Saturday, June 30, 2012

Cocktail Hours

I realize that it is not yet 9am on a Saturday morning and it might seem like an odd time to muse over the art of the cocktail, however, I just can't resist. Darling Husband (DH) and I just love trying out both old and new recipes for cocktails. Cocktails are fun, festive and fabulous - all qualities I adore. So, from time to time, I'm going to host a 'Cocktail Hour' here on my blog and share recipes, tips for setting up a bar, my favorite recipe books and more.

Why? As we've already established, I LOVE a cocktail! But secondly, this is a part of my new self-appointed role as a 'Cocktail Ambassador'. From my experience, people solely drink beer these days. Not that I don't love a good beer, especially an icy-cold Dos Equis, it's just that beer isn't as fun or celebratory as a cocktail. Not to mention that it seems (at least here in Texas) that beer was invented to be consumed en masse, instead of savored like the cocktail. It's cheap, easy to serve, and again, most people drink it.

Therefore, I feel it is my duty to champion the return of the cocktail! I invite you to stay a while and learn about Ambassador Amanda's favorite libations!

The Cocktails book at the top is one we often use to find quick, classic cocktail recipes. I bought it for about $7 and it is the one we turn to the most because it's small and fits snugly in our bar. A couple of years ago, I heard Oprah talking about one of her new favorite cocktails: the Moscow Mule. Now, I wasn't sure about this...I prefer coctails with more sophisticated sounding names, like the 'French 75' or the 'Martini'. Although I love most equine, the mule is not at the top of the list.

I decided to try it out anyway, because let's face it, isn't Oprah almost always right? Yes, I know, my dear conservative friends, perhaps she is not always right when it comes to politics. Moving on. She was 100% correct about this drink - it is uber yummy!

Here's a pic of my Moscow Mule, made with Austin's own Tito's vodka. I never recommend using a cheap vodka...why would you?

According to this book, the "Moscow Mule came into existence through a happy coincidence during the 1930s. An American bar owner had overstocked ginger beer, and a representative of a soft drinks company invented the Moscow Mule to help him out."

Moscow Mule
serves 1
10-12 cracked ice cubes
2 measures vodka
1 measure lime juice
ginger beer, to top off
slice of lime, to decorate

1. Put some ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. Pour the vodka and lime juice over the ice. Shake vigorously until a frost forms.
2. Fill half of a chilled highball glass with cracked ice cubes and strain the cocktail over them. Top off with ginger beer. Stir gently. Decorate with a slice of lime.

Ambassador Amanda's notes: I use a double old-fashioned (DOF) glass to serve this drink - only because I have a beautiful set from Waterford that I love to use every chance I get. My DOFs are quite large, so unless yours are as well, it might be best to use the highball glass. As mentioned above, I use Tito's vodka out of Austin and I use Bundaberg ginger beer. I've only been able to find this at World Market, but it may be available at a large liquor/specialty store, such as Spec's. Although it is called 'ginger beer', it doesn't actually have any alcohol in it and doesn't taste like beer at all.

Some last words of wisdom on the Moscow Mule: it is a refreshing, tasty drink that is perfect for summer savoring. I say 'savoring' because be forewarned - it is a strong drink that will 'slip right down', so if you are a lightweight, I suggest sipping it slowly! Sante, mes amis!

I hope you'll try out the Moscow Mule and let me know how you like it!

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