Saturday, December 27, 2014

Mission Accomplished

I realize that I am ever-so-slightly behind in my posts, but this Christmas season has completely taken over my schedule.  Tuesday evening had finally arrived and school was out for break.  Most schools in the area had Monday and Tuesday off, but not us.  No.  We had to eek out every last bit of energy we had.  Anyone who has kids of their own knows how crazy they get 2-3 days before Christmas, right?  Now imagine 300 of them in one building.  It gets interesting, let me tell you. 

Now that the craziness had ended, I figured it was a good time for a real Christmas cocktail with a not-so-Christmas kind of name.

Day 10

Lumber Jill
1 1/2 oz. Jim Beam
1/2 oz. Amaretto
3 oz. eggnog

This was a fabulous cocktail.  I really should have purchased low fat eggnog, because I would have had another one.  It was very creamy and smooth.  We both rated it a 9, but decided there would be no harm at all in adding just a bit more bourbon than the recipe called for. 

I was definitely in the partying spirit, so we decided that we would enjoy an icy, cold beer when we finished our Lumber Jills.  It was then that we decided to finally start paying attention to the Santa hat on the corner of the television.  I'm sure others saw it on Facebook like I did, but for those who didn't, it's a little drinking game that requires you to drink any time someone on tv is "wearing" the Santa hat.  As you can see in the picture below, it's pretty funny how it looks when someone is wearing it.  We learned pretty quickly that Law and Order is a good show for this game if you're really looking to tie one on.
 The next day was Christmas Eve, and  20 Main was featuring Maribyrd on the guitar for some Christmas songs from 4-7.  Maribyrd, Jean and Dave are some of our favorite people, so we decided that it would be a nice place to celebrate.  I had a few different ideas for the evening's Drifunkmas drink, but we still weren't sure what it would be right before we left.  Luckily my mom called and put me on the spot.  The phone rang just as we were headed out the door and it was my mother asking what the night's drink was.  Apparently she wanted to join in from a distance.  I listed the ingredients for a few of the drinks I had in mind, but there was only one that she had all of the ingredients for.

Day 11

Prison Bitch
1 oz. vodka
1 oz. amaretto
1 oz. triple sec
2 oz. cranberry juice
2 oz. orange juice

All I can say is YUM!  This is one of the best ones in a few years.  Initially it seems quite sweet, but eventually it mellows out.  I would highly recommend going a little lighter on the triple sec, because that stuff is just plain sweet.  Jess made these for us at 20, and it wasn't long before a couple others were giving it a try.



It ended up being a very pleasant evening, and Maribyrd did a great job as always.  If you've never listened to her sing, you really should.  On top of that, she is one of the nicest people you'll ever meet.  She does a lot of solo acts, but she also has a band called Byrdgrass that is incredibly fun to listen to. 

There were plenty of laughs that night, especially after Lauren and Gar showed up.  Someone mentioned the word "gondola" and you could see Lauren's expression change.  Clearly we needed to do something about that.  We decided to pass around a napkin and try to come up with as many words as we could using the letters in the word "gondola".  Gar won for creativity with the word "nogload".  Not sure what it means, but he was able to use it in a sentence brilliantly.
The next day, of course, was Christmas.  The 12th day of Drifunkmas.  The bloody Mary was not the beverage of the day, but it was the beverage of the morning.  It was delicious.
Many folks stopped by on Christmas afternoon for some finger food and cocktails.  It was wonderful to see everyone and share some laughs.  By early evening, it was time to bust out the drink of the day.  I had gone down to Adirondack Spirits the day before and Joe recommended Barenjager.  It's a honey liqueur made by the same folks who make Jagermeister.  Now I am not a Jagermeister fan, but I thought a honey liqueur might be tasty.  I was dead wrong.  I thought it was nasty.  We all kind of made the same face when we tried it, but Jean was quick to state what it needed.  Spice!  I offered up the Sriracha and she squirted some in.  It actually made it better.  It looked awful, but it improved the taste.  We pretty much decided that the only way to truly enjoy this stuff would be to add it to something.  I was thinking tea myself, but who knows.  Either way, the final day of Drifunkmas was a bust.  How disappointing!

"Drifunkmas can't end this way," I thought to myself. 
"Go for a 13th night," Maribyrd suggested.
I was all in, so last night, on the Drifunkmas bonus night, we headed down to 20 for a new beverage.

Drifunkmas Bonus Night

The Fallen Froggie
.5 oz. Midori
.5 oz. Bailey's Irish Creme
splash of grenadine

Obviously this is a shot, and the picture on Pinterest has it looking like this:
Ours didn't quite look like that, and Sherry was apologetic about not pouring it over a spoon, but we truly didn't care.





By the look on Sherry's face, she didn't think it would taste good either.  Have no fear though, because Drifunkmas was saved!  It was quite delicious.  We decided that anything with Bailey's in it is generally delicious.




It has been a wonderful Drifunkmas, made even happier by all of those who joined in on the yearly tradition.  I think I'll try to be more organized about it next year, but then again, giving up control isn't necessarily a bad thing. 

Drifunkmas 2014 
Day 1:  Walk Me Down Sweet Jesus
Day 2:  Painkiller
Day 3:  North Country Common
Day 4:  Dirty Shirley
Day 5:  Eggnog Martini
Day 6:  20 Main's Lemon Drop Shot
Day 7:  Spiced Apple Margarita
Day 8:  The 1800
Day 9:  Gold Rush
Day 10: Lumber Jill
Day 11: Prison Bitch
Day 12: Barenjager
Bonus:  The Fallen Froggie 



Monday, December 22, 2014

Still Going Strong

I must say that my days of late have been unbelievable.  It has truly been a celebration of celebrating with friends and family (does that make sense?).  As previously mentioned, Saturday was the Winch Stage of the 12 Days of Drifunkmas.  A new year.  A new experience.

Jenny Winch is one of the original members of the Ladies of the Adirondacks.  It all started way back when our kids were comfortable around each other.  They ran up and down the beach in Wilmington, without worrying about which body part may have been exposed to anyone else.  Now?  Well, let's just say that our kids barely acknowledged each other.  I think it was a teenage test of wills.  It was maybe a sort of "I'm going to pretend I don't care that you exist" kind of thing.  Who in the Sam-hill knows or even remembers at this point?  It's all good either way.





Anyway...Jenny and Jason were willing to sponsor the evening's Drifunkmas drink in their new home.  What a beautiful home it is, by the way.  It's made even more beautiful by the fact that this new home replaces one that they lost to a fire in October of 2013.  It's a memory I'm sure will never leave them, but it has led them to a beautiful new home accompanied by Jenny's well-deserved teaching position at Lake Placid Central School. 

It was an entertaining evening to say the least.  Jenny started mixing as soon as we walked in. 

Spiced Apple Margarita

Orange wedge
2 Slices of apple
1 oz. tequila
1 oz. Grand Marnier
4 oz. apple juice

Rim glass with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon.  Place and orange wedge and apple slice in the bottom of the glass.  Add liquors and apple juice.  Stir.  Add second apple slice.

I'm kind of guessing at this one because Jenny actually did the mixing and, quite frankly, I was pretty relaxed and may have forgotten.  In the end though, we decided that more tequila was in order, and it was adjusted to 2 oz.  Jason claims that this is what put him over the edge, but I disagree completely.  We all rated it an 8...until the next day when Jason changed it to a 2.  You'll have to ask him.  Everyone appeared to relax though.




Last night we participated in the last stage of the marathon of Christmas celebrations.  It was the most meaningful one though.  It was the Tuller family Christmas.  We got to enjoy watching the kids open their presents and then dine at The Inn at Essex.  Again, it was very entertaining.  You'll have to ask my husband about that.  Not much thought put into this drink.  We simply looked at the cocktail menu and chose a drink.

The 1800



 I have no idea what the amounts are, but I would assume it's like any other margarita.  It was tasty for sure, especially since it involved no effort on my part. 

Tonight was our first evening at home since last Tuesday, and I cannot even begin to tell you how perfect it was.  Ri had practice tonight, which provided us with some "us" time in front of the beloved wood stove.  It was a last-minute decision, but the drink was pretty darn good.

The Gold Rush

3 Tbsp Honey
2 Tbsp boiling water
1/2 cup bourbon
2 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice

Pour honey into a small bowl.  Add boiling water and whisk until it forms a thin syrup.  Whisk in the bourbon and lemon juice.  Pour into ice-filled glass.  Makes 2 drinks!

These drinks were absolutely delicious. They kind of reminded us of whiskey sours, but the honey really added a great touch.  The recipe called for 4 tablespoons of lemon juice, but experience has told me that less lemon is more.  It worked.  It was nice.  We both agreed it was a 9, and we would definitely have it again.

Three more nights of Drifunkmas to go.  One of those will be spent listening to the sweet, wholesome voice of Maribyrd on Christmas Eve.  Life is good.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Wooooo!!!

I'm going to guess that I'm not the only one who feels like there isn't room for even the smallest addition to my schedule.  Am I right?  This is that time of year when you have to keep reminding yourself to embrace the things that are going on instead of letting them bog you down completely.  Monday, as previously reported, was Ri's holiday concert, and Tuesday was a delightful evening at home.  It was then that the it started to feel like... I really don't know what.  It was good, but it was busy, and not all entirely in my control, which can sometimes be a problem for me.

Wednesday was Ri's first indoor track meet.  The Kirchner family is new to this whole indoor track thing, and we had no idea what to expect other than Ri telling us that he was doing some relay thing, maybe a dash thing, but definitely NOT shotput.  We knew these events were long, so I packed up my knitting bag for the long haul and we decided that we would attack the evening's Drifunkmas beverage before we even headed for the Field House.  After letting the dogs out, we headed straight to 20 Main for The Dirty Shirley.


 The Dirty Shirley

1 shot cherry vodka
sprite
splash of grenadine

Although we both knew it was basically just a Shirley Temple made with booze, there's just something about the name that makes it even better.  It's kind of a good girl gone bad thing.  We both agreed that it was very good, but sweet.  Noticing a theme here?  We really aren't huge fans of sweet drinks.  Even our lovely mixologist Jess pointed out that it would be better if it was made with club soda instead of Sprite.  Even so, I would recommend this drink to someone who prefers a crispy, sweet beverage.

We drank those babies in less than 15 minutes and headed straight to Plattsburgh.  Did you know that indoor track meets have no spectator seating?  So much for the knitting.  We watched Ri compete in "the 55" after plugging our ears to avoid twitching uncontrollably when the starting gun went off, then try to use his just-in-the-preliminary-stages-of-manhood muscles to compete against the men-who-shave in the shotput, and finally run-like-somebody-is-trying-to-kill-you in the 4 x 160.  It was an experience, let me tell you.

That brings us to Thursday.  It was a long, enjoyable, tiring day.  I worked at LPES, scooted over to Mountain Lake Academy for a session, then back to LPES to change and wait for Mike to pick me up for the Whiteface Club managers' Christmas dinner at the Mirror Lake Inn.  Say what?  Yep.  If you know me, you realize the significance of the Mirror Lake Inn.  You see, YEARS ago Mike and I waited tables there together (we were not a couple at the time).  Eventually we made eyes at each other and that was that.  I eventually got promoted to dining room manager and Mike had to bow out because Ed said that it wouldn't be ok for us to be doing what we were doing and all that.  The opportunity to go back there and dine was irresistible.  Not knowing what the Drifunkmas drink would be for the night, I figured I'd see what the special was there.  I was not disappointed.

Eggnog Martini

Vanilla Vodka
Amaretto
Eggnog
Sprinkle of nutmeg

Unfortunately I have no measurements to offer you, as I did not make it myself, nor did I actually pay much attention when the bartender was making it.  I'm pretty certain that it was 1 1/2 oz. vanilla vodka, 1/2 oz amaretto and 3 oz. eggnog, but I really don't think there's any way you could mess this one up.  It's going to taste good no matter what.




It ended up being a fabulous evening filled with laughs, good stories, and the best food I've had in quite a while.


This is a picture of me being really classy with my dessert, which was peanut butter shortbread with chocolate ice cream and a drizzle of caramel and chocolate sauce.  It was a fabulous evening.  It was long though, and we didn't get home until 10:45.  Oof.


That leads us to tonight.  This evening was the Au Sable Valley Jazz Band's fundraiser concert from 7-9.  Just enough time for Mike and I to spend a few hours with the dogs (Ri was already at the Community Center) and figure out what to do about Drifunkmas.  We decided a trip to 20 was in order.

Upon arriving, I was somewhat perplexed about what the drink should be.  Exhausted from an active week, I really didn't feel like taxing my brain.  We had already decided that the drink needed to be a shot.  No messing around.  I began thinking about the many shots that I had poured during our two-month stint as the Saturday night bartenders at 20, and the most common shot, and one we had never tried, was a Lemon Drop.  I have had a lemon drop martini, but the shot at 20 was quite simple to pour.

20 Main's Lemon Drop
Shot of Svedka lemon vodka
lemon slice

It's done a little differently depending of who the bartender is.  We used to dip the lemon slice in sugar and place it on the rim of the shot glass.  Our friend Sherry, who has graced the back side of the bar for many, many years, rims the shot glass with sugar and places a regular lemon slice over the top.  I don't think it matters either way.

I have to say that this was damn good.  Perhaps it was the week catching up with me, but I had no problem throwing that thing back and biting into the lemon.  It was fantastic!  We had ordered a pizza from Mad River (a white pizza with onions and tomatoes, which pretty much rocked our world) and decided to enjoy it in one of the comfy booths at 20.  Tired, happy and full, we headed over to the concert.

Mom, Dad, Norma, Kam and Lance were all there, when who to my wondering eyes should appear?  My brother!  Ri was so psyched to have everyone there.  The kids did an amazing job playing two full sets of music.




One of the best parts of the concert was sitting behind my parents, watching their reactions to some of the songs from their past... Tuxedo Junction, Opus One....

So far, so good.  Tonight we head to Jason and Jenny Winch's new house to enjoy our first location sponsored Drifunkmas night.  We are definitely looking forward to it!


 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Let it Roll!

We're just starting to pick up speed here.  I have to say that it's funny how some years I have been extremely organized, whereas other years I seem to fly by the seat of my pants.  This happens to be a "fly by the seat of my pants" year.  Hmmmm...what to drink today...what to drink (yesterday)....

Day 2:  Painkiller

2 oz. white rum
1 oz. cream of coconut
4 oz. pineapple juice
1 oz. orange juice

Yes, this seems like a simple four-ingredient drink.  For some reason however, I forgot how to do math, and when I knew Tommy was going to join us, I neglected to multiply the whole pineapple juice thing by three.  Luckily for me, it still tasted good.  Intense, but good.  It wasn't until Tommy rated it a conservative 7 and requested a refill that I realized the error.  Oops!  The hazards of Drifunkmas I suppose.  Mike and I rated the Painkiller an 8.  I honestly have to say that it might just play a close second to the Bloody Mary with regard to its I-want-to-just-forget-about-what-I-might-have-consumed-last-night qualities.  It's just different.  One is spicy, but this one is sweet.  Kind of like choosing pancakes for breakfast over Eggs Benedict.


This time of year brings a busy schedule, and we had the opportunity to enjoy the sweet sounds of the Au Sable Valley Jazz Band shortly after the sweet taste the Painkiller.

video


That brings us to tonight.  We're not holding ourselves to any unestablished rules, so when Ri and I had to make a trip to the Snowy Grocery in Upper Jay on Sunday to pick up our delicious meats from Mace Chasm Farm, I jumped at the chance to finally try some beer from Au Sable Brewery (at 11:30 in the morning).  The result was tonight's beverage:
Day 3:
North Country Common

 It's funny how things seem to come together.  Mike and I had a weekly ritual of taking the bike to Keene Valley Farmers' Market to do our weekly fun shopping all summer long.  This generally included a quick glance at the lovely and enticing jewelry followed by the purchase of the stuff we were really there for.  We had our standards... Mace Chasm won in the meat department, River Mede won in the lettuce and cucumber area, and I am ashamed to say that I cannot remember who had the best tomatoes, but their booth was on the right.  It was River Mede on the left, then the tomato gurus on the right, followed by the incredible Fry Pies on the right and Mace Chasm on the left.  Sorry.  It's the best I can do.  We always got excited when the big "Kettle Korn" sign was out.  We get excited about strange things, I know.  Anywho.....we had been hearing about Taco Night at Au Sable Brewing Company.  It was an Au Sable Brewing Company/Mace Chasm Taco/Beverage extravaganza that seemed to get big rather quickly.  We had every intention of making it out to one of these Thursday night rituals, but fall got in the way.  School, Mountain Lake Academy, NYSEF, yadah, yadah, yadah.  No excuse, really, but it's all I have.

To make up for all that, we made their beer a part of our Drifunkmas celebration.  The North Country Common is a very easy drink.  It's a mild beer that goes down smoothly with a light malt thing going on.  I would, and will, buy it again.  A growler is $15, which includes a $3 bottle deposit.  Mike and I highly recommend it!

I think tomorrow is going to be The Blizzard, which is a bourbon drink with a little cranberry juice and some simple syrup, but who knows? 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Drifunkmas 2014

It's hard to believe that it is that time, once again, when I get to celebrate one of my favorite events.  I usually end my Drifunkmas posts with a shout out to Carol Baker, but this year I'll begin with one.  Carol was the one who came up with the idea of trying 12 different drinks in 12 days to celebrate the holidays and the return of my traveling husband.  Times have changed though, and my husband did not have to leave for two weeks right before Christmas.  Drifunkmas has not changed though.  12 drinks.  12 days.

Thanks to Pinterest, searching for new and exciting beverages has gotten pretty easy, although sometimes I find myself lured in by an enticing picture only to have my hopes dashed when I see the extensive list of ingredients.  Speaking of long lists of ingredients, tonight's drink had a lot of them.  Luckily for me, I just so happen to have all of the liquors (we have a well-stocked and diverse liquor supply).


Walk Me Down Sweet Jesus

1/2 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. rum
1/2 oz. tequila
1/2 oz. gin
1/2 oz. blue curaçao
1/2 oz. triple sec
1 oz. sweet and sour mix
4 oz. sprite

This is a sweet, refreshing drink, but the name says it all.  Looking at the ingredients, it is very  similar to a Long Island Iced Tea.  The only two differences are sweet/sour mix and blue curaçao instead of coke and lemon juice.  This has more of a Kool Aid thing going on.   Not being a huge fan of sweet drinks, I give this one a 7, as does Mike.  Again, it was good, but a little sweet for our taste.  I highly recommend having a salty snack with it to offset the sweetness.  We had it with some nachos and pulled pork sliders while enjoying a football game with the dogs at our feet.  That worked pretty well for us.  Happy Drifunkmas!