It's been a hot minute since there's been a cocktail on this here page, and it's high time that changed. Recently a friend gave me a bottle of plum wine -- a Japanese drink known as umeshu that, according to my pal Wikipedia, is made by steeping smallish green plums in shochu. It's a sweet, tasty drink that resembles a dessert wine, and I wanted to make something fun with it.
There aren't too many plum wine cocktails out there, but I found a good one that pairs the sweet umeshu with whiskey and some 7-Up that really hit the spot. It's usually made with Jack Daniels and called a Japanese Jack, but all I had in the liquor cabinet was Jameson, so it's more of a Japanese-Irish beverage: Japanese James.
2 oz plum wine (umeshu)
1.5 oz Jameson Irish whiskey
4 oz 7-Up
Serve on the rocks. Refreshing and delicious. Perfect for anyone who likes a sweetness to their sips.
I never used to like Bloody Marys. Please don't judge me for that. I just didn't understand its right place -- to the upper right of your brunch plate. Now, though, I'm a true believer. And when weekend brunch rolls around, a Bloody Mary takes a seat at the table.
Baby, it’s cold outside, and it’s time to turn to heartier dishes. Gone is the grill fare of summer time, replaced by soul-warming stews and mulled beverages. One of my favorites is this beef, onion, and porter stew – a hearty stew that will keep you cozy for at least a couple of meals.
You’d really expect something that sounds as incredible as Bacon Infused Bourbon to entail a lot of hard work. In reality, it’s as easy as cooking up some delicious bacon and hanging out for a little while. Much easier than Chocolate Infused Vodka. And while the final product in this case might be a little too salty to drink on its own, it’s an awesome addition to a bunch of tasty cocktails.
I'm not a huge vodka guy. I've never really liked the taste that much, and I would much rather have a G&T or a beer than a vodka drink any day of the week. With the exception of a bloody mary, I'll steer clear of vodka, thankyouverymuch. At least, until I met chocolate vodka. Get this: chocolate vodka is vodka that tastes mostly like chocolate. Talk about making lemonade out of lemons. Or, in this case, making chocolate vodka out of vodka.
The process is delicate, although not difficult. You'll need a double-boiler or some sort of jury-rigged double boiler to pull it off (a pyrex bowl in a big pot of water works). Since we're dealing with alcohol and open flames here, be careful.
When riding the subway home from work, I descend at 33rd St. and walk all the way to the far end of the platform, because there are always more open seats at that end of the train and when I disembark I'm in the part of my local station that puts me the fewest footsteps from home. This night begins like any other. I step onto a mostly empty subway car and sit down. I seat myself on a bench of 6 seats, as diagrammed below:
C = me
$ = empty seat
E, F, and G = random passenger
#### = A new friend, whom I shall call Ignatius (Ha ha! '#', get it? No? Read on, friend!)
[$ $ C $ $ $]
A few more people board the train, and it departs:
[E F C $ $ G]
As the train is pulling out of the station, the door connecting my car to the one trailing it is hurled open with a loud crash, and Ignatius delicately stuffs himself through it.
Oh snap, it's the day before Christmas and you haven't made any cookies! What are you going to do?? Well, for one, stop panicking. Anyone that gets too stressed out about Christmas cookies is missing the point. Take a second, pop the top off of that bottle of bourbon over there, and make yourself a relaxing drink.
Got it? Settled? Great. Well now that you have the bourbon out, we might as well make good use of it. Let's get in the spirit (har har) of the season, and whip up some tasty Bourbon Balls.
Some people say these little morsels taste like Christmas. I say they taste like booze. Delicious, sweet, bourbony booze. So if that's what you're looking for at the end of your year, continue on, fearless reader.
The other day I submitted to world wide peer pressure. I drank Four Loko. A caffeinated (for the next week or so) malt alcohol beverage that has been banned in many states across our great nation including my own state of New York. It's been described as "blackout in a can," "cocaine in a can" and "a darn good time." What was I going to do - let the ban come and take the beverage away from me as if I was Atreyu in The NeverEnding Story and the ban was the Nothing? No. I would not stand idly by. Rather I would have people over to my apartment to taste test the beverage - in the name of science and the expansion of our own culinary tastes, of course.
The call came in around 6PM this past Friday.
"Hi, Jeff," I said upon lifting the receiver, already knowing word for word what my boss's reply would be.
Jeff emitted a protracted, soulful (to the extent possible), pained sigh, following with: "Chris.......... could you....... [another sigh]....... swing by my office?"
Grabbing my notebook, I set off down the hall, praying that whatever crisis awaited me wouldn't entirely ruin my weekend. I found Jeff sitting with Paul, hunched over a particularly sinister-looking pile of documents. "Guys," I said. "What's up?"
A couple of weekends ago I welcomed in the fall the way I welcome in every other event in my life, from the exciting (new job!) to the mundane (new dust bunnies!) by going to a bar. The bar in question was Rye House because it’s the only decent place to get a real cocktail around Union Square. Don’t say Flat Iron. It’s not worth it.
It was a crisp, darkening, mildly damp day. Perfect bar weather. I popped into Rye House, slunk onto a stool at the large, mostly empty marble bar and interrupted the bartender’s dinner.