A Glass of Class: Pumpkin King

The Pumpkin King (The Nightmare Before Christmas Cocktail)

Ingredients:
2 oz Eristoff Black (mixed berry vodka)
1 oz Godiva Chocolate Raspberry vodka

Directions: Stir ingredients with ice and pour into a cocktail glass.  Serve with a peppermint stick as a stir.

I found this recipe floating around the tumblrnet on a Halloween kick, and tried it early this weekend (with help from some far-less-poor-than-me friends from home.) The berry and chocolate flavors mix really well, and the peppermint stir brings the theme around perfectly. In addition to the drink, I point you to the site I found it: http://www.thedrunkenmoogle.com/. The site specializes in nerdy cocktails, which is right up my alley.

 

Happy Halloween, and pleasant screams.

–C & L

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A Glass of Class: Doubleshot!

Since fall break punctured our schedules with sleep and autumnal activities, Calvin and I missed a week. To make up for it, we have two fall-appropriate recipes for you boys and girls.

Classic Hot Cider

3 parts store-bought cider

1 part cinnamon

1/2 part brown sugar

A small handful of chocolate chips

(For hard cider only) 1 part mid-tier or higher vodka

Mix everything together in a large pot. Put the pot on medium heat for about thirty minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure everything is blending nicely. Taste often to adjust for your personal tastes (or just for fun, it’s hard to wait for cider.)

In celebration of the annual Apple Harvest Festival, we made a few thermos-fulls of hot cider. Unfortunately, this was the night after the festival, so we didn’t get to enjoy it out in the crisp fall air, and had to pay stupid amounts of money for cider in the commons. Awesome. Yet, that night, we rang in the eating season (as I so affectionately call it) with a delicious, sweet-and-tart aperitif. This recipe is all Calvin’s; I cannot take any credit for it. However, I can hold up my personal counterpart to it…

Fall Breeze

2 shots Bacardi Limon

1 shot peppermint schnapps

1 tbsp cinnamon sugar

Iced tea (use whatever you like; I make my own with some Crystal Light)

Mix everything together. Drink out of a big jug with three X’s on it to feel like a true American.

I stayed in the Ith this fall break, which got me a number of weird looks. See, I live three hours away from home, and have my car up here. Why didn’t I go home, people who made ridiculous treks to see their families for a meager three days would ask me. I am simply too lazy to go home for no reason. It’s nothing against my family, I love them, fall just turns me into a lump. So, I hung out with some friends over break, making absurd concoctions, trying to embody the taste of the autumn air I do so adore. I didn’t succeed, but I’d say this comes pretty close. A brisk, biting, smooth drink to keep you warm during the cool October nights. And we do so hope you all enjoy your fall as much as we do.

–C and L

“If Life gives you lemons, cut them into slices and you’re well on your way to making SANGRIA”

Cue, backstory

I spent this past summer in Shanghai doing an internship, exploring the city, and just bumming around a bit. Shanghai, as I soon found out, has always been a mix of old and new. You could find old men crowded around an intense game of Chinese chess, a crowd of fanny pack-toting tourists, a hip and trendy Starbucks coffee shop, and a local with his pushcart selling meat skewers all on the same street. Louis Vuitton? Check. Fake eggs at a local market? (I’m not kidding) Check. Authentic Italian thin-crust pizza? Check. You get the idea.

On one of my gastronomical explorations with one of my friends, we went to a Mexican brunch place called “Maya”. Boasting a “brunch menu below 50 RMB” on Sundays, this offer was a steal. While perusing the menu, the drinks list naturally caught my eye (yes, even on a Sunday morning). Bellini! Mimosa! And then Sangria! My God, people. This was not the first time I’d been to brunch, so I’m not sure why the idea of having a little bit of drank with Sunday brunch was such a novelty (Oh right, I know why, it’s because I live in America).

So to do my first real brunch justice, we ordered white wine Sangria.

Our Sangria arrives. Condensation forms around the wine glasses from the ever-present humidity. Ice cubes bob amongst the fruity bits and pulpy pods of lemon, orange and grapefruit. Bubbles fizz around the edges from the added Perrier. To use my native, regional Bay Area, proverbial term… it was “hella” good. For those of you who are not acquainted with the jargon: it was the bomb dot com, it buttered my toast, etc.

The Sangria was refreshing, simple and absolutely tasty. Better yet, when I was done sipping on the bubbly wine, there was still floating fruit to fish out! Double whammy.

Om nom nom nom.

Brunch and Sangria

Fast forward to a week later… my friend who is leaving Shanghai mentions two bottles of wine that he forgot to give to his boss as a going-away present. My mind whirs a little, and then I give him the look. I give him the upward shift of the eyebrows, a subtle smirk indicative of mooching, and the “you know what’s up” expression all in one go. He takes a second to process my meaning. We all know how that one ended up.

Utilizing the unique and fruity flavors of Asia, I devised this simple recipe:

Shangria (see what I did there?)

1 Bottle (750 mL) of red or white wine (I used a 2007 Australian Shiraz while in Shanghai)

4 Lemons (or substitute half limes)

3 Kiwis

6-8 Lychees

1 Pink Lady Apple (or whatever’s freshest near you)

1 Asian Pear

1 cup Orange Juice

2 cups Peach Nectar

Sparkling Water

Cut lemons into slices. Skin the kiwis (I had no idea how to do this, so check it out) and similarly slice. Peel and seed the lychee. Make sure to crush the lychee so the inner pulp becomes exposed (which releases juices). Finely dice the apples and pears.

Place all fruit in a pitcher or bowl and add wine and juices. Allow Sangria to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Overnight is best. Add sparkling water to taste right before serving. Serves 5-6.

Sangria sitting in fridge overnight. Fruity bits floating...

Note: You can use any kind of fruit. Play around with the recipe and be creative. For red wine Sangrias, all kinds of berries work very well. For white wine, grapefruit, mango and watermelon would make great additions.

So whether you’re in need of a summer throwback or just have some leftover wine that your friend forgot to give their boss that you can mooch off of… Sangria’s your go-to!

Enjoy!

-J Lo

A Glass of Class: Summer Sunset

Summer Sunset

One handful of cranberries (Fresh gives better taste, but frozen works in a pinch)
Three shots vodka
One or two mint leaves
One spoonful of sugar
A few chunks of pineapple
Ice

Blend everything until the drink has a liquid consistency, then strain it into a tall glass.

 

Fruity drinks always remind me of the summer: sun beating down on the shores of turquoise water lapping at some sand, as you watch tanned beauties sip a Cosmo with those little chunks of sweetness bobbing at the top. Since we’re on the heels of the season, though, they’ve all but gone out of style. Reminiscing about the days we’ve since passed by, the two of us decided to make a ‘last hurrah’ drink before Ithaca plunges us into thirty weeks of night again. What better way to do that than throw some fruit and ice into a blender and hope for the best? Yet, we want everyone to enjoy this, not just the ladies (which is the stereotype, or so I’ve been told.) To make it more unisex-friendly, this drink has a nice bite to it without being bitter. It provides a fresh tinge on the way down too, courtesy of the mint. Beware, though; it comes out of the blender very pulpy and gritty, so strain it well unless you don’t mind drinking seeds and leaves. In the end, enjoy this drink as a requiem to summertime, or as a celebration to inevitable future lethargy.

Until next time, kids.

–C and L