Sunday, November 29, 2009

Crosby Sucks

Confession that won't shock anyone: Bill Guerin may bring out my inner puck bunny (I didn't even know I had one until he joined the Pens), but Sidney Crosby is my very favorite Penguins player. I sat on this one, saving it for a game where Crosby really, really brought the awesome. Maybe the hat trick and five points he got against the New York Rangers on November 28 qualifies.

The following is my very favorite cocktail, except that I substituted Canadian whiskey for my usual bourbon. This gives it a less mellow and sweet flavor than the bourbon does--some sandpaper, if you will. While Crosby was among friends on home ice on the 28th--on hat giveaway day, no less--I couldn't resist naming this after the most hilariously ironic and moronic chant in all of sports. One of the things I love is his ability to use that fan hate and send 'em home with something to really be upset about.

Seriously, it's the next best thing to drinking actual Flyers, Rangers, or Capitals fan tears.

Crosby Sucks

2 ounces good Canadian whiskey

1 ounce cherry liqueur

About 6-8 ounces vanilla cola, regular or diet

Fill a tumbler halfway with ice. Shake whiskey and cherry liqueur with two ice cubes in cocktail shaker, then pour it, ice and all, into the glass. Fill glass with vanilla cola. Stir slowly.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Skoula Bus

Martin Skoula is one of the Penguins' newbies, and serves as the seventh defenseman. He saw a lot of ice time after InjuryFest 2009 hit the Penguins defense and performed fine. Skoula had himself one hell of a game with two goals against the Atlanta Thrashers the night of November 21st.

If this looks familiar, that's probably because it's a spinoff of the Lynyrd Skynyrd. I think Lynyrd Skynyrds are a bit too sweet. Swapping out orange soda for ginger ale turned it into something I liked much better. It's not the prettiest color, but it does the job, the way Skoula did in Atlanta.

The Skoula Bus

2 oz bourbon
4 oz ginger ale, regular or diet
4 oz orange juice

Pour bourbon into a collins glass almost filled with ice. Build the drink--first orange juice, then ginger ale. Stir.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bloody Eric

This one was just inevitable! Eric Godard's fight with Chris Neil late in the November 19 game against the Ottawa Senators managed to overshadow the returns of both Max Talbot and Sergei Gonchar. It took a bit of the sting out of the loss.

I hate Bloody Marys and certainly didn't drink this during the game. While I'm being honest, I may as well admit that I initially put wasabi into a Bloody Mary that a friend of mine had made for himself to punish him for a joke that cut too deep. Insensitive jerk that he was, he liked it! We tinkered with the recipe and came up with this, which I renamed for my fellow and sister Pens fans.

Since I initially posted this, I learned that wasabi Marys have actually been pretty trendy for a while! (Trust me, whenever I hit something trendy, it's an accident.) However, I still think the liquid smoke defies ordinary. Garnish it how you like.

Bloody Eric

1 1/2 oz. vodka

1 can V8 juice

1 dash ginger

2 dashes wasabi

2 dashes liquid smoke

Fill a highball glass with ice. Build liquid ingredients in glass, starting with vodka, then adding V8 juice until the glass is full. Add spices and liquid smoke to taste. Stir until spices are blended in. Drink up.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cookie Monster

On November 16, the night the Pittsburgh Penguins played the Anaheim Ducks, I wanted to make something blue to match the blue alternate jerseys. Plus, Matt Cooke deserved to be celebrated for his two goals! The blue color and Cooke's name came together when I named this drink. It looks a bit fussy. It certainly violates my cocktailing mentor's "count the ingredients on one hand" rule. But essentially, it's a Sonic Ocean Water with rum, something I often enjoyed when I lived close to a Sonic. I added a lower-calorie option because most hockey fans don't have the metabolisms of professional hockey players.

Cookie Monster:

1 ounce light rum
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sugar or Splenda blend
1 teaspoon imitation coconut extract
3 drops blue food coloring, give or take
1 12-ounce can cold lemon-lime soda

Mix water and sugar in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve. Add coconut extract and food coloring to the syrup. Stir well.

Combine blue syrup with lemon-lime soda. Add rum. Stir. Pour over ice into tumbler.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Lucky 13

I don't normally name the drinks I invent--as with most of the food I make, I just throw things together based on the season, what is in my kitchen, and "eyeballing." What I had in my kitchen the night of November 14, when the Penguins played a somewhat discouraging game against the Boston Bruins, was a huge jug of apple cider. I liked the resulting drink lots and wanted to fix it again.

Then Bill Guerin scored a game-tying goal at literally the very...last...second. My mother is an inveterate triskaidekaphobe. When I told her how crazy I've been about Guerin since the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs, she snapped, "What kind of man would wear a number 13 on his jersey?"
"He's a lucky 13," I told her. Boy, Guerin proved me right against the Bruins! Even though he would probably consider this far too girly, that was one hell of a time for him to snap his goal-less streak, and luck doesn't get much better than that.

The Lucky 13

1 ounce bourbon

1 1/2 ounces pomegranate liqueur

About 5-6 ounces apple cider

Dash allspice

Shake bourbon and pomegranate liqueur with 2-3 ice cubes in cocktail shaker. Pour it, ice cubes and all, into a tumbler (plastic's fine). Pour in apple cider until the glass is about full. Add allspice. Stir, then sip.

Since it isn't my objective to kill myself or anyone else, I should probably note that I mean non-alcoholic/sweet apple cider, not hard cider. If I were trying to impress you with my bartending skills, I'd strain out the ice, serve it in a chilled glass tumbler, and garnish it with a few pomegranate seeds. But hey, it's just game night.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Cussing Penguin

On November 12, I planned to make classic cognac-based French 75 cocktails in my penguin-shaped cocktail shaker if the boys underperformed against the New Jersey Devils. Unfortunately, I had the opportunity. However, I didn't feel right about wasting champagne, not even the cheap and cheerful kind, on a cocktail on a weeknight. Also, um, I had to work the next day. So I substituted Lorina sparkling lemonade. Chris Kunitz gave my tasty new cocktail its name by saying what everyone in Penguins Nation felt, really loud. It's bitter, like defeat, but with a slight edge of sweetness, like the knowledge that Martin Brodeur didn't get to set a record for shutouts with our guys.

Cussing Penguin

1 1/2 ounce cognac
1 ounce lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
6 ounces sparkling lemonade

Mix cognac, lemon juice, and sugar in a cocktail shaker. Add crushed ice; shake until liquid is chilled. Pour cognac mixture in champagne flute. Pour in sparkling lemonade up to the top.