Friday, February 15, 2008

Joy Of Cooking Update: De-Virginizing Virgin Cocktails

Posted by Trott

This is a Special Valentine's Day Edition of the Joy of Cooking Update.

Since it was Valentine's Day, and I was supposed to make virgin cocktails, I had my friends Humuhumu (who has a blog here) and Kesha (who is so unconventional and independent that, unlike everyone else, she doesn't need a blog) join me. The plan was to taste the virgin cocktails, and then figure out what booze to add to them. We referred to this as de-virginizing although I believe the phrase popping of the maraschino cherry was used once or twice.

The virgin cocktails section of The Joy of Cooking contains prose even more vapid than usual. It is impossible to read some of the sentences without rolling your eyes or grinding your teeth, not to mention feeling like your intelligence is being insulted. It's difficult to imagine how to make the following sentence more asinine: "The sweet grenadine in this drink is a hit with adults as well as children."

Or try this one on if you're looking for pointless cliché: "Angostura bitters do contain alcohol, but determining the amount held in a single dash brings to mind the similarly confounding question of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin."

Much better to contemplate less confounding questions, such as which ghost writer should find a different career.

On to the de-virginizing!

The Rock Shandy (lemonade, club soda, Angostura bitters, lemon slice) was improved with the addition of Tanqueray gin and an additional dash of Angostura bitters.

The Cranberry Collins (sweetened cranberry juice, fresh lemon juice, club soda, lemon slice) was a bit more controversial. Humuhumu thought it was improved with the addition of Tanqueray gin, Regans' orange bitters, and vodka that I had infused with jasmine tea. I, on the other hand, preferred the addition of nothing more than vodka that I had infused with orange zest. Humuhumu noted that this gave it a surprising watermelon flavor.

Kesha was far too sensible for all this. She couldn't be bothered and took to drinking whiskey and ginger ale followed by red wine.



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