Pineapple Upside Down Cake always reminds me of my mother because it was her favorite dessert. For some reason she always made it for Easter instead of the obligatory white coconut cake everyone else seemed to serve up is their traditional Easter dessert. Since I don't care for coconut cakes, I never had a problem with this.
Many, many years ago I made my first cocktail version of this with a simple combination of vanilla vodka and fresh pineapple juice. This year I decided to update the recipe a bit.
I love the Anheuser-Busch Budweiser Clydesdale horses and commercials and I know many of you do as well. What you may not know is the very first appearance of the Clydesdales came about as a result of the end of Prohibition of beer and the Cullen-Harrison Act which took effect on April 7, 1933, now known and celebrated as National Beer Day. (The repeal of the Volstead Act, banning sale and use of all alcoholic beverages, would follow in December of that same year.)
On that day in April of 1933, August A. Busch, Jr. and Adolphus Busch III surprised their father, August A. Busch, Sr., with the gift of a six-horse Clydesdale hitch (later increased to the present eight horse hitch) to commemorate the repeal of Prohibition of beer.
Busch Sr. then arranged to have a second six-horse Clydesdale hitch sent to New York on April 7 to mark the event. The Clydesdales drew a crowd of thousands on their way to the Empire State Building. After a small ceremony, a case of Budweiser was presented to former Governor Alfred E. Smith in appreciation of his years of service in the fight against Prohibition.
This original team then continued a tour across New England and the mid-Atlantic, ending in a final stop in Washington DC with a reenactment of the delivery of the first post-Prohibition case of beer to President Franklin Roosevelt.
This 2012 Super Bowl ad is a tribute to the end of Prohibition and that first appearance of the beloved Clydesdale Horses. (They took a little liberty with the addition of the Dalmatian, these canine mascots were not added to official teams until March of 1950.)
New Beers Eve is April 6th, National Beer Day is April 7th, National Beer Lovers Day is September 7th, National Drink Beer Day is September 28th, American Beer Day is October 27th and International Beer Day is the first Friday in August.
Nothing evokes spring more than the first flowers peeking through at the end of winter. Flowers are the essence of spring, and they can be an intriguing part of your spring cocktails as well.
There are several options for imbuing cocktails with floral elements using floral liqueurs, essences, extracts, cocktail bitters and syrups to employing actual edible flowers as a garnish. Used judiciously, even a drop of floral bitters, rose water, flower essence or just a teaspoon of floral honey syrup can add a floral touch of spring to your cocktails. To achieve a floral note, one or more of these methods has been applied in each of the cocktail recipes below.
It might be hard to believe, but the iconic Barbie doll turns 60 today. I grew up playing with Barbie Dolls, in fact, I had the whole 50s/60s pack; Ken, Midge, Toni, a slew of outfits, accessories and the peach and turquoise sports car. But that doll of my youth, the original Barbie, has changed with the times over the last six decades so I think it's time her cocktail did as well.
The plethora of existing Barbie cocktails consist mostly of a pink drink of juices with a little vodka and or coconut rum mixed in. I think a 60 year old Barbie should be a little more sophisticated in her choice of cocktail. That's why I tossed out the jungle juice mixtures and am introducing today's senior citizen Barbie to a drink more suited to her maturity, an effervescent combination of a Mimosa and a Negroni.
Thanks to a close friend of mine from Sonoma, I finally got my hands on a bottle of Sonoma Distilling Company's Cherrywood Rye. My friend needed a weekend away from tribulations of a divorce so I invited her out to enjoy the beautiful spring wildflowers of the desert and chill out from all the legal proceedings. She came in towing her luggage and a gift box full of some of my favorite Sonoma county goodies and tucked right in there was a bottle of that lovely wine country rye. I have been wanting to get my hands on a bottle for ages but my zip code never brought up a local source on their website so thank the Booze Gods for best friends.
After she settled in I poured us both a glass over ice to savor the rye as she vented over her departing mate. Taking a cue from that, I immediately decided a chocolate Manhattan was next, mixed two up then handed hers to her saying, "You don't need a man, you need a Manhattan!"
It was the perfect, smokey, chocolate liquid elixir for a woman in the throes of a divorce and worked out beautifully for today's International Women's Day cocktail. I just wish she'd brought two bottles.
Arnaud's Special was the house cocktail of the famous Arnaud's Restaurant of New Orleans in the 1940's and 1950's. It's a Southern take on a Rob Roy where the sweet vermouth and Angostura Bitters are replaced with the Dubonnet and orange bitters.
If you're looking for a dry cocktail give this a try. It's a great cocktail to sip before dinner. Just make sure you use the new Dubonnet released in the States last year, it's more like the original 1846 formula and the Dubonnet that Europe has always had access to. Even though Arnaud's most likely used the first American version, this new Dubonnet is much more complex and makes this cocktail way more interesting. (FYI, during the 1940s, when Hitler had control of France, the United States could not import Dubonnet so a different version was created in the U.S. It was, however, milder and less bitter as a result of the reduction of the quinine.)