it's okay to play with your food

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Cocktail Party with a Twist

Sydnor and Bill are getting married in July and moving to Philadelphia soon after. When planning the engagement party, friends Lisa and Daniel wanted to do something that would both celebrate the coming marriage and relocation.

The solution: a cocktail party with a twist, all gifts had to be about cocktails, thereby stocking up Bill and Sydnor's bar at their new home.

Naturally, cocktails were at the center of the party. The makings for gin gimlets and rye and gingers lined Daniel's counter top. Homemade lavender shortbread, chocolate cake, cheese, hummus and bread provided sustenance to counter the cocktails.

Gifts included bottles of St. Germain and gin, the most versatile corkscrew I've ever seen, and lemon bitters. Daniel gave all the makings for a quality Sazerac, from the absinthe to the Sazerac rye whiskey to the Peychaud's bitters to the highball glasses. With the permission of the guests-of-honor, we opened the St. Germain and toasted the event with St. Germain and champagne.

Lisa also asked Sydnor and Bill's friends to send Lisa a recipe for their favorite cocktail. Recipes for drinks like Sazerac, French 75, and the Arnold Palmer Firefly were lovingly handwritten by Lisa in a tiny notebook and presented to the bride and groom-to-be at the party.

And it didn't go unnoticed that this is the gift that gives back; now we can all look forward to well-stocked cocktail parties at Bill and Syd's new apartment in Philly!

From Daniel & Aaron for Bill & Sydnor

Ice cubes
1 sugar cube or teaspoon sugar
3 dashes Peychaud's bitters
1 teaspoon water
1/4 cup rye whiskey
2 teaspoons absinthe
1 lemon peel twist

Fill an old-fashioned glass with ice, set aside. Place sugar cube in another old-fashioned glass. Pour bitters, followed by water, over the sugar cube. Muddle with spoon until sugar dissolves. Add ice to fill glass, add whiskey. Let stand, stirring often, about a minute. Discard ice from first glass, add absinthe. Swirl to coat inside of glass, then pour out absinthe. Strain whiskey mixture into glass. Twist lemon peel over cocktail (releases lemon oil in the drink) and run along lip of glass. Discard lemon.


gr said...

Are you purposely using cooking measurements rather than bar measurements on the Sazerac recipe? I think it's probably a good idea (certainly far better than "jigger", "pony", and so forth, but only the older books use those), but it's not the way most people list these sorts of things these days, but those most people are snooty and presume you've followed their books directions on buying bar-specific measuring tools.

I'm not positive how much one quarter cup of rye ends up being... I use 3 oz, otherwise the same measurements (which is the way you'd see it listed in stuff like Gary Regan's "Joy of Mixology", to name one).

Also, I find a good way to do the absinthe wash is to fill the first old-fashioned glass with *crushed* ice and then drizzle a splash (yes, that's a "measurement"; see also "barspoon"... it's around one eighth of a liquid ounce) of absinthe around the edges of the inside edges of the glass, on the ice. And then some people like to pour the splash in and then throw the glass up in the air with a spin on it, but I always end up splashing people when I try that.

kitchenplay said...

You'll have to direct your question to Daniel and Aaron as this was part of their gift to Sydnor and Bill.