DOTW: The B-52

Posted by Anita on 03.09.07 7:15 AM

B-52 (c)2007 AECMost shooters have raunchy names that can’t be printed on a blog that my mom reads, and/or ingredient lists that sound like a recipe for instant projectile vomiting. So, picking a drink for next week’s episode of Mixology Monday — hosted by Rick over at Martini Lounge — feels a bit like being forced to buy clothes at the Goodwill: It’s not going to be pretty, and the best you can hope for is something that won’t make you embarassed to show your face among your peers.

In this case, just like second-hand garb, we decided it would be better to bypass the trendy and bizarre choices, and opt for a classic silhouette. Simple elegance in a shot glass, if you will.

MxMo badgeThe B-52
1 part Kahlua
1 part Bailey’s Irish Cream
1 part Grand Marnier

Layer the liqueurs into a cordial glass in the order listed, carefully pouring over the back of a bar spoon to keep each one distinct.

Edited to add: This is one of those recipes where it’s important to use the actual brand listed, rather than substituting. Different liqueurs have different specific gravities, which makes a difference when it comes to maintaining the integrity of the layers.

Remember, next month’s exciting episode of MxMo will be hosted right here on MwD on April 16. Our theme is Champagne cocktails, so get those sparkling ideas ready…

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Close enough to taste it

Posted by Anita on 03.02.07 4:58 PM

MWD kitchen (c)2007 AEC

Can you believe it’s been 2 months since we kicked off our kitchen remodel?

There’s so much new since the last update — cabinets, moulding and trim, the range hood, gallons of paint, and a LOT of shopping — I hardly know where to start. In fact, if a cabinet snafu hadn’t delayed progress by 10 days, I might even be telling you that we were done!

Even so, we’re really getting down to the home stretch here. Our contractor told us this morning that he was really gunning to get everything done next week. It’s a lofty goal, but if he really kicks it into high gear, it could happen.

I’m happy to report that our kitchen feels remarkably true to the style and scale of the house, and that a couple of little signature pieces have turned out — dare I say it? — even better than we’d hoped. We have a gorgeous storage/seating bench in the breakfast room that our contractor built, a stunning set of cubbies over the ‘lab bench’ that the contractor’s foreman crafted to our architect’s specs, and a new “not-window” that mirrors perfectly the size, shape, and structure of its original twin. I find little things to gripe about, but all in all, I’m tickled pink, pleased as punch… and about a dozen other clichés, too.

Tomorrow, our cool stone-countertop guy will start installing our worksurfaces (honed dark slate on most cabinets, with butcherblock on the lab bench — thanks for asking!). As soon as that’s done, the tile backsplashes go in, the transom glass gets affixed, the fixtures get hooked up, and the appliances get installed…


What’s that…? More pictures? Come on, now — I wouldn’t let you down like that! You gotta know there’s another snapshot tour on Flickr, just like last time.



DOTW: Friday After Five

Posted by Anita on 03.02.07 3:38 PM

Friday After Five (c)2007 AECWe’re all down with eating seasonally here in the Bay Area. But how about drinking seasonally?

California growers coax most popular citrus fruits into year-round abundance, so it’s easy to forget that these tart treats — especially many of the obscure varieties — are truly winter fruits. Specifically, sour oranges like Bergamots and Sevilles have a painfully short harvest each January or February, a fact that oddly endears them to many aficionados. This same scarcity has inspired countless generations of English cooks to put up marmalades, to extend this slice of winter sunshine as long as possible.

I’m so enamored of specialty citrus that we’ve planted a miniature grove in our tiny yard: A full size Meyer lemon, a dwarf Bergamot, and a shrub-size Makrut (kaffir) lime. The bergamots we harvested this week were zested for a micro-batch of bergamocello; I hope next year we’ll have enough to make preserves or at least make a small batch of bergamot orangettes (would that be bergamettes?). But these same few fruits yielded just enough juice for a round of one of my favorite cocktails, dubbed the “Friday After Five” in honor of the eGullet thread that spawned it.

If you can’t find Bergamots, feel free to substitute fresh grapefruit juice. It won’t taste the same, of course, but then — like favas and peaches and sun-ripened tomatoes, in their turn — the drink’s fleeting flavor is part of the charm. If you’re anything like me, the haunting scent of Bergamot may even be enough to make you wish for winter in the summertime.

Friday After Five
1 ounce gin
1/2 ounce green Chartreuse
3/4 ounce bergamot juice
1 dash Herbsaint, absinthe or Pernod

Shake over ice, and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a bergamot twist, if desired.

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