As this issue goes online, I will soon be celebrating my 50th birthday. I feel like I’ve done a lot with my life and will have all kinds of adventures in the future. I still feel plenty cute.
In order to grow as a person, we constantly have to be reinventing ourselves. Sometimes, this is involuntarily: loss of a job, a divorce. In my life, I’ve been through both. Sometimes, we just have to keep ‘em guessing! Now, I don’t mean the stupid makeover haircuts and name changes that Hillary puts herself and the public through. Rather, I mean, this is the time to read things you haven’t read, try foods you haven’t tried, reach out to long-lost friends. However you used to label yourself, take a new look with fresh eyes.
In the scheme of things, it’s not a big reinvention to change your cocktail. But, if you order something interesting (or make something interesting for your next get-together), people will give you a little look of approval. If you order something that was made popular on Douchebags in The City, true sophisticates will grimace. Hard.
I have been making my own cocktails, with hot recipes from Stoli and SOHO Lychee Liqueur. I just made myself a “Bubbling Lychee Martini”. Their recipe calls for the addition of grapefruit juice… but I was out and I wasn’t gonna let that stop me. Would it stop you? I didn’t think so. Okay, I have some bottles of champagne in the house, but that might have been too much of a party for one person in the middle of the day. I’d be streaking out to my pool or something! What would the condo association say? It’s like Seinfeld’s Boca Vista here. I lucked out and had one of those baby champagnes, too… so, perfect.
The Bubbling Martini goes a little something like this (do I sound like Bill Monroe?):
2 parts SOHO Lychee Liqueur
2 parts Stoli Vodka
(splash of grapefruit juice)
2 parts champagne
They say serve in a martini glass with a lemon twist garnish. I say, that’s cool (and I did that just now), but if you are a tough guy type, I don’t see anything wrong with serving it in an Old Fashioned glass or a Tom Collins tall glass. It’s a delicious, refreshing cocktail, fruity but not “fruity”, if you catch my drift… sweet but not overly so. Very unusual and yet so easy to make!
I’d be remiss if I didn’t suggest to you to make yourself a tomato-cream pasta sauce and swirl a little Stoli Vodka in there.
Another new cocktail I have tried is the “Candy Lychee”. The recipe uses watermelon, I substituted white grapes.
4 pieces muddled (mashed) watermelon
1 oz. rum
1 oz simple syrup (y’know, sugar and water boiled down together)
1/2 oz. SOHO Lychee Liqueur
Fill shaker with plenty of ice, add all ingredients. Shake and strain into martini glass, add watermelon garnish.
I really like this drink. It’s tropical without being goopy. Perfect for a broiling summer night.
Traditional recipe-wise, out of deference to my Kentucky Colonel status, I would normally drink a bourbon-based drink, but I do have another “favorite”. There’s a very chic, very gourmet restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia: www.restauranteve.com. They pride themselves in making different, swanky drinks involving herbs, spices, etc. They make a fantastic drink called Tomato Water Bloody Mary. Here’s the recipe:
http://www.restauranteve.com/cocktails/downloads/eve_recipe_tomatowater.pdf. It’s light (so much better in the heat than a traditional goopy Bloody Mary) and perfect. Make it for yourself with Stoli Vodka – you will love it!
Today, I created a delicious and super simple (I’m talkin’ bachelor guy easy) chip dip with Ale-8-One Spicy Salsa. Their salsa is made with “seconds” from Kentucky’s Dept. of Agriculture, such as tomatoes and onions. So, when you buy their salsa, you are helping farmers of the South!
In a medium saucepan, put in:
1 brick of Colby Jack cheese, grated
1 brick of mild white cheddar, grated
2 bricks of cream cheese
1 jar of Ale-8-One spicy salsa
1 handful of chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 handful of chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup of heavy cream
The only trick to this is to cook it over slow heat, stiring constantly. Don’t be impatient and either walk away from it or turn the heat too high.
Here are some recipes suggested by Ale-8-One, including culinary school (Sullivan University) contest winners:
WINCHESTER, KY – A Late Freeze Frozen Cocktail Recipe – Open a 6-pack of Ale-8-One and pour into a saucepan. Boil until reduced by half about 15-20 minutes. Cool and then add one ounce of Kentucky bourbon for every bottle of Ale-8-One…6 – 12 oz. bottles equals 6 oz. of Kentucky bourbon. Freeze until slushy and then place in blender. Makes 4, 8 oz. servings.
This always works well. The meat will be very tender and sweet
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup paprika
2 tablespoons black pepper
put it in a Tupperware bowl and work it together with a fork or wisp. When it is truly combined, put it in a shaker.
Wash and pat dry @ a 4 lb bird. Rub the bird generously with olive oil. Stick your hand in the cavity and and cover all exposed parts with the rub .be generous. Set aside and get your coals a-going.
When the fire is ready, open a can of ale-8 and pour off half. Take an old time can opener and punch 2 more holes in the top. Add 1 teaspoon of the rub to the ale-8. do this slowly over the sink as it will fizz up.
Put the ale-8 can in the cavity and put the bird on the grill over the drip pan. Cover. Set your timer for 1 ½ hours. After 1 ½ hrs check the bird with a meat thermometer in the deepest part of the breast. When it hits 180 degrees it is done.
Lemon-lime Ale-8-One Sorbet
by Jacob Krebs – Dessert Winner
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lime zest
2 oz. lemon juice, fresh
2 oz. lime juice, fresh
4 oz. Ale-8-One
1 C cold water
1 ¼ C sugar
½ oz. Gran Marnier
Mix zests, juice, Ale-8-One and water together in mixing bowl. Whisk in sugar until completely dissolved. Add Gran Marnier. Chill mixture to under 40 degrees. Fill ice cream machine with chilled mixture and follow machine instructions for operation. Churn sorbet until thick. Serve chilled. Makes 1 quart (serves 4).
Ale-8-One hot wings with dipping sauce
by Jennifer Wilson – Entr�e Winner
1 lb. chicken wings
1 12 oz. bottle Ale-8-One
2 Tbsp hot sauce
2 Tbsp pineapple juice
1 yellow onion, medium dice
Pinch of ground ginger
1 Tbsp garlic salt
¼ C canola or peanut oil for frying
Combine all ingredients except chicken wings until thoroughly mixed. Add wings and marinate 1 hour. Remove excess marinade from wings and lightly toss in: 1 C flour + 1 C cornstarch, combined. Deep fry for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees.
Reduce 1 12 oz. bottle Ale-8-One by half. Stir in:
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp hot sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp tomato paste
Cayenne pepper to taste
Reduce by half or until sauce becomes syrupy.