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Cocktails with Chris

hosted by Christine Potter   //   Friday at 4p est

"I'm just a gal who likes to mix things up: music, strange cocktail ingredients, and a swanky Nick & Nora ambiance with old school free form rock and roll radio.  It's no secret that I'm a little obsessive about all things Robyn Hitchcock, but my husband's OK with it.  Besides, I end every Cocktails with Chris by standing next to one of the world's great pipe organs for a few minutes and subjecting my listeners to the sometimes-deafening results.  I promise you a tasty cocktail recipe every week, along with music that starts with The Comedian Harmonists, careens through psych and prog rock, and often smashes into the shoals of roots and jazz.  Not to mention a sprinkling of indie pop, and Brit folk. Join me high atop the Potter building, in a swanky neighborhood near you." - cp


Testing, testing...

The drink this week is an experiment still in the making.  Perhaps because of the onset of autumn, I've been into spicey, gingery flavors in my drink-making.  This week, I'd like to try something with a somewhat less challenging ginger flavor--and with vodka for a change.

Why vodka?  Well, I never mix with it for one thing, and it has its uses.  It's a very clear, subtle taste--barely there, really.  Because of that, you can bring other flavors to the fore in a vodka drink.  And my sis is East and she does not drink gin (horrors!)  She does like her the Lemon Drop.  And the Cosmo. 

So I'm thinking this week:

The Sis Sue

1 and `1/2 oz  vodka

3/4 oz lemon juice

3/4 oz Domaine de Canton liqueur

Generous dash of passion fruit juice

Tiny wee dash of real grenadine (to taste)

Taste for balance.  Shake hard over ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass, garnishing with a lemon quarter OR (if you have any left in the garden) a nastiurtium blossom.


Cheers!  See you on the air at 4!




Oh, Snap!

On our way home from Canada, Mr. Potter and I stopped to replenish our at-home liquor cabinet and ran across Snap liqueur.  It's an odd and interesting bottle, distilled by a company known as Art In The Age--and really not a liqueur at all; it's not sweet enough.  Made from blackstrap molasses, clove, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, rooibos tea and vanilla, it's really spicy and suprisingly dry.  Tastes a little like an un-sweet ginger snap.  I don't love it straight; it's got quite a bit of alcohol in it and it's a little too fiery.  But oh, is it ever good with applejack!  It works with rum, too.  It looks like this:

Here's a drink I've been experimenting with.

The Oh, Snap

3/4 oz applejack

3/4 oz amber rum

1/2 oz snap

3/4 oz lime juice

about 1/2 to 3/4 oz of real grenadine (or a little more to taste)

Shake hard over ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with an apple slice and a grating of fresh nutmeg. 

You can also do this drink with the rum omitted and use 1 and 1/2 oz of applejack


Cheers, welcome autumn, and I'll see you at 3 on Friday this week--just before The Old Fart At Play!


Equal Time for RED Gin!

Last week, I raved about the delicious loveliness of Magellan Gin, which is iris-infused and of a glacial blue color.  It is also not so easy to find in the lower Hudson River Valley, by the way.  Having poured the bottle we brought down from New England into the glasses of a number of happy people, Mr. Potter and I have ordered more via the estimable Rochambeau Liquor Store in Dobbs Ferry, NY, a classy and well-curated establishment. 

  Yes, that is the color it really is.  See why I was smitten?  Well, having sung the praises of BLUE, it's time to give equal time to RED.  Or in this case, Sloe Gin. Sloe Gin is something I've written about before.  If you've had it and been underwhelmed, it's probably because you've had the commercially produced nonsense most booze-arias have on the bottom shelf of their liqueur section--a substance that has as much to do with sloes (or small, tangy-flavored plums) as maraschino cherry juice has to do with the lovely clear bottle from Luxardo.  Properly made, sloe gin really consists of gin infused with sloes.  Plymouth Gin makes a delightful if pricey bottle, and it's worth the splurge: It's not red so much as garnet or deep ruby in color, and it is delicious.  A couple of ounces, a healthy squirt of lemon and perhaps a wee drop of simple syrup topped with seltzer served over the rocks, and you've got yourself a sloe gin fizz that's actually worth drinking.  But this week, I'd like to revisit a cocktail I came across about a year ago and made again this week.  It's complex, red, and it has a classy name:


3/4 oz Plymouth Sloe Gin

3/4 oz Plymouth (or Beefeaters or even New Amsterdam) gin

3/4 oz white vermouth

3/4 oz lemon juice

Shake hard, serve up in a chilled cocktail glass with a lemon twist or a quarter of a lemon wheel perched on the rim of the glass.  Cheers and see you Thursday at 4! 



Blue Drinks

Mr. Potter and I once went to a rooftop bar that served only blue drinks.  Come to think of it, it was a REVOLVING rooftop bar.  Outside of the fact that everything had blue curacao in it and was kind of too sweet, it was quite diverting.  The place was in Atlanta, Georgia.  I'd go back if I were in Atlanta.

Blue drinks are very Star-Wars-lounge-scene-Space-Age-Bachelor-pad.  Not that there's anything WRONG with that.  You just have to be in the right frame of mind (silly).

When I first met dear Mr. Potter, he was mixing a drink I've referred to before in this blog, something he liked to call a Tidy Bowl Margarita.  It was equal parts tequila (cheap), blue curacao, and lime juice, spun in a blender with lots of ice.  Turned your tongue blue like a blue popsicle, and had the extra added side effect of being slightly lethal; people didn't taste the considerable amount of booze therein and slurped, with predictable results.  We don't make the Tidy Bowl too often these days, and when we do, we've tweaked the recipe: less curacao, more and better tequila.  It's actually a stronger drink, but since it TASTES like a drink, folks treat it as such and cocktail hour does not become Spring Break.  And yes, it did (and still does) look like toilet bowl cleaner, frozen in a margarita glass.  Mr. Potter in his bachelor days found that a plus point. I think there's blue and then there's too blue.

That said, the first time I drank Bombay Sapphire gin, I recall being bitterly disappointed that only the bottle was blue.

So I guess it's not too surprising that I finally met up with Magellan Gin.  It's infused with iris blossoms.  And yes, Virginia, it is a lovely shade of blue, the color of glacial ice.  Some friends turned us on to the stuff whilst we were vacationing.  I'm here to tell you that it makes a fine, fine drink--easy on the eyes and on the tongue.  The iris gives it a very floral (no duh) taste.  It's not hyper-junipery.  It's got clove in it, and grains of paradise: delicious.  Although I've read it makes lovely Aviations, what I do with Magellan gin is going to shock regular readers of this blog: it's for Martinis.  Or more exactly, Gibsons.  A Gibson is a Martini with a cocktail white onion in it instead of the olive.  With Magellan Gin, the visuals are just gorgeous: an undersea pearl.  And I love the taste of the stuff so much that I can sip it at a rate that enables me to not get utterly goofy on it--which is to say I don't dislike the drink as it warms a little, which I often do with other gins mixed this way.   Get yourself a bottle.  And mix this:

Magellan Meets The Gibson Girl

2 oz Magellan gin

1/2 oz good white vermouth

Shake hard (yes, I know this is heresy, but I like a drink this strong to at least start out very cold) and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. The slight haze and the blue color are really very pretty. Garnish with a cocktail onion.  "Tipsy" onions, put up in white vermouth, are especially nice for this purpse. 

Got that?  See you on the air, Thursday at 4!


Havana Memories, Nova Scotia Division

Ah yes, the Canadians are a sensible people!  Perhaps their booze is way more expensive (and it's hard to find the better liqueurs and wines in the state-run liquor stores, but I understand you can buy that stuff online) but their health care system is available to all.  I'd rather pay a few more bucks for my hooch...and I'd ALWAYS rather have access to delicious, delicious Havana Club Rum.

Oh, Havana Club, how shall I describe thee?  It's golden, with notes of vanilla and molasses.  It has some funk to it.  Bacardi tastes kind of (shall we say) spay/neurtered alongside.  Havana Club in a drink lets you know you are DRINKING RUM.  Of course, the problem is that to the tourist from the States, gathering proper cocktail ingredients to set off this lovely elixer is tough north of the 45th parallel. Good thing Havana Club is also good sippin' rum, yummy on the rocks, after a good meal.

I stuck to a basic sour recipe most of the time, one not unlike a drink I named the GET ME OUT OF HERE a couple of months back. So here's what we were drinking in our rental cottage in a little fishing community a few miles outside of Lunenburg--but a zillion miles away from worry and woe.  The place was called Stonehurst.  Hence...


2 oz Havana Club rum

1/2 oz fresh lemon juice

1/2 oz fresh lime juice (or a little more)

3/4 to 1 oz Cointreau

a few drops of orange or Angostura bitters

Shake hard over ice and strain into the lovely cocktail glasses you bought for no money at the Atlantic Super Store that you have kept in the freezer of your rental cottage.  Garnish with a quarter of a lime wheel 'cause citrus is a fortune in Canada and you want to keep your paltry supply of lemons and limes for DRINKING.  It does look kinda minimalist and cool....Sip and ENJOY. 


(named for where I mixed this, in New Brunswick on the beginning of our way home)

2 oz Havana Club

2 oz freshly squeezed orange juice, bought at the Public Market around the corner from the hotel

1 oz lime juice from your last lime

1/2-3/4 oz Cointreau (to taste)

Shake and strain as above, into the hotel room drink glasses, which look a little like cocktail glasses.  You will, of course, have pre-chilled them with the copious amounts of ice available from the ice machine.  No garnish because you are now out of citrus (and you can't take it over the border tomorrow anyway).   Also good on the rocks.

Sigh....See you next summer, Havana Club.  And see YOU on the air this Thursday at 4, when I SHALL BE HOME!