Friday, July 29, 2016

Cocktail Du Jour

With the creepy craze still in full effect, I thought I'd share with you the drink called The Zombie!

The Zombie was not invented as a link to any horror genre, but rather as early as the 1930's by Hollywood restaurateur Don the Beachcomber as a hangover cure.  Once the tiki craze hit in the 60's, the drink really took off, with it's tropical undertones of rum and pineapple juice. 

In a collins glass, pour:
1 oz. Dark Rum, 1 oz. Light Rum, 1 oz. Creme de Almond.
THEN FILL THE GLASS WITH ICE.
Add 1/2 oz. Triple Sec, 1 oz. Sweet & Sour, 1 oz. Pineapple Juice (some recipes also add papaya juice, passion fruit nectar, apricot juice, or other fruit juices.
Float 151 as a lid (by pouring it into a spoon and gently dipping it under the surface of the drink).
If you're feeling saucy, take a match to this cocktail: it'll light up nicely!
Garnish with cherry, pineapple, mint, or a tropical kabob like lemon or orange, pineapple, and cherries.
Enjoy...but don't drink too many, or you'll become the "Walking Dead"!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Must-Rent Movie

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell star in this musical rom/com of two showgirls who go on a cruise, just to be pursued by multiple admirers and a private detective.

Lorelei (Marilyn Monroe), the titular blonde in the film, is passionate about money (specifically diamonds), and knows that marrying a wealthy man will give her all she needs.  Lorelei is engaged to Gus, a nerdy millionaire.  She scoffs at her best friend Dorothy (Jane Russell), who prefers men who don't have money since they don't brag as much about all they possess.
Together they must travel to France to perform, but Gus warns Lorelei to behave well or he can't marry her.  Dorothy promises to act as her chaperone, and the two head off on a cruise ship.  The cruise is inundated with colorful characters, such as the entire male-only Olympics team members -- whom Dorothy is attracted to, and Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman, the owner of a diamond mine -- who catches the eye of Lorelei.  1950's mistaken-identity-slapstick ensues, along with a few musical numbers.

Besides the iconic song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend," which has been parodied relentlessly since, I love this movie for the gorgeous wardrobe and the simplistic comedy.  I especially love this number that Marilyn Monroe wears as they are about to depart on their trip.  On screen, her gown is a deep navy blue, and -- since I'm obsessed with leopard print -- the ensemble with a leopard cape is DIVINE.  Once again, I wish we dressed like this, complete with gloves.
Marilyn and Jane got along well during the filming of this movie, which resonates in the picture; it actually looks like they're enjoying filming.  Too bad this was their one and only film together!


Monday, July 25, 2016

"Va-Va Voom" Star of the Day

Barbara Payton
The story of a beautiful starlet that lost its shine is always tragic, and the tale of Barbara Payton is no exception.

Born in Cloquet, Minnesota on November 26, 1927, Barbara Lee Redfield came from a modest, blue-collar background.  She grew up to be a stunningly gorgeous woman, and, following a quickie marriage at age 19, decided to leave home to capitalize on her good looks in Tinseltown. She headed for Hollywood in 1948 and, within a short time, was placed under contract by Universal, where she began the typical starlet route of bit parts.  Pretty soon the renamed Barbara Payton was earning several thousand dollars a week in the early 1950s, becoming the "It" Girl of her day.  The gossip magazines followed her relentlessly, mercilessly reporting her sordid personal details.


Friday, July 22, 2016

Cocktail Recipe Du Jour

The Singapore Sling
I previously wrote about the effects of a night with the cocktail, but how do you make a Singapore Sling?

D. A. Embury stated in the Fine Art of Mixing Drinks: "Of all the recipes published for [this drink] I have never seen any two that were alike."

Some sources say the "original recipe" contains gin with cherry brandy and orange, pineapple, and lime juice.  Others use gin, Cherry Heering, Bénédictine, and fresh pineapple juice, primarily from Sarawak pineapples which enhance the flavor and create a foamy top.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Monday, July 18, 2016

Bartending 101: Your Guide to Garnishes

Finishing your drink with the right garnish can make or break your cocktail.  (And no one wants a broken cocktail!  I mean, I'd still drink it, but I wouldn't enjoy it as much.)  As a bartender, I've met plenty of finicky people whose order is so detailed, especially specifying the garnish.  They not only are the visual finishing touch to a cocktail, but the taste of the garnish effects the drink.  So if you're stocking your bar, you want to make sure you have these accouterments ready to make the best cocktail service for your visitors!

Lemon slice
These are probably the most popular, usually added to gin and tonics, but can be requested for various other drinks.  You want to cut off both ends.  Then slice the lemon in half.  Lay each half down and cut in to half-moon slices.  Lay each half-moon slice down and cut in to the flesh at the middle, only halfway, so that the slice will stay in place on the glass's rim.

Lemon twists
This is primarily the rind used for its essential oil.  To make lemon twists, cut off both ends of the lemon. Insert a sharp knife or spoon between the rind and meat of the lemon and carefully separate them. Cut the rind into strips. The outside of the lemon is where the flavor lies. When adding a lemon twist to a drink, slowly rim the edge of the glass with the outside of the lemon twist and then drop the twist into the cocktail.

Friday, July 15, 2016

"Va Va Voom" Star of the Day

I can't believe I haven't featured William Holden yet, after all the other posts about him...so here he is, our star of the day:

William Holden
William Franklin Beedle, Jr. was born in O'Fallon, Illinois in 1918. His family moved to South Pasadena when he was three. After graduating from South Pasadena High School, Holden attended Pasadena Junior College, where he became involved in local radio plays. He was spotted by a talent scout from Paramount Pictures in 1937 while playing the part of an 80-year-old man, Marie Curie's father-in-law, in a play in a small private theatre. His first film role was in Prison Farm the following year.

He was renamed William Holden after his talent scout Harold Winston's ex-wife, Gloria Holden. Holden's first starring role was in Golden Boy (1939), costarring Barbara Stanwyck, in which he played a violinist-turned-boxer. This gave him the eternal nickname in Hollywood of "Golden Boy."

After a few more film roles and a stint in the army during World War II, he made his name known when he landed the quintessential role in Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard (1950).  Initially the role was to go to Montgomery Clift, but luckily Holden snagged it, earning a Best Actor Oscar nomination.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

How to Make the Perfect Vodka Gimlet

The Vodka Gimlet seems pretty straight-forward as cocktails go, but there's actually some small nuances that can change the entire taste.  So take it from me, there's a not-so-perfect way to make it, and a PERFECT way to make it.  Here's MY way:

Pop Quiz, Hot Shot: When someone orders (or asks you for) a Vodka Gimlet, what's your first question to ask?

Friday, July 08, 2016

BoozeQuest Research: The Best Bloody Mary


I'm reposting "vintage" posts that had previously only appeared on the now-defunct blog SorryIGotDrunk.com.  This is a follow up to the 8-part series called "BoozeQuest."  Please enjoy.

We at the Booze Quest Labs have been taking the past couple months researching the best Bloody Mary in Los Angeles. It's been quite painstaking and extensive, but I think I've found the perfect mixture of tomato juice, spices, garnishes, and any other item that can make an outstanding cocktail. Here are my findings:

Jerry's Deli, Studio City, CA:
Glass: daiquiri glass
Consistency: watery
Strength: weak. Probably less than 1 shot of vodka
Garnish: lemon wedge
Analysis: Seeing the paleness of the cocktail got my hopes up that it would be a stronger drink, but it was just water that made the Bloody Mary at Jerry's so washed-out. I barely tasted any kick or spices, so it tasted essentially like a watery tomato juice. Even after adding Tabasco sauce, it still was not tasty enough.
Final score: 3/10