Duma Key Lime

Duma Key Lime - Hero

What is the definition of a pun? See, because Stephen King’s Duma Key is actually about a Florida Key. So I’m not sure combining it with “key lime” actually counts as a joke. Eh, whatever. This was my favorite one, and will be making an appearance tonight at the Halloween party.

Duma Key Lime - Ingredients

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Under the Dom (Perignon)

Under the Dom - Hero

My friends are theming their annual Halloween party after Stephen King’s opus this year, and they asked me to do a few cocktails. While I can’t actually make as many as I came up with for the party itself, I couldn’t resist the puns, and I tested most of them out at home. So here we go! Note: I’m not putting news in these because I feel like the Halloween tie-in is close enough.

Under the Dom - 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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American Light Beers – Special Report

3-Light-Beer-Shootout

Over the Memorial Day weekend, we decided to add an additional element to our Monday celebration. We took five American light beers, and did a blind shootout with 5 friends and family members to see if we could tell the difference, and to see if we liked any of them. [Spoiler alert: no and no.] The blind shootout is an idea we stole from the guys over at the Totally Beverages and Sometimes Hot Sauce podcast (GFY). Go check it out if you haven’t heard of them. If you’re a fan of this blog, you’ll probably enjoy that as well.

The shootout was much harder to implement than I had expected. We had to match up each beer with a label on the bottom (a different number of dots for each one) and label 7 cups with the same label on their bottoms. Then we poured each beer in to the appropriate cups, and swapped each row around with others until we had no idea which column of cups went with which beer. Since we couldn’t see the labels, this wasn’t too hard, especially since all the beers looked the same in the glass, but it still took a few rounds of “one person leaves the room and the other mixes them around.”

So what did we test? Well, this was partially decided by what was available in the store. I am a weirdly proud fan of classic Budweiser (not Bud Light) but unfortunately there weren’t enough small quantities of normal beer [What is the opposite of light beer? Full beer?] so we went with the light ones:

  • Bud Light
  • Miller Lite
  • Coors Light
  • Michelob Ultra
  • Natural Light

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The Slaver’s Bay – Game of Thrones Premiere

GoT Premiere 1

Some of the first drinks I made as mixology experiments were for a Game of Thrones watching party. Some were better than others, but since the new season is about to start, I thought I should go back to my roots, so to speak.

To that end, I thought about what I would make for today, and I decided to go down the track of not necessarily something related to the show itself (White Walker Russians being the old standby) but rather making a cocktail that, if they had the ingredients, the characters in the show would actually drink.

Everyone loves the Daenerys storyline, and when I thought about where she was, the following came to mind. There are slavers, there are ships, so dark rum seems piratey and appropriate, but it’s also sort of Middle Eastern, so maybe some weirder spices — lavender, and what I wanted to be asian pear but they didn’t have it at the store, so just pear.

And this is what came out! Enjoy. Both the drink, and the premiere tonight!

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The Slaver’s Bay

  • 1.5 oz dark rum (Greyjoy brand works! Erm, I mean Kraken.)
  • 1.5 oz dry vermouth
  • 4 oz pear juice (try to get actual pear juice not just a can of pears; this was all the store had)
  • 1 tsp lavender
  • 1 pear slice (for garnish)

Muddle the lavender and the vermouth in the bottom of a mixing glass. Let it sit for a little bit to infuse. Pour in the other ingredients, stir, and double strain the full mixture into a rocks glass over ice. To make the garnish, I rolled the pear slice in the lavender to get it coated, which looked cool but made it kind of gross to drink as it fell apart into the drink. Maybe just use a sprig of lavender and a pear, separately.

GoT Premiere 2

Tasting Notes

BN: I liked this a lot. What could have been too sweet was nicely tempered by the vermouth, adding a great smoothness and a little more flavor to the drink. It’s rare to have a dark rum drink that isn’t super sweet and this did the trick nicely. The lavender and pear went very well together (somewhat surprising to me, to be honest) and as the ice melted a bit different flavors came out and it melded even more. A good sipping drink, and a fitting drink for the Queen of Dragons.

PiC: I like this! You can actually taste the lavender – it’s very nice. It’s also really smooth, like it has almost a creamy feel when you drink it. And not too sweet. Very good!