Cocktail: Catcher in the Rye


The BF was experimenting with some seville oranges I finally managed to score at the farmer’s market. I had to special order them from one of the farmers the week before so that he could bring me some this week. We were tossing around the idea of creating a literature-inspired cocktail for when some of my co-workers stopped by before the official literary pub crawl started to get in a bit of pre-drinking. Since this variation of a blood and sand contains rye, I thought it apt to name it ‘Catcher in the Rye’ — loosely literary.

The seville orange juice gives the cocktail a refreshing tartness with a bitter finish which prevents it from being overly sweet, or too much like a whiskey sour. I like that this mixture is both easy to drink but has enough depth to be a ‘sipper’. I’d imagine that a mixture of tangerine (or a tart orange) juice and grapefruit juice could be used in place of seville orange if it’s not easily available.

Recipe by the BF:

1.5 oz Rye (I used Old Overholt for no particular reason)
1 oz seville (sour) orange juice
.5 oz sweet vermouth (I used Carpano Antica Formula)
scant .5 oz Heering Cherry

Shake, strain into chilled cocktail glass, garnish with brandied cherry and/or orange twist.

Vegan Curry (from scratch!)

It had been a while since we had curry. It could be because vegan curry blocks are really hard to find. The blocks of Japanese curry that I used to use turned out to have some sort of meat or animal derived product in it, oops.  I thought that we had finally found some veggie-friendly curry and bought a box to take home, but the other night, I realized it wasn’t just the curry seasoning and roux, but with veggies in it too. A foil pouch of ‘ready made’ curry. I wasn’t in the mood for that and noticed I still had a can of S&B curry powder.


It turns out that curry isn’t that hard to make from scratch! Well, kind of from scratch, if you have the ready-made powder.  All it takes is sauteing some chopped onions in oil, adding the curry powder, some tomato paste, and then the right amount of flour to make the roux.  Some vegetable broth, potatoes, carrots, and random things in the fridge later, I had curry.

One of the random things I put in the curry were wheat gluten puffs from the Chinese market. They’re these big puffed up balls of airy bread. I cut them in half, put them in the curry and mushed them around so they soften. When they’re properly cooked and soften, they soak up the curry sauce and have palatable, smooth and tender texture. It may sound gross, but it reminded me of a tender piece of bacon fat. Delicious.

The Little Italy (and Cynar)


I drank my first Little Italy a week or so ago at The Tar Pit. It’s a Manhattan variation with more depth in the aftertaste thanks to the Cynar (Chi-naaaar). Because the drink is on the bitter side, it’s one to be sipped instead of gulped and might not be for everyone.

Cynar is an artichoke liquor that’s bitter-sweet, leaning more into bitter. It sounds gross, but it’s pretty good if you’re a fan of bitter liquors.  I think it knocked Campari out of its spot as my favorite bitter liquor. It has the bitterness of Campari, but is more syrupy sweet upfront. It’s good in mixed drinks because unlike Campari, it doesn’t have a distinct enough flavor that screams, “Hey look, I added some Cynar to this!”  Instead, it hangs around in the background waiting to be appreciated.

According to this post, the cocktail consists of:

2 oz rye
1/2 oz Cynar
3/4 oz sweet vermouth
2 brandied cherries skewered on a stick
flamed orange twist

The drink is made even better if Carpano Antica (the best vermouth evar) is used for the sweet vermouth. This sweet vermouth makes every drink magical.