Monday, May 29, 2017

Summer Morning

If there is a neglected liquor on the shelves of the Firewater Lounge, it’s vodka. Since most Wisconsin vodkas have consisted of artificial fruit flavor, synthetic dyes, and isopropyl alcohol (take your dad’s dusty bottle of Mohawk lime vodka, for instance). Since we solely use vodka to drink straight (like Zubrowka) or heighten the alcohol percentage in a drink here, we tend to only sparingly use high-quality vodkas that taste as clean as possible.

This summer season, however, started with a flavored vodka kick. We had been drinking grapefruit crema in the spring, but since we don’t have a ready supply of Tattersall liquors in southern Wisconsin yet, we switched to Deep Eddy grapefruit vodka. Combining 7up with Deep Eddy grapefuit makes for fine, quick 1-to-1 summer fare. If you are up for experimenting with Deep Eddy for bunch or tiki, let us suggest the following recipe:

Summer Morning Cocktail
Holly’s Original

2 ounces dark rum (we used Plantation)
1 ½ ounces triple sec
1 ounce Deep Eddy grapefruit vodka
3 ounces orange-mango juice
1 ounce pineapple juice
Splash freshly-squeezed lime juice
3 heavy dashes Angostura bitters

Shake all ingredients well in an iced shaker. Strain into summer stemware. Garnish with lime twist or spanked mint leaves or both.

Monday, May 22, 2017

10 Rules of Martinis

I was a child of the ‘80s. Thank God I was not old enough to drink. For some reason, America completely lost their memory of their traditional cocktail heritage and fell into a dark age of domestic beers and fruit ‘martinis’; essentially anything in a cocktail glass was a ‘martini.’ Ugh. Mercifully, we have returned from that miserable era to a more sophisticated time. However, some bars still have a ‘-tini’ section on their menus- mostly fruity or chocolate undrinkable nightmares. So let the FWL educate you on that most wonderful American invention this side of the light bulb: The Martini.

One - There is no fruit juice, chocolate, coffee, syrup, or even bitters in a martini. Yes, that’s right, the martini may be presented in a cocktail glass, but, unlike its close relative the Martinez (gin, vermouth, maraschino, bitters), the martini itself is not a cocktail. In its true form it only has two ingredients: 5 to 1, gin to French (dry) vermouth. (Classically, the ratio is 6 to 1, however most bartenders prefer to give modern palates a bit of a gin break).

Two - There are only two exceptions to the two ingredient rule. An olive wash in the cocktail glass prior to the alcohol strained into it. This is known as a Dirty Martini due to the briny olive tint to the drink. (For God’s sake, don’t pour olive brine into an already made martini!) A smoky scotch wash (like Laphroaig or Ardbeg) is also a classic touch; this is known as a Burnt Martini.