Today is the day to fight with rebels.
I think I'm running today's post not a moment too soon. Last week I was writing expressing concern that my boyfriend Steve is having trouble finding a signature cocktail--if it's not possible for him to find something more masculine than a cranberry and vodka, then maybe people can come up with a name that's a little butcher than "Cape Codder."
These last few days he's been taking a train from Chicago to LA (don't ask why) and last night he told me he's taken a shine to a new drink: Bailey's and decaf coffee before bed.
I never really wanted to date a grandma. I mean I don't want to be a jerk about gender issues but I did always have dreams of dating someone sort of my own age and a different sex.
So let's get to it. Today are the alternate drinks for Steve. Tomorrow, people's suggestions for a new name for the vodka-cran.
New Drinks for Steve
(I'm hoping that after the holidays we can have a taste test of these, complete with photographic evidence)
From Jeremy Quinn:
Has Steve ever tried a well-made Sidecar? He might like that one, though they are hard to find made well. You need to find an old-school bartender
The ultimate sidecar is as follows:
1 jigger (ya know, the big side of a cool hourglass-shaped shot measurer) very good brandy, or better yet, decent Cognac
3/4 jigger Cointreau. Don't mess with the triple sec here, you will just regret it. You wanna move up to first class, shell out for Grand Marnier. Its not necessary, but then this drink is all about Luxury.
Cut a lemon in half, squeeze (just the half) it on a Phillipe Starck lemon squeezer. Actually, first rub the lemon on the rim of your glass, then pour sugar onto a plate and dip the rim in the sugar. Stand the glass up and let it sit for a minute, so the sugar gets crusty. Nice. Lazy bartenders who make this drink with sweet and sour mix should be fired on the spot. Fresh squeezed lemon too, none of that plastic-grenade lemon stuff.
OK. Put all the liquids in a shaker (Boston shaker please, with the satisfying click it makes upon opening the two parts after shaking) with three ice cubes. Shake briskly, folks who say you can bruise liquid are hallucinating.
Pour through a fancy shaker-strainer thing into your glass. Got to catch those pesky lemon seeds.
Put on a snappy cardigan. It's cold out. Argyle pattern works best. I have a wool sidecard drinking one with fancy silver-ish buttons that my mom made for me. Though she didn't know its for sidecar drinking.
Sip till it's gone. Enjoy the sweet lemony (snicket?) punch of pure liquors meeting in citrus harmony. Then nibble the rest of the sugar off the glass and repeat. Only, don't put on another cardigan. Skip that step.
I had also told Jeremy about Steve's affinity for an extremely estrogen-filled cocktail made at Japonais in Chicago called the Startini, which is garnished with starfruit. Jeremy suggested, "Maybe replace the starfruit in the startini with a slice of kiwi. It's hairy, so much more masculine. Then you can call it a hairball or something gross."
From Mark Vanderhoff:
1. Has Steve tried a gin and tonic? It seems so obvious, I would think he probably has and didn't like it. Some people say they taste like pine trees (like it's a bad thing), but I think it's more like a delicious un-cola that eventually gets you messed up. It also sounds good and manly when you're ordering it.
2. Ginger ale and whiskey. Now, when you're messing with whiskey you're certainly playing with fire, but I have yet to meet anyone who doesn't really like this drink. It probably has a cooler name than just listing the ingredients, but I don't know what it is. Wait- I've just looked it up. It's a highball! Awesome! You can't help but sound cool ordering a highball. It's got a glass named after it and everything. And there's something vaguely Rat Pack-y about it.
He could just try a Greyhound: vodka (if gathering with sophisticates) or gin (if in the LBC), and grapefruit juice. Simple, with a name that connotes buses and dogs, which are both fun.
If he's just trying to man up, then he should go with bourbon on the rocks, or better yet, neat. Or a classic "retro" cocktail like a Stinger or a Manhattan would do the trick.
Has Steve tried Southern Comfort and ginger ale? Add a splash of lime AND cranberry juice for tartness and color, and he may be in business. It would need a catchy name, which puts you back to square one.
A Bay Breeze is vodka, cranberry, and pineapple. (A little on the girly side as far as the name goes, though.)
A Sea Breeze is vodka, grapefruit, and cranberry.
A Greyhound is vodka and grapefruit. That's a cool name, but a little boring. Oooh, if one were to add a splash or drizzle of grenadine, it could be called a Bloodhound. That sounds manly.
A Cocaine Lady, while not the most masculine of names, it never fails to delight. (Rum, Vodka, Kalhua, Bailey's, cream, Coke - some mixture of those ingredients, depending on where you are.)
From Doug Finch:
Steve should drink "7 and 7." First, it's cool: it's got two sevens in the name, like double oh seven, James Bond! Newly cool with a new Bond. (Sean still rules in my world though.)
Second: Easy to order: Five simple syllables, so when you've had a little more than your limit you can still order one without sounding like a kid who spiked the punch at the prom. (eg, "I'd like a Manberry wifa twsithe lefmem fleas.")
And "7 And 7 Is" was a great song by the group Love back in the 60's-70's. (I have no idea if the drink was an inspiration for the song, but plenty of folks (and rocks) drank 7&7 back in the day, so it might have been.) Love was led by Arthur Lee, whose work had an impact on the later punkers I believe, so you can be kinda up-to-date rock'n'roll when you order it.
It's made with Seven Up, probably the cleanest most refreshing soda (I guess you call it "pop" in Chi, right?) known to man. If it's too sweet (Seagram's is already sweet) you can get it with Diet Seven Up. Still clean and refreshing!
I hope this has helped you decide on an imbibement for your man. A signature drink is not easy to find. In fact, I still haven't come up with one although the default is always gin or vodka and tonic. Pretty bland, I'll admit, so I load them with lemon or lime. Of course flavored vodkas are an option too, though I've found chocolate to be...odd.