Drink of the Week and 100th Post!

Gaelic SourGaelic Sour

  • 2oz Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • 3/4oz Lemon Juice
  • 3/4oz Orgeat
  • 2 dash Angostura Bitters

Garnish: Lemon Wheel

It’s that time of year again… ST.PATRICKS DAY! Also known as ‘An excuse to get drunk on Irish Whiskey and beer day!’. Every year I have been in America I have ended up more and more intoxicated on this day, moreso I think than I ever was in the UK.  The Americans (well Californians for sure) love this holiday and celebrate with Irish themed drinks, Green colored beer and clover designs all over the city.

Today FutureGreg and I are dressed in green and heading down to Townhouse in Venice Beach for their Irish themed events.  They have Irish bands playing, an Irish stew, Punch bowls and the above drink on sale all day. If you are in the neighborhood I suggest you join us.

The above recipe is a delicious Whiskey Sour with a subtle twist using the orgeat. It is sweet, flavorful and simply delicious. If ‘Irish Car Bombs’ aren’t your thing this drinking day, this is a great option instead.

On a completely different note, this is my 100th post on The Fussy One!!! Seems only fitting that a blog about alcohol would have it’s 100 post on a national drinking day 🙂

Everyone have a great time today and be safe!

Remember: DO NOT drink and drive!!!!

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Eat Less and Taste More @ Hostaria Del Piccolo

Hostaria Del PiccoloHostaria Del Piccolo
512 Rose Avenue,
Venice Beach, CA
310.392.8822
 

I have been writing this post for a few weeks now, because I have a lot to say about this restaurant in particular.  I finally decided I need to put it up because all the other media seem to be beating me to it, and i’ve been coming here since opening day!!!  Reviews and press have just started to come out about this place (LA times did a feature and they have been mentioned on KTLA radio) and rightly so, it is a wonderful restaurant to get really well made Italian food. It is also a fun place to go with friends for a drink.

The space

The location I am discussing in this post is the brand new Hostaria Del Piccolo in Venice Beach, California. However please note that the same wonderful menu can be found at their original Santa Monica location on 6th and Broadway, I highly recommend checking out both as they have the same amazing food and drinks but totally different vibes.

Back of house

Hostaria Del Piccolo in Santa Monica has always been one of my favorite dinner spots, so I was excited when they opened this new location on Rose Ave (a really popular area for great restaurants right now.)

This location is much larger than the first and you really feel the openness when you first walk in. Their signature bright blue aprons can be seen on the staff dotted around the room and they’ve cleverly accented the bar with this color too which make it look young, fun and cool.

Blue lit bar

I actually really like the lighting in general at this place, there is a tunnel light that wraps across the ceiling giving it a modern vibe that works well against the wood communal tables.

Kitchen

The Kitchen is in open view to the customers so you can watch pasta being rolled and pizzas being made in front of you. This is an authentic Italian restaurant and the food is nothing short of fantastic.

Pamperdella   Verdura

The owner is Italian,  a lot of the staff are Italian and you feel its authenticity not only when you taste the food, but when you talk to the people there (many of whom are Italian). In particular I want to mention one of the managers Christian Bertolli, who is probably one of the most charismatic, friendly and delightful Italian men I have ever encountered.  All the staff are lovely here and the bar team are extremely knowledgeable on ‘real’ drinks and cocktails, due to their new Beverage director Greg Bryson who was hired to update the bar program at both locations a few months ago.

Greg Bryson at work

I have been to this new spot three times already and every time it is busier than the last. I am going to talk about some of my favorite dishes, however I am yet to find one I don’t actually like.  There are many more on the menu that are worth trying, but the ones below are my top choices.

The Food

GNOCCHI  ricotta-potato gnocchi, fresh tomatoes, basil, parmesan $15 ($6 on Happy Hour menu)

Gnocchi to me is best described as a potato dumpling. I imagine if pasta and potato had a baby, they would have a gnocchi! Most places I have tried gnocchi before I didn’t really like it too much.  I found it to be a stodgy and heavy dish, however this is not the case at Hostaria. Their Gnocchi (made fresh daily) is soft and fluffy, it is deliciously cheesy with a rich tomato sauce on top.

to go

It is also not a ridiculously huge ‘American’ portion. All the portions at Hostaria are just right, they take quality over quantity to a new level. In fact, their slogan is EAT LESS, TASTE MORE! In a country that is often over indulgent I really love this idea, I am always full when I leave and never have a doggy bag. The portion sizes are just right for a comfortable evening.

COSTICINE  roasted pork ribs, cannellini beans    $12

Ribs

When I am trying not to eat breads or cheese (so hard at an Italian place) this is my go-to dish of choice.  You get three delicious pork ribs that are perfectly seasoned and full of flavor but not covered in sauce, on top of cannellini beans which are filling without being over indulgent. A really yummy, simple appetizer.

GRIGLIATI  grilled fresh calamari, mild spicy Swiss-chard $12

Grilled Calamari

I am a big fan of fried calamari (which they also have on offer) however when you want something less greasy this is a nice appetizer option. The spicy chard gives an almost peppery spiciness to the dish. The texture is a little more rubbery than the fried version but really good nonetheless.

The Pizza

There are way too many pizzas on their menu for me to possibly discuss here, but I will name a few that particularly stand out. The main thing about their pizzas are the delicious thin crusts that taste freshly baked (because they are!)

There are white pizzas (without tomato sauce) as well as gluten free dough as an option, vegan and vegetarian choices. Some of the best i’ve tried so far are as follows…

FIGOS prosciutto, seasonal figs, mozzarella, mascarpone, vincotto $16

FORMAGGI mozzarella, smoked mozzarella, ricotta, goat cheese, gorgonzola $13

ASPARAGI asparagus, egg, mozzarella, parmesan shavings, truffle salt $15

I want to keep going on the menu (haven’t even begun to touch on their other delicious pasta options, not to mention they also have a phenomenal brunch menu that has items such as Ricotta Stuffed Pancakes, Espresso rubbed Pork and Eggs and a Salmon Eggs Benedict to name but a few) but I have to talk about their drinks too.

The Bar

Greg Bryson created some delicious drinks for the menu and will be rolling out his Spring creations soon i’m sure. They only makes drinks using fresh juices and local produce (as is the only way these days) and Greg has stocked the bar with a wide range of Amari (beverage bitters from Italy) which is great for those who love bitter sweet digestivo.

I have mentioned several of Greg’s drinks in past posts, because they are excellent.  Acero was one of my favorites during Fall and is still available at both locations.

CuccioloThe cocktails on the menu are all great, but if you ask Greg (when he’s tending bar) to make you something ‘bartenders choice’ he always comes up with something fantastic whether it’s a classic made correctly, or something he makes up on the spot, he always makes sure his customers are happy.

IMG_8420All the bar staff seem focused and friendly and I am yet to have a bad drink at this bar.  Here are two other popular drinks on the current menu…

CUCCIOLO Plymouth Gin, St.Germain, cucumber, lemon $12

BLACKWORK ORANGE 100% Agave tequila, fresh lime, tangerine juice, agave nectar, black sea salt rim $12

This place gets 5 out of 5 for food. It is hands down one of my favorite places to eat because I love Italian and this is done to the highest degree.

5full (1)

Drinks easily get 5 out of 5. I have only ever had drinks made by Greg himself so I may be biased, but from what I can tell all the bartenders have been trained to make the drinks correctly too and the options are a great range for all tastes.

5full

This is a great ‘first date’ restaurant because it is fun and friendly, with a romantic edge without being overly loved up. Definitely stop by and see for yourself when you are on the West side 🙂

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Drink of the Week

Lychee BelliniBeijing Bellini

  • 3 parts Champagne or Dry Italian Prosecco
  • 1 part Lychee wine or Lychee Liquor

Garnish: 1 Lychee dropped to bottom of glass

Today is Chinese New Year, and we have been thrown in to the year of the SNAKE! In honor of this occasion I thought I should put up a ‘Chinese themed’ recipe.

Year of the Snake

The recipe above was actually created in celebration of the 2008 Summer Olympics that were held in Beijing that year.  Mixologist Andrew Krauss decided to replace traditional peach with lychee liquor for a different kind of Bellini recipe, and presented it at New York City’s China 1 Antique Restaurant and Lounge in 2008.

This is a delicious, sweet and simple drink. If you like lychee, you’ll love this! 🙂

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Drink of the Week

The Dark Crystal PunchDark Crystal Punch

  • 350ml Rum (we used Mount Gay)
  • 150ml Runny Honey
  • 150ml Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 cup of Blueberries
  • 6 Sage Leaves

Muddle berries in to the fresh squeezed lemon juice, honey and rum (we cheated and put it all in the blender..but both works).

Strain in to a punch bowl making sure there are no bits.

  • Top with 200ml Pink Moscato D’asti (bubbly moscato)

Serve in a Punch Bowl with large Ice Cube, sprinkle in the Sage leaves and stir before serving.

Yesterday was Crystal Bryson‘s Birthday (my boyfriends mum) and in honor of the occasion, as well as Super Bowl Sunday, Greg Bryson created this delicious punch.

Ice Cube

It was a beautiful mix of flavors with the sage, honey and lemon. The blueberries gave it a gorgeous pink color too.

The punch itself is sweet from the moscato and honey, herbaceous from the sage and strong too. I love Rum punches so I was a definite fan and everyone else seemed to love it also.

This was easy to make and great for large parties. Serves about 8 people, possibly more.

Enjoy!

Party Punch

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One Fussy year!


Today is officially my 1 year BLOGGERVERSARY!!! WOO HOO!!!! I have been posting for one whole year as of this moment. 🙂

blogger


Ironically, this post is not about me so much as it is about my darling partner Greg Bryson. I wanted to write a little post for him because I am very proud of his achievements this past year also. He has successfully begun running two bar programs (one in Santa Monica and the newest in Venice Beach, California), created a huge selection of new drinks for his cocktail menus and a few weeks ago his St-Germain cocktail recipe was selected as a runner up for the 5th annual Can Can Classic cocktail competition out of 13,000 applicants.He created a delicious drink recipe called ‘Oaxcan in Paris’ (recipe to come soon)

304826_10151411879863234_767621097_n

This morning he received a custom St-Germain roadster bicycle and an accompanying bottle of St-Germain. I am told the bike was featured prominently in the Wall Street Journal, Cool Hunting, WWD, and a score of other publications and is a great looking piece of equipment that i’m super jealous is his! I love St-Germain as a product, it reminds me of Summer in England when I used to drink Elderflower cordial. For those who don’t know, St-Germain is a sweet liqueur crafted in the artisanal French style from elderberry flowers, it is currently made in Paris.

bottle holder

Loving Greg’s bike which has cork handle bars, leather straps to hold a bottle of St.Germain on a road trip and an old fashioned European feel to it.  Anyway, here’s me showing off my boyfriend! LOL

Don’t forget to join me for drinks at Hostaria Del Piccolo in Venice tonight to celebrate a day of alcohol related achievements. Hooray!

The Fussy One xx

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January 30, 2013 · 6:05 pm

Drink of the Week

The Fussy One Cocktail

The Fussy One

  • 2oz Rum Blanco
  • 3/4oz Lime Juice
  • 3/4oz Vanilla syrup
  • 3/4oz Fresh Beet juice

Garnish: Lime wheel

Next week sees some big achievements for me. On Monday 28th January I will have been living in the States for 5 years…then on 30th January I will be celebrating my 1st ‘Bloggerversary’.  Yep, this little blog will be one year old on Wednesday!

The above drink recipe was created lovingly by my Beverage consultant boyfriend Greg Bryson, as a nod to me…and my fussiness! This drink is nothing short of delicious, and perfectly fits my personality.  The use of beet juice gives it an almost healthy taste and vegetive flavors, for some reason the beet reminds me of carrots at times too.  When Greg first met me (read about me) I would never have eaten a vegetable by choice, so incorporating it in a drink with my namesake is pretty smart and somewhat amusing.

This drink has everything I love combined. It has Rum as the base (my favorite), it’s Sweet, Strong, Pink, Fruity and Girly. (Add a dash of crazy and it would be describing my personality!)

In essence this drink could be described as a Vanilla Beet Daiquiri, but I prefer to call it by it’s new name… “The Fussy One” 🙂

Head on down to Greg’s new Venice location of Hostaria Del Piccolo on Wednesday for a drink to celebrate. Greg will be making this recipe as well as loads of his other creations, it’s going to be a fun night.

A big thanks to all my readers, keep following and commenting. I love your suggestions and feedback!

Here’s to many more years of eating, drinking and blogging…

The Fussy One xx

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Drink of the Week

Market DayThe Market Day

  • 2oz Plymouth Gin
  • 3 Cucumber slices
  • 1oz Lemon Juice
  • 3/4oz Simple Syrup

Muddle cucumber, shake and double strain all ingredients in to a coupe glass.

Garnish: Cucumber slice

OOOOOH I love cucumber! It’s so refreshing, crunchy and light in flavor. I have also discovered that I love it in my cocktails, as I have had a few cucumber style martinis recently that I really like.

The above recipe was my drink of choice last week for my birthday celebrations. It was created by Brandon Ristaino for the ‘Mixology Bar’ in The Penthouse at Mastros.  For those who don’t know, The Penthouse is the fabulous new third floor addition to the already successful Mastros restaurant in Beverly Hills.

This drink is very tasty and probably my favorite on their menu right now. It is subtly citric with refreshing cucumber notes. The gin used is Plymouth which is very light in juniper flavors so is a great option for someone who tends to lean towards vodka as a base but wants to start trying Gin. This drink definitely does have a sweetness to it that I always love, but it is nicely balanced with the sour elements too.

Definitely worth a trip to The Penthouse for this one, or if you’re not in the area try making it at home.  Will be great when the summer months roll around, just so nice and refreshing.

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The Fussy One 2012 Report

The WordPress team (the platform I use to prepare my blog each week) have prepared me a really cool 2012 annual report on my blog! If you’re interested to see how I did last year (stats, countries that viewed me etc) then Click here to see the complete report.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. The Fussy One.com had over 15,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 3 Film Festivals

I am so very pleased with all the achievements I made in 2012. On January 30th TheFussyOne will be 1 year old and bigger than I ever imagined.  I never thought I would get so many opportunities (like Tasting Panel Magazine) purely because of my love of writing and going out to try new places with my boyfriend!

Thank you so much to all my readers for your support, kind letters and overall interest in my little space! I look forward to what 2013 will bring and hope you continue to follow.

Love and well wishes,

The Fussy One xx

TheFussyOne

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Drink of the Week

Egg Nog Egg Nog and cookies

  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 12 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream

Garnish: Grated nutmeg

Directions

  1. In a saucepan, whisk the milk and sugar together over a medium heat until sugar is dissolved. In a large bowl, whisk eggs. Whilst continuing to whisk pour your hot milk/sugar mixture into the eggs in a slow and steady stream.
  2. Return mixture to pan; cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, (this usually takes about 20 to 25 minutes but do not let it simmer.) Quickly strain into a bowl. Stir in bourbon and cream. Let the drink cool completely then refrigerate until chilled.

Ok ok, I know i’m a little late for a Christmas drink…but to be fair I was off enjoying the holidays these past weeks and didn’t have time to write this great old recipe up! Seeing as it’s  currently winter this classic is still a great option to make, especially if you plan on a late holiday party or simply want a creamy delicious drink to create at home! The above recipe will serve 6 people and is a recipe I found on the Martha Steward website.  I chose this version because it is pretty traditional in character and very easy to execute, it is also extremely tasty.

Sherry Egg NogKappler Eggnog

  • 2oz Sherry
  • 1 Whole egg
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar

Shake thoroughly and serve in tall glass, garnish with Nutmeg.

This recipe was created by George Kappler and documented in 1895.  It was a popular version at the time, however nowadays people tend to want the heated version above it because they don’t like the idea of having a whole raw egg in their drink.  Using a whole egg in a drink is often referred to as a flip and provided the eggs are fresh these drinks are perfectly safe to have.  Some of my favorite drinks out there include raw egg (Clover Club, Whiskey Sours), because they give a creamy texture to any drink they are in.

Egg Nog is known across the World as a Christmas drink, and there are literally hundreds of variations/recipes to choose from.  The recipes may contain whiskey, rum, brandy, bourbon, or cognac. Some will contain multiple spirits in the drink.

The origins of the Egg Nog are unclear however many suggest it dates back hundreds of years to Medieval Europe with suggestion that it originated in East Anglia, England as an ‘Egg Flip’ (named after the technique of ‘flipping’ the egg back and forth when mixing.)  Some believe however it is a variation developed later on from the Posset, a British hot drink in the 19th Century that involved heating milk with ale until it curdled and adding spices.

Whatever the origins, the end result is very interesting and surprisingly ‘NOT’ eggy in taste. It is a strong, creamy and tasty drink that’s almost like a custard in consistency. The nutmeg on the nose makes it very appropriate for the holiday season and a good option for Christmas parties.

Anyway, I hope everyone enjoyed some great New Year celebrations this week. There will be lots of new restaurant openings, drink creations and mixology events again this year, so be sure to keep checking in for all your “Fussy One” 2013 reviews and posts!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

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Drink of the Week

Irish Coffee (Caifé Gaelach in Irish)Irish-Coffee

  • 2oz Irish Whiskey
  • 3/4oz Brown Sugar
  • 4oz Hot Black Coffee
  • 2oz Fresh thick cream

Serve in an 10 oz Glass Coffee Mug/Toddy glass

This may not be the most original drink recipe to post, but is certainly one of my favorites at this time of year.  When my boyfriend (FG) and I went to Ireland 2 years ago we had several of these delicious beverages and couldn’t believe how much better they were than the ones we’d ever had in the States.  The secret, we discovered, is in two major components of the drink. There is NO baileys in a true Irish Coffee and the cream topping is NOT whipped cream. This is a terrible misconception, for some reason everywhere I go in LA offers whip cream on top and Baileys Irish cream inside.

Thick cream is what you should actually use, and although to some extent it is slightly whipped with a fork, it is still very much a liquid. If you can dollop the cream on top you have whipped too much.

Pour the hot coffee into an Irish coffee mug then add the Whiskey and sugar, stir until fully dissolved. The sugar is essential for floating liquid cream on top. The cream is carefully poured over the back of a spoon initially held just above the surface of the coffee and gradually raised a little. The layer of cream will float on the coffee without mixing with it and looks amazing. You should then drink the coffee through the cool layer of cream.

Although different variations of coffee cocktails pre-date the now-classic Irish coffee by at least 100 years, the original Irish coffee is said to have been invented by Joe Sheridan, a chef at Foynes Port in the county of Limerick, in West Ireland.  Passengers arriving to Foynes were often tired, freezing and in a bad mood. One evening in the winter of 1942, a Pan Am plane took off from Foynes but had to turn back due to severe weather. The passengers on board were apparently terribly upset and tired after returning to the airbase, and Joe wanted to prepare something special for them and warm them up. He created the Irish coffee recipe on a whim and when the American travelers were immediately hooked, and when one guest asked, “Is this Brazilian coffee?” Joe responded with: “No, That’s Irish Coffee.”

Kind of a cool story (if it’s true, which i’m not able to verify) but even if it isn’t true, this is a great drink to heat you up on a cold winters day. Enjoy!

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A great night out at ‘Tar & Roses’

Tar and RosesTar & Roses

602 Santa Monica Blvd,
Santa Monica, CA

310 587 0700

FutureGreg (FG) and I hadn’t been on a date night in a while due to illness and busy schedules, so I was very excited to try this new place yesterday which FG had suggested after meeting the owner, Chef Andrew Kirschner.

We arrived without a reservation thinking it wouldn’t be a problem, mainly because it was a Monday night and we usually sit at the bar anyway.  We were shocked to see it was slammed. I couldn’t believe how busy it was and they were fully booked until 9.30pm (we were there at 7.30pm!) The bar area is very small (mainly because they only serve wine and beer,) so we opted to wait and see if there were any cancellations. Just our luck a table for two became available within 5 minutes. PERFECT!

Restaurant

We decided to start with the ‘Chicken Oysters on a stick’.  Our server told us that the oysters of a chicken are two small, round pieces of dark meat on the back of the bird near the thigh.  I love dark poultry meat so this was ideal for me, the pieces were very soft yet tender with a lot of flavor.

Chicken oysters

The sticks reminded me of a dark meat chicken satay and came with a tamarind sauce on the side, which had a slightly spicy kick to it but was sweet and tangy too. Nice little bite to begin with.

Chicken Oysters on a stick-tamarind sauce $7

Gnocchi

Next we tried the ‘Ricotta gnocchi’.  This dish was full of interesting flavors from all the elements like squash and Brussels sprouts. The balsamic sauce was delicious with ricotta cheese and gave a subtle sweetness that paired beautifully with the soft gnocchi pieces which were cooked perfectly. I ate the remaining sauce like a soup it was so creamy and delicious.

Ricotta Gnocchi- Winter squash, Brussels Sprouts, Balsamic $11

Our neighboring table (who by complete coincidence turned out to be the Chefs father) got the snapper and I admit I was astounded to see the fish whole on the table, complete with eyes and tail! They did tell us that it was fantastic, and I could see the fish literally fall off the bone it was cooked so beautifully. Not for the faint hearted, or the fussy ones though!!!

Whole fried Snapper for two- Cold soba noodles, dipping sauce $48

SNAPPER

I went for the hanger steak which was perfectly cooked medium rare and came with wood fired leek that gave a sort of charcoal toasty taste to the dish. The squash purée was like mash potato but less creamy so much easier to eat and the chanterelles mushrooms were surprisingly good.  As most of my readers know, I don’t like the texture of mushrooms usually but these went down nicely with the steak. They weren’t too firm or at all rubbery.

Hanger Steak

The whole dish was covered with some sort of sweet almost red wine type sauce that worked with all the components of the dish.  The overall result was heavenly and I wiped the plate clean.

Hanger Steak- sunchoke puree, wood fired leeks, chanterelles $25

FutureGreg had the Skate wing (the fin of a fish that looks like a sting ray) which was incredible too. It was a white fish that fell apart when you ate it but still had a nice texture to it. The salsa verde on top gave another dimension to the dish and the celery mash underneath worked beautifully with the other flavors on the plate.  Skate Wing

I love sting rays as an animal (my favorite sea creature) so I was sad when I realized what we were eating, but I must say this is a really incredible entree option that I highly recommend and very yummy.

Skate Wing- Wood roasted escarole, celery root puree, salsa verde $23

Brussels SproutsWe got a side of Brussels sprouts, which weren’t my favorite at first but certainly grew on me the more I ate.  I felt the mustard dominated all the other flavors on the plate and the sprouts were cooked a little too al dente for my liking but it was by no means a bad dish, and FG certainly enjoyed it.  I did love the chestnuts on the plate, which were soft and sweet.

Brussels Sprouts- Chestnuts, crisp Pancetta, mustard $9

Instead of dessert, we decided to end with a few options from the cheese section of the menu.  You can mix and match bruschetta, meats and cheeses for a very decent spread. 3 for $14 or 5 for $20.  We went for the Cane De Cabra Spanish Goats Cheese, Cabot clothbound Cheddar from vermont and the Duck Bruscetta with fig jam and arugula. The platter came complete with raison toast pieces, apple slices and quince paste.

Cheese board

The duck bruscetta was moist and a great size crostini, the date paste underneath it gave a tasty sweetness that complimented the braised meat.  The goats cheese was delightfully soft, very creamy and a great choice. The cheddar was amazing too and I highly recommend both those choices for cheese.

I am giving Tar & Roses a full 5 out of 5 platters!

5full (1)

This truly was a wonderful place for dinner. Chef Kirschner has put together a great restaurant with an excellent menu. We had an extremely delicious meal and didn’t really dislike any elements of the evening.  I felt that the dishes were all correctly sized and fairly priced for how great they were. The atmosphere was lovely too. A warm and inviting little restaurant with a lot of nice features and great lighting. Not too loud either, so we were able to hear each other across the table, which was nice for a change.

I wish they had a bar program with cocktail options, seeing as i’m not really a wine or beer drinker, but other than that this is a great great option for your next date night. Enjoy!

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Drink of the Week

Hot Whiskey Toddyzacapa-hot-toddy-290x290

  • 2oz Bourbon
  • 1/2oz Lemon
  • 3/4oz Honey
  • Boiling hot water
  • 3 Cloves

Garnish: Lemon Wedge

You must put in the spirits before the hot water, then stir with a spoon. Use a Toddy glass if you have one.

It is officially flu season, and sadly today I am writing this post from the comfort of my bed with a horrible sore throat and a stuffy nose! HOWEVER a silver lining can be found in the above drink which is great when you’re feeling a little under the weather.

Honey and lemon are very soothing for a sore throat, and the alcohol will kill some of those germs…even if I just made all that up, the drink tastes great and you will at least feel better from drinking it!

The original recipe of a toddy calls for Brandy as the base, however Bourbon has become a popular alternative and American standard for the recipe. It is a really old drink so the origins are complicated and a little unclear, however Jerry Thomas writes about the Brandy Toddy and Whiskey Toddy in his book “How to mix drinks or the Bon-Vivant’s companion”  1862.

The Brandy Toddy being the one described with hot water, the Whiskey toddy says to use ice. I personally like using Whiskey in a hot toddy, although it is unclear why Jerry Thomas favored Brandy as the base for the hot version.  A Whiskey toddy is mentioned in Charles Dickens first book ‘The pickwick papers” which was written in 1867, so we know the late 1800s saw it as a fairly popular drink for cold nights.

Just so you know, a Toddy glass is a heat resistant glass mug that is perfect for Irish coffees as well as Toddy’s.  It is always a good idea to warm the glass before pouring in the boiling liquid, to prevent any risk of cracking.   If you don’t have a toddy mug in your collection, I recommend getting one because they are always useful to have around for hot drinks.

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Repeal Day Drink

Cameron’s KickCameronsKick

  • 1 oz Blended Scotch
  • 1 oz Irish Whiskey
  • 3/4 oz Fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz Orgeat

Garnish: Lemon peel

Shake and strain in to a chilled cocktail glass.

(The image chosen shows this drink in a coupe, however the cocktail glass became particularly popular in the 30’s and is probably a more appropriate glass for this drink.)

Repeal Day

December 5th is known in the US as ‘Repeal Day’ and is a huge day for celebration (for those who enjoy a good drink anyway!)

Most people around the World know or have heard of Prohibition in the United States.  It was a national ban on the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol, in place from 1920 to 1933. The 18th Amendment to the Constitution and the Volstead Act were what set down the rules for enforcing the ban during this time, and defined the types of alcoholic beverages that were prohibited. Prohibition ended with the approval of the 21st Amendment, which repealed the 18th Amendment, on December 5, 1933…hence the name Repeal day!!!

nolips

The original thought process of banning alcohol was so that crime would go down and people would live a more ‘Christian life’, it was pushed mainly by the women at the time who felt that their men became ‘devils’ when they drank.  Banning alcohol altogether of course, did the exact opposite of what they had hoped for.  The thirteen years of Prohibition were a dark time for the United States, and led to the rise of highly organized crime, viscious mafia gangs and turf wars.

The cocktail community in particular likes to celebrate Repeal Day because December 5th marks a return of skills that might have been lost had Prohibition continued, like craft fermentation and distillation.  It also helped to legitimize the American bartender once again as a contributor to society and social customs.  Before Prohibition the term ‘Bartender’ was not frowned upon or seen as a ‘job on the side until you pick a career’, it was a career in itself and one that was respected as part of the culinary arts.

I chose this drink because I felt that  a Scotch drink  from the 1930’s seemed the most appropriate.  Scotch (in particular Dewar’s Scotch) was the first legal whisky to arrive in the States and hit New York’s South Street Seaport docks the moment the law was put into action. Joseph Kennedy, Sr. (JFK’s father) happened to be the US agent for the brand and for a company named Somerset Importers. Somerset owned the exclusive rights to import Dewar’s Scotch and Gordon’s Gin, and right before Repeal Day they stocked up. Once Prohibition was over, they sold the premium liquors for a huge profit!

The Cameron’s Kick is delicious!  The two types of whiskey compliment each other rather than compete and with the lemon juice and orgeat it kind of tastes like a whisky sour mixed with a marzipan flavor.  Orgeat is an almond syrup scented with orange blossoms and I think tastes like liquid marzipan!  The drink itself is refreshing though and very tasty.  I should mention that the orgeat you buy in stores tends to be way sweeter than ones made at home or in bars, if you don’t want to make your own (which I admit is a time consuming process) then use just 1/2oz of the store brand orgeat to keep the sweetness down.

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There are a couple of exciting events going on in Los Angeles on Wednesday, many bars offering drinks at repeal day prices too.  Sassafras,  Thirsty CrowBigfoot Lodge,  and Oldfield’s Liquor Room are selling some cocktails for 50 cents, yep you heard me, 50 cents!!! So be sure to check them out.

Anyway, enough of the history lesson…get drinking this week and be glad we don’t live in 1920s America!!!

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