Friday, June 29, 2012

A Little Sunrise R&R

Back in October, I stopped drinking coffee. It was a maddening effort to curb some uncomfortable issues with my stomach. After 6 months of trying to discover the root issue, sadly my love affair with coffee needed to be severed. I still cheat from time to time knowing, I'll pay for it later. Sometimes that morning coffee is just a necessity.  Obviously, I've had to alter my morning routines and found that peppermint tea was just the thing that perked up my mornings. However, this morning was especially warm and peppermint tea (hot or iced) just wasn't sounding appealing. So I grabbed my cocktail shaker.

I recently produced an event for one of my corporate clients. They were having a "party" in which roughly 400 employees would attend. I developed a bourbon bar, a vodka bar, a beer bar and a wine bar including specialty cocktails at both the bourbon and vodka bar. One of the cocktails at the bourbon bar was a modified R&R. I found the R&R in "Mix Shake Stir", a cocktail recipe book from Danny Meyer's acclaimed NYC restaurants. Here's the recipe:

8 raspberries
5.5 oz Bourbon Sweet Tea (recipe follows)
Fill a highball glass with ice. Thread three raspberries onto a small cocktail skewer and set aside. Put the remaining  5 raspberries in a cocktail shaker, add 5 drops of rose water and muddle with the raspberries. Add ice and the bourbon sweet tea. Shake vigorously and strain into the glass. Garnish with the skewer and serve.

Bourbon Sweet Tea
3 cups brewed black tea, chilled
2 cups Maker's Mark Bourbon
1/2 cup simple syrup
In a pitcher, combine the tea, bourbon, and simple syrup and stir to mix well. The tea will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days. Makes enough for 8 drinks.

Because we couldn't accurately estimate how much bourbon sweet tea would be used, I had the bartenders make it on a per drink basis which cut back on waste at the event (always have to watch that bottom line). The cocktail was gloriously refreshing on a day when temperatures topped 101 degrees and the evening dropped to 85 degrees with high humidity.

Earlier this week, I decided to make the cocktail at home. However, brewing a batch of bourbon sweet tea with a pregnant wife at home is not exactly the nicest thing to do, nor is it a healthy relationship move. So I brewed a pitcher of decaf black tea and chilled it. Then I substituted Michter's US 1 Bourbon for the Marker's Mark. As I walked into the living room with a tall glass of this cocktail, I felt the stare of woman 30 weeks pregnant in the searing heat. So back into the kitchen I went. I made her one in the same minus the bourbon putting a big smile on her face and points on the board.

So what does all this have to do with the fact that I don't drink coffee anymore? This morning, instead of reaching for the coffee pot or the blender, I reached for my cocktail shaker. It felt as good as a coffee pot and far better than a blender. The icy stainless steel freezing my hands, sending shivers down my arms. Each time I sipped my Sunrise R&R (R&R minus the bourbon) I wondered if anyone else in traffic used their cocktail shaker this morning, smiled and dreamed of the R&R at days end.

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