Author: Doug Winship
General Cocktails
Mixology Monday

Mixology Monday: The Search for a New Cocktail!

OK, I expected to dash this one off after an hour's browsing and an evening's tasting, but it turned into a quest. I'm not sure it is a completed one, but it has served its purpose, and then some. This is my first shot at a blog carnival, Mixology Monday, or MxMo for short. Skip the next paragraph if you already know what MxMo is about. Mixology Monday 17For those of you who don't know, Mixology Monday is a blog carnival. Any cocktail blog who would like to participate simply writes a post along the lines of the current theme and one of the bigger blogs hosts a post that lends links to each blogger who participates. This week is Bring on the Blog Love, hosted at Cocktail Chronicles. You can read all about what we are trying at the link above, or by clicking on the spiffy logo, but here are the essentials. Pick out a cocktail you read about/discovered on another blog, try it and post about it. Also, include any navel gazing about why we blog at all. As I said, I thought this would be an easy task. Margaret and I organize the Friday Night Mixed Doubles tennis events at our club, The Worthington Hills (Home of the Macdaddy of Pegu Blog Certified Bartender, Tony!) Last week, our theme was Wimbledon. I ordered a bunch of Strawberries and Champagne to help set the mood. I had recently read about the classic Strawberry Daiquiri at The Art of Drink, and was dying to try it. So I set aside a good sized bowl of the best berries from the event to take home and do my homework. Well, someone made off with my fruit! I had to go to the grocery store for more, which peeved me, and they weren't as good, which peeved me more! It was fun to make, lots of muddling fruit, straining same, etc. But it just didn't float our boat. I may try it again, the next time I have good strawberries and try doubling the lime juice. Good, but not possibly going to be a staple, and I want to find a new standby. So, on with the show. Margaret then brought home a bottle of Limoncello, and challenged me to try to find some use for it, other than as a Sidecar additive. I searched the blogs for a recipe that appealed and struck out. The next morning, I loaded all my tabs with my favorite blogs, and A Dash of Bitters was off to my rescue with the Lemon Cooler. Let's see: Gin... cool, Limoncello... that's what I was looking for, lime juice... excellent, I love lime juice! I start mixing before I finish reading and then hit Tonic Water! Ooops! Margaret doesn't like that! I'm no fan myself, but I go ahead and finish the drink. Not as bad for us as I feared, but still not going to be repeated until I have time to test other mixers as a substitute, or just make it up with no mixer at all. A cocktail project for the future, but I wanted a drink for this post that came out of the box saying drink me!. Here's the thing, I blog about Pegus because they are the cocktail that changed me from a wine drinker into a cocktalian. Sure, I had an occasional Martini, or the Kamikaze variant we learned from a bartender at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas the night I physically collided head-on with David Schwimmer of Friends while we were both on our way to the George Carlin Dennis Miller show. Yes, it was head-on because, evidently, neither Schwimmer nor his entourage knew where the theater was. The point is, I was a wine drinker who drank cocktails as a novelty. More to the point, they were almost a costume—I drank them when I thought I needed to look cool. I mixed my first Pegu, and all that changed. We still drink our fair share of wine (and your fair share, and his, and that guy in the corner's), but I pay far more attention to cocktails than I do to the Two Buck Chuck, and its Australian and French cousins that I fill our wine fridges with these days. Now I am a cocktail drinker who drinks wine as a beverage: Food—Wine, but Conversation—Cocktail... usually a Pegu. I drink lots of other cocktails too, so I'm looking for a good one here. I look at the other blogs I frequent, and laugh out loud as I hover my mouse over my link in the blogroll over at Cocktailnerd. It describes me as Focused... very. As I chuckle, I remember a post from about the time I broke down and started this blog, about the Corpse Reviver #2.... I go back, find it, and read the whole post. I want to be careful after finding myself presenting tonic to Margaret! Two versions, and a strong recommendation of which to try, with reasons that I think are sound. I go with Version 1:
Corpse Reviver #2 - ver. 1 3/4 oz gin 3/4 oz lemon juice 3/4 oz Cointreau 3/4 oz Lillet (blanc) dash Pastis (Pernod, Herbsaint, or Absente to substitute) Place all ingredients into a mixing glass, shake with ice, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a destemmed maraschino cherry (optional).
Corpse Reviver #2, ver.1This has several things going for it, before I take my first sip. It uses Lillet. I bought a bottle of this to make Vespers with after seeing Casino Royale. Vespers are nice, but I won't be making that many, so I need something else to use up this Lillet. Cointreau is also there. Virtually every cocktail I make seems to end up with Cointreau in it. And it needs some kind of Pastis. This gives me something new to buy, so I roll out and pick up some Pernod. I even grab a jar of cherrys, as I don't have time to whip up a batch of my own cocktail cherrys—Another day.... I mix this guy up and take a sip. I immediately put it down on the bar and snap this photo. It is quite nice. No Pegu, but then, what is? My saga is complete, and I now have my post to write. Try one yourself and let me (and Cocktailnerd) know what you think. My only quibble is that the lemon seems a bit strong. I think I'll try two variants in the next week to see if they improve it. First, I'll simply try less lemon.
Good Lord! That's the kind of brilliant thinking only a Master Mixologist would employ!
Shut up. Anyway, the other thing will be going out and buying that bottle of Van Gogh gin I've been wanting to try, instead of the Bobmbay Sapphire I currently buy in bulk. I'm thinking this may be the better option. I'll post an update when I do. So there is my first MxMo post. Did I get everything? Let's see: Navel gazing—Yup, I talked about how Pegus got me blogging; Shout out to other blogs—I hit four, Cocktailnerd, A Dash of Bitters, The Art of Drink, and Cocktail Chronicles... five, if you count my link to myself; and a good new drink I'll make again—The Corpse Reviver #2. I finish up with a surefire traffic builder, a promise to make a further post that will give exiting details of less lemon, and a new gin! That will get you to come back, won't it?

Great Cocktail Book Quotes #2

Margo: Encore du champagne, Waiter: More champagne, Miss Channing? Margo: That's what I said, bub!
—From Vintage Cocktails The quote is actually from All About Eve, starring Bette Davis. I read it and thought of my comments the other day about Broads in my post about who drinks Pegus. Margo is definitely a broad. I haven't seen the movie, but from this quote alone, I can tell. Of course, she's played by Bette Davis, so this should go without saying. Now I need to find a Katherine Hepburn quote as companion. Unfortunately, her characters tended to be less boozy than Bette's, but just as

Pegu Blog Certified Bartender™: Tony

Tony at the Hills Allow me to introduce the MacDaddy of all Pegu Blog Certified Bartenders™, Tony. To be more specific, he is Big Tony. You need to be specific, since all the bartenders in the main lounge of our country club, The Worthington Hills, are named Tony. Anyway, Tony has been serving us for about five or six years now, and I shudder to think how many Pegus he's pushed across the bar to me. He knows most members, both by name and by tipple of choice. If you like a common drink mixed an uncommon way, he somehow manages to remember this forever. We're not a huge club, but it is still pretty amazing. I just read a post at The Art of Drink, while thinking about this post, about Bartenders vs. Mixologists. In the context of that discussion, I'd consider Tony a consummately professional Bartender. There are no complaints about Tony. He moves briskly when its crowded and conversationally when it is slow. The place is spotless, but looks well lived-in. He's fun to talk to, but knows how to keep his mouth shut about what you say. I don't think of him as a mixologist, since he's not constantly going Mad Scientist with new concoctions. He just makes your drink exactly the way you want it, and consistently so. If you are a member, find me in the bar and I'll buy you a Pegu. If I'm not there, Tony can make you one
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