Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Trade Rumor Tamer

Just because hockey is over for the summer doesn't mean it's ever really, you know, *over*. We've been through the drafts, and now we have trades and impending free agency. My Twitter feed (@greeneyedlilo, if you're interested) and RSS feed have been bristling with rumors, what-ifs, and the attendant arguments about them. I'm sure yours have, too. My favorites are the ones about the Pittsburgh Penguins getting Dan Hamhuis and the squillionth Colby's-coming-back rumor. And if Marc Staal's really not happy with the New York Rangers, maybe he'd like it better in Pittsburgh with his brother...?

Whatever happens, July 1st is bearing down on us, and you're gonna want something to numb the pain a little bit. You'll also want something to cool you off in this hot weather.

Here it is. I got the idea for the flavor combination from the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, whose owner is full of amazing ideas for things to do with ice cream. (Bananas pureed with Valrhona chocolate on top, anyone?) Yesterday, he suggested vanilla ice cream topped with peppermint syrup and cacao nibs for sweltering New Yorkers. I decided I wanted to try this at home, but use peppermint schnapps instead of syrup and run it through my blender. He compared his sundae to a York Peppermint Patty. Drinking this milkshake, I get the sensation that the heat and rumors will soon leave us, hockey will eventually come back, and one way or another, Ray Shero's gonna put together a winning Penguins team for the 2010-11 season.

The Trade Rumor Tamer

1 1/2 tablespoons cacao nibs
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
1 ounce milk
2 ounces peppermint schnapps

Pour all ingredients into a blender; blend until everything's mixed. It should look like a chocolate chip shake. Pour into a glass and drink immediately.

Note on ingredients: You can find cacao nibs in a health food or gourmet store. If you can't find them/can't afford them/don't like them, dark chocolate chips would probably do just fine.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Carrot Top on a Dare

MouthGuard, a frequent reader/commenter, dared me to make a drink and name it "Carrot Top" in, um, honor of the Philadelphia Flyers' Scott Hartnell. Since I am superstitious enough to make Sidney Crosby shake his head and say "Damn, girl," or whatever they say in Nova Scotia, there was no way in hell I'd try it until the Stanley Cup was safely in the Chicago Blackhawks' hands. (Anything but a Flyers win, was my philosophy.) I tend to Google recipe ideas so nobody can come here and tell me that, for example, the drink I named after Brooks Orpik was first created by Pierre McGuire, named "Leadership," and has been served in Philadelphia's best sports bar for years. Turns out there's already a cocktail called Carrot Top. I'm sure it's fine, but I had other ideas.

The "carrot" made me think of something that would taste like carrot cake in a glass. This cocktail purports to do that, but you'll see that something crucial is missing--namely, carrot. So I started with carrot juice. Also, I wanted to do something with Absolut Brooklyn, which is flavored with red apple and ginger. Frankly, I'd have liked it better in the fall and don't think there's anything particularly "Brooklyn" about this flavor combination, but it's good.

I came up with this. The Frangelico adds a bit of nuttiness and creaminess. Though it's martini-sized and worked nicely in a martini glass, I don't think it qualifies as a martini. My cocktail mentor sure wouldn't think so. Whatever it is, it matches Scott Hartnell's hair and his team's uniforms, but isn't nearly as repulsive as the Flyers organization or most of its players. Since it's the off-season, I'd even serve Hartnell one if he could swear he understands that Penguins are opponents, not food.

Carrot Top

2 ounces carrot juice
2 ounces Absolut Brooklyn vodka
1 ounce Frangelico
Dash or two of cinnamon
Cinnamon sugar to rim the glass

Combine all ingredients except cinnamon sugar in a cocktail shaker with 2 or 3 ice cubes. Shake thoroughly. Place cinnamon sugar on a plate; moisten the rim of a martini glass with water. Dip rim of glass into cinnamon sugar to coat. Strain liquid into martini glass.

Note on ingredients: I don't like to specify brands if I can avoid it--nobody's paying me to advertise for them and I don't want any perception that I am unless the company is actually delivering product to my home. However, I don't think any adequate substitutes for the liquors mentioned here exist.