Drinks for the front of your head!
Hello and welcome again to another exciting episode of the Gentlemen of Elegant Leisure. For that title to make sense, you’ve got to listen to the episode! Make sure you do because there is all sorts of important information in there that doesn’t necessarily get transferred to the blog page. Listen in and then come back here for the recipes!
As many people know once or twice a year Dave is kidnapped by some hillbilly monster people who capture him in a raccoon trap and take him to a secluded area somewhere in the Ozark Mountains. This unfortunate incident leaves the remaining gentlemen, Fred and Jason, to carry-on in his stead. This is no easy task. Oddly enough though, easy is exactly what we are after in this episodes two drinks, which can be described as both easy and peasy! This follows on a request from a listener who suggested easy cocktails for cocktail newbies. Both these drinks come from Dale DeGroff's wonderful book "The Essential Cocktail - The Art of Mixing Perfect Drinks", and as I say both are very easy yet deceptively complex.
First up is a Pimm's Cup which was invented by James Pimm way back in the mid-1800s. Mr. Pimm ran an oyster bar in London, which I assume also served some amount of liquor. Mr. Pimm eventually sold his business (and the rights to his name) to somebody else, and these people bottled his mixture for sale to other restaurants.
1 1/2 ounces Pimm's No. 1
Cucumber Spear, for garnish
Green apple slice, for garnish
Combine the Pimm's and 7-Up in a highball glass over ice. Garnish with the cucumber spear and apple slice.
Or ... You can do what they say on the bottle itself.
1 measure of Pimm's
2-3 measures of lemonade, 7-Up, ginger ale or sprite.
Add plenty of ice. Garnish with lemon orange or cucumber slice.
Either way, this is a super easy and super tasty drink. The Pimm's on it's own tastes like gin with big herbal overtones. The fizzy sweetness of the pop takes the edge off the gin and subdues the herbal flavors. All in all, a really good summer drink and so easy. All you have to do is be able to find Pimm's at your local liquor store, and that shouldn't be a problem. Make these out of sight of your guests, and they'll swear that you were slaving for hours over these.
Next up is a little gem called the Black Velvet. This one is from England in 1861 when (as Dale says in his book) England was in mourning over the death of Prince Albert. Everything was draped in black, including their champagne. Apparently the English have a long history of mixing beers and ales and stouts both with each other and with other liquors and this is no exception. This time out we're mixing Guinness Stout with champagne and you know what? It works. Give it a try.
The Black Velvet
In a Pilsner beer glass slowly pour together equal parts stout and Champagne.
Weird right? It's definitely not your usual cocktail. I wouldn't recommend trying this after a round of Bellinis or Mojitos because the flavour profile is so different, but on its own it's a pretty magical thing. The champagne cuts the sweetness and thickness of the stout, the stout cuts the tartness of the champagne. It's like medieval alchemy and you should give it a try. In fact you should give both these drinks a try. Your shopping list is so short…
Fizzy lemon pop
What are you waiting for? Go get them!
See you in two weeks and don't worry, Dave should be back by then.
The Gentlemen of Elegant Leisure