Tag Archives: cognac

Tinseltown Toasts: The Embassy

drinks_embassyOpened in 1930 adjacent to the Montmartre, the Embassy Club maintained a private membership list of 300, including Charlie Chaplin and Gloria Swanson.  By excluding the gawking public, the Embassy Club failed, pulling down the once-popular Montmartre (same owners) with it.

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The Oxonian

drinks_oxonian_sma 12BB original

3 parts Advocaat (Dutch/Belgian eggnog liqueur)
3 parts ESB ale (Extra Special/Strong Bitter)
1 part (or to taste) spiced brown sugar syrup (recipe below)

Add all ingredients to a glass of any shape or sort and stir to combine. Some may like a cube or two of ice. Grate a bit of fresh nutmeg over the top


For Syrup:

Dissolve 2 cups light brown or evaporated cane sugar into 1 cup water over low heat
Add 0.25 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, ground cloves and ground ginger
Stir until combined, and allow to cool

Featured Glassware: Boston Double Old-Fashioned by Villeroy & Boch

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It was roughly around this past Halloween that we answered our nation’s call. By “our nation”, we mean PBS.org, and by “answered”, we mean responded to their email requesting an original drink for a collection of holiday recipes. Obviously, it was an honor to be among those chosen by PBS, but coming up with a new Christmas-themed concoction was a bit of a challenge. Not only did the drink need to be simultaneously new and fresh while still conjuring up Christmas traditions, it also needed an appropriate moniker — something that could rationally be applied yet esoteric enough not to have been previously taken.

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Newton’s Special

By Lesley Jacobs Solmonson


2.25 oz Brandy
0.75 oz Orange Liqueur (Cointreau specified)
1 Dash Angostura Bitters

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass


Featured Glassware: New Cottage Amber by Villeroy & Boch


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Given that we have dubbed 2012 as The Year of the Doctor, it seems only fitting that we begin with a short preamble paying tribute to a scientist whose work has helped shape our concepts of Ye Olde Space-Time Continuum.  In considering the myriad of choices available to us – Einstein, Neils Bohr, Werner Heisenberg – we decided to travel a bit further back in time as it were, opting not for the scientists who “invented” time travel, but rather the man without whose theories none of these men could have created their own – the giant on whose shoulders the others stood, if you will.  The man of whom I speak is, of course, the inimitable Sir Isaac Newton.  Read More…

Mixology Monday LIX: Brown Betty

by Lesley Jacobs Solmonson

0.25 cup firmly packed Brown Sugar
4 oz Water
Quarter Lemon, sliced
1 Pinch (1/16 tsp) each Ground Cloves, Ground Cinnamon, and Ground Ginger
2 oz Remy Martin Cognac
4 oz Real Ale (ESB recommended)

Dissolve the brown sugar in the water
Add sliced lemon to mixture.  Let stand 15 minutes
Add brandy, ale, and spices, stirring to combine
Chill well
Garnish with a lemon slice and a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg
Ice can be added if you don’t oppose ice in beer

Multiply by 4 for a full recipe.

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Oxford University is known for many things, among them its tremendous education, exquisite architecture, lovely location, and esteemed graduates.  In terms of cocktail history, Oxford is synonymous with a little book known as “Oxford Night Caps – A Collection of Receipts for the Making of Various Beverages Used in the University” from the early 1800s.  For today’s beer-themed Mixology Monday, we’ve adapted the traditional “Night Caps” recipe for Brown Betty and scaled it down from punch bowl to single serving size.  We think it’s an ideal summer drink, not only because it tastes damn fine but also because it’s a one-two “punch” that’ll impress both the beer-lover and the cocktail snob alike.

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Horchata con Coñac

1 Cup uncooked long grain rice
2 Quarts warm water
0.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1.25 Cups whole milk
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 oz+ Remy Martin Cognac

Mix the rice and warm water together in a bowl, and let stand for 1/2 hour.
Reserving the water, drain and place the rice in the bowl of a food processor. Add the cinnamon and process until rice is the consistency of a fine meal.
Return the rice to the water and let stand at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally as the water turns milky white.

Strain the rice through a fine sieve into a bowl or pitcher. Stir in the milk, condensed milk, vanilla, and cognac until evenly blended.
Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Makes approximately 2.5 quarts
Tradition says to serve over ice.  As this dilutes the drink, just keep it cold in the refrigerator and skip the ice.  Stir before serving.

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We all know the term “Napoleon complex” as a measure of feeling inadequate.  Imagine then, if you will, what it must mean to suffer from said complex if you actually are Napoleon – but not the Napoleon.  We’re talking Napoleon III, nephew to the real Napoleon.  Much like Frank Sinatra Jr. was often referred to as Frank Not-So-Hotra (at least by my dad), being the other Napoleon must have come with its share of “not as great as his uncle” sentiment.  But still, Bonaparte Lite had some mojo going for him, and he was dead set on showing France that he could lead it into a glorious new age.  So, he did what any European-ruler-living-in-the-shadow-of-his-(in)famous-uncle would do – he got himself declared Emperor and began with the conquering… by invading Mexico.

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