Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Out of the Penalty Box!

I have got to be more careful when I pride-bet. But the 24 hours with that awful, awful red-and-white color scheme are OVER! So, I hope, are the Washington Capitals tomorrow night. The Caps may be a bit distracted--wonder why?

As I said, I'll be drinking Crosby Sucks in honor of the chants we'll be hearing all week. However, I thought of what I want to be chanting at my TV. This isn't my recipe--it's a classic cocktail that I enjoyed in my early twenties on the rare occasions when I really, really wanted to get hammered. Basically, it's jungle juice, but since it's blue and tastes citrusy, I loved it.

Adios Motherfucker

1 ounce gin
1 ounce light rum
1 ounce tequila
1 ounce vodka
1 1/2 ounce blue curacao liqueur
2 ounces sweet-and-sour mix
1 ounce lemon-lime soda

Shake all the alcohol plus sweet-and-sour mix in a shaker. Pour into tall glass with ice. Float lemon-lime soda on top.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sometimes I bet pride.

You'll notice the blog looks disturbingly different. Well, once again I pride-bet L'Ailee's best friend A., who is a rabid Detroit Red Wings fan like her. This time, the Penguins and I lost. I must maintain this disgusting color scheme for 24 hours. I have my beloved wife's ugly-ass Winged Wheel earrings in my earlobes, also for 24 hours. (This is the kind of fun two-woman couples can have!) I must put up a Red Wings screensaver on my work computer for the day tomorrow, and not change it until Wednesday morning. And I need to post this drink which would be good, except for the name. This was first created and named years ago.

The Detroit Red Wing

6 ounces Vernor's Ginger Ale
2 ounces cinnamon schnapps

Combine ingredients with ice in a tall glass. The Vernor's is important--it's very Detroit, and is the only good thing to come out of Detroit lately. My Michigander mother believes it has medicinal properties.

You can make that if you wanna, but I'll be making Crosby Sucks for the upcoming Capitals and Flyers games. Hopefully our captain will give them something to really complain about once again.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Stupid Shutout

It happened. Marc-Andre Fleury finally got his first shutout of the season against the Boston Bruins tonight! I have already named a cocktail after MAF, but so what? After all the hype about the asswhoopings about to be given and received, this is what I think needs to be remembered, especially since Fleury and our defenders had an awful performance against the New Jersey Devils just the night before.

I just put this together tonight out of things that looked appealing to me. Boy, I was craving strawberries. It's a bit girly and faintly pink, but hell, we *are* talking about a guy who allows people to nickname him "Flower". This is sweet, but with a bit of pucker to it, and it's as good as finally getting "that stupid shutout".

The Stupid Shutout

About 5-6 strawberries, washed and tops cut off
Dash balsamic vinegar
2 ounces Absolut Berri Acai
Lemon-lime seltzer

Place strawberries in cocktail shaker with just a small dash of balsamic vinegar. Mash them in the shaker with a spoon. Add Absolut Berri Acai and a couple of ice cubes. Shake like crazy for a minute. Strain out liquid into an old-fashioned glass; discard ice and strawberry pulp. Top with seltzer; stir or shake lightly.

Notes on ingredients: I have seen other acai-flavored vodkas besides Absolut Berri Acai, but not many. The Absolut has other flavors to it--blueberry and pomegranate. (I'm trying this with blueberries when the time's right!) Also, I do mean seltzer--Sprite, 7-Up, and the like would be far too sweet and overwhelm the other, more interesting flavors.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Of Staals and Shooters

We've gone an awful long time without Penguins hockey, haven't we? And the last game was marred by Matt Cooke's possibly season-ending hit to Marc Savard's head. Tomorrow night's game against the Carolina Hurricanes should be much better. I'm going to have to TiVo it because it's my birthday and I don't want to spend it in front of the TV, but I hope Bill Guerin gives me the gift of a hat trick and/or a really hot decisive fight.

What this game will almost definitely bring are a few (hundred) references to the fact that the guys named Staal on each team, the ones who look really similar, are, big shock, brothers. Last year, Kim and Zoe at Puck Huffers came up with the Staal Brothers Drinking Game. A drinking game requires a good shooter, and so I came up with this earlier in the season. It tastes good, and it's green, like the famous sod farm. (Some of you may therefore wish to try this next week.)

Staal Sod Farm Shooter

1 ounce vanilla-flavored vodka
1 ounce creme de menthe

Shake ingredients in cocktail shaker with a couple of ice cubes; pour into shot glass. Can be easily multiplied for multiple shots.

After I posted that, FrankD at Pensburgh suggested that I make a cocktail that is appropriately grassy, with chlorophyll or wheatgrass. Homer Simpson (okay, his writers) beat me to it. I'd have to drink a lot of something else in order to drink this, but I'll share it here anyway.


1 oz vodka
1 oz wheatgrass juice

Stir together in a shot glass, and serve.

Me, I'll probably be having a bourbon and "Come onnnnn, y'all, ya gotta have Diet Pepsi, not just Coke, right?" Hooks Orpik can help with morning-after recovery. To quote the great Sinead O'Connor, "If we can't be good, we'll be careful."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Open Bar

I didn't see anything particularly "cocktail-worthy" about tonight's game against the New York Rangers. It was an ugly game with a beautiful result--the Penguins gutted out a win. However, I've decided to take a moment just to explain a few things about this blog, now that the Olympics and trade deadline craziness is over.

I am an almost-36-year-old woman who loves to cook and fancies herself an amateur bartender. People came to our house all the time even before we won a huge hi-def TV. Back in early November, when it seemed that a new defenseman was getting injured every day, my friend B. decided to give me a penguin-shaped cocktail shaker "for watching your games with", as a joke. (I promptly told him I'd make him Hurricanes, as his Carolina Hurricanes had been having an even worse season at that point.) I shared this at Pensburgh.

During the next game, which was a loss, Chris Kunitz yelled "Aw, FUCK!" really loudly near an open mic. It was what everyone in Penguins Nation was thinking. I'd used that penguin-shaped cocktail shaker to fix a super-lemony variation on the French 75 cocktail. The drink seemed so right--sour, but tinged with sweetness. The Cussing Penguin was born. I posted the recipe to Pensburgh as a wry commentary on how the team was doing.

"I hope you can post a celebratory drink," said Hooks Orpik. The very next game, I could. My beloved Bill Guerin scored an unbelievably lucky goal in literally the last few seconds of the game to turn it from a loss to a tie. The Penguins would win in overtime. I'd whomped together another drink in the kitchen before the game, and it was delicious. I named it The Lucky 13 after Guerin and posted that.

From then on, I was hooked. I decided to create cocktails for all the Penguins players and post them when they accomplished something particularly cool, whether it was taking a hard hit and staying in the game or a hat trick with two assists. I posted the recipes at the Puck Huffers blog, too, in comments. People at both PH and Pensburgh suggested that I create a blog for the recipes, and so I did in December, backdating posts containing earlier recipes. I hadn't thought of putting together a Penguins fan blog, but one featuring recipes as commentaries seemed fun and unique.

Of the players we began the year with, only Max Talbot, Ruslan Fedotenko, Brent Johnson, and Jay McKee haven't had a cocktail named after them or their accomplishments yet. They will. Alexei Ponikarovsky and Jordan Leopold have joined us; Martin Skoula, who showed some promise earlier in the season, was traded. Since I have the freedom to write without considering other peoples' space here, I have shared cocktail recipes for other hockey-related occasions, including the Winter Classic. Because most puckheads think NBC's hockey coverage sucks, I thought it was funny to post drinks that involve running the blender (who cares if you can't hear Pierre McGuire, right?) and a lot of alcohol in "honor" of the fourth-place network.

I try to keep the recipes relatively simple, alternatives to beer that you can put together from ingredients you can find in your local supermarket or liquor store during intermission or right before the game. (Okay, I'm not counting the food. That's just here because I can do it.) I've had some flights of fancy with cocktails, and that has its place. But that place is not hockey night. I won't be asking anyone to track down lavender honey or make their own rosemary-infused simple syrup, not that any hockey fan would be doing that before the game!

Every recipe I post is tried and true. My own tastes sometimes show out loud--I don't usually care for garnishes. I try to support local farmers, so there's always lots of fruit in my house. I love citrus and spices. I love fresh ingredients, yet I also have an irrational fondness for soda and blue food dye. I try to remember that I'm not just doing this for myself, and I try not to make the recipes I post too-too girly. While this blog will probably always skew female, I'm not going to spray the place with virtual man repellent, at least not on purpose.

Oh, and I still hope to come up with something worthy of being called the Pittsburgh Penguin before the season's out.

I hope, above all, that other Penguins fans are enjoying this. Please share your thoughts and suggestions.