MxMo CXIII, November 21st, 2016: Bacon, Eggs, and Booze

With the Halloween-esque drink monster-themed MxMo: Mashups under our belt and hopefully in our drink creating tool belt, it’s time to look to November which often begins the family season that begins with Home Coming at schools, Thanksgiving, and later the end of December holidays. And what does family mean besides drinking? I mean, eating together. Why can’t we do both? Perhaps introducing our host, Gary of the Doc Elliott’s Mixology blog, might make this idea better understood.

This month’s theme slated for November 21st is one that will get you thinking about what to serve your friends and families during those earlier get togethers. That meal we call brunch or that Gary calls “bacon, eggs, and booze” (which strangely leaves out coffee!).  Please read Gary’s full announcement post, but here is a brief description:

Well, it’s autumn, with falling temperatures and falling leaves, kiddos and costumes and far too many treats. Looming are the next set of holidays, the serious ones complete with feasts, gifts, parties and gatherings of family and friends. One perennial problem is: what to do with guests the morning after, or the morning of, or the morning before? Well, you get the idea. Think BRUNCH. You could take them out, (expensive), but brunch food is easy, so fire up the cook top and make some bacon and eggs, or whatever appeals to you on Pinterest! But, remember the Law of the Universe: “A brunch without booze is just a sad, late breakfast!” So, the theme for Mixology Monday CXIII is Bacon, Eggs and Booze. There are a lot of brunch cocktails. A search of “brunch cocktails” yields over 43 million hits on Google. But I have confidence that the Mixology Monday crowd can craft some amazing cocktails to dazzle their gang. I have only one limiting rule in this month’s theme: enter at least one cocktail that does not have champagne.  Beyond that, ready, set, create!

When I worked brunches at previous restaurant, it felt like the Zombie horde. They would be lining up at the locked door before we were open and desperate to come in. Plus, no one at brunch was happy for they had to get dressed, travel, and wait before they could get their first tastes of food, booze, and caffeine that they definitely needed two hours before. At my current job, I was tasked with coming up with brunch drinks to sooth these masses, although I have only worked two Sunday morning shifts to date. With that, I’ve gotten into some forms of brunch drinks although I still have nightmares from working that Mother’s Day shift when mommy(s) really needed a drink… Briefly, here’s how to participate:

  • Find or concoct a recipe that elevates brunch to new heights (there must be at least one non-sparkling wine drink in the mix), and include a photo and your remarks, on your blog, tumblr, or website. If you lack one of those, feel free to post on eGullet’s Spirits and Cocktails forum.
  • Include the MxMo logo in your post plus links back to the Mixology Monday and Doc Elliott’s Mixology sites. Once the roundup post is put up, updating your post to include a link to that one as well would be appreciated.
  • Submit your link as a comment on the announcement post or by tweeting @docscocktails the link with the hashtag #MxMo on Twitter by Monday, November 21st.

That gives us all 2 weeks to figure out how our own culture drinks its morning medicine or others. A Bloody Mary tour of the world? Epic! Bright citrussy cocktails? Nice. Milk +/- egg breakfasts in a glass? Good show, my chap. I look forward to seeing what you guys can muster up!

MxMo CXII, October 17th, 2016: Mashups

With Mixology Monday “Drink Nerdy” almost wrapped up, it’s time to consider another mad scientist nerdy cocktail thought experiment. Aroma therapy garnishes? Color changing syrups? Bitters made from the tears of mythical and extinct animals? Nay, the idea of taking two favorite drinks and making a Frankenstein of them! Perhaps introducing our host, Frederic of the Cocktail Virgin blog, might make this idea better understood.

This month’s theme slated for October 17th is one that will get you thinking about taking two (or more drinks) and combining them into a monster, a delicious monster. No, not just dumping two cocktails into the same glass, but combining them via overlap and perhaps some subtraction to make a tribute to both drinks. Please read Fred’s full announcement post, but here is a brief description:

A few weeks ago, I was talking with Backbar bartender Sam Cronin about the wonders of mashup cocktails where you fuse two cocktails often (but not always) with overlapping ingredients. Since Backbar has a drink of the day as well as a drink of the week, the bartenders there have to generate a lot of new ideas, and combining two (neo)classics into one is often a successful way to breed new drinks. As Sam told me about the Lonely Dark where he fused the Widow’s Kiss and the Kiss in the Dark, he explained that he was inspired by Eric Witz’s mashup of a Widow’s Kiss and a Last Word as the Widow’s Word that he had seen on this blog. Since we started doing the drink of the day idea at Loyal Nine, I have fused a Boulevardier and a Slope to create the Intercept, a Mint Julep and a Pimm’s Cup in the Derby Cup, and other similar mergers with great success. And this got me thinking that the technique would make a great Mixology Monday exercise. For this theme, choose two or perhaps more drinks and combine them into one. It often helps if they have some overlap in ingredients or name, and it is not only fair but common to only combine some of the ingredients in the drinks and leave out others. As for a name, perhaps come up with something that pays tribute to the parents of this offspring? Not feeling too creative? Feel free to find mashups created by others and write about the drink and what recipes inspired its creation.

So many ways to go about this such as focusing on a liqueur, a syrup, a base spirit, or a citrus and thinking what drinks share them. Or perhaps two simple drinks that would work well when combined.

Briefly, here’s how to participate:

  1. Find or concoct a recipe that is the result of combining two (or more) recipes (or parts of said recipes) together. Next, post the recipe and include a photo and your remarks on your blog, tumblr, or website. If you lack one of those, feel free to post on eGullet’s Spirits and Cocktails forum.
  2. Include the MxMo logo in your post, plus links back to the Mixology Monday and Cocktail Virgin sites. Once the roundup post is put up, updating your post to include a link to that one as well would be appreciated.
  3. Submit a link one of two ways by the end of October 17th: leave a comment on Frederic’s announcement post or send an email to yarm-at-verizon.net with the word “MxMo” somewhere in the subject line.

That gives us all two weeks to figure out how to combine our favorite stirred drink with a Tiki libation or perhaps fuse two Sour/Daisy/Crustas together. I look forward to the creativity of the parental drink choices, the alterations to piece the choices together, and the resultant name. Cheers!

MxMo CXI, September 19th, 2016: Drink Nerdy

With August’s crisp and refreshing theme of Vinegars in the books, and with school restarting, perhaps it’s time to get a bit geeky. Maybe check out the new sci-fi blockbuster movie, hunt some Pokemons, or buy the latest issues of comic books. Or perhaps appreciate that our next host runs a shrub company but wasn’t the one who proposed vinegars? Definitely introducing our host for MxMo this month, Rebecca of The Shrubbery blog, might make this idea better understood.

This month’s theme slated for September 19th is one that will get you thinking about capturing all those nerdy thoughts and distilling them into a cocktail. Please read the Rebecca’s full announcement post, but here is a brief description:

The thing that unites everyone who participates in MxMo is our love of of cocktails. We love the history, the alchemy, the artistry, and of course the drinking. Loads of us go to conventions, collect memorabilia, read books about all manner of boozy subjects, and tour distilleries like they’re sacred places. One might say, we’re nerds. I say, what else are you nerdy for? For the purposes of this challenge I’m going to define a nerdy pursuit as: anything from or related to science, science fiction, fantasy, video games, role playing games/characters, or comics. Come up with a cocktail that celebrates or is inspired by a nerdy thing you love. A Cosmo variation for Neil deGrasse Tyson? The perfect sip for Sarah and her Goblin King to share? A beer based cocktail for that barbarian you played in your college D&D game? Star Trek? Anything you are enthusiastic about.

Time to dust off that Intellivision gaming system and stop using your Carcassonne tiles as drink coasters and consider your past and present obsessions in the realm of nerdy. Does math-rock bands count too? Briefly, here’s how to participate:

  • Find or concoct a recipe that captures one of your nerdy interests, and include a photo and your remarks, on your blog, tumblr, or website. If you lack one of those, feel free to post on eGullet’s Spirits and Cocktails forum.
  • Include the MxMo logo in your post plus links back to the Mixology Monday and The Shrubbery sites. Once the roundup post is put up, updating your post to include a link to that one as well would be appreciated.
  • Submit your link as a comment on the announcement post by the end of September 19th.

That gives us all about two weeks to catch all the drinks but only write about one or perhaps two of them. It will be cool to see what nerdy interests we all have in common other than obscure bitters, outdated bar tools, and dead mixologists.

MxMo CX, August 22, 2016: Vinegar

Mixology Monday took a little siesta after imbibing too much for the last 45 events since I took over in September 2012. But our hangover has departed along with our last apology text, so it’s time to get back to business. And perhaps we have some of our ideas preserved away whether in modern electronic ways or in old fashioned ways stored in our pantry. Hmm… maybe we should focus on the latter. Perhaps introducing our host for MxMo this month, Adam of the Mr. Muddle blog, might make this idea better understood.

This month’s theme slated for August 22nd is one that will get you thinking about preserving market fresh produce. No, not in ways that require freezing or refrigeration, but Colonial ones using vinegar! Please read Adam’s full announcement post, but here is a brief description:

My theme this month is vinegar.  Earlier this summer I went berry picking with the family, and we ended up with a quart of strawberries.  If you don’t know exactly how many berries are in a quart, let me assure you it’s a lot.  Obviously some of these were earmarked for cocktail usage, but I wanted to do more than garnishes and muddling.  Enter the shrub, also known as drinking vinegar.  The combination of fruit, sugar and vinegar has been around for centuries, particularly popular in Colonial America.  While these are delicious with a splash of soda on the rocks, they bring a fresh, bright flavor when combined with spirits… This got me thinking — how else are people incorporating vinegar into their drinks?  And why stop at shrubs?  For this month’s MxMo, let’s make the whole range of vinegary things fair game.  And I’m not just talking about throwing some olive juice into a Martini.  Making a balsamic glaze for your pork chops?  Save some for the bar.  Want to have a good time and treat your psoriasis?  Reach for that bottle of apple cider vinegar for your next cocktail.  Got some favorite pickles?  Use the juice as a component.

What ways to use vinegars? Perhaps looking into Michael Dietsch’s Shrubs book or similar texts or perhaps go old school and delve into the Colonial cookbooks archived on the web. Briefly, here’s how to participate:

  1. Find or create a recipe that is utilizes vinegar as an ingredient. Next, post the recipe and include a photo and your remarks on your blog, tumblr, or website. If you lack one of those, feel free to post on eGullet’s Spirits and Cocktails forum.
  2. Include either the MxMo logo in your post, plus links back to the Mixology Monday and Mr. Muddle sites. Once the roundup post is put up, updating your post to include a link to that one as well would be appreciated.
  3. Submit a link one of a few ways by the end of August 22nd: First, leave a comment on this post or second, email him at mrmuddledrinks-at-gmail-dot-com with “Mixology Monday” in the subject line. If you want to go all social media, do it by tagging @mrmuddle on Instagram and @mister_muddle on Twitter with #mixologymonday.

That gives us all 2 weeks to prowl the farmers markets for produce (hint: a tutorial from Food52 on how to make shrubs) or having some drinking vinegars shipped to your house, and then come up with a drink recipe. I’m really curious to see what you come up with! And remember that citrus twist oils are really good at masking ascetic acid aromas…

MxMo CIX, May 23, 2016: Dry Cocktails

To take an about-face from the Swizzles and Spring Break drinks of some of the more recent Mixology Mondays, what about when you want something on the less sweetened side of things? How often besides the Martini have you thought about dryness? And when do dry cocktails work best — with food or before food, late at night, when partying with diabetics? Perhaps introducing our host for MxMo this month, Nick of the Booze Baron blog, might make this idea better understood at least for this event.

This month’s theme slated for May 23rd is one that will get you thinking about those sugar-light libations that still refresh. Please read the Nick’s full announcement post (long story and all), but here is a brief description:

…There’s an entire section of the human sensory experience that enjoys things like dry wines, dry sherries, dry cider, crisp pilsners, dry lambics, gin with soda not tonic and neat spirits. Aperitifs are supposed to avoid sugar so as to not fatigue the taste buds but swanky restaurants seem to think an Old Fashioned or a Hurricane is good enough… maybe we as mixing maestros don’t actually consider the whole palate in our industry. Try to name a famous dry cocktail other than the Martini… We don’t make enough of them, nor write about them. With a world that’s slowly waking up to the fact that excess sugar is probably one of the worst things we put in our diet it’s something we all should probably take a look at. Your mission is to create an awesome dry cocktail that excites, entices and above all refreshes.

Nick went on to give three requirements for what he considers a dry drink (and note that 10% is a 1/4 oz in a 2 1/2 oz pre-diluted drink):

  1. A maximum 10% of the entire beverage can be as sweetener such as liqueur, sugar, syrups (including orgeat and honey you sneaky buggers) or juice.
  2. A further 10% is allowed for sweet vermouth and other sweet fortified wines (so 20% all up if no other sweeteners are involved).
  3. Your sweetened spirits and flavoured spirits (including sipping rums, spiced rums and honey whiskies) all count as a sweetener so once again no more than 10% of the drink.

This concept resonated this past weekend when I had a guest that requested a sugar-free Sazerac, and I was impressed at how well the guest knew his own palate that bonded rye spiced with bitters and absinthe and only mollified by ice melt during mixing was exactly what he wanted. But what resonates with you? A dry aperitif? Something to eat with oysters? A cleansing or restorative nightcap? Briefly, here’s how to participate:

  • Find, concoct, or adapt a recipe that matches Nick’s mathematical formula for dryness, and include a photo and your remarks, on your blog, tumblr, or website. If you lack one of those, feel free to post on eGullet’s Spirits and Cocktails forum.
  • Include the MxMo logo in your post plus links back to the Mixology Monday and Booze Baron sites. Once the roundup post is put up, updating your post to include a link to that one as well would be appreciated.
  • Let Nick know about your post by Monday night right before 8pm May 23rd by posting a link to your post on his announcement post or Instagramming at him via @realboozebaron using #MXMO #MixologyMonday hashtags.

That gives us all 2 weeks to dust off those palomino-derived sherries, the sercial madeiras, the dry vermouths, and your David Embury tomes, and start thinking about drinks for drier palates. Quite curious as to the range of drinks and drink styles that this theme can conjure up!