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Did it rain everywhere but here on the holiday?

It would seem so after my regular circuit of bookmarked food -- and other -- blogs on Tuesday. One stayed in and did extraordinary things with puff pastry, another had drinks with friends, still another made pie. Energetic little monkeys.



But the talk of gin and summer drinks made me drag out a book titled "Slurp." It really isn't fair to call it a cookbook, since most of its page are filled with ooh-ahh photos of beverage, many of them laced with alcohol. It provides everything you need to know to fill glasses, shakers and pitchers with things to drink for an evening or any part of the day on the patio (balcony, rooftop, pick a place) some hot summer day soon. And it will be soon. The evening air already has that chewable quality about it, doesn't it?


Personally I like to keep things simple: G&T, thank you very much. And when wits must be sharp, or I just want to cool off, not rev up, plain old tonic and lime is my drink of choice; however. . .


Slurp will make you want to rush out and buy the makings for a Mai Tai. How much more retro can you get?


MAI TAI


1.75 ounces rum
0.5 ounces orange curacao
0.5 ounces apricot brandy
0.5 ounces lime juice
Dash of Angostura bitters
Dash of simple syrup*
0.5 ounces pineapple juice
Ice Cubes
Fresh mint for garnish


Put everything but the mint in a shaker and shake well. Strain into a glass and garnish with mint.


To make a virgin version, we imagine you could substitute apricot nectar for the brandy, a bit of orange zest for the curacao, but we're stumped on the rum part of it.


*Simple syrup: Combine in a pan 2 cups water, 1 cup sugar, boil for about 10 minutes, then let it cool. You can flavor it with cinnamon or chili peppers, lime zest or vanilla bean, but keep it simply "simple" for the Mai Tai.


From the pages of "Slurp"



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