Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dear Lushy,

I am looking for a recommendation for a drink to be served at my upcoming 40th birthday party. Here are the limitations:

-it must not be offended to be served in a disposable cup
-ingredients ideally ought to be sourceable from No Frills, meaning Saltines okay, caviar not.
-I would like to make some in advance by an hour or so if possible.

Is there anything that fits this bill, or am I in fact describing apple juice or Sprite?

Hopeful but not deluded.

Dear Deluded -

How about Moscow Mules? They're easy and No Frills has the best commercially available ginger beer around (Grace ginger beer, which is kept over in the weird pops-you-thought-you'd-never-buy-section). I'm afraid, however, you'll have to leave No Frills for the liquor. Unless you think the Listerine will do for your crowd. It does in a pinch for my friends. (At the end of the night, of course.)

The base recipe is as follows:

2 oz vodka
1 oz fresh lime juice
4 oz ginger beer
Build in a tall glass with ice

But here's the beauty of the drink: if you have gin snobs or generally hard to please people (or if you yourself are of the opinion that vodka ought to be used primarily as a cleanser), you can dress this drink up a hundred different ways. Mules and Bucks are a family of drinks which are flexible and basically include: liquor, fruit (sometimes muddled, but usually juice) and ginger. So, you could switch to whiskey and muddle in a strawberry. Or, you could turn it into a Gin-Gin Mule with a little gin and mint. I've even made them with Cilantro - my version of which was on the Painted Lady's opening menu.

All depends on how much work you really want to get into. And, frankly, the original recipe is pretty good. (Word of warning, Lushy sometimes likes a sour drink - and you may wish to cut down the lime juice for those who have normal taste buds.) Oh, and by the way, you can make the drinks in advance - but add the ginger beer when the guests arrive, so that it doesn't go flat.