The Irish Derby

The Irish Derby

I’ll get back to Jerry Thomas soon, I promise! This is another dinner party drink, this one St. Patrick’s Day themed. I found this gem of a cocktail when investigating drinks that weren’t Irish coffee, car bombs, or generally green in color.

Probably the most important (American, as opposed to Irish) news that came out recently is of course the fact that the Republicans in Congress could not agree on their own health bill, and Obamacare / the ACA remains in place for the foreseeable future. I actually like this news for two reasons: one, I am a fan of Obamacare, but two, I actually appreciate that for once people were not just blindly voting on party lines. Granted, some of the Republicans that would have voted no would have done so because it was TOO similar to Obamacare, so that’s not quite what I’m going for, but at least it’s a start.

The Irish Derby - Ingredients

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The Al Capone

The Al Capone - Hero

This is the second drink I made for the Speakeasy party (the other being the French .45). It’s a pretty simple cocktail, just a modification of a Moscow Mule but I’m pretty sure I’ve never had a version of a Moscow Mule that wasn’t delicious so how can you go wrong. As evidenced by the name, this represented the Mob side of the game.

There’s no vocab I can really spark on newswise (there are some recent comparisons of Rachel Maddow and Trump’s tax returns to opening Al Capone’s vault live online to find nothing, but that’s boring), so instead I’ll share something that is only related through train of thought. Speakeasy > Prohibition > Smuggling > Tunnels > this cool story! Enjoy.

The Al Capone - Ingredients

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The French .45

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Last weekend, our friends hosted a Speakeasy party, and we were tapped to provide the drinks. For those of you that don’t know (most of you, I assume), Speakeasy is a party game where you lie to each other (always fun) and try to figure things out about the other team without knowing who’s actually on which team, and obviously lends itself very well to having 1920’s theme decor and comestibles.

Since I didn’t want to be stuck behind the bar the whole time, I opted for two batched drinks, attempting to satisfy both those guests who wanted a lighter, fruitier drink and those who wanted something a little more spirit-forward. Both of these ended up rather on the first end of that spectrum, but I was okay with that. This one, the French .45 (like the gun) represented “The Feds” in the game, and is apparently the more original recipe for a French 75 (usually with gin). The second drink, the Al Capone, was obviously for “The Mob” and, well, you’ll just have to take a look at that post to find out.

Some not so great news coming out of the French town of Grasse yesterday, when a teenager committed a school shooting, which is rather uncommon outside of the US. The silver lining is that no injuries were considered life threatening.

The French .45 - Ingredients

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Strawberry Basil Margarita

Strawberry Basil Margarita - Hero

One of my new year’s resolutions this year was to have more dinner parties. And so, I have been working on that! To that end, here is a drink we served, taken from a cocktail book I received as a Christmas present.

Since I’m actually writing this article day of, it’s a little easier to find news. Mexico, the home of the margarita, is having some issues with the US. What’s new? Particularly because of the changing opinions (and laws?) on immigration, we’re seeing relations get a little bit frosty. If that’s a word you can use for two countries that border on a desert. Anyways, a meeting earlier today between Mexican officials and our new Secretary of State showed some animosity, but nothing that can’t be handled. Hopefully.

Strawberry Basil Margarita - Ingredients

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Chilled Cider Punch

Chilled Cider Punch - Hero

Today’s interlude is brought to you not by Jerry Thomas, but by the New Year’s Eve party I made this for. This is a (very tasty) recipe, modified in this particular occasion, from Saveur magazine, presented below. I’ve made this a few times now, though, and it’s always a hit. A little dangerous alcohol-wise, and addictive, but hey, it (was) New Year’s Eve. Might as well!

For those of you in the northeast, be warned! Your houses are about to be chilled again with a “one-two punch” (their words, not mine, so it’s okay) of more bad weather this weekend. It’s times like these I really miss being back home. Which is weird, I know, but it’s just how I am. Will hopefully be up in the snowy California mountains soon, which is almost as good. Anyways, wait out the storm with a hot cider and then you’ve got all three words in one blurb! I mean… a good drink. Both.

Chilled Cider Punch - Ingredients

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A Toast!

Cheers!

2016 was probably not the best year. A lot of bad stuff happened, but there was a lot of good stuff too.

I, for one, managed to churn out more than my goal of 52 posts, so that was fun for me — and hopefully for you too. I learned more about how to make drinks, what to do and what not to do, and what flavors or combinations are probably best left in the 1800s.

So, on to the next one. Here’s to the year that passed, the year that is coming, and that each one will always be better than the last.

Happy New Year!

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