Archive for ‘Drinks Cabinet’

May 10, 2011

Persephone’s Drinks Cabinet | Candied Ginger Vodka Gimlet

Sometimes, you just want a little cocktail, but only have a few things in the fridge or pantry.  This is perfect drink for those times.  We seem to almost always have a lime or a knob of ginger lying around as I’m always making Asian noodles of one sort or another.  Tried and true, this is a gimlet with just a little twist.  It’s extra delicious with OYO Vodka.  But then again, just about everything is better with a little OYO Vodka.

Candied Ginger Gimlet, makes one

3 ounces vodka, use OYO if you can find it

1 ounce lime juice

1 ounce ginger simple syrup

For the candied ginger simple syrup:

In a nonstick pan, take a thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and diced, and throw it in with a tablespoon of sugar and a tablespoon of water.  Heat it until it becomes extremely syrupy, and add it to your simple syrup (1/2 c sugar, 1/2 water, brought to a boil, simmered for a moment or two and allowed to cool).  Let it infuse for as long as you like, but try to give it at least 15 minutes. Strain.

For the cocktail:

In a shaker with crushed ice, combine all ingredients, shake well, and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with ginger and lime.

Playlist included Surfboard, by Esquivel.

April 18, 2011

Persephone’s Drinks Cabinet | The Rhubarb Middleton

Playing in the backyard with Cherub this afternoon, I couldn’t help but admire the rhubarb plant that’s seriously taken off.

I’ve watched it daily from my kitchen window, but from that vantage point, I had no idea just how much was ready for harvesting.  Cherub and I picked four large stalks (for a total of about 3/4 of a pound) this afternoon.  There must be another 40, at least.

My favorite way to use rhubarb is in cocktails.   I simmered the rhubarb down to a syrup (straining and reserving the remaining pulp for a dessert to be determined).  It’s a perfect early-spring combination of rhubarb, orange, vanilla and vodka.  It’s creamy, tart and appropriate for any get together.

I thank Jamie Oliver for the original inspiration, but cheekily name this version after Kate who will be bidding farewell to her “common” life.  And if you’re NFI, this cocktail might be the perfect thing to toast the newly married couple.

The Rhubarb Middleton, Makes 2

For the syrup:

3/4 pound rhubarb stalks, sliced

Juice from 1/2 orange

1/2 c sugar

1/2 vanilla bean sliced lengthwise (or add in a 1/2 t vanilla extract after the syrup has cooled if you haven’t the bean)

Simmer together over medium low heat for eight to ten minutes or until it becomes a pulp.  Strain, reserving the solids for another purpose if desired.  Allow syrup to cool.

For the cocktail:

Combine in a cocktail shaker with ice:

2 shots rhubarb syrup

2 shots vodka

1 shot Grand Marnier

1 shot half and half, Snowville, of course

Playlist included Common People, by Pulp.

When it was just a wee sprout a few weeks ago.The four stalks harvested this afternoon.

January 3, 2011

Persephone’s Drinks Cabinet | Blood Orange Nocturne

On the leftover nights, I don’t really bother with buying a bottle of wine.  (Although one would have gone marvelously with the leftover crab rollatini and lettuces with ume plum and blood orange vinaigrette.)  Instead, I mix up a couple of cocktails for Hades and me.  And in a lovely turn of events, I wound up with something that I would eagerly serve at any cocktail party.

Cheers to seasonal leftovers and winter cocktails.

Blood Orange Nocturne, makes one

2 ounces vodka (the house vodka is Chopin, but OYO is a close second)

2 ounces blood orange juice

1.5 ounces lime thyme simple syrup (equal parts lime juice and sugar with a generous helping of fresh thyme sprigs, simmered until dissolved and cooled)

Splash of tonic water, or some champagne, if you’re feeling saucy. And you should.

3 supremed segments of blood orange, sprig of thyme for garnish

In a cocktail shaker combine the vodka, orange juice and syrup.  Shake over ice until very cold.  Pour into a martini glass, top with a float of tonic water or champagne, the orange slices and the thyme.

Playlist included Nocturne op. 9 no. 2, by Chopin.

November 26, 2010

The Official Persephone’s Kitchen Holiday Gift Guide

The turkey coma is fading, the leftover turkey carcass is simmering on the stove for stock, and now you can start thinking about what to do about your holiday gifts.  ‘Tis the season to be giving!  Perhaps you’ve got a friend or family member that loves all things food, or all things Ohio or all things fabulous. 

Persephone is here with a trusty list that’s sure to have them smiling.  Here are some of the things that will be wrapped and given to our nearest and dearest this year, whether it’s under a tree or lovingly pressed into the welcoming hands of a hostess with a houseful of merrymakers.

For the Baker

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November 16, 2010

Thanksgiving Wines | Persephones’s Drinks Cabinet

You may have noticed that I like to enjoy a nice wine with dinner all the time now and then.  So of course I wanted to give extra thought to the wine pairing for my favorite food holiday: Thanksgiving.  I visited with my friends Josh Shapiro and Miss McCoy at Vino 100 Short North to figure out what would taste great with my dinner, and heck, your dinner, too.  Persephone’s always happy to help!  Here are our picks.

Feeling Bold and Modern?

Josh recommends that you pair your bird with a rosé from Provence.  While rosé used to have a terrible reputation in the 80’s as overly sweet and well, kinda gross, now rosés are being rediscovered by the cool kids.  Not just for summer drinking anymore, Provence rosés add a smidge of elegance to a holiday meal.  A couple of good ones are Commanderie Bargemone ($17) which is delicate and has a dry finish, and Domaine de Terrebrune Bandol ($30), which was awarded 90 points by Wine Spectator.  The nice thing about these is that they appeal to both red and white wine crowds.  Success!

The Right Red

Beaujolais, also being touted as Gamay, referring to the grape, pairs well with a rich holiday meal.  The acidity in Beaujolais partners skillfully with the turkey and rich gravy.  These are not the unserious Beaujolais Nouveaus you’ve read stories about.  These are beautiful, balanced wines that have black fruit and cherry flavors.  The 2008 Pierre Chermette ($19) is lushly fruity and velvety with a peppery finish.  For a Cru Beaujolais, Josh recommends the Domain Chignard Les Moriers 2008 ($25).  This is what’s being served at his house.  No word yet if he is accepting reservations.

Whites that Work

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October 19, 2010

Cocktails at the Rossi with Maia

Maia and I enjoyed cocktails and dinner at The Rossi tonight.  Maia is rather worldly and has been just about everywhere in this fair city of ours.  I love that about her.  She can order with the pros.

I started with a Ohio Apple Pie cocktail with some Brothers Drake mead because I just recently tasted all their fall releases.  The Rossi is one of the swanky places that carries this fine stuff.  Nicolene, the creative barkeep at Rossi, pairs Brothers Drake Apple Pie mead with another local libation, OYO vodka, and finishes it off with a garnish of cinnamon and sugar.  Really nice pairing.

Maia had the Fletcher and Bligh with Ten Cane rum, key lime juice, some maraschino liqueur.  The beautifully presented martini glass is kissed with vanilla bean sugar and looks like a frosted winter present, albeit one of delicious alcohol.

Being from Texas, I can’t pass up an opportunity to try an enchilada in any form, and

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October 18, 2010

Persephone’s Drinks Cabinet: Brothers Drake Mead

Saturday Hades and I went to a preview tasting of the fall releases from Brothers Drake Meadery.  I was a novice to mead, having only equated it with Vikings downing huge mugs after a well-executed pillaging. 

The Drake brothers (Woody and Eric) brought me up to speed on its history as well as its production.  This is a local beverage!  As you know, Persephone loves local.  Basic mead is three pristine ingredients: honey, yeast and spring water.  So essentially, as the boys taught me, you could make it at home.  You could.  But why bother if you’ve got some

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