Saturday, April 19, 2008

Friday Drinks: A Repeated Exploration

Yesterday was Friday. The entire day a single mantra was playing through my mind, "TGIF, TGIF, TGIF!" I didn't want to do work - I was burned out from the slow realization that the project I have been working on for the past 6 months might be a complete bomb. That is to say, that I might have to restart from square one. With only a short two months before I leave for California, that is not feasible. It has been a disappointing week. Oh well.

I came home early and worked from home. I was reasonably productive, but I spent more than a moderate amount of time staring at a wall trying to figure out what I will do if it turns out this project doesn't work. For those of you who are not familiar with academic science - we live and die (professionally) by our ability to publish papers. Preferably, really good papers that everyone wants to read. If this project doesn't work, well it will not be disastrous but it would be a blow to what I had hoped to accomplish this year.

So when Neen finally got home, I was ready for a drink. I didn't want anything too stiff, so I decided to continue exploring mixed drinks. Earlier this week we had tried a recipe for a Cosmopolitan that was really disappointing (from my American Bartender's Handbook). So, this time I looked to my Maran Illustrated book on Bartending to see what other recipes might be out there. Along the way I saw a recipe for something called a Bay Breeze that made use of pineapple juice, so I decided to make that for Neen when she got home and have the Cosmopolitan for myself. As it turns out, I made both when she got home, and she finished her Bay Breeze and then asked for a cosmopolitan on top of it. I was impressed. She was tipsy.

Bay Breeze:

Neen really, really liked this one. Again, it was a very light drink. It had 1 oz of vodka to 4.5 oz of fruit juice. The cranberry juice gave it just enough tart to make you really appreciate the flavor of the pineapple juice that was mixed in. It is also very easy to make since it is really just mixed together in a glass with ice.

The only problem with the drink is that it really taste like fruit juice - you don't notice the vodka until it hits you. And if you weigh as little as Neen does, well, it will hit you hard. (Especially once you have already moved onto your second drink).

1 oz vodka
2 oz pineapple juice
2 oz red cranberry juice
1 lime wedge

1. Fill glass with ice cubes.
2. Add the vodka, pineapple, and cranberry juice to the glass.
3. stir together and garnish with a wedge of lime.

Neen inserts: Hey! Just 'cause I tripped over the computer cord doesn't mean I'm a lush!

The first cosmopolitan we had tasted too strongly of the triple sec and vodka without the easing influence of cranberry juice. Both Neen and I found it too strong, with an almost sickly sweet flavor. The recipe I give below is one I found in the Marlan Illustrated book on Bartending. It has more cranberry juice and lime juice then the previous recipe, and a larger ratio of vodka to triple sec. This one I really, really enjoyed. I will be coming back to it again for a while. I found the flavors intriguing and full, without tasting so strongly of alcohol as to be unpleasant. It was, however, still a stronger drink than the Bay Breeze - so if you are a fan of the really fruity mixed drinks - try the recipe above.

1.25 oz vondka
3/4 oz triple sec
3 oz red cranberry juice
1/2 lime (juice) [this is ~1/2 oz of lime juice]
1 orange spiral (I didn't include it, but there it is in the recipe)

1. Fill shaker halfway up with ice cubes.
2. Add vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, and lime juice to the shaker.
3. Shake vigorously for 5-10 seconds. (I usually go slightly longer because we tend to like drinks that are a little more diluted)
4. strain mixture into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with an orange spiral.


Psychgrad said...

Ugh - I hope you're able to salvage your project. I know all about publish or perish. I've been massaging data all day.

I fully support turning to fruity alcohol-based drinks during times like these. But I'm probably a bad influence.

White On Rice Couple said...

Love the cocktail!
I've been reading your posts over the last 30 minutes and am so impressed with your writing! You write so wonderfully and your dishes are outstanding as well. Thanks for being out there in the blogging world. I'll always be back, for sure!