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Archive for Monday, July 7, 2008

Cocktail talk

July 7, 2008

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Although people tend to call anything in a V-shaped glass a cocktail, the drink traditionally is required to have spirits, sugar and bitters. Ted Haigh, curator of the newly opened Museum of the American Cocktail, offers some other facts about the drink:

¢ Originally, the cocktail was considered a morning eye-opener. Some speculate that's how it got its name - a metaphor for a rooster (cock) heralding the light of day.

¢ In New Orleans, legend has it Antoine Peychaud served his blend of bitters and brandy in eggcups, known as "coquetiers" to the French-speaking residents. The word later was corrupted to "cock-tay," and finally to cocktail.

¢ In the 1800s, bitters were used as medicine. Peychaud's Bitters' label still reads, "Good for what ails one irrespective of malady."

¢ Two of the earliest recorded enhancements to the cocktail were a sugar-crusted glass lip with fruit peel (called a crusta), and the addition of absinthe, now illegal in the U.S.

Raleigh Collins

Ice cubes

4 ounces tequila blanco

2 ounces limoncello

2 ounce fresh lemon juice

2 ounces club soda

1 orange

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the tequila, limoncello and lemon juice. Shake vigorously for 15 to 20 seconds. Fill 2 tall glasses with ice. Using the top of the cocktail shaker, strain the mixture into the glasses. Top each with club soda. Cut two 1-by-2-inch strips of rind from the orange. Reserve the rest of the orange for another use.

One at a time, hold a strip of orange rind above each drink and twist and squeeze to release the oils. Rub the strip around the edge of the glass, then add to the drink. Serves 2.

- Recipe from Michael Waterhouse, co-owner of New York's Devin Tavern and Dylan Prime

Limoncello

Makes 1 liter

12 whole lemons

1 1/2 cups sugar

1-liter bottle vodka

Juice the lemons and reserve the juice for another purpose. Cut the squeezed lemons into quarters, then place them in a large pitcher with a lid (or one that can be easily covered with plastic wrap). Add the sugar and mix well to help extract any remaining juice. Add the vodka (saving the empty bottle) and stir well.

Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. After a day, stir the mixture, cover and return to the refrigerator. Repeat daily for at least 4 days and up to a week, until all sugar is dissolved. Use a mesh strainer to strain the mixture into a medium bowl, using a spoon to press the lemons to extract all of the liquid. Use a funnel and ladle to transfer the limoncello to the reserved vodka bottle. Cover and store in the freezer. Limoncello will keep for up to 3 months in the refrigerator and indefinitely in the freezer.

- Recipe from Michael Waterhouse, co-owner of New York's Devin Tavern and Dylan Prime

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