MxMo LXXVII, September 23, 2013: Smoke!

Maybe we jumped the gun with August’s hot theme of “Fire!” Well, luckily none of us bloggers and tumblrers burned our houses down or spent an hour or two typing away with burned and blistered fingers. So let me explain by introducing our September Mixology Monday host, Elana of the Stir and Strain blog.

This month’s theme slated for September 23rd takes a step back from fire and focuses on the theme of “Smoke!” You can read this Mixology Monday announcement post exhaling from a robust Nat Sherman or a stale old Camel Light if you so desire, but here is a brief description:

They say where there’s smoke, there’s fire– it isn’t necessarily true if we’re down to the smoldering embers, but, well, they say it anyway. In our case, where there was fire, now there’s smoke, and it’s time to stoke your enthusiasm for the next challenge. Smoke has been everywhere this past year… For me, smoke is also a transitional element: it symbolizes the last summer bonfires, sitting around the fire pit making s’mores, and the start of the fragrant crackles from the fireplace announcing that fall is coming. For September’s theme, I’d like to see how you interpret smoke. With your liquor or ingredients? Your glassware? Will you whip out a chemistry set to transform your cocktail into ghostly vapors? Do you own a home smoker, still in the box, that’s never been used? Well then, you’re welcome. Unpack those ideas and let’s set off a couple smoke alarms this month for MxMo.

Just like last month, be very careful with making things smokey especially in regards to igniting things, especially under the influence, so please use your better judgment on this one with safety precautions for ventilation and the like. So get your Laphroaig, BBQ sauce, crack torches for cinnamon sticks, or any of the other ways to incorporate the smoke into a drink with this theme! Briefly, here’s how to participate:

  • Find or create a recipe that somehow utilizes smoke or smokiness, then post the recipe, including 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 Stir and Strain sites. Once the roundup post is put up, updating your post to include a link to that one as well would be appreciated.
  • Submit a link to the announcement post on Stir and Strain, tweet Elana at @elanabean (include hashtag #mxmo), or send an email to elana (at) stirandstrain (dot) com with Mixology Monday in the subject. Do all this before midnight, Monday night the 23rd of September.
  • Seriously, remember to put new batteries into your smoke alarm.

This gives you two whole weeks to tinker with smoke-garnished glassware, dropper bottles of liquid smoke, or shop for new drams of Islay Scotches and Oaxacan Mezcals. I am quite excited to see everything from spirits-driven posts to molecular mixology ones.

MxMo LXXVI, August 19, 2013: Fire!

With July’s theme being swapped in and swapped out with “Flip Flop!”, it’s time to look to the summer heat of August. How hot you ask? Apparently, enough to be combustible as we shall see from August’s Mixology Monday host, namely the Muse of Doom from the Feu de Vie blog.

This month’s theme slated for August 19th takes that warmth and makes it festive with the theme of “Fire!” Yes, you can read this Mixology Monday announcement post in your best Beavis and Butthead voice if you so like, but here is a brief description:

Tiki-philes have their flaming spent lime shells and scorpion bowls. Classic cocktailers have the magic of a flamed orange zest. Molecular mixologists have their Smoking Guns. …You don’t have to go full Blue Blazer, not nearly — heck, you could go full Fireball Whiskey! (or Fire Rock Pale Ale, etc.) You could riff on the Old Flame or come up with an inventive name of your own. You could even use a good firewater or burned wine. (and if you’re grilling fruit, save some for me, will ya?) In essence, bring the heat! Bring the Fire! Bring your inspiration!

The Muse does warn us all to be careful for fire, especially under the influence, can be dangerous, destructive, and painful, so please use your better judgment on this one with safety precautions. So get your overproof spirits ready or any of the other ways to incorporate the heat into a drink with this theme! Briefly, here’s how to participate:

  1. Find or create a recipe that somehow utilizes fire, then post the recipe, including 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 (either the classic one or the really cool one the Muse designed for this event!), plus links back to the Mixology Monday and Feu de Vie sites. Once the roundup post is put up, updating your post to include a link to that one as well would be appreciated.
  3. Let the Muse know by by posting a link to your post in the comment section on her post, tweet her @MuseOfDoom, or send her an email to muse at museofdoom dot com with “MxMo” in the subject. Do so by the end of Monday the 19th (i.e. Tuesday morning 7 a.m. E.S.T. to make up for timezone issues) to be insured a spot in the fun.
  4. Seriously, don’t burn down your home bar.

This gives you two weeks to fire up the hibachi, flip through the tomes of Tiki drinks, order up Blue Blazer mugs from Cocktail Kingdom, or figure out how to float a lit birthday candle on a citrus peel garnish float or ice cube. With all these options, I’m not only excited to see what recipes can be showcased but to witness the cool photos of the drink magic!

MxMo LXXV, July 29, 2013: Flip Flop!

With June’s Mixology Monday “Cherries” having been picked and pitted, it’s time to look ahead to July. I decided to put the event towards the end of the month to work around Tales of the Cocktail which is happening this week. I figure that this placement will allow people to attend, recover, and still participate. With a gap in volunteers, I, Frederic of Cocktail Virgin, decided to step up and host again.

This month’s theme slated for July 29th will hopefully be a fun one that I’m calling “Flop Flop”, and I describe it in greater detail in my announcement post. Here’s a brief description:

I thought of the theme for this month’s Mixology Monday shortly after making the Black Rene, an obscure drink from Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933. The combination of brandy, amber rum, lemon, and Maraschino was tasty, but I felt that the recipe could be improved if I swapped in different ingredients. Taking a page from Max Toste of Deep Ellum who converted the Black Devil into the White Devil, I flipped around the ingredients to be pisco, white rum, lime, and Maraschino instead. With this combination that I called the White Rene, the drink really sang but it was still recognizable as being an alteration of the original recipe. Others have done similar swaps with grand effect including the Bluegrass Mai Tai that that changes the two rums to two whiskeys and swaps lime for lemon from the classic while holding everything else the same.

Want to make an amaro riff of a classic or put a new spin on a Negroni? Go for it. Have some interesting syrups and ideas of how it will pair better with a different spirit in a given recipe? Bully for you. Same with changing aromatized wines to different ones like Byrrh or fortified wines like sherry. Briefly, here’s how to participate:

  • Find a recipe, either new or old, and switch around at least two of the ingredients to sister or cousin ingredients but holding the proportions and some of the ingredients the same. The new recipe should be recognizable as a morph of the old one when viewed side by side.
  • Make the drink — and feel free to make the original one as well — and then post the new and old recipes, a photo, and your thoughts about the libation and how it differs from the original on your blog or on eGullet’s Spirits and Cocktails forum.
  • Include in your post the MxMo logo and a link back to both the Mixology Monday and Cocktail Virgin sites. And once the round-up is posted, a link to that summary post would be appreciated.
  • Post a link to your submission in the comment section on the announcement post, or send an email to yarm-at-verizon.net with the word “MxMo” somewhere in the subject line.

This gives you two weeks to tinker with classic or neo-classic recipes. And if you’re going away for Tales of the Cocktail, it will only be a week or so, but hopefully, you leave the event inspired to craft a new variation! I’m pretty excited to see how people will reshape old recipes into recognizable recipe riffs but with different flavor outcomes!

MxMo LXXIV, June 17, 2013: Cherries

With April’s “Drink Your Vegetables” and May’s herbal “Witches’ Garden” in the record books, what else would be a good logical progression but fruit? But not all fruit, as we shall see from June’s Mixology Monday host, namely Andrea of the Gin Hound blog.

This month’s theme slated for June 17th is perfect for what is beginning to ripen on the tree in some parts of the world, for it is “Cherries” which Andrea describes rather well in her announcement post. Here’s a brief description:

Singapore Gin Sling, Blood and Sand, and the Aviation wouldn’t be the same without them… But cherries in cocktails are also horribly abused, few things taste worse than artificial cherry aroma, and the description of how most maraschino cherries are made can make you sick to your stomach. So it’s my pleasure as the host of Mixology Monday… to challenge you to honor the humble cherry. However you choose to do that, is entirely up to you. You could use Maraschino Liqueur, Cherry Heering, Kirchwasser, Belgian Kriek Beer, cherry wine, or any spectacular infusions invented by you in a cocktail. Or make your own maraschino cherries for a spectacular garnish.

So whether you want to go fresh via the supermarket, farmer’s market, or your own orchard for a muddled, syrup, or infusion approach, or go with something off of a liquor shelf, it’s time to start looking around for inspiration! Even canned, dried, or frozen cherries will work here as well — plenty of ways to play with this theme! Briefly, here’s how to participate:

  1. Find a drink recipe or create one featuring one or more cherry-based ingredients in some form. Make the drink and post a photo, the recipe, and your tasting notes and commentary to your blog, website, or Tumblr. If you lack one of those, use eGullet’s Spirits and Cocktails forum.
  2. Include in your post the MxMo logo and a link back to both the Mixology Monday and Gin Hound sites. Once the roundup post is put up, updating your post to include a link to that one as well would be appreciated.
  3. Let Andrea know about your post before 11:59pm on Monday, June 17th by posting a link to your post in the comment section on her announcement post, by shooting her an email at andreadoria56 (at) gmail (dot) com, or by tweeting her at @Husejer.

This gives you two weeks to scope out which neighbors’ cherry tree limbs cross property lines into public access space (yes, I support gleaning) or dust off that bottle of Cherry Heering that hasn’t been used since you made that Remember the Maine last fall. And muddling fresh or preserved Marasca cherries has been a great way to integrate flavors rather quickly. With all these options, I’m excited to see what will pour out of your collective Boston shakers!

 

MxMo LXXIII, May 20, 2013: Witches’ Garden

April’s “Drink Your Vegetables” theme was a great harbinger of rebirth and got us thinking about what was at the farm stand, and May’s Mixology Monday theme, hosted by Mark Holmes of the Cardiff Cocktails tumblr, will keep true to that.

This month’s theme slated for May 20nd continues on with the Spring season in a more herbal sense, and if you are in the Southern hemisphere or the Tropics, do not fear for this theme will work for you, for it is “Witches’ Garden” which Mark describes rather well in his announcement post. Here’s a brief excerpt:

As far back as we can look, the use of fresh herbs have been prevalent in the world of mixed drinks. From the early days of the julep, through Williams Terrington’s 19th century Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks, to Don the Beachcomber’s ahead of their time Tiki drinks, fresh herbs have always been at the forefront of mixology. So lets take influence from the bartenders that once ruled the world of mixology, raid your herb garden that too often gets neglected, and start mixing. I don’t want to put too many limits on this theme so get as creative as you please, want to use roots, spices or beans as well? Sure thing. Want to make your own herbal infusions or tinctures? Sounds wonderful.

Want to go simple with common herbs like basil, go exotic via an ethnic supermarket and get something intriguing like curry leaves, or go with something 19th century like woodruff, the choice is yours. Perhaps getting a copy of The Drunken Botanist might help for inspiration, but there are plenty of recipes that have been created throughout the years and that have yet to be created. Regardless, briefly, here’s how to participate:

  • Find or create a cocktail recipe which calls for the use of fresh herbs, barks, roots, or beans. Write up the recipe and your thoughts about the drink and the theme in general, add a photo or two, and post it on your own blog, Tumblr, or eGullet’s Spirits and Cocktails forum.
  • Include in your post the MxMo logo as well as links to the Mixology Monday and to Cardiff Cocktails.
  • Finally, Tell Mark about your MxMo entry in a few ways. These include commenting on his post by clicking here (note: this is a WordPress that he set up in parallel to his tumblr where the announcement is), emailing him at holmeandpub(at)hotmail.co.uk, or tweeting him at @markholmes16. Try to get the entries in before the clock strikes midnight on Monday night, May the 20th.

So time to get a basket and go harvesting in the woods, in the garden, or at the market, for there is a bounty of inspiration and ingredients out there. If you are wild harvesting, please be sure of the identity of what you are sourcing. Borage Juleps or Sage Smashes? I look forward to what us bloggers can conjure up! Also, if you want to host an upcoming Mixology Monday, find out the details here and contact me. Cheers!