Friday, December 18, 2009

Penguins Power Play

As a Penguins fan, I hate the phrase "Penguins power play." Oh, it should be good. We have some of the best offensive talent in the entire NHL, after all. Yet the surest way to keep the guys from scoring, it seems, is to give them a one-player advantage, which somehow prompts them to keep passing...and passing...and passing the puck. Thankfully, the team has been retooling the power play, and it paid off against the Philadelphia Flyers on December 17. In fact, the only two regulation goals were power play goals (scored by Bill Guerin and Sidney Crosby).

As a woman who loves cocktails, I hate the phrase "cranberry and vodka." Oh, they're both great, and the flavors play nicely together. But the inevitable combination is the Cosmopolitan, and from there, it's a short leap to Sex and the City. I hated that show, all thirty minutes or so of it that I could manage to watch. I'm more into bad sci-fi, Animal Planet, music videos, the Office, and, of course, sports. So I felt insulted when a bartender who I could out-mix any day of the week thought I'd want a Cosmopolitan because some fictional bimbo drank them. The drink itself got dumbed down with the kind of cranberry "juice" that's mostly corn syrup and, worse, ready-mixes. I liked them when I first became legal, but now, I'd rather drink PBR. And I hate beer, which is why I make cocktails to watch hockey with instead.

Whew, that felt good! Anyway, I've been fascinated with caipirinhas lately, like the basis for Staal's Shorthanded Breakway. I had fresh cranberries at the house recently. I decided to try a tropical preparation for a very un-tropical fruit. Technically, if you make it with vodka rather than cachuaca or rum, it's called a caipivodka. If you make it with fruits that are not lemons or limes, it's called a caipifruta. That means this drink should be called...very, very good. Like the Penguins' power play, it just took a little thought and a little tinkering to start rehabilitating cranberry and vodka's reputation.

Penguins Power Play

1 ounce vodka
handful of fresh, thoroughly washed cranberries
2 teaspoons sugar
crushed ice

Get an old-fashioned glass. Put just enough cranberries in to cover the whole bottom of it. Muddle the cranberries with sugar. (Wooden spoons work best for this.) Fill the glass with crushed ice. Pour in vodka; don't shake or stir. You'll taste the cranberries when you drink.


  1. I love your idea. I should give that a try while I still have fresh cranberries. Do you think adding a splash of tonic or soda water to it would work?

  2. @ Megs: I think soda water could work.

  3. Awesome. I'll try it and let you know :)