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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Saturday, June 20, 2020

Happy Hour at Home - Montparnasse Cocktail

This cocktail is a real find!  I'm obsessed with Calvados and love to find new ways to use it.  I learned about this cocktail from David Lebovitz's blog and Instagram, where he has been posting French cocktails.

I have a dream to go to Normandy where Calvados is made (and to Brittany where the similar Lambig apple brandy is made).  Until then I'll enjoy this cocktail.

Here's how I made it.

Montparnasse Cocktail Recipe

1.5 oz Calvados
0.75 oz elderflower liqueur
0.5 oz lemon juice
0.5 oz sparkling hard cider
Garnish:  apple slice 

Combine the Calvados, elderflower liqueur and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until well chilled
Pour into a cocktail glass and top with cider
Garnish with an apple slice

Happy Hour at Home - Pimm's Cup

Sometimes I can be resistant to buying a bottle of alcohol just for one cocktail recipe. It seems wasteful and expensive. So I resisted buying Pimm's for a while, but I'm so glad I took the plunge. 

Pimm's No.1 Cup is an unusual gin-based liqueur with herbs. It is traditionally served at British events like Wimbledon. Some Pimm's Cup recipes you see might call for lemonade, but that's British lemonade, which is more like Sprite or 7-Up.  I made my Pimm's Cup with ginger ale, which is an acceptable substitute. 

Muddling cucumber and lemon in the drink makes it even more refreshing. I've seen some recipes call for muddled strawberries as well, which seems a little overboard, but I might try it next time!  I love to garnish the drink with long strips of Persian cucumber, thinly sliced lengthwise to curl around the inside of the glass. 

You can hardly ask for a more refreshing summer cocktail than a Pimm's Cup.  Pimm's is pretty easy to find at the LCBO, and not too pricey, so I'd recommend picking some up!

Pimm's Cup Recipe

1/2-inch chunk of cucumber
1 lemon wedge
2 oz Pimm's No.1
4 oz lemon-lime soda or ginger ale
Garnish: lemon wheel, cucumber

Gently muddle the cucumber and lemon in a tall glass with a wooden spoon or cocktail muddler.
Pour in the Pimm's and soda and stir to combine.  
Garnish with cucumber and lemon.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Happy Hour at Home - Sidecar

I haven't been doing much cooking lately, so I haven't had food posts to share, but I have been making cocktails a lot more frequently so I thought I could share those.

The Sidecar is one of my very favourites.  For the longest time I didn't have cognac at home, but I splurged on a bottle to make these, as well as another favourite - Champagne cocktails. 

A Sidecar is simply cognac, orange liqueur and lemon juice.  I use Triple Sec as my orange liqueur, but you can use Cointreau or Dry Curacao if you prefer. 

Some folks add simple syrup and some like a sugared or half-sugared rim on their Sidecar, but I don't think it's necessary.  

As for Cognac, it can be pricey but it is nice to have in a well-stocked bar. Cognac is a type of brandy made from distilled white wine. It is labled VS, VSOP or XO based on hoe long it is aged (2, 4 or 10 years).  VS Cognac (the least expensive) is fine for mixed drinks, in my opinion. You can also use Armagnac which can be less expensive. 

You'll find recipes with different ratios of cognac to orange liqueur and lemon juice.  This is the mix I prefer.

Sidecar Recipe

2 oz Cognac
1 oz Triple Sec or Cointreau
3/4 oz lemon juice

Add cognac, triple sec and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
Shake well until chilled.
Strain into coupe glasses and garnish with a twist of lemon.