The Boulevardier with the twist

  Just home from a quick trip to Chicago (have started the reporting for a new book!) and have piles of notes to transcribe. Will be having the above if I can get even halfway through by 6 pm tonight. Happy Friday, all! Originally posted in February, 2013: Were it not for the Internet, my guess is that only the most devoted barfly would know about the Boulevardier. It’s not in any of my cocktail books, not the standard-bearing The Standard Bartender’s Guide, my Madmen-era dad’s paperback. I only heard about it from a reader of this blog (with links below). And an email this week pushed me into a tasting, happily! I love how various flavoring components (bitters, vermouths) become different cocktails when you change the spirit. How the Manhattan becomes a Rob Roy when you Read On »

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Lamb-X3

Having come into the possession of several exquisite lamb tenderloins from the well-known and much admired John Jamison, and it being too cold for pleasant grilling, I pondered what to do with them. I wanted to flavor but not overpower them. So I returned to an old idea: the cooked marinade. Marinades do one thing: they flavor the outside of the meat. That, combined with a grill pan, would give just the flavor I wanted. If you infuse the oil with aromatics and partially cook those aromatics, the aromatics themselves (here, garlic and shallot) are more deeply flavorful. I’m loving my grill pan this winter. It does add flavor in ways that oil in a skillet does not. It helps to have one with a top piece that you can use to press down on Read On »

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Key-Lime-Martini-2

  So cold, so much snow, can’t get Key West off my mind. I must, but before I do, one final post and a cocktail, the Key Lime Martini (shot with my iPhone in a dark bar). Donna and Abby (of Spaceman Spiff) once tried to recreate this but couldn’t get it right; we all got too drunk trying and had to give up. I thought it impossible to make outside Key West, but one of the boys, Jason, said he makes these for himself and his wife Kristi every weekend. His recipe is below. Or you can watch below as the wonderful Ramsey pours one at the White Tarpon, a beloved watering hole in Key West, if you don’t mind the poor lighting. The sweet and sour mix Ramsey uses is Daily’s, Jason tells me. Read On »

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kw-8

The return from Key West is always a hard reentry. At least I wasn’t Mark Wiss, who returned to Newport! Hi, Mark, how’s the snow?! But it’s cold. And I’m alone in my office and not with the sailors who are all so much fun. Really, it’s kind of like being in college again, all the diligent work during the day and drunken camaraderie at night (ok, maybe just the latter plus sailing), and good food. Spaceman Spiff came in second to My Shirona in the J-111 class, alas, but a good show in all. I relive the glorious days through the food, so, for posterity, the menu: The first full day is rough, as we’re all rather, um, exuberant when we reach Key West the night before, and so with woolly brain, I and Read On »

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KW-1

  Each January I spend ten days in Key West, cooking for my cousin Rob’s sailing crew, who race the J 111, Spaceman Spiff. Just to be clear, I’m not cooking on the boat. These things are the sheerest, strongest, lightest plastic for maximum speed and they don’t want some overweight guy down below stirring beans in a cast-iron pot while they’re blasting down wind. I cook in a spacious kitchen in a lovely house on Caroline Street. I write in the morning and I cook in the afternoon and happily and unaccountably I haven’t been hung over once. Go figure. Seriously. It’s a first here. But it does allow me to reflect on the methods and importance of cooking for groups. You can see previous posts on how to cook for groups below so Read On »

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