December 3, 2005
One things we've been noticing lately as we troll the Web and other resources for cocktail recipes, a lot of the drink recipes we find call for simple syrup. Plus, even if the recipe you're using doesn't call for simple syrup (AKA simple sugar), you can use it as a replacement in any recipe that calls for granulated sugar. Quite often, the sugar won't fully dissolve unless you give it a good muddling, so if you get sick of grainy clumps of sugar in your nice drinks, the liquid form is the way to go.
Quite often, you can buy simple syrup wherever you shop for your other liquor supplies, but it's often overpriced for what you get - sugar dissolved in water. We've found a cheap and easy way for you to have simple syrup on hand at all times by making it yourself.
Simple Syrup Recipe
- Put one cup of water in a small saucepan.
- Add two cups of sugar.
- Heat to a boil while stirring.
- Reduce heat and continue to stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Cool to room temperature.
- Find a clean container that will hold at least a cup and a half.
- Using a funnel, pour liquid into container.
- Seal and store in refrigerator indefinitely.
- Use whenever a recipe calls for simple sugar or simple syrup.
It's also possible to tweak the recipe to fit the drinks you're making. For example, we found a recipe for Minted Simple Syrup at cooksrecipes.com, which would go great in your next batch of Mint Juleps.
November 25, 2005
A couple weeks ago, we did a piece about Jello shots, and we joked that we'd rather get our hands on a pudding shot recipe. After writing that story we learned two things. One, you can actually make pudding shots. And two, our readers are actually looking for pudding shot recipes. No one actually delivered on our recipe, but we got tons of requests to let people know if we found one.
All we can say is keep dreaming big, you wonderful bastards.
And so, without further ado:
1 small pkg. INSTANT choc. pudding
3/4 C. milk
1/4 C. Vodka
1/2 C. Irish Cream
8 oz. Extra Creamy Cool Whip
Mix pudding and milk for a couple of minutes with an electric mixer, then add alcohol, mix well. Mix in Cool Whip.
Put into individual serving cups with lids and I furnish plastic spoons. Keep in the freezer.
Find this and other recipe ideas at Razzle Dazzle Recipes
They posted this as a Valentine's Day thing (nothing more romantic than pudding shots, eh?), but we can see it being good during the holidays too. We haven't made a batch yet but we plan to, mostly because we haven't been able to reconcile in our minds how you actually shoot pudding.
November 15, 2005
We're not usually the cocktail recipe creation types here at Liquor Snob. We're usually too busy drinking straight out of the bottle, or at best doing what we like to call "mouth mixing," where you mix your drink directly in your mouth without the added baggage of a glass. True, we did come up with the Orange-plosion, but while it's a great-tasting drink we fully admit we're not big on the name. But sometimes we're hit with a lightning bolt of an idea that strikes us as true genius. Our most recent is the World's Blackest Russian.
We were hit with the idea when we fell asleep cradling our bottle of Blavod vodka, and we realized you could make a mean black russian with it. We're sure we're not the first people to think of mixing Blavod with Kahlua, but here's where our stroke of genius came in. Kahlua is a coffee liqueur, right? Our idea for the World's Blackest Russian involved not only the deepest black color, but also the most intense coffee taste. So we cleaned out our ice trays, poured our leftover coffee from this morning's pot in there, and waited.
By now you can probably see the method to our madness, but we're going to spell it out anyway because we feel like geniuses. And so, we bring the world, the recipe for the World's Blackest Russian:
2 parts Blavod Black Vodka
1 part Coffee Liqueur
Coffee Ice Cubes
Mix the vodka and Kaluha together over coffee ice cubes. Drink. Repeat.
We're not kidding...it's black as night and tastes so much like coffee you might think about slipping it into your mug in the morning. Highly recommended. But maybe that's just because we invented it. Not that it's going to our heads...we totally have our wits about us even after extensive recipe testing. In fact, for a heady moment our next thought was to reinvent the white russian with a scoop of coffee ice cream, but we're going to leave that one alone because it already belongs to the Dude.
November 13, 2005
We've been trying to tell you for months. Everybody wants cocktail recipes to make their liquor taste less like liquor, but we've been telling you from the beginning - your drink should contain three ingredients or less, including ice. A new article from Forbes corroborates our anti-cocktail bias, but from a new standpoint, and we're sorry ladies...they make you fat.
After a night of drinking cocktails, most people will not only wake up the next morning with a screaming hangover, they'll wake up fatter too.
That's because the average serving of one ounce of 80-proof alcohol contains about 90 calories. And that's before mixers are added. While many people who spend hours on treadmills or yoga mats may smugly eschew dessert or ban butter from their diets, often they will happily consume a cocktail--or three--without giving it a second thought. But they do so at considerable peril to their waistlines. A Pina Colada, for example, has more calories than a Big Mac.
According to the slide show of fattening cocktails
, the Long Island Iced Tea is the biggest villain, but there are plenty of other drinks you'd think would be low-calorie and Atkins-friendly that will help you pile on the pounds. Why won't you listen to the Liquor Snob? Drink your liquor straight - the grimace is the price you pay for the buzz.
Read the full article at Forbes.com; thanks Craig.
November 12, 2005
We've never been big fans of Jell-o shots. The goopy consistency and nagging feeling that the vodka has been diluted has always led us to keep our Jell-o and our shots separate. A new experiment by some real drinking go-getters out there might make us change our tune, and it looks like they've figured out how to maximize the booze-per-shot, but we still have a problem with any shot you have to chew...
Ultimately we determined that the breaking point of a Jell-O shot – the point at which the gelatin began to lose its structural integrity (i.e., ability to gel and hold its shape) is somewhere between 19 and 20 oz. of vodka per 3 oz. package of Jell-O powder. That’s at least 14 oz. (1 2/3 cups) more than the 5 oz. of vodka in the original Jell-O shot recipe. The Jell-O shots we made with 19 oz. of vodka (lime) held their shape nicely when unmolded, whereas the shots made with 20 oz. (grape) began to slide apart, and the shots made with 21 oz. (orange) quickly disintegrated. The batch containing 19 oz. of liquor was 76% vodka by volume, and 30% pure alcohol by volume, very close to taking a straight shot of vodka.
All we really want is for someone to figure out how to create pudding shots, preferably chocolate. In fact, we're putting out a bounty on the idea. Make us pudding shots and we'll make you rich beyond your wildest dreams.*
We discovered these Jello shot idiot savants via two sources; The Sporting Life and our good friend Craig. Or, you can go right to the horse's mouth at My Science Project.
* As long as your wildest dreams don't involve you actually getting any money.
Update: We actually found our own pudding shot recipe. We thank you for your support.
November 9, 2005
Paula's Texas Orange Liqueur
80 proof liqueur reminiscent of an orange lemoncello
Typical Price: Under $25 for 750ml; currently only available in Texas
Initial Thoughts: The first thing that hit us when we opened the bottle was the strong, citrusy smell that wafted up from it. On our first taste, we discovered that Paula's Texas Orange has a distinct and natural orange flavor, but it's not overpowering or too sweet, even when you sip it straight. We thought the natural-looking color of the drink was a nice touch as well - if this stuff was made by a big corporation they probably would have dyed it the color of Sunny D or Tang.
Cocktail Recipes: During our tasting, we whipped up a few cocktails with Paula's Texas Orange, two from Paula's site and one we came up with on our own.
The first drink we tried was Austin's Own Martini, a combination of Paula's and another Texas favorite of ours, Tito's vodka. We have to say that while we usually like our martinis on the dirty side, this one was crisp, clean and very tasty. One thing that's dangerous about this one is between the two liquors there's not a strong alcohol taste, which is great but you could get yourself into some trouble if you're not paying attention.
AUSTIN'S OWN MARTINI
1 part Paula's Texas Orange
3 parts Tito's Vodka
Shake over ice and serve in a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a fresh jalapeno or olive.
Drink number two was the signature recipe, Paula's Awesome Margarita. They call this a "turbocharged" margarita, and we can certainly understand why...
PAULA’S AWESOME MARGARITA
This one will make you buddies for life. One good lime generally makes enough for 2-3 margaritas.
1 part fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 part water
2 parts Paula’s Texas Orange Liqueur
2 parts premium tequila
Mix ingredients. To serve martini-style, shake with ice and strain into chilled margarita glass. For a more refreshing version, serve over lots of ice.
Drink number three is one we've had dancing in our heads since we first heard about Paula's, a combination of the liqueur with Orange V vodka, which we call an Orange-plosion. Yeah, we know it's a stupid name, but you'll understand it when you try one. The two spirits come together to form one of the strongest orange flavors we've had this side of biting into one.
2 parts Paula's Texas Orange Liqueur
1 part Orange V vodka (you can probably substitute another high-end orange vodka in a pinch)
Shake together and serve on the rocks. Garnish with a (surprise!) orange if you'd like.
Finishing Thoughts: Overall, we were very impressed with Paula's Texas Orange. It definitely lives up to its name, smacking your tongue with a tasty orange roundhouse. In fact, it's there's so much orange going on in your glass it's almost hard to believe this stuff packs the wallop it does, and you'll forget it's 80 proof. It's only available in Texas right now, but if you can get your hands on one we recommend keeping a bottle in your freezer so you can impress your friends with some souped-up margaritas. Oh, and try out the Orange-plosion, and please let us know if you can come up with a better name.
Learn more and find out where to get your bottle at Paula's site.
November 8, 2005
You might never have heard of him, but Jerry Thomas was a legend in his own time. A giant among men. A...well, you can add your own cliche here. So who was Jerry Thomas, you might ask? He was a bartender, one who paved the way to the modern cocktail by collecting and publishing a book of cocktail recipes, way back in the 1800s.
Jerry wrote the book on mixology, back before there was any such word. His book, The Art of Drink, was a bible for bartenders, and was one of the first places to mention some names you might be familiar with, including Manhattan, Juleps and Collins. His book went out of print a very long time ago, and it is finally part of the public domain, which means it can be reprinted and distributed for free.
All 130 pages of the 1887 version of this book are now available online, and contained in its electronic pages are some fascinating glimpses into the history of bartending, as well as a variety of recipes that still hold their luster for today's modern drinker. We perused the book today, and we found some great punch recipes we'd love to try - we like any drink recipe that calls for liquor by the gallon. On the flip side of the coin, the book also wastes some pages on "temperance drinks," which don't contain any booze at all. We forgive him, and who knows? Maybe we'll whip up a nice, refreshing batch of milk and seltzer for our next party.
Regardless, this book is a fascinating peek into the drunken culture of another century, and we encourage you to try some of the recipes next time you're ready for a stroll through history. Find the complete book at The Art of Drink.
October 28, 2005
Here at the Liquor Snob offices, we consider The Big Lebowski to be nature's perfect movie. It's got everything. A crazy John Goodman sporting shooting glasses and at one point, an Uzi. A sublime John Turturro playing a bowling pederast named "The Jesus." A portly Jeff Bridges sucking white russians out of his beard. The blond guy from Fargo playing a character named Karl Hungus, who comes to fix the cable. A missing toe. Tara Reid before she became a raving drunk, and we should know...we smell our own.
If you haven't seen this movie, you have to mix up a batch of White Russians and see it right now. And then you have to watch it again. And again. Until you get it. Until you realize the Coen brothers pried open your skull and scooped out the contents onto film. There will be a quiz.
Whether you've seen it or not, you also need to pick up the Achiever's Edition, which apparently contains the "widescreen CE (collector's Edition) together with The Big Lebowski Bowling Shammy Towel, 4 Collectible Coasters that include photos and quotable lines from the movie, and 8 Exclusive Photo Cards from Jeff Bridges’ personal collection."
Buy your copy of the Big Lebowski Achiever's Editionnow, or pick up the Big Lebowski Widescreen Collector's Editionat Amazon. Her life is in your hands, dude.
Oh, and if you're wracking your brain to remember how to mix them, here's a recipe for White Russians (AKA Caucasians). Substitute non-dairy creamer for light cream at your own risk.
Sometimes we find something on the Internet that is so stupendous, we're not sure how to cover it. The Topless Academy's Guide to Bartending is not one of those things. We know exactly what we want to say. But, our mothers read Liquor Snob, so we'll try to keep things relatively tame.
One thing we've put together in our...ummm...research is that this isn't some gimmicky video that puts the topless over the bartendering. L.A. bartender George Hobbs leads you through the proceedings, and while the buxom young ladies assist him, it apparently doesn't distract from the knowledge you'll gain. We'll put that in the "see it to believe it" category, and oh yes, we''ll most likely see it...as long as our moms say it's OK.
Learn more about the video and get the DVD for $19.95 ($14.95 for VHS) at ToplessAcademy.com. (Adult Content)
October 19, 2005
We're not very familiar with Podcasts, mostly because we have no truck with anything Apple-related. Yes, we like computers and MP3 players, but no, we don't need them monogrammed and in lime green.
We've found a site that might make us break our Apple boycott, however, in the form of Tiki Bar TV. The site features sporadic video podcasts in Quicktime format, each of them featuring a different cocktail recipe. The episodes resemble Mystery Science Theater 3000 meets Julia Child at her booziest, and they definitely made us chuckle with their silly humor.
Most of the episodes seem to revolve around a doctor and "cocktologist" who prescribes different drinks for various situations. Drink prescriptions? Those are covered by our insurance, right? Plus, the mailbag sections of the videos we watched were hilarious, with our favorite taking a shot at an anonymous troll who told them what they were doing was dumb. Here's to your mother, anonymous!
Check out the episodes at Tiki Bar TV.
(Update: We have been notified by our loyal readers that video podcasts are not Apple-specific, and that vcasts, as they're known, can be enjoyed on any platform. We're thankful for the update, and we'll do our research next time we decide to use a post to rail against the the latest iPod Fluffy and whatever is the case du jour. Consider us properly chastisted.)