Saturday, February 23, 2013

Smoky Grove

PDT Interview

Personal preferences: Something new & warming
Style of drink: cocktail
Spirit of choice: whiskey, bourbon, brandy
Last drink: Siesta

Despite the fact that I've stumbled upon the tactic of letting The Partner select the tip, I thought I'd do a little reconnaissance earlier in the day. I was gonna run it past him, but ... nah.

While I was prepping, he snuck a peak over my shoulder at the Smoky Grove, "Hmmm...interesting." Still, I think it's something he'll like.

Made with a single malt scotch, this bev comes by it's name honestly. It's a mouthful of smoky peat. The charred orange twist only adds to the effect. It's not unpleasant, but it is powerful. At first one might expect it to be rough, but despite the smokiness, it's nice and smooth with notes of vanilla & orange (so The Partner detected). Just like one ought to do with a good scotch, this is a sipper, maybe one or two before dinner, no more. The rave of the night? The Partner: "This is good. I could have a couple of these. It's my kind of drink: not overly citrusy or acidic. Nice and smooth & smoky. I like it."

Validation. Date Nite can proceed.

Smoky Grove

2 oz. single malt scotch whisky
1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
1/2 oz. dry vermouth
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 dash orange bitters

Stir ingredients in a mixing glass over ice. Serve in a chilled coupe. Garnish with a flamed orange twist.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Last night was Kitchen Warming #2.  The guest list included friend & kitchen remodeler, T., so we needed the signature cocktail to honor him & his fine work.  Since of all the intoxicants on the planet one can imbibe he only drinks tequila our choices were limited.  Or perhaps it's better described as "focused".  Enter PDT's Siesta.  

On the page it looked decent.  The reality was something we haven't had in a while-- a cocktail worthy of the "Make it again Sam" label and unanimously positive reviews.  The Partner & I took it out for a test drive on Date Night, just to make certain it was something our guests would enjoy.  Such sacrifice....

The best way to describe the Siesta is a grapefruit margarita with depth & dimension brought by the Campari.  Think of it as the ultimate American cocktail.  Where else in the world can a Mexican, an Italian, and a Jamaican come together and make such beautiful offspring? 

How did our warming guests take to it?  Well, let's put it this way.  Of our four guests, J. & E.  don't really drink.  T. only drinks tequila, as mentioned.  And his partner, C., is orbital by the bottom of his second glass.  As I mixed one round, I'd look up to find the other couple's glasses empty.  Upon refreshing those, the ones I'd just filled were only moments away from needing refills.  No one should be surprised to hear that there were several "These go down way too easys" spoken throughout happy hour.  This is how we killed a bottle of Patrón in about an hour's time.  Good thing dinner was shrimp étouffée with andouille spoon bread.  The total fat from half a pound of butter, 3 cups of heavy cream, four eggs, and a pound of pork sausage provided an effective firewall to all that firewater!

2 oz. tequila*
1/2 oz. Campari
1/2 oz. grapefruit juice**
1/2 oz. lime juice
1/2-3/4 oz. simple syrup

Shake with ice and pour into chilled coupes.  Garnish with a grapefruit twist.

*:  On Date Nite we tested the Siesta with Patrón Silver.  For the warming we used PatróAñejo.  The Añejo makes a much smoother cocktail.
**:  We used ruby reds and squeezed the fruit ourselves.  We then strained it to remove the pulp which, while delicious and adds healthful fiber to any cocktail, also makes them cloudy.  It's a sweet, fresh ingredient as opposed to the odd quality even the freshest "fresh squeezed" store-bought variety generally has.

Friday, February 8, 2013


PDT Interview
Personal preferences: Partner's choice
Style of drink: Partner's choice
Spirit of choice: Partner's choice
Last drink: killer Manhattans & Old Fashioneds

I am so into this new strategy for drink selection.  When The Partner picks it the odds of approval go way up.  This was a great Friday & Date Nite.  We both knocked off from work around 2ish.  Went to the gym.  Came home and showered up.  We sipped on C's. suggested "pre-cocktail" while The Partner made dinner.  I delivered the PDT Bible to the kitchen with instructions for him to select the evening's beverage.  It was duly returned to me with a sticky marking the desired page.  PDT says the Algonquin "was named after the historic Manhattan hotel where a number of famous writers, artists, and actors (members of the Algonquin Round Table) gathered for lunch before Prohibition went into effect."

As for me, I'm reminded of the "mean streets" of my childhood, with names like Monhegan, Pawnee, Hiawatha, Massasoit, Manito, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Shoshone, Ramapo, and of course, Algonquin.

Light and sweet with some notes of vanilla from the bourbon, this wasn't too bad.  The dry vermouth soft-pedals the sweetness of the juice & bourbon.  On the first sip The Partner, savored -- lower lip jutting out, eyes to the ceiling.  "Not bad," as he went for his second sip.  "Though I'm surprised so many of the cocktails in this book are up."  Thanks to my new selection strategy I'm now able to respond with a smirk, "Well, you selected it!"

2 oz. Rye
3/4  oz. dry vermouth
3/4 oz. pineapple juice

Stir with ice & strain in chilled coupes.  No garnish.