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Tag Archives: st. valentine’s day

winter-solstice-at-juniper-61Wauwatosa, WI – February 14, 2017

St. Valentines Day found me at Juniper 61 in Wauwatosa for dinner with a friend (thank you City Tins – Restaurant Edition!).  Dinner was delicious (and was again tonight), but I knew the food would be delicious.  I also knew that I would get a great cocktail, and I was not disappointed.

I tried the Winter Solstice from the specialty cocktail menu.  With Knob Creek bourbon as it’s base I figured it had to be good.  What caught my eye, though, were the fruity, sweet additions:  Bird Dog Peach whiskey, the pear flavored Mathilde Poire and a float of Mathilde Cassis.  Soda water is the last ingredient, adding a bit of fizz and helping cut the sweet factor.

Overall a very refreshing and light bourbon cocktail.  It does verge on being too sweet for me (a dash or two bitters would probably take care of that), but I could drink a couple of these, no problem.  The bourbon is definitely there at the base, and the peach flavor is in the forefront (much like some of the peach liqueur and bourbon drinks I’ve played with in the past).  The pear and cassis provide depth.  In fact, I’d enjoy this on a warm summer day and think this should be the Summer Solstice rather than the Winter Solstice!

Cheers!

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Milwaukee, WI – February 14, 2012

Valentine’s Day and Gwen and I decided to try someplace new for dinner.  A quick flip through our entertainment guide and I found The Eatery on Farwell in Milwaukee’s Eastside neighborhood.  It turned out to be a great find!

As usual, before ordering dinner we had a cocktail.  I was pleased to see a number of original cocktails on the menu (and none of them incorrectly termed a martini!).  After perusing the list I settled on the Hot Dan.  I was eager to try it because it used Roaring Dan’s Maple Rum from local distiller Great Lakes Distillery.  I love to see local restaurants supporting local providers!  In addition to the rum, the Hot Dan is made with house made allspice, simple syrup, cloves, a squeeze of orange and hot water. 

My first impression was the maple from the rum with an added sweet component to the flavor.  There was a hint of citrus on the back end, thank you orange slice.  A nice drink to chase away the chill of a cold Valentine’s Day evening.  The farther I got into this drink, the more the allspice took over.  By the time I was done with the cocktail the allspice was a bit too powerful – I’d like to see a little less of that in the drink and either a bit more orange or perhaps even a dash of Agnostura bitters. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, the Hot Dan is a good cocktail.  Gwen had the KK Smash, another cocktail featuring a spirit for Great Lakes Distillery (Kinnickinnic Whiskey in this case) that is a twist on the whiskey sour.  It was delicious!

As for dinner – it was fantastic.  The Pig in a Pot was absolutely fantastic, with mushroom duxelle providing an absolutely wonderful base for the pork tenderloin.  The presentation, in a terra cotta flower pot, was terrific and the potato galette was a fantastic accompaniement.  The Braised Short Ribs were also excellent and the root vegetable mash that came with it was every bit as good as well.

The next time you find yourself hungry or thirsty and in the vicinity of Farwell Ave. in the Eastside, you can’t go wrong with The Eatery on Farwell!

Cheers!

Day 297, Cocktail 295

When I selected the title for this post I had no idea that there was already a book entitled “Death Warmed Over”, written by Mary Collins and published in 1949 AND a movie by the same title, released in 1984.  Good thing I’ve got this internet thingy, huh?

So why death warmed over?  Well, I still had some champagne left over from Monday’s Valentine’s Day celebration (shocking, in and of itself, I know).  So I started thumbing throught the champagne section of the Ultimate Bar Book and found…drumroll please…the Corpse Reviver No. 3!  The Corpse Reviver and Corpse Reviver 2 are well known in the cocktail world, but this was the first time I had seen number 3.  Mittie Hellmich, the Ultimate Bar Book author credits is origin to the Cambon Bar at the Paris Ritz Hotel, having been created by Franck Meier in 1926.  So I thought to myself, let’s give it a try.  Heck, my champagne is half dead anyway!

  Corpse Reviver No. 3

  • 1-1/2 oz Pernod
  • 3-5 oz chilled champagne
  • 1/4 lemon wedge

Pour the Pernod into a chilled champagne flute.  Top with the champagne and then squeeze the lemon wedge over top of the champagne.

If you like Good & Plenty, you’ll like this since it tastes like a fizzy version of the licorice candy.  This won’t be making the list of my all time favorites any time soon, but it did help me use up the champagne!

Cheers!

Day 295, Cocktail 294

St. Valentine’s Day…not to be confused with Harry Potter and his goblet of fire, but it does have a certain ring to it, don’t you think?  Anyway, we celebrated in fine style at the Twilight Lounge this past Monday.  I provided the cocktail, an asparagus and crab salad appetizer while Gwen whipped up the veal marsala for dinner and I closed with a Bananna’s Foster variant for desert.  A very nice evening, indeed!

My Valentine’s cocktail came courtesy of Colleen Graham’s cocktail blog.  I already had everything I needed (the champagne still unopened from New Year’s Day) and it looked like something that we could enjoy several of through the evening – although I must confess to also opening a bottle of Jadot Chassagne – Montrachet, one of my favorite Chablis’ of all time.

  Cherub’s Cup

  • 1 oz St. Germain
  • 2 oz Hendricks gin
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz bar syrup
  • 1 strawberry (for muddling)
  • dry champange or sparkling wine

Muddle the strawberry gently in the bottom of a shaker with the bar syrup.  Add ice and the gin, St. Germain and lemon juice.  Shake vigorously to mix and chill.  Strain into a collins glass with ice.  Top with your champagne and garnish with a strawberry.

Mmmm, delicious!  The elderflower flavors from the St. Germain play wonderfully with the strawberry and lemon.  The gin, with it’s floral and slightly cucumber flavor provide a nice base and the champagne gives it just a touch of fizz.  We enjoyed several of these with our desert and beyond that night!

Cheers!

Day 293, Cocktails 291 & 292

Saturday night and daughter number 1 was hosting a boy / girl Valentine’s Party in the Twilight Lounge.  That means two things.  First, Gwen and I got to stay home Saturday night to chaperone.  Second, the liquor cabinets were locked for the night as well!  What to do, then?  Well, a little advanced planning and move a few key bottles upstairs to the kitchen, that’s what to do!

I had a full bottle of pomegranate juice that had been around a for awhile and decided it was time to put it to use.  I poked around Colleen Graham’s cocktail blog (see the links list below) and found something called the Blushing Geisha.  I didn’t have the rose water that it called for, but went ahead anyway with this variant (that is the beauty of cocktails – you can change ’em any way you want to!).

  Blushing Geisha

  • 2 oz Ty Ku
  • 1 oz pomegranate juice
  • 1/8 oz lemon juice
  • seltzer water

In a shaker combine the Ty Ku, pomegranate juice and lemon juice.  Shake to chill and combine.  Strain into a rocks glass filled 2/3 with ice.  Top with seltzer water. 

I was really suprised how well the Ty Ku flavors, especially the melon tones, came through in this drink.  I really expected the pomegranate to overpower the drink, but it didn’t.  This turned out to be a very nice showcase for the Ty Ku and would make a great cocktail for a warm summer night – and those aren’t that far off around here.

Next up was a totally off the cuff creation.  I had already figured to use vodka and the pomegranate in some type of cosmo type concoction.  Hmmm, I wonder how the Lillet Blanc would play with these?  And what about staying Asian themed by using some lychee juice?  Here’s what I came up with.

  Lychee Pom

  • 1-1/2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 oz Lillet Blanc
  • 1/8 oz bar syrup
  • 1/8 oz lychee juice

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker and shake, shake, shake.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with a lychee fruit or leave ungarnished.

Wow, does the lychee ever stand clear!  It’s amazing the flavor that is packed into the lychee juice.  Sweet, and the closest I can come to describe it is pear flavors, but not quite as syrupy as pears are.  Either way, the small amount in this drink was still enough to have it become the defining the flavor, with notes of orange and floral flavors coming from the Lillet Blanc.  We enjoyed this one so much that we each had two.  By the time we were through with the second the party was also finishing up and we called it a night.

Cheers!