Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Duet for Two Mixes

Here are two new inventions from the steel counter.

When we built our house in 1991, I wanted a stainless steel counter. I didn't have anything specific in mind regarding kitchen activity, I had just always admired stainless steel counters, which were then beginning to be considered stylish, supplanting the white painted appliances, and later tile surfaces which were big in the 1960's and '70's. Each kind of surface has its pluses and minuses. Stainless steel is very easy to clean, and presents a high sheen. On the downside, it can't be mended (the way tile can), and over time, it will exhibit a soft cross-hatch of very tiny scratches. I suppose these last could be buffed to a new shine, but who would go to that trouble? 

Neither wife nor I are serious chefs--though she's an inveterate collector of cookbooks--albeit we definitely are connoisseurs of good food and drink. Not sure how I got into the cocktail habit, but it's a pleasant hobby. People go to school to learn to be bartenders, but I doubt there's much to teach, beyond the basic ingredients, and a few memorized popular recipes. The social interactive part's probably as important as the "science"--making your customers feel at ease, unburdening their cares or just cheering them up. 

I like the idea of inventing a concoction that the "professionals" mightn't have thought of (yet). Aquavit--the Scandinavian liquor--is largely neglected by bartenders, though to my mind (and palate), it's a perfectly distinct and cooperative ingredient. Its flavor ranges across caraway, cumin or fennel, which makes it quite unlike gin or vodka. 

St. Germaine has become popular over the last decade. Not sure if it was used in previous times. Probably in Europe. 


3 parts Tanqueray "10" gin
1 part ginger liqueur
1 part Cointreau
1 part Linea aquavit
1 part fresh lime juice

Shaken and served up

garnish lime wedge

3 parts Irish whisky
1.5 parts dry vermouth
1 part St. Germaine liqueur
1/2 part ginger liqueur
1 part fresh lemon juice

Shaken and served up