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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


All purpose frozen margarita or daiquiri instructions

I am someone who measures booze pretty carefully in cocktails, even when I am making a big batch of the same thing all at once at a party.  Cocktail recipes are exacting things, generally, and not forgiving.  Yes, I always taste (use a spoon or a straw) before I serve and add a titch more lemon juice or triple sec or some such when necessary.  But all of those formulas got written down for a reason!

There is one place, however, where I pour a bit more freely, and that's in making frozen drinks.  By the way, I've been on record in this blog and my old one at Rando Radio both about the topic before.  I think frozen drinks are just fine.  They don't have to be big nasty fake Hurricanes slopped all over the front of a drunken college kid on spring break.  Made right, they are refreshing, fun, and a fine sip on a warm evening--or even in the dead of winter when you want to remember summer.  I have more of a general recipe than a specific formula, and I will hereby share it.

All Purpose Frozen Marg-y or Daiquiri

For each drink:

1 and 1/2--2 oz tequila or rum--can be light or dark, depending on your mood.  I wouldn't use the uber, uber-fine spirits here, but your drink is only as good as what goes in it. 

2 oz or a little more of fruit puree or juice--peach, strawberry, passionfruit, pineapple--what do you have?  Either puree the fresh fruit yourself or buy the good tropical fruit juices you often see aseptically packed in the Latin section of the mega mart.  My health food store has all kinds of juices from Turkey, some of which are fabulous--a sour cherry, a mango, and a peach. Seeded melons puree GREAT in home blenders and make wonderful drinks.  I've found good prepared watermelon juice in gourmet and health food stores, too.

1 oz lemon or lime juice (unless the juice you are using is very sour already)

1 oz or more of a liqueur that goes with the fruit flavor you are using.  Triple sec and Curacao always work.  If the drink doesn't have much color, and you want a giggle, try blue curacao; it's very tiki, and you can end up with some startling hues. Consider peach brandy with peach or mango, falernum with anything rum, Midori with anything melon (but consider the color and use something clear with watermelon)!  You can also go uber-Tiki and use a little of two different liqueurs.

Taste.  You want a drink that is considerably more intense than one you'd serve straight up because you are about to dilute it with lots of ice.  Add more citrus or liqueur if you need to. And I'd do these maybe four or five at a time if you've got guests--easier that way, and most home blenders can handle that much. 

Put in the blender with about two cups of ice per drink.  If your fridge crushes ice, yay--use the crushed.  If not, most blenders can handle the job, so use your cubes.  Cover the blender tightly and turn it to high.  Run it for way longer than you think you need to -- several deafening minutes.  You'll hear the blender's racket change pitch just before you've got the drink at the ideal place.  Sometimes you need to stop the blender, give it a stir with a bar spoon, add a little more ice and whirl it again for a bit.  You want the ice to be smooshed down enough so that it won't clog the straw of the happy person about to drink this concoction.

Taste for balance again--you may need another splash of liqueur if it seems flat--and serve in an interesting glass of your choosing.  Garnish with whatever looks like Carmen Miranda's head dress or a paper umbrella.

In the event of Margaritas, you salt the rim of whatever you're using to serve the drink in by running the hull of the lemon or lime you just squeezed over it and dipping the glass gently into a saucer of kosher salt.  Tap the excess off before filling the glass; you're not making frozen Gatorade.

Voila!!  See you at 4, on the air.


Sonoras made drinkable, The Brown Derby!

Well, I twied and I twied, but in order to get the Sonora to work for my palate, I had to mess with it pretty much, turning it into a sorta-sour.  So if you're keeping track, up the lemon juice to about a half oz and add maybe a few dashes more apricot brandy.  And go SLOW.  This drink is dern strong.

Another strong one this week--


I owe this one to David Wondrich over at Esquire mag.  I was rooting around looking for a new cocktail this week and got thinking about the Honeymoon cocktail, a concoction dating from the 30's and the Brown Derby chain of restaurants, of which there was one in Hollywood.  Supposedly the drink that has the chain's name has nothing to do with it--but it's an interesting snort nonetheless.  Here's how--


2 oz of dark rum (Myers or something equally intense)

1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice

1 teaspoonful maple syrup--the pure kind, not fake-o (or a wee bit more to taste)


Shake hard over ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass.  Howz about that?  I'd do something with a bit of lime for garnish--a half wheel or a quarter wheel.


See you on the air at 4 Thursday!


A Sonora Cocktail

So this one is originally from The Savoy Bar Book, via the Internet Cocktail Database, and it's what I'm working on this week.  Haven't got it all the way knocked, but I'll post updates and talk about it on my show Thursday a bit...


The Sonora Cocktail

1 and 1/4 oz light run

1 oz applejack

1/4 oz apricot brandy

1 dash (or considerably more) fresh lemon juice


The problem with this drink is that it's about as fiery as a Manhattan--but the combo of the silver rum and the applejack should be tasty in the right balance.  I'm experimenting with upping the lemon juice into more of a sour-sort of taste...

My belief is that anything with apricot brandy in it is good, and that this just needs some tweaking.

Standby for revisions--just in time for Cinco de Mayo.  Oh--instructions:  shake hard over ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass.  An apple slice would make a nice garnish. 


See ya Thursday, on da air!



A Wicked Wahine!

Yeah, I like tiki drinks and tropical punches.  How can you not?  They're fruity, easy to drink, usually involve rum--and I love a rum drink.  Everyone likes them.  They're fun as coolers in the summer and reminders of warmer days to come in the winter (if we ever get a winter again here).

I'm linking right here to a drink I've been playing with this week called a Wicked Wahine.  It's got spiced rum, falernum--a liqueur you should own-- and citrus, grenadine, and bitters. Falernum tastes like rummy apple pie. It can instant Captain Morgan-ize any cocktail without making you feel silly about a bottle with a silly pic on it.  But the Wicked Wahine is yummy, even though it calls for spiced rum (yo-ho, Captain!) AND falernum.  Strong but not killer.  

By the way, the original source for this drink is Imbibe Magazine, worth checking out.  

Shall we meet for drinks, Thursday at 4 at Area 24?  I thought so!


Back to the Bronx

Lately, I've been mixing with orange juice again.  For a long time, I didn't like the way OJ can take over a drink, and it doesn't have the snap that tarter citrus does.  But there are orange drinks I like: the Monkey Gland, for one.  And this, adopted from Dale De Groff's version:

The Bronx

1 and 1/2 oz gin

1/2 oz dry vermouth

1/2 oz sweet vermouth

1 oz freshly squeezed OJ

Dash of bitters--angostura or orange


C'mon--who doesn't like the NAME of this drink?  Shake hard over ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with an orange twist or a quarter of a wheel, thinly sliced.  


This strikes me as a good pre-Easter dinner tipple.  Try it and let me know if you agree.


We'll be mixing it up on the air at 4 PM Thursday, as always!