Monthly Archives: April 2012

Summer is here.

Summer is here, the Cardinals are playing tonight, the Schlafly Farmer’s Market started today, the Masters starts tomorrow, the mercury has hit ninety in the last week, I don’t care what the calendar says, it’s summer, and that means it’s time for more gin, more KMOX Cardinal’s baseball, and more seersucker.

Nothing like sitting on the porch, sipping Aviations, and listening to Mike and John call a Cardinal’s game. I know you’re probably thinking, listening to the game, yes. For one, I can’t spend 162 nights glued to a TV, I need to be doing things around the house. For two, radio is the theatre of the mind, and listening to a game keeps the imagination and mind sharp. For three, Mike and John are the best announcer team in baseball, and I don’t feel like I’m drinking alone when I listen to Mike Shannon call a game.

So,what am I drinking? 20120404-194659.jpg
Tonight I am having my first Aviation of the season. This is my go to drink when the weather gets warm. It’s also my go to drink if I want to test the mustard of a new cocktail lounge. If they have Maraschino and Creme de Violet, they ought to be able to shake one of these up.

This once blew up in my face at 360, the over hyped, douche filled, completely disappointing bar at the top of the Ball Park Hilton across from Busch Stadium. The bartender made me an on the rocks Aviation with way too much Creme de Violet after I simply asked for an Aviation. The barman asked if I liked it, my shock at the fact that there was cubes of ice in my drink kept me from bringing that up, but I was able to mention the fact that my drink was cloyingly sweet. His response, “I usually make these for women.” What? DoIi look like a woman? What does that have to do with the ratio? If you don’t know how to make one, ask the customer, don’t assume anything. It’s a quarter ounce of Creme de Violet , wether or not the patron has a penis or a vagina, unless the customer asks for some other version, never assume they want anything other than a classic. In addition to that, my buddy who asks for Last Words when he sees Maraschino and Chartreuse, asked for a Last Word, and I had to walk the moron barman through the equal parts cocktail. Terrible. That place is a huge disappointment. Why have the liqueurs if all your barmen know how to do is pour a vodka tonic?

Anyway, unlike that no talent ass clown, I’ve made a million Aviations, the right way, but I thought I’d try something new and asked Dr. Adam Elmegirab for some advice on the Twitter, follow me at @AmuseDouche11, follow Dr. Adam at @AdamsBitters, I wanted to know what bitters to try in this traditionally bitterless beverage, so i asked the good Doctor. I wasn’t looking to add sweetness, sorry, still bitter about the 360 experience. Dr. Adam suggested his Spanish Bitters, for more on them click here , they worked wonderfully, and I wasn’t surprised as when it gets warmer Fee Brothers Rhubarb and Peach, Dr. Adam’s Spanish, and Bitter Truth’s Grapefruit are my usual reach fors.

2.0 ounces gin
1.0 ounces Maraschino Liqueur
.50 ounces lemon juice
.25 ounces Creme de Violet

Shake ingredients for twenty five seconds and then double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. I garnish with a strip of lemon.

I went with Dr. Adam’s Spanish Bitters, but could have easily gone with Bar Keep’s Lavendar Spice. It would have accompanied the Creme de Violet nicely.

Either way, it’s a dynamite cocktail.

I’ve been known to make pitchers of Aviations in preparation for a Cardinal’s game.

They’re great, but you need to use large cubes so that the drink isn’t diluted to far. You can see I used round ones from a ice sphere mold my boss gave me.

I’ve had Aviations without the Creme de Violet, they aren’t bad, but they lack the beautiful sky like blue color and a bit of sweetness. Go that route if you don’t have the Creme de Violet, but feel like a boozey, yet refreshing, warm weather cocktail. But, go get a bottle, it’s not that pricey checking in at about $25 a bottle, and at .25 an ounce per drink, it’ll take a lot of Aviations to run through a bottle. At one Aviation per Cardinal’s game, you’d go through two bottles on a season, a worthwhile investment. While you’re investing, get some Dr. Adam’s Spanish Bitters at cocktail kingdom or

There’s no Cardinals baseball tomorrow, but as it’s officially summer in my book, which is the only book that matters, I’ll be rocking the seersucker

and white bucks,

to start the new season. I’m sure I’ll also find a reason to have a spot of gin on the porch. The only thing better than seersucker and an Aviation is seersucker and a Mint Julep. The Kentucky Colonel Mint I picked up at the Schlafly Farmer’s Market will help with those later this summer.


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Sunday Scramble

I started Sunday off a little foggy from a long Saturday. I knew I needed to be productive, so simply tossing back one of the usual suspects wouldn’t due. Part of Saturday night involved a trip to Taste to see Ted, Travis, and Mark. I noticed someone was drinking club soda and Angostura. This peaked my interest then and the next morning I thought that might do the trick. It was a smashing success. Normally I don’t keep club soda, but the wife had purchased a large bottle of Voss sparkling water for me a couple days earlier, I’d asked for regular Voss. Anyway, I quickly dumped a half ounce or so of Angostura in the bottle, and there I had it, the perfect eye opener for a busy day.

I probably could have had a heavier hand on the bitters, but didn’t want to over do it. It was only 10 AM and I was going to be walking through Home Depot with my libation. Hang over, or fogginess, lifted, I started about my day.

Saturday we’d purchased a few herb starters at Loca Harvest after having a delightful brunch at their cafe location just down Morganford from the grocer. Planting them was my first duty after getting some much needed supplies at the aforementioned HD. What to pair with gardening?

Friday I picked up my number one weekend need, some Bell’s Oberon, from the Rock Hill Wine and Cheese Place.

Oberon is the beer for a warm days work. No disrespect to Schlafly Helles or Boulevard Wheat, it’s just Oberon is the Plato’s form for warm weather beers.

I fired up the grill mid afternoon to do a bit of flank steak I picked up at Baumann’s Fine Meats. The day before I’d tossed the steak into a modified version of my Grandad’s marinade.

Grandad’s Marinade
1.0 Lemon juiced
.50 cup Soy Sauce
.25 cup dry red wine
3.0 tbs oil
2.0 tbs Worcester
1.0 large clove of garlic
1.0 bundle chopped scallions
1.0 tsp dry dill weed

I changed things up by substituting rice wine vinegar for the wine, no dill weed, but added red pepper flake, some fish sauce, a shot of bourbon, some housin sauce and a spot of hirin. I was going for an Asian marinade, and I was successful.

I grilled the steak a bit past medium and then sliced it against the grain. It was quite tender. I served the meat on top of some saut├ęd onions over rice and peas.

Rice and Peas
1.0 cup water
.50 cup chicken stock
.50 cup coconut milk
.50 tsp ginger
1.0 cup rice

I toasted the rice in some butter and then add the other ingredients and brought it all to a boil. Boil for 4-5 minutes then place a tea towel under the lid and let stand for 35 minutes. Or, follow your rice package’s instructions.

After the rice finished I added a quarter teaspoon each of cinnamon and nutmeg. Both freshly grated.

I topped the dish with Sriracha garlic chili paste and some, or a, chiffonade of cinnamon basil that I’d purchased at Local Harvest.

I washed it down with a 50/50 Pernod and water over ice, perfectly refreshing. It was such a great night we even ate outside, something I generally loath. If you want to have a picnic, just invite a bunch of flies into your home and eat your meal on the floor. That being said, Sunday was the exception to the rule.

For dessert, a walk to Mr. Wizard’s Custard was in order, not bad. I had the turtle, the wife went with caramel and pecans. We were both sad to see they didn’t have butterscotch or pralines. But a walk to Ted Drew’s or Bobby’s wasn’t possible, so Mr. Wizard’s it was, and though it wasn’t the same as our favorites, we’ll be back.

Next time we may walk to the Kakao in Maplewood for ice-cream, but they close at 7 PM everyday but Sunday, when they close up at 5 PM. That doesn’t leave much of a chance for a walk over for dessert. Unfortunate.

So, now that the weather is warm, grab some warm weather beers, fire up the grill, and then treat yourself with a walk for some ice-cream. Take advantage of this weather, it’s the first “Spring” we’ve had in a decade, god bless you global warming.

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