Off to the Press: Spindletop

I had not been back to this spot in eons. It was nice to find it redecorated and still as unforgettable as it was the first time. Follow this link to Eating Our Words for my full post.

 

Anamaris!

Thanksgiving Dinner: The Cocktail

You know how the say Disney is the happiest place on earth? I think cocktail hour is the happiest hour of the day. I don’t want you to think of me as a drunken floozie, though I am, but I love a good cocktail and I wanted to bring one to the table for the Thanksgiving dinner.

I have to say I’ve been thinking about this long and hard. I wanted to stay away from cranberries, because I wanted the drink to be in a shade of orange rather than¬†red. I kept eyeing persimmons, but the price point is pretty high and I don’t even know what they taste like, do you? If you do, please share.

I also thought the drink should be flavorful, a nod to all the spices used throughout this holiday, but I wanted to keep it light. So, off I went to my local super liquor store and then I saw it. It was love at first sight.

Have you ever seen a prettier bottle? And filled with ginger goodness no less! I was in love for sure. The other components fell right into place and these cocktails are very special. Enjoy!

Apricot Gingersnap

2 ozs apricot juice
1-1/2 ozs spiced rum (Myer’s)
1 oz ginger liqueur
Ginger ale
Lime squeeze (optional)
Ice
Sugar to rim the glass

After you’ve rimmed the glasses with sugar, fill with ice before layering in the rest of the ingredients. Give it a stir and enjoy!

Salud! Check out the full photostream here and for the rest of the Thanksgiving meal, click this link.
Cookingly yours,
Anamaris

Take me to Margaritaville

No, I’m not a Jimmy Buffet¬†fan, come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever heard the whole¬†song. I just thought this would be a catchy title. It was all about drawing you into my bloggy web.

Living in Houston means, among other things, that you live in Tex-Mex country. It also means sweltering heat 9 months out of the year. Luckily, those 2 little facts make a Margarita a necessity. Simple as that. Margaritas are how we quench our thirst and cool down from the heat in Houston.

You know I like my cocktails, so I’ve dubbed myself something of a Margarita connoisseur. I’ve had good ritas and awful ones. Sometimes they taste great, but don’t have a punch, while others are all punch with absolutely no flavor. Personally, I like mine to be tart and sweet and punchy. Frozen with salt. That’s what I’m talking about.

Some places, most of them, really, will offer the top shelf margaritas. I say go for the house Margarita first, if that’s not good, don’t waste your time or money¬†on the rest. Top shelf ingredients are supposed to make a basic better, but if the basic recipe sucks…, you catch my drift.

Here I’m sharing my ‘recipe’ for basic Margaritas. No fancy ingredients, but this is a very good ‘rita. So if you feel you must use top-shelf liquors instead of some Sauza Gold and Triple Sec, you can do so without any reservations, but don’t skimp on the fresh fruit juices.

Margarita YAY YAY!

Orange juice, 1/2 oz
Lime juice, 1 1/2 oz
Lemon juice, 1/2 oz
Tequila (I use Sauza Gold), 2 oz
Triple Sec, 1 oz
Sugar, to taste (2 tbsps)
Ice
Coarse salt for the rim

This is how it goes, for 2 large glasses: Mix the juices and liquors with sugar, until it dissolves. Put it into the blender with ice and crush.

Rim the glass with a lime wedge, then dip it into the salt. Pour the frozen goodness into the glass, drop a straw in it, and guzzle it down. How could you resist? See that straw beckoning for you?

Cookingly yours,
Anamaris

Summer = Pineapple cocktail(s)

Fresh pineapples rock. They’re delicious, satisfying, refreshing and good for you. They’re pretty too! They make for a healthy snack, but that’s not the only way The Hubbz and I enjoy our pineapple(s). Sometimes we make a few drinks.

We had lots of fresh fruit juices on our trip to Panama, we also had lots of cocktails made with Seco and fresh fruit juices. Seco Herrerano is one of the liquors made in Panama. It is distilled from sugar cane, has a faint sweetness but is¬†overall¬†tasteless, much like vodka. Incidentally, you probably can’t find it outside of Panama, vodka or light rum would be a perfect substitute.

Seco is usually served with fresh fruit juices, my favorites being passion fruit and pineapple. The Hubbz was sold with the very first one we had upon arriving in Panama. Fresh passion fruit that was slightly frothy, almost like a smoothie. But it wasn’t until we made it to Bocas¬†del Toro¬†and saw the bartender mixing our drinks that we realized what was going on. She took the peel off the pineapple, removed the core and dumped the meat into a juicer. Then poured it into ice-filled¬†glasses and topped it, quite generously, with Seco. OH.MY.

I don’t have a juicer, but a blender works just as well. No need for a formula here. Glass. Ice. Light liquor. Juice. Stir. Drink. Repeat (the most important step). I really think I just wanted to brag about Seco Herrerano. ūüôā

Gulp, gulp,
Anamaris

That Bloody Mary!

There’s this place in the French Quarter called Yo’ Mama’s. They serve 2 of my must haves when in the area. A Peanut Butter Burger¬†and THE best Bloody Mary’s I’ve ever had. Since I’m still having FQ withdrawals and because¬†it is Social Friday, I thought I’d try my hand at the Bloody Mary, a first.

When in New Orleans, the only way to¬†have a Bloody Mary is spicy, at Yo’ Mama’s extra spicy is how they serve them. Watching Erica put it¬†together is like watching a mad scientist at work. A bit of this, a lot of that, splash and sprinkle then garnish with the popular spicy pickled green beans and olives and you’re in business.¬†Obviously she has it down to a¬†science, but I’m going to attempt to offer some measurements. As with any drink or food, adjust it to your personal taste.

N’awlins Spicy Bloody Mary
Makes 2 cocktails

4 oz  Vodka
V8 Juice (about 1 cp)
1 tbsp horseradish
2 tsp celery salt
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp hot sauce (such as Tabasco, Crystal)
1 tsp ground black pepper
Juice of 1/2 each fresh lime and lemon
Olives and pickled green beans for garnish
Splash of olive juice
Few dashes of cayenne pepper

Didn’t I tell you she was a¬† mad scientist? Combine all the ingredients, except for the garnish, and stir. Fill a glass with ice (a tumbler if you’re being modest, a highball glass if you’re really going for it).

Here’s the interesting part, she doesn’t shake it or do a lot of stirring. She pours it from one glass to another about 5-6 times to mix¬† it before serving.

As I mentioned, adjust to your taste. I like mine with lots of horseradish and black pepper, not to mention quite spicy. Enjoy!

Drinkingly yours,
Anamaris

Drink me, I’m Irish!

Oh, St. Patty’s Day. I remember rushing out after work and commencing a night-long celebration filled with green drinks. No longer¬†inclined to drink dye-colored drinks, I’ve decided to acquaint myself with a few traditional, or not so much so, Irish inspired drinks.

Feel free to pop open your favorite bottle of Irish Whiskey and whip one or all of these up. I can tell you we enjoyed the research!

Irish Buck


1 1/2 ounces Irish Whiskey
1/4 oz fresh lime juice
2 oz ginger ale

Combine whiskey and lime juice pour over ice into a tumbler or Collins glass. Top with ginger ale or ginger beer. For garnish, top  with a lime wheel. The Hubbs and I liked this one, it was nice and refreshing.

Wild Irish Rose


2 oz. Irish whiskey
¬ĺ oz. lemon juice
¬Ĺ oz. grenadine, to taste
2 oz. soda water

Pour all ingredients into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Stir & serve. This was Hubbs’ favorite. We did add a bit more grenadine, probably a full ounce per drink. It was yummy!

Irish Kilt Martini

2 oz Irish Whisky
1 oz Scotch
1 oz lemon juice
1 oz sugar water
3 dashes of Angostura bitters

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker filled with ice, shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. This was my favorite. Lemony, sweet, tart and the bitters gave it a hint of clove. Oh yeah.

Lemon Drop Martini

I’m sorry. I’ve neglected my responsibilities in the bartending department. I know. It’s a terrible, unforgivable offense. I will do better. How about I make it up to you with this little yummy gem?

Lemon Drop Martini
Makes¬†2 servings; trust me, you won’t be able to stop at 1

3 oz vodka
1 oz orange liqueur (like Triple Sec, Grand Marnier, etc.)
2-3 tsps sugar
1-1/2 oz fresh lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons)
Ice cubes
Martini glasses
Sugar for dipping
Lemon twist/peel

Yes, you want fresh lemon juice. Suck it up!

First, get your glasses ready. I like to fill my glass with ice and water, then I put them in the freezer while I mix the drink.

Second, dissolve the sugar: if you have a cocktail shaker, use that, otherwise a glass or measuring cup will do. Combine the sugar and vodka until completely dissolved. Then add the lemon juice and orange liqueur, and half-fill with ice; shake well.

Shake it until¬†it feels like your hands will freeze… :-0 Set it aside, it’s time to rim the glasses.

Empty the glasses and let the water drain a bit.  Take a lemon wedge and rub it all around the edge of the glass so it is barely moist. Pour some sugar on a shallow plate, then dip the edge of the glass into the sugar.

Pour strained cocktail into the prettied-up martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist.