It’s wintertime in Los Angeles, which means the temperatures have flirted with the lower-40s the past few nights, and during the day, residents have had to suffer the indignity of wearing a light coat over their t-shirts. In other words, we’re just barely surviving. Luckily, we have establishments such as Eveleigh on Sunset Boulevard to ease the sting of Jack Frost nipping at our noses, thanks to an array of new winter cocktails carefully crafted for the season.
After the jump, check out some pics from a media-comped event at Eveleigh to preview the restaurant’s latest creations…
A week ago, I attended a lovely Memorial Day BBQ at my friend’s house, and when I asked if I could bring anything, the hostess suggested that I bring some hard alcohol for summer cocktails. This immediately got my brain working: I knew I had mint in my fridge… and mint makes me think of mojitos… and mojitos makes me think of rum… and rum makes me think of pirates… and pirates makes me think of the Caribbean… and the Caribbean–
Wait. I’ve taken this word association too far. Let’s go back to mojitos. Clearly, this would be a perfect barbecue option, and besides, I didn’t really have much experience making classic mojitos. Sure, I’ve made the green tea variation dozens of times (including a variation on that variation to be published on this blog in the next few days), but I’ve rarely made claaaasssic mojitos.
WELL, after a quick trip to Ralphs supermarket (where a handle of Bacardi was marked down from $27 to $13!!), I trotted over to my friend’s house to assemble some pitchers of the much loved Cuban cocktail. My usual trusty photographer Sly was off in the Rocky Mountains somewhere, pedaling a pennyfarthing from one cowboy town to another, and so I had to rely on the photographic skills of our friend Havarti. I’m proud to say she did a fine job, especially given the backlighting and the limitations of my iPhone camera.
Since today is National Margarita Day, I knew I had to post a bonus Quaff. The only problem is that I haven’t recently created or sampled a new margarita to profile (actually, not true — I tasted my friend Sly’s margarita at the Thompson hotel last week, but I neglected to take photos; so that will have to be tabled for a future post). Anyway, the point of this rambling preamble is that I have no exciting margaritas to share with you today. However, I have something incredibly close — a homemade concoction inspired by a margarita recipe.
One of my favorite perks of having a blog is when I get free stuff. And one of my favorite free things to get is booze. I’ve been on a good run, as of late: I’ve received free tequila, free shochu, and now free vodka!
When it comes to sampling these fine spirits, I usually employ the assistance of my friend Sly, but given that she was out of town for the past week and that I was in dire need of vodka beverages, the show had to go on without her. No worries though. Sly was represented quite well by none other than IndianJones, who was only more than delighted to sample the wares (devout readers may remember that IndianJones was present during my first free booze offering, Red Stag by Jim Beam).
As part of my ongoing series of reviewingmy free purchases from CSN Stores, I must now move on to my most needed addition to the kitchen: a citrus juicer. My friends and I often convene for what we like to call “Fresh Cocktail Hour,” in which we whip up a batch of beverages totally from scratch. We’ve made margaritas (classic, jalapeÃ±o, and Ina Garten varieties), mojitos, basil gimlets, and who knows what else. Many of the drinks require excessive amounts of lemon and lime juicing, and given that I only have a lowly reamer, it’s a process that can take a while. To make an average sized batch of cocktails, it can take twenty or twenty five minutes to go through the squeezing. Plus, with all the seeds and pulp, it can get a bit unwieldy. Therefore, buying a citrus juicer was a no-brainer for me. When it arrived, I was more than excited. I juiced an orange just for the hell of it. Heck, for the first few days, I juiced whatever I could, even if it was totally excessive. Truth be told: I didn’t need to bust out the machine for just one lowly lime, but I was excited and in the throes of citrus mania.
With those first humble juicing experiences, the machine seemed to fare well. It had an unfortunate habit of overloading my outlet; thus, requiring me to press the little reset button on an annoyingly regular basis, but this wasn’t a major problem. The real test was gonna be seeing if it could stand up to the rigorous juicing that a Fresh Cocktail Hour would require. Enter my friend Katherine. We decided to gather some friends for some afternoon libations this past weekend, and that could only mean one thing: it was time to enlist my juicer for service.
The chosen recipe: Victory Lemonade. This bombastically named cocktail called for a cup and a half of lemon juice (among other things). Would the juicer be up for it? Results after the jump.