Sloppy Joe’s Bar opened in Havana in the 1930s. It was frequented by Earnest Hemingway, Errol Flynn, Alec Guinness and many other celebrities. I recently came across their cocktail recipe book online and tried a few. They’re kind of fruity and tropical which makes them perfect on a hot day.
Sloppy Joe’s Cocktails
1 ½ oz. white rum
1 ½ oz. pineapple juice
1 tsp. Grenadine
1 tsp. Luxardo
Shake with ice and serve in a flute.
Juice of ½ lime
1 oz. white rum
1 oz. Italian vermouth
1 oz. Apple Jack
1 tsp. grenadine
Shake with ice and serve in a cocktail glass.
Juice on 1 lemon
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. green crème de menthe
1 egg white
1 ½ oz. gin
Shake with ice and serve in a flute. Typically, a “fizz” is topped off with some club soda, but not this one.
There’s a fairly simple rule about when to shake and when to stir a cocktail. If there’s any fruit juice (even that mere ½ ounce like in the Oh Gosh), cream or egg, you shake. If all of the ingredients are clear, you stir – like the Martinez below. I can’t imagine why James Bond would ask a bartender to shake his Martinis but what the hell – he’s 007.
The Oh Gosh Cocktail – shake
Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled coupette.
Martinez Cocktail – stir
Place all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Stir with a bar spoon until thoroughly chilled. Strain into the chilled glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
I love going to steak houses. They’re known for big portions and big cocktails glasses. Two drinks and you’re fried. Well, there was a time when glasses weren’t huge and I learned about it in an old movie.
I was always a big fan of “The Thin Man,” with William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles, a husband and wife detective team. They were stylish, elegant and an all-together classy couple. The story takes place in New York between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day. It seems that rather than solve a murder, Nick would prefer to stay mildly drunk.
There’s one scene where Nora tries to catch up with Nick’s drinking. She asks the bartender how many drinks he’s served Nick. When she’s told “six,” she orders six Martinis and says, “Line ’em up.” They’re served in beautiful little cocktail glasses that were popular at the time and are now know as “Nick and Nora Glasses.”
A Nick and Nora is about 3 ounces, compared to the steak house 8 – 10 ounces. In a smaller glass your drink stays cold until you finish it and if you want more, simply order another one or maybe another six.
If you’d like to see “The Thin Man,” you can get it on Netflix .
My Aunt Lena made a few bottles of this once a year around Christmas time. She always sent some to my elementary school’s convent. The Sisters of Charity loved this stuff. We didn’t get the recipe from my aunt before she died but after some trial and error Bridget & I managed to come up with it.
Make double strong espresso (10 heaping teaspoons / 850 milliliters water) and filter twice with paper filters. Heat in double boiler until it’s reduced to half.
Combine: 450 milliliters of 190 proof alcohol with 300 milliliters of syrup and stir.
Add 380 milliliters of coffee concentrate and stir. It’s ready as soon as it cools.
The end result should be about 70 proof
Bridget & I made this one up.
Filter the juice of 6 medium pomegranates (about 500 plus milliliters)
Reduce in a double boiler to 475 ML
Add 300 milliliters of 190 proof alcohol and 160 milliliters of simple syrup for about 70 proof.
Scotch Bonnet Infused Tequila
This is meant to be sipped and savored, un-mixed and no ice. It’s very HOT.
Pour 1 liter of tequila into a wide mouth bottle or jar. Take 8 Scotch Bonnet peppers and pierce with a knife and add to the jar. Set aside one month and strain into a bottle.
Pick through and wash the cherries and put them in a jar. Heat the Luxardo and fill the jar to the brim. Wait two weeks. Done.
* It’s really better with pit but remove them if you’ve got time on your hands.
Using syrup makes mixing cocktails much easier.
1 part water / 2 parts sugar
Heat until clear
Pinot Noir Punch
This was adapted from Duffy’s 1956 edition of the Official Mixers Guide
Mix and chill first 5 ingredients and pour into a punch bowl over a *block of ice with citrus fruit slices frozen inside and add chilled Pinot Noir (or Burgundy). Add chilled club soda just before serving.
*Slice some lemons, limes and tangerines and put them into 4 sandwich size zip lock bags. Add water and freeze. When frozen, put the frozen contents of the bags into a large zip-lock, add more water and freeze. This should leave you with a colorful block of ice to keep the punch chilled.