Cocktail Fridays are Here!

Fridays.

They get a lot of attention.  Much more than the other days of the week.  And they should get more attention.  Fridays deserve the attention they get.  Steely Dan sang about Black Friday.  George Jones sang Finally Friday.  There is Paycheck Friday.  And a whole disco generation sang and danced to Thank God Its Friday…then took their children to eat there.

I am no different.  I love Fridays.  For many reasons.  Of course there is the obvious, Happy Friday, we all share.  But Friday has always signified a little reason to celebrate.  Have friends over.  Open some wine.  Enjoy one another and have a good time.  Why not?  We should celebrate.  We just finished another work week and we have a couple of days “to ourselves”.  (Actually, I am not sure they are ever to ourselves…sometimes we have work for our “jobs” to tend to…sometimes we have chores around the house…games, practices,etc.)  I think almost everyone feels similarly.  We are glad…happy…thankful Friday is here and so is the week-end.  Radio DJs across the airwaves are playing their signature songs announcing the week-end…”It’s Aloha Friday, No Work ‘Till Monday“…”I Don’t Want To Work, I Wanna Bang on My Drum All Day“…and so on.

This year, on account of my “Revolution Resolution”, I think Friday will be announced as “Cocktail Friday”. So there is another reason to celebrate!  I will use that day as a day to try out a new cocktail, and then put it in the blog shortly after.  But there will be one per week, as I said.  At least those are my intentions and we all know which road is paved with good intentions, don’t we?

So last Friday was officially the first “Cocktail Friday”, although this is my second cocktail post of the new year.  What to do?  What to try? So many choices…like a kid in a candy store…or a dog in a new environment not knowing what to sniff first.  After contemplating my immediate choices, available ingredients, what I felt like enjoying (which should always play a big part of your choice of cocktail) and considering the weather and time of year…I felt like having something to warm me up.  Smooth and warm.  Perhaps something classic.  Something to accompany a little jazz music.  Miles Davis and “Birth of Cool“.  John Coltrane and “Love Supreme“.  Jazz music?  Cocktail?  Sounds like a good Sazerac cocktail.  But that would be too easy.  How about a Vieux Carre?

A what you say?

Vieux Carre.  And what pray tell is a Vieux Carre you may ask?  Well this is a classic drink, although it may not be familiar to most of us.  It is a cocktail created straight from the French Quarter in N’Awleans.  Hence the name Vieux Carre, Old Square.  Created in the 1930’s, this full rich drink became the signature drink of  the Carousel Bar at the Monteleone Hotel…and remains a signature drink at a few bars in the French Quarter still today.

Like many cocktails, the recipes vary.  Some call for equal parts of the main liquor ingredients, others change the proportions.  Some call for just Angostura bitters, others suggest pairing Angostura with Peychaud’s.  I am not going to try all of the variations (wink-wink), so I will tell you the one that I sampled…

The Vieux Carre

3/4 ounce rye whiskey
3/4 ounce cognac
3/4 ounce red/sweet vermouth (I like Dolin’s and Noilly Pratt)
a barspoon of  Benedictine
2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Pour into an ice filled Old Fashion glass.  Add lemon zest to the drink (I always zest over the glass so the oils from the citrus are added to the drink…nice addition)

As I said, everyone has their own recipe or “ritual”…pour the first three ingredients into the glass…add bitters…layer the Benedictine…etc.  Do not misunderstand, I know the reason many take these steps and precision can not be overlooked in creating a good “anything”…I am just saying that everyone has the flexibility to “do their own thing” and experiment a little.  I got to thinking and thought that some orange zest might go well with this also…or perhaps a dash of orange bitters…see what I mean, you can go on and on.

I know that many of you reading this are probably familiar with the ingredients in the Vieux Carre.  But putting them together is probably something that never crossed your mind…well, go ahead and let it cross your mind and your palate.  While on paper this may seem a little confusing, in your cocktail shaker, this drink becomes an adventure in aroma and flavor that can take you back to the Carousel Bar during the 30’s in New Orleans if you are not careful.  Seriously.  If you have more than one or two of these, I am not responsible where you may end up.  Complex.  A lot of flavor and texture.   And not a drink to take lightly with all of the alcohol involved.

But I do suggest that you take it…and enjoy it.  Just like you should enjoy your life.  Everyday.  Not just on Friday.

Here’s to you and all of us.  Cheers.

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Published in: on January 17, 2011 at 12:35 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Love Fridays. Most of all I love Fridays with you, knowing we have the whole weekend together! I don’t know if the picture was taken on a Friday (that trip was nothing but a 2 week LONG weekend) but I look like I might have taken your recommendation on a drink or two!

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    • That is part of what makes Fridays so special…being together. I think the whole trip was a “Friday” celebration.

      Like


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