1. Fall, Recap, Classy Holiday Sips and a New Blog!

    Hello All.

    It has been a little while since I last posted to pages, leaving some of you to wait and wonder.  Trust me, it wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever done, and I hope we can patch things up in time to move me from you “naughty” to “nice” list in time for St. Nick’s annual visit.  That said, I got a little busy, and now that I have a little free time, I am back (along with a plan to see to it that the gap between this and the next post is not so wide). 

    To recap, I moved (from Bed Stuy to Bushwhick) got a couple new gigs, am kinda starting to exhibit some early signs of old age: that “thing” in my hair? It’s not lint, it’s actually grey, and my friends have stopped asking me to come out, because they know that, for the first time in years, my favorite place in the world is, well, my couch. I like to think that these are all signs that I am finally growing up (baby face notwithstanding), and as we all know, these changes don’t come without a few aches and pains - all fine by me if that’s what it takes to get where I am going.

    I started a drinks blog several months back, maybe you have seen a story or two from there posted here.  It’s called A Good Room (goodroom.tumblr.com), and it’s where the bulk of my attention will be focused, writing wise, for awhile:  I love food as much as everyone, but alas, my days at the stove of late are few and far between, and I said to myself, there are a ton of blogs out there doing a better job than me at this.  So, until further notice, I am going to be posting on A Good Room, a few times a month, sharing some of that stuff here, with occassional original content as well as behind the scense from that blog: outtakes, extra photos, etc, landing here as well.

    Until then, feast your eyes on an assortment of photos from the last couple  months. And when you are done with that, check out the new installment of Saturday Sip, where gin reigns supreme on my cold weather booze list.  In it, you’ll find some drinks both familiar and obscure, all way easier to serve at your next holiday gathering that you might have guessed -  I promise!  Thanks again for following and stay tuned for more to come!

    Shannon

  2. Hanging with my Richard on a shoot at New York Distilling Company for Sweets and Bitters Fall 2013 quarterly.  The punch is real, so are the smiles.
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    Hanging with my Richard on a shoot at New York Distilling Company for Sweets and Bitters Fall 2013 quarterly.  The punch is real, so are the smiles.

  3. The Knickerbocker: Rum, Raspberry Syrup, Lime and Caraçao:  delicious anytime, and a good template for a punch bowl too boot.
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    The Knickerbocker: Rum, Raspberry Syrup, Lime and Caraçao:  delicious anytime, and a good template for a punch bowl too boot.

  4. A slate of holiday gin cocktails await taste testing.
For the full story and recipes,  follow this link: 
http://tinyurl.com/pva8lps
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    A slate of holiday gin cocktails await taste testing.
    For the full story and recipes,  follow this link:
    http://tinyurl.com/pva8lps

  5. Nothing like a handwritten scribble to really grab an idea
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    Nothing like a handwritten scribble to really grab an idea

  6. Testing cool weather drinks at one of Bed Stuy’s newest watering holes, Doris. 
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    Testing cool weather drinks at one of Bed Stuy’s newest watering holes, Doris. 

  7. Testing out classic rum drinks with The Noble Experiement’s Owner’s NYC Rum.  It’s delicious and the recent recipient of a silver medal in the NY International Spirits competition.
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    Testing out classic rum drinks with The Noble Experiement’s Owner’s NYC Rum.  It’s delicious and the recent recipient of a silver medal in the NY International Spirits competition.

  8. Brunch menu at my new gig…..stop by for a visit, eh?
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    Brunch menu at my new gig…..stop by for a visit, eh?

  9. Hello Handsome: A New Turn on A Storied Classic

    The last time I wrote, for most of the last month in fact, I have been on a serious rum kick - which is not quite over, if those Smith and Cross old fashioneds from the other night are any indication of where my head is at. Still, I have been gearing up for my focus for the fall: gin.

    I figured out some time ago that I am quite keen I on gin, but a lot of folks I know aren’t - in spite of the recent explosion of new craft distelleries offering gins in a variety of styles, many drinkers are mostly familiar with London Dry, seldom drink gin outsdie of basic sours and tonics, and tend to think of it as a summer only drink. My mission was simple - to prove the naysayers wrong.

    Over the past few weeks, I sampled quite a few bottles -
    Tanquery Malaca, NYDC Dorothy Parker, Ford’s, and Jensen’s London Dry, and Warwick are among my favorites, looking to create something that offered a story on multiple levels, with an eye to find those with flavor profile that were not only smooth and easy to drink neat(!), but was also an inspiring base for a simple, clean cocktail that could appeal to a range of tastes regardless of the hour or season. Ulimately, I went with Ford’s, the least floral of them all and thus very amenable to mixing.

    Finally, I wanted a drink with a dash of romance, something that was equally bracing and exciting as it was calming and relaxing.

    The inspiration for this week’s drink is Angus Zhou’s minted White Lady, which offers takes the classic gin sidecar and pushes it more into gin julep territory while dispensing with the laborious building and mixing process. The end result is no less elegant looking, and plays right to gin’s strentghs as an aromatic, botanical drivel spirit.

    For my version of Angus’ drink, I reduced the amount of Cointreau and added a splash of Creme de Menthe, which was actually the main component in place of gin in the original rendition of the drink, invented by Harry MacElhone while manned the bar at Ciro’s in Prohibition Era London.

    I found this easier to prepare on the spot, but I definitely encourage using Angus’ approach of infusing the Cointreau with fresh mint if you have difficulty finding a good quality bottle (I reccommend Tempus Fugit’s version, which is clean and not overly sweet).

    My favorite thing about it is that it’s simplicity belies it’s high end taste and appearance.
    I named my version the Rhett Butler, imagining that he may have enjoyed this as much as any Julep on a hot Georgia afternoon.


    Rhett Butler
    1 3/4 oz gin
    3/4 oz lime
    1/2 oz Cointreau
    1/4 oz Creme De Menthe
    Mint Sprig

    METHOD
    Combine all ingredients in a shaker and add ice. Shake until well chilled, dump into a rocks glass over large ice, garnish with a mint sprig, and serve.