Friday, December 31, 2010

Day 10 of 12

As promised, tonight's drink is a bit more, shall I say, "manly" in comparison to last night's drink. I really should have done some research and found a drink called "Boxers or Briefs" after last night's "Silk Panties." What would be in a drink like that do you suppose? The ingredients would have to consist of opposites... maybe a mixture of wine and whiskey.

This beverage was another one found in a flurry of activity at Adirondack Mountain Spirits yesterday, so the directions are not detailed at all.

Armored Car

2 oz. bourbon
1 oz. fresh lemon
dash simple syrup

Combine and stir.

To make simple syrup, use equal parts sugar and water. Bring the water to a boil. Stir in the sugar. Reduce heat to low and continue stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate.

As soon as I started making this drink I knew it was going to taste like a whiskey sour, and indeed it did. Not that it's a disappointment at all. We're big fans of bourbon in this house and this drink did not disappoint. Mike and I both give this drink a 7.5 due to it's somewhat mundane nature. We would both opt for the Kentucky Blizzard over this one for sure, but we also wouldn't turn it down if someone offered us one.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day 9 of 12

Seriously? I need more supplies for this venture? Once again I visited the kind folks at Adirondack Mountain Spirits on Main Street to get more advice and liquor. Although I do take my mom up on the offer to pick up liquor for me when she visits New Hampshire because it's incredibly cheap, I will always do most of my liquor business right here in town.

Not only is it close, but the owners are fabulous people! They are some of the most helpful and friendly proprietors I have ever met. I told them that I was having a difficult time coming up with new drinks and BLAM! Dale and Joe started thumbing through their bar book for some spectacular ideas. I took a rather nice picture of the two of them in their shop, but my camera ate the image. Bummer.

They suggested several drinks, and I took them up on two of them for the time being. Tonight's drink was one of them.

Silk Panties

3/4 oz. Peach Schnapps
3/4 oz. vodka
1 oz. cranberry juice


Ok. Those are all the directions that I was able to write down in the excitement of all of the drink ideas that were being tossed around the liquor store while my son waited in the car for my "quick" stop. It was not a "quick" stop at all. I walked back out to the car only to see him sitting there with his hands in the air as if to say, "What the hell?" I explained that I really enjoy talking to Dale and Joe, and he let it go without too much complaint. Anyway, I never saw if it was supposed to be a type of martini or a shooter or a shot. Who knew? I poured the concoction into two martini glasses figuring I couldn't go wrong there. Mike and I each took a quick sip to determine how indeed we were supposed to be drinking it. Upon first taste... oooooooh eeeeeeh...SWEET...and girlie. I got a chuckle over Mike participating in this drink that was ANYTHING but masculine. We decided it needed to be slammed, so we did. If you have ever tried a Woo Woo, this is very similar. This is not a drink to be savored, as it's a bit over the top with regard to the sugar content. Is it tasty? Why yes it is. I couldn't handle more than one of these, and if its consumption was a ritualistic part of a bridal shower I wouldn't be surprised. Mike rated it a 5. I give it a 6. It really didn't leave much more of an impression on me other than the fact that tomorrow's drink, being New Year's Eve and all, will be a bit more robust.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day 8 of 12

I have to admit that this goal set forth by Carol is getting increasingly challenging. As I look through the bar book, I am beginning to realize that drinks are just different variations of a classic drink. That makes it a lot less fascinating in my opinion. It's kind of like with food. Take the egg roll for example. Its Tex-Mex equivalent is the chimichanga. The Casarola at Desporados is basically lasagna, but with different ingredients. Sounds silly, I know, but it's something I think about on occasion.

Tonight we went for a shooter. Shooters are not something I drink at all. Sure, sure, I do a shot every now and then, but not without trepidation. It always leads to the following day being very long. The significant variations of martinis that exist are essentially shooters, but you don't drink it all in one fell swoop. Martinis are for sipping. Gosh I love martinis. I'm straying off topic though. Let's get back to the Lemon Drop Shooter, which was tonight's beverage of choice.

Lemon Drop Shooter

3/4 oz. Absolut vodka
1/4 oz. triple sec
Lemon, cut into wedges

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and lemon wedges. Add the vodka, triple sec and lemon wedge. Shake. Strain into a shot glass rimmed with sugar. Serve with a lemon wedge. Serves 1.

Mike went first, as we only own one shot glass. I too find that hard to believe.

His first comment was, "Wow, that's lemony! It's good!" Next was my turn. Yum! All I could do was think about how I needed to adjust the proportions to turn this bad boy into a martini. I wasn't about to continue doing shots! I ended up pouring a 6-count of vodka and a 3-count of triple sec into the same shaker with the lemons that I had used for the shooters. I rimmed a martini glass with sugar and made myself a most delicious lemon drop martini. I know that this isn't an original creation, but I certainly am enjoying it.

Mike gave the shooter a rating of 7. I give it 9, but mostly because I have always been a fan of both lemons and martinis. This could become a ritual for me. I highly recommend trying this. The fresh lemons are fantastic in this drink!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Day 7 of 12

Today was by far the easiest prep day with regard to these wonderful concoctions that we have had the pleasure of experiencing. This beverage came as a recommendation from Dale and Joe, the owners of Adirondack Spirits on Main Street in Au Sable Forks. When I made my original trip into town for supplies for this stellar venture, I explained the whole thing to them. Let me tell you, they were all over that! One of the first suggestions that they made was chocolate wine. Chocolate wine? How strange. The idea of red wine and chocolate is not a new one at all, but chocolate wine was completely different. Dale even mentioned that blending it with ice and some banana liqueur would make it taste like a banana split. Hmmm.... I was sold immediately. I decided to hold off on the banana liqueur because at that point my bill was getting pretty hefty.

As I lowered the bottle off the liquor shelf this evening, I was not feeling very confident about the choice at all. I looked closely at the label. "The taste of dutch chocolate and fine red wine." The "taste" of dutch chocolate? That sounded dubious. Did that mean it wasn't real? Knowing I just needed to bite the bullet and try it, I threw some ice cubes into two wine glasses. The screw top didn't show much promise, but I had to follow through.

After a very thick pour, Mike and I clinked glasses and threw them back. YUM! We immediately compared it to Kahlua and milk, but heavy on the Kahlua. Dale and Joe did NOT steer us wrong at all! It was a medium-priced wine at just $11ish for the bottle. Please keep in mind that this probably isn't going to be something you kill off in one evening. It's quite sweet and would probably be best as an after dinner drink unless you cut it with something.

Mike and I would definitely drink this again, but only rate it a 7 due to the sweetness factor. Dessert beverages aren't necessarily our first choices, and this is definitely where this one falls.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Halfway Mark

It's official. I have made it to the midway point in my challenge to try 12 different drinks in 12 days. In the process I have spent time writing, which is always a pleasurable activity for me. I swear if I can get kids to love it as much as I do (the writing, not the drinking), I will have accomplished a huge goal!

Anyway, today's beverage called for limeade again. What a versatile little mixer that stuff is. There are quite a few drink recipes in my book that include the use of limeade, and tonight's was a good one. It definitely tastes better than it sounds, which to me screams WHITE TRASH... Beer Limeade. In honor of how the drink's name sounds, I was tempted to forgo the shower today and throw on a pair of sweats but I couldn't.

Beer Limeade

6 oz. can Limeade, thawed
6 oz. beer
6 oz. vodka

Fill blender 3/4 full with ice. Add ingredients. Blend until slushy. Serves 4.

Due to the fact that this is another frozen drink, I would have to say that Beer Limeade would be much more satisfying in the summer months. I was not at all disappointed in this drink. I was a little worried that I would taste the beer too much. Don't get me wrong, I love beer. I just don't really want to be able to taste it mixed with limeade. It's not a drink for those who don't like that tarty sweetness in a drink. It definitely packs a punch, as it has more alcohol than Swinging from the Trees. Mike and I rate it 7.9. I highly recommend serving this at a party due to the novelty of the name itself!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day 5 of 12

Feeling the need to return to normalcy with regard to our beverages, I chose a bourbon drink for today. Mike and I have been fans of the Old Fashion for quite some time, so I was pretty excited when I found the recipe for a Raspberry Bourbon Smash.

Raspberry Bourbon Smash

1 2/3 oz. bourbon
Handful fresh raspberries
2 1/3 oz. cranberry juice
2/3 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. sugar
Dash Angostura bitters

Place the lime juice and raspberries in the bottom of a highball glass. Add the sugar and bitters. Muddle until the sugar is dissolved. Add the bourbon and stir. Add the crushed ice. Top off with the cranberry juice. Serves 1.

Unfortunately my picture didn't take hold, so you won't get to see the dark pink color of this drink unless you make one of your own. My camera battery was on its last leg when I took the picture.

As with an Old Fashion, the drink definitely gets better as you drink it. It seemed a little sour at first with a kick of bourbon, but became sweeter and mellowed as we went. We recommend frequent "swirling" in an effort to mix in the sweetness that seems to linger in the bottom of the drink. We give the Raspberry Bourbon Smash a 7. Would I drink it again? Probably, but I rarely have raspberries in the house, and making an Old Fashion is a little easier.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day 4 of 12

After yesterday's disappointing adventurous beverage, I was very much looking forward to a success story today. I realize that it is only 3:30 in the afternoon, but it's Christmas. Aren't you supposed to have a cocktail early on Christmas day? I mean really, what else is going on? Mike and I held out as long as we could, but once the shrimp cocktail was ready, we just had to give in. Today's beverage has quite the ominous name... Swinging from the Trees. Since it is Christmas, we decided to rename it Swinging from the Christmas Trees.

Swinging from the (Christmas) Trees

1-6 oz. can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
2 oz. rum
2 oz. vodka
2 oz. tequila

Fill blender 3/4 full with crushed iced and add the ingredients. Blend. Serves 6 to 8 (or 2 in our case)

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this drink from the very first sip. Perhaps it was because I was so relieved after yesterday's fiasco. It tastes a bit like a margarita, but with quite a bit more kick, if you know what I'm saying. It's called Swinging from the Trees for a reason for sure. BAM! It would be really easy to drink way too much of these way too fast (which would lead to brain freeze, thus reducing the pure pleasure of this beverage). Due to its frozen nature, I would not recommend it as a winter drink. I can totally picture myself enjoying this on the porch with Mike on a piping hot August evening though, so we will definitely dog-ear that page of the book. Mike rated it a 7.9, but only because he liked the Kentucky Blizzard better (which got an 8) and he's not a huge fan of margaritas. I give it a very solid 8.5, because I love margaritas and the thought of swinging from the trees sounds like fun right now!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Day 3 of 12

Of all the drinks that I tentatively planned for this beverage challenge, today's was the one I was looking forward to the most. You see, my favorite store-bought cookie of ALL time is the Oreo. Mmmmmm. What's not to love about an Oreo? Delicious crunchy chocolate cookie filled with sweet, creamy vanilla filling. Are you with me?

Today's drink, and perfect for Christmas Eve, was the Oreo Cookie Margarita.

Oreo Cookie Margarita

6 oz. tequila
4 oz. Godiva liqueur
8 oz. orange juice
3 oz. half and half
4 T. Hershey's syrup
Crushed Oreos

Rim the margarita glasses with water and dip in the crushed Oreos. Fill shaker with all ingredients, except the crushed Oreos, and shake. Pour into glasses filled with ice. Add a small amount of the crushed Oreos on top. Serves 4.

Upon first taste, I was quite disappointed. It didn't really taste like an Oreo at all. It almost tasted like one of those oranges covered in chocolate. I'm not that into oranges covered in chocolate, especially when I'm expecting that wonderful Oreo cookie taste. Again I decided to withhold my final decision until I had finished the drink.

I never did finish that drink. I couldn't. It didn't do a thing for me. We rated it a very unenthusiastic 3. We brought some down for Sierra and Cory to try. It got a 5 and 4 respectively. I am now looking forward to tomorrow night's drink.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

12 Days

Now this is a challenge that I am definitely looking forward to. You see, Mike and I celebrate a very special holiday after his lengthy absence which lasts 12 days. My friend and coworker Carol decided to set a goal for me during this 12 day celebration... 12 different drinks over 12 days and provide a review for each one. I am more than thrilled to oblige. I decided that my beloved bar book would be called into action.

Just so you know, BITCH means Babe In Total Control of Herself. After perusing the book for a bit, I made a few decisions. It was off to town for supplies that I needed to go! After spending a small fortune on liquor, mixers and garnishes, I knew I was ready.

I have to say that we are officially a day behind on this project. Mike and I started yesterday with eggnog and bourbon. Good Lord that is fantastic. We used light eggnog, because it really would be a bit much. I had never had eggnog with bourbon. I've had it with vodka or rum, but never bourbon. I have to say that having it with bourbon and some fresh nutmeg on top is outstanding.

Now to cover this evening's beverage...

... the Kentucky Blizzard

Kentucky Blizzard
1 1/2 oz. bourbon
1 1/2 oz. cranberry juice
1/2 oz. lime juice
1/2 oz. grenadine
1 tsp. sugar

Place all ingredients in an ice filled shaker and shake (definitely shake it for a little bit or the sugar comes plopping out at the end of your pour). Strain into an old-fashion glass filled with ice.

I followed the directions exactly. Upon first taste, it seemed a bit tart. I asked Mike for his rating and we decided that we should actually finish the drink before we rated it. On a scale of 1 to 10, we gave the Kentucky Blizzard an 8. It's somewhere between a Whiskey Sour and an Old Fashion. The drink was good enough to require a second one for each of us, and we agreed that we would definitely make these again.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Welcome Visitors

Once again I have endured a lengthy solo flight while my husband has done his thing out west. He left on December 7th. He comes home tomorrow. Holy shit! I am so happy about that. I truly do not know how the spouses of service people do it. This was two weeks. They do it for months on end. Yikes.

As was the case last year, it has been quite an experience. My biggest weakness? Loneliness. I wouldn't mind the ability to tag out every once in a while either. Anyway, tonight was a great way to celebrate Mike's impending return. JP and Sam came over for dinner.

It was an all-out feast. I spent the entire day in the kitchen today, and it was totally worth every second... spaghetti and meatballs, salad and garlic bread. The best part though, was dessert. Red velvet cake is one of the very best things in the whole world. Clearly the faces say it all.

An evening of eating and laughing was fabulous and just what I needed. In the end we were all members of the Clean Plate Club.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tis the Season

So much hustle and bustle! What a weekend it was....

Before I talk about my weekend though, I feel that it's necessary to show off some other Ladies of the Adirondacks. Working in an elementary school allows me the priveledge of working with many fun and interesting people (mainly women in this case). Natalee and I decided to show our support of the Steelers' big game against the Ravens this weekend by having a black and gold Friday. But apparently the Christmas spirit overcame her and her fellow 2nd grade teachers. I looked twice when I saw this.
Now I should get back to reporting this weekend's activities. Saturday was the family's big Christmas limo dinner. It was a van this year though, not a limo. It's amazing how bad a limo ride can be when you're traveling those back roads between Elizabethtown, Essex and Jay. Oof. Not good for the stomach. Because of that, we decided a van would be better, and it was indeed.

This year we headed to the Deer's Head in Elizabethtown for appetizers. Yum! We enjoyed some delicious crab cakes, fried brie, and breaded mushrooms.
The food was great and we knew we were well on our way to a very fine evening indeed. When we finished up there, we hopped back in the van to head to Turtle Island Cafe where we would be enjoying dinner. The food, as always, was fantastic. I enjoyed some coconut shrimp with dumplings followed by filet mignon and, of course, several refreshing beverages.

After we finished stuffing ourselves there, it was time to get back in the van and travel the short distance to the McClay's house for an after-dinner drink and some dessert.
The McClays are a great pair, and they certainly know how to entertain!

It wasn't long after we got there and had finished our dessert and Irish coffees that we had to hit the road again. This time we were all homeward bound. We were all sufficiently stuffed to appreciate the comforts of our own homes. That brings me to today. Today was the day for the kids. Once again we gathered at Mom and Dad's in order to have a meal fit for kids and let them open the copious amounts of gifts that were under the tree.

We even got to see Lilly do her Bon Bon dance with her dad. Look at the innocence on both of their faces!

Needless to say, I'm pleasantly exhausted and very grateful for the comfort of my couch this evening.