Little else says ‘New Year’s Eve’ than champagne. Rarely does a new year pass without a bit of bubbly here at the Firewater Lounge. So, if champagne is on your shopping list, keep these pointers in mind. First, if you are not going to drink it right away, buy it at room temperature. If you need to cool it quick, use the following method. Get a wine bucket (or any bucket), fill it with equal parts water and ice and your bottle of champagne. Salt the ice with regular table salt. Spin the bottle within the ice every four minutes. In 12 minutes you will have cold champagne.
Saturday, December 29, 2012
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Every Christmas that I remember well while growing up was celebrated with my grandmas. Now that they are gone, I think it’s during this season that I miss them most. It was with this in mind that we called home and asked for a look at Grandpa Knapp’s Tom and Jerry recipe.
A classic tipple whose warmth is only matched by its charm, the Tom and Jerry is Christmas. Its history goes back almost 200 years to a British journalist named Pierce Egan who promoted his book, Life in London, or The Day and Night Scenes of Jerry Hawthorn Esq. and his Elegant Friend Corinthian Tom, by plying would-be buyers with the eggnog variant. Celebrity barman, Jerry Thomas, however, made the drink popular, despite refusing to pour them at his bar until after the season’s first snowfall.
Like everything worthwhile, the Tom and Jerry takes time, work, and love. For an extra set of hands, I called on Paula to help. We set out a few bowls, a whisk, and a copy of the handwritten recipe on the counter. I began to separate eggs while Paula pondered the twists and curls her great-grandpa’s hand, attempting to discover the next step. She put her head in her palm and said, “you know, Dad, I can’t read this.” “It’s ok,” I said, “we’ll figure it out together."
It was a distinct pleasure to carefully reconstruct Grandpa Knapp’s Tom and Jerry. I hope we did right by him, though I’m sure he’d have had a few pointers. All I know is that when we were done, it tasted like Christmas, so we must have followed the twists and curls all right.
For those of you that still can, give your grandparents an extra hug this Christmas; let them know the holiday was made for them. As for us, we’ll raise a glass of Tom and Jerry in their memory. Where’s the recipe for this entry, you ask? I hope you’ll understand it’s a gift we’re not yet old enough to give; after all, it’s a family secret...
Cindy, Jason, Paula and Quinn at the Firewater Lounge
Labels: Classic Pours
Thursday, November 29, 2012
In this post, we will teach you how to do a simple fruit maceration. A maceration is a breakdown of fruit through the use of sugar, salt, or liquid or, in this case, all three. So, grab some Granny Smith apples and get to it!
Friday, November 23, 2012
Among the best things that happened to Wisconsin liquor stores in 2012 were the arrival of Catdaddy and the reintroduction of Revel Stoke to the shelves. Here we will bring two of our favorites, Catdaddy Moonshine (from our Catdaddy Express post from April of 2011) and chokeberry syrup, to the party to create a holiday drink of some distinction.
Friday, November 16, 2012
So Cindy and I were at Maduro’s in Madison over the summer, enjoying their signature cocktails (a Monk’s Summer for her, a Bird of Omen for me) when I spied a bottle of liquor that was new to me. When I asked the bartender for a closer look, he handed me a glass and poured a bit of the bronze-orange liqueur into it. It was Pierre Ferrand dry curacao, resurrected from a 19th-century recipe from Pierre Ferrand proprietor Alexandre Gabriel and legendary spirit historian David Wondrich. Unlike the saccharine orange syrup that passes for curacao today, Ferrand’s version is wonderfully full of orange peel and dry spice with a bit of bitterness on the end, perhaps like biting into a fresh orange peel in the tropics. I bought my first bottle this fall; it was gone before the break of the next day. It is great alone, but is indispensable in classic cocktails that call for orange curacao or triple sec.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Our next feature drink contains a gin that most Americans have never experienced, genever gin. The version of genever we are using is Bols which is now on the U.S. market. Made from a distillation of 60% malt wine with herbs such as anise, angelica, and coriander, Bols genever is malty with a hint of pear and other fruits not unlike Irish poteen (Irish potato moonshine). Using a secret recipe from 1820, Bols genever is only made in the Netherlands and its secret distillate ingredient is fiercely hush-hush.
Friday, November 9, 2012
It is high time we introduced the world to the best fruit in the world to mix with: the chokeberry. A superfood of the first order, the chokeberry is high in vitamin C and antioxidants, beneficial in combating a wide range of maladies including cancers, cardiovascular disease, chronic inflammation, peptic ulcer, eye inflammation, and, most important to us at the FWL, liver failure. In addition, the chokeberry is rich in tannins which add a blast of late dryness to the palate (hence their names). Once in syrup, the chokeberry delivers a three tier punch of awesomeness- the taste is among the very best berry flavors you’ve had, the astringency of its touch conveys the after-effect of deep dryness, and the color is a glorious shade of dark red velvet.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Our last Stephen King cocktail post involves novels from the early 1980s- Christine and Firestarter. Our Christine cocktail, called the Plymouth Fury from the make and model of Christine herself, requires that the cocktail have Plymouth gin in it and that it was the correct shade of red. So we riffed from the modern classic Cosmo and added Aphrodite bitters (from Dr. Adam Elmegirab’s) to remind us of the bittersweet love Arnie had for his Christine.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
The second of our Stephen King cocktails feature characters from back-to-back novels written from 1989 to 1991. The first we named after The Dark Half villain, the hard-drinking George Stark. The George Stark is a riff off the very-manly Sazerac. The difference is the homemade peppermint-horehound syrup. While you don’t have to be a diabolical killer to enjoy these two cocktails, it helps.
Friday, September 21, 2012
The Firewater Lounge threw their annual summer shindig in July; this year’s theme was Stephen King characters. To complement the eerie proceedings, we created an interesting menu that was a decent hit with the crowd. Many of the drinks are spin-offs of classic cocktails, which were a lot of fun to make. We’ll post six of the best from the sixteen-drink menu and point out their original classic as well.
Friday, September 14, 2012
Not much is more American than hard cider. John Adams drank a tankard of the stuff every morning and proclaimed it was the reason for his longevity (Adams died on Independence Day in 1826 at the age of 90). It featured prominently in the 1840 presidential election that promoted William Henry Harrison as the common man’s candidate since he was the hard cider imbiber. Strangely, though, the only hard cider available by our college years was Woodchuck, a run-of-the-mill, uncomplicated green apple slug (but still light years ahead of gut-destroying malty hard lemonades). Now, however, we have a number of interesting hard ciders from which to choose.
Friday, August 17, 2012
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
In a whiplash-inducing fashion, we cannot simply do cocktails forever in this blog. Sometimes you are just too tired to get off you butt to mix, so this series is dedicated to the stuff we take straight.
First, we are looking for a beer for Cindy to take to football games. Light, refreshing, and approachable are keys to what we require. Our hunt started with Scuttlebutt.
Drinking Notes Series
This Everett, Washington, brewery offers a solid gamut of beers. We chose four of its beers to try: the Amber Ale, the Homeport Blonde, the Porter, and the Tripel Seasonal. The Amber Ale is closest in taste to the regular domestics with double the bittering units of, say, Miller Light. Hoppy in smell and not real distinctive in flavor, the Amber Ale was our least favorite of the four. The Homeport Blonde is Cindy's beer so far. Crisp and lemony with less hops than the Amber. The Blonde is also great looking in a glass, but might not have the strength of flavor for the boys. Tripel is a high-alcohol pale ale; Scuttlebutt's Tripel fits the bill with a pale ale at 9% alcohol and with scents of pears and grain. It doesn't have a strong flavor profile but tastes clean and light on a hot day. Scuttlebutt's Porter is probably the most interesting of the bunch. It pours out blacker than black with a small head. It has a coffee aroma and flavor leading to a hoppy finish with a layer of milk chocolate throughout. All in all, none of the four have dominating 'beer' taste, which is great for Cindy, our beer newbie, while possibly disappointing for our beer connoisseurs.
Potential cocktail compliments: All most all Scuttlebutt will get obliterated in a cocktail, but the Porter might work in a 1700s American tipple called the Rattle-Skull - make it before I do with the following recipe. Mix all in a mug - 3/4 ounce dark rum, 3/4 ounce brandy, 12 ounces (1 bottle) Scuttlebutt Porter, juice of half a lime. Grate nutmeg on top.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
|Bull Pup Cooler|
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Maine Root Ginger Brew, some of the spiciest and tastiest ginger beers on the market. Maybe M.R. can tell you, the Louisiana way to beat the heat is to ingest some of the hottest gumbo/jambalaya/creole-whatever. So let's grab the coldest beer and the spiciest ginger brew we can find and put them together.
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Friday, June 22, 2012
We introduced you to Don the Beachcomber in September last year, but actually this is the season for his Tiki sensations like the Zombie and Mai Tai. We absolutely love to pour Zombies at the Lounge; we even go so far as to make virgin Zombies for the kids. There is a problem, however. You need Don's mix for a perfect Zombie (see our recipe for the Zombie and Don's Mix here).
Saturday, June 2, 2012
promised that we'd finish the New York boroughs cocktails, so tonight we deliver. If you'll remember, there is no Staten Island cocktail, thus there are only two others: the Bronx and the Queens. All the boroughs cocktails are very old. Each appears in the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book (even though the Queens is spelled with an apostrophe-'s' in the Savoy, it is the same recipe as the borough drink 'Queens').
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Sunday, May 6, 2012
Friday, April 27, 2012
I promised a cocktail for the NFL draft this weekend and I am going in a different direction than football with this drink. The Draft is a raucous event at Manhattan's Radio City Music Hall, so I focused on the place rather than the spectacle.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Friday, March 2, 2012
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Friday, February 3, 2012
A total riff off of the Champagne Cocktail, this next little beauty adds the sugar back to a brut Rosé by way of a blue curaçao-soaked sugar cube. Remember that sparkling Rosé reacts to the sugar in a dramatic way, so when making this drink, pour the Rosé in slowly until it fills half the glass, wait a second, and then pour the rest of the way. We call this one the Show Stopper; one look at it will show you why.
Holly's Orignial Series
1 dash of Blue Curaçao
2 ounces of Rosé
1 dash of Benedictine
Place a sugar cube in a Champagne flute. Pour in a dash of curaçao. Slowly add the Rosé. Cap with Benedictine.
Friday, January 27, 2012
Around America Series
Estaplishment: Kapi Kapi
Location: Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
First Connoisseur: Stiff
2 ounces Flor de Cana Rum
1 ounce Malibu
1 ounce pineapple juice
1 ounce orange juice
1 ounce ginger beer
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Let's talk cocktails here. Really, you say? I thought this was a cocktail blog! True, it is, but we often put up non-cocktail recipes for your enjoyment. What's the difference? Well, today almost every mixed drink is referred to as a cocktail. If you have read this blog carefully, you will note that some recipes are referenced as 'drinks' and some 'cocktails.' This is because the Firewater Lounge respects the old masters like Jerry Thomas who defined the American cocktail over 150 years ago.