Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Liberty Cocktail

Today we drink the Liberty Cocktail.  In keeping with all things liberty, I think it's fitting that we make note of North Korea's drumming at the hands of Portugal in yesterday's World Cup match, 7-0. 

I know that the North Korea soccer squad has absolutely nothing to do with the Kim Jong Il regime, but it's telling that many of the die-hard North Korean fans are in fact paid Chinese actors.  I mean, you can't make this stuff up!  Someone paid actors, from another country, to cheer on the North Koreans!  That's crazy!

Sadly though, while such bizarre actions are funny, the situation in North Korea is no laughing matter.  North Korea is in dire poverty, with hundreds of thousands of its citizens starving, and dying of starvation every year.  It's interesting then to contrast the traits of North Korea with its counterparts in today's match, Portugal.

Portugal is in the midst of a financial crisis, though largely of its own creation.  Its debtload is incredibly high, its economy teetering on the brink of a Greek-styled collapse.  Despite this though, its citizens are not starving, are not dying of poverty.  Two countries in the midst of different turmoils, two turmoils that could not be more disparate from one another. 

The sharp contrast between the two countries is one of the great qualities of the World Cup.  Two countries with little in common, playing a game loved the world over. 

Let's move from two countries and their World Cup action to the Liberty Cocktail and some drinking action...

The Ultimate Bar Book, page 132

Liberty Cocktail

1 sugar cube
1 lime wedge
1oz Calvados
3/4oz light rum

Muddle the sugar cube and lime wedge in the bottom of an old-fashioned glass.  Fill with ice, pour in the liquor, and stir.

For this cocktail, I am not using a sugar cube.  Instead, I'm using my secret weapon, superfine sugar, which I delve into later in this post.

It's worth noting that I've finally warmed up to calvados.  It's taken some time, but I feel as though I've acquired a taste for it that I didn't have before.  Note though, that my bottle of calvados isn't the finest stuff available.

This drink though, is a good entry into the world of calvados, because the cocktail has a similar flavor profile as a caipirinha, something you've likely had before.  There's good reason for this of course, as muddled lime and sugar is the start of a good caipirinha.  The similarities do not end there though, as both drinks have a bit of a harsher start than something like a mojito

Just consider for a moment the sheer percentage of alcohol that accounts for the overall liquid contents in the drink.  Let's suppose that the lime wedge adds maybe 1/2oz of lime juice to the mix.  Even then, it's an overwhelming amount of alcohol-to-mixer combination.  Mind you, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's worth noting when determining its fit for a particular audience.  This might be a nice refresher for the males at a BBQ, but it may be a tad strong for the ladies' tastes (of course, if a lady likes a strong drink, by all means, have at it).

Something unique about this drink is the fact that the lime and sugar bring out the apple flavors of the calvados.  There is a nice lingering apple finish that is totally different than any of the other calvados-based cocktails that we've tried.

And now, the secret weapon: Superfine Caster Sugar.

You can pick up one of these specimens on Amazon, as I've done - 2 3lb cans runs about $28.  This is a very good investment if you're making drinks that require sugar - alcoholic drinks or simply iced tea.  This stuff will melt away even under cold conditions.  A sugar cube, as the recipe above calls for, is a fickle animal.  You may be able to dissolve half of the sugar cube, but the remaining sugar will simply lie in the bottom of the glass.  With superfine sugar though, you won't have that problem. 

Tomorrow - the US plays Algeria.  I see a 3-1 win for the U.S. in this game, with a more aggressive first-half showing than we've seen to date.

Until later in the week, when we try the Bourbon Sidecar - cheers!

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