When we started, a bottle of wine might do it for much of the week. Now we do a case or two of wine and an indeterminate quantity of beer. This happens as one ages. We recently added a cocktails. We worked our way up from Palomas introduced by my brother-in-law a few years ago and now have what a restaurant might call a cocktail program -- a different cocktail each night usually paired with an appropriate snack and ideally in harmony with the main dish.
Tonight's main dish was a farkashert version of Fatty Crab's Chili Crab on Toast, made with chicken instead of crab or lobster and light coconut milk instead of butter I will post this recipe shortly. As a cocktail beforehand, I thought about a Singapore Sling but I don't care much for pineapple juice, so I put this together, based on mango/peach/orange juice. It is moderately strong, but you could always add more gin if you want it stiffer. This is probably as close as I will get to a girlie drink, though it is not overly sweet because of the gin and lime juice. The cardamom syrup is provides a fragrant accent. You could cut it down or leave it out if it seems to sweet for you, or try it with cardamom bitters instead. Quite nice, especially with chili coconut peanuts and fried tempeh with 3 sambals (sweet chili, peanut, and tamarind), but you don't have to wait for a neocolonial pseudo Southeast Asian meal to make this. I called it Malay Madness, but the others in a house had different ideas, so the consensus was Short Beach sling:
Short Beach Sling, aka Malay Madness (serves 4 to 6)
- 4 cups mango/peach/orange juice
- 1 cup gin
- 3 ounces maraschino liqueur
- 3 ounces Benedictine
- 1 ounce creme de cassis, Cherry Heering, or other dark cherry brandy
- 3 ounces lime juice
- 1/4 cup cardamom syrup (see below)
- 8 shakes each Angostura and orange bitters
- Mix everything together in a large 3 quart pitcher. Chill well in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Add enough ice to the pitcher to come almost to the top. Stir for 1 minute.
- Serve in whatever kind of glass you want (we are in a rental and use whatever is available) with some of the ice from the pitcher. If you have little umbrellas or maraschino cherries you can garnish it with that, but you really don't have to. You can easily double or halve the recipe.
Cardamom syrup: Combine 1 cup white sugar, 1 cup water and 15 cardamom pods, lightly crushed. Bring to a boil, and cook or about 15 minutes on medium until you have a thick syrup. Let cool, and then strain into a clean jar and store in the refrigerator. Makes about 1 cup.