Sunday, January 10, 2010

Two in One

During a losing streak in which I tried very hard not to despair over the Penguins' direction, broken only by a win against the Atlanta Thrashers, I wasn't really inspired to celebrate the team with cocktails. That's why there haven't been new posts. (Well, that and I was kind of busy.) Last night's win against the Toronto Maple Leafs put me in the happy position of being unable to choose which of two Penguins players I wanted to celebrate. So, to make up for a recent lack of cocktails, I am going to post both.

Before I do, a little bit of business. It's hard to come up with something truly innovative when you're mixing drinks, particularly if, as I do, you'd just like to quickly whomp something together in your kitchen for watching the game. I came to like the combination of bourbon with a teaspoon of maple syrup and a dash of lemon juice this winter. Apparently this is called a Maple Leaf. Obviously that was unacceptable last night.

I've done a couple of internet searches, and while there are cocktails named after several hockey teams, there are none named after the Pittsburgh Penguins! By the end of the regular season, I'd like to create something simple and good that is worthy of being called the Pittsburgh Penguin. If you have suggestions, or if anyone has beaten me to it, please let me know in comments.

Anyway. Sergei Gonchar came roaring back from a leg injury with a vengeance last night. Two goals, including a power play goal! Yes, that power play goal was awfully weird, the way it bounced off the back of the net. Yes, it sucked that there was a dispute with the referees and that Gonchar wound up spending two minutes in the penalty box for hooking. But it counted, goddamn it, it counted! Soon after Gonchar left the box, he scored a much clearer and more decisive even strength goal that not even the referees could doubt.

Y'all probably figured that I love citrus by now. My brother, who knows his artisanal spirits, gave me a bottle of Compass Box' Orangerie as a present. It is delicious. You can't technically call it Scotch--it is a Scotch infusion with notes of orange and cloves, and I like it just with club soda. I'd like it in my bath if that was an option. Since Gonchar is a grown-ass man who likes the finer things in life, I bet he'd want the second-to-last shot of my Orangerie if I were serving him. He can't have it. However, after last night's performance, I'd be willing to get him some good single-malt Scotch and make the following:

Gonchar's Revenge
(a/k/a "I'm Blind, I'm Deaf, I Wanna Be a Ref")

1 1/2 ounce Scotch
1/2 ounce orange liqueur
1 dash orange bitters
1 dash cloves
About 3-4 ounces club soda

Put all of the ingredients except the club soda in a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice; shake like crazy for a minute. Pour the Scotch mixture into a highball glass, straining out ice. Fill glass with club soda. Yes, it's almost a basic Scotch-and-soda, with added flavors. It doesn't taste quite like the Orangerie, but it's good nonetheless.

The other player I'd like to thank for the Penguins' win last night is Marc-Andre Fleury. The Penguins' goalie has been in a bit of a slump. (I may have used the phrase "Swiss cheese" to describe his recent performance.) But he was awesome against the Maple Leafs. The Leafs kept throwing rubber at him, especially during the third period--22 shots in that period alone. He allowed one goal by Matt Stajan. There could have been so many more. His performance was one of the big reasons why the Penguins won by a wide margin.

There exists a drink called the Depressed Goalie. That's not our Flower, not even when he's a sieve, and certainly not last night! This is a very simple drink with a really nice flavor, and it might put a big Fleury-esque smile on your face. Look for the sparkling pear juice in health food aisles at the supermarket, Whole Foods, or Trader Joe's.

the Happy Goalie

2 ounces amaretto
About 3 ounces sparkling pear juice

Pour amaretto into a champagne flute. Top with sparkling pear juice. Don't stir--a light shake is plenty. (You don't want to break the bubbles!) Sip slowly.

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