Has Valentine’s Day almost passed by without a thought of your spouse or significant other? Or, if you are single, have you given a thought to pulling together something special at your house? Or just need an idea for the weekend, something different?
If so, I wanted to share a couple of fantastic ideas that can be used tonight, or anytime for that matter, for a small gathering.
Everything old is new again. The trend for retro/mini cocktails is exploding, and as a mixologist, I find it very interesting that the cocktails in the 20’s were mini because they were almost pure alcohol. Alas, I have come up with a classic cocktail that will be elegant, tastes great, and can be romantic, not pure alcohol, but retro all the same.
Do you have some antique martini glasses? If so, they are very small. Serve a nice port, or, mix this:
The Retro Cocktail:
The ingredients in this whiskey based cocktail are reminiscent of the famous “Sidecar” of the 1920’s. I have softened this original recipe a bit for flavor enhancement, for today’s discriminating cocktail palette.
1 ounce premium Crown Royal Whiskey
¼ ounce Triple Sec
¼ ounce Maraschino Cherry Juice
2 ounces Sweet and Sour Mix
1 Mini Lime Wedge
1 Maraschino Cherry
Add all liquid ingredients to a martini shaker with ice. Shake a pour. Garnish with a mini lime wedges and cherries on an olive pic.
To pair food with this cocktail, you need something a little sweet yet savory. My friend, Mary Ann Eacuello, came up with this delicious recipe. It is easy, ultra sophisticated, and delicious.
1 package wonton wrappers or eggroll wrappers
1 bottle of Hoison Sauce
½ cups Brown sugar
½ cup Orange Juice
½ cup Maraschino Cherry Syrup (can use from a bottle of cherries)
2 Duck Breasts
Manchego Cheese or other Mild, crumbly cheese such as mild feta
½ cup chopped scallions
Take two breasts of duck and coat with brown sugar, orange juice and maraschino cherry syrup and place in a plastic bag.
In a large non-stick skillet full with at least 2 inches of olive oil. Bring to medium heat.
Take wonton wrappers or egg roll wrappers cut into halves and fry just until they’re puffy. Then take them out and place them on a piece of paper towel to drain.
While the wontons drain, place the duck breasts skin side down into the pan for 7 minutes. Flip over and cook for another 7 minutes.
Spread wontons on a cookie sheet, then slice the duck breast against the grain and place on wontons with the marinade left over in the pan. Pour warm Hoison sauce over the duck and top off with scallions and Manchego cheese.
Bake at 300 degrees for about 10-15 minutes and serve.
These recipes are not complicated, and once you keep these ingredients on hand, you will never lack for an impromptu, sophisticated gathering!