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Cocktails Rarely Found in the U.S.


Joe Blowe
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I've been reminiscing lately (well, ever since I came across this particular board) about drinks I've had outside the U.S., but never seem to find when at home.

Anyone else have a favorite from abroad? I'll start it off with two "summer" drinks:

Malibu Milk

Popular in Japan, goes down way too easily, an acquired taste?

1 part Malibu Rum

2 parts Milk (this sounds about right)

Serve on the rocks

Portonic

Apertif, very refreshing, sneaks up on you...

1 part White port

1 part Tonic water

Serve on the rocks, with lemon or lime

So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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Some things may be best left at point of origin, in particular Malibu Milk

Well, I have to agree with you on Malibu -- it's kind of like drinking Coppertone. I might have had the drink once since that trip to Japan some 15 years ago.

Some things are better when not revisited...

So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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Pimm's Cup! Great stuff, never see it in the bars I go to. Maybe I go to the wrong bars. Or maybe it is a pain to keep fresh cucmber slices around.

You're just not hanging around in the right places.

On a nice afternoon, when the afternoon rain has just passed and the Quarter is steamy and hot, a soothing frosted Pimm's Cup consumed while listening to the ever present sounds of classical music can be a very sublime and satisfying drink.

Highly underrated muffelettas, as well.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Pimm's Cup! Great stuff, never see it in the bars I go to. Maybe I go to the wrong bars. Or maybe it is a pain to keep fresh cucmber slices around.

You're just not hanging around in the right places.

On a nice afternoon, when the afternoon rain has just passed and the Quarter is steamy and hot, a soothing frosted Pimm's Cup consumed while listening to the ever present sounds of classical music can be a very sublime and satisfying drink.

Highly underrated muffelettas, as well.

Pimm's Cup and a muffeletta... [mouth watering] Brooks, I'm on the next plane!

I keep both Pimms and Campari at my home bar, never really thought about them as being 'foreign'. But even in this former Brit colony, many bars don't have cucumber for Pimms any more. I always ask first, the drink is not the same without it.

Our house variation on the Pimm's #1 Cup, and the only drink I claim to have invented, is the Incapacitator:

Long glass, rocks

1 part Pimm's

1 part Tanquery Export (47%) Gin

3 parts Canada Dry ginger ale (not 7up - too sweet)

Stir, garnish w/ cucumber

The above is the genteel version. I used to make these in frosted beer mugs, effectively a triple. Drink outdoors on a hot day, followed by a nap. Hence the name. I'm grown up now and don't do that any more. Not often, anyway.

Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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You're just not hanging around in the right places.

On a nice afternoon, when the afternoon rain has just passed and the Quarter is steamy and hot, a soothing frosted Pimm's Cup consumed while listening to the ever present sounds of classical music can be a very sublime and satisfying drink.

Highly underrated muffelettas, as well.

Wow, I am hanging out in the wrong places...

I will try the fake Pimm's recipe tonight, I think.

I love Campari -- actually I keep a bottle on hand and drink it with orange juice & ice in the summer...very refreshing and won't get me in trouble. I bet it would be good with orangina, too. I don't know why I never thought of that before.

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I was pawing through "Saveur Cooks Authentic American" tonight and rediscovered the drinks section at the back. In it is the

Americano:

3 oz. Campari

3 oz. Italian sweet vermouth

Soda water

2 orange slices

An Americano is served on the rocks with orange slices on the rim.

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

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My food-snob grad school roommate (the one who introduced me to beluga caviar and Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee) and I would make a gallon of Pimm's Cup, go play tennis, and quickly get ourselves drunk by quenching our thirsts between games. I miss grad school. :sad:

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I keep both Pimms and Campari at my home bar, never really thought about them as being 'foreign'. But even in this former Brit colony, many bars don't have cucumber for Pimms any more. I always ask first, the drink is not the same without it.

Funny you should say that. I'd be willing to bet just about anything that in its original incarnation the drink called for a sprig of borage, and that later versions changed to cucumber as being easier to obtain.

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I'd be willing to bet just about anything that in its original incarnation the drink called for a sprig of borage, and that later versions changed to cucumber as being easier to obtain.

Seconded. As soon as I can find my copy of William Terrington's Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks (London, 1869) I'll see what it has to say on the topic. It's gotta be around here somewhere....

And where does one get borage, anyway (and please don't say "at the opera").

aka David Wondrich

There are, according to recent statistics, 147 female bartenders in the United States. In the United Kingdom the barmaid is a feature of the wayside inn, and is a young woman of intelligence and rare sagacity. --The Syracuse Standard, 1895

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Funny you should say that. I'd be willing to bet just about anything that in its original incarnation the drink called for a sprig of borage, and that later versions changed to cucumber as being easier to obtain.

I did once track down borage for my Pimms. I can't remember where, but I think I might have got it in Waitrose, the posh UK supermarket.

I remember being pretty disappointed: it tasted of cucumber, but came in the form of a strange hairy plant. Cue guests: "There's weeds in the Pimms." "Shall I get a trowel?" :smile:

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Your best bet for borage is actually at a plant nursery that has a good selection of herbs. Buy a plant, keep it on the windowsill. Pinch off what you need when you need it. Great conversation starter as well:

"What's the plant?"

"Oh, it's borage."

"What?"

"Borage. I put it in my Pimms."

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It's an annual, very easy to grow. I grow it every year among my tomatoes - they are good companion plants because the borage either attracts a beneficial insect or repels a nasty one, I forget which. The leaves ARE a bit hairy, but the flavor is lovely. Borage also bears a beautiful blue blossom which is good for candying or for putting in salads. The year we were working on drinks for L&SD I saved extra borage seeds and grew some in a pot - we needed quite a lot for Claret Cup (this is what led me to assume that it belonged in Pimm's Cup as well), and cucumber peel just doesn't do the job as far as I'm concerned.

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I keep both Pimms and Campari at my home bar, never really thought about them as being 'foreign'.  But even in this former Brit colony, many bars don't have cucumber for Pimms any more.  I always ask first, the drink is not the same without it.

Funny you should say that. I'd be willing to bet just about anything that in its original incarnation the drink called for a sprig of borage, and that later versions changed to cucumber as being easier to obtain.

Could very well be. I've seen recipes for Pimm's with borage flowers (looks good if you're serving it in a pitcher) and/or leaves, plus various combinations of apple, lemon, orange and mint. The recipe on the bottle suggests "a slice of lemon, or orange and cucumber if desired". For my taste, plain cucumber does the job.

The original drink also probably used lemonade, because I'm pretty sure there weren't any sodas like 7up or ginger ale in the mid-1800's. Would they even have had ice in taverns back then?

Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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I was pawing through "Saveur Cooks Authentic American" tonight and rediscovered the drinks section at the back. In it is the

Americano:

3 oz. Campari

3 oz. Italian sweet vermouth

Soda water

2 orange slices

An Americano is served on the rocks with orange slices on the rim.

I love Campari.

One year I was staying at the Sofitel in Paris, and we would send a friend to the bar for drinks. I would tell him to get me a Campari and Soda. The drink he would come back with was delicious, and perhaps an improvement, but it clearly wasn't Campari and Soda. When questioned, he said that that was what he ordered, and wouldn't know anything else to order. At the end of the week I went to the bartender myself and asked if he knew the guy that was coming in every afternoon and taking out a Campari and Soda, and he replied "sure". I asked, "And what do make for him? It isn't a Campari and Soda, is it?" and he replied, "No, it's an Americano."

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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My first Campari experience was sitting late at night in the Piazza de Signioria ( spelling is wrong...)in Florence where Savonarola was burned. The building across the piazza was lit from below. The air was hot and heavy. We were too poor to stay in a nice place so were avoiding our room at the B&B. We were hot, tired and dirty from our train trip.

That Campari was the best thing I had ever had. 30 years later I still remember how wonderful it tasted.

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Love an Americano, this is a great cocktail that mor people should try. I first had one back in my bartending days when we used to taste lots of stuff. This is one that i still like. My wife and I are going out to dinner tonight and I think I will have one. The place we are going to has real bartenders so I should get a good drink

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If you love Campari and Americano's , then I hope you'll enjoy this:

ChamPino (for Pino, an Italian diplomat):

1 oz. Campari

1 oz. Sweet Vermouth

2 1/2 - 3 oz good quality Champagne

Garnish: Lemon Twist

Glass: chilled martini

Measure campari & sweet vermouth into a mixing glass. Add ice,

shake (yes, shake) and strain into a chilled martini glass. Top with

champagne. Add lemon twist.

Enjoy!

Audrey

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I'll second (ok, by now it's like twelfth) the Campari & Soda bit -- but I order that quite frequently here. Campari has gotten quite popular in the US since the recent marketing blitz. Another Campari concoction I adore is the Negroni, which is roughly equal parts Campari, sweet vermouth and gin, on the rocks with a slice of orange. Very refreshing, and I hate gin.

When in Sorrento, though, I fell in love with Cynar, an artichoke liqueur. It can be used basically the same as Campari, and I like it just on the rocks. Not impossible to find here, but often difficult.

Hedonia

Eating, drinking and living the good life in San Francisco

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Although I can usually find it (unless I'm on the eastcoast) it is hard to find a really good sidecar, which is my dessert preference! I like them made with OJ instead of just lemon juice. When in Seattle, 10 Mercer does them best....and big!

I'm a Lillet Blanc fan and not all places have that. Also if I ask for a kir in a restaurant and they say "hu?" I immediately change my order! haha! scary!

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If you love Campari and Americano's , then I hope you'll enjoy this:

ChamPino (for Pino, an Italian diplomat):

1 oz. Campari

1 oz. Sweet Vermouth

2 1/2 - 3 oz good quality Champagne

Garnish: Lemon Twist

Glass: chilled martini

Measure campari & sweet vermouth into a mixing glass. Add ice,

shake (yes, shake) and strain into a chilled martini glass. Top with

champagne. Add lemon twist.

Enjoy!

Audrey

What a great variation! (I posted earlier on Americanos coming when I ordered "Campari and Soad" and loving them.) I just made one of these and I loved it.

I find that Campari is a tad too sweet (I have friends who think that as well) so I've taken to adding a dash of Angostura Bitters to whatever I make. Just thought I'd pass that along.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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