Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Brandied Ginger Gold

Wednesday is Farmers' Market day in our neck of New London (sometimes, unlike in Charleston, it almost seems to be a singular Farmer's Market, but today there were half a dozen stands set up). I walked up this afternoon to stock up on tomatoes (just coming in), and eggs, and blueberries...  and Ginger Gold apples, the first apples of the season!

I can't tell you how excited I am to be in New England for apple season. Lots of cider awaits!

Ginger Gold apples naturally got me thinking of Ginger cocktails, and back in the day we made a Brandied Ginger that called out for a Curtain Call.  The recipe in the Guide called for too much brandy and not enough ginger, so this time around I shook up the recipe as you'll find it online

Well, mostly as you'll find it online...  After my years working with the Guide, I'm a firm believer in a healthy sized drink, and I decided to triple the online recipe in order to make two cocktails.

My recipe for two glasses of Brandied Ginger:

3 oz Brandy
1.5 oz Ginger Brandy
.5 oz Lime Juice
.5 oz Orange Juice


Shake with ice and pour into two chilled cocktail glasses. Go ahead, garnish with a lime slice if you don't happen to have any preserved ginger in the house.
Ramping up the ginger flavor was absolutely the way to go, and makes a much spicier drink than the Brandied Ginger of the Guide. A nice cocktail to share on an autumnal evening like the one we're having here in Connecticut!

Tomorrow we'll be in need of a cocktail by the time the hour rolls around, but I don't think I'll be able to post it as soon as we make it...  We're going without power tomorrow in order to switch out our screw-in fuses with a new and improved panel.

All part of the fun of settling into a new house.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Manhattan to New London

When our friends Snappy and Grey came to visit us, they came up from Manhattan (our first visitors by train! And it works really well! The industrial scene across the water in Groton looks positively magical in the summer twilight!), so it seemed only right and proper to stir up some Manhattans in honor of their appearance.

The cherry was the flaw in the plan, however. We used up the last of our Luxardo maraschino cherries before leaving Charleston, and even there in the midst of a foodie revolution we had trouble locating them locally.

Williams-Sonoma on King Street carried them at one time, but then dropped them from the inventory when they moved up to their smaller digs near Calhoun.

In New London we really were at a loss - we haven't gotten to know any liquor stores well, and the ones that we have been checking out are strong in lots of ways (great selections of amari!) but weak when it comes to cherries.

But! As we were exploring downtown New London with Snappy and Grey, we stumbled across Thames River Wine and Spirits on State Street.

Such a great place! The bottles of Jack Rudy Tonic that I saw when we came in the door (so nice to find some more Charleston in New London!) were just the first of many great finds - including jars of Luxardo cherries. Hurrah!

It was Manhattans all around before we headed back downtown to the Garde to see Snowpiercer (and some of us were leery beforehand - I'm looking at you, Grey - but the plot hurtled right past the logic and swept any disbelief away).
2 parts Old Overholt Rye
1 part Carpano Antica vermouth
2 dashes Angostura Bitters  
1 Luxardo maraschino cherry
Stir liquid ingredients with ice, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a Luxardo maraschino cherry.
Loved having our friends visit!

Loved our Manhattans in New London.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

After the Waterfront

Our friends Snappy and Grey came to stay with us last week (yay!), a visit perfectly timed to give us a chance to play tourists - and we were more than ready to take a break from moving in. 

We plunged into the waters of Ocean Beach after soaking up the sun on the sand... We spent a morning at the Book Barn(s) and then headed back for more after lunch... We wandered Mystic and had beers in lieu of pizza...  

And Snappy and Grey treated us to an outstanding dinner On the Waterfront.

It was Linguine with Clams for me, melt in your mouth Swordfish for DP (yes, it's sustainable), the Scallops of Stonington for Snappy (take some home to use in a scramble in the morning, per Grey), and an array of fish for Grey. So good! And by the time we got home, we were ready for some sort of digestif...

'After the Waterfront' is what we're calling the one we made up:

1 part Lime Juice
1 part Brandy
1 part Dimmi Liquore di Milano
1 part Green Chartreuse


Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
I've been iffy about Dimmi in the past, but it works so well in this concoction. Tart lime, sweet herbaceousness from the Chartreuse, and what I've been tasting as sour orange in the Dimmi comes into its own with an almost apricot floral note. 

A delicious end to an evening!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Cocktails in Connecticut


How has your summer been? 

Who, me? Well, we've had a little bit of excitement, too...  

You didn't hear? No... it's just that DP and I got married. In May.

In Connecticut.

I know! And then it turns out that our Connecticut marriage isn't recognized in South Carolina.

Who knew, right? So weird! 

Anyway, we can't stay in Charleston, obviously. So we bought a place in New London, and we've been exploring the area, and hosting Charleston guests, and getting ready to drink more cocktails.

In 2010, I started Cocktails in Charleston by saying... 
I've got my boyfriend's trusty copy of the New International Bartender's Guide, 1984 edition (which - side-rant - 'boyfriend' sounds as if we've been on an extended date - and that's sweet, but infantilizing, and it's not like I can use Dear Husband / DH in South Carolina for the foreseeable future, so I'm going to go with Dear Partner / DP from here on out).  So here's the goal: I'll work my way through the Guide, start to finish, maybe 3 or 4 drinks a week, commenting as I go.
Now that my boyfriend is officially my husband, Cocktails in Charleston is turning into Cocktails in Connecticut.  We'd only made it to the 'J' cocktails in Charleston, you know. It's time to move on!

Oh, and one more change. I'm taking on a new pseudonym in Connecticut. James Jacks, my 5th great-grandfather, will be staying in Charleston, the city that he loved, and I'll borrow a name from my 9th great-grandfather, Samuel Bebee, who moved to New London himself way, way back in the day.

It's always fun to shake things up!