Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Preparing for Christmas: Cocktail Party

Last night I had the cocktail party that I’ve been working on since I got the book, Mix Shake Stir, out of the library in November.  Apparently, I was working on the idea of the cocktail party (sharing fabulous holiday drinks with friends) more than the execution of the cocktail party.  The gleaming glassware, festive lights, roaring (but non-smelly gas fireplace) fire, cedar candles, George Winston playing Vince Guaraldi’s Linus & Lucy music wafting through the air, fancy clothes (beads, fur, wraps, fuzzy socks, Christmas bulb earrings, and goggles) were no match for my lack of actual immediate availability of drinks! 
You see, I have rules.
As my objective for the evening was to share my new found enthusiasm and information about different cocktails, my plan was to make one of each of the seven drinks in the offing and have the ladies pick straws.  There were no short straws, only straws in ten different colors (apparently straws are another thing I collect).  This way, each of us would be able to try each drink and then decide which she would like to have in a glass of her very own.  This part of the evening took a little longer than I had anticipated.  I really should have billed it as a cocktail event instead of party.
After the rough start, everyone was able to have a sip of these seven cocktails I decided to serve:
Venetian Spritz (glass:flute)
3.5 oz.Prosecco; 1.5 oz. Aperol; one Sugar Cube          

Ginger Tonic (glass: flute)
3 oz. Ginger-Lime Infused gin; fill with tonic water; sugared ginger garnish

Blue Smoke Martini: (glass: martini)
Splash of Scotch to line glass; 3 oz. of vodka; 2 bleu cheesed stuffed olives

Adonis: (glass: martini)
2 oz. Manzanilla sherry; 1 oz. Italian sweet vermouth, 2 dashes orange bitters; garnish with orange crescent

Pomegranate Gimlet (glass: rocks)
1 ¾ oz. gin; 1 oz. fresh lime juice; 1 oz. fresh pomegranate juice; ¾ oz. simple syrup; 1 lime wheel and pomegranate seeds for garnish

Guilty Kilt: (glass: rocks)
1 ½ oz. blended Scotch Whisky; 1 ½ oz. brewed English breakfast tea, chilled; ¾ oz. sweetened condensed milk

Pink Lady: (glass: flute)
2 oz. gin; 1 oz. grenadine; ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice; splash apricot brandy; splash applejack brandy; one large egg white

The overwhelming agreement of the evening was that the Venetian Spritz was not good.  Some said it tasted like beer – a taste I didn’t get, but didn’t like anyway.  My professional cocktail drinking friends, one of whom brought the Laphraoig, stuck with the Blue Smoke Martini (good choice).  There were a few Guilty Kilts passed out (I’m thinking the name was a big draw), an Adonis, and some quick Ginger-Tonics.  But the most popular cocktail of the evening was the Pomegranate Gimlet.  It is good.
Also, over the weekend, I was able to partake of a perfectly lovely drink: the Tom & Jerry. It’s small, warm, and has nutmeg floating on top of a creamy froth so it’s perfect for the holidays.  It’s quite a complicated recipe, but I think one that will help end my holiday cocktail experimentation for this season.  
[I assure you that my termination of the cocktail experimentation is solely due to the fact that I’ve met my objective, and should now move on, rather than being anyway related to today’s word of the day.]
After Christmas Eve, during which I plan to also offer the Tom and Jerry’s, and having the standard champagne toast on New Year’s Eve, I’ll return to sharing the nightly glass of transubstantiated wine with my husband.  No amount of fabulous cocktails could ever replace that simple comfort and joy.


Christina said...

I need to print this list out so Chris can try them. He was jealous.

My Adonis was so worth the wait. Yes, I know how that sounds. But you know what I mean.

Thanks for a lovely evening, and happy holidays!

Lynne said...

Thank you for the great book on Vintage Cocktails - it's really interesting!

Last night we made a couple of Blue Moons because we had all the ingredients including the Creme de Violette. When I woke up this morning, the whole drink was still there looking at me!

This cocktail life is taking a toll, I tell you. The New Year's Even toast is going to be me!

Happy Holidays to you and yours, my friend.

Cheryl said...

I am very proud to be considered one of your professional cocktail drinking friends. I wish it were a paid position.

Lynne said...

I like to recognize people for their unique skills set. You should be proud.