Sunday, October 28

Fancy Free Cocktail

At this past year's Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans I came across a marvelous cocktail called the Fancy Free. Mr. Paul Clark of The Cocktail Chronicles had this fabulous cocktail at his table during cocktail hour. I enjoyed it so much that I continued to run his table even after he had to leave to run is Spirited Dinner.

I just discovered it again in my card catalog and all I have to say is Oh My!

Fancy Free
2 oz Bourbon
0.5 oz maraschino liqueur
1-2 dashes Angostura bitters
1-2 dashes Orange bitters

Stir well with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

Check it out... and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 16

False Advertising

So I am at the Vegas airport on a lay over for a business trip and I
was passing by a 25 cent slot machine. I just happened to have a quarter in
my pocket so I said to myself what the heck. I stopped to drop it in to give it
a whirl. Alas, there is no coin slot in the slot machine... it only takes bills! Huh!?!

I thought to myself well that's interesting. It's kinda like saloons
that have Manhattans on the menu but have no bitters behind the bar.

It's crazy I tell you.

Also while on my journey I had a bartender tell me that she doesn't
put bitters in Manhattans because most people don't want them anymore.
Strange I've yet to meet a Manhattan drinker yet that doesn't want bitters.

Is this the case for anyone out there? Are there people out there that
don't want bitters in their Manhattan?

Just courious... Let me know.

Saturday, October 13

Mixology Monday: Pairings - Añejo Manhattan

Because I live so close to the great food of New Orleans and my love for cocktails I could not resist this month's topic for Mixology Monday, pairings. So, I decided to try to break my writers block by joining Mixology Monday, which is a group of bloggers that write about the same topic once a month and the host site compiles a round up. This Mixology Monday is being hosted by The Liquid Muse.

It seems as though the New Orleans area has a weekend festival every single week. This weekend was no exception as I attended the Wooden Boat Festival in Madisonville, LA. We New Orleaneans only need a small excuse to party! But let’s face it the main event at these festivals is the food.

Down on Bayou we like our food with some flavor, spice, and a savory flavor hard to find anywhere else in the world. Here at the festival I found myself surrounded by the smells and sound of what I expected. The sizzle of Cajun sausages on the grill, seafood gumbo bubbling over the fire, and fried catfish smothered in a spicy rue were just some of the tempting dishes all around me.

For my pairing I couldn't help but bring home a wide sampling of the food, but I will focus on one pairing in particular that I found outstanding and unexpected.

Pastalaya is a must try if you are ever down here in swamp country. Pastalaya is like jambalaya but with pasta instead of rice. It also is a bit creamier than jambalaya. The spices will kick you in the nuts and leave you begging for more. This thing is alive with flavor and in my mind is a quintessential Cajun dish. Everyone that makes it has their own family recipe, but for the most part you can find it containing: andouille sausage, shrimp and crawfish tails, chicken, a Creole butter sauce, and of course pasta. Google pastalaya there are plenty of recipes to choose.

To pair with it I quickly thought of a cocktail I once had at the Tales of the Cocktail event in 2006 called the Añejo Manhattan. Invented by Ryan Magerian this cocktail was ironically introduced to me in a seminar actually describing cocktail and food pairings. The spicy and savory flavor of this cocktail is a perfect blend with the pastalaya.

Añejo Manhattan
2 oz Añejo Tequila
0.5 oz Sweet Vermouth
0.25 oz Licor 43
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Regan's No. 6 Orange Bitters

Fill glass with ice. Add spirits and bitters and stir swiftly for 30 seconds. Strain immediately into a cocktail glass and garnish with Salami Mole Sausage Taco with a tequila-soaked dried cherry filling on a pick.

The spiciness of the tequila mixed with the sweet savory combination of sweet vermouth, Licor 43 and bitters make this cocktail a great complement to any food dish with spice. The spice in the food play well with the spice in the tequila and I think enhances the overall flavor of the cocktail and food.

Well that wraps up my first Mixology Monday. I hope to have a lot more to come and get into the swing of posting again.