Monday, December 12, 2011

The Advil Calendar 2011: BAD MOMS SAY 'NO' TO XMAS MUSIC AT THE BAR (and yes to cranberry drinks)

12.12.11, or if you're feeling Continental, 12.12.11
It's Monday night, my girls' night, and here's a recipe from one of my favorite girls:

Cranberry Cobbler, by Jim Meehan of PDT, as featured on GOOP, Gwyneth Paltrow's online lifestyle dogma thing

Just kidding again. Although she seems to have a decent sense of humor and could therefore hang with us on Monday night, Gwyneth Paltrow persists in trying to make people believe she can sing, and she can't, and that is the worst.
1 orange wheel
1 lemon wedge
½ ounce Cranberry Simple Syrup (see recipe below)
2 ounces Beefeater Gin
¾ ounce Lustau East India Sherry
4 macerated cranberries (from Cranberry Simple Syrup)
mint sprig
Muddle the orange, lemon and syrup in the bottom of a shaker. Add the gin, sherry and a handful of ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with the cranberries and mint.
(Jim Meehan/Michael Madrusan, 2007)

Cranberry Simple Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 bag of fresh or frozen cranberries
3 ounces Beefeater Gin
Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan set over high heat. Add the cranberries and cook over medium heat until the cranberries start to split. Remove from the heat, stir in the gin and cool. This mixture can stay in the fridge for a couple of weeks. When you’re ready to use it, strain the syrup, reserving the cranberries for garnish.

Okay the whole bit about you have to make your own cranberry simple syrup - that is not as nose-in-the-air as it sounds. Making simple syrup is ridiculously easy and it keeps a long long time.The fact that you can use frozen cranberries, oh hell, that makes it a no-brainer, and this cocktail sounds really good.

People like Michelle Obama eat at Gramercy Tavern.
I found another cranberry cocktail in Mix Shake Stir, a book of cocktail recipes from the Danny Meyer restaurants in NYC. He has like ten, including Union Square Cafe, Shake Shack, and the Modern. As you might expect, the cocktails in the book are a little precious, a little hyper-artisanal, with ingredients like lavender honey and cardamom bitters, but weirdly, his bartenders apparently don't know from hot sauce, calling for Texas Pete in one recipe and Tabasco in at least one other. Tabasco. What is that, supposed to be ironic? Post-gourmet?

I mean, I can see not using Sriracha, the foodie go-to hot sauce also known as rooster sauce, in cocktails (except Bloody Marys) - sriracha is so good because it is made from ground fresh peppers with a minimum of liquid, so it has a thick consistency that would settle in a less-dense liquid - and not everybody can make their own, although I know plenty of restauranteurs who do (WINSTON) (and if you are making your own rhubarb syrup then for crap sake why aren't you making your own hot sauce?) but there are many great hot sauces out there that are thin like Tabasco but don't taste like spicy industrial vinegar. Louisiana The Perfect is the one that comes to mind. Even Crystal.

ANYWAY, I never think there are enough winter rum drinks, so I like the sound of this:

Winter Mojito
2 tsp Drunken Cranberries (recipe follows) plus 2 tsp of their liquid
2 lime wedges
8 sprigs fresh mint
2 1/2 oz dark rum (they like Gosling's and I'm fine with that)
soda water to taste
Muddle 1 tsp of the drunken cranberries and the 2 tsp of liquid, the lime wedges, and the mint sprigs in a cocktail shaker. Add the rum and some crushed ice and shake that thing. Strain into a chilled rocks glass and top with soda water. Garnish with more mint and the rest of the cranberries.
Drunken Cranberries
1 1/2 cups simple syrup
2 cinnamon sticks
zest from one large orange
1 cup cranberries
1 1/2 cups white rum
In a large saucepan, combine the simple syrup, cinnamon sticks, and the orange zest. Bring just to a boil over medium high heat and add the cranberries. Cook until the cranberries just begin to pop and their skins begin to split, about a minute.
Remove from the heat and lest cool slightly, then strain the liquid into a large glass jar. Add the cranberries to the jar, discarding the cinnamon and orange zest, then add the rum.
Let cool, then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 3 weeks.

Dude, I would use that in all kinds of stuff. I would add it to hot cider, I'd put it in my tea, hell I'd stir a spoonful of that into my oatmeal in the morning, get my holiday day off to a more satisfying start. Wouldn't you?