Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Pittsburgh Penguin

Recipes for cocktails called the Detroit Red Wing and Dallas Star exist. I believe I invented something that can fairly be called the San Jose Shark a couple weeks ago. (Like other people, I got inspired by the teal color of their uniforms. I won't post it until later, if at all.) When I decided to share the San Jose Shark on Twitter, I felt kinda bad that I'd never gotten around to creating something worth calling the Pittsburgh Penguin.

Then I found out about a Kahlua cocktail called a Panda Bear. I love pandas. I love all black and white animals. I'm not ashamed to admit that this is why the Penguins logo initially caught my attention. I liked the concept of the dark Kahlua with something creamy, but hate milk in a cocktail. I also got inspired by the Dallas Star to use Goldschlager, as Vegas Gold is part of the team's colors.

I enjoyed the hell out of it last night, though the Penguins weren't on. I like almost every cocktail I improvise. They're like children--I value each one because I made them and it cost a bomb to bring them into this world. (I don't use cheap liquor.) So I did a quick Twitterpoll. My tweeps' response confirmed that I was on to something.

So, finally, *the* Pittsburgh Penguin cocktail!

Pittsburgh Penguin

1 1/2 ounce Kahlua
1 ounce cream of coconut
1 ounce Goldschlager
crushed ice

Shake all liquid ingredients in a shaker. Fill an old-fashioned glass about two-thirds of the way with crushed ice. Pour the liquid over the ice.

Should any Penguins fan have a different idea of what would fit, or know of a drink called the Pittsburgh Penguin that existed before this one, I'm listening.

Note on ingredients: I am not compensated by any company, and do not endorse any brand. I use brand names here only because I don't know any substitutes for the types of liquor used.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Real Deal Neal

I missed an opportunity to name a drink after James Neal when he scored his first goal as a Pittsburgh Penguin, and this one's amazing, so I'm making up for it.

Detroit Red Wings games are always super-stressful for me, because I'm married to a Red Wings fan. Since we're both women, we traditionally bet that the one whose team loses will wear the other's NHL team earrings to work the next day. I was happily visualizing the Penguins earrings in her lobes when the Penguins proceeded to piss away a 4-0 lead (or the Wings came back, or both). The Wings tied it, and the game went to shootout. Of...course!

Joey McDonald had done a terrific job for the Wings after Jimmy Howard was chased out of the net. But it wasn't quite enough. James Neal, after lots of good tries throughout the game, scored the one and only shootout goal. That was all the Penguins needed, really. And so, in gratitude to Neal for keeping those ugly, itchy Winged Wheels out of my earlobes, I offer this. I'm still in love with variations on the caipirinha, and I'm surprised at myself for not thinking to combine two of my favorite flavors sooner. Maybe this can help you forget controversies involving elbow-happy wingers for a moment.

Real Deal Neal

2 ounces vanilla-flavored vodka
1 small lime or half a large lime, cut into wedges
1 teaspoon sugar

Muddle the lime and sugar in an old-fashioned glass (a wooden spoon or piece of sugar cane is best). Fill the glass with ice, crushed if possible. Pour vanilla vodka over it. Stir, then sip.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Justin Deffrey

Yes, I know that the Pittsburgh Penguins' *former* AHL call-up, who was recently given the chance at the full-time NHL role he deserves, is named Dustin Jeffrey. But fans and announcers alike sometimes get confused and want to call him "Justin." It really happens after a drink or three.

Jeffrey's two goals last night, one in the first period and the game-winning goal in overtime, were sweet by any name. The Penguins have still gone over a month without winning in regulation, but in the past couple of weeks, it seemed like they were getting either one pity point or nothing. The team and the fans needed a win badly, and Jeffrey delivered. He and Jordan Staal snapped the Boston Bruins' seven-game winning streak.

I decided to toss together random ingredients during the second intermission because I was craving something tiki-ish and I didn't want to walk the streets of Brooklyn on Saturday night. I always have dark rum and cherry liqueur in my kitchen, and I like cream of coconut more than is good for me. You'll probably have a hard time with anyone's name after this.

Justin Deffrey

2 ounces dark rum
2 ounces cream of coconut
1 ounce cherry liqueur
1 ounce pineapple juice
dash allspice

Pour all ingredients in cocktail shaker with a handful of ice. Shake for about 30 seconds. Pour the resulting drink into a hurricane glass mostly filled with ice, preferably crushed.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sweet Whiskey Nisky

I haven't been inspired for a while, partly because I was busy and partly because of the rash of injuries that hit the Penguins this winter. But I'm optimistic about the new guys. One of them, Matt Niskanen, was best known earlier this season as that dude on the Dallas Stars who got his ass handed to him by Sidney Crosby. That will change soon. Niskanen scored his first goal with the Penguins last night and assisted Chris Conner out of his 17-game goal-less streak. While it wasn't enough to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs, his effort was definitely welcome, as was the one pity point.

A Penguins fan on Twitter (I forget who) tweeted "Sweet whiskey Nisky!" in response to his goal. I got inspired. I had a bit of limoncello that I just hadn't felt like using in my kitchen, so I used that. I love the combination of lemon and honey. I ended up with this while trying to avoid Mike Milbury on Versus during first intermission. This took the edge off when I realized I actually agreed with him that Antti Niemi deserved that nice new contract with the San Jose Sharks.

Sweet Whiskey Nisky

1 1/2 ounces whiskey
1 ounce limoncello
1 teaspoon honey
handful of ice

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake like crazy. Pour into a glass, ice and all. Good for sipping.