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Fruit Syrups for Cocktails.

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Homemade Berry Syrups

Fruit sale. Let’s make two syrups: Raspberry and blackberry, excellent for cocktails such as the Belmont (gin, cream, raspberry syrup). Quick recipe: 2 lbs of fruit in a quart of water, strain out fruit and toss, add 2 cups of sugar and boil it down to the thickness you want, skimming constantly. The color comes out very rich. I like to store it in old brandy bottles. Be sure to keep it in the fridge.

Grocery Shop Fails. How to Make a Frosty Martini.

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Grocery Mission: Fail

Grocery shop fails. Don’t mind my frosty martini. I’m baffled by how many accounts I’ve read of people, regular and celebrities alike, trying to invent new ways to make the coldest martini. Here’s how: Measure your vermouth and gin in two separate mixer glasses and stick in freezer for 20 minutes or a little longer – just under the freeze threshold of the vermouth. Mix together, stir gently and serve in a martini glass. Don’t James Bond shake, for heaven’s sake.

Weekend Reading.

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Weekend Reading

Weekend reading. I ordered a reprint of the 1946 edition of The Stork Club Bar Book, and it is absolutely delightful. There are over 17 pages of just morning cocktails, with serious notes to bartenders about which to serve for particular customer ailments. Also picked up a history of gin book on my Kindle along with The Joy of Drinking by the eloquent and highly quotable Barbara Holland, my favorite essayist.

Crawfish and a Belmont.

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A bit of cajun crawfish and andouille sausage in reduced wine sauce and a creamy Belmont gin cocktail made with homemade raspberry syrup. The most I’ve cooked in a week. My fridge is a barren desert. My recipe for a Belmont: a shot of gin, 1/2 a shot of raspberry syrup and 1 shot of heavy whipping cream, shaken vigorously on ice and strained into a champagne coup.

Decadent Weekend.

Decadent Weekend update: I woke up around 11 to realize that I’m out of cheesecake, but I’ve started some lobster tails steaming, so me and the cat will survive. I’ve also caught up on my nerdy research, and I now know several more famous martini recipes, including Hemingway’s Montgomery, most variations of Ian Fleming’s Bond nonsense (Do not. I repeat, do not), and the martini habits and recipes of the last dozen Presidents, including Hoover, Roosevelt, Reagan and Nixon. I have ascended to the next belt in martini-fu.

On Roasts.

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Lamb Roast, The Next Day

On roasts: I’m a strong advocate that all red meat roasts should be cooked as rare as possible (with potatoes to sop up the roasting juices) and then aged overnight in the refrigerator. You can then slice it into lazy medallions and fry it up in its own fat. If you bought a lean cut, any other fat will do. I’ve duck fat, lamb fat, and a jar of whiskey-fried bacon fat that makes angels sing when I drop a dollop into a pan.