Archives for posts with tag: Events

Spring has finally sprung and the GrogDog is enjoying the sunshine, daffodils, and traditional spring and Easter treats that have been used to celebrate the Earth’s renewal since humans discovered the miraculous egg.

Image credit: PetsLady.com

Image credit: PetsLady.com

While St. Patrick’s Day is all about the green, Easter and its companion non-Christian holidays clothe themselves in pastels – pink, yellow, blue, and green reflecting blooming botanicals. This year, enjoy a semi-sweet brunch cocktail that incorporates all the ingredients of a bright spring day full of promise: The Grand Royal Fizz.

Image credit: Cocktail101.org

Image credit: Cocktail101.org

The Grand Royal Fizz is ½ oz. orange juice, 1 oz. lemon juice, 1 tsp. sugar, 2 oz. gin, ¼ oz. maraschino liqueur, ½ oz. cream, and 1 fresh egg. Pour all the ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake long and hard – you want to incorporate as much of the egg into the drink as possible, and enough air to give it a silky mouthfeel. Pour into a tall glass, top with club soda, and give it a light stir.

Note: I understand that people are wary of consuming raw eggs. There was a massive raw-egg scare a couple of decades ago and now every chain restaurant menu in the country warns against them. If you’re squeamish about drinking whole raw eggs, feel free to substitute 1 oz. of pasteurized egg white from a carton – but if you skip the egg altogether you’re changing the character of the cocktail substantially, and I can’t vouch for the result. In the interest of education, this article completely debunks the myth that consuming raw egg is a health hazard. (The egg-producing process is highly regulated and salmonella contamination rates, already pretty low except for the long-ago outbreaks that caused the seemingly unending hysteria, are hardly worth mentioning now.)

Making the SNAP Sour, image credit ArtintheAge.com

Making the SNAP Sour,
image credit ArtintheAge.com

For those who prefer a less spot-on Easter cocktail but want to enjoy a zingy taste of spring, I offer the Pineapple-Mint SNAP Sour, a fresh, sweet/sour cocktail that features SNAP liqueur, “…a sophisticated organic spirit based on authentic folk history designed for people who know how to drink”.

This delicious ginger spirit was developed based on a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch gingersnap recipe by my drinking buddies at Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction cooperative (conceived by Hendrick’s Gin and Sailor Jerry Rum creator Steven Grasse). You can find SNAP, along with its equally delightful playmates ROOT, SAGE, and RHUBARB, at many well stocked liquor stores, and cocktail recipes in addition to this one on their web site.

Image credit: AWREdinburgh

Image credit: AWREdinburgh

The Pineapple-Mint SNAP Sour is 1 oz. SNAP, 2 oz. fresh lemon juice, 3 oz. pineapple juice, and 5 mint leaves. Muddle the mint with the lemon juice, add SNAP and pineapple juice, stir, and top with club soda.

Happy Easter, happy gardening, happy spring from the Grog Dog!

Friday night is the GrogDog’s favorite unwinding night of the week – an ideal evening for themed drinking at home to kick off the weekend without incurring a large bar tab or a massive hangover. (Saturday is chore day, and chores aren’t nearly as much fun to do with a pounding head and roiling stomach.)

A booze hound, and young Joan Crawford

As a fan of the classic cocktail and longtime student of the Prohibition era (and the Jazz Age that preceded it), I have many recipes to build personal theme nights around, but I keep coming back to the Charleston – the drink, the dance, and the exuberant attitude that post-WWI America exported to the world.

The Charleston

The Charleston

The Charleston cocktail is 1 part London dry gin, 1 part kirsch, 1 part maraschino liqueur, 1 part sweet vermouth, and 1 part dry vermouth. Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

While you’re enjoying your drink – from a cocktail glass or the flask tucked discreetly under your garter – put on a little hot jazz and try a few steps of the Charleston!

The Charleston

The Charleston

The Charleston is an energetic dance performed to a ragtime rhythm, made popular in the 1923 Broadway musical “Runnin’ Wild”. The Charleston is easy to learn and a fun way to work off the cocktail calories. (Fans of the 1959 film Some Like It Hot, set in the 1920s, will remember Marilyn Monroe performing the song “Runnin’ Wild” with band mates Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis, who perform in drag as part of the dance band Sweet Sue and Her Society Syncopators.)

Other popular 1920s dances included the Black Bottom and the Shimmy (or Shimmie). For some very danceable (modern) performances of popular Jazz Age songs, check out the Hot Sardines on iTunes. (You can get a taste of their style in this irresistible video.)

Rudolph Valentino as The Sheik

Rudolph Valentino as The Sheik

If you’re not feeling that energetic, stir up your Charleston cocktail and put on one of the era-defining movies that thrilled postwar audiences with daring dress, drinking, and debauchery, like The ‘It’ Girl starring Clara Bow, or The Sheik starring Rudolph Valentino. Both films (and many more silents and early talkies) have been nicely restored and are available for purchase or download.

So don’t be a Mrs. Grundy! Stir up some giggle water and make some whoopee some Friday night – creating your own 1920s cocktail theme night is the bee’s knees!

156179_368178506565169_94308235_n

It could be the festive Christmas lights or Santa’s snow-chilled cheeks, but at GrogDogBlog that warm, red glow means Maker’s Mark bourbon! The GrogDogs recently attended a wonderful evening of Maker’s Mark cocktails and fellowship with local Maker’s Mark Ambassadors at the County Cork Wine Pub in Eldersburg, Md. World Whiskey Specialist Ryan Lyles (yes, that’s a real job, and I am envious of it) provided a wee taste of Maker’s 46 in a souvenir wax-dipped glass as well as some education about Maker’s 46 and what makes it so special. (Hint: It’s in the barrel. See that nicely charred stave in the photo? It smells amazing!)

GrogDogs at Maker's Mark Ambassadors Event - County Cork Wine Pub, Eldersburg, Md.

Maker’s 46 ages in charred French oak barrels for intensified vanilla and caramel flavors.

While true GrogDogs enjoy just about any spirit that makes a good cocktail, I’ve been a Maker’s Mark Ambassador for many years, and it’s my go-to bourbon for mixing, cooking, or just plain drinking. (Maker’s 46, the longer-aged version, I save for special occasions.)

The County Cork Wine Pub offered a light buffet featuring – what else? – Meatballs in (MM!) Bourbon Sauce and other delicious noshes to accompany the featured Maker’s cocktails: Old Fashioned, Manhattan, Mint Julep, Side Car, Maker’s Mule, Kentucky Coffee, Maker’s (non-egg) Nog, and Maker’s Hot Cider. Here’s one recipe as provided by the excellent County Cork bartender:

Side Car – 1 oz Maker’s Mark, 1/2 oz triple sec, 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice. Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Check back for more recipes soon, and in the meantime, enjoy that warm, red glow throughout the holiday season!