Monday, February 13, 2012

Pre Valentine/Monday's suck

Well, both babysitters in the bullpen have significant others, so we are doing Valentine's day a day early.  Not that the hordes in Austin haven't been scooping up every reservation at any good restaurant for a week at least in celebration of this "holiday" but I digress.  So, Monday is a challenging day all around, the routine snaps back into place, kids are cranky and either over tired or have gotten too much sleep, work is often crazy, etc, etc.  But, it is easy to get in to a good place!  We are going to Perla's - oysters, fish, and such.  I'll report back on any yummy cocktails we try there.
But tonight's creation is nostalgia for a drink in Philadelphia, at a restaurant I gather no longer exists. of the best drinks I have ever tasted, at one of the best restaurants I have ever been to, both of the same name.  When I think of this drink, I think about the last days I spent in Philly....summer, end of residency, saying goodbyes and looking forward to the endless possibility of moving to Austin for my first "real" job.  It was only about 6 years ago, but so much has happened in that time span.....

Tangerine (modified by me because I cannot follow a recipe verbatim)

3 oz vanilla vodka
1 oz cointreau or other orange liquer
1 tbsp tangerine puree (see below)
club soda to taste (~2 oz)

Shake vodka and cointreau with ice in shaker
put dollop of tangerine puree in cocktail glass, pour shaker contents over, top with club soda.  Enjoy!

The Tangerine puree is another story altogether.  There is a company that makes many different fruit purees called Perfect Puree.  I have purchased the prickly pear puree, because after trying to make my own, I realized the time cost analysis would show purchasing was a much better use of my time and money than peeling individual prickly pears and then puree-ing them.  I know PP makes a tangerine puree, but I looked high and low in all the fancy Austin grocery type stores (Whole Foods, Central Market, Specs) to no avail.  So I decided to try making my own.  The closest I could come to an organic tangerine was a Minneola Tangelo.  So I bought some.  Stemmed, seeded and cut, plunked 4 of them into a food processor and thought I was done. They were a little bitter, so I added a tbsp of light agave and mixed some more.  The zest chunks were a little too big for my liking, so I mashed the puree through a mesh sieve and the result was just what I was looking for.  No work is too great for the perfect cocktail!

The drink turned out well.  Very refreshing.  Sweet and tart and effervescent.  Would be perfect for a spring or summer evening.  I will keep this one in my arsenal.  Now that I have a ton of tangelo puree in my freezer, should be easy!

If anyone in Austin sees organic mandarins/tangerines/clementines/satsumas...please let me know!

Salud & Cheers!

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