$787 Billion

THE NEW NEW DEAL

So it looks like the US economy will soon be connected to a $787 billion IV drip. And what’s a better way to celebrate than to mix up a drink.

It all seems to give me odd flashbacks of New Deal mentionings in seventh grade Social Studies class back in Connecticut. So in honor of the new economic stimulus plan, I’ll be introducing to those of you not familiar with this classic: The Roosevelt—in honor of the man responsible for the original economic stimulus plan of the Great Depression.

Now, the traditional recipe may remind some of the Bronx cocktail, for those of you that are familiar with what is essentially an OJ-charged perfect martini, but it's actually quite different. Some recipes call for a dark rum while others insist you use a light one. Here I'm going with the light for color and adding a touch of the dark because the molasses twang of the dark rum works well with orange.

THE ROOSEVELT

1½ oz light rum
¼ oz dark Jamaican rum
½ oz dry vermouth
¼ oz orange juice
¼ teaspoon sugar

According to the classic recipe(s), you should mix up all the ingredients and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Another way I additionally improve on this drink is to start off by treating it similar to an Old-Fashioned by muddling a slice of orange with the sugar (you can add a whole teaspoon if you like the sweet stuff). This adds the slightly-bitter and highly aromatic oils of the orange skin, which add a nice dimension to this drink. Then go ahead and shake up all the ingredients with ice. What the orange slice also does is add a bit of orange pulp to the drink. If this is undesirable, simply fine strain it into the chilled cocktail glass. Finally, twist a thin orange peel strip over the drink and kiss the entire rim of the glass with it. Delicious!

Since we're on presidents, there's one particular drink named after the guy that was in office two decades later. It's not necessarily my favorite drink, but let me show you how I've reinvented it.

The classic is called The Eisenhower and the traditional recipe is quite simple. Definitely reminiscent of a grasshopper, but without cream, a different ratio, and on the rocks.

THE EISENHOWER

1½ oz light crème de cacao
½ oz green crème de menthe

Pour ingredients over the rocks in an old-fashioned glass. That’s it; I told you it was simple.

The thing is, though, it’s not exactly the best drink. Being all liqueurs, it’s a bit syrupy, a bit sweet, and not very complex. So I’ve modernized it a bit. Here’s my take, with a suitable name to align with the topic at hand:

THE $787 BILLION ECONOMIC STIMULUS PLAN

1½ oz premium vodka
½ oz Cognac
12 fresh mint leaves
1 teaspoon premium cocoa powder
2 teaspoons castor sugar

Muddle the mint leaves, the cocoa powder, and the sugar in a mixing glass. It’s very important to muddle really well. Add a drop or two of the vodka to get the mixture a bit wet and use the graininess of the sugar to grind up the mint into tiny bits. You should end up with a brown/green minty paste with no visible pieces of mint.

Add the Cognac and the vodka. Shake well with ice and strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a wedge of good chocolate.

Now with an extra $787 billion green ones about to be rushing through the bloodstream of the economy, we might have a few extra bucks to make a couple good cocktails.


Enjoy! And as with life, sip slowly.

—Joseph

Sham's Winston

Okay, I'm back. Updating the blog while traveling is not always the easiest, but I'm sure there are more difficult jobs. So go ahead and count on more frequent posts.

The Bamboo Hut Bistro, Melaka

The employees of the 2006/2007 winner of the "Best Restaurant Hotel Outlet Melaka Tourism Award" all wear black T-shirts that read "House of Cocktails."

Sham's Golden Eagle

The multiple drinks menus at The Bamboo Hut Bistro certainly have quite a selection of common beverages, but remain without anything unique and original. If you'd like a signature cocktail here, Sham is the man to make it for you. He's the bartender that will size you up to determine your poison. Sham's a bit of a talker and, among other things, told me that he's come up with fifty to sixty of his own concoctions for those moments when someone wants something a bit different. For me, he mixed me up a drink made with vodka, rum, gin, triple sec, and Ribena berry juice. A bit of a berry Long Island, he calls it a "Golden Eagle," named after the emblem on a pack of Winston cigarettes.

The Mango Daiquiri at Bamboo Hut Bistro

I also gave the Mango daiquiri a taste. Very mango, very blended, and very frothy, the bright orange slushy drink is quite sweet and tasty, but not my cup of tea. I'll stick with one of Sham's creations.

Jason & Sham

Thanks for reading!
Sip slowly,
Joseph