Wednesday Beer Cocktails: Seeking Clarity

Wednesday Beer Cocktails: Seeking Clarity

Alas, our Wednesday Shakespeare series has come to an end and it’s time to trade in thoughts of the bard for thoughts of beer. In cocktails, of course. Somehow I think Shakespeare would be quite happy with this transition and might even volunteer to be a taste tester for us. I will confess right from the outset that I don’t use beer in cocktails very much, so this will definitely be a learning process for me that I’m happy to share with all of you. I’m actually very excited since I really do enjoy drinking beer,

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Monday Booktails: The Perfect Daiquiri

Monday Booktails: The Perfect Daiquiri

A perfect Daiquiri is a study in elegant simplicity. Made with only three ingredients, it must be precisely measured and perfectly prepared. Otherwise it will taste different each and every time you make it. This kind of simplicity, precision, and perfection are the exact things for which Sasha Petraske was so well known. Today’s Daiquiri is the third cocktail that I’m sharing from his book Regarding Cocktails, which is filled with recipes from the many bars and bartenders that fell under his huge umbrella of influence.

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Friday Musings: I Remember Everything

Friday Musings: I Remember Everything

Wednesday’s crazy snow day here on the East coast gave me the opportunity to watch Call Me By Your Name, one of this year’s Oscar nominated movies. It’s a story of first love that transcends questions of gender, age, and impropriety so completely that it’s able to evoke tremendous emotions in its viewing audience. I, for one, was left sobbing at the end of it, completely unravelled by one spoken line. It left me thinking about what it is that we seek from one another in terms of our relationships, no

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Wednesday Shakespeare: Anon, Good Nurse

Wednesday Shakespeare: Anon, Good Nurse

Today I’m finishing up my Wednesday Shakespeare series in the same place I started it, with a character from Romeo and Juliet. It will always be my favorite tragedy, despite the fact that there are others that deal with far weightier issues. The idea of love and the lengths to which we’re willing to go to try to make it work, no matter what, will always tug at me. Does that really surprise any of you? I would think that’s a firm “no” at this point. The character of Juliet’s nurse is rather involved in her lady’s

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Monday Booktails: The Bicycle Thief

Monday Booktails: The Bicycle Thief

Since we are still freezing here on the East coast and expecting yet another Nor’easter this week even though it’s late March, I deliberately searched Sasha Petraske’s Regarding Cocktails book for a drink that would look and feel like spring. I landed on a highball called the Bicycle Thief because the ingredients list was irresistible to me. Anytime there’s gin, Campari, and grapefruit juice involved, I’m all in. The recipe for today’s cocktail was shared by bartender Zachary Gelnaw-Rubin who met and worked for Sasha Petraske at Little Branch, located in the West Village in NYC. He shares his memories of Petraske’s life lessons, particularly in the realm of men’s fashion, but also comments that “Sasha’s greatest contribution was his decency – not just in service and hospitality, but in human conduct in general.” Sentiments like these are repeated again and again throughout the book. Gelnaw-Rubin collaborated with his colleague Abraham Hawkins from Dutch Kills, another Petraske speakeasy-type bar in Long Island City. The Bicycle Thief is tart and bitter from the Campari, grapefruit, and lemon combo, which makes Bluecoat gin the perfect base spirit to go along with these components because of its strong juniper and citrus forward flavor profile. The simple syrup brings balance and just enough sweetness, and the club soda adds a refreshing effervescence that really had me wishing I was sipping this drink out on the deck in the shade. This Bicycle Thief is named for a classic 1942 Italian movie that tells the story of a poor father who is searching everywhere in post World War II Rome to find his stolen bicycle, without which he will not be able to work to support his family. Gelnaw-Rubin created a variation of this drink called the Tarzan Cocktail that swaps out the grapefruit juice for pineapple. Oh, don’t even get me started on that one! Cheers everyone. Happy Monday!

Bicycle Thief

1 oz Bluecoat gin
1 oz Campari
1½ oz fresh grapefruit juice
½ oz lemon juice
½ oz simple syrup
Club soda for topping off

Combine all the ingredients except the club soda into a cocktail shaker and add ice. Shake vigorously until cold and strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice. Top with club soda and garnish with a thin orange slice. Enjoy!

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