Posted on May 7th, 2011 3 comments
Not usually found on the Tiki Bar, this drink is complex, tasty, sophisticated and strong. It comes from the golden era of cocktails, when a drink in hand was as common as bottled water today. Hell, it even has a great name. Yet it hasn’t received much popularity in the past few years of retromania.
My drink of choice at Halloween and other special occasions,
remains one of my all time favorites. I first discovered this drink while working in a bar outside of Atlantic City, around 20 years ago. Someone asked me for a Couvossier and Creme de Menthe, and I had no idea what the hell he was talking about. The lead bartender was nice enough to educate me on the subject, and a favorite was born.
There are two ways to serve this drink, the classic chilled “up” in a cocktail glass, or on the rocks. Combine ingredients with ice in a shaker and shake until the shaker is frosty, then strain into a cocktail glass. No garnish needed. This is the more traditional, sophisticated after-dinner variety. As for me, I like my drinks cold. Pour ingredients over the rocks in a large glass and stir with a glass rod. The trick (and the fun) is to finish the cocktail before the ice melts too much. The combination of sugary mint and straight brandy will knock you pleasantly on your ass.
I might also add that this is a great drink to sip while listening to cool jazz, in a darkened basement club at one o’clock in the morning. Yeahhh.
By the way, go easy on the creme de menthe, adding a little at a time to taste. Add too much and you’ll feel like you’re drinking a candy cane.
-Tiki Chris P., reporting from the Tiki Bar at Tiki Lounge Talk, your hot spot for cool cars, Tiki bars and movie stars.
Posted on April 2nd, 2011 No comments
Here ye, Here ye, utmost Jazz-appreciating hipsters and hipsterettes; knock your lobes to the groove I’m layin’ down on you, as this is
Jazz Appreciation Month,
The 30 days on the calendar when you can truly appreciate good music.
Ok, what we’ve really got here is a month dedicated to all the swingin’ kats, past and present, who’ve taken a tune and bent it into one of America’s true original styles of music. It’s to remind us of some of the great tunes and players we may have forgotten, and to let the younger kids get hip to the swing…because as the Master himself said, It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing.
To go along with your appreciation of Jazz, here’s one of the cocktails I find to be perfect to sip tunes by.
Short and to the point. Not a fancy Tiki cocktail, not a pretentious apple Martini, just..The Stinger.
1 1/2 oz good quality Brandy (I prefer Courvoisier)
1/2 oz White Creme de Menthe
This seems simple but like all true cocktails, it must be built with care. Too much Brandy and it will taste dull and lifeless. Too much Creme de Methe and you’ll have a sickeningly sweet drink that tastes like a candy cane. Don’t use Green Creme de Menthe…that’s for Grasshoppers and ice cream parfaits.
Add the booze to a shaker with ice and shake. Serve straight up in an old fashioned glass, or on the rocks (I prefer rocks). No garnish. This is the kind of drink you sip when sitting in a basement bar in the Village, listening to some kats wailing on a pipehorn or banging the keys to some smooth, east coast Jazz. Asking for a Courvoisier Stinger in a jazz club like that will get you a lot of respect from the bartender and a real shot at the brunette with the peakaboo haircut and the four inch stilettos (assuming you travel in a time machine back to 1955).
When I first started this B-Lounge I added a Jazz 101 page for kats and kittens who wanted to learn a little more about the greatest music on Earth, but didn’t know where to start. Check it out just for fun here. There’s also a suggested playlist of some of the greatest jazz and swing tunes ever recorded…not a comprehensive list by any means, but a good start for people who want to dig it.
I’ll post a few spotlights on Jazz musicians this month, so stay tuned, kids.
-Tiki “Zoot” Pinto reporting from the sound booth at Pirate’s Cove Tiki Bar, Florida