Happy new year, folks! As the tradition has become, I’m pleased to share with you the newly updated “Scientist McGee Cocktail Menu”! Each year I update my home bar’s menu of drinks I offer to guests of my home, with newly discovered drinks from the past year.
This 2016 update is the 6th edition of this “drinks menu” or cocktail book. This edition has several more updates than past years’ editions. These updates include:
-Revised title – Now called “Scientist McGee’s Drink Menu & Manual”
-18 new recipes, including 5 original SMcG creations
-New photos sprinkled throughout the old recipes
-New sheet provided (prior to the recipes) to aide in keeping one’s bar stocked and/or informing guests of which drinks cannot be prepared at the moment
-New drinks added to “My Personal Favorites” section
-A recipe for home-made grenadine
-Page 11 – improved recipe
So happy new year! Cheers! I hope you enjoy these drinks!
Cover & Table of Contents: Scientist McGee’s Drinks Menu & Manual – 6th Edition, 2016
The drinks & recipes, with ingredient index: Scientist McGee’s Drink Menu & Manual – 6th Edition (2016)
Yesterday saw the Kentucky Derby horse race. Although I love the history and tradition of the culture of horse racing, I couldn’t care less about it as a sport. But there’s so much more to the Kentucky Derby than the sport of horse racing, I love the fashion of the day with the snazzy hats and the outfits that hearken back to an American golden age of good times and revelry, and my favorite part is the drink of choice that day… the amazing Mint Julep.
The Mint Julep and Kentucky Derby is as intertwined as beer and baseball. That’s true for my own experience as well. Although I’ll have a mint julep every now and then on a day other than the day of the Kentucky Derby, I don’t do so as often as I really should. It really is too good of a drink to limit to just one special day. Since the drink outshines the horse racing event in my opinion, the drink should appear in one’s life more than the races as well.
I had my first Mint Julep at a Kentucky Derby party. Every year, a bar in St. Louis called The Royale hosts a derby party and serves fantastic juleps along with great fun and games including live music, charity mouse races and best dressed contests. (I saw Miss Jubilee & the Humdingers play the year I attended, and before that I believe Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three played the event.) Here’s a video straight from The Royale of how they make a julep: http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/gutcheck/2014/04/mint_juleps_at_the_royale.php
It’s pretty straight forward and how I prepare mine at home. Here’s a photo of the julep I enjoyed yesterday:
With such an iconic drink comes lots of legendary stories, and the best mint julep story I’ve heard involves those made by Tom Bullock.
Tom Bullock was a St. Louis bartender at the St. Louis Country Club and author of “The Ideal Baretender” in 1917. In a libel suit regarding a claim that he was frequently drunk, former President Theodore Roosevelt testified that he had only had one drink since leaving the oval office and that was Mr. Bullock’s Mint Julep, and furthermore that he had only had a sip or two.
Apparently Mr. Bullock’s mint julep was so good, the St. Louis Post Dispatch felt it warranted to call President Roosevelt out in an editorial claiming that no one could possibly limit themselves to only a sip or two of Mr. Bulkock’s julep. (http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/02/18/dining/tom-bullock-the-ideal-bartender-offers-words-of-advice.html?referrer=)
The Mint Julep… a refreshing and stiff drink made of only bourbon, sugar, water and mint. The Mint Julep… a drink that should be placed upon the mantle of America as prominently as baseball and jazz themselves.
This cocktail glass holds a special place in my heart. It was one of the very first glasses I purchased to enjoy fancy drinks in. I purchased it at Kenrick Antique Mall (now called General Grant Antique Mall in its new location further west on Watson Rd.), and it’s always been one of my favorites. On top of that, despite its elegant design and appearance, it’s actually a quite sturdy glass that will hopefully enjoy a long, long life. So cheers to this cocktail glass! Let’s raise it to itself!
Corpse Reviver #2
with 3 drops of absinthe and a cocktail cherry
Shake and serve up
3/4oz St. Germain
1/2oz creme de violette
1t simple syrup
Shake with ice and serve up
Have you seen the app called “Time Hop”? It’s a nice “ultra-nostalgic” way to reminisce about or be reminded of your social media posts a year ago on that same day, or even a couple years ago or five years ago for that matter.
It’s an awesome way to reminisce with pictures of your kid(s), but it also provides drinks for me to “recycle” here as we can always use a reminder of a good drink or two, right?
Today’s “time hop” provides one f my favorite drinks…
The “Japanese Cocktail”
3d Boker’s Bitters
Garnish with a lemon twist
On 10/26/14, the world lost a young baseball superstar of great promise, Oscar Taveras. Baseball fans learned of this tragic loss during the 2014 World Series, when it was announced over the air.
Shocked and in disbelief from this unexpected, terribly sad news, I needed a drink to sit back, take in the news and reflect on young Oscar and his saddened families (both his real family as well as his Cardinals family). Too saddened and shook to worry about mixing up a drink from ground zero, I just took the little bit of pre-mixed Manhattan I had already on hand and added cognac to it to make it a better-sized drink. Although the “technique” was unorthodox, the result was certainly tasty. Which begs the question…
Although the excuse for this concoction of mine was due to my lack of motivation to mix a drink from scratch, has anyone ever seen this technique in use before? Perhaps not just a Manhattan plus the addition of one other spirit (like mine was), but maybe two or three complete cocktails put together – A cocktail made of a combo of other cocktails? A “cocktail of cocktails”, so to speak.
I’d be interested to know.
Either way, at the end of the day, we’ll miss Oscar Taveras, and I hold his family and friends and his memory in my heart. This sad excuse for a drink is dedicated to the memory of Oscar Taveras, a tragic loss for St. Louis and the game of baseball…
1 part Manhattan
1 part cognac
I really enjoy a good Pimm’s Cup. So much so, that I really should find myself drinking them much more often than I do.
Oddly enough, I usually find myself enjoying them on the most American of holidays… 4th of July, Labor Day, etc. Mainly I guess because these holidays are summer ones where I find myself kicking back on the porch without a care in the world (other than the St. Louis heat and humidity).
However, I usually do feel a bit weird drinking these on the 4th of July for instance. Oh well, they’re a great summertime refresher, so who really cares about tradition and what’s proper anyway, right?
A 2014 Independence Day Pimm’s Cup…
2oz Pimm’s No.1
A couple ounces of ginger ale
Garnish w/ a cucumber
A 2014 Labor Day Pimm’s Cup…
2oz Pimm’s No. 1
1/4oz lemon over ice
A bit of ginger ale
A cucumber garnish
And what a Pimm’s Cup looks like when for some reason, you forget that a Pimm’s Cup has Pimm’s in it and accidentally use gin instead. It’s actually not a bad drink, and I wouldn’t object to someone handing me one.
A bit of ginger ale
A cucumber garnish