Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Armchair Mixology

Readers of this blog will know that we Quails are terribly fond of libations with a kick. The city has a number of terrific speakeasys (speakeasies?) slinging everything from Gin Gin Mules to Muskets--a new favorite invented (I believe) at Brandy Library. With fresh ingredients and wonderful ambience, the $12-18 (shudder) pricetag at these never-over crowded is justifiable on occasion--especially when you consider appetizers in this town run the same price. Side salad or Sidecar? I'll take the latter.

Sometimes, though, we want an occasion cocktail minus the occasion--and the cost. Utilizing the resources of 67 Wine and a number of "depots" in the Garden State, Mr. Quail and I have put together a tolerable little bar of our own (at the expense of a filing cabinet and a stack of coffee table books) with which to play. We also purchased the Ultimate Bar Book, which has proved to be indispensable when it comes to armchair mixology.

In addition to making our favorites (Mr. Quail won over his missus with the perfect Old Fashioned), we've experimented with our own inventions. Some experiments have run afoul. Like baking, there's some precision involved when it comes to composing a cocktail. And, like baking, things can turn sour quickly. Mrs. Quail tried combining brandy-soaked sour cherries, orange bitters, and cognac, and came up with a muddle--a searing, bitter, mulchy muddle. But, there have been one or two successes, and we plan on reporting on those here. (That way we won't forget them either!)

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