A (Modern) Jazz Age Cocktail:
Recipes Travel A (Modern) Jazz Age Cocktail:

“First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.” F. Scott Fitzgerald Say you find yourself standing on an uninhabited island among gaily costumed picnickers with a cocktail in your hand, a dance floor and orchestra before you, a pie contest to your left and the Dorothy Parker Society just behind you. Never fear. You’re probably not dreaming. You probably didn’t fall into a time warp.

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The Ginger Fizz: Vote. Drink. Hope for the Best.
The Ginger Fizz: Vote. Drink. Hope for the Best.

I’m not going to tell you who to vote for, but in a tense time of great anticipation for the American people, this Election Day brings long lines at the polling places, a huge throng of first-time voters (noobs) and the need for a great autumnal cocktail. Because whether you’re happy with the outcome of the poll returns or not, I think we’re all going to need a drink. I’m not going to go with red drinks or blue drinks here, because 1.

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Old Mr. Boston and His Bronx Cheer

Flipping through my Old Mr. Boston De Luxe Official Bartender’s Guide (1960 edition, naturally…), I was struck by how many random place names pop up in the cocktails. There’s the Alaska and Alabama cocktails, but with no explanation, Old Mr. Boston gives no such honor to Arizona or Arkansas. Baltimore gets representation in the form of both the Baltimore Bracer and the Baltimore Eggnog, but is there a Brooklyn ? No.

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Raising a Glass to Brazil: The Blackberry Caipirinha Cocktail
Recipes Raising a Glass to Brazil: The Blackberry Caipirinha Cocktail

I just want to take a moment to say “thank you” to Brazil. Why? Well, although the country has some challenges (poverty, etc.) those lovely Brazilians export a lot of wonderful things to the citizens of the rest of the world. Bossa nova, samba, capoeira, jiu-jitsu, feijoada, churrascaria, The Girl From Ipanema… all things evocative of sensuality and living life with verve. So thanks very much, Brazil! I raise a caipirinha to you.

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A Hammock, a Pimm’s Cup and Thou
Recipes A Hammock, a Pimm’s Cup and Thou

Personally, I feel that fully half of what makes the Pimm’s Cup such a beguiling summer cocktail is in the garnish. There are multiple variants, of course. Honestly many of them look waaaay too complicated for a lazy summer day. I favor the ultra-simple slice of cucumber + slice of lemon. But note that I’m pulling out my aunt’s amazing antique cups for this… presentation is important. Pimm’s makes a variety of styles, and that namesake cocktail made with the formulation known as No.

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The Cocktail Kit: Preserved Bourbon Cherries
Recipes The Cocktail Kit: Preserved Bourbon Cherries

In the last edition of the Cocktail Kit, we took another look at the joy of Homemade Bitters . This time, we’re looking at a seasonal cocktail delight that also has uses in number of impressive non-cocktail treats… the preserved cherry. I posted about maraschino cherries back in ‘05, gave a bit of history and offered up a DIY recipe, but I didn’t give enough thought to one of the dastardly details that surround the maraschino cherry saga…

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A Sweltering Summer Secret: Mi Chelada Es Su Chelada
Recipes A Sweltering Summer Secret: Mi Chelada Es Su Chelada

Nearly 10 years ago, I visited the Yucatán Peninsula for the Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festival and discovered a wonderful, refreshing drink they called the michelada. It was a zippy cold cocktail of sour, savory and salty and umami flavors with brisk carbonation… just the thing for an afternoon of snorkeling, sunbathing and snacking on fresh fish tacos beside the sea. I didn’t see another michelada until I moved to NYC and finally rediscovered them at Barrio Chino, where the staff poured micheladas just the way I remembered, not to mention making great Yucatán-style fish tacos.

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Cockail Kit: The Sazerac and The Old-Fashioned
Recipes Cockail Kit: The Sazerac and The Old-Fashioned

It’s natural, expected even, for humans to swoon over autumn. Those crisp mornings followed by sweet, golden afternoons are bankable bliss. Likewise, the daffy days of springtime are an easy sell. Loving nothing more and nothing less than the temperatures between 45 and 85 °F, we hairless apes are among the most delicate of creatures, and summer and winter — the seasons of extremes — are the times that try our good will.

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The Banana Batida: Crave Hero
Recipes The Banana Batida: Crave Hero

I can pass on cake. I can stop at one cookie. I’ll often slice a brownie in half and be satisfied with a slim portion. I demonstrate wonderful restraint when presented with a box of chocolates… one every few days is really all I crave. But ice cream is the point at which restraint and prudence end. I really love ice cream. It’s probably my biggest dessert weakness. Maybe it’s genetic.

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About Me

Miss Ginsu is a nom-nom-nom de plume of Leitha Matz, who worked at Tabla and FreshDirect in NYC, wrote about the food scene from 2004 to 2009 in Brooklyn and presently lives in Berlin. Occasionally seen on TV cooking segments, Leitha has also written for FreshDirect, contributed to Cee Cee Berlin, The Food52 Cookbook and has been interviewed/quoted in The Food Keeper as well as The Washington Times and Salon.

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