Booze You Can Use: Have a Corpse Reviver #2

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This drink seems to be popping up everywhere these days -- likely due to our proximity to Halloween -- although it has absolutely nothing do do with Halloween. It's a morning drink -- a little hair of the dog to revive your corpse after a rough night. Back in the days of the Savoy Cocktail Book, where the recipe was published, one of the ingredients -- Lillet Blanc -- was made from a different formula than it is today. Since its release, some have taken to substituting Cocchi Americano, as it approximates the original Lillet Blanc formula.

Corpse Reviver #2
3/4 ounce gin
3/4 ounce lemon juice
3/4 ounce Cointreau
3/4 ounce Cocchi Aperitivo Americano (or Lillet Blanc)
Dash of absinthe
Combine ingredients over ice, shake and strain into a chilled coupe.

Channeling Julia

Julia Child's birthday was August 15th, and as I was walking home last night I passed a window display at Broadway Panhandler filled with pictures of her.  As you know, I adore hershe's one of my heroes. I admire the way she lived her live to the fullest, without being overindulgent,  it seems like she had a wonderful marriage, which is a challenging feat, and she inspired others through her actions. What's not to love? As of this moment, I have no plans on Saturday night. Maybe I'll channel Julia, open up my copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and a bottle of wine, and see what happens. For your viewing pleasure, here's a clip of Julia cooking one of my favorite things -- lobster! Thanks to you rock, lobster! for highlighting it.

Sweet Blog o' Mine Holiday Gift Guide!

I've already done my holiday shopping, but if you're looking for some ideas, here's a list of books, food, and drinks that have crossed my path this year that would be suitable for any bon vivant in your life.

Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl -- this definitive book by cocktail historian David Wondrich details the history of punch and includes recipes that will keep you and your friends full of cheer at any party.

Left-coast-libationsLeft Coast Libations -- this book from our friends on the West coast contains 100 delicious looking cocktail recipes and drink porn galore.

Salt to Taste -- although technically this crossed my path last year, I've turned to it repeatedly since then for cooking guidance from Hearth's Marco Canora. 

Class at Pizza a Casa -- Mark Bello will teach you how to make kick-ass pizza (and now pasta, too), at home.  That said, even if you don't take up pizza making in your spare time, going to Mark's class is worth it just to share in his passion and enthusiasm.  Plus, there's lots of pizza!

Karlsson's Gold Vodka -- For all those vodka naysayers out there who whine about vodka having no flavor, you may want to check out this potato vodka.  I had the opportunity to go to a tasting where the Karlsson's team had us taste several of their vodkas, each made with a different type of potato, which had a huge impact on the flavor profile of each.  Karlsson's Gold is lovely on the rocks with a hit of freshly ground black pepper.

Flying Pigs Farm -- This may seem like an odd gift, but every time I try a new product from Flying Pigs Farm I am less likely to buy my pork from anyone else.  Chorizo, bacon, pork rillettes, chicharrones, Canadian Bacon -- pick some up at the Union Square Greenmarket and get cooking.

Beefeater Winter -- Beefeater's latest limited seasonal launch has notes of orange, cinnamon, nutmeg and pine, making it ideal for winter cocktails.  I used it in a negroni last week and it married beautifully with the Campari and sweet vermouth.

Cutbklyn Cut Brooklyn -- Want a gift that will last a lifetime? Check out these beauties.  Hand crafted knives made from all-American materials by artisan Joel Bukiewicz.

Firelit Coffee Liqueur -- Made with Blue Bottle Coffee, this small-batch liqueur from California was handed to me with a warning about its caffeine level and raves about its deep coffee flavor.  Since I just got it last night, I haven't tasted it yet, but I'm pretty excited to try it.  Maybe tonight -- hoping it doesn't keep me up!

Bacon Marmalade -- run, do not walk, to Whisk to buy this addictive condiment.  You'll mix it into eggs, slather it on a grilled cheese, or maybe just eat it with a spoon to savor its smoky, sweet and tangy goodness.

Birth of a Cookbook


Last night, not only was I lucky enough to eat at the chef's counter at Hearth for their end-of-summer lobster dinner, but I had the good fortune to be sitting there when Chef Marco Canora saw a finished copy of his soon-to-be-released cookbook, Salt to Taste, for the very first time.  The pure joy and excitement of seeing his first cookbook in completed form was wonderful to watch, and from what I could see, it looks gorgeous. 


Earlier that night I had spoken to him (luckily it was during the first course, before I had lobster all over me), and told him how it was appropriate that I was there on that particular night.  Last night was the night of the StarChefs Rising Star Gala, which I had attended many years ago for Gothamist. Chef Canora was one of the winners that year, and I adored his fava and pecorino salad with smoked lamb tenderloin that he served that night.  When I got fava beans from my CSA, I did my best to recreate it, but alas, it wasn't as good, but once I get a copy of the book, I'll give it another try.

The book will be released on October 13th.  Congratulations!

A Magical Machine

It's kind of amazing what the human body can do with a little dedication.  My friend Heidi lent me Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, where he describes running an ultra-marathon -- a sixty-two mile race -- during which he literally feels that his body is a machine, just going through the motions to get him to the finish line. 

As for me, a theatre and stage band geek has become a triathlete -- not a minor transformation.  I'm also amazed at my body's uncanny timing.  I am currently fighting a fairly nasty cold, complete with a runny nose, sore throat, and low-grade fever, but I am so very thankful that it came this week rather than last week, right before my race.  Maybe this is my body's way of letting go of all the stress I've put it through over the past few months -- my friend Erika tells me that it's fairly common for marathon runners to get sick right after their races.  I would chalk it up to picking up something during my dip in the Hudson, except that I know a handful of others who seem to be fighting the same cold this week (feel better, gang!), and none of them did the triathlon.  Whatever the reason, I thank you, magical machine, for waiting until after the tri.

Rain, Rain, Go Away

You're making it very hard for me to focus here.  All I want to do is snuggle on the couch with my Netflix DVD's.  I most certainly do NOT want to swim tonight.  The view from my office window reminds me of this poem, Waiting at the Window, which popped into my mind from my childhood -- quite odd since I can barely remember what I ate for breakfast this morning.  Enjoy!

These are my two drops of rain
Waiting on the window-pane.

I am waiting here to see
Which the winning one will be.

Both of them have different names.
One is John and one is James.

All the best and all the worst
Comes from which of them is first.

James has just begun to ooze.
He's the one I want to lose.

John is waiting to begin.
He's the one I want to win.

James is going slowly on.
Something sort of sticks to John.

John is moving off at last.
James is going pretty fast.

John is rushing down the pane.
James is going slow again.

James has met a sort of smear.
John is getting very near.

Is he going fast enough?
(James has found a piece of fluff.)

John has quickly hurried by.
(James was talking to a fly.)

John is there, and John has won!
Look! I told you! Here's the sun!  -- A.A. Milne

Feed Your Mind

I am very slowly making my way through the pile of books I have amassed as gifts, loans, and for potential Gothamist columns.  I wasn't such a huge fan of Monique Truong's The Book of Salt, I'm afraid, although it has gotten very high praise from others.  I finished Batali and Ramsay mentor Marco Pierre White's A Devil in the Kitchen which comes out on May 1st.  I enjoyed it -- he's quite a character and had a major impact on the London food scene.  Finally, I read How I Learned to Cook -- a great compliation of stories from over twenty major chefs of defining moments in their culinary careers.  Next up, Slow Food Nation by Carlo Petrini and Alice Waters, and Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert.  I don't think I have a non-food-related book in the pile.

Just a Glimpse

It's interesting what you can learn about someone by taking a glance at the books on their nightstand:


I swear that this is an unstaged photo. I will admit, however, that I'm not really reading the Robber Bride or The Whore's Child at the moment, so they're more like decoration, but the rest I've at least picked up once or twice lately.   Let the comments begin.

Party Shuffle

So I'm sitting here doing some work and I've got my iTunes on "party shuffle" mode, which, although it doesn't really create the party-type atmosphere that might lift me out of the grey-day funk I seem to be in, makes me smile each time a new song comes up -- I never know what's going to be next.  Kind of like my life, I suppose. 

In between bouts of work, I'm cooking up some stuff which is going to end up being either enchiladas or some sort of mexican chicken, bean, and tortilla casserole, depending on how I feel when all the pieces are done.  I've shredded the cheese, and am about to poach the chicken and make some enchilada-type sauce.  I was inspired by a new cookbook on casseroles that I picked up on the cheap at Strand yesterday.

As for the rest of the weekend, Friday night I attempted to go to an opening-night party at Bombay Talkie, a spot billed as a "teahouse inspired by Bollywood  and the street foods of India."  Sounded great on the surface, but in reality, it was jam-packed, and the food wasn't coming fast enough for me and my very hungry companion for the evening (although we did get a nice glass of Pinot Noir out of the deal).  I'll have to go check it out some other time.  We skipped out and tried to go to Tia Pol, where I ran into a former colleague from Anderson Kill, but where they informed us that it would be an hour wait for a table.  We chose to head elsewhere before hunger-induced crankiness (and wine-on-an-empty-stomach induced drunkness) set in.  We ended up at a place called Bongo, which makes fantastic cocktails (including one hell of a sidecar) and a decent lobster roll.  I found it a little overseasoned, like the one at Mermaid Inn, but the heavily buttered roll softened the seasoning somewhat.  I still think I prefer Pearl for my NYC lobster rolls

After dinner, I headed home, but caved in to that "I think I'll just check in and see if anyone I know is at Otto" moment, which meant another glass of wine, and then through the magic of Dodgeball, ended up at The Stoned Crow, where I met up with Ned ("you know Ned through Nichelle," said Dodgeball).  Although I stuck to water at that point, I was definitely up a little later than I had originally intended.

Saturday I had my friends Carrie and Brian over for brunch -- made a frittata, which is my favorite thing to make for brunch-time company.  Acting very decadent, we made mimosas, and even had a little caviar and sour cream on rye toasts.  We were all a little too hungover to really dive in to anything but the fritatta, however.  After brunch, I did a few errands, and then some quiet time on the couch before heading to the Black Table party at Slainte.  I certainly took it easy, and went to bed at a reasonable hour, but I still had a great time catching up with some of my favorite bloggers, and my non-blogger (a.k.a. "normal") friend David even stopped by to say hello for a while.

Tonight I'm going to the gym, eating some of whatever I end up whipping up, and then early to bed so I can get a jump start on the week -- have a lot to do and I need to be energized, refreshed, and ready to tackle it all.  Let the party begin.