Here's my story of a very romantic drink for me (and a "our song" at the end)...
My prediction for the Super Bowl this year... Baltimore Vrs New Orleans (Baltimore wins 31-20). Lay your bets now for the best odds. OR If you are not really a better, but love to cook and entertain... Start thinking now about your Super Bowl party. It should carry a theme, Crab cakes from Maryland and Jambalaya from New Orleans. Grab a Clipper City Brew, one of Baltimore's premium micro-brews, and don't forget an Abita beer from the Big easy. Those choices are easy, but to make your party REALLY different from the masses, Don't forget the cocktail ... In honor of Edgar Allen Poe, you could kiss the Green Fairy AND with the same ingredient (ABSINTHE), enjoy the quintessential New Orleans cocktail, the SAZERAC COCKTAIL!
I will leave tales of the Green Fairy (Absinthe) for fans of Baltimore to tell (just cause I predict Baltimore to win, I will be rooting for New Orleans). But the quick version...
The legendary drink potentially caused hallucinations (Ernest Hemingway once described, "walking on legs of tulips" after a night of drinking Absinthe). Baltimore's second most famous resident (Babe Ruth would be the most famous), Edgar Allen Poe drank himself to death on this drink. Unfortunately (or fortunately), the formula for making true Absinthe (from the 1800's) is no longer available in the United States. But, the Absinthe that is sold in the states does make a terrific ingredient in the Sazerac Cocktail. if you have been reading my blog for a few weeks, I make no secret of my love of ALL things Cajun and for the city of New Orleans! The Sazerac was first created in New Orleans in the 1830's. Some argue (they would be wrong, but they do argue) that the sazerac was the very first cocktail ever created (it was among the first). No trip to New Orleans, no Super Bowl (with the Saints playing) party, nor even Mardi Gras party would be complete without a sazerac cocktail. Here's the current version of the historically correct recipe...
1/2 teaspoon absinthe, or Herbsaint (a New Orleans brand of anise liqueur)
"Hurricanes are for tourists.
Sazeracs are for natives."
"Hurricanes are for tourists.
Sazeracs are for natives."
1 teaspoon of simple syrup (or 1 sugar cube)
4 dashes Peychaud's bitters
1 small dash, a scant drop, of Angostura bitters
2 ounces rye whiskey.
Strip of lemon peel
I have been known to drink one or two of these in my day. In fact, during a recent trip to New Orleans, I did my best to single-handily rebuild New Orleans, one sazerac at a time. (click HERE to read of my 8 sazeracs during that trip). While I very much enjoy the classic recipe above, I have made just a couple of small changes to make an all new version which I find a bit smoother (especially if you are trying to get non whiskey drinkers to give this a shot).
In place of the simple syrup, I add a teaspoon of honey. This needs to be mixed very well so that it is all absorbed into the whiskey.
The drink is also meant to be served chilled and up (no ice). I enjoy the romance of clinking ice cubes, so I do serve it on the rocks. I am fortunate enough to have an ice maker that makes larger ice cubes. If you are using crushed ice (don't, but if you do), store your rocks size glasses in the freezer prior to serving, and shake and strain the liquor quickly in a cocktail shaker. the longer you shake, the more the ice will melt and water down the drink. Strain into the fresh from the freezer glass and the drink will stay cold for about 15 minutes. If you take more than fifteen minutes to drink this, do not serve over ice (no matter how big and cold the cubes). Better to have a warm sazerac than a watered down sazerac.
Aren't you just a little bit jealous of my pink elephant stir sticks???
New Orleans has a special place in my heart for several reasons, but not the least... This was the first city Jackie and I vacationed together when we were first dating. That always dangerous time when a small argument can fester during all that personal time together... or love can grow. When I made this drink on Christmas Eve, we spent time remembering not just the last time, but also the first time we fell in love... with the city of New Orleans, but also each other. The sazerac cocktail is a perfect way to remember the first time I felt like that...
If you click on the video above, you may cry just a bit... It is "our Song" for Jackie and me. I arranged to have it sung the night I proposed. the Sazerac reminds me of all this... And Jackie. The guiding force of my life is in that song. I want that feeling everyday. And that was the purpose of our Christmas Eve event... 12 hours, a different dish (or drink) each hour that reminded us of all those special places in our life.
So, back to my question for my 6 readers... Do you have an "our song", or a restaurant or a menu meal or dish that reminds you of... the last time you were falling in love? Anyone want to share the story??? Valentines Day is coming, what are you going to do to remind yourself of why you are where you are today?
Just in case you aren't paying close attention, I am posting my Christmas Eve dinner with my wife. We decided to recreate our culinary journey through restaurant quality meals. So far, you have missed...
Come back tomorrow to see what we did at 5 PM it's time to make a vegetable!! ...
Oh, and for legal reasons, while I do hope that New Orleans makes the Super bowl, I only made that prediction in the first paragraph of the post because it fit so well in the telling the tail of Absinthe. I have no knowledge that would indicate I could make a prediction of a future sporting event, nor ANY history as a winning sports better. The combo of Baltimore and New Orleans was included as a story telling device only, and was not meant as an encouragement for you to mortgage your house and place a BIG bet.