Curious Kitchen: Celebrating the right way

Alex Ripepi

Senior Columnist

 

Everything is good in moderation, be it macaroni, panini, mug brownies, ceviche, pizza or seven limes that Gwyneth Paltrow bought for you. More so than anything else, this is true of alcohol. But that’s not to say one can’t indulge every once in a while. I personally drink like a 93-year-old woman on the rare occasion that I do whip up something that could take the paint off a picket fence. Because mixology is so delicate, nothing fancy went into this week’s recipes aside from the bloody mary.

Alex Ripepi Senior Columnist
Alex Ripepi
Senior Columnist

 

First, let’s start with the Manhattan. The drink isn’t too complicated and is made with whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters. Then you stir the whole thing together and serve it in your glass of choice, but for the love of god, serve this in a cocktail glass with no ice if you have even a shred of dignity. It’s not that other serving glasses aren’t as prestigious. It’s that the cocktail glass lets everyone around you know how much better the drink is than their own. Really, the vehicle that the drink is served in doesn’t matter for a Manhattan; the drink can stand on its own.

 

The bloody mary comes next, and this is one that I’ve come to understand and love very much. Evolving from the typical combo of bloody mary mix plus vodka plus garnish, I’ve started using sriracha vodka – do not drink this alone, it tastes like bile without anything to lighten the flavor – bacon hot sauce and mix that I make at home. Nothing truly amazing goes in the mix, it’s just extra spicy because more spice is better. Garnishing your drink is another part of the process that really isn’t necessary and is most often used to justify a cup of booze as “lunch,” but I do enjoy a slice of bacon or pickled okra because bacon fits the rest of the theme, and okra is delicious.

 

The last drink that I am going to advocate here is the Moscow Mule, one that surprisingly has picked up in popularity in recent times. I equate this rise in popularity to the ease of stealing the copper cups, which must fetch a pretty penny on the cup black market. The drink is comprised of vodka, ginger beer – make sure you get ginger beer and not ale, ginger ale will ruin everything about the drink – and lime juice. The drink should be served with a cube or two of ice in a copper cup, and with this mix, the method of serving really does make a difference. There is a chemical reaction between the ingredients and the metal, which chills the drink very rapidly, and the drink itself is pretty delicious. Aside from the chilling reaction, the copper cup is not necessary though.

 

This will be the last time that I will be braving the wilds of the curious kitchen, and I have to say that every story has been a blast. Whether taking a simple recipe to a different place or sticking to the books, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing for you. If you take anything from this column and those in the past, make whatever you want, but don’t be afraid to get crazy with it. Have an amazing summer.