chill. Pour the Herbsaint into the chilled rocks glass and coat the inside of glass, pouring out the excess. Strain whiskey mixture into the rocks glass. Twist lemon peel over mixture to release lemon oil and then rub peel over the rim of the glass. Drink.

I got my recipe from Chuck Taggart's Gumbo Pages and he's got lots of more explicit directions and variations.

(Originally posted on FuzzyCo, December 8, 2006: Drinking our way across the South - the Sazerac)

Margarita Tour

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Here was the plan: a Saturday afternoon with nothing important to do, two couples, four places known for margaritas. Each person would order an appetizer and take care of the bill at one restaurant, so that it all evens out.

Stop 0: Sotol

It's important to be properly fortified before you set out on a journey like this, so we had a sip of Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol before we took the train south. Hmm... smooooth.

Stop 1: Uncle Julio's Hacienda, 855 W North Ave

We all were going to mostly stick with traditional (or at least, non-frozen) margaritas, but the Swirl is the signature drink at Uncle Julio's and I'm a sucker for a signature drink. The florescent flamingo lets you know you're not in for subtle flavors, but I did enjoy it.

Everyone else got the Julio's Gold margarita on the rocks and we got a bowl of Chile con Queso for the table. Hmmm... cheeeese.

The Swirl at Uncle Julio's Margarita at Uncle Julio's

Stop 2: Adobo Grill, 1610 N Wells

At Adobo the signature dish is the Guacamole which is prepared fresh, tableside. (I'm also a sucker for food that's a show) so that had to be our appetizer. And we had the Adobo Margarita all around. None of us were brave enough to add a "smoky floater" to our Margarita (an extra shot of del Maguey Chichicapa), which in retrospect I regret.

Margarita at Adobo Grill

Stop 3: El Nuevo Mexicano, 2914 N Clark

We had a lot of choices when we were assembling the route for this tour, and Cesar's, just a few blocks north, was a strong contender with, if nothing else, their huge neon sign proclaiming that they have "killer margaritas". So I'm not sure how El Nuevo Mexicano made it onto the list, but it turned out to be a good choice if for no other reason than that it was getting to be dinner time and Cesar's was pretty packed. (Margarita tours can't wait!)

I was starting to feel the alcohol by this stop and so I ordered a pomegranate margarita under some sort of mistaken impression that the fruit juice would be healthier or something. Instead, it was a bit too sweet for my tastes and so it was the only drink I was unable to finish on the tour. We had a plate of Garnachas with ground beef which were tasty, but a small portion for four people.

Pomegranite Margarita at El Nuevo Mexicano

Stop 4: La Fonda, 5350 N Broadway St

I was back on my game by the time we got to La Fonda. It was my turn to order the appetizer and I was feeling a bit noshy so we got two kinds of plantains (hmm... plantains) -- the Tostonachos Caribenos and sweet plantains, and some rice and beans. We got the Gold or Special or whatever (I forget their name for their Top Shelf margarita) all around. I think it might have been my favorite of the tour, though that may have been the 4 previous drinks talking.

Margarita at La Fonda

Like I said, there are plenty of places that didn't make the cut just because of time and not drinking-ourselves-into-oblivion. Next time maybe we'll hit Frontera Grill, Cesar's, and wherever you suggest in the comments...

(Originally posted on FuzzyCo, Sept 8, 2009: Margarita Tour)

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