Monday, June 14, 2010

Piña Colada & What We're Drinking This Week

So much to talk about, what with the World Cup, the NBA Finals and unexpectedly decent weather this weekend.

First, the World Cup.

The United States side secured a 1-1 draw against England on Saturday, a great result, though not always a great game to watch.  The US were bunched up far too often, played the long ball in the place of steady progression, and generally looked outclassed.  Through it all though, they somehow managed to tie a team that is absolutely stacked with talent.

England's middle is arguably the finest in the tournament, with Gerrard and Lompard.  Their main striker, Wayne Rooney, is probably the 4th best footballer in the world behind Messi, Kaká, and Christiano Ronaldo.  England's defense, though aged, is world class, with Cole and John Terry.  The point being that England should be killing opponents.  Somehow though, each year, they underperform.  This may be the best England squad in a generation, or perhaps ever, but at least on Saturday, they could not produce.

The rest of the tournament has been a bit ho-hum, largely because of low scoring matches.  Germany v. Australia produced 4 goals, the most of any of the games this far, though the match was incredibly one-sided, and Australia was the victim of an abysmal red card leaving their squad a man down.  I heard one commentator explain that the low scores are the likely result of all the advanced planning by the coaches, and that future games will yield a bit more uncertainty and a bit more scoring. 

All told, the World Cup has been fantastic.  I've been recording each game, and plan to watch the entire tournament if at all possible.  The only problem is keeping the scores at bay until I get home.  I have co-workers and the internet to fend off.

In addition to the World Cup, the NBA Finals are 5 games deep, with the Celtics up 3-2 over the Lakers. 

I don't have a rooting interest in either squad, though I don't particularly care for Boston's collection of great players from other teams.  I don't think guys like Garnett and Ray Allen are true Celtics.  Maybe that's unfair of me, but I can't shake the idea of their last couple seasons being nothing more than the mad-dash to the finish a la Malone and Gary Payton.  In any event, last night's Game 5 was a lot of fun to watch.  Pierce, a true Celtic through and through, was hitting clutch shots, while Kobe did everything he could to keep the Lakers in the game.  Kobe's 3rd quarter was brilliant.  And now it's back to LA for Game 6.

Soundtrack of the Week:  Blitzen Trapper Destroyer of the Void - Brand new disc, just released, by an excellent band from the Pacific Northwest.  Their last album Furr was one of the finest efforts of the last few years.  Destroyer is a great next effort.  At times they sound a 1970's rollicking southern rock and roll band, and at other times they can be ethereal and sweet.  I saw them live back in the fall, and will be seeing them a couple times later this year.  Highly recommend this album, and if you don't already have Furr, go get it. 

What We're Drinking This Week

-  Piña Colada - This drink needs no introduction.  Read below, you'll see I was drinking it before I could throw a garnish in the mix.

-  Liberty Cocktail - Calvados and light rum based cocktail - not sure how this one will turn out, but we'll give it a go.


Piña Colada

If you've travelled to Puerto Rico, you know of this drink's prominance.  It's the official drink of the island.  It was purportedly made to be the signature drink at a hotel in Old San Juan.  Which, incidentally, if you haven't been, is a must-visit.  Old San Juan is a really vibrant and beautiful part of the city, and its incredibly easy to get to the island from the US.  You don't even need your passports. 

In any event, the drink consists of rum, pineapple juice, and coconut cream.  Coconut cream is a made with coconut milk, and is a really sweet concoction that you could eat by the spoonful if given the opportunity.  I made the drink in the kitchen, as the dining room table was occupied by work related stuffs.


The Ultimate Bar Book, 272

Piña Colada

2oz Puerto Rican light rum
6oz pineapple juice
2oz coconut cream
Pineapple spear
Maraschino cherry

Shake the liquid ingredients vigorously with ice.  Strain into a large ice-filled wineglass.  Garnish with the pineapple spear and cherry.


I had to pull out the large shaker for this one.  There is a lot of liquid in one of these drinks, and I was going to be making a couple of them anyway (JB wanted one as well).  One word of advice - be sure to mix or shake the contents of the coconut cream can, because I assure you it will not be mixed particularly well when you open it.  You won't make a bad drink if you start skimming off the top right away, but, it might be a little sweet.  Dip a spoon in the can, and you'll see what I'm talking about.


You'll notice there is no garnish in any of the photos.  As mentioned above, I started drinking before I had a chance to add the pineapple or cherry.  It was just too good, particularly after all the warm weather we've had of late.  It was a perfect end to the day, though I could have added far more rum to the mix if I had wanted.  The recipe above is great, don't get me wrong, but don't expect to taste much of the rum.  You have 2 ounces of rum battling against 8 ounces of other liquid for positioning.  This is one of those drinks where you can tip the bartender's arm and pour a couple more ounces and it'll still be a great drink. 

Also, you're probably not going to drink a ton of these drinks because the coconut cream is a bit heavy after a while.  It's delicious, but one is enough.  Maybe make it a good one - throw in an additional ounce or two of rum.

Thank you to the recent e-mailers of late, appreciate your thoughts and input.  Have a great week - and if you can't get enough of me on here, remember that we have a Twitter account that features more links to interesting cocktail stories and information: @IMakeDrinks

Cheers!

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