Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Benedict Arnold

I really should have shared this the day both Jaromir Jagr and Max Talbot signed with the Flyers. However, it's become pretty obvious that Talbot's move to the Flyers, as understandable as it was for him from a business standpoint, has gotten to his former teammates during the 2012 Playoffs. (Copying his "shhh", Kris Letang? Really?) So, another strong classic for Game 4 that seems to fit.

Benedict Arnold

2/3 ounce whiskey
1/3 ounce Benedictine liqueur

Shake with ice in a shaker. Strain ice; serve in a cocktail glass. Go top shelf for the whiskey if you make this one.

Captain's Punch

Questions have been swirling around the Penguins throughout this depressing first round of playoffs, but the main one is, "Why are the Penguins so dang cute and cuddly?" Oh, wait, that's not it. The main one is, "What the hell happened to them?" Watching the Penguins combine porous defense with outright thuggery was embarrassing for fans at best. And Sidney Crosby, usually a good leader, was right in the thick of it.

But let's have some fun with this. We're going to want something strong for Game 4. Something that tastes almost as good coming up as it does going down, if things come to that. In light of our captain's aggression, Captain's Punch, a Southern classic, somehow seems right.

Captain's Punch

1/2 oz spiced rum (like Captain Morgan)
1/2 oz amaretto almond liqueur
1/2 oz Southern Comfort
2 1/2 oz orange juice (no pulp is best)

Fill a highball or old-fashioned glass with ice cubes. Pour all ingredients into it. Stir fast, drink slow.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Game Time Decision

It's midseason, yet I hadn't posted any cocktail recipes for our beloved Pittsburgh Penguins since preseason. Part of it is that I've been uninspired. I've either come up with drinks that are far too precious to whip together before a hockey game (lavender-sage simple syrup with Meyer lemon-infused vodka, anyone?) or extremely simplistic ("Hmmm, what would go good with this flavor of Zevia? Oh, vanilla vodka with that, too!").

Mostly, however, it's that injuries have made the season depressing. Sidney Crosby came back to us....for a whole eight games. Kris Letang's broken nose and flu, which were bad enough, ended up actually being a concussion. Zbynek Michaelek and Tyler Kennedy were also concussed. Other players have had more standard injuries to their feet, hands, and knees: Richard Park, Ben Lovejoy, Paul Martin. Yesterday, the Penguins disclosed that Jordan Staal will be out for 4-6 weeks with a knee injury, Craig Adams suffered a knee injury during this morning's practice, and James Neal has a broken foot. I may have missed somebody, and at this point, I don't care.

Oh, and the Steelers are now officially out of the playoffs! Yippee!

A couple of weeks ago, one of my tweeps (I apologize for forgetting which one) suggested that I make something called a "Game Time Decision," as so many of our Penguins and even our AHL boys have those words printed after their names. I went with something that tastes a bit harsh, but is warming in this oh-so-cold winter and tastes like courage in a cup. Our guys need it.

Game Time Decision

6-8 ounces hot brewed coffee
2 ounces bourbon
1 teaspoon sugar
1 or 2 dashes cayenne pepper
1 or 2 dashes cinnamon

Brew the coffee. Slowly stir in the cayenne, cinnamon, and sugar, then the bourbon. Drink while it's still hot.

Cursed Third Jersey

"Blue" should really be a category in itself here, because I have an unnatural fondness for unnaturally blue drinks. But Penguins fan @BangBangPenguin suggested on Twitter that I make yet another and name it after the allegedly cursed new blue third jerseys. (Frankly, I got a Sidney Crosby one for Christmas 2010--one of the best gifts my mother ever gave me--and have only worn it once. You know why.)

So, once again, time to get out the trusty blue curacao and drink up. We'll probably need it.

Cursed Blue Jersey

1 ounce blue curacao
1/2 ounce Goldschlager
1 ounce white rum
2 ounces light ginger ale (Canada Dry, Northern Neck, etc.)

Mix the blue curacao, Goldschlager, and white rum in a shaker with a handful of ice (preferably crushed). Pour, ice and all, in an old fashioned glass. Top with ginger ale. Stir very lightly.

NOTES ON INGREDIENTS: I only suggest Goldschlager because of the gold flakes, which suggested "Vegas Gold" to me. Any other cinnamon schnapps would do. Coconut-flavored rum is also tasty in this. As for the ginger ale, a darker and richer variety such as Vernor's or Blenheim's would be delicious, but muddy the color, thereby not making it match the cursed blue jerseys anymore.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

First Taste of Hockey

I haven't done much here at Cocktails with the Penguins, or my personal blog either, this summer. I've been busy, and Twitter has absorbed most of my words. Also, it's been one hell of a depressing offseason. But we have hockey tonight! Pittsburgh Penguins hockey! It may only be preseason, but it's against the Detroit Red Wings and looks to be lots of fun. (My wife and I have bet our earlobes, and I sincerely hope I'm not wearing her itchy, ugly Winged Wheel earrings to work tomorrow.)

I came up with a drink involving late summer/early autumn fruit that tastes as good as preseason hockey feels. Get out the blender!

First Taste of Hockey

Half a black or red plum
4 ounces peach cider
2 ounces bourbon
Dash of ginger
Dash of vanilla
Cup of ice

Peel and seed the plum half. (Eat the other, or do whatever else you want with it.) Puree it with half of the peach cider and half of the bourbon. When that's smooth, add in the ice, ginger, vanilla, rest of the cider, and rest of the bourbon. Blend together. Pour into a tumbler, enjoy the game, and hope that absolutely no Penguins get hurt!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Painkiller for Trade Week

Hockey's over for the summer, but there's still a lot going on in Penguins Nation. There are the optimistic reports: Sidney Crosby's working out twice a day, like he did in summers before the concussion! Evgeni Malkin's healing up from his ACL surgery really well! Dan Bylsma swears he's working on the power play! The Philadelphia Flyers finally got a decent goalie, but jettisoned their best forwards to pay for him!

Then there are the moments when we realize how different our own team will look very soon. Tyler Kennedy became an unrestricted free agent today, after writing his resume late last season. Max Talbot turned down an offer from Ray Shero. Rumors of Jaromir Jagr's possible return have longtime fans getting jumpy. And as I write, something else may have happened.

So. We need something good and strong. Something to take away the pain we'll be feeling as we refresh Twitter and our favorite Pittsburgh Penguins forums the next few days. I can't think of anything better than the Painkiller, a terrific tiki classic. The following is the traditional recipe, though the proportions of the non-liquor ingredients can be played with to make a stronger or weaker (and still quite tasty) drink.


2 ounces dark rum
4 ounces pineapple juice
1 ounce coconut cream
1 ounce orange juice

Shake with a few ice cubes, then strain into an tall glass filled with ice. Sprinkle ground nutmeg on top.

If you feel like working a little harder, I've been enjoying this rum-infused Painkiller sorbet as well.

NOTE ON INGREDIENTS: The original recipe calls specifically for Pusser's dark rum. I don't endorse any brand, and have had no problem with other brands. Fresh orange juice is also recommended, but it's hard to come by this time of year. Any good not-from-concentrate orange juice with a bit of pulp will work.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Sidney's Superstition

As Penguins fans, we hated the 2011 Winter Classic, but loved HBO's 24/7 series. One of the better parts addressed Sidney Crosby's many superstitions, including his 5 pm peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

I wanted to do this drink in his honor, and then his season ended in early January. But, his doctor's cleared him for his usual summer workout routine. This made me pathetically happy after that depressing 2010-11 season. So, celebrate the fact that we (knock on wood!) have Crosby on his way back to us with this shooter. He can't have it at 5 pm on game day, but that shouldn't stop you this fall. It's better than putting on a nasty old cup, anyway.

Sidney's Superstition

1 ounce Castries peanut liqueur
1 ounce strawberry vodka

Shake ingredients together in a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice until well-blended. Serve in a shot glass immediately. Recipe can easily be multiplied for a group.

NOTE ON INGREDIENTS: I don't specifically endorse Castries, and I'm certainly not getting paid by any liquor company. I simply don't know any other peanut liqueur. (My first "peanut butter and jelly"-ish shooter was actually made with Frangelico.) This one's very creamy, intense, and rum-based.