The Purple Rain cocktail, and its attending effects

I made The Drink again. The drink formerly known as “Moist Panties” because of this whole thing about people and their cognitively dissonant vocabularies is now known as “Purple Rain.”

And my photos turned out lousy because it has rained a lot and that rain is certainly not purple, just messy and ugh. Well, one is a good photo with lousy composition, the other is better composition, but not by much, and not even Photoshop could do much with it compared to the first one from the other day, which is in the post before this one.

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ANYWAY. Here is what’s in it:

3 oz Tanqueray Ten (I will be trying it with Hendrick’s pretty soon)
1 oz Lillet Blanc
1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Creme de Violette
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice

I imagine it generally garnished with flowers, but they are all soggy right now in the middle of spring, so it got a lemon slice today. And I truly believe you should shake it rather than stir it, before straining. Anyway. It’s purple, and you can taste the violet, yet that’s not cloying, and I am super proud of this creation, so I hope you like it as well. I made it so it can be easily decreased to 2 oz or 1.5 oz gin. Let me know if you need help with the fractions.

Also, you might wish to know I made one today because I was having some lasagna cooling-off time (pictorial of that tomorrow, I expect, at the other blog site,) and reading some truly salacious gossip about my boyfriend Bill. Iwaslikewow.

He’s been dead since I was 16, so I don’t care much what he did when he was kicking around Hollywood and various continents except for too bad about all that booze, because I like my dead stars with some spice to them. It’s much more attractive, for some reason, though I tend to prefer my live fictional boyfriends (who number rather fewer) to not go around creating havoc or making a lot of really bad life decisions.

But Bill isn’t even my type anyway, you know. My living type, if I have one, is tall, skinny, dark-haired or formerly dark-haired, intellectually eccentric, and not prone to getting into much trouble. (My living type is male me, only without perimenopausal additional pounds. I would apologize for this, but it would be dishonest.) Bill is, truth be told, my own bad life decision at the back of a dark bar or on a vacation far from home, etc. And I prefer him that way. I feel that while I made some enormously bad life decisions in my actual non-fictional youth, I did not have nearly enough fun making them, or even make enough of them to do much with novel-writing now in middle age. I don’t have much of an interesting past, is what I am saying. Bill is part of the interesting past I would enjoy having. Frankly, he could still get it as Max Schumacher, though, if I had a cocktail or two, and so I made this one.

I don’t know how seriously people take me…and I just remembered my oldest daughter told me today that my blog is inspiring…so whoops, plus also I will not repeat the thing about Jackie Kennedy although I’m pretty sure she’d be okay with it because she is a cool chick.


30 in 31: day 26: cocktail hour

Here are three sites to enjoy while thinking of making cocktails. Of course there are others. This is three.

First, About Cocktails. Don't you just love About.com sites? The best ones from ages ago are still really good. People have invested a lot of time and effort into them. Colleen Graham writes this one, and I enjoy keeping up with her additions. Here's a direct link to martinis and other classic cocktails you should know how to prepare.

Second, good old time cocktails at the kitchn to impress others with, plus if you look around the site, lots more to appreciate. The Aviation, my favorite cocktail, is listed here.

Finally, Difford's Guide. To pretty much everything you'd want to know, contemporary cocktail-wise. And some of it is video, which I know a lot of people who aren't me do enjoy.


30 in 31: day three part two: order anything you see

thismightloadalittleslowly...My grandma had quite the pash for Jack Jones. An admirer of hers recorded many songs by him and others on 8-tracks for her. I never saw it then, about Jack, but now I kind of do. I have several Jack Jones lps, but my favorite recording by him is this slick version of "Angel Eyes" on one of my Velvet Lounge compilations. That's a spoiler for another list I'm making. This list is cocktails I've enjoyed this year, but first, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Jack Jones!

 

While we enjoy the Jones resonance, here are martinis, Gibsons, an aviation, a couple other gin-based cocktails, and one Manhattan. Well, I have taken a photo of every drink I made this year, and a few more contained bourbon or vodka or etc., but I just popped in the first twelve which appeared. We're not taking these lists too seriously, at least not yet.

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Cocktail Capers: It's A Man's Man's Man's World

I was out of gin for about a month, and found room in the budget for some this week, so I made my way to Jungle Jim’s yesterday. I thought I might save a few dollars and buy Tanqueray Ten (not Tanqueray. Tanqueray Ten.) instead of Hendrick’s. If I drove a little farther, I could buy a full liter of Hendrick’s for nearly the same cost, but wasn’t into the idea.

Anyway. Shelved between those two brands was another I’d never heard of. I called the man and asked if he’d had it, and he looked it up online to learn…IT’S FOR MEN.

It is a gin for men. Because you see, women like all their drinks to taste like hummingbird nectar and lollipops, and this scares men from gin, since the new (American style, let’s be honest,) labels are much too girly in taste profile, and there is only one kind of man and he refuses to drink any gin that might accidentally turn his martini into liquid cotton candy. Except from my experience that’s new-style vodka, not gin, and a topic for another day.

This “gin for men” idea is, of course, a marketing gimmick, but I don’t know that they are actually pursuing it other than as a testament in their advertising. I realize I made an apron yesterday and I will confess to silver polish on my toes this week, however, have you ever had the impression I would enjoy something like Fruitlooptini? Maybe the stamp was a little smudged when I was printed. Here’s a look at the concept, anyway

But in terms of what it means to be a woman drinking a “man’s gin,” this author sums it all up much better than I can, and it was hearing her review of Langley’s No. 8 over the phone that cemented my decision to buy it. I’d been wanting a gimlet all day, anyway, so she struck a chord. You really must read what she wrote about her experience with this gin. Go on, I’ll wait here.

Back? Good. Wasn’t that sharp? I do not, however, use Rose’s Lime as she did. Honestly, I find it cloyingly sweet, and why should you have to add lime juice to fix it? I like Stirrings Key Lime syrup if I can find it, but will make my own with limes, sugar and water, or, better, with Nellie & Joe’s Key Lime juice and sugar, and I also use a higher ratio of gin to lime syrup. So mine is a sterner gimlet than hers, ‘cause I guess she and Raymond Chandler are more girly than me, or whatever.

Here it is. It was refreshing, and did have a boldness to it from a somewhat more traditional profile, but it was not my favorite gimlet. DSC_4087

So to further commit to the science of understanding what makes a gin a man’s gin, I have crafted a martini this evening, which I chose to make with Lillet Blanc, in the usual 6:1 proportion, though I’ll drink one from a bar that’s 5:1, as happens from time to time. That’s probably easier to sling into a glass without fuss, just guessing. I can pour an accurate ounce from a bottle, but that’s the extent of my bartending flair.

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Mainly, the thing about the Langley’s is that it’s middle ground. Have you had Junipero? Middle ground like that, but…if Langley’s is manly in the “I’ll be at my ‘no girls allowed’ club" sense, Junipero is manly in a really terrific pair of shoes, with a great haircut and the often delectable scent of “yes, girls are allowed, because I like them a lot.” I don’t know, the metaphoric comparison got off track between brain and keyboard. Anyway. Langley’s No. 8 is partly classic, partly “new” botanical. It doesn’t taste entirely of tree like old-timey gins, nor entirely of garden, which is what their copywriter dismissed about brands such as Hendrick’s.

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So maybe that’s what men like and women don’t: middle ground. That hasn’t been my personal experience, but what do I really know, after all? I probably like an Aviation because it’s lightly purple. That’s probably why Ernest Hemingway liked it, too. He was known for being such a girl.

So, the martini is good. DSC_4099

I'd say it's very good, well-balanced, and gives one ideas about things, which a good martini should always do, but again, not my favorite. This gin, I think, is well-made for tall fizzy drinks, which is not my arena. Still, if you like gin, and I do mean styles of gin created since Germany was reunited, I recommend giving Langley’s No. 8 a try. I paid $38, whereas Hendrick’s is generally $34, but this will vary according to region.

PS: At the Langley’s website, there’s little mention of this man’s gin business, but there are several recipes which are rather more fussy-sounding than most of the ones I make. Your mileage, of course, will vary.