Cool Bob deserves a tiki drink!

One of our days in NOLA we took the Ferry over to Algiers. I highly recommend this if you have a couple hours to spend. It’s a beautiful little residential area with lots of character. It was nice to walk around and check out all of the architectural styles. Plus, you may get to meet Cool Bob (from Buffalo of all places) at the Old Point Bar! We chatted with him for a while before we had to head back out into the heat, and across the river.

After the ferry ride back, we meandered our way over to Latitude 29, again. We weren’t aware that famed rum collector Professor Remsberg was going to be in the bar for a meeting. I wish we could have said hello, but didn’t want to interrupt.

Professor’s Remsberg’s Punch is the inspiration for my version of Planter’s Punch. Most versions of this punch are different, so feel free to make it your own!

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2eat2drink Punch

  • 3 oz El Dorado 12 year demerara rum
  • 1 1/2 oz demerara simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 dashes Fee Brother’s Cherry bitters

Shake with ice and serve in a well garnished glass. Or you can always mix up a pitcher and stir!

The Lapu Lapu I created is based on the Disney version from The Tambu Lounge at the Polynesian Resort. I altered the recipe slightly from what I found only because I wanted to use a better rum for the float than 151. Plus, I can’t bring myself to use sour mix.

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The Lapu Lapu

  • 2 oz Myers’s Dark Rum
  • 3 oz fresh pineapple juice
  • 2 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • float 1 1/2 oz Clément V.S.O.P. Rhum Agricole Vieux on top before serving

Mix all ingredients except float and stir well. Pour into a hollowed out a fresh pineapple filled with ice. Gently pour additional rhum to float on top. Garnish with orchids and mint and serve with a straw.

What is your favorite tiki drink? I’d love to know so I can do another series. Cheers!

Get your tiki on!

First, I hope you all had a marvelous holiday! Mele Kalikimaka! Happy Christmakuh! Etc.

The rest of this post is long overdue. Heather and I went to New Orleans in July. It was a marvelous get away, despite being all too quick. But it had a purpose, besides going to one of the most fun cities that we’ve been so far: I wanted to shoot some new pictures for the RAF On The Side Expo. As the incoming president (current president, given it’s December!) of the board of the RAF, I was super excited about our first partnership with the Rochester Contemporary Art Center, and I wanted to have some new work to highlight. It was a show for RAF members to share the artwork they do “on the side”, or those things that aren’t paid work.

What does that have to do with tiki drinks? Latitude 29 is one of the coolest places in NOLA, and we went there. Twice. It served as great inspiration, even 5 months later, to create this post (and tomorrow’s, where you can see more).

Here are a few pictures from the On The Side show.

These are the 4 pieces that were in the show along with 2 others in the series. Reflections of Abe and Spirits of the Bar sold during the show!

Here are a few other highlights from our trip.

 

And last but not least, your tiki inspiration! This is my take on the huge variation of Mai Tai recipes that are out there.

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  • The Mai Tai
  • 2 ounces Don Q Cristal or other light rum
  • 2 ounces Blackwell rum
  • 2 ounces Myers’s Dark rum
  • 1 ounce Grand Mariner
  • 1 ounce fresh pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce fresh orange juice
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • splash of grenadine

Mix all ingredients well (except grenadine) and pour over crushed ice in a  hurricane glass. Top with a splash of grenadine. Playfully garnish and serve with a straw. Cheers!

Have a jazzy new year!

I wanted to bring y’all back down South to New Orleans for New Year’s Eve. It seems like a festive way to end the year!

Jackson Square is right in the heart of the French Quarter. A mounted Andrew Jackson rides in the center, surrounded by lush gardens, grand architecture, haunted restaurants, and lively, talented street musicians. As we walked towards the area, we could hear jazz music echoing off the buildings. A small group had gathered to perform for the passing crowds. They were very entertaining!

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After listening (and photographing) a bit, we wandered through the square on our way to dinner. It was a very relaxing area with people scattered about reading on the grass.

Muriel’s is right on a corner overlooking Jackson Square. It was featured on our ghost tour. They set a place for the resident spirit every night.

Have a safe and happy evening and a fabulous new year! Cheers!

Happy Haunting from the Vieux Carré

All Hallows Eve will be filled with hauntings, especially in the Vieux Carré, or French Quarter. But…we will be protected with our voodoo doll for protection from evil spirits and phantoms. While we drink sazeracs (and eat candy.)

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I thought a Halloween post would be the perfect way to introduce the Sazerac, a drink that is as much a part of New Orleans as Halloween celebrations are. Its roots can be traced back to a French Quarter apothecary, Antoine Peychaud, in the early 1800s. But the drink was modified to its current recipe in the early 1900s to feature Rye instead of Cognac. It’s extremely flavorful and highly recommended.

Our voodoo doll came from Marie Laveau’s House Of Voodoo on Bourbon Street. It’s a  great little shop with many voodoo dolls, talismans, and charms.

There are many variations on the Sazerac recipe, but I chose to base mine on Vieux Carré Absinthe Supérieure, an excellent absinthe from Philadelphia Distilling. Start by chilling an old fashioned glass by filling it with ice, then gather your ingredients.

  • 2 oz. rye whiskey. I used Russel’s Reserve small batch.
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup
  • 3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • Vieux Carré Absinthe Supérieure
  • lemon

In a separate glass, over ice, mix the rye, simple syrup and bitters. Stir until chilled. Dump the ice from the old fashioned glass and give it an absinth rinse. Pour in enough to coat the entire inside of the glass, dumping if there is a lot of excess. Strain other ingredients into glass. Garnish with some lemon peel twisted over the glass. Sip to appease the spirits (and yourself). Á votre santé!

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Typical French Quarter halloween decorations adorning 2 balconies. The top photo is complete with a bubble machine. The bottom photo is complete with an undead Boston Red Sox fan, which is very fitting for today. Congratulations to the World Champions!

Drink like a local. Welcome to NOLA!

Welcome to New Orleans! Heather and I just had an opportunity to take a quick honeymoon over Columbus Day weekend. So thank you, Mr. Columbus, for discovering our world and providing us with a long weekend!

When we visit somewhere, I really do try to drink in the local culture. Our first day, it was an Abita Amber that fit the bill. It was smooth and malty with a touch of caramel. Excellent! Perfect to sit back, relax and listen to some local jazz at The Spotted Cat on Frenchmen Street. I’m sure there are many great local brews, but this was one of my favorites.

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As we wandered into the colorful little club with tons of character, Rites of Swing was letting it all hang out. Yvette Voelker jumped in for an awesome vocal performance. I highly recommend that you track them down.

More posts from NOLA coming soon. Cheers!

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A grappa toast post!

There is quite a storied history behind this post. But before I begin, let’s get to the toast. Cheers to our friends Gina and Dave and their new baby boy!

So…now for the story. It starts in August of 2010. Heather and I were on a short honeymoon getaway to New Orleans, eating dinner at the Green Goddess (home of the bacon sundae), when we heard Scotty the bartender and Chris the chef discussing grappa. For those of you not familiar with grappa, it’s basically a spirit distilled from the leftovers of the grapes after making wine. Prior to this trip, I may have referred to grappa as fire water. But  I was intrigued by chef Chris’s description for Suprema grappa refosco, “That’s good frakking grappa!” (Note the Battlestar Galactica expletive, as I’d prefer to keep this family friendly 🙂 ) I ended up trying a taste and replying, “That is good!” Chef Chris just looked at me. “That’s good frakking grappa!” I amended. A cheer was given by all.

So…circle back to Dave and Gina, and trying a couple different grappas at a local restaurant after telling the above story. Both of the grappas fire waters were very disappointing. I finally managed to track down a bottle of this good frakking grappa, and am looking forward to sharing it with Dave and Gina while toasting their new family addition in person. Cheers!

Suprema grappa refosco. Worth drinking from a snifter.

Suprema grappa refosco. Worth drinking from a snifter. Your initial taste is smooth and refined with a bit of dried fruit, met with a scent of vanilla coming off the top rim. There is a long pepper finish with hints of vanilla and honey. Good frakking grappa!

The “crazy good” bacon sundae. Believe.

I can’t believe how good this is. But really…..you need to believe. As Heather said, “This is crazy good.”

Flash back to our 2010 trip to New Orleans, and our second night at the Green Goddess, a tiny little gem of a restaurant in the French Quarter. We had come back on the last night of our trip, based solely on Scotty’s (the excellent bartender) recommendation to try the “notorious” bacon sundae: pecan praline ice cream with a creamy bacon caramel sauce carrying a bit of both pink Himalayan & black lava salts, micro-planed Nueske’s applewood bacon, layered with whipped cream. Sounds good, huh? It was! So….thus our attempt to recreate the experience.

The “crazy good” bacon sundae. Sign me up for that!

It worked! We did it! Well, it wasn’t an exact replica…but it was still crazy good! We used Edy’s Slow Churned Butter Pecan ice cream, topped with La Salamandra Dulce de Leche Milk Caramel, a touch of French sea salt, diced applewood smoked bacon, whipped cream, and chopped caramelized pecans.

Not your average caramel. La Salamandra Dulce de Leche Milk Caramel, all the way from Argentina! (By way of Wegmans.)

Bacony goodness!! Can’t you just smell it??

To give props to Scotty once again….the Trader Vic’s Macadamia Nut Liqueur is an excellent pairing. It offers a smooth, sweet, nutty, caramelly taste. It’s very mellow, but has a nice warming effect.

Trader Vic’s Macadamia Nut Liqueur. Warm me up, Scotty!

Go….you must make this now! Please comment and let us know what you think. Cheers!