Cocktails: Tuesday Night Style

Cocktails?  I am down.  Bar-pop with featured cocktails? Definitely down.  Tuesday Night Dinner Series creates the menu and hosts the event? Invite friends.  And this is how Tuesday night unfolded for me and a girlfriend this week.  TND is a team of amazing chefs and bartenders led by Jeremy Leven who create a supper club style dinner event every last Tuesday of the month.  This Tuesday, the TND crew took a spin on dinner by doing a cocktail focused event that included bar snacks.  I say bar snacks lightly because these bites were more gourmet than snack-y including crab and caper filled jalapeno poppers, garlic, curry spiced popcorn, and fries to- die-for.  Although the food was spot on, the cocktails were the highlight and rightfully so.  Selly and Lori were killing it behind the bar!  From beer cocktails to sangria, the menu was eclectic and chalk full of fresh and crisp ingredients.  Best part: These sophisticated sippers were $4-$6 a piece!  I’ll have to admit, this time around I went more as a guest than on assignment for B&Y, but after a few sips I could not resist snapping shots of what was going on…even if it was on my phone (thanks Instagram!). Curious about TND?  Check out their website (linked above) or see my post here: Comin’ Home for Dinner.  Here is what we sampled below:

Blueberry Bramble: Wild Michigan blueberries, lemon, basil, gin.

Michelada: Raw heirloom tomato consumme, pilsner (Haymarket Brewery), guajillo peppper/dehydrated corn dust rim. A hearty cocktail and a sure fire hangover cure.

Watermelon Mint Martini: Watermelon juice, vodka, citrus,mint, salt.

Elderflower White Sangria: Sauvignon Blanc, elderflower liqueur, strawberries, citrus.




Cocktails: 6 Sharp.

The Fitzgerald

We have a philosophy in the Temkin household which is this:  Do not live to work but rather work to live.  In other words, we understand that everything we do between 9-5 is merely a way to maintain and enrich everything else we want to do after 5.  Like everyone we know, work can so often appear to be unfairly stressful and life consuming.  Sometimes it is all we talk about or even think about.  It is in those moments that we try to remind each other that we are not saving the world in our respective careers, but that it’s work.  And although there are parts to our work that we like, we know what really matters and what we look forward to the most is coming home to each other at the end of the day.  That the dreams we create between these four walls (literally, there is not much else here folks) are far important than complaining about what happened at lunch, or how someone did not return a call or how the dry cleaners messed up…again.  But life is hard, and  sometimes we have to make time to connect.  Done are the days of walking in the door only to be thrown into the midst of cooking dinner while sort of sipping a fabulous glass of wine that you cannot even really enjoy because the water is boiling or the timer just went off or it’s already 7pm and you have to be in bed in 3 hours.  Why buy the wine in the first place?  Therefore, we are bringing back the cocktail hour at the Temkin’s.  A time where we can sit, catch up, and decompress because undoubtedly this joyful lull will be brief and something will certainly stir the pot again if not the fact that dinner burned while you were enjoying your cocktails.

There used to be an artistry about the cocktail hour.  In fact, I wonder if it should be capitalized to recognize its place in the 50’s and 60’s and 70’s …it was truly The Cocktail Hour where one did not mess around.  There were cocktail dresses and cocktail rings for the ladies, cocktail sets with individual stirrers, appropriate glassware, and sophisticated drinks including martini’s and manhattan’s as the norm.  This was a time set aside each day to look and feel fabulous.  So this summer, we are bringing back the cocktail hour.  6pm sharp.  We are taking back some time for ourselves and celebrating each day in a small way.  And every celebration needs a fantastic cocktail, right?  We hope you will join us.

Monday evening cocktail (cause you know you need it).

Delicious right? Yeah, it’s a classic gin cocktail – the gin fizz, and this was my first time making one.  In fact, I haven’t made too many cocktails at home outside of my favorite go to drink, the simple, yet enjoyable gin and tonic.  Inspired by this new venture Jenna and I have embarked upon, it’s fitting that we focus on something just as enjoyable, inspiring and customizable as home cooking, and that’s cocktails.  We have the bar, we have the tools and we have a decent liquor collection so it was time to take my favorite spirit and do something besides adding some tonic and a lime.

I’ve always been intrigued by cocktails with egg white – the richness and frothiness that the egg white adds makes the drink, well, seem more thirst quenching and tasty.  After searching for various gin cocktails to make this one fit the bill since we had all the necessary ingredients…2 oz gin, one egg white, 1/2 tsp superfine sugar, splash of lemon and club soda at the end.  So, here I was, taking longer than needed because I typically get flustered when I rush and multitask in the kitchen, frantically adding ice to the shaker, pouring the gin, sugar, and lemon over the ice and vigorously shaking the mixture until my shoulders hurt and my hands were numb from the cold.  The directions said to shake until it hurt, and that’s exactly what I did.  However, it didn’t take too long. I’m not really sure what that says about the strength of my shoulders (I do work out…) and my ability to withstand cold temperatures – but the cap flew off and I spilled a bit as Jenna shook her head in disbelief.

Regaining my composure I shook the mixture a few more times (you have to shake a lot to make sure the egg white mixes well with the gin) and poured the cocktail in a highball glass with a few ice cubes, followed by some club soda.  Above is the final product…and it certainly looks the part (see above)…but I wasn’t exactly enamored with the flavor.  Jenna thought it tasted good but I think the problem was with the type of gin I used.  Overall, I thought the drink was a bit bland but the texture seemed right.  Only having Death’s Door at home limited my options but I’m now determined to purchase a variety of gins to perfect the fizz and start creating my own concoctions.