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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

Wednesday
Mar142012

Spring!  Really?

Really.

Winter never did come--outside of that oddball snowstorm before Halloween, and one medium-sized snowfall in January.  Of course, that's in The Swanky Neighborhood near you. If you're reading this in Alaska, you may absolutely throw snowballs at me.

Here, it was over 70 degrees yesterday, and I haven't even gotten my spring and summer clothing down from the attic yet.  But who DOES that this early on? 

In the world of cocktails, it's a similar puzzlement: St Pat's on Saturday, but the whole mixing-with-Irish-whiskey thing bugs me.  Good Irish whiskey should be drunk with just enough water to set it off, and nothing else to vex it, sez me.  What really calls me is a Harp, sitting outside in the sun, but I've got this blog to write, a radio station to run, and family to please. 

You want to know what I drank last night?  It's totally NOT like me--not a classic cocktail, and only containing one slightly oddball ingredient.  Let's call it:

The Unseasonable Weather

2 oz vodka

a generous splash of unsweetened cranberry juice (available in health food stores and some markets)

a dash of Rose's Lime juice, to taste

Seltzer

Build in a highball glass with plenty of nice, big ice cubes, stir with a swizzle stick, garnish with a lime slice.  Tart, refreshing & soothing. It's kind of a lightened Cosmo soda pop.  Lovely, really.

Unsweetened cranberry juice, by the way, is useful stuff.  It's a great color and can rescue a batch of drinks that's gone over the edge into sweet.  When you're not making cocktails, it's refreshing plain in seltzer (use just a little at first, 'cause it really IS sour).  It's actually good for you.

See ya on the air at 4 PM!

Wednesday
Mar072012

Not that I APPROVE of this sort of thing, but...

...I'm about to give you a recipe for a cocktail that is called a Ginger Blossom Martini.  But first I need to have a mini-rant.  A martini is made with gin and white vermouth and a nice green stuffed olive.  Revisionists may make martinis with vodka.  This drink, from Twist in Hyde Park, NY, is properly a sort of sour with grapefruit juice.  But it's an interesting concoction, whatever it's called.

 

The Ginger Blossom (that's better--think we'll call it that)

1 and 1/2 oz gin

1/4 oz elderflower liqueur

1/4  oz ginger syrup (either simple syrup infused with ginger or the kind from Ginger People)

1 and 1/2 oz grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed.

 

Shake hard over ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish?  Hmmm.  I'd do a flower, but there isn't anything up yet except for snowdrops, and I'm not sure they're edible.  Why not YOU think one up and tell me?

 

See you on the air tomorrow at 4!!

Tuesday
Feb282012

Thinking About The Beach, Slushstorm Predicted...

There's a drink--a Trader Vic tiki-style drink--from the late 40's called The Beachcomber.  I've experimented with it, and with various sours much like it for years.  Rum, tart citrus and cointreau--nothing's ever wrong with that.  I was honking around in the Imbibe Magazine back issues online, and I came across this variation on the original Trader Vic cocktail.  I like the idea--especially the addition of just a drop of maraschio--and I think Mr. Potter and I shall be making a test run on it this very evening, as we ponder the coming precipitation. Cheers!

 

The (New) Beachcomber

2 oz. white rum
3/4 oz. Cointreau
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
1/4–1/2 tsp. maraschino liqueur
1/4 tsp. simple syrup (optional)

 

Shake hard over ice, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  I'm thinking a lime wheel, and maybe a silly little paper umbrella garnish?  Might be fun! 

Don't forget about the Area 24 Radio Kickstarter campaign--and I'll see you on the air Thursday at 4 PM.

Thursday
Feb162012

Drinks for the non-drinker

High atop the Potter building, we extend love and cocktails to all--except as I noted last week, there are some who are unfortunately underage.  Or pregnant.  Or having to get a mole on the leg removed and the doc said no drinkin' for three days prior (poor Mr. Potter). Or who choose not to drink.  Or who are just plain not in the mood for a cocktail in its usual definition. 

Most hosts keep some Perrier around for that and plop a lime slice in and that's that.  And most non-drinkers are OK with it.  But it seems so--non-festive when everyone else is having Monkey Glands or some such. 

There's always alcohol-free beer, but frankly, it's awful. Maybe it's slightly better than the Perrier option if you're serving really intense chili or Indian food, but I'm not even sure of that. 

Our godchildren loved the Shirley Temple, made with diet ginger ale and a shot of real grenadine and richly garnished with cherries and orange slices and tiny paper umbrellas.  And honestly, they're not bad as long as you use the sugar-free soda as a base; using even "good" (small producer, fancy label) sugared G.A. makes a drink too sweet even for the under-12 set. 

But what does one do for college-age kids, or adults?  The answer is as close as the aseptically packaged boxes of interesting fruit juices in your local gourmet store--or if you're lucky, in your mega-mart.  Check out the Latin foods area; Goya has some good ones, but there are more and more companies that put the stuff up.  Read the ingredients and make sure you're buying something that's not too laden with high fructose glop, but most of the ones I've found are basically what they say they are: fruit puree and fruit juice, sometimes sweetened, sometimes not. I found some wonderful sour cherry juice from Turkey once. The market near our house even stocks passionfruit juice, which opens up a world of old Tiki cocktails for those who will pour them with booze--but that's not our week's topic.

Basic recipe:

Get a big red wine glass and put in some ice.  Pour in a few ounces of some exotic tropical juice--passionfruit, mango, guava...be creative.  You can even mix flavors.  Taste with a straw.  Too sweet?  A colorful option is to add a dash of unsweetened cranberry juice, which is also becoming more and more available.  Now you've got something the color of a Hawaiian sunset.  Top off with some good seltzer.  We have one of those soda stream penguin machines, which is worth EVERY PENNY.  Stir, and garnish with a lime or lemon quarter-wheel, perched at a jaunty angle on the rim of the glass.  You could even experiment with making a drink on the tart side and sugar-rimming the glass, especially if you're mixing for someone quite young.

There you go!  No reason the party shouldn't extend to everyone!  Cheers!!  And do join me on the air at 4 at Area 24 Radio!

 

 

Wednesday
Feb082012

The Young Man Wants A Whiskey Sour

We had a certain Young Fella staying at our place for a couple of weeks whilst his college dorm was closed in January. Tragically, he's not 21 until the spring, and silly as Mr. Potter and I think the no-booze-for-the-college-set law is, we weren't going to let some local officer of the law make an example of him or us.  Besides, it's winter, and The Potter Building is on a winding road.  And mostly, we didn't want his mom to murder-ize the two of us.  So Young Fella made sorrowful posts on Facebook about his desire for a whiskey sour. And of course, as soon as the dorms opened again, he packed up, left The Potter Building, and got some barkeep on the other side of the Hudson to serve him that which he longed to sip.  And his mom got wind of it (Facebook, again, of course) and threatened to murder-ize him.  At least we're off the hook

Young Fella, in the spring, I will make you this classic old man's drink. 

Whiskey Sour

1  oz lemon juice

1/2 tsp-1 tsp bar sugar or simple syrup or agave syrup--taste for balance; you may need more depending on how tart the fruit is and what your tastes are.  This should be tart, but it shouldn't spin your teeth around.

1 and 1/2 oz bourbon or rye

1 to 1 and 1/2 oz fresh orange juice

 

Shake hard over ice, garnish with a  home-brandied cocktail cherry and an orange slice.  Serve in a large cocktail glass or a sour glass that you have of course pre-chilled.  Tasty, not too devastating, and just the thing for the newly 21.  Remember, younglings: moderation in all things.

Young or old, I'll see you on the air at 4 tomorrow!