Thursday, June 16, 2011

Necessity Is the Mother of Inebriation

That photo is a bit blurry, sure, but so would you be after a cocktail contest. Still, if you want to read about that, you have to wait till the June 30 issue of the Independent, when all the BBQ & cocktail contest dirt goes down (actually, it was pretty cleanly delicious, but you'll see).

So, after drinking 5 cocktails (that is, tasting 5) in a little over an hour, and then commingling and co-drink-ling with winners and non-winners (can there be a loser at a cocktail contest?) alike for a bit, as cocktails are nothing if not the grease for society's wheels, I came home with my sweet companion who did not drink and therefore did drive, and hunger followed. We opted to play that game "what can we make with what's in the house?" and luckily our house was filled with raw goods goodness, so soon Farmers' Market cherry tomatoes were slow roasting, pasta water was boiling, pesto was grinding in the blender, and it was left to me to put my shaker to tasty use. And, after a cocktail contest, what else could I do but try something new?

Soon I had my muddler out, as sudden-kitchen-ers like me don't have time to infuse. We choose, we chop, we drop, we muddle the heck out of yummy items, expressing essential oils. Tonight I thought something with zing would be fun, but we lacked fresh peppers. We did have a dried one, so I cut off half of that, chopped that half into four, zipped the seeds. That sat at shaker's bottom with some fresh lemon peels and a couple of rips of cilantro. Soon it bathed in 1.5 oz. of fresh lemon juice and .5 oz. of lime juice. Why both? Cause I didn't have enough lemon. But sometimes you go to cocktailing with the citrus you have, not the citrus you wish you had. (If only Donald Rumsfeld didn't give up his nascent career behind the bar to be Defense Secretary.)

After the therapy of muddling (how often do you get to pummel things and then drink them afterwards? even Muhammad Ali didn't get to do that, and yes, now I'm thinking of really perverse Thrilla in Manilla fan fiction, sorry), I added 4 oz. Absolut Citron, 1 oz. Citronge, and then as a bit of a wild card, 1 oz. Blonde Lillet (figured some depth, acid, sweetness, but not that sweetness)(plus I always want to work Lillet in drinks, at least till I figure out of it's pronounced li-let or li-lay). Ice. Shake. Pour into two glasses. (Never drink alone, and if you are, you might as well have two, no?)

That got garnished--and you have to garnish, people, or it's simply not a cocktail, it would be like going outside without a natty hat in the 1950s, and you wouldn't have been one of those philistines, would you?--with a sprig of cilantro and a wide lemon rind. Name of the drink: Thai'd and True.

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