No matter one’s politics - there’s no denying that today’s drama surrounding the the former director of the F.B.I., James B. Comey Testimony is a media event rivaling anything a former media star might have dreamed up. This is like a reality show - or a spy novel in the John le Carré tradition.
Adding to the serious gravitas this investigation deserves - there is an undeniable American entertainment spectacle that has blossomed around this surreal state of affairs of late.
I’ve read of D.C. bars that are offering special cocktails made with Russian vodka - and free cocktails every time the president tweets about the proceedings. Oh what a holy series of Lemony Snickets... Here’s a quote for you from just such a take on the Absurdity of the Human Experience:
“They didn’t understand it, but like so many unfortunate events in life, just because you don’t understand doesn’t mean it isn’t so.” or “The best way to keep a secret is to tell it to everyone you know, but pretend you are kidding.”
Kidding aside - I’m offering up a series of cocktails today - to help you embrace and remember this auspicious day in American history. We’ll get through this. Stay calm - and carry on. Wait - who says that?!
I’ll start with a few cocktails here - and update as the day unfolds. Covfefe Cocktail Cheers!
Heart of Gold
I chose this cocktail from my soon to be released cocktail book: Finishing Touches: The Art of Garnishing the Cocktail.
The gold glitter seems fitting for such a sparkly kind of media star event we’re witnessing. The pretzels can help keep you nourished! And the gold jewelry pin gilds the gold “star” quality of the garnish. Plus, if things get dodgy - that pin can come can come to a defense - or employed as a rapier!
2 jiggers Goldschlager - German Cinnamon Schnapps Liqueur
3-4 jiggers cold Ginger Beer - homemade or hand-crafted artisanal, such as Reed’s: sparkling, filtered water sweetened by a blend of cane sugar, pineapple juice, honey, fresh ginger root, lemon & lime juices and spices.
The cinnamon of the schnapps harmonizes with the spices in the ginger beer.
2-3 dashes Cherry Bitters - Fee Brothers
Put ice cubes in goblet
Mix all ingredients in cocktail shaker
Remove ice from goblet. Pour strained cocktail into iced goblet glass.
Garnish with crystallized ginger - highlights ginger beer/ginger root ingredients (or maraschino or orange rind studded with cloves) clipped on with gold jewelry pins.
Can also pour cocktail into old-fashioned glasses with ice and garnish
Posh Pretzels & Piglets
Serve with classic cocktail party, German hot dog-inspired favorites: pigs in a blanket, artisanal pretzels and hearty mustard.
Keeping with the sparkly theme this morning, this negroni recipe includes edible silver glitter! I tasted this at the Negroni Week kickoff at Monday’s rooftop event and it is spectacularly delicious and refreshing. Imbibing during the testimony can bring a smile - albeit a tight one - but the sparkling water adds to a sense of celebration. After all, we live in a democracy where all this can take place.
Created by Naren Young, Dante (NYC)
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. Cinzano 1757
Cinzano Prosecco to top
Pour Campari and Cinzano 1757 over ice in a collins glass that has been sprayed with a chamomile tincture. Add 3 dashes of chamomile tincture and a pinch of edible silver glitter. Top with Prosecco.
Photo courtesy Campari
Bloody Beef Stew:
Every morning event can be enhanced with a Bloody Mary -- or a Bull Shot.
Photo courtesy of Tom Sebazco
2 ounce vodka, recommend a potato vodka: LiV, an artisan distilled craft vodka from Long Island, or for today: Russian vodka!
2 ounce tomato juice, preferably fresh-made from locally-grown tomatoes, cooked for 30 minutes, cool - seeds removed via food mill and blended.
Lemon juice (1/4 lemon)
Worcestershire sauce (dash)
Tabasco sauce (splash)
Salt (1/4 teaspoon or to taste)
Fresh cracked pepper (¼ teaspoon or to taste)
Mix all ingredients in cocktail shaker, shake hard, pour over ice in 16 ounce pilsner glass - without curves.
Salt rim on a pint/pilsner glass.
Float 1 ounce sirloin Au Jus on top of drink
Skewer cocktail pick with cooked sirloin beef chip; add on the same pick or additional cocktail pick: cut cubes of celery, baby carrots, pearl onion, baby potato and a lemon twist
Food Pairing & Cocktail Composition
Serve the muscular Bloody Beef Stew with potato latkes, Greek yogurt or sour cream, topped with caviar dollop along with a side serving topping of chunky, homemade applesauce & quince & apple or pear preserves with dried figs.
Serve mini or petite potatoes filled with creme fraiche and caviar.
Potato latkes can be secured from a local gourmet food store, a prepared mix or made from any number of recipes.
Make the serving-sized mini potatoes by boiling the potatoes until semi soft - approximately 8-10 minutes. Scoop out the centers. (Use in other recipes).
Using a pastry bag/pouch to fill the petite potatoes with piped creme fraiche.
Serve the latkes and petite potatoes hot or cold, on silver trays. There is a plethora of faux silver party platters of all sizes available at local party store sources to add a touch of elegance to most every composition.
(for one drink)
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon celery salt
Tomato balsamic sea salt from Keith Luce NoFo Kitchen - or local sea salt
Fresh, ground black pepper
2 dash Black Walnut Bitters
1/4 cup vodka
3/4 cup chilled double-rich, double-strength beef broth or beef bouillon
Mix all ingredients together - shake. Pour over flavored ice cubes and serve in an old fashion glass. Bull Shots can be served hot in glass mugs, too.
Ice cubes - to make the seasoned ice cubes, puree celery, fennel, add Sazon - or spice of choice - with a few drops fresh lemon juice and seasoned salt - I used tomato salt. Freeze in cube trays.
Lemon or lime wedge on edge of glass, with celery and fennel tops from the ice recipe.
2 pinch Sazon - Annatto Sazon dusted on top of drink
Food Pairing with Bullshot Brunch
Hard boiled eggs with a swoosh of Thai chili aioli.
Dust with Sazon spice powder -- Sazon is a mix of garlic, cumin, and has a slightly peppery with hint of nutty nutmeg taste.
Annatto and its “color of fire” was once used to control fevers, dysentery and kidney disease - so ideal for what ails you the morning after - or as a wake up drink.
From the Cabot Creamery cookbook - the valentine-red peppers stuffed with eggs and cheese heart Cabot “is a cooperative of 1,200 dairy farm families located throughout New York and New England. It’s
Add a mint julep / love cup filled with fresh crudite: carrots, celery, peppers.
Melba toast points or blue corn chips offer a crunchy, somewhat salty, balance.
The Bullshot and its decorative ice cubes make a handsome display, along with the colorful food pairings. Add some eye-catching straws and cocktail stirrers and napkins, plated with a variety of colorful peppers.