Sunday, 12 December 2010

Cocktails with your legs closed

If you thought that I was getting just a little too smug and organised in my last post, fear not. The following day I made this for dinner.

Thankfully, the toilet ate it and seemed to enjoy it.

This morning I’ve awoken with that empty alcohol feeling. Last night I met up with some friends for Christmas drinks and needless to say took the whole thing very seriously. Six glasses of wine, two rum and cokes, the obligatory cigarette and two cocktails later and I was imparting life lessons to a young man and pushing my hands down Bushman’s pants in a crowded bar (not all at the same time – I might add).

“I think you need to get out more” said Bushman, “you’re a bit wild.”

Of course it was precisely this kind of behaviour which got me into trouble last year and resulted in me needing to take a pregnancy test in the toilet of a department store, on the Holloway Road, in the middle of January.

So when I stumbled home with Bushman at god knows what time and got into bed to find that he had no clothes on, I put him straight.

“There’s no way I’m having sex with you.” I said “I don’t care how many precautions you take – I’m not doing it. I don’t even think I’m capable right now.”

This morning I feel fucking hungover, a tinge of shame at some of things I did, a touch confused about what I did and didn’t do, but the one thing I can be absolutely sure of – is that I am NOT PREGNANT. I must say, overall I’m rather pleased with myself.

All of this leads me rather nicely on to my Christmas Cocktail Menu courtesy of my rather fabulous sister. If you couldn’t give a fuck about cocktails, look away now. If on the other hand you want to get pissed in the most exquisite, delicious way, pay attention! On the menu are Toffee Apple Martinis, Amaretto Sours, Chocolate/Expresso Martinis and for the sober judges amongst you, Authentic Cream Soda.

This is my little sister in her own words:

Toffee Apple Martini

There are a lot of different versions of this depending on whether you want to have a stronger, quicker, more expensive drink, or a softer, homemade and more satisfying one.

With a Martini I always recommending experimenting with what works best for each person, some like a really dry strong Martini (For instance the Julie Andrews Martini which we used to serve at The Star was 30ml gin, 30ml vodka and 15ml vermouth) or the more sweet versions that a lot of bars serve now.

Version 1

40ml vodka

15ml apple schnapps

15ml butterscotch schnapps

Pour the ingredients into a shaker with plenty of ice, shake or stir depending on how strong you want the drink (remember Bond always had his stirred as shaking a martini causes the ice to bash against each other and dilute the drink more, Bond has his stirred because the Martini would be cold, but as strong as possible). Strain the mixture over a martini glass -and be very chic by chilling it beforehand.

The other version sees you making your own apple and caramel syrups in preparation. I'm not going to give blow by blow accounts on how to make these, there are plenty of recipes, but for the apples I would peel and core, poach in a little vanilla extract and a dash of apple huie and then blitz as much as possible at the end to get a smooth syrup. Add a pinch of cinammon if desired. For the caramel either boil up some sugar with a little butter the old fashioned way, or even buy some from Fortnums or Waitrose if you are feeling slatternly.

Version 2

50ml vodka

10ml apple syrup

10ml caramel syrup

Put the ingredients and ice in a shaker, bang the hell out of it. Pour and serve. Perhaps with a little sugar and cinnamon on the rim.

Amaretto Sour

One of my favourites and perfect for consumption by the fireside with a cat, or prostitute on your lap - yes, it's that versatile.

50ml Amaretto

half the juice of a lemon (although I like mine really sour so I add either another half, or half a lime)

a dash of plain gomme (see recipe for Cream Soda, but don't use the pod)

*optional: an egg white (I can never be bothered, I never have anything to do with the yolk and just end up finding it festering the next morning)

Put a handful of ie cubes into the shaker, add the amaretto, citrus juice and a dash of gomme. Give a couple of short, gentle shakes, you don't want this one too watery because the amaretto needs to retain that slightly syrupy consistancy. Pour the whole lot into a tumbler and add a wedge of lemon.

The sour is a fairly cheap, quick and easy cocktail and packs a punch. Try all the variations you can think of, vodka, gin, rum etc. Sometimes, I like to make one with bourbon, put on a pencil skirt and pretend I'm Joan out of Mad Men.

Chocolate/Espresso Martinis

As far as a chocolate or espresso martini goes this would be my advice. Work out if you want a gin or vodka martini and remember that some flavours suit different ingredients more than others. For an espresso martini I would go with 40ml vodka or gin, a shot of espresso and then 15ml tia maria, 15ml kaluha. Chocolate martini would be 40ml of vodka or brandy, 15ml chocolate liquor, and 15ml creme de cacao.

Joe's Authentic Cream Soda

50ml Vanilla gomme*

Juice of half a lemon

Dash of cream

Dash of fresh soda water

Fill a shaker with ice. Add the gomme, lemon juice and cream. Don't worry if the mixture appears to seperate. Put the other half of the shaker on and give a damn good hiding. Get a highball glass, put a few cubes of ice in and pour the mixture over the top. Add a small amount of soda water to the cocktail shaker and gently swirl it around to get the remains out. Pour gently on the top of highball (soda water can froth up quit a lot depending how vigorously you shake it). Add a large slice of lemon to the top and serve with a straw.

* I make gomme by mixing sugar and hot water in equal parts (best done in a pyrex jug), stirring it until the sugar dissolves and then pour into an empty bottle and add a vanilla pod. This should be ideally done a day before. If this all seems like too much work, just add a blob of vanilla ice cream instead of the gomme and cream, it's a half decent substitute. This drink also works well as an alcoholic version with a shot of vodka!

Take a bow little sister - girl knows how to get trashed in style.

Now go forth and start mixing.