Posts Tagged With: Drinks

 
 

Anniversary

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June 1st, 2020

Anniversary

By Dahni

   Sometime ago, I started writing a cookbook called, ‘The Gathering Place’ “Holidays & Special Occasions Entertaining”. My goal is for you and anyone to be enabled to turn your own home into a 5,6, or 7 star restaurant. I’m not sure a 6 or 7 exists, but I think you get the point. It is to include step by step instructions and pictures for:

appetizers, salads, main courses, desert, decorating, table setting, deserts, garnishing and the whole package from full-course gourmet meals— breakfast, lunch and dinner

   Along the way I thought, beverages should be included, alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Over the last few years I have built quite a collection. My wife Susan is a beneficiary as we have enjoyed these together. Many of the names are named after her and her words and emotional response have been the cause of the names for others. I have named this collection of drinks, ‘Sip’s with Susan’ as almost daily, in the morning, we likely gather on our enclosed front porch to converse over morning coffee or in the late afternoon, for Happy Together Hour, with adult libations.

   I have named other drinks to honor other people. I have shared some as private messages, by email, on my Facebook timeline, FB pages, blogs (like this one), Instagram and other social media publicly. Several people have asked why, do I  give these away, instead of selling them as a drink or bar book. Well, I just want to share with others and these may still appear in my book, as a stand-a-lone book or both, in the cookbook and separately. I probably should at least make up one for myself. There are so many, I can’t remember them all, even though I made them up. I have more than a hundred original drinks, but somehow, they got out of sequence. So, I started numbering them from 1-100 saying, I would stop when I hit.100 Today, is that day.

   I forwarded advance recipes of #98 and #100 to several people, including my sister who told me, “the last two (#99 and #100), “had better be over the top!” I believe they are. I shared #98 on this blog, on May 31st, 2020 and this one (#100), today, June 1st, 2020. I will share #99 ‘Flag Day’ on Flag Day, June 14th, 2020.  🙂

   But for this one (#100), I thought of gold and golden, like an “anniversary”. I decided to make this drink with real edible gold and to celebrate its completion. I call it, ‘Anniversary’. It seems apropos or fitting to me. It is also to honor or celebrate four important events, to me.

My sister’s 45th Anniversary of graduating from High School, in 1977
Our Grandma that we three grandchildren affectionately called ‘Nanny’, passed away on the same date, May 30th, 1990, so this is to honor her as she has ended her labor and is awaiting the return of Jesus Christ. This marks the 30th Anniversary, of this event.
On June 1st, 2020, my brother, Richard & his wife Susan, celebrate (I believe their 44th), wedding Anniversary
On June 1st, 2020, My Susan and I, celebrate the completion of, ‘Sips with Susan’, as its 1st Anniversary.

   Having a name (‘Anniversary’), and deciding to use edible gold, I started to envision what I could do with this. Champagne or sparkling wine came to mind, then those skinny flutes, often seen in mid-morning weddings, toasts, brunches and other celebratory events and ‘anniversaries”. Then I thought about, why not some kind of mimosa-like drink? I did not want to use the typical equal parts of Champagne (or sparkling wine), and orange juice. So, then I went on a journey to discover. Please come along. There is a drink (recipe), waiting for you at the end. 🙂

Note: ‘Anniversary’ may also be called, an ‘Anniversary Mimosa’ or a ‘True Mimosa’. A True Mimosa is prepared with equal parts of a pink citrus or pink colored liquid and champagne.

   What you may or may not be familiar with is, the one that appears orange and is made with equal parts of orange juice and champagne. Confused? There is no need to be. Both drinks derive their name from the Mimosa Tree (so-called). One has yellow to orange blossoms and the other has pink flower puffs that have the appearance of silk threads, tipped in light pink, darker pink or even white. Only one is a true Mimosa and the other is just called, a Mimosa. Though both may grow as tall as trees, many refer to them as weeds and both are invasive. Neither is related to the other. They only share the name of mimosa and fern-like leaves. Are you really confused now? Not to worry! Lets us begin discovery to understand, by the drink name of, Mimosa.

   There exists an unproven theory that the Mimosa (drink), first appeared in some hotel, someplace in the Mediterranean in, 1900. So, we are looking at least in Europe. Now Spain, for centuries, has been making drinks with oranges and sparkling wine. Only if approved by France and from the Champagne region of France can it be officially called Champagne, unless it is made in California USA? They somehow get to call their sparkling wines, California Champagne. Everyone else, must just call them, sparkling wines. Carbonation naturally or by adding CO2 is what causes the fizzy-bubbles that people like and others do not, for the same reason, fizzy-bubbles.

   Next, let’s look at the name, Mimosa.

   The generic name is derived from the Greek word μῖμος (mimos), an “actor” or “mime”, and the feminine suffix -osa, “resembling”, suggesting its ‘sensitive leaves’ which seem to ‘mimic conscious life’. Some varieties (the True Mimosa), have leaves which are known to close up if touched and at night when the sun goes down. So this is where the idea that it is conscious and alive. In first light of the sunrise, these fragile silk-thread-like blossoms will appear to dance, refracting first-light. When the blossoms fall and if upon water, they will shimmer and appear to dance again, but will sink below the water’s surface, when the sun sets. For a time, they will appear as if alive again, when they rise to the water’s surface again, when the sun returns.

   Out of the many species, let’s look at two. Actually, they are similar, but not the same. To add even more potential confusion, there is the following:

“The Mimosoideae are trees, herbs, lianas, and shrubs that mostly grow in tropical and subtropical climates. They comprise a clade, previously placed at the subfamily or family level in the flowering plant family Fabaceae (Leguminosae). In previous classifications (e.g. the Cronquist system), Mimosoideae refers to what was formerly considered the tribe Mimoseae. Characteristics include flowers in radial symmetry with petals that are valvate (twice divided) in bud, and have numerous showy, prominent stamens. Mimosoideae comprise about 40 genera and 2,500 species.”

Excerpt from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mimosoideae

Albizia julibrissin

Albizia julibrissin

   The ‘True Mimosa’, is part of the above. Albizia julibrissin, the Persian silk tree or pink silk tree, is a species of tree in the family Fabaceae, native to southwestern and eastern Asia. The genus is named after the Italian nobleman, Filippo degli Albizzi, who introduced it to Europe in the mid-18th century, and it is sometimes incorrectly spelled, Albizzia. The specific epithet julibrissin is a corruption of the Persian word gul-i abrisham (گل ابریشم) which means “silk flower” (from gul گل “flower” + abrisham ابریشم “silk”).

   Albizia julibrissin is known by a wide variety of common names, such as Persian silk tree and pink siris. It is also called Lenkoran acacia or bastard tamarind, though it is not too closely related to either genus. The species is called Chinese silk tree, silk tree or mimosa in the United States, which is misleading, because acacia is not a true Mimosa, even though it is called a mimosa. Grown all over the world now,  it prefers a southern or tropical climate and does not long survive in areas that drop further in temperature, than a mere frost. Native to the Middle East and Asia, this True Mimosa was brought to this country in 1785, by the famous French botanist, Andre Michaux, who planted it in his botanic garden, in Charleston, South Carolina. Some describe its fragrance to being similar to a light scent of gardenia. I read of one lady that loved this growing up in Alabama (it spread that far). But now, if she was asked how to care for them her response is, “whenever you have a good chainsaw!”

Map of range in the USA

Acacia dealbata

Acacia dealbata

   Acacia dealbata, the silver wattle, blue wattle or mimosa, is a species of flowering plant in the legume family Fabaceae, native to southeastern Australia in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory and widely introduced in Mediterranean, warm temperate, and highland tropical landscapes. The flowers are produced in large puff-like balls which are made up of numerous smaller globe–like bright yellow or orange flowerheads of 13–42 individual flowers. In moist mountain areas, a white lichen can almost cover the bark, which may contribute to the descriptor “silver”. The Latin specific epithet dealbata also means “covered in a white powder” Acacia dealbata appears to be most closely related to A. mearnsii, A. nanodealbata and A. baileyana. While some consider A. dealbata to be a variant of Acacia decurrens. Acacia dealbata is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant in warm temperate regions of the world, and is naturalised in some areas, including Sochi (Black Sea coast of Russia), southwestern Western Australia, southeastern South Australia, Norfolk Island, the Mediterranean region from Portugal to Greece and Morocco to Israel, Yalta (Crimea, Russia), California, Madagascar, southern Africa (South Africa, Zimbabwe), the highlands of southern India, south-western China and Chile. It is hardy down to 23 °F), but does not survive prolonged frost.

   My theory is that someone saw a True Mimosa (pink flowered tree), and where they lived there was another plant/tree that had fern-like leaves and puff balls of silk-like flowers of yellow or orange blossoms. Spain, having consumed sparkling wine with orange juice for centuries, someone saw this somewhere and decided to name the drink, a mimosa. By the way, a most favored variety of orange for juice is, the Valencia Orange. Is there a connection with Valencia, Spain?  🙂

   A mimosa (the drink), is generally equal parts of citrus juice and sparkling wine, Champagne or California Champagne. If you live where this plant/tree/ flourishes and the flowers are yellow or orange, this would be a mimosa to you. But if you live where the True Mimosa plant/tree flourishes (pink flowers), red grapefruit, perhaps blood orange or a splash of grenadine with lemonade (spiked or not), with sparkling wine, would be a mimosa to you.

   In the fall, many mix apple juice, cider or hard cider and call this a apple mimosa. But I don’t suppose apples are a citrus fruit and citrus is typically used for a mimosa.

   And just so you know, all the tree/plants we have been discussing here are invasive. They take over the canopy. They choke out other plants and they spread wildly, widely and grow quickly. Their roots have compromised concrete and block wall foundations. They are considered weeds is many areas. Many parts of the world outlaw their plants and vehement seek to eradicate them with extreme prejudice.

   Call these drinks (however you find them), order them in what colors are available to you and call them whatever you like. They are popular for mid-morning weddings, brunches (between breakfast and lunch), and anything celebratory like, “anniversaries”.

   For myself, in the spirit of a true mimosa (the tree), and the mimosa (the drink), I am using citrus and something red to make the drink pink in color. For mine, I’m’just calling this, ‘Anniversary’
______________________________

‘Anniversary’ edible gold (closeup)

Anniversary

Libatious’ #100 (stopped now that I’ve hit 100)

By Dahnini or Dahnitini
Spirits Alchemist
Bon Devant

Use tall glassware with long stems
Dip rims of champagne 🥂 flutes into lemon juice and holding the stem of the glass in your hand at an angle, slowly turn, making a full circle, sprinkling edible gold dust on lemon juiced rims
Add a little grenadine to the bottom of each glass (about ½”)
Place a pink heart-shaped💕 ginger sugar cube, into the bottom of each glass
Chill the flutes until ready to serve


1 jigger of lemon 🍋 simple syrup
1 jigger of ginger liqueur
A splash of grenadine syrup for color (pale pink)

Pour into hand shaker
Add ice
Shake

“Shaken not stirred!” -007, Bond, James
Bond-😂

Pour strained into chilled champagne 🥂 flutes
Top with champagne 🍾
Sprinkle a little edible gold dust over top of bubbles

Makes 2 lovely libations. One to share and one for you 😀

ENJOY! 😉 Drink your ‘Anniversary’ responsibly! 😂

‘Anniversary’ with heart-shaped ginger sugar cubes

‘Anniversary’ edible gold

Note: You would need to purchase the book or collection when published, to receive the recipes how to make lemon simple syrup and what I call ‘ginger juice’, to make the ginger sugar cubes. In the pictures above they appear to be floating at the bottom, but size prevents from sinking to the bottom and weight does not allow them to float to the top. A small silicone candy mold was used to make the heart shapes. Red food coloring was used to make them pink. Edible gold should be 23K – 24K gold with no other metals, alloys or additives. Edible gold does not have any known nutritional benefits and it is consider safe and is excreted or eliminated from the body. You don’t really taste this per se, it just looks beautiful. Edible gold dust is available at many places online as, Amazon.com 

By Dahni & I-Magine
©️ 2020, all rights reserved

From my Work in Progress: ‘The Gathering Place Cook Book’,
under the category of: beverages, ‘Sips with Susan’

Categories: Family & Friends, Inspiration, The Gathering Place, Toast this Life, Uncategorized, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

O’ Beautiful

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May 31st, 2020

O’ Beautiful

   It has been a while since I posted here, but I wanted to share a new drink I recently prepared with you. It is what I call an adult libation, to be shared, and that I shared with my wife Susan, during our late-afternoon or early-evening Happy Together Hour, AKA, ‘Sips with Susan’

   The name ‘O’ Beautiful’ may make you think of some patriotic song, but it is really a lot simplier than a song. It was the words and the expression on Susan’s face, when I presented it to her; she said,

“O’ Beautiful!”

   This is the perfect name for me, for this drink. Recently, I have been into layering drinks and using wine with other distilled spirits. I have come across a really simple, beautiful and delicious way to do this that anyone can do. One friend in particular, really loves my drinks, as do Susan and I. I often send my friend Lisa advance copies of at least some of my recipes. She has a husband, family and they too, love to get together and share drinks. But Lisa recently commented that she might try this and other drinks, “but no one can make them as beautiful as you do!”

   My response to her was, au contraire, anyone can make these!! I do not make them to show off or to impress, but to bless!!! What is the purpose of them if they can’t be replicated simply and by anyone? I’ll gladly accept the credit for their concept and the fun in naming my own original drinks, but you take the credit and the praise from others in their enjoyment of them, and I’m fine with that. So, without further adieu, I present to you, O’ Beautiful’. 

‘O’ Beautiful’

Libatious’ #98 (stopping when I hit 100)

By Dahnini or Dahnitini
Spirits Alchemist
Bon Devant

Juice of 1 fresh lime 🍈
1 jigger of cherry 🍒 liqueur
1 jigger of ginger liqueur
4 jiggers of vodka
4 jiggers of lemonade 🍋

Pour into hand shaker
Add ice
Shake

“Shaken not stirred!” -007, Bond, James
Bond-😂

Pour into chilled wine glasses 🍷 with 1 -3 pieces of ice 🧊 (depending on cube size)
Pour 1 jigger of merlot or some dry red wine over the back of a spoon 🥄 at an angle over the surface of the liquid beneath
Garnish with cut slices of fresh strawberries dipped in lemon juice 🍋 and sprinkled with sugar skewered with a bamboo knot pick

Note: What do fresh strawberries have to do with this drink? Absolutely nothing other than it’s just part of what makes it “O’ Beautiful” and a nice taste at the end of your already deliciosness! 😀

Makes 2 lovely libations. One to share and one for you 😀

ENJOY! 😉 Drink your ‘O’ Beautiful’ responsibly! 😂

By Dahni & I-Magine
©️ 2020, all rights reserved

From my Work in Progress: ‘The Gathering Place Cook Book’, under the category of: beverages, ‘Sips with Susan’

0′ Beautiful’ by Dahni

Categories: Family & Friends, Inspiration, The Gathering Place, Toast this Life, Uncategorized, Wine | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

Mano-tini

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Mano-tini

By Dahni

© 2017, all rights reserved

As the end word (a suffix actually), in the title suggests, this is all about a Martini.

I call it, The Mano a Mano Martini.or The Mano-tini for Short. I am a curios fellow in that when I become interested in something, I dig or dig into the details. Perhaps this in part due to my training in journalism in that the very first paragraph should contain— WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY and HOW. It is my intention to fulfill this by paragraph’s end. I am a gregarious fellow in that I like to share my discoveries with others (YOU)! I would like to think that even if you do not drink alcohol or like martinis, you might find the following interesting and maybe even humorous, for your time spent here. This perhaps ‘long in the tooth’ piece will conclude for you that do like martinis, would like to try one and try a new recipe for one IF, you keep reading until the end. You could, skip or scroll all the way to the bottom if you want to. 🙂

Like a bartender’s or mixologist’s list of ingredients and preparation, here, there are some parts of fact, parts of fiction and some history in our list of ingredients, for preparing this alcoholic libation.

Often ingredients are mixtures of other ingredients combined or infused in certain ways, like our word “libation,” for example. Libation has its roots in Greek and Latin and its simple definition was an offering, a liquid poured out. Well, this is certainly how we may think of it today and with this liquid being offered and it being most likely an alcoholic liquid or beverage with its effects, bringing up the ideas of ‘Happy Hour,” “getting a buzz” or “high,” it’s a drink most likely shared at least between two lovers, two friends, two people or two associates, for a good time, to celebrate or just for a happy time among people, even if the two are the bartender and the bar-sitter. 🙂

That’s great, but not so fast. Libation was originally a beverage offered to some deity (god or goddess), as a form of sacrifice, seeking favor of the gods?

OK, just suppose there were no gods or goddesses, but the root word of mythology is, myth. 🙂

Alright, maybe they were made up, but people did and may still believe in them (the gods). How easy would it be to pour out some liquid as an offering for some god or goddess and when others weren’t looking, get yourself a nice, free drink! “WOW,” so they might think, “Not only did the gods take the drinks, they must have accepted them (liked them),” especially if, the beverages constantly just seemed to disappear. 🙂

Cue the myth reel for our next word, ‘Ambrosia.’

“In the ancient Greek myths, ambrosia (pronounced am-bro-ze-yah Greek: ἀμβροσία, “immortality”) is sometimes the food or drink of the Greek gods, often depicted as conferring longevity or immortality upon whoever consumed it. It was brought to the gods in Olympus by doves. Ambrosia is sometimes depicted in ancient art as distributed by a nymph labeled with that name. In the myth of Lycurgus, an opponent to the wine god Dionysus, violence committed against Ambrosia turns her into a grapevine.”

Excerpt from Wikipedia ‘Ambrosia’

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambrosia

Also, at the above link, there is an image of a plate (a majolica plate), thought to have been made in 1530 by Nicola da Urbino. It’s title is, ‘The Foods of the Gods on Mount Olympus’. Oh, that sounds familiar, like the 19th Century USA invention, most of us know as, ‘Ambrosia Salad.’ Well, if this fruit, whipped topping concoction was or is the modern-day equivalent of, “Food for the gods,” what about Mead, originally a fermented beverage of honey, water and yeast some called, ‘Ambrosia’ or, “nectar of the gods?”

Forget the fact that in an area where grapes were not grown too well, but they had to have something alcoholic to drink. And forget the idea that real mead does not taste much more than like just watered down honey water. But like a bartender’s or mixologist’s special add-ins, add some folklore and a little bit of well, whad-di-yah-know’ there is something to be said about all those B vitamins that do increase as the stuff ages. Could they actually help a hangover from too much drinking the night before with drinking some more of the ‘tail of the dog that bit you?’ Supposedly, the word ‘honeymoon’ (honey + moon), came from the celebratory wedding drinking of Mead. The couple was to wed when she was close to being able to conceive. They were to wed during a lunar cycle and drink Mead for a month. WOW, how about that, a month long honeymoon, for you that may have never had one? Mead was supposed to make him more virile and the lady more fertile. Hmmm, is there something more to those B Vitamins in Mead, the ‘Nectar of the gods?’ I don’t know, but people believed it. So what’s my point? Drinking is supposed to be associated with special times and happy and high’ times. Get some gods and goddesses involved and the traditions continue. 🙂

So what? So what does this have to do with Martinis? We’re going there next? 🙂

According to all the sources I checked, a martini may in fact, be a ‘Made in America thing, what it is, but not its name. You ‘re gonna’ love this!

In 1863, an Italian vermouth maker started marketing their product under the brand name of Martini, after its director, Alessandro Martini and the brand name may be the source of the cocktail’s name?

Then another theory is, ‘The Martini’ evolved from a cocktail called the Martinez, served sometime in the early 1860’s at the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco, CA. People hung out there before taking an evening ferry ride to the nearby town of Martinez. And of course, the people of Martinez say, the drink was first created by a bartender in their town? But a, “Martinez Cocktail,” was first described in Jerry Thomas’ 1887 edition, of his “Bartender’s Guide, How to Mix All Kinds of Plain and Fancy Drinks”

Are you ready for the following? 🙂

“By 1922 the Martini (the vermouth), reached its most recognizable form in which London dry gin and dry vermouth are combined at a ratio of 2:1, stirred in a mixing glass with ice cubes, with the optional addition of orange or aromatic bitters, then strained into a chilled cocktail glass.[3] Over time the generally expected garnish became the drinker’s choice of a green olive or a twist of lemon peel.

A dry Martini is made with dry, white vermouth. By the Roaring Twenties, it became common to ask for them. Over the course of the century, the amount of vermouth steadily dropped. During the 1930s the ratio was 3:1, and during the 1940s the ratio was 4:1. During the latter part of the 20th century, 6:1, 8:1, 12:1, 15:1 (the “Montgomery”, after British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery’s supposed penchant for attacking only when in possession of great numerical superiority),[4] or even 50:1 or 100:1 Martinis became considered the norm.[5]

My father-in-law thought just passing the cork over the martini made it dry enough! 🙂

“A dirty Martini contains a splash of olive brine or olive juice and is typically garnished with an olive.[6]

A perfect Martini uses equal amounts of sweet and dry vermouth.[7]”

“Some Martinis were prepared by filling a cocktail glass with gin, then rubbing a finger of vermouth along the rim. There are those who advocated the elimination of vermouth altogether. According to Noël Coward, “A perfect Martini should be made by filling a glass with gin, then waving it in the general direction of Italy,” Italy being a major producer of vermouth.[8] Luis Buñuelused the dry Martini as part of his creative process, regularly using it to sustain “a reverie in a bar”. He offers his own recipe, involving Angostura bitters, in his memoir.[9]”

“In 1966, the American Standards Association (ASA) released K100.1-1966, “Safety Code and Requirements for Dry Martinis,” a tongue-in-cheek account of how to make a “standard” dry martini.[10] The latest revision of this document, K100.1-1974, was published by American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the successor to ASA, though it is no longer an active standard.[11]”

“There are a number of variations on the traditional Martini. The fictional spy James Bond sometimes asked for his vodka Martinis to be “shaken, not stirred,” following Harry Craddock’s The Savoy Cocktail Book (1930), which prescribes shaking for all its Martini recipes.[12] The proper name for a shaken Martini is a Bradford.[13] However, Somerset Maugham is often quoted as saying that “a Martini should always be stirred, not shaken, so that the molecules lie sensuously on top of one another.”[14]A Martini may also be served on the rocks, that is, with the ingredients poured over ice cubes and served in an Old-Fashioned glass.[15]”

Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martini_(cocktail)

WOW, does all that not sound factious, factitious, facetious or something with a superfluity of facts?! 🙂 I suppose one could start a religion over a martini, not to mention heated arguments as to its authenticity and origin. But there is, still more.

I have long been fond of James Bond, 007, the fictional character created by Ian Fleming. There is no cocktail served up better to “Bond, James Bond,” than the ‘Vesper Martini. This was from Fleming’s first Bond novel, Casino Royale. Vesper Lynd was one of the few ‘Bond girls’ that he truly loved. She is the reason Bond’s drinks are always, “shaken not stirred.”

According to the author, the ‘Vesper’ is “strong and cold and very well made” —much like 007 himself. That’s all fine and dandy, but neither you nor I will ever get to try it!!! Its ingredients and preparation is specific with Gordon’s Gin, and vodka. The type of vodka was not specific, but the accepted gin was Gordon’s. Gordon’s Gin is thought to be the gin of gin with its strong start and finish of juniper.

But there was also, one unique ingredient that is no longer available, Kina Lillet, the aromatised wine that gives the Vesper its distinct, bitter edge. Kina Lillet was a proprietary blend of sweet wines and macerated fruits with the unique addition of quinine, its signature ingredient.

In the 1700’s, a French scientist named Charles Marie de la Condamine discovered that quinine, a compound found in cinchona bark, is an excellent treatment for malaria. Cinchona is a genus of flowering plants. It is native to the tropical Andean forests of western South America. Cinchona bark is used in powered or distilled from, of the bark of the shrub, to make quinine.

Having some remedy for mosquito-infested territories, where the British and the French Foreign Legion were expanding into, like India and Africa in the 1800’s, this was great news! But quinine is very, very bitter. What to do? Mix it with something else like today, in Tonic water or as in yester-years, Kina Lillet. These drinks were called qinquinas (kɛ̃kinas), or wines flavored with quinine. So, the idea worked successfully. The soldiers got the quinine they needed in a drink they enjoyed. It worked so well, the soldiers developed a taste for qinquinas and kept drinking them after they came home. France’s most popular one was, Kina Lillet. So popular in fact, it spread oversea to even post-prohibition America.

Oh, and if you sit at the bar too long or develop leg cramps, quinine just might help? 🙂

Gin has long been a favorite clear alcoholic drink in the United States. People even made ‘bathtub gin’ during prohibition. Vodka was not favored for a long time. It was thought to be mostly a drink of Russia and there was a time in this country where WE were on an anti-communist kick and WE the People, certainly were not about to drink vodka. A man by the name of Smirnoff (a Russian), sold his livelihood for cheap to an American and with some ‘creative’ marketing, some ginger beer, lime and special copper mugs, with Smirnoff vodka, the Moscow Mule was born in America, with Vodka made right here. 🙂

Now, some prefer their martinis to be solely based on vodka where others prefer gin. Adding vermouth or olive juice to make a dirty martini came later. But that Vesper, the Vesper used both gin and vodka and Kina Lillet.

About 1986, tastes changed and Kina Lillet fell out of favor and Lillet dropped the name Kina, along with the quinine. Today, they offer Lillet Blanc which is supposed to contain quinine, but it’s not the same. Calling this a Vesper today, is just not the same either. In Rochester, NY, there is a pub and grill named,‘The Vesper.’

http://rocthevesper.com/

The Vesper (pub and grill), have of course, what they call, The Vesper Martini. Just remember, Kina Lilliet has not been made since 1986. The Rochester pub relies on Lillet Blanc, which is labeled to contain quinine. But it’s not the same as Kina Lillet. If you scroll down the page of the website to their signature drink offerings, you will find what they call, ‘The Vesper’ and how it is made.

The Vesper

“A twist on the classic martini. James Bond made it famous, and if it’s good enough for 007, it’s good enough for you. You’ll feel classier immediately. Shaken, not stirred, with Zamir Vodka, Plymouth Gin, Lillet Blanc & lemon twist.”

The description according to their website at rocthevesper.com

There are two main problems with this. For one thing, missing is Gordon’s Gin. I’m not so concerned about their choice of vodka, but Lillet Blanc is NOT, the same thing as, Kina Lillet. So how could this be good enough for you, when it would NOT be good enough for 007?

The original drink was 3 parts Gordon’s gin, 1 part Vodka and ½ part of Kina Lillet, shaken (“not stirred”), with lemon peel. Despite that Lillet lists quinine on the label of its Lillet Blanc, it’s not the same and no mater what The Vesper of Rochester calls itself or its drink, it is not The Vesper Martini!

This entire post all began with my trying to discover and make for my brother-in-law Kevin, a Vesper Martini. Before continuing, this is a good spot for some back story.

I have painted a lot of houses inside and out in my past. I used a lot of oil-based or alkyd paint. To clean my brushes, I often used turpentine. Turpentine smelled like gin and gin like turpentine to me. I was danged if I was going to paint all day then drink anything that smelled like what I cleaned my brushes with! I did not like gin to put it mildly! Then in 2014, my wife and I were in Australia.

After a local fair one evening, son Jonathan and I stopped for a nightcap on the way home. He ordered a gin and tonic. I was in a curious mood and I asked if I could try it. I did and thereafter, it has become a favorite drink. Even it has certain ingredients I like. The gin is Bombay Sapphire. I like its blend of botanicals. Recently, I have once again confirmed my mother’s description of my personality which is, I have, “Champagne tastes with a beer pocketbook. “ 🙂

I have an acute sense of smell so what can I say, if I don’t like how something smells, I will not like how it tastes. I discovered Fever Tree brand of Tonic. A four pack of 12 ounce bottles can cost around $5.00. One can buy other tonics for a lot less, but to me, there is nothing better than Fever Tree tonic which has, real quinine in it!

I was never fond of vodka. To me, vodka was mostly a clear alcohol with little taste that blends well with other ingredients like fresh squeezed lime juice and simple syrup, for my beloved Vodka gimlet over ice. Believe it or not, I also use vodka in my pie dough to retard the gluten process when making pie. Maybe you can make pie? I could not. My recipe is about the same as any other, but I use half as much chilled water and replace it with chilled vodka. Science allows me to make a flaky, tasty crust every single time. The alcohol cooks out and there is no taste of vodka left behind, just delicious crust which really is, maybe 90% of what makes great pie! By the way, my taste buds have evolved. Not all vodkas are equal!!! I use and prefer Tito’s. And it’s made in the USA.

Martinis? Gin? Vodka? Some of both? Me? No way, until discovering…

…micro brewed beers (micro-breweries), are no longer a niche market. They have become the standard for excellence and quality, our tastes demand. Local wines? The same has become true. Local hard ciders are becoming hugely popular. Local distillers are producing gins and vodkas (and other spirits), which worry the big-name-brands. They should be worried! Often the locals are far superior in quality, purity and most importantly, taste, but also, they are often less expensive! Why? Put your money into the end product and less on marketing, transport overseas and hype!

These small independent breweries, wineries and distilleries may not have the volume of the big ones, but they certainly make up for it in quality and imagination and incredible innovations and taste explosions. Why in fact, the US government hold them to greater standards than the big established brands. Pretty much, you do get what you pay for from the little ones and a whole lot more!! And on the economic side, these small drink makers probably contribute greatly to the employment market. Small breweries, wineries and distilleries are everywhere nowadays, state by state. And all those that work in them that I have met, all seem to love their work where they see themselves as personally invested crafters of quality,  rather than mere unknown workers of volume, for BIG-corp’s profit and bottom line. Hey, I believe there is much to be said about putting love in what you do. I believe love can actually improve the quality and taste of what is made!

We recently returned from a trip and visited two small distilleries in Tennessee. One makes a true, 100%, excellent bourbon and a gin (more about the gin later),  and the other had excellent and to my surprise, both a clear whiskey not oaked (not aged in oak barrels for that distinct taste and color of traditional whiskey), and a clear Rye (also not oaked). We bought some of all mentioned. That good? Oh, YES, that good!!! Oh, and one more thing about that little distillery (maybe a few thousands of gallons made per year as opposed to the big boys that produce tens-of-thousands of gallons an hour, day after day. H Clark Distillery is the first distillery in 106 years that can accurately and legally call its product, bourbon. Not even Jack Daniels, Dickel or Pritchards can call their offerings Bourbon! To do so, certain ingredients must be used and in certain ways. They all do this. The big three mentioned have another step they use, which is an organic process, but it disqualifies them from calling their product, bourbon. H Clark Distillery in TN, only uses the standard practice and ages their bourbon in brand-new oak barrels, for the taste, smoothness and amber color of true Tennessee, 100%, pure American Made Bourbon! And they make an incredible gin to rival say, Gordon’s gin! Again, more about this later.

So, what have we seen and learned and where have we been up to this point? Taking all the best points, our libation should be poured liquids to share with one another; to celebrate life, toast each other to-the-day and share some moments together. Should these beverages include alcohol, they should be finely crafted to produce the best taste possible and should be consumed responsibly. Now to be true, to drink responsibly, would NOT include alcohol or any drug or substance which can diminish our ability to act in an emergency, in the best and fastest way possible. But if we do drink or will drink, let us do so as the old adage says, with—“All things in moderation!”

One last thing to do here before giving my recipe for the Mano a Mano-tini or in short, the Mano-tini. What is in a name or what’s in a name? For one thing, I for one, am not about to try to make a Vesper, when ALL of the exact ingredients are not used (Kina Lillet is NOT available)! And I am NOT going to try to replicate it, while using alternatives and call it a Vesper. I will not even use the words Vesper Martini. But I will do two things. First, I will make, name and claim my own drink. Secondly, I will shorten Martini to just ‘tini,’ which will still suggest the type of drink it may be listed under, in the world of bar guides and mixology.

Have you ever heard or seen the words “mano a mano?” For a long time, I thought they were Latin words. They are not, they are originally, Spanish. I and many people thought and many still do think that they mean, man to man. That’s an easy stretch when the first three letters of mano is man. Is that sexist? Could not “man” be an all-inclusive noun, to describe all men, women and children as in mankind or humanity? I think yes, yes it could. But what is its meaning?

The god of words since 1823, Meriam Webster, defines “mano a mano” as: “in direct competition or conflict especially between two people.” Please note the words “two people” as I have underscored them.

OK, I can sort of understand how these words have and are still being used today. Perhaps images of hand to hand combat come to mind? And the original meaning of these Spanish words are pretty close to that (minus the combat part). 🙂

“Mano a Mano” just means, “hand to hand.” I like that, especially when talking about making a drink by hand, making it by hand and hand-ing’ it off to another to enjoy! From the hand of the bartender to the hand of the bar-sitter, from one lover’s hand to another’s hand, from one hand of a friend or an associate (even a stranger), to another’s hand, let us celebrate life and each other!

So without further adieu, I give you, ‘The Mano a Mano- (from my hand to yours) tini! 🙂

Most of its ingredients are made in America, and fitting and proper since most likely the “tini,” began in the USA!

Mano a Mano-Tini or Mano-Tini

Ingredients:

3 Parts H Clark Distillery Tennessee Gin (prevalent juniper notes at the start and finish)

Note: Previously, I was using Tito’s Vodka, but they have gotten “too big for the britches” in my opinion or for sure, they have priced themselves out of my pocketbook! I now use New Amsterdam Vodka. Just as good as Tito’s (that was compared to Absolute), if not better, is made and bottled in Modesto, CA USA, and is moderately priced.

  

1 Part New Amsterdam Vodka (made in California and comparable to Absolute and less expensive)

½ part of Lillet Blanc (French)

3-4 drops Cinchona (quinine distillate from South America)

3 parts H Clark Distillery Gin (made in Tennessee, USA)
1 part New Amsterdam vodka (made in California, USA)
1/2 part Lillet Blanc (made in France)
3-4 Drops of Quinnine Distillate (made with cinchona bark from South America)
Lime peel twist

Instructions:

Add gin, vodka, Lillet, and the cinchona (quinine) drops to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well. Strain into martini glass. Garnish with lime peel (I like lime better than lemon peel, but use either to your liking.

If you use lemon peel, maybe you can call it, ‘The American 007’ and when “Bond, James Bond,” is in the USA, he will like it. 🙂 But mine is made with lime peel. I am for short just calling it, ‘The Mano-tini’

a href=”https://gatheringplaceblog.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/mano-tini7.png”> The Mano a Mano-Tini or Mano-Tini[

This recipe may be found (when Published) at:

The Gathering Place

Holidays & Special Occasions Entertaining

by Dahni

© 2013-2017 all rights reserved

For more information on my sources see the following websites, links provided below.

http://hclarkdistillery.com/

http://www.newamsterdamspirits.com/

https://www.lillet.com/intl-en/

https://nevadapharm.com/shop/cinchona-bark/

In closing, H. L. Mencken called the martini,

“the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet”

and E. B. White called it,

“the elixir of quietude”

P.S. Kevin loved it and asked for another. We both drank two! 🙂

By Dahni & I-Magine

©️ 2018, all rights reserved

From my Work in Progress: ‘The Gathering Place Cook Book’, under the category of: beverages

Dahni at The Gathering Place

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